There There There’s No More Rapid-fire Album Trailer Than There There Theres’

If you’re looking for a good time with very little commitment of your precious time resources, you could do a lot worse than discovering whether you’re definitely going to be picking up the new There There Theres album, BRICKS, or whether you’re almost definitely going to be doing so. It’s just a question of personal hype level, isn’t it? In spirit if not in fact continuing on the BRGH legacy of being the queens of chika means that TTTs releases are events, man. You gotta step into that and let it hit you with all due severity.

And especially when the rapid-fire nature of the it could leave an adult human staggered and gasping for relief! It’s a lot like Arguably Greatest Punk Collaboration Ever Short Music for Short People, a glory of 30-second songs. TTTs absolutely destroyed that standard in setting a new record in Getting to Know Music By Hearing It in Tiny Snips!

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You’ll Melt More! Never Gives Up!

I love a lot of things about You’ll Melt More!, and one of those things is their sheer prolificness. While other groups take months to release a single with two songs on it, YLMM! release singles and EPs like a 24-hour factory of goodness, hardly even slowing down to catch a breath. But what’s important to mention here, is that this continuing flow of output is consistently high-quality and always a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

And then there’s the music videos! The group has gone through the effort to make MVs for practically every song on their recent EP releases. I like the way they’ll produce a couple of videos that show off a somewhat considerable (but still fairly modest) budget, and then knock out some quick ones with hardly any money spent at all, relying strictly on lo-fi charm and hooks to get the point across. The videos often present themselves as labors of love by a group of girls who are clearly enjoying what they do, and that’s far more valuable than a lavish budget shot at some fancy location.

So right now we’re basking in the hangover left behind after the rollicking fun of “Never Give Up Drunk Monkeys” with a follow-up video for their song “Dahlia”. The song itself is a nice, upbeat number giving off a positive glow, accompanied by a kinda dark, but also kinda hopeful MV with idol-zombies, existential late-night wandering, gardening, and Younapi behind the wheel of an early model Ford T-Bird: Continue reading

This Bird Has Flown: Avandoned Will Take New Form Again Next Year

Though Fall is my favorite season, there’s always a hint of trepidation it’s arrival. The sky gets a little gray, the days get colder and shorter, and naturally, we all know the Winter is approaching by the year’s end. And additionally for us idol fans, we find ourselves anticipating the upcoming new year, because we know good-and-well that some of our oshimen and favorite groups won’t be around by this time in the future, cause that’s what we’ve signed up for the when we got into this subculture.

Last Friday, a little precursor to the change of the seasons and the new year in waiting arrived: Kotori Kotao, the other half of the duo-era of Avandoned, announced that she will be graduating in April of 2019. In a statement, she explained that quite simply it’s too difficult to balance the intensity of idol work with her personal focus on art. This is something I find terribly relatable, so I can’t possibly take issue with it. Kotao joined the group in 2016, at which point Avandoned was closing its previous era with the departures of Nayuta and Konomi and rebranding the group as a trio. At that point I knew very little about her, but she certainly won me over very quickly, to the point where it became difficult to imagine Avandoned without her. As I got to know more about her, I found her endlessly fascinating and talented. 

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Is a New Lein MV Exactly What You Need This Morning? Yes.

I’m actually a little disappointed in most-genuinely-disturbing-solo-performer-in-idol Lein here; the day before Halloween, and she releases maybe her best composition so far, and one with, like, only slightly discomfiting visuals?

This girl is what happens when vaporwave becomes sentient and starts to make music about people.

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Out of Nowhere!!

It has been a roller coaster of a morning in the alt-idol  breaking news department, but nothing is so welcome after the official departure of the original alt-Oshi than an international guerrilla release by Yanakoto Sotto Mute.

(Update: I have been informed that today’s release was first announced on YSM’s Twitter earlier this week and that I am not a true fan of the group.)

It’s already available on iTunes so why are you still here? 

Once again proving their designation as the Perfect Modern Idols , Yanamute’s unexpected album drop comes with the promise of an EP per month in the run up to Christmas.  “Stain”, the first track on this morning’s surprise offering, is a stunner, so  these are not b-side offerings but chill-inducing, A-Grade material.

So if this morning’s big news had you crying into your coffee, thanks to Yanamute we can now face the weekend with smiles on our faces. Happy freaking Friday!!

Tentenko – I Don’t Want the World, I Just Want Your Cat

Tentenko doesn’t always get a lot of mentions here since she, technically, is a former idol and not a current one. What she is, though, is one of the more quietly productive and increasingly significant voices in the Japanese indie music scene and, when she does perform, it is typically alongside the more prominent names in chika idol.

Recently, however, Tentenko has seen a string of buzzworthy events that may indicate the BiS alumna’s first steps towards global conquest and warrant a mention outside of The Weekender.  First was her interview and profile in the mainstream Western media. Sure it was in Vice , and, sure, they played the “weird” card while profiling a Japanese artist, but it was still a substantive and well-researched piece that focused on her music cred.

That article was in the lead up to her first Western album release: a self-titled LP on pink vinyl courtesy of Toothpaste Records.

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Your Team Homicidols Weekender #98

Hello, Fellow Kids! Supreme Nothing (Brian) here….. As you already know, Maniac took a little break from the site and left Team Homicidols with the keys! So far, we haven’t destroyed the dynasty that’s he’s spent long long, countless hours building, but hey, there’s still time left! It’s been a fun week playing houseguest, and if I might say, I’m pleased with the collaborative efforts that have gone into the last few days here. Kerrie, Papermaiden, and Daemon have been absolute all-stars through this thing and I couldn’t ask for a better gang to enjoy this labor of love with. I feel like I’m in an idol group myself, but no cheki requests please…

One thing Maniac did press upon us that the Weekender must be Weekended properly, so we’ve taken the draft he started and each added a few highlights of our own into the mix. You might even be able to tell who shared what! So ease on back with a beverage of your choice, take a moment to join in on Kerrie’s Friday Fun, peruse the good stuff we’ve included below, and then maybe cut off the computer, put the phone down, and do something personally fulfilling, which might be a kind deed, a hobby, or a nice nap, that’s okay too! Make this weekend yours! 

Now onto the Weekender, brought to you by Team Homicidols…

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Say “Hello” to the Night, and Owaranaide, Yoru

“People who like the night hate people”

This is the motto of Owaranaide, Yoru, the new project Sha-Yan asked us to look out for as she was winding up activities with Candye Syrup.

The concept of the group is to convey the conflicting feelings of young women who come to Tokyo and struggle in pursuit of their dreams: the loneliness, excitement, and nostalgia for their hometown while surrounded by the chaos of the city.

They have released the instrumental to their first song on Soundcloud:

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Gentlemen, Your Chance to Be Aqbi Idols Has Arrived

Every so often, especially back in the early days of the site when every idol giggle felt like a momentous event that had to be shared with the world, I used to share audition information. Here’s a great example from way the heck back in the day. Then and even now, the process by which agencies refill their rosters with talent, and how groups sustain themselves through the inevitable chaos of teenagers’ whims and managers’ improprieties, is fascinating. Also alarming sometimes!

Now, friends, thanks to the unique generosity of Tanaka-san and Aqbi Rec, you too have an opportunity to join an all-male idol group under the There There Theres brand, as long as you’re between the ages of 15 and 22 and aren’t a total jerk:

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SAKA-SAMA’s Space Sushi-disco Single Spectacular

We’re heading into a new season, so it’s only natural that SAKA-SAMA change their line-up and try a new musical style yet again! And before you can say “Hey, this doesn’t sound like a SAKA-SAMA song!!!”, you have to ask yourself: Has anything ever really sounded like a what you’d expect a SAKA-SAMA song to sound like to begin with? Sure they were “Low-fi Dream Pop” just back in February, but the new single is described (by TRASH-UP!! Records) as “Sushi and Space and Disco”, and don’t think for a moment that I’m going to possibly question that bold of a mission statement.

On a personal level, the timing of this new single couldn’t be better, it’s been a weird and hazy last couple of weeks, and the prospect of a hurricane reaching into my coast and wreaking havoc any day now isn’t doing much to relax me at all, so thank goodness the TRASH-UP!! house act is sharing some positive vibes to help allay the dread for a few minutes…

Actually, you know what this reminds me of? Morning Musume’s 2000 single “Happy Summer Wedding”, in which Momusu debuted four new members with an upbeat tune paired to a lively, multi-cultural MV that successfully altered the entire dynamic of the group. It was a departure not entirely devoid of risk, and it paid off big. All those new 4th Generation faces became as iconic as the previous members.

I mentioned this before: I always feel a bit of trepidation when a group I support adds new members because I find myself questioning if they’re needed, but inevitably and before long, I always end up not being able to imagine the group without them. And that’s how I feel about the current seven member SAKA-SAMA line-up. I just adore these girls and the essentially brand new group they’ve become. I still hope we get a dose of the lo-fi-dream-pop-psychedelic-country-arthouse aesthetic with this current roster, but no matter what, I can’t see them ever doing anything wrong.  It’s still a SAKA-SAMA world after all…