Good morning! Oh you guys, I am so damn tired. The silly season at work is winding down after a few months of ramping up. The last two weeks have been work-work-work, but finally we start to close the book beginning today. I’m quite jazzed when I’m not staring blankly at a computer screen, mind vacant from exhaustion!
But notably, two years ago this time was when my brain broke and I made the first of two stress-induced disappearing acts. After getting that all sorted (during the friggin pandemic no less) and actually getting not just to the heart of the matter, but to remedial and therapeutic approaches, not only do I feel a tiny fraction of that old stress, but it’s much more deal-withable besides. And so I like to think of this time of year as my own personal Mental Health Awareness Week Or So, and I am definitely right now encouraging you to seek help for any of the myriad things that could be weighing you down or stressing you out.
And with that said, this is where I get to say that I barely paid attention to idol this week, so it’s a short Weekender and I’m sorry. At #245, I get to lay a few eggs, you know?
Well, didn’t we time that most recent top 50 post well? New FRUITPOCHETTE single:
So last week, while writing up my own little contribution to our ongoing all-time top 50 albums project, I was re-listening to Shihatsu-machi Underground’s self-titled for probably the 100th time and casually adding them to the list of groups that, going into 2020, really felt like they might be on the cusp of great things (before, you know). And I won’t walk that back because I’m a fan, though I will allow that a certain bias may tinge the perspective — the whole reason that Shihatsu-machi made it onto our countdown at all is because of the unique alignment of the people on Team and the spectrum of tastes among us; obviously we aren’t talking about a hugely influential group or release here (not yet), but rather one that holds up in our opinion as just being remarkably good. Continue reading
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:
Where my other old-time UNDER BEASTY fans at? This is so cool, right? Our girls landed themselves a TV show theme, and while it is pretty standard idorock, it’s good standard idorock, and with a cool MV to boot:
UB’s soon to celebrate their seventh anniversary (as UNDER BEASTY). I’m always so happy for them.
This is a very short post because I’m on a train
Some idol groups, even those that are just grinding away on chika stage after chika stage, release tons of material and as a result are super accessible; others … not so much. I do have a gift for recall, fortunately, so it’s rare to really, truly forget about a unit once introduced, but as time goes on and life’s priorities change, I do have to admit to being surprised when certain projects pop up from the blind spots in my mind.
Like PapiRosier, who released this MV the other day for their new single! This is the first thing I wrote about them, in the summer of 2016; we have averaged 0.8 post per year from them since, as that seems to be the approximate release schedule. And given how things change over time and the whole “heavy idol” thing has run its course in certain ways, I fully expected this MV to be a simple, sparkling idol song, probably kind of anthemic because that’s what they do, but bereft of much in the way of rock sounds and definitely not something to blog a post about: Continue reading
This website is very pro-SIPP, to the point where I’m very comfortable saying right now that they’re the best debut of 2021 so far and will be very hard to dethrone. “3 or Two” is their latest single, out this past week, and frankly if this one doesn’t convince you that they’re as legit as it gets and gods be good future mainstays we’ll be talking about for years, I don’t know if we can be friends:
Just, what a group. Talent across the roster, excellent diversity of voices, very little in the way of gimmicks, somehow elevating both the “pop” and “punk” parts of their theme beyond what anybody else is doing with either, absolutely masterful hook … there are other groups doing good pop punk, and some do it very well at that, but is anybody doing it better than SIPP? Friend, I think not.
I’ve just always wanted to title a post this, thanks Lui
The new PIGGS single hits stores in a few days, and mid-last week they released the second MV from it (first), and it’s still not the title track, so that leaves a great deal of hope in there being yet another video coming our way. But for the whole reason that I got a NIN vibe before even listening to the thing, here’s “Piggy”:
Good morning! I’m so tired, gang. Yes, somewhat hung over, but tired for having put what feels like weeks’ worth of work into just the past few days. ‘Tis the season at Day Job, and though I’m much better at managing the stress than I was in previous years, it’s still a lot. Upshot: I probably won’t pull a months-long disappearing act again! But yeah, sucks, this was actually a pretty interesting week in idol and I feel like I missed it.
So yeah, not the hottest Weekender ever, but I mean it when I say that I hope you have much more interesting and stimulating things to do anyway. Like reading our latest installment in the top 50 albums! But also things that aren’t idol-related. Idol is great in lots of ways … and so are many other things. That’s not a “touch some grass” kind of admonition, by the way, just saying that live is richer for diversity in experience.
And with that said, it’s time to try to blog some posts about idols!
That’s What You Always Say
Always good to see Rie Kaneko solo projects:
I’ve been on the lookout for good summertime best-of candidates around the idolverse the past few weeks — our pal N.FENI sort of stole a lot of that thunder though — and frankly coming up kind of short. Am I crazy? I feel like it was normal in the past for even the alt/chika scene to get a few good candidates (even if they were piss-takes) into the mix, and this year just not so much. Pandemic? Olympics? Everybody forgot how calendars work?
Anyway, not a whole lot has happened this week, but our well-loved pals in NELN did drop an album the other day (stuff we know, though), and along with it a new single that … no, screw it, I already ruined the pun.
This is a very fast post because someone forgot that he needed to be somewhere very early this morning, though I don’t think anybody’s going to mind! You’re here for idols, not Maniacs!
So you remember Finally, yes? Recent-like debut and all that? Well here they are with their second song/MV and if you’re into piano-driven rock songs with nice hooks like I am, you’re going to dig it: