Vietnam’s Idol Sensation POLARIS is Truly Truly Contagious!

International idols seem to be making some waves lately! Over in France they’ve got WACK tribute artists ORiYON, and from Italy, (via China I believe) there’s ERISU who’ve gotten some well-deserved buzz going on. It’s enough to get one wondering what else is going on in new idol territory out side of Japan. From the little bits and pieces I’ve picked up online, I do know that there are now pockets of active idols throughout Asia, the Southeast in particular, but these groups are mostly still too niche to really break out just yet. But here’s one group you may want to watch out for, it’s Vietnam’s idol sensation, POLARIS★!

They’ve actually been around since 2016, but the group is entirely new to me. As a matter of fact, the MV I came across that brought them to my attention came out in early May,  so while we’re a bit late for the party, at least we showed up before it was over! And appropriately enough, it’s a Covid 19 themed song. It makes sense though… if a stupid virus is going to come along and wreck everything, then at least try to have a little cheeky fun in some way with it. So let’s check out this catchy gem of a tune, “Corona Ahahahahaha”!!!!!!

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CHILDISH TONES and Beni Remind Us To “God Bless The Girls”…

CHILDISH TONES, the toy-instrument garage-rock band led by Naoki Nemoto seem to have really struck gold ever since they started recording songs with Beni Usakura. They’ve released four highly-prized singles so far, all of which sold-out of their initial vinyl pressings almost immediately upon release, and it seems only natural that it’s time for them to level-up to the long-play format.

So with that, their newest release is a package of twelve twee-pop nuggets, including both the previous singles and and some new stuff as well! “God Bless The Girls” is the title of this collection, and it just dropped last week!

Here’s a short trailer with a handful of song snippets from the previous singles to check out…

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Bandcamp Friday Is a Perfect Day To Support Some Idols!

While the big streaming services are certainly conveinent and useful, (And surprisingly packed with idol music.) they are, at their core, in league with Satan. And not Satan in a cool metal kind of way, but Satan as in soulless and greedy corporate ogres. You know who’s not in league with Satan though? Bandcamp!

I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but I believe Bandcamp is the very best thing that’s happened to music distribution in the 21st century. I love it and surf it addictively, searching for neat stuff and often striking gold. And the other reason I love is because it’s a terrific company with ethical practices and noble motives. As you may know by now, in light of Covid’s destructive impact on the ability of musicians and music providers to earn a living, the website began “Bandcamp Fridays”, where on the first Friday of every month, the revenue earned on that day goes entirely to the artist. I’ve been trying to keep this when in mind when purchasing from the website, and since today is the first Friday of October, here’s a few idol and idol-adjacent offerings I felt compelled to share with you…

Okinawa Electric Girl Saya has been uploading the majority of her prolific catalog of experimental releases onto Bandcamp, and there’s a couple that especially stand out for me: Continue reading

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A Good Day Is Here For Us!

Good Day to you all! I don’t mean just a general hello, but also that’s the name of this group…

Good Day is a duo made-up of  Yu (Also a member of Electric Ribbon!) and Mi Mi. They debuted this spring, probably not quite aware yet that the circumstances of Covid were going to be a serious obstacle to getting out there to have shows and doing promotions, but they’ve managed to start building up some traction thanks to their upbeat spirits and a handful of really terrific songs. Continue reading

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Kai: A Retrospective Of A Wonderfully Unique Idol

By now most of you know that Kai, one of our favorite quirky oddball idols around these parts, has decided to step down from all activities. TRASH-UP!! Records released a statement late last week breaking us the news…

For a lot of us, this retirement of sorts is a more personal loss than usual in a business where graduations and disbandments are common events that we’ve developed an understanding and acceptance of. Kai was just something… well, unique, y’know? Aside from her fans, she’s also always been a consistent friend of idols. I can’t recall exactly how many times she showed up in my instagram feed having lunch with someone else I followed. Beni made a point to post her well-wishes and reminisce over some fond memories…

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YOU’LL ROCK MORE! with YOU’LL MELT MORE!

Our fully comprehensive but not-too-throughly-serious retrospective of the first 50 (52 actually) MV’s by the always daring and darling YOU’LL MELT MORE! may have been wrapped up, but this blog has no plans to stop covering one of our personal favorite groups! Yea, verily, let it be known that as long as YMM! has the power to melt our hearts, we’re on board with them til’ the end!

Having gotten my opening declaration out of the way, let’s talk about what item has us here today: A terrific live performance of the bravest and most experimental idol unit returning to a band configuration that includes new members Nerun and Nani! This is also notable because Kechon gets to play an actual full drum kit while Younapi has cast aside her usual keytar for a nice n’ noisy guitar…

First off, I’m always very happy to see these ladies do their “band thing” and I’d be more than pleased if they did it more frequently. Are they the most polished and slick band around? Heaven’s no and thank goodness for that! There’s already a a few hundred too-slick, booooooring, over-produced bands on the planet, and who really needs another one on that forgettable heap? Personally, I’m from the Shaggs School of Primitive Rock and this scratches that itch wonderfully.

You can sense the slightly tense concentration here as the group does something they don’t do that often, but that tension is tempered with a shot of joy and fun that keeps this from feeling awkward and forced like a music school recital. You can get a feeling of quiet satisfaction in Kechon as she keeps up the time on the drums, like a personal battle is being won, while Younapi becomes giddy as she shifts from playing simple chords to let loose on a chaotic Jojo Hiroshige-esque guitar solo. I also love the way Chiffon not-quite-so-discreetly sneaks across the stage to get her own little shot at making some guitar noise too…

And then there’s our two new members, “Song of the Summer 2020” nominees Nerun and Nani… Being so relatively green, they perhaps haven’t gotten a crack at an instrument yet, but they do a great job of offering vocals and even a little of back-up percussion including yes, a glorious cowbell!  And then Nerun pulls out a recorder (most infamous instrument in the world) and manages to play it in a non-irritating fashion, which is certainly no small feat!

It’s a short, breezy video that goes by fast, but I think it’s most certainly brought us a few minutes of positive cheer. Hopefully we’ll get a another reward like this soon, and goodness knows I hope we can get more ep/MV/singles from YOU’ll MELT MORE! before the year is over. We need all the good vibes we can get!

With this spirit in mind, and a realization that summer is rapidly coming to a close (and heading into an uncertain Fall) here’s one more live blast of Yurumerumo! to take us out…

 

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Suzuki Kokone From SAKA-SAMA Is Here To Help Ease Our FEVER…

SAKA-SAMA is most-certainly an encapsulation of what we think of when we discuss the ups-and-downs and side-to-sides of this whole idol business. This group has run a full gamut of graduations and roster configurations, all while maintaining a musical vision that alters just as much as the member incarnations. There’s only one thing about the lo-fi dream pop idols that has stayed consistent, and that’s Suzuki Kokone, the leader and sole founding member of the group…

Kokone’s perennial presence in SAKA-SAMA has now paid-off for her (And for us, too.) with her first solo release! While Kokone has dabbled with some solo lives while playing her guitar, this marks the first actual catalogued TRASH-UP!! recording by her. (There may have been some solo CDRs sold at live shows perhaps, but I can’t quite recall.) “FEVER” is a six-track mini-album now available through TRASH-UP!!’s online store.

And right along with that welcome news, we’ve also been gifted this delightful MV of the title track! The video is very much in keeping with the sort of whimsy one would expect from a TRASH-UP!! solo artist. Tell ya what, why don’t give it a watch if you haven’t already…

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Let’s Put Some Hocus-Pocus Focus On MagicTime…

In our secret high-level Homicidols share-holder’s meetings, we sometimes bounce around stuff that one of us has discovered just to toss it out there to be shared amongst us, or to possibly consider it’s inclusion in Maniac’s Weekender, if not a full article in it’s own right. Today we’ve got something that Chris came across and brought to our attention. Whether it’s true sorcery or merely an illusion, I found myself taken in by their spell, so ladies and gents, please note that there’s nothing up my sleeves as I present MagicTime

Now I don’t know a heck of a lot about MagicTime other than they’re from Osaka, kick-started their activities in February of this year, and around six months later they still have the same three members, which in the idol world is quite an achievement! The members are Natsuki, Shizuku, and Mio. Natsuki (Megane girl) is the leader and Shizuku is also part of a duo called Strawberry♡Smile. Mio appears to have a superpower but we’ll get to that later. Now let’s check out their recent MV!

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50 YMM MVs Day 50: Quarantune

Here’s a little back-story on the 50 YMM! MVs project:  We actually started coordinating this quite a few months ago ! We had begun writing the earlier MV articles well-before MV #50 had dropped . So at one point, we were watching YMM!’s social media daily waiting for the 50th MV to finally show up so we could begin publishing. We waited…. and waited….

You know what held us up? Yep, Covid-19.

The virus has indeed changed everything in our routine. Some things are rather mundane and inconvenient, and some have been very heavy on our personal lives. The idol industry isn’t on a par with caregivers, but it most certainly touches our spirits and often means a lot to us, so to see it affected by all this was surreal and often disconcerting. In the case of YOU’LL MELT MORE!, Younapi‘s graduation plans were altered and the possibility of concerts were dashed. And with our quarantine needs interrupting the ability to shoot a bonfire MV, YMM!, and many other idols came up with a new way of reaching out to socially distanced fans: A Quarantune, if you will...

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50 YMM MVs Day 47: Zubaz

It’s Day 47 of the 50 YMM! MV marathon, and today we’re watching the MV for “Gachigaki”, in which the girls trade-in their Patty Hearst-esque revolution chic outfits and now dress like street hooligans as they deal with the seedy side of late-night urban Japan…

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