I’ll tell you, if 2019 is remembered as being as bad as it usually feels in real time, I want to be the person who’s all “yeah but did you hear some of the really awesome music that happened anyway AND ESPECIALLY THE NEO JAPONISM THAT SAVED CHRISTMAS?!” After returning to life just over a week ago in what’s rapidly emerging as my favorite event of this otherwise godsforsaken year, NEO JAPONISM has even more jaw-kicking idolcore for us, and friends, I don’t know where they’re going with this, but I’m officially along for the ride:
God damn. God DAMN. I’m not completely sold on marrying that chorus to the verses, but this is the kind of hook to the face that I used to delight in finding back when idol was so new and exciting and nobody had yet invented the word “Codomocore”. FFS, it has a goddamn breakdown in it, albeit one that fits the material more than the occasional wedged-in instances that are often more laughable than laudable.
A week ago, I was loudly demanding that NEO JAPONISM be worked into the Best Of mechanisms and then waving last week’s post in everybody’s face to make sure I was being heard; today, I feel like I’m ready to give them all of the awards (even the ones that don’t pertain!) just so for vindication’s sake. What an absolutely gorgeous return to life they’re giving us.
Everybody’s done the heartbreak thing this year, it seems. Groups and individual idols have dropped like flies, literal icons of the business and the tiniest of unknown chika acts as well closing up shop or undergoing massive changes almost as if they all know something we don’t. I’ve personally had my share of blank-eyed staring into the distance at one bit of news or another, and one that I definitely didn’t make enough hay about when it happened was NEO JAPONISM.
For about a year, they were arguably my favorite thing in the business, this hard-rocking, all-out unit that didn’t pull any punches and seemed to make a mark every time they released something into the world. They were just a really fun group to follow, although harder in a lot of ways to love right because there was so much else going on. But did I miss a chance to lavish praise on them? Absolutely not. And so earlier this year when the ~original~ group disbanded in the kind of mass graduation that has been so typical of 2019, I was kind of floored. Unlike all of the other instances, though, manager-san immediately set the record straight and announced that NEO JAPONISM as a thing wasn’t going anywhere, and there would be a reboot on the near horizon. That gives one hope, which gives one optimism, and when little bits of info started to trickle out, it started to become real.
And that’s where we land now! Here are the members: Continue reading
Hey, here’s a quick post! You guys all dig on buGG, the PIIIIIIIN and Queens little sister group that’s fun as hell, right? Of course you do! So as luck would have it, they had their first anniversary the other day, and to commemorate released a new song:
Lyrics! Continue reading
You know, it’s funny in a way that yesterday boasted significant news from arguably the two most important things in idol to me, and the one that I was most likely to have pre-written off completely won my heart back over while the other — the one that I cling to like the last hope in a disaster — got completely washed out in the excitement. I’m talking about BiSH, obviously, and Babymetal, but in reverse order: If not for catching the download tweets out of the corner of my eye, I’d have had no idea that anything was going on, and if D hadn’t brought up this MV, I’d have completely missed it. And why? Because I was too busy playing the (second half of the) new Babymetal album on repeat and getting those good feelings all over again.
If you know me, and you know BiSH, and you’ve paid any attention to anything I’ve written about them in the past, oh, couple of years, you may be predicting where this is going, but I’ll go ahead and give the lede a little swerve here and say: I like this, I really do, and though the single isn’t out-out until November, it’s going to be a good release.
This will be one of the longest short posts I’ve ever done because it’s just plain chock full of things that I’m not going to try to overly contextualize, so: Hey, remember 143! The cool chika rock group whose name I have entirely too much fun with? They’re still out there not just doing their fun-and-often-good thing, but advancing the way that idols are meant to. It’s good to see!
A new track of theirs popped up in my Soundcloud feed the other day, and I want you all to get the same kick out of it that I did:
You want lyrics? Continue reading
So with time a-wastin’ for the physical release of their latest album (their third) (because you could have been streaming it for weeks!), Toricago went the route of prepping us metaphysically by releasing … well, it’s a lyric video. But rather than the industry-standard I-cranked-this-out-on-my-Mac-in-a-couple-of-hours approach, this one does at least have some style to it, and the song’s lovely in its way and yeah I know that there’s going to be more postable stuff from one of the best things about last year’s class of debuts, and soon, but it’s been too long and also this is at least named for one of my favorite personal years, so:
There’s this subset of idol groups that I don’t so much follow as I do try to maintain a general awareness of, and at that almost entirely just because of deep-set personal loyalties going back to when I was first digging in. Some of them are fairly active; some of them are only active in the sense that they haven’t been officially disbanded yet. And then there are the groups that are actually extremely active but are idols in the very traditional sense, not musically or behaviorally, but in the sense that their activities are localized and/or community-focused, such that putting out records is less the point than being at lots of events and doing tons of gigs and slapping their fans in the face.
Yes, of course then I refer to C-Style! These gumby-spined veterans of the loudol scene are always a joy to come across in so far as a person who isn’t at their many gigs truly can come across them. Every so often, sometimes to promote a release and sometimes just because they had the money and felt like it, they release some video that makes their discography a little bit more accessible, and it’s usually a pretty good time. That’s what they did the other day, and I’m happy to get a chance to share it:
I like to write posts backwards sometimes. Start with the product, then react to it, then try to contextualize and/or frame, depending. Yes, I realize that The Craft of Blogging isn’t what you’re here for — I’m bringing it up, you impatient nerd, because this is a really good example of how sometimes the intro defies you, so all you can do is start typing and … there it is! Thanks for joining me.
I was listening to this one and I felt this weir twinge of “man, can you even imagine what the idol world would be like without NEO JAPONISM in it?” Which was really weird unto itself, given that they’re still kind of new, you know? But it made me realize that this surprisingly hard-charging group has been responsible for a surprisingly large amount of my favorite idol stuff over the past year and change, and that I always appreciate getting more of it but never really seem to express just how much I appreciate it.
So here goes: I could not be happier or more thankful to have this new one from NEO JAPONISM, and by new I mean that they’re just dusting it off for this tour that they’re on!
Hot dang! Continue reading
Hey, it’s only been a few days since Not Secured, Loose Ends treated us to the B-side of their upcoming single “Odd eye”, and today we get the title track because somebody at Codomomental HQ must still be seething over last year’s Corenament upset and aiming to set things right. The only logical explanation, in fact! So like click through, understanding that the official link is only good for slightly less than two hours from the second that this publishes:
But you know that things live forever after the flip! Continue reading
I don’t get a ton of time to casually scroll through Twitter anymore, but when I do, I tend to stumble over some good stuff. It’s good luck, I guess. Usually, following half of all idols makes for a bloated, disjointed mess of a feed, but maybe my eyes got used to it or something. The point is, there I was, doop-dee-doop, minding my own business when … hello, what’s this?
Why, that’s two songs! And right in reply to its own message, there’s BLACK NAZARENE with links to each and lyrics! What’s happening! Continue reading