“Awesome, new BURST GIRL MV!” went the general refrain through Team chat on Wednesday. Yours truly didn’t have the time or mental space or general wherewithal to do anything with that, not then, but I did know: a) BURST GIRL! and b) I was going to want to do something with it, and even went so far as to make sure that nobody else was working on a piece. And, finally, the day winding down, I tracked down the link and figured I’d give it a spin while I finished up some work.
If I tell you that I promptly got annoyed because stupid YouTube played something else from my queue and not the awesome throat-stomping BURST GIRL song that it was supposed to play, how much of my ass am I showing you?
Did I make that up? I made that up. The year that is 2020 is a lot of things, and one of them definitely is a month-to-month competition to see how much worse the world can get (current trend: holding!), but what I refer to here is simply a narrative device, not an actual contest, unless your take on idol this year as well can be viewed through the same kind of lens. The real bloodbath of graduations was last year, of course, though we’ve had our share. ANYWAY, the point is, title only, not actual thing.
With which I now segue to this weekend’s entry from BURST GIRL from their “story” record, which is … look, I took a few months off, came back, and nothing made sense anymore. I’m not sure of the chronology because at least some of it pre-dates my de-cocooning myself, but if I were only to have heard the “Against the drain” track, I’d be like, oh how neat and cool that BURST GIRL has graduated to melodic easycore or, I dare say, lifting verse material straight from NOFX. HOWEVER, whether it’s because BOSS idol-retired or because Waka’s back and has clothing to sell or even just because it’s 2020, the punk rockin’est of all punk rockin’ idol units has taken on a different character for this release. And Saturday morning has us all seeing this for the first time:
It’s time again, children, for an installment in 2018’s single most interesting idol performance project. Today, we get SODA’s song and story. Gird your loins for more delicious post-rock-gaze-haze-dream-whatever, for it is indeed beautiful, and makes a wonderful accompaniment to the text (below):
You get YouTube over Soundcloud because they might get paid this way
This is one of my very favorite things in a while, you guys, and I’m not just being hyperbolic for the sake of it. Before I became the excellent, handsome Maniac that I am today, I got one of those fancy writing degrees and, if not for some twists of fate, might be doing significantly more creative work than writing about Japanese people on the Internet. Well, Homicidols.com is what you get!
The point is that I love creative storytelling, and I love multimedia, and I love projects that are way too good to be true and nonetheless are. Working in reverse order, that’s HAMIDASYSTEM, all of their audio and video to date, and … this thing that I started randomly following a few days ago and then bore fruit yesterday:
The very first thing that you need to do, if you aren’t already familiar with HAMIDASYSTEM and their wow-that’s-amazing-but-Maniac-why-on-this-site-shut-up-that’s-what-I-use-Sundays-for-but-it’s-actually-Tuesday-I-said-shut-up body of work, is to go get acquainted with it. This is HTML; it is timeless. Now are you ready? Great.
Next step, or the first step if you’re already one of the intelligent people on the HAMIDASYSTEM bandwagon, is to go look at this incredible thing. You see, HAMIDASYSTEM has decided to go beyond the simplistic temporal existence that is doing idol stuff on stages, and to step into the world of fiction. Or, more specifically, blending fiction and non- to tell an all-encompassing story:
Four people, Mitsui, Yoshida, Hasegawa, and Koyama who go to high school in Tokyo, are living with their daily lives while not being able to enter the circle of people. On the evening of the Cultural Festival, for four people gathered in the live performance of “a certain idol group” from hype. Machine translation because I’m being lazy
The first episode is ready for you! Four others will follow, a month apart each, interspersed with live performances at “sacred” venues, all culminating in … well, we don’t know yet. Whatever it is (for instance, possibly something to do with September’s one-man), they’re actively crowdfunding for it, and you should chip in a few ducats as a show of support for what might be the most creatively ambitious thing I’ve seen in idol, period.
In the meantime, while you digest everything that’s coming out of there, take in yet another spellbinding track (no doubt part of the project) from the best idols named after random food and drink:
And it’s way heavier than I ever imagined it would be!
I first about Sola Sound a loooong time ago, only for them to be effectively absent from the Internet, save for a website with background animations that very strongly suggested that an MV of some sort existed, only for said MV to not exist anywhere online, at all. But I wanted to know about them! I even put out a bounty on Sola Sound video, to no avail. Then we finally got a taste, and now, now my friends, they’re stepping out of the proverbial dark* and … well, bringing it with them, because this is dark and it is loud: Continue reading →