The Evolution of XTEEN

The worst thing about not having time for your #1 pastime in life (idol) is always feeling out of the loop. So it was yesterday, when I caught a few spare minutes and was cruising through Twitter to find interesting material for the Weekender, and lo and behold caught this tweet from XTEEN. It doesn’t seem like much more than standard-issue boasting of the type that certain chika corners will get into, but XTEEN’s always been the best at that and hell, there must be more to this clip and link and stuff. What could it be? What have I been missing? Well, friend, let’s look at it, and oh holy heck look, I made a post this week!

ALL CLOWNS indeed

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Please Share My Delight at This Vivid Chicken MV

You talk about idols that ol’ Maniac just flat-out forgot about, you talk about Vivid Chicken. This is not a positive, friends, as I find myself forgetting about more and more idols as all the ones I love announce their departure from this mortal coil and all the ones that I mentally associated with them (stylistically usually, sometimes for only the dumbest of reasons) may as well die right along with them. Or, check it, sometimes the mental association is not a kind one, and one thing called Chicken and another thing called Chicken kind of get rolled together, and you wind up with not the best mental association.

I say this to reiterate: I had completely forgotten the existence of the idols known as Vivid Chicken, and was fine with that. As far as I knew, I hadn’t had a reason to post about them in well over a year, and they’d really only been notable for a few months at the opening of 2018’s all-you-can-eat buffet of idol debuts. That is, until a chance YouTube rec yielded … Vivid Chicken’s latest MV!

That’s a ton of fun! And, frankly, at an all-around much higher quality than I, uh, expected. WHICH TO BE FAIR is really a branding thing, don’t you think? You call yourself Vivid Chicken, you open yourself up to certain doubts as to your commitment to being, you know, good. But this is good though!

Near as I can tell, this is a “just because” video release, though I’m sure there’s a one-man or something coming up. At any rate, I’m excited that ViviChiki is still alive and kicking and will hopefully have something else for me to get excited about soon. And while you all enjoy this bonus live, I’m going to scroll through their Twitter looking for other groups I may have forgotten about!

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LAST IN MY CULT, Still Alive, Rocks Like Hell

The neat thing about being an idol part-timer anymore is that, shorn from the unbearable pressure to make like four posts per day out of pride or whatever, I get to do this gig more like a viper coiled to strike, always waiting for something legitimately cool and fun to come along so I can ponderously fill virtual column inches about it and occasionally tease profundity — except that I am apparently a very sleepy viper and I get tuckered out if I coil for too long and kind of mope along and then fall asleep (metaphorically) and even if I do see the good thing and wish to strike at it, well, I got a nap to take, brother!

Which brings me to LAST IN MY CULT, who felt like they were taking the world by storm when they debuted and then … well, yeah, a lot of idol groups come out blazing and expectations are high and then everybody involved except for the wota realize that there are like ruts in the idol business, and they’re tough to avoid and even tougher to get out of. Which isn’t to use the “rut” term in a negative way, just an acknowledging one, just saying that you don’t have a whole lot of choice because you’re kind of trapped by it. But yeah, LAST IN MY CULT, they did that, and other than a few times in the past few months having thought about them in a very general way, I can’t say that I got all that re-invested at any point. Until last week, when I (late) noticed that they’d put out an MV that sure it’s just a live edit and studio recording, but still, MV! And it rocks! Continue reading

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BILLIE IDLE Is Done

Damn.

Goddamn. Continue reading

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This Is My Favorite Melon Thing Ever

Ah, Melon Batake a go go. Remember last year, during Best Of season, when asses were shown in earnest by folks who couldn’t understand that a public process to select community favorites that they did not participate in themselves would fail to honor their favorite thing (Melon), and tried to make it as if there were some conspiracy on behalf of Team Homicidols, all of whom are unabashed lovers of Melon and want nothing but the best for them? That was fun.

The point is, we here at Homicidols Dot Com are very big supporters of Melon Batake a go go, and we have all been very happy to see their exposure grow by leaps and bounds ever since Brian first published about them ages ago. That said, we also try to avoid rose-colored glasses when regarding the things we like, so we’ve also been a little less than completely enthusiastic about everything that Melon’s done in more recent times, not because it wasn’t good but because it was getting kind of tired.

And so color me very pleasantly surprised when Melon — two weeks away from a very big one-man and accompanying single release — dropped said single via MV and left me slack-jawed and revising my internal narrative: Continue reading

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HEY WAIT A MINUTE! We never talked about scribble scritch!!!!

Man, what is up with us?!? We’ve been gushing so much about how much we all love ELECTRIC HEARTS, (Which is 100% totally justifiable.) that we never really wrote a proper profile of their sister group, scribble scritch! I went back and searched the site, and while Daemon had the good taste and keen insight to include their “DROP” MV in a weekender back in August, there’s still no dedicated article to this damn near perfect punk-pop-idol outfit from Osaka, and that’s kind of unforgivable! (I’m blaming myself in this too.) Well, that ends ends today, buster!

Since we’re on the late bus with this, chances are mighty good that you may know these ladies already, and that’s great! But I also think some you haven’t, because I feel pretty certain you’d be ranting and raving at us for not covering them sooner because Holy Moses are they terrific.

As it stands at this exact moment, the group is a trio made up of Nina, Suzuna, and Erina, hailing from the Osaka area under the Shindentsu Production banner, which as mentioned before is also the agency that represents our favorite idol group with paper bags on their heads. (The agency also has a third group, and duo called HANAMUKE, who we’re also watching out for.)

Musically…well, tell me to shut up and post the MV already!

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More ELECTRIC HEARTS Than You Can Shake A Paper Bag At!

ELECTRIC HEARTS, the purveyors of “FANTASTIC PUNK IDOL FROM OSAKA” are rapidly finding a place in our hearts with their speedy lo-fi punk rock and cheeky style. Chris first brought them up last month and they instantly earned a place on Team Homicidols’ radar as a group to watch.

It’s an interesting strategy to attempt to pull off another anonymous idol group, because while it’s very fun to see girls singing and dancing with paper bags on their heads, there’s a risk that comes with it due to the limitations it places on fan’s ability to connect and bond with the members. Just ask the Dot-chans about the challenges that come with that. I still wonder if ELECTRIC HEARTS will eventually un-bag themselves as their star rises in the idol world.

But the other side of the task is this: Without the more obvious ways to make to that wota/idol connection, the girls have to rely on good music and charasmatic attitude to reach out for new fans. Maybe that’s been their plan from the get-go, who knows? But to help advance the cult of the paper-bag idols, here’s a bunch of partial songs to check out. And you know what? They’re all great!!

Dig that buzzsaw guitar and the vocals on this track!

And here’s some pure pop goodness served under a layer of punk rock…

Also, I love these super-low budget preview videos! It’s about as DIY as ripping holes in a paper bag!

“Ballads? We got ballads!”

And here we’ve got “SKULL BOWES”, another punk-pop sing-along gem, this time accompanied with some highly sophisticated animation..

Dang, these are all pretty good, huh? I checked in on the group’s twitter account, and currently they’ve only got 153 followers…that’s criminal! Everybody who’s gotta soul should be dropping everything to lend their support (And maybe donate some paper goods!) to ELECTRIC HEARTS and their label mates scribble scritch. (Who have the best name for a group right now.)

You can still support those stuffy pretend-punk corporate idols if you want, that’s fine, but we’ve got the real deal right here, and certainly you can dedicate some time to them too. Paper or plastic?? I know what I prefer! 

 

 

 

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Electric Hearts have Bags of Attitude!

Will you just look at this!  Proper 70s style girl punk idols – with paper bags on their heads?!

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I Got a Bug for buGG

I haven’t been following buGG as closely as I probably should*, but I enjoyed them enough out of the gate to keep them in my regular “check up on these girls” queue, and I couldn’t have been happier with how they rewarded that yesterday, especially so in the context of the post immediately preceding this one. But for buGG: They have an EP out next week, and while they’ve been fairly tight-lipped about the contents, here’s some, and if isn’t a straight-up palate cleanser, I don’t know what is:

Cool that they filmed this at the same location as my last camping trip, apparently

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We Review Things: BiSH | ‘CARROTS and STiCKS’

BiSH - CARROTS and STiCKS

Sitting down to a first listen of the fifth BiSH album, CARROTS and STiCKS, the big question is: Which BiSH will predominate? The brazen punks who got kicked out of Tokyo Idol Festival? The potential game changers who released a two-minute thrash punk single as their major label debut? Or the commercial idols who promote cell phones and sing anime theme songs?

We know the punk is still in BiSH as demonstrated every time they let Ling Ling center and she does the emotional equivalent of kicking your teeth down your throat. At the same time, it’s hard to give punk cred to a group that’s signing exclusive deals with Apple to restrict the digital distribution of their own music. I certainly won’t begrudge a person for making a living off their art, especially in the crap ass world of Japanese entertainment where the vast majority of power and profits are concentrated in the hands a few management moguls who are far less benevolent than BiSH’s boss-who-we-love-to-hate, Junnoske Watanabe. And it’s not like those of us who have climbed aboard the BiSH train can cry about genre, aesthetic or ideological purity anyway. Watanabe has never hidden the fact that he is punk in the same way that Malcolm McLaren was punk: thumbing the nose of a conservative society is good fun and all, but only if you can make a buck (pound or yen) doing it.

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