Life’s best pleasures are simple things: Walks in the woods, black coffee, dogs n’ cats, and 45rpm singles. And speaking of singles, Avandoned, the delightful queens of quirk, gave us their second release this year, following up the completely fabulous old-school jam “After School” with their latest offering, “Lemon Peels”.
This is their third single on the terrific Vivid Sound label (the first was the nearly perfect “Donut Friends”), which has produced some bountiful musical fruit for Beni and Kotao. The vinyl-oriented label’s been around since 1973, and with that sort of history and experience, they’ve really shown an understanding for what makes this duo unique and tapped into that by helping them align with label-mates like Magic, Drums, & Love, Monari Wakita, and SOLEIL (although SOLEIL jumped into the majors with Victor Records). With these resources, along with their friendships with great retro-rock bands like LEARNERS and The Childish Tones, Avandoned have really come into their own over the past couple of years, and I think they’ve finally arrived at what is truly their own sound, and not simply the vision of outside producers. Continue reading →
Streaming video is marvelous, isn’t it? It’s a completely indispensable resource for us Western idol fans in particular, allowing us to keep up with events and shows that we’d otherwise miss out on, so thank goodness for that. Quite often, following an event I especially wish I had seen, I hit the internet in the days afterward to see if I can find some video, and lo and beyond, often I find what just what I wanted. One thing that’s nice about chika-level idols in particular is that many of these groups have relaxed rules for filming shows. Some groups even have just about nearly every gig uploaded for fans to see. I’ve had a few favorites lately, and I thought I’d share them in one handy place and perhaps help bring something your way that you’ll especially enjoy. It’ll be like a TV PARTY!
First up is Avandoned, the duo who have never failed to make me happy and excited to see what creative endeavors they’ve taken on next. These are the girls who I feel have really broken ground, having elevated to a new sub-sub genre, theArt Idol. Another thing I love about them, they’ve been escaping the usual dark basement club circuit and performing in quirky shops and galleries, attracting crowds out side the usual flock of wota devotees. Avandoned’s relationship with the Vivid Sound label is really striking gold, with a string of vinyl singles that suit the group’s vision perfectly. Avandoned have a new single coming out on October 10th, and they perform the a-side here in this video at the 28:33 mark. It’s another perfect fix of pop-goodness, and they sing like they’re having the time of their lives!
One of the most refreshing musical highlights of 2018 was the debut album of the band SOLEIL, featuring vocals by the delightful neo-Ye´-Ye´singer who performs under the same stage name. Released this past Spring, “My Name is SOLEIL”is still one of my top releases of the year. It was an album that encapsulated my love for the perfect idol-pop of the 1960’s that swept across Europe and went on to take Asia by storm, quite literally setting up the basic formula for the modern jpop idols that we adore today.
When you consider how long it takes artists to record, produce, and set free a new album, it was certainly a pleasant surprise that just a few months later within the Fall of the same year, SOLEIL doubles down with an entirely new album. (It was written, recorded, produced, and released within 6 months!) Who even does that anymore? Most current artists dwell on a new recording endlessly by committee with a dozen cooks in the kitchen all eager to stamp their egos on the project, while the record label stands over it all, checking off the marketing buzzwords on their list to ensure a product that meets it’s bottom line. It often takes years to make an album these days. Releasing two albums in a year is just downright audacious…Continue reading →
I feel like a bit of a wrong has been committed in that NaNoMoRaL hasn’t gotten a proper write-up on this blog, but it’s most certainly not Maniac’s fault. They’ve been on the Homicidols radar nearly from the unit’s beginning, but I kinda-sorta called some claim on this group, and then sat on it far longer than they deserve. But the honest-to-goodness truth is that the reason for that is because I feel strongly that the group is so good, and it’s debut EP is so excellent, that I really wanted to think about this and get everything right instead of just blabbering like a giddy little fanboy.
NaNoMoRaL is a duo made up of Amamiya Miku andPaseli-chan. Amamiya is remembered by a lot of us by her stage name “Natsuki” from her time in Avandoned. Natsu left that group in late 2016 and reappeared shortly after in the far-more traditional idol unit Emoquru Scoop (currently renamed EMOP), and then later still, announced she was leaving to become a solo act. But in actuality, she was working with EMOP’s producer, who happens to be Paseli-chan, and so, NaNoMoRaL was created! (Hope you’re taking notes on this.)Continue reading →
Have you ever felt what I’m referring to as “idol guilt”? My definition for this is when you like a particular group or idol a lot, but due to the sheer amount of competing forces vying for that idol/group’s attentions, you never really put forth the full support and backing the idol/group deserves? And then a terrible feeling sets in when this idol/group calls it quits because you feel like you failed them? Anyway, welcome to my relationship with PASSPO☆…
【✨本日✨】 9/22(土)「PASSPO☆歌って踊って奏でる対バンツアー〜Road to 中野サンプラザ〜」ファイナルフライト
While it was announced months ago, PASSPO☆ didn’t have their final concert (flight) until this weekend. Now perhaps they weren’t strictly “Homicidols” material, they were well-regarded on this site, and they most certainly literally rocked, at times performing some crunchy-good guitar driven pop tunes, often with a full band backing them, and occasionally as a band themselves. PASSPO☆ were terrific, and at times I felt like I slept on them more than I really should.I was discussing this with TEAM HOMICIDOLS and looks like we all share in this feeling a little bit, (sigh) so myself and Daemon each wanted to offer to some parting words. I’ll start…Continue reading →
Anyway, I kinda-sorta knew this video was gonna happen, cause Ashley and myself are both unabashedly devoted Avandoned fans, and a while back I dropped a not very subtle hint that I’d love to see them do this song. (Actually, I think I said “PLEASE DO THIS SONG!”) It turned out Ashley was already intending to do it anyway, cause she’s cool like that, so this video is something I’ve been looking forward to for quite a bit. So without further ado, here’s Ashley and Bekah saying “Hello”!!!
We’re heading into a new season, so it’s only natural that SAKA-SAMA change their line-up and try a new musical style yet again! And before you can say “Hey, this doesn’t sound like a SAKA-SAMA song!!!”, you have to ask yourself: Has anything ever really sounded like a what you’d expect a SAKA-SAMA song to sound like to begin with? Sure they were “Low-fi Dream Pop” just back in February, but the new single is described (by TRASH-UP!! Records) as “Sushi and Space and Disco”, and don’t think for a moment that I’m going to possibly question that bold of a mission statement.
On a personal level, the timing of this new single couldn’t be better, it’s been a weird and hazy last couple of weeks, and the prospect of a hurricane reaching into my coast and wreaking havoc any day now isn’t doing much to relax me at all, so thank goodness the TRASH-UP!! house act is sharing some positive vibes to help allay the dread for a few minutes…
Actually, you know what this reminds me of? Morning Musume’s 2000 single “Happy Summer Wedding”, in which Momusu debuted four new members with an upbeat tune paired to a lively, multi-cultural MV that successfully altered the entire dynamic of the group. It was a departure not entirely devoid of risk, and it paid off big. All those new 4th Generation faces became as iconic as the previous members.
I mentioned this before: I always feel a bit of trepidation when a group I support adds new members because I find myself questioning if they’re needed, but inevitably and before long, I always end up not being able to imagine the group without them. And that’s how I feel about the current seven member SAKA-SAMA line-up. I just adore these girls and the essentially brand new group they’ve become. I still hope we get a dose of the lo-fi-dream-pop-psychedelic-country-arthouse aesthetic with this current roster, but no matter what, I can’t see them ever doing anything wrong. It’s still a SAKA-SAMA world after all…
Okinawa Electric Girl Saya is one of those artists we’ve been intending to cover on Homicidols for quite a while (Like at least a year.) but criminally, we haven’t gotten to it until now. My apologies for the wait, but the truth is, that while I’ve been digging what she’s been up to, I felt like I never knew enough about her to flesh out an article. But in recent days I decided that it was simply past-due to give this avant-garde idol a feature she undoubtably deserves. Saya is actually still a bit of an enigma to me, but that’s not a bad thing, and we should embrace the mystery. We’ve certainly done that with other idols who fall into the experimental realm before, after all!
Saya traces her home base to the lovely island of Okinawa. This is fascinating already, because I don’t really picture experimental music coming from such a laid-back, easy-going region of Japan. On the other hand, Okinawa also has a reputation for fiercely independent people, so maybe it does make perfect sense. This island is where the idol group she originated from, Tincy, was created. Continue reading →
DIY rock bands figured out a long time ago that the “split-single”is a great way for fledgling artists to achieve the milestone of getting a record out there. Two bands chip in their money, and each gets one side of a 45 rpm vinyl record, ready to share with the masses. And for music lovers, it’s a pretty nifty deal as well, cause for a low price point,
you could take a chance on hearing two new bands you might happen to dig. It’s a great punk-rock tradition that plenty of bands still carry on today.
And now here come two darlings on the indie-idol set, tipToe.(That’s how you stylize the type.) and ·········(You know, Dots.) with a split/collaboration single entitled “Tokyo Sentimental”. The two groups have been friendly buds for a while now since they shared a bill in which the tipToe. girls surprised the audience by coming out on stage wearing the Dots’ patented visors and vintage dresses and paying a little tribute to the ethereal idols. It was a fun little moment that brought tipToe. to my attention for the first time, and thanks very much for that!
So how’s the single? “Tokyo Sentimental” is only four songs and it’s quick listen, and the two groups make the most of the brevity. Continue reading →
About the only predictable thing about Dots is that well, they’re not predictable. In the past few weeks, a furious flurry of activities has suddenly sprung from the enigmatic collective of non-corporeal idols, including the announcement that two of the chans are about to move to new planes of existence. Things are happening again in the Dots universe, and they’re happening rapidly.
Late last month, Maniac shared his thoughts on a new Dots song that was posted online. I also really love the song a lot, like a whole lot. It’s an absolutely wondrous burst of the kind of shoegaze purity that gives me life. That song belongs alongside Ride, Lush and of course MBV’s best songs, all archived within the Shoegaze Hall of Fame cause it’s just that good.
But hold on, now there’s a new Dots transmission that just dropped! This new song arrived quietly in the form of an “Image Video”. Fresh off the radiant energy of the previous preview tune, I was of course all aboard for another rush of swirly guitars and wispy vocals, but this is Dots, and you don’t get to make a call on what to expect so easily: Continue reading →