Welcome to another edition of Reader’s Best. This time, we’re turning over the blog to Karli who will tell us what good music sounds like in ten short tunes. The best part of this whole exercise of collecting reader’s favorite songs has been that, with each list we publish, I am discovering at least one great new track to add to my playlist. Karli’s picks are a perfect case in point: the majority of these songs weren’t released as singles or featured in MVs. They are mostly b-sides or deep cuts off of full albums, a couple of which I had never even heard before. Good stuff. Let’s go!! Continue reading
Here is my idol song top 10. I wish I had something witty to say to introduce my list, but I’ll bare my heart in each song’s description instead. I’d just like to say that with the exception of my top pick (somehow!), I have all these songs taking up precious space on my phone because I know I’ll never get sick of any of them. If I could get them into my body for easier listening, I would. That’s how committed I am to each item of this list.
Let’s get to it!
As a final farewell to 2021, we compiled this short tribute to some of the idol units we lost but will remember forever.
Ilie is a solo project of Rie Kaneko who we know and love as the only original member of LADYBABY whose tenure lasted for the duration of the unit. At some point after hanging up the leather and lace of her former death pop group, Rie signed on with the ultra-hip ekoms production and management company (home of Qumali Depart, CROSSNOESIS and the dearly missed Maison book girl). She debuted as Ilie back in July with this MV for “aimai”.
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:
Welcome to week two of our latest project where we blatantly rip off Rolling Stone’s Greatest of All Time lists. These imperfect and perpetually recurring features from the Gray Lady of rock journalism have a special place in my heart. As a young teen who only knew David Bowie from “Let’s Dance” and Labyrinth, my first browse through Rolling Stone’s inaugural best rock album list introduced me to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The encounter was genuinely life changing.
Hopefully, through this exercise of recognizing some of the most influential underground, indie and alternative idol albums of the last decade, you will not only encounter many of your personal favorites, but make some new discoveries as well.
When the original BiS arrived at their decision to disband wayyyyy back in 2014, did they ever consider how all the tangled strands of their legacy would branch out into a dozen hydra-like directions that each evolved into their own unique entities? In the moment, I recall my own bummed out reaction to the breakup quickly turning into eager excitement for the future as each member revealed their plans. There was LUI FRONTiC, Pla2me, BILLIE IDLE®︎, Tentenko’s solo experiments, and then there was one that really especially stuck out to me…. Koshouji Megumi’s newly announced “Book House Girl”, which promptly became the enigmatically named Maison book girl.
Maison book girl releasing a music video while Storm Dennis batters the UK feels oddly appropriate considering they’re like the idol equivalent of being indoors on a rainy evening. As comforting as their music often sounds, however, their videos are sometimes the opposite, such as today’s offering, “Kanashimi no Kodomotachi”.
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
Well, right here in this very spot today, gang, was supposed to be this big primer post for the Tokyo Idol Festival, who to see and where and when. You’ve seen them before if you’ve been around for a while. They’re usually fun to put together, doubly so because they inform how I’m going to be taking in the festival myself, via completely legal and legitimate means and don’t you dare suggest otherwise ha. But like so much else these past several months, that fell by the wayside for want of time. Boo.
Good thing for us that one of the very best things in all of idol this year (and frankly maybe last year too) hit the waves a couple of days ago, and while it took me a couple of days to catch up to it, what Maison book girl is doing here is one of their all-time best things, aurally on point and as perfect a visual accompaniment as you’re likely to get, period. I mean, just soak this in: