It would seem rather obvious that most people working in some facet of musical expression got where they are because they love crafting music. But there is a very special type of writer/performer/contributor among the multitude that stand out because they are not just musical artists, but because they are passionate, giddy star-struck fans of music themselves. These type of creators tend to not approach music clinically or with overly practiced technical skill (although many are indeed highly skilled), but rather with a metric ton of heart and soul poured into making every moment shine in whatever they do.
I often think of people like Alex Chilton, Brian Wilson, Joan Jett, Daniel Johnston, Jad Fair, The Cramps and Shonen Knife being among these. None of these are (or were) simply musicians making great music, but they are (were) fans of great music harnessing that joyful love into amazing music. I am more than pleased to add Beni and Kotao from Avandoned to this list. Continue reading →
One of the more enjoyable and exciting things in the bold new world of non-traditional idols is the continuing openness of personal self-expression nurtured into the performers. While there’s always been a creative streak within the scene even in it’s more “commercial” days, I really started to take notice of this new emergence of experimentation with the debut of Maison book girl in 2014…
Those first press photos of Koshouji Megumi’s post-BiS group, with their modernist fashion style and aesthetic, seized my attention immediately, and I’ve never gotten that impression out of my mind since. With MBG and other bold new groups taking the stage, the “alt” prefix started being applied to this emerging trend, but to me, I saw their efforts as being more about personal expression and a desire to take idol from a product market into high art. To this day, I refer to Maison book girl as an art project, and their genre as being “Art-Idol.” Continue reading →
Kotao being a high school senior (presumably), she’d like to be able to focus on her college entrance exams. Ordinarily? That’s terrible news! For everybody but Kotao! But this is easily the first official hiatus announcement that made glad to see it. Continue reading →
I know some of you guys have seen this article by Tokyo Girls Update from a few days ago (it made the rounds pretty well). It’s a longish look at the unique part of the idolverse in which the performers are the ones driving the bus, so to speak. It brings up the (basically defunct) Nama Hamu to Yaki Udon as an example of the reality and difficulties, and spends a nice bit of time with Avandoned:
Our pal Brian at Supreme Nothing let me know about this a few days ago: Natsuki had such a sudden departure back around the 20th that she’s not even having a farewell show. She’s just out.
This post on the Avandoned website sums it up: It’s apparently creative / direction differences (and, given the tenor of the whole thing, probably some personal issues too). Her Instagram is gone (HOW WILL WE KNOW WHAT SHE’S HAVING FOR DINNER?!), but Twitter has a long string of messages that contain her farewell thoughts and thanks:
I had the stupidest damn day yesterday (well, after the BiS thing), and I’d really like to have a nice Friday. Being the generous sort, I’d like for you to have a nice Friday, too! Fortunately, the coolest twee girls in idol (aka, Avandoned) posted a full show while I was busy doing a bunch of dumb stuff that I didn’t want to do (yesterday), and now let’s all just enjoy it together.
I’ve been reticent about talking them up too much on here because, as an alt-rock/alt-pop project, I always felt that they were more appropriate for the Sister Site That Will Never Be, this being especially true because not a single member of Avandoned scares me and I’m pretty sure that none of their songs are about things like suicide or depression or drugs or whatever.a
But because I like them and I like you, here’s some recently added live video. Continue reading →
I was kind of excited about this. You’d have a hard time making me a case to include geek idols Avandoned on this site as a regular thing, but they’d be a central part of the sister site. Not only are they cool as hell, but their tour in the U.S. was basically under the guidance of their collaborators/friends Hijokaidan, and if you get a chance to see Jojo Hiroshige and company do their thing all of 45 minutes from your house, you do it.