Yeesh, you guys. So despite the perhaps apparent statements to the contrary, I actually listened to a good bit of idol during my hiatus — I just didn’t have the energy or wherewithal to do anything with it, which sucked! But yeah, plenty of listening, and I’ll eventually get around to musing about much more of it as a way of making it seem like I’m not a completely lazy jerk. Today, though, I’m only going to bring up my single most disappointing idol release of the year, and in fact maybe in the last several. Is it the worst? Didn’t say that! Is it bad? That’s subjective, player! But, like, pick for yourself synonyms of “disappointing” and “boring” and “uninspired” and “cash-grab” and you’ll be all set to fill out the Mad-Lib that you’re using to review ayumikurikamaki’s latest single, “”, because that’s all the level of care and concern it deserves. Continue reading
I assume that you all have been enjoying POPPING EMO over the past several months, anyway, but I also assume that all of idol was frozen in carbonite in mid-February and is only now being thawed out, so it’s in fact neither here nor there that this randomly SCRAMBLES-aligned group up and dropped like 20 tracks onto Soundcloud the other day. Right? Like, their Twitter looks fine, albeit short of details. Nothing actually happened, right?
Consider this post an opportunity to get re-acquainted, which you could say may have been my motivation for making it in the first place and not be wrong!
Kamen Joshi, Alice Project, PARMS, whatever have you — not the best reputation in the business. While I do indeed (because it is my website and HTML is unlimited) have the space to expound on every negative thing ever alleged about the entity, I will not, for I am lazy and will instead encourage you to do your own research into such matters. That being said, the perception in no way plays out in the idol production, which is always so earnestly idol that it makes your teeth ache. And when the world faces unprecedented crises, who or what could possibly be better to show us a way forward?
Yes! Can this promotional video for the sustainable sourcing of electrical power, especially wind, help to turn the tide against unrelenting climate change? Or is it simply a sinister greenwashing ploy to cover for the unsavory side of the business? You decide!*
Aside from being one of the all-time great free agent pickups in idol blogging history, I’ve always been able to rely on one Chris Winsall, Mr. Toxic Breakfast himself, for adroit plucking of otherwise obscure excellence from the idol heap and shaking it in my face until I embrace it with all the enthusiasm required. And now that he’s on Team, it even happens quietly! The note the other day was one of the weirdest shots out of the dark that I’ve had in a while, and I’m completely here for it.
Friends. You guys. AND CRAZY is back.
It’s 2020 now, and all of this is firmly in the past, but I think it’s worth mentioning the wild ride that WILL-O’ went on over the course of the previous year. A lot has changed in the now three-plus years since Alloy was originally formed, and though WILL-O’ as WILL-O’ is fairly well-established at this point, I think it’s fair to say that change is the most consistent thing about the group. Well, change and doing great rock-related idol work, that is, and I mean that literally because you’ll remember that I held up “POP’N” as my personal favorite song of 2019.
And as that was going on, they were also releasing a new EP to close the year! I kind of forgot about it (it was sitting in my wait-until-an-MV-drops pile), then the MV finally did come a little on the late side, so here I go rhetorically returning the favor! But also they did some interesting stuff in the meantime, so waiting turned out to be smart. Anyway, the MV: Continue reading
In a last ditch effort to demonstrate that we deserve good things in 2019, Yanakoto Sotto Mute are ending the year with an MV for Layline, #3 in their “NINE” series of singles.
Scholars of Yanamute will notice the settings of past MVs Lily, Any, Holy Grail, Awake and Morning pelting by accompanied by flashes of the imagery from “Bubble” and “Mirrors”. This 4:44 MV pays homage to virtually all of the motifs of the past while incrementally constructing a vision of Yanamute’s future. The end finds the trio back on the set of Horoscope, Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s very first MV, as they are joined by their newest member and finally head to the stage as a quartet once again. For fans, this MV is a seismic landmark and it helps that Layline is one of the best of the “NINE” tracks YSM has been quietly releasing over the past few months.
The MV though is in danger of being upstaged by the group’s big reveal. You recall a couple weeks ago when Yanamute dropped a teaser trailer on us without even enough info to know how to spell their new member’s name? Now we finally got the deets:
— ヤなことそっとミュート (@YanakotoSM) December 29, 2019
Meet Rin Tsukasa. She would like you to call her, “Tsukasa”.
Ah, the mishmash, one of my two or three favorite groups that basically just performs all the time and never releases anything, thereby leaving me to drift hopelessly through a directionless life with neither succor nor support. I wish they did more stuff! It’s hard to stay mad at them, though, because they rub shoulders with excellent company and I think are largely satisfied with being their best selves in a milieu that appreciates them. But anyway! There’s music, and you can get it. Thanks for a retweet campaign involving one of those demos that I’m always kvetching about, they have a full song to listen to, and then to download for free, and hey look get to it:
— the mishmash 12/28(土)心斎橋BIGCATワンマンライブ (@mishmash_info) December 24, 2019
So as I mentioned the other day, one of the perks of being a fancy idol blogger is that you get into communication with the behind-the-scenes folks, both to build personal relationships (people like each other, imagine!) and to share information. So it is that we know about Owaranaide, Yoru in the first place, in fact, and how their latest single (dropped yesterday) came into my life.
I warn you: If you follow OWAYORU at all, you may have an idea of what it is they sound like, what they do, etc. Put aside those notions, friend, and think to yourself, now why would Maniac be so coy about this and so excited all at once? What is it about this strange person that I should turn into an inference about what I’m about to hear? And if the answer to that question happens to land you on such things as “Dance for Philosophy” and “Especia” and “what could have been for Hauptharmonie,” which is to say, how about a little smoothness to your day, wouldn’t that be a nice way to close the year and start a week all at once?
What a pleasant surprise. And the best part is that it’s by Candye Syrup’s composer-san, too, which goes to show you that talent is talent and that some people simply cannot be contained. I just wish there were more than the one track! And maybe some video! And then another thing like this in short order!
So the last couple of weeks have seen teasers for a new group, and that culminated in member reveals and then finally a digital debut that really brought it all to life. It’s a familiar script! I know that Team started talking about this new project last week, when we realized that the former Zenkimi idol then known as Togaren was back in the game. We got pretty stoked! And then we had ourselves a good ol’ fashioned grimace-fest at the group name, but we got over it.
In case you hadn’t figured it out, that group is PEDIOPHOBIA, and that all started right about when this happened:
— (ペディオフォビア) (@_pediophobia_) December 17, 2019
And then we finally got their first MV today! Continue reading
This is the other big item from earlier in the week that I wanted to make sure to highlight, like really highlight, and I’m doing it wantonly because it’s a lot and they deserve it. Yeah, I’m talking about Maison book girl, who I still can’t believe I write about as favorably as I do nowadays after quite a long time of both pretending that they didn’t belong and being too xylophone-reliant to take all that seriously. Here we are!
The point of the post, though, is to acknowledge that Maison book girl released an album earlier this week, and it is excellent, the kind of high art that I think just enough of idol has embraced. They also, in conjunction with that release, dropped a couple of MVs that you may or may not agree are the best songs on the album, but I read the selection as “these songs sum up the album go buy it.”
The first, from the day of the release itself: Continue reading