Yes friends, the thing that you should be incredibly hype for if you’re able to go, and at least somewhat hype for just because it exists, is now something that you can officially purchase a ticket for, which you should undoubtedly do, and soon:
Meet the people bringing Japan’s most compelling music acts to the West
For those Westerners who have fallen down the JPop rabbit hole, there are a few common stages that just about everyone goes through. Somewhere after devouring any English-language sites Google can find and consuming all unblocked videos on YouTube, comes the burning desire to see our newfound musical idols live. North America and Europe have been fortunate the last few years to see almost annual tours by BABYMETAL, Perfume, One OK Rock and Hatsune Miku, but for those whose tastes are a bit less mainstream, the chance to see independent and alternative artists usually involves pricing plane tickets to Japan.
Fortunately for us, a small group of fans-turned-promoters have taken it upon themselves to bring live underground idol and alternative JRock to the West. A few of these intrepid souls were gracious enough to answer our questions about why they decided to jump into the business of international music booking and promotion, the biggest challenges they encounter, and what plans they have for the future.
As if 2018 hasn’t already been absolutely lousy with great idol debuts, along comes every idol’s greatest champion, Oomori Seiko, with a unit of her own. Like, when this was announced, I thought, oh neat it’ll be cool if she stands in as producer and writes some tracks — I didn’t expect that she’d don the skirt herself and step right the hell up as leader.
Given the quality of this pre-debut teaser, I’m guessing that she just didn’t want to feel left out:
And this is just the intro! There’s precious little info about where this project is heading (even Natalie.mu is stripped down to the basics of them debuting tonight). That means speculation — the stupider the better! — so I’m going to go out on a wild-ass limb and say that it’s time to go all-in because: Continue reading →
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 →
Who else remembers that glorious first TIF that we all spent together, in 2016? Ah, those were the days, when streams were free and people could rip video right from their DVRs, or industrious gaijin wota would use screen capture apps to capture everything that Nico Nico could throw at them. Terry had nabbed something like 15 videos that all lasted just long enough for TIP to notify YouTube, and then came the copyright hammer. We probably lost more vital idol-enjoying content in that one fell wave than at any one point up until then, and arguably since. Good times!
Last year’s TIF emerged practically video-less, and maybe TIP learned their lesson, because there’s actually a decent amount of good stuff left over from the Greatest Weekend of the Year. I have way more to do than clog the world with unnecessary HTML, so here’s just a big ol’ glut of stuff.
The biggest glut is the let’s-take-over-Saturday thing that all of the WACK idols did, covering each other’s material and doing solo spots and all: Continue reading →
After just over 10 years of delightful Shibuya-kei inspired pop mixed with electro excursions, Vanilla Beans officially announced that their disbandment will take place this October, ending with one final concert.
While I’d admit it’s not a terribly shocking turn of events, (They’ve mentioned the possibility previously.) it’s still a sad loss to those of us who always adored their harmonies and retro-cool aesthetic. They were, in a sea of idols, a very special group marching to their own drum.
I was first charmed by Vanibe way back in 2008, after seeing the MV for their second single “Nicola”.(Lisa was actually not part of the very early duo, but a girl named Rika.) I was instantly obsessed with the song, and it remains to this day among my very favorite pop tunes of all time. And MV was also sublime with it’s brilliant design and subtle humor. In short, it gently delivered what I consider to be a perfect capsule of pop. Vanilla Beans let me in on something exciting: “Idols” weren’t contained to the carefully constructed tropes I had pegged to the genre.
The best idol discoveries are the ones that happen because somebody you’ve been following for a while happens to suddenly appear in another project that they tweet about like it’s going out of style (and also are probably obligated so to do). I refer in this case to this young lady, who was out of nowhere tweeting about something called 99%LOVER (Twitter) about a month back, which led to a follow, which led to … well, like, you know how most of the time the big lure in idol music is either the music itself or the ability of said idols to actually sing said music? What about the times when it’s that, plus really cool and intense dance routines?
Well, well, I figured that since Maniac managed to be successfully pushed into featuring NEO JAPONISM on this here site, it was worth nagging him like the bratty child I am into covering another saving grace of the idol world. I ultimately failed.
Well, if you’re gonna be that way, I guess I’m now the WACK meme correspondent, the Up Up Girls correspondent, and the Bed In correspondent. Good luck on hearing anything about them, I forget about Up Up Girls news all the time.
So, who are exactly Bed In?
Goddesses, that’s who
The way I like to describe Masukodera Kaori and Chusonji Mai is that they’re like the fun boozy aunts of the idol world; a little older, a little raunchier, but everyone loves them.
Seriously, you probably already recognize them just because your faves have hung out with them at some point.
Or more like, have been squished by their cleavage at some point.
Self-proclaimed “Sexy Underground Idols” (though they’ve since had their major debut), Bed In’s two main gimmicks are their blatant sex appeal and their walking homages to the Bubble Era of 80s-90s Japan. And what happens when you combine those two things? Something so beautifully camp and trashy that it sends waves of joy the likes scientists have been trying to find for decades.
Of course, Kaori’s powerful vocals and Mai’s wonderful guitar playing also helps in that regard.
Ever since I discovered them I’ve wanted Bed In to become more well-known among western idol fans, so why not start with Homicidols? Whenever I’ve tweeted about them, I usually get responses like “Oh, it’s those girls! I keep seeing [Insert WACK idol here] with them!” and they deserve so much more recognition than that. While they may be a different kind of loud than a lot of the other girls we cover, they’re so much fun to watch and listening to them makes me feel ready to go to a stanky nightclub and slap a middle-aged pervert with my handbag.
But what does Maniac have to say about them? Come on dude, I’m not letting you get off that easy.
And with that, go follow their Twitter, get excited whenever your oshi tweets a photo with them and remember, they literally use phalluses as their idol penlight of choice (seriously, look at any pic from their lives. Unless you’re a child. I don’t want us to get sued).