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
As a final farewell to 2021, we compiled this short tribute to some of the idol units we lost but will remember forever.
Ah, SPARK SPEAKER. I’m trying to think of a group in right-now idol that’s as well-regarded without having quite broken through the chika glass ceiling. Talk to anybody — “Hey, how about that SPARK SPEAKER huh?” — and you’ll at worst get indifference, at best effusive praise and the kind of fanenbying* that my feed usually only looks like when BTS does something. They’ve been around for a lot longer than people think, have done a lot more than we realize, they perform as relentlessly as a very determined combination of Screaming Sixties and Guso Drop, and it’s like every damn thing they do is brimming with energy and super infectious.
And right now? They’re saying something that people need to hear more and more often, “Believe in yourself”, which yes is in song form apparently written by a labelmate and clearly not being new per se given that it’s been performed live enough to have plenty of material for this MV! Continue reading
In case you missed it, Watanabe stranded GO TO THE BEDS on a deserted island earlier this week. If you’re like me, you’ve had a browser window open on your desktop during working hours so you can keep up on the livestreamed hijinks. Time zones being what they are, my working hours largely coincide with Japan’s sleeping hours, so I have still managed to get quite a bit of work done this week (and keep The Calendar mostly up-to-date) despite the distraction. So besides that, what’s there to watch on this final weekend before Tokyo Idol Festival?
SPARK SPEAKER doesn’t do too many livestreams, so start your weekend off by snagging this opportunity to see them perform at the Choco Festival being broadcast via Twitcasting.
Man, a lot of stuff’s happening today. But you know what? Not a single bit of it can compete with the idiotic grin on my face every time I give this not-new one from SPARK SPEAKER another spin (approaching its dozenth play in the last couple of hours!). Are you feeling up? Listen to it! Are you feeling down? Friend, listen to it like three or four times in a row! Will you want to conquer the entire galaxy after that? Possibly! Will you feel like you can? Almost certainly!
Take it away, punk rock idols who I always wish we could post about more!
What a whirlwind. I thought we were going to do a little bit more of that patented easycore+idol thing that SPARK SPEAKER’s pulled off so well a few times, and I wasn’t completely wrong to think that (those verses!), but if I’d ever thought that they had some Armor Girls-esque moves in them, I wouldn’t have admitted it. And that chorus, of course, that’s pure punk singalong anthem.
And yeah, you know what? Life is beautiful, gang. Life is beautiful as hell. It’s sometimes beautiful in weird ways — for instance, idols — but there’s almost always something worthy of pure, obnoxious celebration right in front of us, and I’m all for embracing it, especially given that recent rough patch. I’m nominating this for Song of the Year just on the strength that we should all get to have this kind of mood as often as possible.
Oh neat! So SPARK SPEAKER, who you all no doubt recognize by name but not nearly enough of you will stand up and be very excited about, dropped themselves an MV yesterday. For? A single that was already released last month. Which, fine, okay. But while I was taking it in, I got to thinking (as one does) about how to write it up. What’s my big takeaway? That the song is good? That the video is? (In this case, it exists, so it is automatically better than one that does not, and I have no other commentary.) So many options!
And instead I settled on a personal annoyance that I’m going to work out in this post.
(It’s actually not a bad thing.)
So first, strap in and enjoy “SAYONARA”:
Do you want to know why the Weekender was late, other than because somebody needed to have breakfast made on account of a little too much carousing last night? It’s because I wanted to add a SPARK SPEAKER note but this was right there in the feed and I needed to get my stuff together enough to watch it multiple times and think of a post to blog!
Anyway, listen, this is very cool and good for the former DINOSAUR BRAIN: Following on the release of THE WORLD IS MINE, the song from it called “REALTA” got picked up as the end theme of a TV show for January, and while this is a really awkwardly grammared sentence it must yet be added that “REALTA” was also given the MV treatment because that makes a ton of sense to do in that situation.
TV show! Theme! MV! Here!
Confession: When YouTube was all, hey guy, there’s this SPARK SPEAKER thing, my first and overwhelming thought was, I wonder how much heavier they can take this. Instead, it’s more like Classic SPARK SPEAKER!
Of course, there’s no way to actually purchase the thing yet, but keep paying attention to SPARK SPEAKER and you’ll find out.
As you are no doubt aware, SPARK SPEAKER, who are good and cool, have a new album to promote, their second, THE WORLD IS MIND (which had better be a Scarface reference or I riot), and it’s already gotten added-bonus attention from fans because of a demonstrable shift in sound, which we got a flavor of from “paradigm shift”. Everybody who commented on that, from a position of knowledge, agreed that it was at least an interesting move, and that the album was in fact quite good and worth grabbing.
Well, gang, if you’re not among that esteemed company, here’s your chance for a meaningful taste of the whole shebang: Continue reading
I have this terrible sinking feeling that there’s a full-on MV for this happening at any minute and I’m going to have some egg on my face, but that’s fine, I needed to have posted this a few days ago anyway.
SPARK SPEAKER! The hard-charging at times surprisingly melodic unit that you either love or don’t yet know that you love is … well, that whole “a few days ago” thing, they actually released their second full album today, and they published this lyric video to get you hype, and they just so happen to be rolling out some adjustments to their sound. Plus or minus, you decide:
— SPARK SPEAKER (@SPARK_SPEAKER) October 3, 2018