Go Mod With Beni and CHILDISH TONES!

avandoned‘s leader-self-producer-and all-around mastermind Beni Usakura enjoyed a  surprise hit earlier this year when she collaborated with the toy-instrument garage-punk band CHILDISH TONES! Aside from an acclaimed single, the 45 record sold-out it’s pre-sales, then sold out it’s extended press-run, and eventually got a second pressing to meet it’s demand! Of course it makes sense that the hippest idol in the biz would once again team up with rockin’ist toy band on the planet, and here’s their latest delicious pop nugget for our listening satisfaction!

https://twitter.com/usakura_beni/status/1178517922701955072?s=20

The A-side is called “Make Her Mine”, and there’s an appropriately lo-fi homemade MV to go along with it…

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It’s Time For Our First #IdolDoodles Fan-Art Round-Up!

Time goes by quick! It was at the very end of August when we hosted a Friday Fun dedicated to the joys of fan art, and it came together quite nicely, and YOU deserve all the credit for that! Literally every single post with the #idoldoodles tag was wonderful, I mean that! That kind of positive, creative energy really makes my day, and is truly one of my very favorite things about being a part of this fandom.

One thing you may recall is that we’re intending to maintain a regular feature here on the blog where we share a few of our favorite pieces with the masses. We’ll be revisiting the aforementioned hashtag, but also keeping our eyes peeled for any other terrific idol-themed artwork we happen upon. I’m not sure how often we’ll do a round-up yet: semi-weekly, monthly, probably most likely when we feel like it, but I really want everybody who cares about the wonderful artwork in this community to participate in any way they want. If you make art, (any kind of art) let us know! If you see some else’s art you especially like, also let us know!

We’ll link the twitter or Instagram posts here, and if you see something you appreciate, by all means, please visit their account and let them know you like it! You’ll be surprised how much a simple click of the heart, or a nice comment, or a retweet can mean to a person brave enough to put their work out there. If you do that, they’ll feel compelled to make more art, maybe even score a commission, or just plain feel more confident in what they do. Everybody wins!

With that said, here’s some stuff from the last month that we really liked…

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Beautiful Chaos From Okinawa Electric Girl Saya…

Wow! Okinawa Electric Saya is so full-steam-ahead at this point that I really can’t keep up with her, but I’m trying my best! I joked before that I suspect that she doesn’t actually sleep, and that theory seems to only continue to hold up to the evidence at hand…

So our favorite black-clad-experimental-neo-art-idol from Okinawa dropped another MV today, her third video set piece promoting her recent album “Black Angel”. As per usual, it’s worth checking out and delving into a world significantly different than what anybody else in the game is exploring…

Now this is the kind of stuff I really dig from her! Continue reading

Okinawa Electric Girl Saya Is a “Black Angel”…

Okinawa Electric Girl Saya’s new album “Black Angel” is finally out, and she’s been working overtime doing shows and publicity to promote it!  Not only is she consistently interesting and daring with her musical choices, but with a non-stop succession  of live performances and a highly active social media presence, Saya has also emerged to be easily one of the most tirelessly committed artists on the scene right now. I’m really not sure if she actually sleeps or has a battery pack hidden under her black clothing.

The avant-garde idol from Okinawa is also quite prolific, releasing a steady stream of experimental CDRs nearly monthly along with her regular output. A few of those works are even on Bandcamp, which we covered here a months ago. Her new album is a crowd-funded effort, featuring quite a number of collaborative guests helping this unique vision come  out in what’s certainly her biggest push on the edge of the envelope yet. Saya already released one MV last week, and now a second one has already arrived! Here’s the most recent, a video for “Black Flower”

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Boris is Love

Okay, so I started to ask the proprietor of this website “Hey Maniac, you think just this once, based on their recent activity, you could humor me into declaring Boris the ultimate endgame in this experimental synthesis of idols with rock music that’s been happening over the last few years and post this new MV on the blog even though it’s a complete stretch of our already shifting mission statement?”

And he’d either say “Hey, why the heck not?” or “C’mon man, don’t mess up my life’s work. You post that Boris MV and you’re fired.”

But anyway, he’s been away on business, so I didn’t ask him and posted this recklessly, so if my bags are packed in the next day or so, you know why!

Mother-F’n Boris man. Even your non-weeb friends love them. They’re absolute freakin’ titans of drone-noise-experimental-soundscapes who’ve recorded a massive discography on a dozen different labels. So when TRASH-UP!! Records, a label that I first came to love through their magazine, low-budget films, and releases by the quirkiest of the quirky world of chika idols announced that they were celebrating their 10th (!) anniversary with an EP by the band, I was pretty excited. Giddy might even be the better word! I even joked that I couldn’t wait for the eventual collaboration between the power-trio of sludge and the label’s flagship unit SAKA-SAMA.

https://twitter.com/TrashupRecords/status/1161112803026935809?s=20

Well, that collaboration hasn’t happened yet, but they did play a gig with the TRASH-UP!! groups along with the wonderful Aqbi roster of artists for the label’s big anniversary showcase, and it was worth noting that the band, especially Wata, seemed quite comfortable and welcoming of their surroundings. All my kidding aside, it really does open up thoughts of potential possibilities and reminds us of an important thing, the walls dividing genres have been knocked down and utterly destroyed as they always were meant to be for the good of music enjoyed by the truly open-minded masses. I think this is our new future, and it pleases me highly. 

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You Can Listen to the APOKALIPPPS Now!

Idol supergroup APOKALIPPPS have been active for a while now, but unfortunately a bit out of reach for us Western fans. The group is still very much an indie thing and their previous singles haven’t been terribly assessable due to their limited distribution, so supporting the group has mostly consisted of cheering the group on from afar…

Well, cheer up peeps, because the APOKALIPPPS is finally reaching worldwide!

The wonder group has self-released an EP, “APOKALIPPPS ONGEN”, and it’s also seeing a digital release via the major streaming networks, so you have no excuse to sleep on it! I eagerly decided to give a listen…

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NaNoMoRaL Return With A Little MV And A Lot Of Heart..

The producer/singer duo of Amamiya Miku and Paseli-chan are one of the most active groups on the scene, playing tons of live shows and finding time for the occasional CD-R release to keep their flow of creative output fresh-faced and continuously evolving. Their group, NaNoMoRaL still remain one of the great stand-outs of a saturated scene, because they pursue their own vision and eskew the easier paths to more conventional success as an idol unit. This gamble pays off for them, at least on an artistic level, as they consistently make excellent, powerful music with lots of heart and courage!

The CD-R is a single song “Donen Shizuru” (I hope I got that right.) and it’s very much a continuation of one of the more unique and distinctive sounds to be found in idol circles. And as an extra treat, Amamiya stars in a low-key DIY MV to share the song with the world at large…

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TRASH-UP!! Records Presents “Idol & Art 3”!!

One of my personally most-anticipated idol events of the year isn’t TIF, or Jam Expo. It doesn’t even even feature performances for that matter. For me, it’s the annual collaboration between TRASH-UP!! Records and Tokyo’s Mograg Gallery, “Art and Idol”, now in it’s third incarnation! It’s a simple and irresistible premise, an art show where all the art is created by idols. Now it’s it’s third edition, it’s fantastic to see this event be so successful and well-regarded.

When you think about it, it’s a perfect idea because the idol world is packed with wonderfully artistic talent who are always pursuing multiple ways to express themselves. As it’s been covered before in this blog, idols, especially within the chika circles, are multi-layered creatives who consistently deliver an entire package of intriguing work beyond singing and dancing.

With previous showings, it’s been the practice to keep the artwork under wraps until the opening, and then after a few days, images of the participant’s artwork pops up online via social media. I find it fascinating to see what the idols came up with, and in some cases, it’s illuminating to see their creative output because it offers a new peek into their personalities. Other times, it’s just cheeky fun. (Like the time the Dot-chans presented miniature terrariums with chirping crickets inside!)  But regardless of what they do, it’s never boring. Continue reading

Kai’s New MV Makes The World A Better Place…

So hot on the heels of the release of Moonlight Tokyo, (Which is excellent and brilliant and probably one of the best releases that will come out this year.) Kai and TRASH-UP!! Records have followed up with an MV for the song “Himitsu No Tobira”.

As I mentioned in the review, this is one of my personal favorite tunes on the EP, with it’s uplifting organ groove and cool little xylophone vibes. I loved this song, and now here comes an MV that takes something already great and elevates to an even higher plane!

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Cinema & Boy CQ Elevates Idol Beyond Our Preconceptions…

Sokichi Osada had a plan for his own idol group that would be a unique and daring take on the genre and he created, produced, and managed a group with that mission in mind. That group, Shoujo Kakka no International, was probably born too soon to really enjoy the fruits of the underground boom of nontraditional, experimental idols, but they were certainly legendary among those in the know. As many great and daring projects go, the financial stress of running an idol group proved to be unprofitable and difficult, and so it came to an end. Sokichi took time to write a series of essays titled “The Idol Suicides” about his experience for a web-magazine that’s no longer around, but thanks to some reaching out from our very own Papermaiden, we were given the privliedge of republishing the essays on this very blog.

But despite Girls Excellency International’s collapse, Sokichi’s creative idol bug wasn’t out of his system yet. Almost immediately, he began work on forming a new idol group that was even more experimental and unique than his first brainchild. A group with an intriguing vision, or has he put it into his own words…

Cinema and Boy CQ make some of the most consistently interesting art  in the entire idol genre, and on multiple levels, they challenge and shatter nearly every pre-conceived idea of what idol music is. Continue reading