For Melon Batake a go go, Plan 9 is a State of Mind

So if you’re keeping track, so far Melon Batake a go go have been:

  • Sick Idols
  • Idol Cats
  • The Idol From Outer Space
  • Idol of the Wilderness* 
  • Idol From Another Planet

…and as we see in this MV, they’re also the “Idol From Plan 9”!

We already know the psychobilly-flavored song (which is terrific!) because it’s a track included on their album “Ikasuze Idol 1.2.3!!’ released early in the year, so for the purposes of this article, let’s discuss the video. This has got the same inherent DIY quality that’s charmed us with their previous MVs. It’s low-budget, spontaneous, and you can very plainly see the members of the group are having a lot of fun. That’s really all you need, y’know? Continue reading

Making an Idol Monster: We Talk to the Creative Team behind Monster of Dolls

Just a few months ago, Homicidols published a profile of fans-turned-promoters bringing alternative idols to the Western World.  Looking back now, the article is a bit embarrassingly anglo-centric. Unbeknownst to us at the time, a group of Italian-speaking fans were putting the finishing touches on their own considerable efforts to launch an alt-idol festival in Italy. When the final lineup for the event was revealed in mid-February, it was clear that there was a new and significant player in the business of importing underground Japanese idol to the West.

Seemingly overnight, the hardol diaspora had grown another tendril.

On May 11th in Bologna, Italy, Monster of Dolls will play host to alt-idol A-listers LADYBABY, the Western debut of JyuJyu, and an appearance by the legendary Sari of NECRONOMIDOL fame. The event’s biggest coup, however, is scoring the first ever overseas live for perhaps the hottest chika idol act in Tokyo: Melon Batake a go go.

The appearance of this top-tier alt-idol festival, seemingly out of nowhere, was the most pleasant of surprises. Our curiosity was piqued, not just about the cost of plane tickets to Italy, but also about the festival itself, the brains behind it, and about the Italian-speaking fandom whose presence we had been totally ignorant of until now. So we reached out to our new Italian allies in the quest to bring alt-idol to the West in the hopes that we could learn all we could.

We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Go Buy Zekkyou’s Album, Geez

Hey you guys! The first real-deal Screaming Sixties album is out today, and you were probably already planning on buying it if you were aware of that fact; if you are just learning that fact, there’s a good chance that you now want to buy that album. Good thinking! And if you are the kind of dunderhead who needs more encouragement despite previously existing awareness of Zekkyou, why, perhaps this very full album trailer will inspire you to make better life decisions!

Very nice to include those clips of Maina from the MV!

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PIIIIIIIN Shows That Yes, High School Can Kick Ass

I feel like you need to be of a certain age, or at least a certain demographic profile within a potential intergenerational range of time, to appreciate a particular orientation toward high school. See, when I was in that phase of life, none of the old stereotypes taught to us by Saved by the Bell or John Hughes movies really held up — radically evolving metacultural forces and growing up in basically nowhere will do that, I guess — but that didn’t mean that people didn’t try to hew closer to certain notions, and especially those who had a foot on each side of the divide in eras. For instance, I had friends who definitely still looked at the world through a lens by which a “popular” person was, by definition, a rude snob with only a tiny handful of sycophantic bully friends; that this all flies in the face of any kind of logic was lost on them. These were the folks, though, for whom high school kicked the most ass, because they could place every instance or relationship into a predefined box and feel confident that the world had an explanation.

And what a world that lets you live in! A world where you and your friends could always start a band and go on to be at least Local Famous just by the power of hard work and spunkiness, where even the biggest jerk teachers secretly see the genius hidden inside you, where the late trend in lip sync videos was a regurgitation of a much cooler era when everybody wanted to be Ferris Bueller a full decade too late, or at least Parker Lewis. It’s a world of constant sunshine, pep rallies, falling in love with your first kiss and impromptu dance troupes with everybody being everybody else’s best friend.

What does that have to do with PIIIIIIIN? Everything, apparently! Continue reading

A Welcome Surprise from No Suprises

So as mentioned in the Weekender, after a long and butt week in idol in which very little of real interest happened, engines started to warm up a little bit yesterday, and we got something that those of us who are pro-POPiD could be excited about. Yes, it should come as … no surprise (haw) that the Idol Formerly Known as PiGU, called (ahem) No Surprises now and having none of the old PiGU membership but definitely having inherited their Twitter account, dropped their first single, “proof”, the other day (venue-only?), and along with that came this MV:

This post-PiGU project was, of course, going to be carrying over quite a bit of PiGU, and every little bit of what we’d seen from them so far suggested the same. Here, the best evidence yet, delivers in a way that … surprised (heh) me. There’s that little maturation in the sound — which, yes fine, it’s one song, but bear with me, until they turned dark, all of OG PiGU’s punk work was on the brighter end of that spectrum, and no I’m not buying this as “emotional blues rock” just yet — but moving with it is a complete makeover in the group’s look. It’s a good move, frankly, an aesthetic shift without needing to be revolutionary.

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Bully BULLY IDOL Bully

The title of this post in the spirit of the “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo” linguistic exercise. All lo; points to any who can identify the moral contradiction therein!

The fine* people at WACK bring you their staggering retort to BILLIE IDLE’s playful spin of a variety show appearance via MV:

I really wanted this to be shade, and not just because I wanted to do another “Shade or Not Shade?” post. The idea of there being beef — real, loud, public beef — between WACK and a bunch of ex-WACK idols operating in close proximity but ultimately asymptotically to is simply delicious. Alas, it appears that whatever likely complicated feelings held by one Pour Lui toward one Watanabe Junnosuke, and any of the same held by First Summer Uika or Hirano Nozomi by history or either of the Momoses by association, those feelings are likely mere complications when the chance to leverage existing relationships for potential financial gain are involved.

Bully.

*Here defining “fine” very liberally

Endurance Pays off in the New BILLIE IDLE MV

I hate to over-use the phrase “damning with faint praise,” but you guys aren’t, like, following me around at Day Job and nor are you reading my project notes and the like, right? So you’re unfamiliar with my tendency to use it as, at this point, almost a double-backhand of light disregard and shortened respect for something. “At least it’s one of the best-looking proposals I’ve seen in a while” came out of my mouth on Monday, in fact, in the direction of a very-pretty-but-hilariously-over-budget-and-clearly-boilerplate-and-typo-riddled response to an RFP that will get no response in turn because it was, in fact, a bad proposal. So it goes.

And so, in a way, it goes with the new one from BILLIE IDLE, which … well, get the tale after the jump, and in the meantime maybe just give yourself a few minutes to recapitulate your BILLIE IDLE experience to date, and also pay attention to the details, because those are what sell the whole thing and make this trip worthwhile:

Stay til the end!

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How’d You Like to Listen to a New BILLIE IDLE Single?

If you would, friend, have I got an opportunity for you!

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I See That Debuts Are Still in Fine Shape: Meet LAST IN MY CULT

Okay, shut up, I’m late to the party, so sue me.

So a lifetime ago (Saturday), a buzz swelled up and over the wota scene like

Is … is that a kazoo?

Yeah, folks were popping off about these girls the other day, and for good reason — we get our share of punk idols, but not many who sound like the second coming of punk rock itself with idol as an incidental feature. If I didn’t know any better (time travel isn’t real!), I’d swear that I already own some of their music on a compilation CD somewhere. Continue reading

WILL-O’, Still WILL-O’, But Like New and Improved

After several days of puzzling over tweets and off-handedly remarking things like “oh, I should remember to put that in the Weekender” and “wow, they’ve really come a long way in a short time,” ol’ Maniac here finally pieced together some stuff about everybody’s favorite Idol Formerly Known as Alloy Which Ah Forget It and, oh look, it’s kind of a big deal for them!

So last month, WILL-O’ released some “new” music, which was in fact an old petit pas! song re-updated with the most recent membership of the group that’s as close to a direct descendant of that group as it gets without having the same name, and it was cool and good. They stayed busy, though, as it was just the next round in a series (I love these) of monthly releases that incorporate not just new music, but sort of a soft reboot of the group, still called WILL-O’ but in this guise known as “O’currence”, which was rolled out yesterday at their company’s (Perfect Music) PERFECT SUMMIT.

Whew. You can get most of that from this tweet! Continue reading