Here’s Another New One from 143

This will be one of the longest short posts I’ve ever done because it’s just plain chock full of things that I’m not going to try to overly contextualize, so: Hey, remember 143! The cool chika rock group whose name I have entirely too much fun with? They’re still out there not just doing their fun-and-often-good thing, but advancing the way that idols are meant to. It’s good to see!

A new track of theirs popped up in my Soundcloud feed the other day, and I want you all to get the same kick out of it that I did:

You want lyrics? Continue reading

Wonder Lander Springs Anew

Ah, Wonder Lander, part of Maniac’s official Seasonal Guilty Pleasures list, a group so hard to define that I often just land on “like if college radio and VH1 had a baby before VH1 got kind of cool.” This is an awkward post about them, and not because it’s not positive (it’s entirely positive!) but because, well, I hadn’t even noticed that they weren’t active, seeing as how they were posting live photos less than two weeks ago, but I caught this out of the corner of my eye last week:

What what the heck’s going on? I don’t know, not completely, but they’re clearly now a duo, and (probably for contractual reasons) they’ve made a pretty clean break from prior regimes, even though Aya’s still with the team and possibly physically incapable of ever leaving. But that sort-of purge of the group’s up-and-down history means a whole bunch of new-sounding stuff on their Soundcloud!

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This Is the Nicest DESURABBITS Song You’ve Ever Heard

Few things in life as half as joyous as fun surprises from the things that aren’t your absolute favorite, but you root for anyway. So is the case with this new one from the Idols Formerly Known as Both Deathrabbits and Desu.Rabbits, DESURABBITS: My fraught history with this remarkable project needn’t be revisited except to say that I was basically not a fan but grew to be converted to an overall supporter, and so the advances that they make along the way always leave me feeling genuinely happy for them. And why not? They have a completely unique style, they’re well-regarded in the scene and they are, ultimately, clearly having a great time with what they do.

So imagine my face yesterday when this happened:

Now where have I seen that church set before?

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Who Do I Have to Kill for the Rest of This Marionet Video?

Man, a lot of things crawled out of the idol woodwork over the past couple of days, quite a few of them fun, even. Notable among them is this clip from Marionet, in honor of their first one-man on Sunday, this energetic little romp with a neat-concepted MV that exists mostly as a tease:

Hey, that’s really cool! But do you know what would be even cooler? Hearing the rest of the dang song and seeing the rest of the dang video! I guess we have to wait until Sunday? Or is it that we won’t get it unless they win this contest thing for the main stage at TIF?

I Really Like Where WILL-O’ Has Landed

This is a little bit on the late side, you guys, but I think you can bear with me wanting to talk about the about-time first single and a few other firsts from WILL-O’ now that we’re almost three years removed from their incidental point of origin in the weirdest on-stage moment in the history of Tokyo Idol Festival and, maybe against all odds or maybe because all associated projects have always been this good or maybe because manager-san is playing the game better than you think or maybe all of it, I dunno, they’re going as strong as ever before and all signs point to an almost unconstrained future.

This is of course all predicated on the MV that they released the other day, for their new (see above) single:

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An Important Lesson about SPARK SPEAKER in the Context of the New SPARK SPEAKER Single

Oh neat! So SPARK SPEAKER, who you all no doubt recognize by name but not nearly enough of you will stand up and be very excited about, dropped themselves an MV yesterday. For? A single that was already released last month. Which, fine, okay. But while I was taking it in, I got to thinking (as one does) about how to write it up. What’s my big takeaway? That the song is good? That the video is? (In this case, it exists, so it is automatically better than one that does not, and I have no other commentary.) So many options!

And instead I settled on a personal annoyance that I’m going to work out in this post.

(It’s actually not a bad thing.)

So first, strap in and enjoy “SAYONARA”:

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This Is Your Reminder to Listen to Toricago’s Album

So with time a-wastin’ for the physical release of their latest album (their third) (because you could have been streaming it for weeks!), Toricago went the route of prepping us metaphysically by releasing … well, it’s a lyric video. But rather than the industry-standard I-cranked-this-out-on-my-Mac-in-a-couple-of-hours approach, this one does at least have some style to it, and the song’s lovely in its way and yeah I know that there’s going to be more postable stuff from one of the best things about last year’s class of debuts, and soon, but it’s been too long and also this is at least named for one of my favorite personal years, so:

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Ray Has Landed

Friends, idol has been in tumult this year. Emotional graduations, gut-wrenching disbandments, the usual shenanigans turned up to 11 … it’s been a year of as many negatives as positives, I think, and that’s really hard to do in an industry built on the idea of making people happy. For a lot of us, one of the hardest-to-take moments of the year’s first half was the disbandment of our beloved Dots, who for two-plus years had been the real standard bearer for awesome shoegaze-derived alt-rock songs and enigmatic personalities. It was a blessing, frankly, to be able to host one of the good digs into the concept. Everybody on Team, I think, loved them.

And then they were gone, but it wasn’t long before the suspected successor came along — Ray came into theoretical existence not terribly long thereafter, and while things have been quiet for them in the first couple of months, of course it stood to reason that interesting and creative things were afoot. That’s where we land today, with their effective debut:

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Candy GO!GO!’s New EP May Be What You’re Looking For

So okay, maybe this hasn’t been the most exciting idol summer so far, but what if I told you that one of the most absolutely stalwart of projects — I’m talking duration, member stamina, growth and onward — just put out a new record that could hit all the right notes for you this summer, because it’s the purest encapsulation of idorock, the Music Genre Made for Summer? Would you be all, Maniac, please, my wets tell me what this is that I might enjoy it!(?)

You should be, but perhaps you will not, for I speak of Candy GO!GO! (obviously), and for some reason I’ve never been able to get other Western fans to enjoy them as much as I do. Maybe it’s boo me for effort, I dunno. But! They recently dropped an EP to follow up on last year’s “Fake News” single, and, frankly, everything that I’ve heard so far from IDOROCK-beyond- has made me a believer. Here’s “Dahlia”:

This one’s I guess the other side of the coin: Continue reading

New Music, New Direction for Ishido Natsumi

Doop-dee-doop, scrolling through the Twitters. Hello, what’s this?

Why, it’s a new single-plus from long-time underground solo idol Ishido Natsumi, in MV form, and oh man it’s really just the beginning! Like, in less than a minute of looking into that, we find her suddenly going off on a whole new trajectory. But first — here’s the trailer for the whole thing: Continue reading