We have hit the half-way point of our attempt to capture some of the greatness that the alternative, indie and underground idols of Japan have contributed to the world over the past ten years. If you would like a recap of the methodology we used to arrive at the album rankings, please visit week one’s installment. If you missed last week’s post or want a refresher of the albums that placed 31st – 40th, you can find that here.
Now, on with the next ten albums in the countdown plus one honorable mention that fell just a little bit short of the top 50:
Title says it all. I didn’t even realize that it was Wednesday, that’s how slowly and off-everything this week has been. I swear that my mind is still in the middle of Saturday evening at the point when I thought to myself that I should pre-prepare some posting for the week and try to get a jump on stuff. Right after I finish … and that’s it.
So what has happened this week? It seems like basically nothing. A few announcements, yeah, and apparently even a few MV releases. But this is a weird spring/summer elbow season, probably mostly because of COVID and just weird luck, and there just isn’t that much hitting the Internet for freeloaders like me to enjoy.
But speaking of enjoyment, and having a dearth of new things to overreact to, I thought I’d make sure that you’re all extra-special aware of my favorite live clip so far this year. It’s all the more particularly so because it’s the rare live clip of a personal favorite doing what’s arguably their greatest song ever. So get to it: Continue reading →
It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! DAIDAIDAI has been promoting their exceptionally well-titled new record for what feels like half of my life at this point, and they dropped that teaser earlier in the week and it was all JUST GIVE ME THE WHOLE THING and now it’s only a week way, and if you need convincing to stream and buy the thing until you are literally incapable of hearing anything else, here’s the actual lead with an actual MV I’M SO EXCITED OKAY:
There are literally thousands of active idol units at any given time, and hundreds that are within this community’s general interest, and a subset of them that may cross into three figures that dispenses with the more typical pop or rock or even hip-hop sounds for various digital genres, so we’re not talking about a huge sample size here, but I’ll happily bet against anybody foolish enough to contend that DEMON TAPES hasn’t been the source of the very best work in that space, period, ever, going back to whenever they first tried it out, and that DAIDAIDAI isn’t the current master of the form. Everything they release is so far beyond so mundane a measurement as “good”, and their overall artistic output is so unique and well-crafted that I legitimately wish I could get some of these videos into the playlists of the cool Zoomer kids who are emerging as tastemakers for the new generation. This is music that the world needs!
This is a short post, so here’s live DAIDAIDAI joined by the similarly excellent NaNoMoRaL:
I know we Weekendered it a while back, but it’s entirely possible that people — silly, fallible lumps of loosely organized flesh that they are — either have forgotten or are somehow not at all aware of the fact that DAIDAIDAI, one of the most unique and exciting acts in this entire scene, has an album coming out in basically no time at all now. I’ve been excited about since the day I heard about it! Imagine being aware of what this group brings and not being excited.
And so there was the move by producer-san, it seems, for DEMON TAPES decided to drop the first proper promo for the album on Valentine’s Day, and I’d have missed it completely if not for a bit of research last week. The thinking is sound, right, like of course a Sunday in the middle of winter when people are much more worried about their SOs is the best time to slide out new music that will gin up interest in your album. I am in absolutely no way being sarcastic! But anyway, this is awesome and exciting: Continue reading →
Since we launched The Calendar, the weekly livestream post got discontinued, but I thought there were a few events worth bringing folks attention to now that these notices are no longer hitting the front page. As always, all dates and times listed are Japan Standard Time (JST) unless noted (Convert to your time here).
Kick the weekend off with a free live on YouTube by funk-and-groove flavored Nagoya standouts, FAREWELL MY, L.u.v.
【LIve Info】 8/8（土） 「Sutudio Live 2020.08.08 」 ▶︎15:40より ▶︎視聴無料
BURST GIRL Continue the “BURST BIG BANG” tour to promote their Story EP. This installment sees them teaming up with DAI DAI DAI, Story collaborators THE STARBEMS and others. Streaming tickets are ¥1,800 via ZAIKO.
I was at a party back in February, back when doing that kind of thing was normal and not a sign that you’re a degenerate who should be shot out of a cannon, and as is often typical of Fiancee when we’re gabbing with new people, she brought up this here fancy idol website and ol’ Maniac’s predilection for off-beat Japanese music. After fending off the requisite with “no, it’s nothing like BTS” and “nope, haven’t been and probably won’t” and the like, one person asked the most game question of all: What do I like best, and would I play it?
This of course was an agonizing question because, like, what do I like best, especially with a couple of quarts of beer in me, and how to choose an example? I obviously want to convert these people into fans, right? So maybe Hanako-san isn’t the best look. But what about … and I scrolled through my Spotify until I found the sublime MUDAI album and rapid-fire toured through tracks while explaining in terrible pop-culture terminology exactly what this madcap record is, and why there’s an idol group doing whatever that all is called DAIDAIDAI and that I love them so much it hurts.
Anyway! Yeah, they were on my follow list even during hiatus, so I’m not completely out to lunch with this stuff, though yes there were things I missed and if I honk a detail here or there you can call my lawyer, capisce? But this is otherwise me catching up with DAIDAIDAI the better to get them more or less updated on the site and happy in my heart again!
That’s right, friends, I’m talking maybe my favorite idol thing from my favorite idol scene, in reverse order the very intense and/or wild collection of misfits in Osaka, and DAIDAIDAI having emerged from that mess all the way back in 2016, carrying on the very unique sonic+idol legacy of Utena Yuki and PSYBOU KANOJO. This I write in dang near ever post about DAIDAIDAI because, damn it all, the history is important and the relationship between excellent ongoing projects must be acknowledged.
Anyway, DAIDAIDAI had, as once might expect after about three years together, a chunk of the membership graduate recently, and with that a simmering down of the old system while things retooled. Or, at least, as I surmise, because if I hadn’t checked in on them this morning, I’d still be unaware of these goings on because that’s what happens when you’re still afraid of the huge info crush of turning your notifications back on! However, yes, the graduation thing, that was known, and so you connect dots when you check in and OH LOOK A NEW THING!
Chika idol has a lot of room for a lot of things, and it’s possible that no project has grasped that flexibility quite as well as DAIDAIDAI, the DEMON TAPES-generated Osaka (of course) underground electro-pain merchants who’ve built out, built up and built strong the sonic legacy founded by PSYBOU KANOJO. Now approaching their third anniversary, the group has been incredibly steady — more on the music front than membership, but this is idol — while reaching for all manner of sounds and influences and visuals to keep every person who’d encounter them on their toes.
Speaking of membership, there is that (future) mass departure to acknowledge, but also a new single that we are now, friends, so lucky as to have it appear in our lives. I think this is what happens when a composer and producer get together to brain up a summer single for an idolcore group. Soak it in! Continue reading →
I hope that I’m actually providing something of a service with this post, gang, and not just HTMLing something that’s already been done to death — judging by the original reactions, I’d say it’s somewhere in between — but if you missed it yesterday, amazing digital idolcore project of my dreams DAIDAIDAI has a demo for a new song, “PIRANHA”, available via download if you retweet the following:
No one single thing in the past week got me as excited to acknowledge a YouTube notification as this. I love DAIDAIDAI, have championed them from their birth (two years ago!), have eagerly waited for a chance to completely immerse myself in their soundscapes, the kind of thing that really only works when you’re seeing a live, rather than catching up on clips from fans’ cameras or the errant MV. And today, a pro-shot (of sorts). It feels like victory.