Your Homicidols Weekender #197

Good morning! I hope you all had the best week you could. It seems to get a little bit tougher all the time, or maybe you block certain things from affecting you. The world is scary. And frankly I’m currently waiting to find out who the third person in the Riley Gale/Chadwick Boseman cluster o’ death is going to be, seeing as how 2020 primarily seems to exist to find ways to twist the knife.

What do we have? Well, we have our friends. And we have our family (I’m visiting with mine this weekend!). And, not to be too crass, we have great taste in performers, no matter our particular individual biases. There’s a lot of bad in the world now. It’s okay to look to the things that are good to at least take the edge off.

Change the Subject

The ever-rare Not Surprised, Loose Ends live video:

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Weekend Livestream Spotlight: TORICAGO, a Graduation and the @ JAM ONLINE FESTIVAL

First things first: TORICAGO is doing a 5:00 a.m. Saturday JST livestream which translates to about 4:00 pm Friday EST in the U.S.  UPDATE:  Event time changed to 4:00 am JST ; 3:00 pm EST. Hopefully you are reading this Friday morning so you can catch that to kick off your weekend right.

The big event this weekend is the @JAM ONLINE FESTIVAL featuring over 100 different idol units of both the traditional and alternative variety on five stages over two days.  Continue reading

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Let’s All Listen to New KAQRIYOTERROR Together

Oh heck yeah, this is exactly what I was waiting for — it didn’t take long for KAQRIYOTERROR to go from announcing a new album to promoting the sucker. In true Codomomental fashion, the official window is two hours, and we immediately dishonor that.

More on the flip. Continue reading

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You Review Things: RAY | “Pink”

Once again actually by Viz Major!

When ・・・・・・・・・ (vocalized as “Dots” or “Dots Tokyo”) emerged onto the idol scene in late 2016 with their shoegaze music and unorthodox presentation, it was a surprisingly much needed breath of fresh air from the saturated market of overcolored aesthetics and systematic cheerful, yet often contrived, songs predominant in idol culture. Along with this new approach to the genres of music that idols perform, the group attached an eccentric mythos to their profile, implementing things like all members are named ・(a single dot) but have nicknames that change every so often and go by themes such as vegetables or even infrastructures (one member was nicknamed “Konbini”, the Japanese word for “convenience store”). Visors were worn over the eyes of the members to conceal their identities, which established them as both an innovative and mysterious idol group. They quickly gained fans in not only the idol spectrum, but also among fans of shoegaze and indie rock outside of the J-pop music sphere, and in 2018 released their debut album『 』(a title with no words but actually 9 half-width spaces), which proved to be one of the best albums of that year. Unfortunately, the following year the inevitable fate which many idols have succumbed to was met, and the group was dissolved after performing a final one-man live at Tokyo Kinema Club on March 24, 2019. Continue reading

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Broken By The Scream Are Here to Blow the Doors Off of Monday

I have very little to add to this post, so count yourselves lucky. It all speaks for itself! Broken By The Scream, no doubt extremely bored for the past few months, decided to just rip off the band-aid this morning and step to the future. First, new MV:

I had no idea how much my ears needed to have Kagura’s shrieks in them until just now. Continue reading

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Sweet Stars: STELLASUGARLET

These days, it’s easier than it’s ever been to discover and follow Japanese idol groups from abroad.  Social media, streaming services and, overall, YouTube have opened up more content to us all, and while those lucky and annoying people who actually get to go to Japan might tell you that you’re not getting the authentic idol experience, you can at least listen to the music.  But there are plenty of idol groups happily performing in local venues, selling chekis and CD-Rs to local fans, that are not concerned about such things as music videos or haven’t gotten around to making one yet.  Some of these groups may be great but how will we stupid gaijin ever know?

Well, I stumbled across one by accident back in March – more on that in a minute – and since then I’ve been ordering their CDs but I’ve not really been able to show anyone what they are like, until now!  Here is the first MV for STELLASUGARLET:

That’s Koi no Mahou or “Magic of Love”.  Did you like it?  Fans of CY8ER may find something to love here but this group have added amateur charm and a slightly more experimental bent.  There’s even a shoegaze song on their debut mini-album!  They are a self-produced unit from Kansai and their album lists their member colours as “Sky Blue”, “Cheerful Pink”, “Negative Red” and “Domestic Purple”.  Though perhaps the Red member was too negative as they seem to have been replaced with an “Unbalanced White” member.

I discovered them when the songwriter/musician for RETRO NA SYOUJO (who aren’t idols so probably won’t be covered here but are idol-adjacent and do have MVs for great songs that you should totally check out) mentioned that he’d written a song for this idol group.  And even then I still had to use YouTube to hear more as they had at least uploaded a trailer for their album.  I wouldn’t have found that on my own.

At the moment they have one song available on digital platforms and it’s a good song but it’s not the one in that first video.  I don’t know when you can get hold of that one but if you’re feeling intrepid you can buy CDs of other great tunes from their store.  Or follow them on Twitter and they may notice us foreigners and make more stuff available online, which is the motive behind my writing this article in the first place.

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YOU’LL ROCK MORE! with YOU’LL MELT MORE!

Our fully comprehensive but not-too-throughly-serious retrospective of the first 50 (52 actually) MV’s by the always daring and darling YOU’LL MELT MORE! may have been wrapped up, but this blog has no plans to stop covering one of our personal favorite groups! Yea, verily, let it be known that as long as YMM! has the power to melt our hearts, we’re on board with them til’ the end!

Having gotten my opening declaration out of the way, let’s talk about what item has us here today: A terrific live performance of the bravest and most experimental idol unit returning to a band configuration that includes new members Nerun and Nani! This is also notable because Kechon gets to play an actual full drum kit while Younapi has cast aside her usual keytar for a nice n’ noisy guitar…

First off, I’m always very happy to see these ladies do their “band thing” and I’d be more than pleased if they did it more frequently. Are they the most polished and slick band around? Heaven’s no and thank goodness for that! There’s already a a few hundred too-slick, booooooring, over-produced bands on the planet, and who really needs another one on that forgettable heap? Personally, I’m from the Shaggs School of Primitive Rock and this scratches that itch wonderfully.

You can sense the slightly tense concentration here as the group does something they don’t do that often, but that tension is tempered with a shot of joy and fun that keeps this from feeling awkward and forced like a music school recital. You can get a feeling of quiet satisfaction in Kechon as she keeps up the time on the drums, like a personal battle is being won, while Younapi becomes giddy as she shifts from playing simple chords to let loose on a chaotic Jojo Hiroshige-esque guitar solo. I also love the way Chiffon not-quite-so-discreetly sneaks across the stage to get her own little shot at making some guitar noise too…

And then there’s our two new members, “Song of the Summer 2020” nominees Nerun and Nani… Being so relatively green, they perhaps haven’t gotten a crack at an instrument yet, but they do a great job of offering vocals and even a little of back-up percussion including yes, a glorious cowbell!  And then Nerun pulls out a recorder (most infamous instrument in the world) and manages to play it in a non-irritating fashion, which is certainly no small feat!

It’s a short, breezy video that goes by fast, but I think it’s most certainly brought us a few minutes of positive cheer. Hopefully we’ll get a another reward like this soon, and goodness knows I hope we can get more ep/MV/singles from YOU’ll MELT MORE! before the year is over. We need all the good vibes we can get!

With this spirit in mind, and a realization that summer is rapidly coming to a close (and heading into an uncertain Fall) here’s one more live blast of Yurumerumo! to take us out…

 

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Your Homicidols Weekender #196

Good morning! Did you all have a good week? Has the combination of heat waves and wildfires and heretofore unknown meteorological phenomena and the incredibly sad state of American politics managed to avoid dragging you down? Man I hope so. I have to admit that I’ve been feeling a little down lately myself. Call it Everything Sucks Syndrome. It’s okay to feel that way, but you have to be careful to not let it drag you further down.

I struggle with that sometimes, I do, and I know that I’m not the only person out there. I started following idol for the music almost six full years ago now, but it wasn’t until I needed it that I started to get closer to idol for the people, too. For all of the culture’s warts and unsavory-at-best worst elements, it is nonetheless filled to the brim with a relentless positivity that suffuses every surface around it, even if only an inch or so deep. The people who make these tunes and put on the weird performances we love, there’s just so much genuine try-hard energy to it, and usually so many not-so-secret absolute dorks involved, you almost can’t help but smile.

So while I hope there’s plenty for you to do and enjoy this weekend, I also hope as always that this Weekender and its collection of here-and-there pieces of idol-related good-and-badness will give you a nice little rise. I know that I always feel better after having set it up to publish!

Thanks for the Pep Talk

Our beloved weirdo YONEKO doing that dream pop thing:

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Weekend Livestream Spotlight: NECROMA + Cinema & Boy CQ, FruPoche, MANACLE, MELON BAT and a Birthday Bash

The weekend is supposed to be a time for relaxation, not uncertainty and difficult decision making. Unfortunately, there’s a fair share of both on The Calendar for this weekend.  We’re still awaiting ticketing details on a few promised shows while several A-listers are streaming lives head-to-head. I mean, it’s nice to have so many options but, a person should not be put in the position of having to choose between MANACLE, FRUITPOCHETTE and MELON BAT. That’s just cruel.

For a preview of the next few days of torment, here’s some of what’s being livestreamed from Japan this weekend: Continue reading

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Arrow Heart Is Still Alive and You Need to Appreciate That

Who among you who regularly read ol’ Homicidols Dot Com in the early days, when I posted any and everything and marveled at the very ability of idols to exist on this mortal plane, are still around to reminisce with me? Ah, the glory days, when Alice Project fanboys sock-puppeted their way to … something, and we did stupid things purely for the sake of trying something new. And, pertinently, they were the days when I was blown away in so many ways by the persistent presence of a little idol project called Arrow Heart.

Listen to this! I’d do anything for a clean recording to really appreciate it — as Phillter (remember Phillter?!) once put it, they’re basically FRUITPOCHETTE sans some polish. And the neat thing about idols, you don’t need them to rock the hell out to appreciate them, as demonstrated: Continue reading

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