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! My goodness, a ton of things happened this week. And very little of it bad! That’s really the marker, I think. The biggest impact thing here at Maniac Mansion was literal impact — a neighbor’s ginormous tree snapped at the base of the trunk and managed to fall in the only direction it could without really destroying things, but it did manage to crush my fence. I was displeased! And these aren’t the kindly old family next door who bring me mail and chat me up in the yard, they’re the fundagelicals who only recently stopped trying to get me to go to church with them. Am I surprised that they haven’t made a move to get the dang trunk off of my fence so I can call the insurance company? I tell you, friend, I am not.
But other impacts! Like, just so much great music, idol and otherwise. We posted a lot, this is a loaded Weekender, and there’s a whole side list of things that came up in various contexts that I just don’t have a great venue to share with you. And that’s okay! The Thai shoegaze idol group that Cal found, though, that I’m sharing with you here.
Anyway, you all please do have a great weekend. It’s a holiday here in the USA so I’m going to be serious about catching up on some personal projects and otherwise shutting off my very busy brain. We all deserve a break sometimes.
Says the Guy Who Doesn’t Post Enough!
I’m far more excited about the new BiSH album than I probably should be, largely because this is an excellent promo for it:
Without quite going right back over the same kind of territory that I covered in my original Let’s Discover of these folks, I say again that I loved me some sugartrap, and while 340.29m/s isn’t a 1:1 there, they’re still in the same musical tradition, which is to say idolcore from that glorious 2014-17(?) period when the synths were as heavy as the percussion and the shark hadn’t quite been jumped just yet. Yes, of course some groups were better than others in the first place, and the ones that did rise from the chika morass to make something more of themselves than a handful of CD-Rs and hundreds if not thousands of stilted cheki usually did so on the backs of bigger funding and a running start, but to me idolcore (and I specifically mean this exact flavor of idolcore) is and will always be the sound of Getting Into Idol.
Not a whole lot of groups are still doing it, though, is the point. There are a few, for sure, but even the remnants of acts from that era have either moved on musically or moved up, if you get my meaning. Idol’s a business, after all, and even the most meager of amateur friends-on-a-lark acts would probably prefer to do things that people want to see and hear. And that, for me, is part of the charm of the idolcore die-hards — they’re like Saxon or (gods help us all) Whitesnake in that they could stop at any time, but there are still enough fans to support them that there’s really no reason to change.
This post was supposed to be more of a celebration of 340.29m/s and the release of the record and I went and turned it into a backhanded celebration of commitment. So let’s re-tool real quick-like and actually listen to the dang record! Which those of you who nodded at any point in the preceding two paragraphs will probably like a whole lot if you haven’t already given it several spins! But I think you’ll agree with me that, while the sound is a certain kind of nostalgic, it’s also fresh and good. Continue reading
In the event that you were unaware, our old pals at Chaotic Harmony are having another one of their interactive streaming doodads with a favorite of the community, in this case Ms. 2& herself, the Last Officially Crowned Official Oshi of Homicidols Dot Com, Saki. It is entirely possible that you were in fact unaware of this fact, for I was unaware of it until Twitter told me about it, as our old pals at Chaotic Harmony did not get in touch with ‘ol Maniac about this particular opportunity.
The damn thing’s already been viewed more times than most idol groups can hope for their entire lifetimes’ video corpus, so I doubt that you aren’t aware of the new digital single from BiSH. Theme song? You betcha! Starring Atsuko? As it should! Kenta? Is there any other way?
Rather than do the usual thing, I thought I’d plagiarize the results of the Team Chat from yesterday and give you: Team Homicidols Reacts! Continue reading
It is incumbent upon those of us who like to follow newly emerged loudol acts to continuously follow those newly emerged loudol acts. Some make it easier than others, yes, and there are always plenty whose inevitable two-months-later demise elicits the “Oh no! Anyway” meme more than any actual upset, but I think it’s necessary for a person in my exalted position to routinely revisit the promising newbies, try to drive some energy their way, bolster the ol’ get-up-and-go, you know?
So, among my personal favorite 2020 debuts that I was kind of late to the party on we have Hikicomo Teikoku, the shut-in idols whose very existence is so meta that I can barely stand it. They have a new single, obviously, or rather did two weeks ago, but I haven’t done a thing yet to make you all want to hear it or potentially later buy it from them, so let’s talk about it, and also check in more while we’re at it! Continue reading
Well this was originally going to be a different post about not all of the things in it, but some of the things, yes, which is an excellent lesson in why it can be good to wait — completely unintended consequences of the thing you didn’t even mean to do can work out!
Which brings us to GRATIA-ALA, for whom I’ve always had a nice packet of love tucked back in the chika-reserved corner of my heart, but from whom we don’t always get a ton of media. Well, friends, let me tell you that we are currently in a glut — yes, a glut! — of GRATIA-ALA video, and I see no reason to further forestall getting into that.
The first, the most recent? My personal favorite:
They warned us! MANACLE, that is; they did it right and built anticipation for the dropping of two new tracks (which was actually yesterday, sue me), which you should go find and listen to via the streamer of your choice, and then let’s all get back together to talk about them, okay? Okay.
I’ll take “Huhen to Huhen” over “Cursed EXIT” myself, but I wouldn’t be mad at you for going in the opposite — I am a well-established stan for jangly guitar in idol rock songs, and “Huhen” reminds me a lot of the musical moves that were prevalent in 2014 and 15 when I was first getting into this stuff. “EXIT” is cool as a dance track, period, regardless of whether anybody intended that for it.
I was worried that MANACLE wasn’t for me because they didn’t immediately leap out of Spotify and promise to enslave my soul like a certain original group. But that’s okay! So far, so good, and they’re steadily producing for their fans, so we’ll no doubt be seeing plenty more from them as time goes on.
The current state of global events has been a massive wrench in so many aspects of our lives, alarming on one level as we worry (and too often, mourn) for those vulnerable to it’s effects, and incredibly frustrating in the ways it’s interfering with our lives (and unfortunately, livelihoods) for many.
Naka-Kon in Kansas City , USA is one such event. The anime and pop-culture convention was going to be the host for Chiaki Mayumura‘s western debut, but sadly and understandably, it’s been postponed out of health concerns. This makes sense and I don’t feel anyone can take issue with their decision.
But wouldn’t you know it, Chiaki didn’t intend to bow out at all, and she arrived in from Japan to perform at this event. And now one of the most consistently amazing live performers around is sitting in her hotel in Kansas City for an appearance that isn’t going to take place.
BUT she’s not gonna just sit there and do nothing…
Now that it’s completely official, the team of moralists and ethics professors here at Homicidols Dot Com can finally talk out loud and with full candor about the second single dribbled out by Babymetal in the lead-up to their first album in three years. Yeah, we usually don’t care all that much about leaks (especially not “leaks”) in a moral sense — it’s more a “let’s see this the way it’s meant to be seen maybe” thing — but in this case it felt appropriate to hold up a minute and let the chips fall.
It’s been a weird 18 months for Babymetal fans, but as if there were any doubt after “Elevator Girl”, this latest one is as definitive and clear a statement as you’ll get that the greatest show on earth is ready to smash some skulls in as fun a way as possible:
You can do the buy/stream thing here: Continue reading