The WAGAMAMA RAKIA glow-up has really been something to behold, hasn’t it? I would say that the group was always interesting, albeit kind of lost amid a ton of competition in their early years, but they did seem to be moving in the right direction by 2018. Then they add MIRI, start to shift their sound a little bit, and then last year’s WAGAMAMARAKIA effectively sealed them as major breakouts. And now look at them compared to this — Minami and Rin are still there from the beginning, but it’s effectively a completely different group doing different things and still just way the hell interesting and doing musical stuff that seems just a step beyond the cutting edge compared to their peers.
The SUPERIORITY EP has a certain victory-lap kind of feel to it in that regard. WAGAMAMARAKIA was the hey-look-at-us, and now here’s the follow-up, five more songs from guest writers that have this much more “street”* feel to them, doubling down on rapping and rocking and idoling all in equal measure — it seems like half of all new units anymore try to work in some raps no matter how incongruous, and while Wagamama may not have been the first, they did seem to emerge as the best practitioners.
The MV for the record’s lead, “JOKER”, hit this morning, and … yeah, really, you just have to experience it: Continue reading
The first EP from Codomomental newbies akugi, Playplay, seems to be hitting the stores in Japan as we speak, and that means that it’s time to show us why we should buy the thing, and that means an MV, and frankly it’s been too dang long since we saw akugi do their thing, so let’s just right in:
Zenkimi guest spot!
I get the feeling that this one is less a Let’s Discover and more a Let’s Mutually Agree To Play Along While Maniac Covers His Ass About New Idols, so bear with me. But if you’ve been anywhere near the wonderful devilsend that is Satanic Punish, you’ve no doubt come across a worthy sister project called DEARDEVIL, which is just such a delicious bit of wordplay that I’m mad I didn’t think of it first. But anyway!
This is DEARDEVIL (Twitter), and this is my first exposure to them: Continue reading
This post was, uh, supposed to run on Saturday, and then through some mechanical error on my part did not run on Saturday. So instead let’s do it when it’s convenient!
I love having Erisu in a permanent state of notification on my phone. Because they don’t do 20 lives per week, every announcement has some actual heft to it, and you’re goddamn right I was stoked when they started their last most recent countdown. The reward was this latest EP, continuing on their theme of alien goddesses come to earth, which is capped by:
Yep! Continue reading
I hope you all remember one of my personal favorite Let’s Discover Some Idols idols from a little while back, which context clues should immediately make you realize would be MAD JAMIE, and which then in reverse does reveal my bias for the best debut of 2020. I can own that! If you haven’t listened to their FUCK FOREVER mid-length, I do encourage you to, for it is loud and simultaneously idolly and just delightfully chaotic. But anyway, since their actual physical debut several weeks ago I’ve been somewhat quiet on MAD JAMIE just because I haven’t been paying super-close attention — this isn’t the only MV they’ve put out recently, in fact — and in doing so upon noticing that they’d dropped another video from the album felt like it was time to give ’em a little extra boost while writing tortured run-on sentences.
Good morning! Who else is just so super tired right now? I was working after hours yesterday to try to clean up a few things, and I had this realization that between that extra time and things I’d done over the course of the week, I’d put in something like 55 hours. Did I promptly stop and go out for pizza and beers with my best gal? Friends, I did not. Instead, I worked for another hour!
This was such a great week for idol and this website, though. Just good material all over. I can tell these things by various metrics — sometimes it’s just a qualitative “goddamn that was good,” and other times it’s the amount of engagement that a post gets on Twitter, and sometimes it’s the sheer lunacy of complaints about the post. We really hit the trifecta this time!
Anyway, weird Weekender here, because let me reiterate: A. Great week; but B. very busy. There are at least five other things that I personally want to cover from the week that are currently in one draft form or another! But otherwise it’s a ton of video and not much else because I kept the goods for more creative purposes.
Famous Last Words
All you folks who had Italy plans last year, prepare to wait another year:
The nice thing about regular check-ins on your YouTube subscriptions? You get to see when the acts you follow schedule debuts without having to delve into the cesspool that is Twitter.
So it unfolded in the composition of the Weekender, as there were several scheduled live streams and debuts of various things in the queue, and if anything I’m just mad that I had to wait for this new one from EIMIE for more than a day because you know I don’t work on Sundays anymore. But here:
The occasion? I have no idea! They bill it as “new song,” and it certainly is that. This is my kind of untethered audacity — eschew all norms for new releases and just get the things out there into the world in as shiny a package as you can. And is anybody complaining? Short of a handful of people who are big EIMIE stans desperately hoping for a physical album they can buy like 30 copies of, no! It’s a fun song that’s a little less on the outright heavy than the last one and a little more on the outright idol, with a snazzy-ass MV. I realize that not every unit in existence can put that much resource into every new song they deliver, but that doesn’t mean that the EIMIE standard shouldn’t be the overall one. Like okay sure, maybe you hamstring your ability to “sell records” and whatnot, but just think of how much more media we’d get more often!
I can’t stop listening to it!
So Melon Bat has a new single out at the end of the month. I saw this news and immediately felt very whelmed by it. We here at this website were early adopters of both Melon and Soze’s solo work (thanks, Brian!), and so championed the project’s growth through its first few releases. What a concept, and what a sound! If you’re intro Boomer retro stuff and the unique aesthetic of monster and/or alien movies and the rockabilly sounds that were popular a couple of generations ago, Melon really is for you. And since we do like those things, it was an easy match!
Ultimately, though, despite getting major distribution and momentarily seeming on the brink of rising beyond mere chika stages, Melon hit a rough patch and seemed to be left treading water between too-similar releases and a concept that felt like it had run its course. And a bit of a reboot! Even their stalwart gaijin wota fans seemed to be moving on. I personally saw glimmers of light in their last record, so maybe the skepticism wasn’t warranted, but here, seriously, check it: Continue reading
Hey gang! I hope you’re all doing well in whatever relativistic way you may define that. I just had one of those weeks when nothing seems to go right, you lose track of time, and then just when it seems to settle in a little it turns out that someone else on your website wrote a thing that brought in like 10,000 new people, so why intervene? Kinda like that. Though, as you’ll see from this edition of the Weekender, it was a pretty slow week for new stuff. And with that!
Oh, That Was Abrupt
Eternal hero Kamiya Saki may be done with idol, but she’s far from done with show business:
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: