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.

Continue reading

The EMPiRE Grows

After absolutely rave reviews from many of us (the people who truly matter), EMPiRE returns a week later with their second teaser track, “TOKYO MOONLIGHT”:

I feel like I should be more surprised that it’s a Kenta song than the fact that the lyrics were penned by a member, but, frankly, very little surprises me anymore, except in kayfabe, which I would never, ever break, except when I do.

Continue reading

EMPiRE Is Coming, But First This Other Jerk

So while BiS was busy holding a streaming fan club live and reinstating Pour Lui via protest via squat (yes), EMPiRE was being set up for something. Based on the typically cryptic “SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN AT 20:00” tweet that, when coming from WACK, never means what you expect it to, it is nonetheless turned in one’s brain into something fantastical and disappointing all at once. Hell, though unlikely, it could’ve even been a graduation announcement!

Instead, we get the cruelest of all musical teases. Yes, friends, you may in fact get your first listen to an official EMPiRE song, and you may in fact download not only that EMPiRE song and a lyrics sheet, but there’s a catch.

You literally gotta go through Watanabe to get them. Continue reading

Watanabe, Puppetmaster

I was hoping that BiS’s announced announcement this morning was going to be an MV or update on the new single or whatever, but it’s not one of those at all:

Auditions. Continue reading

The WACK Exhibition Fallout Was Actually Pretty Awesome

I’m an idiot and accordingly stayed up to watch the WACK Exhibition on Niconico Douga like a crazy person, and I did it because I wanted there to be some kind of fireworks coming out of the nearly-a-week-long WACK auditions.

For once, I was not disappointed!

Here’s your very brief recap: BiSH is WACK’s crown jewel; and also completely heartless, because while everybody else was literally sobbing, they were horsing around; Kamiya Saki only exists for Watanabe to treat her like shit; if you ever wondered if massive nuclear reptilian kaiju had feelings, wonder no more. Oh and a whole bunch of other stuff related to the auditions and exhibition and aftermath after the jump. Continue reading

A Full Marathon of Friday Fun

Kerrie time! We originally had different plans for today, and we’ll get to them, but yesterday’s announcement got folks all up in a froth, and this seemed like a much cooler idea.

Happy Friday, everyone! Last week, Hanako-san destroyed things, and it was violent as expected. Lets have a look back at her trail of destruction.


Speaking of things we’d like Hanako-san to destroy, Watanabe has only gone and pissed off the fanbase (and very likely BiS themselves) with his latest stunt, in which he merged all the horrible things he’s inflicted onto his idols over the course of his career into one big human rights violation lawsuit waiting to happen. And the fandom (myself included tbh) are furious. Continue reading

Oh FFS, BiS Is Doing a Marathon Now, Too

Yeah.

I was like, “Oh, message from the boss, that’s not good, I hope …” and then it was a bunch of mundane thoughts and then Watanabe’s like “we have a day off, how about a 100km marathon?” Continue reading