Even When It Rains, It’s a PARADE

Well, this year’s WACK AUDiTiON CAMP certainly was eventful! Auditionee Waki Waki Wakki got added to WAgg and WAgg member Kira May who’s been apart of the group for 3 months got added to GANG PARADE.

…for all of 3 minutes. GANG PARADE will be splitting into two smaller groups. Just as BiS2 made the decision last year to break up, GANG PARADE will be doing the same thing. But in a completely different manner that’s effectively not the same as breaking up. Totally 100% similar.

This is the culmination of an internal decision between members and staff. In Kamiya Saki’s previous graduation announcement, she revealed that she felt like she was holding GANG PARADE back and while Watanabe, the fans and the members probably don’t agree, it set something new into motion. If you can’t achieve your goals after reaching a certain point, it’s okay to try again from the start isn’t it? So, we’re here now, with two new groups born from GANG PARADE splitting into two.

First new group is the dark and noisy GO TO THE BEDS:

If you need a reference point for previous GANG PARADE works, this wouldn’t go out of place on “LAST GANG PARADE” or “GANG PARADE takes themselves higher!!!” – in fact the guitar in this contains a reference within it’s motif to GANG PARADE (the song). Comprised of Coco Partin Coco, Yui Ga Dockson, Yumeno Yua, Can GP Maika and Yamamachi Miki, this is the group carrying the torch of GP’s mismatched chaos that shouldn’t work but manages to come together perfectly.

The second group is the softer and synergized PARADISES:

Still very much a GANG PARADE product but this ebbs closer to the softer “BARELY LAST” and “LOVE PARADE”. The current members are Tsukino Usagi, Naruhaworld and Terashima Yuka! New girl Kira May will join this group eventually.

If you’ve been keeping up with GANG PARADE activities, this might not come as such a shock. A few weeks prior, a mysterious Guerrilla EP titled “GP?” was on sale for just 100 yen at Tower Records. None of the tracks contained any song metadata but the 6 songs were clearly split into two distinct groups – the first now evident to be GO TO THE BEDS and the second PARADISES but with the since-graduated Haruna Bad Chiiiin. Given her presence on the mystery EP and a few cryptic tweets about life changing before her account vanished into the ether, it’s not hard to imagine this might have been in the works for a while and might be why she left.

And of course, there’s still a loose end here: Kamiya Saki. She’s still scheduled to graduate from GANG PARADE but as it stands, she isn’t in either group and is the only member who’s Twitter handle and promotional images contain any kind of reference to her being a member of GANG PARADE. On top of that, their upcoming “My First Hall Tour” is still being billed as GANG PARADE.

So, what exactly does this mean? How can GANG PARADE be splitting into two groups if their tour is a GANG PARADE tour? Will the two groups promo together like BiS1st and BiS2nd did (also don’t worry, this isn’t league based so nobody is competing against one another) or apart? Will they perform together or as two groups during the tour? Do they know why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch? How is promo going to work if the tour does turn out to be together as GANG PARADE?

Absolutely none of those questions have been answered. BUT, their debut digital singles and EP are coming soon. Tomorrow on streaming services, the songs in the previous music videos will go up on streaming services and on April 1st their debut split EP “G/P”, billed as “GO TO THE BEDS and PARADISES from GANG PARADE” will be released. 7 tracks: three G, three P and one Kamiya Saki solo song.

Just like when BiS2 said “I don’t know what will happen”, nobody does here either. But it’s just not WACK if it isn’t confusing, slightly irritating but also new and exciting. So let’s all go to bed to be able to reach paradise ey.

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That New ZOC Member Is WHO!?

This is gonna be a long one, folks.

So, ZOC unveiled a new music video today, with an added surprise bonus! 

You might have spotted, depending on who you are, either an unfamiliar face or an unsettlingly recognisable one.

That new face, Kannagi Maro, is only ex-ANGERME sub-leader Fukuda Kanon!

 

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Yanakoto Sotto Mute Launch “Afterglow” MV and Digital Single

At midnight Japan time, Yanakoto Sotto Mute released the MV for their major label debut single, “Afterglow”. 

Bask in it.

It’s beautiful.

The costumes. The strings. Nade-chan eating a rose; Mani eating marbles; Ichika hitting the high notes; Tsukasa with a bucket on her head. It’s all gorgeously absurd and near perfection. Continue reading

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The Grateful a MogAAAz Bring a Wide-Screen Masterpiece…

Yeah, I know we haven’t really dedicated as much ink to The Grateful a MogAAAz on this blog as they deserve. It’s not that we have any bias against them, we like them actually, but for me at least, they’ve never quite broken the intangible barrier that would truly win me over. I can’t even give you a good reason why except maybe to say that Melon Batake a go go’s shadow loom over them a bit too much. But I think the real truth is that it’s really my fault for not giving them enough attention and I simply need to do better.

But there might be a change in the wind’s direction with this new tune from Melonbat’s sister group. They dropped a new MV and I casually decided to give it a click, thinking that I’d probably suggest it for the Weekender later on. And then I watched this video, and then I watched three more times…

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You’ve Got Till The End Of The Week To Watch Chiaki’s Adventure In Kansas City!

I need to revisit the tale of Chiaki Mayamura’s adventure in Kansas City one more time to make sure you don’t miss this opportunity. As you know the story by this point, Chichan did not get to perform at Naka-kon due to the current situation with Covid-19,  despite having traveled to the USA for the big weekend. Undeterred, she utilized the empty venue to stream a live concert anyway.

The time of day for the show was a bit awkward and no doubt difficult for many in the West to commit to watching in real time. But fear not, if you missed it, the video stream is still available to watch.

So look, if you still haven’t checked out Chiaki Mayumura and don’t know why I’m devoting all this type to her appearance in the US, THIS VIDEO WILL EXPLAIN ALL. Chiaki is quite successful in Japan, but still a bit of blip on the radar on this side of the ocean, and I feel quite certain that she possesses the heart, soul, and charisma to win over just about anybody. If I can’t convince at least some of you to become converts to Chiaki, then I have no choice but to declare my self an utter failure at this whole evangelist thing…

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Chiaki Mayumura’s 1st Concert In The USA Is Now A Concert For The World… (Happening Today!)

The current state of global events has been a massive wrench in so many aspects of our lives, alarming on one level as we worry (and too often, mourn) for those vulnerable to it’s effects, and incredibly frustrating in the ways it’s interfering with our lives (and unfortunately, livelihoods) for many.

Naka-Kon in Kansas City , USA is one such event. The anime and pop-culture convention was going to be the host for Chiaki Mayumura‘s western debut, but sadly and understandably, it’s been postponed out of health concerns. This makes sense and I don’t feel anyone can take issue with their decision.

But wouldn’t you know it, Chiaki didn’t intend to bow out at all, and she arrived in from Japan to perform at this event. And now one of the most consistently amazing live performers around is sitting in her hotel in Kansas City for an appearance that isn’t going to take place.

BUT she’s not gonna just sit there and do nothing…

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That Time Okinawa Electric Girl Saya Teamed Up With Hijokaidan…

Peeps, allow me to just apologize right off the bat, because this MV came just over week ago and I kinda sat on it cause real life sometimes keeps me from writing about cool stuff I’d really like to talk about. But hey, this glorious new offering from Okinawa Electric Girl Saya is still relevant and deserves more views, so here we are, dagnabbit!

Anyway, the world’s busiest avant-garde idol released what I believe is her 536th release last month, and at last, it’s a CD that we should’ve suspected was inevitable: That’s right, Saya has finally teamed up with the legendary “Kings of Noise” Hijokaidan! And yes, the the project is indeed referred to as “Sayakaidan” because that’s the traditional naming convention for all  Hijokaidan/idol collaborations.

And we’ve got this evocative, beautifully shot MV to get the mood just right. Let’s go check it out…

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One Year Later, Sari Is Still Worth Getting Excited About

Today, it’s been exactly a year and two months since Sari and Hina graduated from NECRONOMIDOL. Which makes the release of Sari’s debut single and music video this weekend feel all that more significant.

I already wrote a little thing about the title track when the demo first came out so go check that out.  

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RAY Want To Spend “The End Of The World With You”…

This dropped a few days ago, but it was simply too good to let slip past the radar. Shoegaze idols RAY,  (Successors to the now-legendary group with no with no real name save for a row of dots) are still not a year old, but have already made a huge impression with a dose of effortless charisma and incredibly strong musical collaborations with top-tier talent.

Their first EP release “Blue” was a near-perfect collection of songs that revealed a sky’s-the-limit potential. We’ve been treated to MVs for “Butterfly Effect” and “Meteor”, and now there’s a more low-key video for the closing track, “The End Of The World With You”

https://twitter.com/_RAY_world/status/1230809425134227457?

As the tweet above explains, this MV offers us a retrospective of the group’s upward trajectory since their inception, including most notably their acclaimed show in Taiwan.   Let’s have a look!

It’s just what you’d expect, a fun and exciting behind the scenes look at RAY traveling, performing, eating, bonding, y’know, doing idol stuff! One thing that gives RAY something of a leg-up on the dearly departed Dot-chans is being free of the challenges that came with a group maintaining a mysterious air of anonymity. We get to know Yua, Norimaika, Sayaka, and Tsukihi in a much more personable way and that’s ultimately a better plan for the idol business model. These ladies are just terrific, and seeing them cavort and have fun as they explore the possibilities offered in this journey gives one a warm, joyful feeling. (Which is a fascinating juxtaposition to the heavier melancholia of the actual song.) 

And what a song!! Holy heck I love that opening riff and the way it sort of fakes you out before the song takes off. This tune sounds amazing at high-volume, so make sure you don’t just watch this on your phone, for goodness sake. 

And you know why the song is so darn good? Because it’s written by Hata Yusuke of cruyff in the bedroom, veterans of Japan’s highly-lauded shoegaze scene. These sonic technicians have always been on point, so of course this song roars as much as it soothes…

I’m really looking forward to another release by RAY, and I’m especially hoping we can get a full album from them this year possibly. If not, that’s okay too though, music this good is worth the wait. Just keep these RAYs shining on us, please. 

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Beni and CHILDISH TONES remember life as an “Ex Fan Des Sixties”…

avandoned may be approaching an end to it’s illustrious career run, but by no means does this mean that Beni Usakura will be ceasing to work on terrific musical projects that are both sublime and meaningful. Once again the multi-media chanteuse has teamed-up with the amazing toy instrument garage band CHILDISH TONES to offer another great take on a classic pop tune!

This time the delightfully quirky combo is treating us to a haunting cover of a song written by the LEGENDARY master of subversive pop, the great Serge Gainsbourg himself, which was recorded by his long-running romantic and artistic muse, the fabulous and stunning Jane Birkin

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