Happy birthday to LiLii Kaona!! One of the most authentic and imaginative units in idol turned four years old on October1st and celebrated by sharing videos for two of their newest songs with us. “Fragile” is a transcendent example of organica, LiLiiKao’s signature blend of organic dream pop and electronic shoegaze. Coupled with the innovative visual storytelling, and “Fragile” has easily made my short list for Best MV of 2021.
When the original BiS arrived at their decision to disband wayyyyy back in 2014, did they ever consider how all the tangled strands of their legacy would branch out into a dozen hydra-like directions that each evolved into their own unique entities? In the moment, I recall my own bummed out reaction to the breakup quickly turning into eager excitement for the future as each member revealed their plans. There was LUI FRONTiC, Pla2me, BILLIE IDLE®︎, Tentenko’s solo experiments, and then there was one that really especially stuck out to me…. Koshouji Megumi’s newly announced “Book House Girl”, which promptly became the enigmatically named Maison book girl.
Cinema and Boy CQ just released their latest MV and it’s a phenomenal one.
The song is Tranquilizers no koibito (translated, as shown several times in the MV, to “The Lovers of Tranquilizers”) and the song was written by Yoko Hamasaki of Urbangarde fame.
By now most of you know that Kai, one of our favorite quirky oddball idols around these parts, has decided to step down from all activities. TRASH-UP!! Records released a statement late last week breaking us the news…
— trashup_records (@TrashupRecords) August 28, 2020
For a lot of us, this retirement of sorts is a more personal loss than usual in a business where graduations and disbandments are common events that we’ve developed an understanding and acceptance of. Kai was just something… well, unique, y’know? Aside from her fans, she’s also always been a consistent friend of idols. I can’t recall exactly how many times she showed up in my instagram feed having lunch with someone else I followed. Beni made a point to post her well-wishes and reminisce over some fond memories…
SAKA-SAMA is most-certainly an encapsulation of what we think of when we discuss the ups-and-downs and side-to-sides of this whole idol business. This group has run a full gamut of graduations and roster configurations, all while maintaining a musical vision that alters just as much as the member incarnations. There’s only one thing about the lo-fi dream pop idols that has stayed consistent, and that’s Suzuki Kokone, the leader and sole founding member of the group…
— タワーレコード錦糸町パルコ店 (@TOWER_Kinshicho) August 1, 2020
Kokone’s perennial presence in SAKA-SAMA has now paid-off for her (And for us, too.) with her first solo release! While Kokone has dabbled with some solo lives while playing her guitar, this marks the first actual catalogued TRASH-UP!! recording by her. (There may have been some solo CDRs sold at live shows perhaps, but I can’t quite recall.) “FEVER” is a six-track mini-album now available through TRASH-UP!!’s online store.
And right along with that welcome news, we’ve also been gifted this delightful MV of the title track! The video is very much in keeping with the sort of whimsy one would expect from a TRASH-UP!! solo artist. Tell ya what, why don’t give it a watch if you haven’t already…
Our number-one favorite coed-experimental-theatre-art-idol duo, Cinema and Boy CQ (You may call them Densho to shorten it.) have graced us with a new release! Following up their groundbreaking album The Soundtrack of Different Dimension Travel”, the pair have digitally unveiled their second full-length. due out on a physical disk on May 18.
For the more adventurous masses who yearn for bold, left-of-center experiences that push the edges of what one typically considers to be within the “idol” genre, this is the far and above one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2020. However, due to the recent historical-scale health crisis, this album was actually delayed slightly, but like all great art, it just simply wasn’t right to suppress work that yearns to be heard. And so Densho and TRASH-UP!! Records have generously gifted us this release in advance courtesy of digital streaming platforms, and you should by all means immerse yourself in this rich audio/visual journey…
♫This is Cinema and Boy CQ’s new album. “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”
— 【電影と少年CQ】Official (@cinemaboycq) May 1, 2020
The new album is called “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”, which right off the bat is a pretty cool sounding title that conjures up feelings hallucinatory projected images that match up (or even clash) with relaxed moments of solitude. It wouldn’t be the first time visual and audio art colluded to make for a serious headtrip, y’ know?
Anyway, right on cue with the new album, there’s also a couple of MVs to help get you in the Densho mood. First up is “No. 9”, directed by Yukkyun himself…
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!
HIJOKAIDAN + Okinawa electric girl Saya = SAYAKAIDAN!
Meiko Kaji! Female prisoner scorpion! "Grudge" revives in the 21st century!
— 沖縄電子少女彩 Okinawa Electric Girl Saya(彩階段CDリリース！) (@Tincy_saya) March 1, 2020
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…
When you’ve become fully ingrained into idol fandom, there’s certain inveitable events that you learn to anticipate and mentally prepare for, such as when a twitter account belonging to a group you love posts an image containing a stark few blocks of text. Yeah, you know the type of post I mean…
— avandoned (@avandoned_idol) January 31, 2020
This is idol, and this is the world we’ve put ourselves into, but it’s a little different when it’s a group that’s particularly dear to you. It’s more personal, more emotional, it’s something you feel inside your stomach. It’s understandable and okay. Continue reading
I was almost all the way out the door yesterday when Team began to rapidly hoot and holler their enthusiasm for a new thing from HAMIDASYSTEM, who it will not surprise you to learn will be appearing in the Homicidols Best of 2019 voting. Seeing as how I was on my way out the door, no man, no matter how much I love this impossible little art project, I wasn’t going to stop. There was pie at stake! And sweet potatoes and the like!
But now that it’s just me and the aftermath of my gluttony to deal with, I can take the time to appreciate what it was that folks were so smitten by, and–
It was just mere days ago we were talking about that wonderful footage of RAY performing live in Taiwan, and we took a moment to also mention that the group will also be releasing their first single/EP, entitled “Blue”. The release has lovely cover art and an extremely impressive roster of collaborators. Now we’ve been blessed with another highly anticipated track on the disk, “Meteor”, featuring an instrumental arrangement by Elliot Frazier of the highly regarded Austin band Ringo Deathstarr!