I Could Not Be More Excited about the Return of NEO JAPONISM

Everybody’s done the heartbreak thing this year, it seems. Groups and individual idols have dropped like flies, literal icons of the business and the tiniest of unknown chika acts as well closing up shop or undergoing massive changes almost as if they all know something we don’t. I’ve personally had my share of blank-eyed staring into the distance at one bit of news or another, and one that I definitely didn’t make enough hay about when it happened was NEO JAPONISM.

For about a year, they were arguably my favorite thing in the business, this hard-rocking, all-out unit that didn’t pull any punches and seemed to make a mark every time they released something into the world. They were just a really fun group to follow, although harder in a lot of ways to love right because there was so much else going on. But did I miss a chance to lavish praise on them? Absolutely not. And so earlier this year when the ~original~ group disbanded in the kind of mass graduation that has been so typical of 2019, I was kind of floored. Unlike all of the other instances, though, manager-san immediately set the record straight and announced that NEO JAPONISM as a thing wasn’t going anywhere, and there would be a reboot on the near horizon. That gives one hope, which gives one optimism, and when little bits of info started to trickle out, it started to become real.

And that’s where we land now! Here are the members: Continue reading

Good Things Are Afoot for POPPING EMO

Good lord, is it Wednesday? It was Saturday morning, like, three minutes ago. What the hell happened? Oh right — friends, if you ever get the occasion to have a job that involves board meetings, do something else instead.

So this thing that I wanted to post about on, like, Monday at the absolute latest! Yes, that’s right, POPPING EMO, one of the I-kid-you-not best-sounding things in chika idol who’ve managed to only get a single post to ever mention them directly, have been on my broken radar more lately and, boom, with an excellent payoff — they’re releasing their next album (their third!) in a couple of weeks:

That’s a criminally short clip, but you get the idea — POPPING EMO’s got good things going on there. But that’s not all! Continue reading

My Mistake, Malcolm Mask McLaren, Magna Music, More Molim

Well, better late than never, I guess, but Malcolm Mask McLaren dropped this sucker more than a week ago now, and I’m just now getting around to it and I apologize, I really do, but trust me it’s worth the wait unless you’re ahead of me and scoffing, which is your right, but also shut up, let’s enjoy this together.

What was dropped? The official audio (in pieces) and what I presume to be MV clips (also pieces!) of the upcoming … actually, I’m not sure what you’d call this, and if it even has a title. The YouTube description calls it an EP, but it’s just the two songs and ah hell why do I bother. Two songs, effectively a digest, for a release that I don’t completely understand but seems to be coming on the 20th.

Anyway, because this is two things making one thing, but the one thing is all we have for now and this presumably will end as one thing made out of two things, and yet here we are in the present with the one thing being more like two things glued together for the sake of expedience, let’s treat the two songs as separate entities and talk about them like they don’t know each other even though they’re next to each other!

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When That Solo Life Is Looking Promising

Once upon a time, I made an editorial decision that this site wouldn’t cover solo idols. The reasoning behind it, while not necessarily sound, did actually have a sensible motivation: I actually used to think that I needed to put definite rails around what was and wasn’t idol in addition to the poorly defined musical boundaries, and I considered solo artists as being too much in a grey area. But then Hanako-san and PSYBOU KANOJO broke that down, and past my own pretenses I could see plenty of unsung solo artists (mikicco, Ophelia 20mg, fucking Lein) doing cool and interesting work and idoling at the same time.

That’s a very long way of saying that I still sometimes get surprised by how much I like certain solo idols even though all logic says that I shouldn’t. And with plenty of solo idols coming out of fairly well-known groups as their relative point of origin, it only stands to reason that good would beget good, etc.

Which is a slightly less long way of saying that Chirimen, formerly of long-term Homicidols Dot Com not-secret crush 969, has in fact made good on that solid background and her own talents to strike out as a solo performer, and this is her first piece and I’m very excited about this: Continue reading

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!

EIMIE Is a Palindrome

I want to share something with you guys. An accidental trip-over-it-and-remember-that-it-exists kind of thing, if you will. And you know, we haven’t shared a whole lot of previously un-posted-about idols this year for a number of reasons, so why not get a few out there before the year is effectively over?

So meet EIMIE (Twitter), who yes are a palindrome but are also a pretty darn solid rock project, and who dropped this energetic live-cut MV a few days ago:

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The NECRONOMIDOL European Tour Experience: A Play in Three Acts

I’m deeply sorry, this thing wrote itself

What next twist for our heroes?!

buGG Is Good

Hey, here’s a quick post! You guys all dig on buGG, the PIIIIIIIN and Queens little sister group that’s fun as hell, right? Of course you do! So as luck would have it, they had their first anniversary the other day, and to commemorate released a new song:

Lyrics! Continue reading

May the Spirit of This SPARK SPEAKER Song Be With Us All

Man, a lot of stuff’s happening today. But you know what? Not a single bit of it can compete with the idiotic grin on my face every time I give this not-new one from SPARK SPEAKER another spin (approaching its dozenth play in the last couple of hours!). Are you feeling up? Listen to it! Are you feeling down? Friend, listen to it like three or four times in a row! Will you want to conquer the entire galaxy after that? Possibly! Will you feel like you can? Almost certainly!

Take it away, punk rock idols who I always wish we could post about more!

What a whirlwind. I thought we were going to do a little bit more of that patented easycore+idol thing that SPARK SPEAKER’s pulled off so well a few times, and I wasn’t completely wrong to think that (those verses!), but if I’d ever thought that they had some Armor Girls-esque moves in them, I wouldn’t have admitted it. And that chorus, of course, that’s pure punk singalong anthem.

And yeah, you know what? Life is beautiful, gang. Life is beautiful as hell. It’s sometimes beautiful in weird ways — for instance, idols — but there’s almost always something worthy of pure, obnoxious celebration right in front of us, and I’m all for embracing it, especially given that recent rough patch. I’m nominating this for Song of the Year just on the strength that we should all get to have this kind of mood as often as possible.

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