Catching Up: So This Is Melon’s New Single

So deep was I into enjoying not doing anything last week that I didn’t even see this latest little bit from Melon Batake a go go until a little bird said on Saturday morning that I should put them on the look-up list. And oh neat, there’s a new single coming what’s now a month from today, plus other stuff!

Oh, and an MV out really early to sell it: Continue reading

Catching Up: I’m Heavily in Like with the New Toricago MV

Excuse me:

EXCUSE ME:

Look, does anybody here really think that I’d deliberately miss out of one of my favorite groups?

Yes?

Come on! Toricago was part of the reason why I felt like I should try to catch up on the week as opposed to just nod at it and move on with my life. Let’s look at it together! Continue reading

Catching Up: Here Are a Couple of New Ones from IVOLVE

All right, let’s get the first couple of these suckers out of the way. I pre-warn you — I’m not even going to pretend to be contributing meaningful thoughts to any of these posts, just quick observations; the important thing is the music.

So, IVOLVE! It’s been a while, and probably for a good reason, as they were also hewing closer to normal idol fare even in their more interesting options, but they’re part of idol’s enduring it’s-actually-like-half-a-degree-of-separation legacy, and I have a legit soft spot for them. There are two new tracks from them in my Soundcloud feed, and this first one had me thinking Weekender —

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I Present to You My Favorite Ever Thing from wyenra

Ah, wyenra, increasingly one of the most interesting legacies in idol. For the uninitiated, picture this: An idol group rises to mid-range prominence over a decent duration together, then does the idol thing and disbands, but immediately rising from that is a cooler, smarter and altogether more earnest self-produced indie project that does what it whats, presumably how it wants, and improves on the whole package. It’s like a fairytale!

That’s the nutshell version of how wyenra came to be, you see. I’ve enjoyed them going back to the very beginning, but in a hit-or-miss way, given that whole “do what they want” thing doesn’t always align with “what Maniac likes” or even “what the virtual persona of Homicidol Maniac likes.” And that’s fine! Artists do not exist to please me. This one from the other day, though? I love it as much as I’ve ever loved anything from wyenra, and there’s no way that I was going to do anything but hold it up and demand that you love it, too. Continue reading

I Have Happy Feelings about This New One from C-Style

Once upon a time, C-Style held this almost mythic quality for me. They were “out there” in the sense that you’d see their name associated with all of these events, they were known for slapping their fans after gigs, they had this weird samurai thing going on, etc., but they were also kind of inaccessible in that they were a tough group to find in a music-and-or-video sense. I eventually got all of that sorted out, and they were one of my “performance” favorites — I liked the idea of them and what they did far more than was warranted by the limited musical media I could get to — and I made what felt like good-faith efforts to promote them.

That was a long time ago! Like literal years! Since then, reality and the impositions of life have made ol’ C-Style part of the Post If You Can cohort of idol notables. In other words, if they ain’t releasing, I’m a terrible follower and not posting, and this being well-established chika idol, it usually means maybe two posts a year, at best. But this time, friends? We’re breaking a record since the last one.

That’s right! There’s a new single (out when? who knows!), and that begets a new MV, and this is Monday and it’ll put you in a good mood, so watch it: Continue reading

You Can Listen to the APOKALIPPPS Now!

Idol supergroup APOKALIPPPS have been active for a while now, but unfortunately a bit out of reach for us Western fans. The group is still very much an indie thing and their previous singles haven’t been terribly assessable due to their limited distribution, so supporting the group has mostly consisted of cheering the group on from afar…

Well, cheer up peeps, because the APOKALIPPPS is finally reaching worldwide!

The wonder group has self-released an EP, “APOKALIPPPS ONGEN”, and it’s also seeing a digital release via the major streaming networks, so you have no excuse to sleep on it! I eagerly decided to give a listen…

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Maison Book Girl Absolutely Crushed This One

Well, right here in this very spot today, gang, was supposed to be this big primer post for the Tokyo Idol Festival, who to see and where and when. You’ve seen them before if you’ve been around for a while. They’re usually fun to put together, doubly so because they inform how I’m going to be taking in the festival myself, via completely legal and legitimate means and don’t you dare suggest otherwise ha. But like so much else these past several months, that fell by the wayside for want of time. Boo.

Good thing for us that one of the very best things in all of idol this year (and frankly maybe last year too) hit the waves a couple of days ago, and while it took me a couple of days to catch up to it, what Maison book girl is doing here is one of their all-time best things, aurally on point and as perfect a visual accompaniment as you’re likely to get, period. I mean, just soak this in:

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Surviving Monday with CROSSNOESIS

Just like with their new sisters in HAMIDASYSTEM the other day, HAMIDASYSTEM refugees CROSSNOESIS put out some fresh material last week, and I may be a jerk for kind of letting it molder at the back of the queue for several days, but I had my reasons*. And now I have every reason to finally post the thing and at the very least make a permanent record of it. And maybe give your Monday morning a little bit of a pick-me-up!

This playlist that they added on Soundcloud may just be all demo versions, but it’ll sound both familiar and innovative on top of that at the same time, and that’s cool:

I may not totally get the move to pull HAMIDASYSTEM into a new thing and have the old members do a new thing with a sound somewhere between old and new, but as long as the end product has me nodding with benign pleasure (like this), I’m going to be okay. Both projects feel like winners. And if they want to get back into the media-spanning cross-functional projects that made last year such a cool follow, I’m here for it.

*They are bad reasons

I Got a Bug for buGG

I haven’t been following buGG as closely as I probably should*, but I enjoyed them enough out of the gate to keep them in my regular “check up on these girls” queue, and I couldn’t have been happier with how they rewarded that yesterday, especially so in the context of the post immediately preceding this one. But for buGG: They have an EP out next week, and while they’ve been fairly tight-lipped about the contents, here’s some, and if isn’t a straight-up palate cleanser, I don’t know what is:

Cool that they filmed this at the same location as my last camping trip, apparently

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I Don’t Think I Have the Energy to Give This Osaka Shunkashuto Post a Good Title

The hardest part of being a fancy idol blogger is definitely dealing with the disappointments. I’ve pointed out in the past to absolutely zero objection that, if we’re all being honest, a lot of the people covered in this space aren’t terribly talented, and the music, though it undoubtedly has appeal for someone somewhere, just isn’t all that exceptional — but those aren’t the disappointing things. What’s disappointing is when a project is cool and fresh and smart, and the idols have great individual talents that align perfectly with the concept, and it all coalesces into something really great … that then, almost always for bottom-line business decisions, get reduced to a soulless husk. That is disappointment, and it kills your want-to as a blogger.

All that being said, Osaka Shunkashuto, who once upon a time did this, have a new EP coming out next week, and they released an MV, and the song is from that FAIRY TAIL anime that most notably BiSH also contributed theme music to, and stupid me got hype about the release for a minute before I hit play and: Continue reading