If you haven’t seen/heard this yet, I envy you because this is so urgent and exciting that the first time is the best time. (But don’t worry, it’ll still hold up the 323rd listen, trust me, I know.) Just be warned though that if you’re viewing this on your phone, the fire just might burn your hands, so be careful…
With that in mind, turn your volume up as loud as it can go and hit the play button on “GALS” by hip-hop supergroup Zoomgals, joined by special (awesome) guest Yayoi Daimon with an unlikely but welcome cameo of Japan’s esteemed academic sociologist Shinji Miyadai!!!
It’s not often we cover something other than idols here because unsurprisingly, this is an idol blog! Kind of a no brainer. But occasionally there is something that has that driving special something behind it – so without further ado let’s get to know Her knuckle, from Hanako, formerly “that girl Muropanako from BiS”!
International idols seem to be making some waves lately! Over in France they’ve got WACK tribute artists ORiYON, and from Italy, (via China I believe) there’s ERISU who’ve gotten some well-deserved buzz going on. It’s enough to get one wondering what else is going on in new idol territory out side of Japan. From the little bits and pieces I’ve picked up online, I do know that there are now pockets of active idols throughout Asia, the Southeast in particular, but these groups are mostly still too niche to really break out just yet. But here’s one group you may want to watch out for, it’s Vietnam’s idol sensation, POLARIS★!
They’ve actually been around since 2016, but the group is entirely new to me. As a matter of fact, the MV I came across that brought them to my attention came out in early May, so while we’re a bit late for the party, at least we showed up before it was over! And appropriately enough, it’s a Covid 19 themed song. It makes sense though… if a stupid virus is going to come along and wreck everything, then at least try to have a little cheeky fun in some way with it. So let’s check out this catchy gem of a tune, “Corona Ahahahahaha”!!!!!!
CHILDISH TONES, the toy-instrument garage-rock band led by Naoki Nemoto seem to have really struck gold ever since they started recording songs with Beni Usakura. They’ve released four highly-prized singles so far, all of which sold-out of their initial vinyl pressings almost immediately upon release, and it seems only natural that it’s time for them to level-up to the long-play format.
So with that, their newest release is a package of twelve twee-pop nuggets, including both the previous singles and and some new stuff as well! “God Bless The Girls” is the title of this collection, and it just dropped last week!
Here’s a short trailer with a handful of song snippets from the previous singles to check out…
While the big streaming services are certainly conveinent and useful, (And surprisingly packed with idol music.) they are, at their core, in league with Satan. And not Satan in a cool metal kind of way, but Satan as in soulless and greedy corporate ogres. You know who’s not in league with Satan though? Bandcamp!
I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but I believe Bandcamp is the very best thing that’s happened to music distribution in the 21st century. I love it and surf it addictively, searching for neat stuff and often striking gold. And the other reason I love is because it’s a terrific company with ethical practices and noble motives. As you may know by now, in light of Covid’s destructive impact on the ability of musicians and music providers to earn a living, the website began “Bandcamp Fridays”, where on the first Friday of every month, the revenue earned on that day goes entirely to the artist. I’ve been trying to keep this when in mind when purchasing from the website, and since today is the first Friday of October, here’s a few idol and idol-adjacent offerings I felt compelled to share with you…
Okinawa Electric Girl Saya has been uploading the majority of her prolific catalog of experimental releases onto Bandcamp, and there’s a couple that especially stand out for me: Continue reading
In perhaps the most anticipated debut of the year, MANACLE held their inaugural performance this weekend. Their introductory set premiered two songs and employed the old punk practice of playing their best song twice. The best part, of course, was seeing Okaki, Ray and Hina performing on the same stage again. Newcomer Maon also impressed.
We live in an age of uncertainty and fear – an age where we’re all indoors. So, what better way to spice things up than that good old WACK brand of uncertainty? That’s right, once again we regret to inform you that one company are at it again!
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!
The A-side is called “Make Her Mine”, and there’s an appropriately lo-fi homemade MV to go along with it…
Like a lot of you, I originally got wrapped into this whole idol business though the all-consuming, all-powerful multi-media conglomerate we call Hello! Project. Once I saw the MV for Morning Musume‘s “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari”, I was essentially on a path of no return and life has never been quite the same, and I’m okay with that!
But in time, chika idols entered my world, and by then, the pre-fabricated environment of H!P just wasn’t hooking me like it used to. Sure, I’d check in every so often and see what was new, but for the most part, it’s been a cherished but yet distant part of my fandom past. But very recently, an all-new new H!P unit has appeared that’s really gotten my interest. They’ve got that classic charm and sense of fun that made me a Hello! idol fan in the first place. I’m sure you know that I must be talking about the newest H!P sensation, BEYOOOOONDS! (That’s five “O”s, I had to count them.)
Okay, so BEYOOOOONDS are a blast, but as with a few other of my personal idol interests, they’re largely on another continent from the Homicidols mission, so I was never really planning on doing anything with them aside from maybe suggesting them for the weekender. And then, just as if by a divine scheme, these upstart H!P wonders have unleashed their first multi-A-side single, including this absolute bop of an uplifting pumped-up pop-tune: You’ve probably heard it by now…
Y’know, we talk about about Yufu Terashima quite often amongst ourselves on the twitters, but I did a quick check and to the best of my knowledge, we’ve never posted anything specifically about her on this blog. I mean yeah, she was a member of that iconic group that pretty much gave birth to the movement, but perhaps Yufu herself goes a little bit more into the sort of pure idol territory that this blog appreciates but doesn’t usually cover.
But when you film an MV for a song that is not gives a fun visual medium to a delightful pop gem, but eludes to the elusive answers of one of the biggest questions that the human race has been asking since it first formed an inquisitive thought, you pay attention!