The 50 Greatest Alternative Idol Albums of the Last Decade: #41 – 50

When future music historians look back at the history of the genre the English-speaking world, for lack of a better term, generally refers to as “Alternative Idol”, the decade of 2010 to 2020 will be seen as foundational. Underground idol in Japan has been around since at least the late 90s, hard rock composers were penning songs for idol units in the mid 2000s, and indie idol has probably existed since the birth of the idol genre itself. However, it was the year 2010 when the momentum of disparate events would begin to coalesce and eventually define the broad genre we know and love today. That year’s creation and subsequent seismic success of BiS and BABYMETAL would inspire the formation of hundreds of punk and metal idol units. At the same time, the zeitgeist of the early 2010s independently birthed several other less prominent but just as significant influences. Bellring Girls Heart, You’ll Melt More, Especia and others emerged to embrace an edgier and more avant-garde approach to idol, crafting the sounds and sensibilities of post- and pop-punk, new wave, techno and progressive rock into something entirely new. These early groups inspired both creative composers and adventurous music fans to embrace independent and underground idol as an effective medium for expressing almost every subgenre of rock, hip hop and electronica. Over the past decade, alternative Japanese idol has grown into a world class laboratory for the creation of some of the most innovative music on the planet. Continue reading

KOTO Wishes You a Very Happy Halloween

I’m anticipating some big things this weekend, gang. Halloween things. Spooky things. In a perfect world, we’ll get all of the spookiest, creepiest, evillest idols conniving to turn out a series of MVs so terrifying and profane as to change the literal tilt of the earth’s axis; this not being a perfect world, we’ll still probably get a few instances of spooks and devils and the like, in a wonderfully idol way.

But who’d have predicted that we’d get our leader from the likes of … KOTO? Continue reading

The Monday Match Game Returns with a Request

Friends, we’ve done a lot of voting lately, and you might be like “No, Maniac, not another stupid poll,” but a) isn’t life better when you just ignore things that you don’t like?* and b) what if it were the stupidest one yet?

See, now that the Corenament has reached its shocking conclusion, it’s time to come back to the Monday Match Game, everybody’s favorite Monday-and-also-into-Tuesday activity. And Brian, who is clever and good, managed to put into words what I hadn’t managed to turn into a coherent thought pretty much ever:

I don’t know about fans, or even fan if “clamoring” is the criterion, but let’s do this thing! Continue reading