Among this little glut of wins for people like us was uijin, who are wonderful and can do no wrong, and who I’d been watching a little closer lately after their little sister group did this just a couple of weeks ago, and who are in the midst of one of those consecutive-single-release things that all the kids are into these days … who gave us an MV for their latest single, “ignition”! End of weird paragraph!
I’m just the tiniest bit disappointed that the MV wasn’t a full-on commitment to what’s otherwise an energy-addled, aptly named song, but that’s fine because it turns out that they’re using to doubly promote their big one-man on Sunday. Not the choice that I’d make, but an acceptable one! It’s not like they released any video at all in conjunction with the March single’s release. When it’s uijin, you take what you can get!
You know, uijin is one of those idols that it feels like every time you so much as blink, suddenly there’s something new from them. So at this point, naming their latest music video “brand new” almost feels like a joke at my expense, but hey, I ain’t complaining!
From their second album, I’m happy to be who I am, out now, it hits all the checkboxes of a quality alt-idol music video. Glitch effect? Check. Shibuya Scramble? Check. A rock-solid song that’ll be stuck in my head all day? Check check! Uijin are one of those groups who I feel slight guilt towards, as I like everything they do, yet I don’t follow them very closely. This music video and song just reminds me to look into them further! And you guys should too!
I recently started a long leg of business travel. While it can sometimes be interesting and even a little bit exciting, business travel is, on the whole, Bad — you have to leave all of your comfortable spaces to spend way too much time with strangers doing strange things, and the outcomes are completely unpredictable. In my Day Job line of work, in fact, of the three main kinds of business travel that you usually have to do, only one of them is guaranteed to have no worse an experience than net neutral. Those aren’t great odds!
The upshot of business travel, though, is that you usually have time on your hands. This most recent trip (which was fine) was busy all over the middle, but also had long travel legs at each end, and I got to use those long travel legs to go back over music, new and old, that I both needed and wanted to listen to.
While returning home (finally) the other night, the very last thing that I put on was a recent favorite, uijin’s stay hungry, stay foolish, a really solid album with great energy that, much like the idols who made it, seemed to fly under the radar too much last year. And I thought, man, what’s uijin even doing now?
As it turns out, they’re putting together slick live videos!
While I’d love to be showing you guys a bunch of the cool stuff that’s in the queue right now, I’m taking advantage of the long weekend, wherein we ostensibly honor a leader in a long battle for equality and togetherness, but really mostly swear at the news because none of the things that said leader hoped and worked for ever actually came to pass! Like, everybody does it! We’re really unhappy people right now, we Americans are.
I’m feeling pretty good right this moment myself, though, and I was more than pleased to see that this MV from uijin settled so nicely into that placid groove:
During the Q&A after my class the other day, one of the eager-beaver new idol fans asked if there was an important level of credibility to idols performing with bands. Knowing that the real answer to that is “kinda!” I nonetheless gravely* intoned that yes, when idols want to take that step toward either the big-time or broader cultural musical respect, they at the very least do live gigs with bands backing them. This seemed to be sensible! And also pretty correct as long as we ignore both air bands and the large numbers of failed attempts at credibility-by-live-guitar, to say nothing of idol-fronted bands that have done nothing but break my heart.
This is all to say, though, that idols go great with bands most of the time, and especially so if said idols are both cool and good, which is what uijin is, and here is the evidence that they should be doing more of this:
Easily my favorite Japanese band name since Maximum the Hormone
Other than a very loud squee-ing sound, I have very little to add about this live video of their new song, “future” that uijin put out:
Listen to that. Look at them. What a reaction. Hell of a one-man. Boss as hell. No wonder they’re sort of rapidly climbing the popularity charts — they didn’t even debut all that long ago in the grand scheme of things. Keep doing that, uijin, because it’s all kinds of right.
I had no idea that Neo Tokyo’s own snazzy electrocore* idols (that’s uijin) were going to be so idol-version-of-aggressive in the four months since their debut, and yeah, we could stand to have more live action available, but this is two slick, professional MVs already and a sound that continuously warms my heart: