Good morning! It’s a special one here at Maniac Mansion — or, more specifically, a hotel room about 100 miles from Maniac Mansion. Your faithful proprietor is getting married today. Sorry ladies! But I write from the hotel where I’m sequestered away from my extremely awesome partner until this afternoon, when we finally get to tie the knot. There are some resulting things afoot, but this is neither the time nor the place. Instead, I’ll simply reference that being around a lot of not-that-well acquaintances means explaining two things, those being my tattoos and my “J-pop website,” which in this particular group happens to include the mother of one of the mods from the Sakura Gakuin subreddit. Don’t ask me how any of that makes sense, it just always seems to.
This is an awesome weekend, and I’m really excited to get down to it. And I hope you have a blast of your own!
Good morning! Has life treated you kindly this week? I mean, in the context of *waves hands at nothing in particular*. I’m excited, personally, because a whole bunch of things are coming to a head. Big changes afoot! And for a person who’s easily defined as “set in his ways, does not like change,” that I’m anything other than completely terrified is a genuinely nice feeling.
After the way last week ended, it’s also nice to have just kind of a straightforward, comfortable body of extra stuff to make a Weekender. Despite a bit of pre-TIF quiet, our scene is still bursting with energy and lots of (mostly) good things. Take advantage! Find the things you like, and open yourself up to liking new things. If there’s one thing idol’s good at, it’s always having lots of new things.
That’s What You Think Idol’s Good At?
Hey! We got Team all up in this feature, plus lots of other good stuff that you should read and follow:
This is a Let’s Discover Some Idols that has been entirely too long in the making. I don’t even remember when I first found PUNKY RAD PINK, but it was a while ago, and they just sat unremarked-upon in my dang queue not quite as long as Fiore did, for instance, but long enough to be shameful. So let’s get right to it!
Hey, have you guys ever heard of PUNKY RAD PINK (Twitter)? You will note, as if it is impossible not to, that they are extremely accurately named, and as such are pretty much bound to be a good time. They’re part of the somewhat cursed class of spring 2020, the Coronaclass if you will, and so may have flown under your radar — I was on hiatus at the time, so at least I have an excuse!
They have no official MVs that I’ve found, but they do have plenty of live video on their channel. For instance:
Membership changes, man
And here’s from their first one-man a few months back: Continue reading
Good morning! I’m all the way back this week — it wasn’t until late last Friday that I realized my abode for the weekend had no wi-fi and I’m too dang old to try to make these posts work in mobile browsers anymore — and while the Weekender is fine and good and this one full of things, I must admit to still being shook about that thing yesterday. It’s like the first time you read from Capital and realize that Santa’s elves are effectively slaves, except without ironic humor.
But anyway, allow me to note that your keeping up an interest in Japanese music, up to and including and especially idol, is still perfectly fine. Toxic personalities and abusive practices (hell, and structures) don’t go away because you stop paying attention to them; you follow this stuff because you care about it and the people who do it, so it stands to reason that you’d want to be part of shining lights on examples good and bad and insisting on better.
And with that out of the way, let’s make the most we can out of a few days with no work and lots of opportunity to do the things we enjoy. We earned it!
Two hours of MIGMA SHELTER, anyone?
So the past few weeks have been just incredibly busy with Day Job and various other affairs with Fiancee and the regular business here at Maniac Mansion, so I’ve been a terrible proprietor. Don’t think I haven’t been paying some attention, though; in fact, one could argue that I was actually trying to observe idol even more than usual because a person can really only spend so much mental energy monitoring chats in Zoom rooms before needing to waste time on other things. A Twitter feed, for instance. And it was in so doing that one reference led to another and finally to a name that was kind of familiar but I simply could not place. A new idol?
Not at all! In fact, a search of drafts showed that I had originally wanted to cover Fiore here (Twitter) ALL THE WAY BACK IN 2017 thanks to a referral from our old pal Pure Idol Heart. This is how you clear out a backlog! Continue reading
Good morning! Oh you guys, I am so damn tired. The silly season at work is winding down after a few months of ramping up. The last two weeks have been work-work-work, but finally we start to close the book beginning today. I’m quite jazzed when I’m not staring blankly at a computer screen, mind vacant from exhaustion!
But notably, two years ago this time was when my brain broke and I made the first of two stress-induced disappearing acts. After getting that all sorted (during the friggin pandemic no less) and actually getting not just to the heart of the matter, but to remedial and therapeutic approaches, not only do I feel a tiny fraction of that old stress, but it’s much more deal-withable besides. And so I like to think of this time of year as my own personal Mental Health Awareness Week Or So, and I am definitely right now encouraging you to seek help for any of the myriad things that could be weighing you down or stressing you out.
And with that said, this is where I get to say that I barely paid attention to idol this week, so it’s a short Weekender and I’m sorry. At #245, I get to lay a few eggs, you know?
Well, didn’t we time that most recent top 50 post well? New FRUITPOCHETTE single:
So last week, while writing up my own little contribution to our ongoing all-time top 50 albums project, I was re-listening to Shihatsu-machi Underground’s self-titled for probably the 100th time and casually adding them to the list of groups that, going into 2020, really felt like they might be on the cusp of great things (before, you know). And I won’t walk that back because I’m a fan, though I will allow that a certain bias may tinge the perspective — the whole reason that Shihatsu-machi made it onto our countdown at all is because of the unique alignment of the people on Team and the spectrum of tastes among us; obviously we aren’t talking about a hugely influential group or release here (not yet), but rather one that holds up in our opinion as just being remarkably good. Continue reading
Good morning! Or as good as it can be — there’s a sort of hell-in-a-handbasket thing going on in the news right now, like everywhere. Even our distractions are terrible. I caught a few minutes of the Olympic Open Ceremony last night and just couldn’t deal with not just the empty stadium, but the fact that it shouldn’t be happening anyway, like nobody other than a handful of rich people really want this to go off. And at roughly the same time, a young hockey player whose rap sheet is longer than his career highlights and who literally said he shouldn’t be drafted into the NHL was drafted in the first round anyway. The world can be so poisonous.
But here we are, and sometimes it’s important to remember that we only have any kind of control as far as our own lives go. That’s good, actually, and it means that we can form the world a bit around ourselves, find things that make it work for us. And, ah, ahem, look at this Weekender and all of the fun in it!
Also go read the latest installment of the countdown, and comment about how mad you are that the thing you like didn’t crack the top 20!
Presumptuous, Aren’t We?
Oh lord, they let BiSH join LINE:
Good morning! I’m so tired, gang. Yes, somewhat hung over, but tired for having put what feels like weeks’ worth of work into just the past few days. ‘Tis the season at Day Job, and though I’m much better at managing the stress than I was in previous years, it’s still a lot. Upshot: I probably won’t pull a months-long disappearing act again! But yeah, sucks, this was actually a pretty interesting week in idol and I feel like I missed it.
So yeah, not the hottest Weekender ever, but I mean it when I say that I hope you have much more interesting and stimulating things to do anyway. Like reading our latest installment in the top 50 albums! But also things that aren’t idol-related. Idol is great in lots of ways … and so are many other things. That’s not a “touch some grass” kind of admonition, by the way, just saying that live is richer for diversity in experience.
And with that said, it’s time to try to blog some posts about idols!
That’s What You Always Say
Always good to see Rie Kaneko solo projects:
Last year’s devastating loss of Hachigatsu-chan felt like it would be curtains for Oyasumi Hologram. Yes, it was clear that the project would have some legs going forward (those videos of Kanamil and Ogawa made it clear), and arguably OYSM could have become a solo project of Kanamil’s and probably nobody would have batted an eye. And frankly, any continuation was going to be a good one, and so really could have come in any configuration. This, though? This goes far beyond anything I would have expected.
The “OYSM5” name they were using for the gig should have been the deadest of giveaways; also, hi Janice