The Latest from PIIIIIIIN Is a Lot of Being PIIIIIIIN

Well, okay, maybe it’s not quite as over-the-top as all that, but I was brought into all of the update-y stuff for this post by a Soundcloud notification, and the first thing I saw from it was the song title and my mind did all of the requisite stuff from there, actual facts on the ground that were to be subsequently discovered be damned.

PIIIIIIIN, who technically can only exist when they have seven members, have yet another new regime of seven members, and to commemorate the latest changeover dropped this new number that, correct, did scare me on their behalf, but just turns out to be a nice homage rather than what the past 16 months in idol have us so conditioned for: Continue reading

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TFW You Can’t Quit Idol and Idol Can’t Quit You

The waning days of 2019 and opening week of 2020 have been a special time. Some of the greatest legacy acts and personalities of our time hang ’em up at last — the literal goddess of earth and sky herself even revealing that she’s been secretly married all this time — and with that saw the retirement from idol and return to solo work by the grand dame herself, Pour Lui, twice founder of BiS, mature member of BILLIE IDLE, from whose fecund mind sprang the cultural movement that created not just modern chika idol but about 95% of what we like to cover here. That Lui was going back to her roots as a solo musician (though still connected to the Watanabe/Matsukuma machine) felt like a nice coda, something natural. She was done with idol, and idol — graciously — was done with her.

Or so we thought!

New group with a familiar-sounding name. New auditions. New music. “It’s complicated” with WACK. Somebody stage an intervention for this woman! Continue reading

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The BiS MV Arrived and Is Everything a 90s Kid Could Hope For

We did it! Despite the very best efforts of the world to destroy humanity before the new decade was more than a few hours old, we got to the day when the full album of the fully rebooted BiS came to fruition with the MV that will lead it into the sales wars. And what an MV! Maybe you saw it during yesterday’s aborted leak. Maybe you saw enough that, when combined with the title, you had no choice but to think of certain late-90s punk touchstones and tributes to an aesthetic that never should have died. I don’t want to say that every little thing in it is completely deliberate, but come on. Just look at this:

Yep, that definitely hit all of the right notes. Maybe the only thing truly missing is one of the actors suddenly having their face twist into a horrifying hell rictus, or a lo-def shot inexplicably shaking and turning to convey wackiness or something. Otherwise, from colors to setting to styling to the exploitative use of little people in the guise of show business icons, I’m back in the waning years of rock music’s last best decade.

And the music? Well yeah, that’s good too. I think we all figured that’d be the case, right? Like, they got the less saucy stuff out of the way on the last album preview — given all the rest of their body of work so far, for BiS3 to drop anything less than an all-out punk barrage would be the biggest surprise of all. And yeah, all in all I do think that this album has shaped up to be the best by a group named BiS in quite a while, though we should wait for the official release just in case Watanabe decides to pull some shenanigans.

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Hey, Let’s Look at the New WILL-O’ Video Stuff Together!

It’s 2020 now, and all of this is firmly in the past, but I think it’s worth mentioning the wild ride that WILL-O’ went on over the course of the previous year. A lot has changed in the now three-plus years since Alloy was originally formed, and though WILL-O’ as WILL-O’ is fairly well-established at this point, I think it’s fair to say that change is the most consistent thing about the group. Well, change and doing great rock-related idol work, that is, and I mean that literally because you’ll remember that I held up “POP’N” as my personal favorite song of 2019.

And as that was going on, they were also releasing a new EP to close the year! I kind of forgot about it (it was sitting in my wait-until-an-MV-drops pile), then the MV finally did come a little on the late side, so here I go rhetorically returning the favor! But also they did some interesting stuff in the meantime, so waiting turned out to be smart. Anyway, the MV: Continue reading

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When Naruhaworlds Collide – Why Idol Fans Are Excited For Hyadain x GANG PARADE

Happy new year! Japan have already rang in the new decade and with it, a menagerie of new music.

Rock and alternative style idols are no stranger to unexpected collaborations, from BiS and Hijokaidan to You’ll Melt More and… also Hijokaidan. But in this subculture, mainstream breakthroughs are the real sucker punch to longtime fans of girls dancing to alt rock with a crowd of about 30 people.

So, fresh off their major label debut, GANG PARADE have dropped an announcement that their second digital single will be a joint composition between Scrambles’ very own Matsukuma Kenta with a very special guest…

Mastermind behind Momoiro Clover Z: Hyadain! Continue reading

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All-but-final Songs and Details on the New BiS Album

Ah, and now we reach the point in the promotional machine when a new release (specifically, a WACK release) is laid almost completely bare before the world and all of its details are known and we get to speculate wildly about what might fill the otherwise-empty informational crevices. Behold, the new BiS album, now more than just a bunch of stuff on Soundcloud:

A title! A track list! A … a cover that looks a lot like it’s really playing up an appropriate punk rock association while also trying very hard to avoid being sued by Green Day! Good lord, after these tracks, there’s just the one left to show off, and it could also be a Green Day reference if you’re willing to stretch a little, and I’m guessing that’s where the MV will come from, the only question really being when, it being a real shame that we’re still more than a month from the release date, I say again.

But let’s listen to the new songs, which you can also still download for a hot minute (I’m sorry!): Continue reading

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Download This Song from the mishmash Before It’s Gone

Ah, the mishmash, one of my two or three favorite groups that basically just performs all the time and never releases anything, thereby leaving me to drift hopelessly through a directionless life with neither succor nor support. I wish they did more stuff! It’s hard to stay mad at them, though, because they rub shoulders with excellent company and I think are largely satisfied with being their best selves in a milieu that appreciates them. But anyway! There’s music, and you can get it. Thanks for a retweet campaign involving one of those demos that I’m always kvetching about, they have a full song to listen to, and then to download for free, and hey look get to it:

Continue reading

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Owaranaide, Yoru Like You’ve Never Heard Them Before

So as I mentioned the other day, one of the perks of being a fancy idol blogger is that you get into communication with the behind-the-scenes folks, both to build personal relationships (people like each other, imagine!) and to share information. So it is that we know about Owaranaide, Yoru in the first place, in fact, and how their latest single (dropped yesterday) came into my life.

I warn you: If you follow OWAYORU at all, you may have an idea of what it is they sound like, what they do, etc. Put aside those notions, friend, and think to yourself, now why would Maniac be so coy about this and so excited all at once? What is it about this strange person that I should turn into an inference about what I’m about to hear? And if the answer to that question happens to land you on such things as “Dance for Philosophy” and “Especia” and “what could have been for Hauptharmonie,” which is to say, how about a little smoothness to your day, wouldn’t that be a nice way to close the year and start a week all at once?

Yes:

What a pleasant surprise. And the best part is that it’s by Candye Syrup’s composer-san, too, which goes to show you that talent is talent and that some people simply cannot be contained. I just wish there were more than the one track! And maybe some video! And then another thing like this in short order!

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Stay Away from Typos When Talking about PEDIOPHOBIA

So the last couple of weeks have seen teasers for a new group, and that culminated in member reveals and then finally a digital debut that really brought it all to life. It’s a familiar script! I know that Team started talking about this new project last week, when we realized that the former Zenkimi idol then known as Togaren was back in the game. We got pretty stoked! And then we had ourselves a good ol’ fashioned grimace-fest at the group name, but we got over it.

In case you hadn’t figured it out, that group is PEDIOPHOBIA, and that all started right about when this happened:

And then we finally got their first MV today! Continue reading

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Let’s All Appreciate the Week That Maison book girl Just Had

This is the other big item from earlier in the week that I wanted to make sure to highlight, like really highlight, and I’m doing it wantonly because it’s a lot and they deserve it. Yeah, I’m talking about Maison book girl, who I still can’t believe I write about as favorably as I do nowadays after quite a long time of both pretending that they didn’t belong and being too xylophone-reliant to take all that seriously. Here we are!

The point of the post, though, is to acknowledge that Maison book girl released an album earlier this week, and it is excellent, the kind of high art that I think just enough of idol has embraced. They also, in conjunction with that release, dropped a couple of MVs that you may or may not agree are the best songs on the album, but I read the selection as “these songs sum up the album go buy it.”

The first, from the day of the release itself: Continue reading

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