Sunday Blog Roundup: Princess Snark, Sensitive Romantic Guy, and Sheer Bad Assedry
My apologies for being so late with the SBR this week but circumstances were plotting against me. Along with the Feed of Pop breakdown I’ve also had my parents arriving from Florida to finally meet their newest granddaughter and attend her baptism this Saturday. We should be back to normal next time - which is only what? Three days away?
Anyway, this past week there were a couple of very memorable lines that just stuck with me as great writing in their own quirky way. That venom-spitting princess of snark, Kd of Iroiro Aru Sa!, has a great line comparing H!P musicals to pornography: “It’s not the uncomfortable acting in between that you’re watching for, it’s the good stuff. Right?” On a more poignant but equally effective note, that magnificent bastard Tsuji Eriku of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count recommends Kimura Kaela’s new PV “Snowdome” thusly: “It was similar to the feeling I got when I slammed 5 pints of Guiness & watched Roxy wait tables for a half hour then got up the nerve to ask for her number.” I like how it’s such a particular example but also points to a universal experience - at least, for those who’ve pined away for another person and screwed up their courage to make those feelings known. Once again, Eriku stands out as the sensitive but clear-eyed romantic of the Jpop blogosphere. And apparently, there’s a lot of love for Kaela the past week: deciding to double dip blogwise, he then goes on to share Kimura on his solo blog, Tsuji no Uchi, while Kisetsu of Ikimasshoi reviews Kimura Kaela’s new album Scratch, finding a steady progression in her work.
Letting pictures speak louder than words, Go of jrocknyc shares the covers for Dir en Grey’s The Marrow of a Bone CDs from their different stops in the States. In its own strange way, it’s a fascinating look at Americana filtered through a Japanese VK sensibility. Los Angeles is particularly funny… Go then goes on to review the actual album, where he uses the term “BAD ASSEDRY” to excellent effect. Very few people can get away with that - what the heck, what if we read it as “bas ass dry”, and think something vulgar and, um, Deggish? Anyway, it’s a great review and definitely worth your time.
On the Hello! Project front, Tom of Hello!Blog looks at the recent birthdays, including Maimi’s and Mai’s, though of course noting that Aibon’s 19th birthday will be the big deal considering it’s been a year since ol’ Smokey’s suspension. CJ Marsicano wishes Aibon a happy nineteenth and advises Tsunku, “It’s high time to unlock Aibon’s cuffs”. Jinryuichi of Hello Non-Pro Hour is driven to drink by the lack of any firm news on Aibon’s return. Best of all, Angela of Sakuranbo! makes a compelling argument that Kago’s return is due to ineptitude and laziness by H!P management. Though I wonder what she means by, “W’s sales were on decline after Miss Love Tantei anyway, and they’d only be worse.” Wasn’t “Tantei” their last single before the suspension?
With the latest PVs from Morning Musume and C-Ute released, there’s video reviews to consider. CJ Marsicano thinks new girl Aika sounds especially great and his sweet sweet Reina looks especially great on the new single. Tom of Hello!Blog notes that the “Egao” PV reminds him of “The Manpower!” and “Inshousha Renoir no You ni”, while Jinryuichi reviews the PV, noting, “They really should remove that white thingie from covering the cleavage!” But how come nobody mentions the multi-color art bukkake splashes? Wait - I just did. Craig of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count shares C-ute’s first non-Megukami PV, as does Julia of Satsumaimo, who reviews the PV in-depth and finds no hints on who a new co-lead might be, since Airi rules the song. Well, maybe that’s the new C-ute order, then? samipiggy over at MySpace asks the important question about the new C-ute PV, and adds, “i don’t think i will be able to watch or listen to C-ute without megu-chan. no matter how much i like the other girls, i will only think about how megu-chan would have become someone so great.” I actually sympathize with that, extreme as it sounds.Her frustration carries over to a review of Momusu’s Utaban performance, though, as she still doesn’t like Aika and believes herself in the minority regarding that opinion. I think she’s quite correct in the last point, but I could be wrong.
In surprising yet seemingly inevitable news, Mitsui of Ikimasshoi reports that Berryz Koubo have sold out Saitama Super Arena for two nights, outdoing their senpai Morning Musume. Apparently, Ayaya has time for everything but solo singles - Maki Kanatsu of Ikimasshoi has news of a CM she’s doing with actress Mori Mitsuko. Now if those two hooked up like in that Gocchin May-December TV drama from last year, I’d be interested… Kd looks at the dynamics of H!P group units, pegging the larger groups as the flagships and standard-bearers, while 4-nin / 3-nin groups get shafted. Hm… She also looks at some recent developments in H!P, noting how strongly Koharu’s “Balalaika” is doing on the charts - even now, and thus outshining just about every other fucking thing H!P has released in years. Insert requisite Miracle Girl statement here. At Hello Non-Pro Hour, Jinryuichi seems unreasonably offended by Tsunku’s seeming participation in politics. Come on! There’s a great tradition of celebs taking part in the great democratic process. That said, I have to wonder if the wota vote count for much of anything.
Stuck in a Pagoda’s CJ has a new playmate! To be precise, he has a fellow Tanaka Reina worshipper at the blog 100% Wonkyfied (love the title!). It’s a very nice looking site with lots and lots of Tanaka eyecandy - for those of you who like that kind of thing. (Don’t all link out of this site at the same time, now.) CJ also shares Reina’s homebrewed audition for Momusu, asking, “who would have thought five years ago that she’d mature into one of the band’s sexiest members?” Actually, I think she was more appealing early on than she is now. (And look Kd! Legwarmers!) Meanwhile, wu-san’s gotta dance! And apparently he’s taking a cue from Ishibashi Takaki, noting an H!P shuffles episode of Utaban where he broke out his groove. MorningBerryz looks at the January 28 episode of Hello! Morning, explaining why he enjoyed it so much. That said, the screencaps of Koharu can’t help but make me think of that “eager little puppy who pees herself trying to please others” vibe she’s long suffered under. He also continues his H!M Up to Boy covers. And Uzugaku points readers to a quiz that can win you a Morning Musume screensaver… assuming you know Japanese. (Or are married to someone who does.)
On the Avex Trax front, the big news ranges from AAA to CCC… Which isn’t much range, but a lot is covered there anyways. Following the tracks of music journalists he dislikes, Santos has to admit that AAA’s new CCC album deserves a BBB. Thea of Made in Paradise reviews CCC as well, noting how old some of these covers are but deciding, “I think if you’re trying AAA for the first time, this is a good choice because it’s recent and there’s a lot of different genre even if they are covers.” Some of the selections on the album make Gail of the impressive Himitsu nostalgic, which is an interesting reaction. Kimitsu of let it beat! tries to fangirl over CCC but lack of familiarity with the original songs keeps her from going all-out squealing. That classic Avex tag-team continues: once again our man in Tokyo, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna, gives us you-are-there commentary, this time on Hinoi Team’s live at Shibuya Eggman. Thea is heartened by news from Santos about Hinoi Team’s new single selling out at a couple of Tokyo stores, only to see their Oricon ranking drop out of the Top 50 in a matter of days. Sounds like Avex may’ve dropped the ball on this? Santos also got to watch his beloved Bon Bon Blanco rehearse before their show at Yokohama Bay Quarter, and ponders the intricacies of translating band names.
Ikimasshoi’s aedon breaks news of Hitomi Shimatani’s next album, Prima Rosa, complete with tracklist. Meanwhile, Rinoa of Channel-Ai looks back at Shimatani’s first single from 2006, “Harumachibito/Camellia”, providing a thoughtfully in-depth review that intrigued me most for the news that Bounceback wrote the song. WEBmikey reviews BoA’s Made in Twenty, finding it not as memorable as it could have been, but still impressed by BoA’s voice. HANABI.1984 of J-Pop CD Cover Art may kill me for saying this, but Hamasaki Ayumi has incredibly huge eyes on the covers for A Best 2 - Black and A Best 2 - White. She’s pretty and all that, but wow, you’d think Scully and Mulder would’ve investigated her or something… Anyways, Ikimasshoi has the tracklisting for these albums, and it’s definitely a very nice package we’re looking at.
Elsewhere in the pop world, Béné of Meganekko shares the lyrics of her favorite Tokito Ami song. Thea of Made in Paradise reports on Lead’s next single, while Gail of the impressive Himitsu looks at w-inds’ upcoming album. YODC’s wonton shares a clip of Nakagawa Shoko eating pussy - which fans of Shokotan know isn’t a euphemism for anything, while Tsuji Eriku shares a Shokotan clip of his own. Fellow YODC magbast Langdon Alger chooses Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra or the J-Music Clip of the Week, Classic Edition. And Johnny of The Mind looks at Leah Dizon’s initial foray into music as she releases her first single - well, there’s something to look at, at least, and it’s probably not her lungs.
On the rock front, Owen of SparkPlugged shares his first impressions on Acidman’s new album green chord while head sparkler (head plugger?) Shay looks at pianist Suemitsu and the Suemith. Gail of the impressive Himitsu shares scans from the latest issue of Zy and ponders why the Danger V concert is selling a photobook documentary instead of a DVD (maybe they couldn’t get the rights for all the songs?). She also has screencaps and scans from SIDNAD which looks real pretty in a Gackt-ish stylized Euro VK kind of way.
On the rap front, jariten of HALCALI day by day gave those special download-only tracks a closer listen and decided they are, indeed, good stuff. He also notes a Halcali Acoustic Show where a new song was performed. Meanwhile, Kimitsu of let it beat! covers Home Made Kazoku’s latest single and finds it quite pleasing, if not surprising.
On the media front, Craig of YODC looks at U15 eyecandy site Imouto from three different perspectives and comes to certain conclusions. He also takes a stab at film criticism and I’m sure Pauline Kael is spinning in her grave somewhere, fast enough to probably bore through the earth and hit escape velocity… Craig’s co-blogger wonton declares Yotsuba the best comic in the world - maybe if he said Azumanga Daioh (or WRAB: Pirate Television) I’d agree… On the anime front, usagi of the usagi incidents continues with her neverending stream of reviews, this week including Venus Versus Virus episode 5. And SMAP Meets Evangelion? Sorta - 74x has news that SMAP’s Tsuyoshi will be doing voice work for Hideaki Anno’s next project.
Closing with some odds and ends: on the Italian film soundtrack legends front, Madara of Madara Blog pays timely tribute to Ennio Morricone - and if you don’t know the name, you certainly know his music. Meanwhile, Justin of The Great Swifty Speaketh continues to astound us with his breadth of reading by discussing Quentin Crisp - though unfortunately, this looks like the last time he’ll do it. And still no discussion of WIlliam Vollmann! You’re breaking my heart two times over, Justin! And for those needing the advice, Japan Probe passes along tips on how to aboid being falsely accused of groping. Okay, but how about advice on how to avoid being correctly accused of the same thing?
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- Feb 15 2007 / 12:30 am
- Sunday Blog Roundup