January 6, 2021 Playlist

THE BEST OF 2020
Featuring the
KOSMIK RADIATION TOP 25!
 
"Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! Datte Dempagumi.inc Wa FAMILY Desho" by Dempagumi.inc (2020)
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Dempagumi.inc "Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! Datte Dempagumi.inc Wa FAMILY Desho"  2020 (Japan)
                             ("Love Will Save The Earth! Because Dempagumi.inc Is A FAMILY")
This week's show featured the Kosmik Radiation Top 25 Albums of 2020, and my favorite album of the year is our classic album of the week! I have written extensively about the quirky charms of this unique group before, but my main interest in them has always been the high quality of their music. I once came across a very early interview with the group where their leader Risa said their goal was "to create a new genre of music", and over the years they have realized that ambition. DG.inc is an "idol unit", of which there are thousands in Japan - it's been one of the most popular music scenes there for the last decade. But no other idol group has songs that can rival the "nearly prog rock" sound of their hyper-pop "Dempa" music, or covers as much stylistic ground (rap, country, jazz, techno, latin, you name it!) Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! is the group's sixth album and the first release by the current line-up (since Nemu Yumemi retired in 2019 to open a bookstore - what a nerd!) I think it ranks with their very best work, being a very enjoyable listen with no skippable tracks. 2020 was of course a brutal year, marked by social isolation and turmoil, and the earnest positivity this group exudes has also been a balm - like the album title says their love will save the world and they want you to join their family. The music industry has been affected more than most this year, and unsurprisingly Dempagumi's "2020 Family Tour" of Japan was cancelled and so instead they played a number of virtual gigs: here's an interesting "fake summer festival" TV performance, their weird but enjoyable "idol festival webstream from the basement" gig, and a clip from a slickly produced pay-per-view webstream concert featuring my favorite song of the year, a bit of "computer bebop" called "Moshi Moshi, Internet" ("Hello, Internet"). They also released a quarentine-themed single that was produced by remote teleworking, and the spinoff group Nemopero (Nagi Nemoto & Rin Kaname) released a slew of singles (most of which stunk, but I liked this "city pop" slow jam). They've also done a lot of "daily life" Youtube videos to fill the time and keep in touch with the fans (here's Mirin cooking ramen and playing with her new puppy.) More challenges lay ahead for the group in 2021: this November, Eimi Naruse announced that she will be retiring from the idol scene after 11 years on the team (to concentrate on her other career as an anime voice actor). They have replaced other members in the past, but Eimi (the zany redhead) is one of their most iconic members and strongest vocalists - I'm both worried and excited about what will happen next. In related celebrity news, former member Moga Mogami (2011-2017) recently announced that she is pregnant but not going to get married - that's still kind of a big deal in Japan, and also totally on brand for Moga whose persona in the group was "the badass who doesn't follow the rules." BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! As I was writing this week's CAOTW post, hot off the presses comes the news that Mirin Furukawa, the group's founder and the first married idol in Japanese pop history, is also pregnant! She still plans to be on stage singing and dancing at Eimi's farewell concert in February but it's hard to imagine her being very active with the group as a new mom. Could 2021 be the final year of Dempagumi.inc, or will they find a way to continue shattering the expectations for girls in idol groups? Don't count them out - the most controversial song on this week's classic album is called "Even If You Get Married And Become A Mama You Will Always Be My Idol", so they already let the fans know this news was coming!!
(N) = New Release
   
Artist Song Album Year Country
Cornershop Highly AmplifiedEngland Is A Garden (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#24 album of 2020)
2020 (Ample Play)UK
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Minimum Brain SizeKG (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#6 album of 2020)
2020 (Flightless/ATO)Australia
Guided By Voices The Best Foot ForwardsMirrored Aztec (N)
(Kosmik Radiation tied for #18 album of 2020)
2020 (GBV Inc.)USA
Guided By Voices Stone Cold MoronsSurrender Your Poppy Field (N)
(Kosmik Radiation tied for #18 album of 2020)
2020 (GBV Inc.)USA
Fuzz
(Ty Segall on drums & vocals)
Close Your EyesFuzz III (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #21 album of 2020)
2020 (In The Red)USA
black midi 953Schlagenheim (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#4 album of 2020)
2019 (Rough Trade)UK
DISQ Daily RoutineCollector (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#5 album of 2020)
2020 (Saddle Creek)USA
 
 
Osees Weird And Wasted ConnectionMetamorphosed (N)
(Kosmik Radiation tied for #10 album of 2020)
2020 (Castle Face)USA
Osees Said The ShovelProtean Threat (N)
(Kosmik Radiation tied for #10 album of 2020)
2020 (Castle Face)USA
The Once & Future Band Deleted ScenesDeleted Scenes (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #3 album of 2020)
2020 (Castle Face)USA
Population II
Attraction / La Danse / A La Porte De Demain
("Attraction / The Dance / At Tomorrow's Door")
la Terre (N)
("To The Earth")
(Kosmik Radiation #2 album of 2020)
2020 (Castle Face)Canada (Quebec)
   
 
Dempagumi.inc Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! Datte Dempagumi.inc Wa FAMILY Desho
("Love Will Save The Earth! Because Dempagumi.inc Is A FAMILY")
Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! Datte Dempagumi.inc Wa FAMILY Desho (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #1 album of 2020)
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
2020 (Meme Tokyo/Toy's Factory)Japan
Dempagumi.inc Moshi Moshi, Internet
("Hello, Internet")
Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! Datte Dempagumi.inc Wa FAMILY Desho (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #1 album of 2020)
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
2020 (Meme Tokyo/Toy's Factory)Japan
Dempagumi.inc Hoshi Furu Hikikomori No Yoru
("The Summer Vacation Of A Starry-Eyed Shut-in")

Aiga Chikyu Sukuunsa! Datte Dempagumi.inc Wa FAMILY Desho (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #1 album of 2020)
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
2020 (Meme Tokyo/Toy's Factory)Japan
Dempagumi.inc Nanto! Sekai Konin Hikikomori!
("OMG! World-approved Shut-ins!")

non-album single2020 (Meme Tokyo/Toy's Factory)Japan
DAOKO Kaeritai!
("I Want To Go Home!")
Anima (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #23 album of 2020)
2020 (Toy's Factory)Japan
Haru Nemuri RiotLovetheism EP (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #7 album of 2020)
2020 (TO3S)Japan
Poppy Don't Go OutsideI Disagree (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #13 album of 2020)
2020 (Sumerian)USA
    
 
OOIOO Kawasemi Ah
("Kingfisher Ah")
Nijimusi (N)  ("Bleeding")
(Kosmik Radiation
#11 album of 2020)
2020 (Thrill Jockey)Japan
Horse Lords Fanfare For Effective FreedomThe Common Task (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#14 album of 2020)
2020 (Northern Spy)USA
Mr. Elevator Alone TogetherGoodbye, Blue Sky (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#19 album of 2020)
2020 (Castle Face)USA
L.A. Takedown Sunset ReportOur Feeling Of Natural High (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#9 album of 2020)
2020 (Castle Face)USA
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Planet B (live)Chunky Shrapnel (N)
(Kosmik Radiation
#15 album of 2020)
2020 (Flightless/ATO)Australia
The Orb The Queen Of HeartsAbolition Of The Royal Familia (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #20 album of 2020)
2020 (Cooking Vinyl)UK
Matmos Nice Men In Stable Relationships
   --> Let Us In
   --> Friendsylum
The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises In Group Form (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #17 album of 2020)
2020 (Thrill Jockey)USA
    
 
Jazz Sabbath Iron Man (Black Sabbath)Jazz Sabbath (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #22 album of 2020)
2020 (Blacklake)UK
Quin Kirchner The Shadows And The LightThe Shadows And The Light (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #8 album of 2020)
2020 (Astral Spirits)USA
Traysh Death To Chompers (live)A Sleeping Village (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #12 album of 2020)
2020 (self released)USA
    
 
X AlphabetlandAlphabetland (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #25 album of 2020)
2020 (Fat Possum)USA
Sparks iPhoneA Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (N)
(Kosmik Radiation #16 album of 2020)
2020 (BMG)USA
      
 Dempagumi.inc 2020
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