We Review Things: BiSH | ‘CARROTS and STiCKS’

BiSH - CARROTS and STiCKS

Sitting down to a first listen of the fifth BiSH album, CARROTS and STiCKS, the big question is: Which BiSH will predominate? The brazen punks who got kicked out of Tokyo Idol Festival? The potential game changers who released a two-minute thrash punk single as their major label debut? Or the commercial idols who promote cell phones and sing anime theme songs?

We know the punk is still in BiSH as demonstrated every time they let Ling Ling center and she does the emotional equivalent of kicking your teeth down your throat. At the same time, it’s hard to give punk cred to a group that’s signing exclusive deals with Apple to restrict the digital distribution of their own music. I certainly won’t begrudge a person for making a living off their art, especially in the crap ass world of Japanese entertainment where the vast majority of power and profits are concentrated in the hands a few management moguls who are far less benevolent than BiSH’s boss-who-we-love-to-hate, Junnoske Watanabe. And it’s not like those of us who have climbed aboard the BiSH train can cry about genre, aesthetic or ideological purity anyway. Watanabe has never hidden the fact that he is punk in the same way that Malcolm McLaren was punk: thumbing the nose of a conservative society is good fun and all, but only if you can make a buck (pound or yen) doing it.

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Get Your Zekkyou Fix While You Can, For the End Is Nigh

And thus we add another project’s corpse to the pile created by this brutal year.

You probably saw the recent hubbub around Montero, the half of Screaming Sixties who did not get to perform in the UK last year (though we did chat with Kai), who announced that she was pregnant. While this was remarkable in itself — not because an idol clearly had a sex life, but because it was received mostly positively by fans of all stripes — and I was halfway to writing up a thing in relation to that, yesterday brought forth what’s probably the logical conclusion to the whole affair; Zekkyou’s putting an end to things after a one-man at the beginning of September:

Here’s Kai’s reaction: Continue reading

Man, Malcolm Mask McLaren Makes Music Mucho Merry

Vintage MMM with Ai and Mone and Nao was one of my low-key favorite things in idol (and Ai was one of my favorite people), and they established the formula (beginning around here IIRC); the new members had big personality shoes to fill, but getting right as distinct an identity in a field that’s all about identity? Bigger job. They’ve done it well so far; now does the latest single hold up?

You’re darn tootin’! Continue reading

I Tried to Tell You People about buGG

A quick post before I get dragged back into the day-to-day, and yeah I’m a little bit late on it shut up you should see my Soundcloud stream right now. But! So buGG, who I only just praised and held up as a thing worth getting into, uncorked another song the other day and were so kind as to share it with us:

Here’s the obligatory live clip of the same:

I’m yet to dislike a single thing from this company. It’s like they paint in Things That Please Maniac.

Because the World Needs More Like buGG

It’s quiet out there. Too quiet! Somebody went and twisted around the spring timeline to drop us into the middle of idol doldrums right smack dab in the middle of what used to be a pretty exciting time. Boo on that! So let’s get back to fundamentals for a minute and do what Homicidols Dot Com used to be really good at — looking at new and of-limited-discovery idol projects!

Here’s one that’s been on my personal radar for a few months (this draft was in the queue as of Dec. 28, 2018!), one that quite literally popped up due to a recommendation-by-affiliation with some personal favorite stuff but that I, being occasionally dense and consistently lazy, didn’t draw out completely until much more recently. They have a fun name (that reminds me of this, you’re welcome) and seem like a fun time and in fact aren’t “new” at all so much as they’re probably unfamiliar to most of us — it’s buGG (Twitter), and here’s their newest song!

Here it is live: Continue reading

We Review Things: Screaming Sixties | “Zetsu”

Zetsu is an 18-track epic from two of the greatest warriors in chika idol.  Since forming in 2014, Montero and Kai of Zekkyosuru 60 Do, aka Screaming Sixties, have driven enough miles to circumnavigate the globe twice while performing approximately 300 gigs a year. And that isn’t hyperbole.

The next time you find yourself in Japan you can be certain that, somewhere, Screaming Sixties are performing a show and you need to get to whatever city they’re playing in because that’s why they made Shinkansen.

Before I get into the review itself, I want to make sure I don’t bury the lede: This is an essential album that you need to purchase immediately!

If you have any thoughts of picking up Zetsu (and you should), you need to open the website of your Japanese music retailer of choice and order it today. Most sites are starting to flag this CD as back-ordered and, if history repeats itself, once the first pressing of this CD is sold old, the only place you will be able to find it is at a Zekkyo60 live.  Also note: most retail sites won’t recognize “Screaming Sixties” as the group name so you will need to search on Zekkyosuru 60 Do or 絶叫する60度 . Continue reading

Burst Girl Announce Plans to Kick Your Ass: New Members and Album Are on the Way

Everyone’s favorite throwback punk unit closed out their crowdfunded nationwide tour in Shibuya on Sunday night at the ironically and appropriately named live house, Chelsea Hotel (ofc. the Chelsea Hotel in New York City is where Nancy Spungen died of a knife wound in the room she shared with Sid Vicious). At the close of the show, Burst Girl dropped a couple of serious announcements.

Serious Announcement 1:

Burst Girl are looking for some new burst girls and boys. Seriously, they specifically mention that there is no gender requirement.  Desired qualifications do include being 16 to 26 years old, eating rice everyday, possessing the ability to add and subtract and desiring to sweat a lot.  Auditions are open until May 6th. Continue reading

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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