Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then is a collection of those write-ups, with a few words sometimes added after a week+ of viewing.
This week we have Promotional videos from:
X21 – Beautiful X
Ahead of their 2nd album, X21 release the promotional video for “Beautiful X”. The PV completely envelopes the girls in a white cyc (that white stage with no corners), where the girls either perform their choreography or mug lovingly for the rotating camera. The sense of perspective slowly fades as the girls move towards and away from the camera’s viewfinder. Eventually, I didn’t know which way was up anymore. “Beautiful X” really shines when the girls are given their solo close-ups. True to the Bishoujo Contest origins of the group, X21 members are all pretty in a way that outpaces most other idol groups. With soft lighting and a gentle breeze, you’re sure to find a girl that suits your fancy.
Beyond the Couch
My summer concert series kicked off last weekend with a pair of concerts from the highly regarded SCANDAL. The band once touted themselves as the “most powerful Japanese girlie rock” band. You may know that I saw SCANDAL previously in 2011 at the AM2 convention in Anaheim (you can read great coverage by Greg at Selective Hearing here). That was an awkward time for me since I didn’t know ANYONE from any sort of idol scene at the time … who am I kidding, I don’t really know many people now, four years later!
From my experience in 2011, I regretted the choice of venue at AM2. A proper rock club would have suited SCANDAL much more than a room and a stage configured for a fashion show rather than a concert. A few weird moments during the Q&A sessions and the strange venue did little to contain my excitement at the time. I really loved the group in 2011 and would have licked the sweat off Tomomi’s P-Bass if she let me.
Forwarding to present day 2015, SCANDAL played a pair of shows both House of Blues (HoB) clubs in the Southern California area. I am decently acquainted with both clubs from attending shows at both the Downtown Disney and Hollywood HoBs and playing at the Hollywood HoB a couple of times. Both venues decorate themselves with a reverence to swampland blues that is partly inspiring in its detail and partly insulting for its Disneyland sanitation of otherwise unsanitary conditions. None of that really matters since I only wanted to see SCANDAL. With my history of adoration for the band, attending both concerts was a must for me. The concerts also afforded me the opportunity to see the group at a proper club, with a proper stage, lights, and sound.