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

You Are Hereby Invited to Love Shihatsu-machi Underground in Total

I’ve been trying to tell you guys for a little while now that the time to get on the Shihatsu-machi Underground (as they apparently prefer to have it written!) train is immediate. Get in while the getting’s good. This is a group that has the chops to absolutely blow up if given the chance and be a big emergent force from the Shibuya scene. All they need is us! Well, and thousands of other fans, but you get the idea! So maybe the brandy-new MV (that’s right!) from their soon-to-come album (oh yes!) is exactly what you need to be convinced:

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Follow Along for Some Fresh BLACKNAZARENE

I don’t get a ton of time to casually scroll through Twitter anymore, but when I do, I tend to stumble over some good stuff. It’s good luck, I guess. Usually, following half of all idols makes for a bloated, disjointed mess of a feed, but maybe my eyes got used to it or something. The point is, there I was, doop-dee-doop, minding my own business when … hello, what’s this?

Why, that’s two songs! And right in reply to its own message, there’s BLACK NAZARENE with links to each and lyrics! What’s happening! Continue reading

Um… What?

The beautiful thing with THE BANANA MONKEYS is that they never fail to stress out and confuse me.

Translation by the wonderful Pat below:
 

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Owaranaide, Yoru Takes Us Beyond the Night Sky Indeed

Misanthropic post-pop nightstalkers Owaranaide, Yoru are very much on the move, gang, and I feel like a group that’s been teasing a ton of potential since their debut last fall in the aftermath of the original Candye Syrup is reaching that point where their pot bubbleth over. Today is a smorgasbord of good things.

First, and frankly quite importantly for getting a better feel for their total aesthetic, their first real-deal MV:

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I Couldn’t Be Happier for This HimeKyunFruitCan EP

I periodically lament the amount of change that the idol scene has undergone since I first picked up it, and certainly since I started this goofy ol’ website. So many of the groups that were effective backbones are dead and gone, and even many that have managed to keep it together are very different entities than they were in the day. What’s worse is that I outright miss some of them to the point that, during duller times of the year, I get a little too nostalgic and pull that old-man-yells-at-cloud-get-off-my-lawn thing. I miss my idols, is all!

Fortunately, HimeKyunFruitCan (which I believe is now the preferred romaji nomenclature!) may have gotten a reboot, but they’re still at it, and still repping Ehime, and still releasing new things. Just learning about this new one filled me with happiness — one of my favorite old mainstay groups, or an approximation thereof, remains to remind me of the best of it all!

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Banamon Again

So, it’s come to this. After promising three consecutive music videos in the leadup to the release of their new single, the conclusion of the Nani-mono trilogy finally came out today. What kind of note will it end on? A somber one? Something shocking? Or epic? Well…

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Thanks for Being Anti-Monday, Marionet

I’m not one of those people who’s like “oh man, I got this case of the Mondays!” Monday’s fine, if kind of annoying because yeah, it does in fact mean that it’s back to work on the things that are less interesting than the free time things, but come on, it’s just Monday, how many of them do you have in life? It’s a lot! So pluck up. Plus, everybody knows that Tuesday is the worst.

I do however understand that there can be some trepidation about heading back to work. Bosses may be bad, jobs are often both bad and dumb, commutes are the devil. I can think of a whole lot of things that I’d rather be doing than almost everything that I can for Day Job. For instance, blogging posts about idols! Good thing I’m doing that right now at least!

Marionet, who still have that new car smell and have wonderful novelty (and Fumimi!) going for them, are dropping new tunes with wonderful frequency and left this uplifting new number for us yesterday:

Man, that’s some vocaloid stuff right there

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Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders Leap to the Front of the Class

Attention students!! Leaders just dropped the early front-runner for album of the year.

Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders has never been the most accessible of units from a Western perspective. Their MVs often sit behind region blocks and paywalls, while their music makes artsy references to social concerns that may require cultural translation. In short, exploring the group’s music requires a bit more proactive labor than just clicking “play” on YouTube and rockin’ your socks off. However, with the release of their stunning second album, Wakage Ga Itaru, now is the time to put in that extra effort.

(Short Ver.)MV’s are a Crime. REPORTED!!

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YOU’LL MELT MORE! Once Again Prove They’re The Real Queens…

Sometimes I think You’ll Melt More! is the most criminally underrated group of all in the sub-sub-genre of music we celebrate here. They exist in this odd spot where they’re too big for the chika circuit, but yet just out of reach of the true heights of fame and praise they truly deserve.

While other groups get more Western fan attention with outlandish stunts and forced controversy, YLMM! focus on actually making fantastic music with a lot of heart and earnest ambition. Clearly when you see the sizes of their crowds and the loyalty of their fans, it’s notable that they’ve done very well for themselves, but I really feel like they deserve even more than what they’ve already (impressively) achieved.

I’ll even admit that I don’t always give them the love they deserve as often as I should, and that’s simply an offense on my part. I think the issue is that You’ll Melt More! have been making their psyche-fueled-freakout-krautrock-inspired magic since 2012, and when an idol group lasts this long, we kind of start to take them for granted, and that’s a terrible mistake!

One of the personal course-corrections I made for for 2019 is that I would get back to aggressively supporting this group as vocally as they deserve, and this recent live video of the group performing their nearly eight-minute space-rock monsterpiece “Only You” from their their 2015 magnum opus album “You Are The World” is the perfect window to refresh what is already gloriously refreshing.

This video highlights the final stop on their tour for the “Never Give Up Drunk Monkeys” release, shot at Zepp Tokyo in front of their most loyal fans, and it’s a document of just what kind of greatness idols are capable of with a lot of heart, soul, and quite a bit of physical risk as well. I know there’s plenty of videos for “Only You” floating around, but I never get tired of watching them perform this epic. I’d say this is the song to pull out if you want to sell this group to a friend unfamiliar with them, but also, this is a great piece of music to show that person in your life who doesn’t even know what idol music is. It’s peak non-traditional art idol in my eyes, and a great summation of what our favorite misunderstood genre of music can achieve.

And then there’s the performance itself, the vocals have that not-quite-perfect but yet lovely ring, the set is amazing, the dragon dancers add just the right flavor, and the emotions! Kechon has tears streaming down her face, and those are the tears of hard work and giving it your all for your art. Chiffon is still the most underrated idol vocalists around, and cooler than cucumbers in the freezer. Ano is Ano and thank goodness for that, doing her Ano-ish things, including spending plenty of time floating around on the adoring crowd.

And of course we have Younapi, who should’ve been voted Queen of the Scene multiple times over, fearlessly climbing a ladder like she’s about to pull the wrestling finishing move of the year while hyping up the audience with positive vibes of pure charm. I swear, every time I watch an “Only You” performance I want high-five the sun in the sky. It’s just beautiful.

Also, I’m glad Younapi got down from that ladder okay. (Off camera) That made me a little anxious.

2019 is still young, and Spring is around the corner. Still plenty of time for You’ll Melt More! to continue their usual pace and release an album, six EPs, ten singles, and a gazillion MVs before the year ends. I’m looking forward to all of it!!