After just over 10 years of delightful Shibuya-kei inspired pop mixed with electro excursions, Vanilla Beans officially announced that their disbandment will take place this October, ending with one final concert.
While I’d admit it’s not a terribly shocking turn of events, (They’ve mentioned the possibility previously.) it’s still a sad loss to those of us who always adored their harmonies and retro-cool aesthetic. They were, in a sea of idols, a very special group marching to their own drum.
I was first charmed by Vanibe way back in 2008, after seeing the MV for their second single “Nicola”.(Lisa was actually not part of the very early duo, but a girl named Rika.) I was instantly obsessed with the song, and it remains to this day among my very favorite pop tunes of all time. And MV was also sublime with it’s brilliant design and subtle humor. In short, it gently delivered what I consider to be a perfect capsule of pop. Vanilla Beans let me in on something exciting: “Idols” weren’t contained to the carefully constructed tropes I had pegged to the genre.
The best idol discoveries are the ones that happen because somebody you’ve been following for a while happens to suddenly appear in another project that they tweet about like it’s going out of style (and also are probably obligated so to do). I refer in this case to this young lady, who was out of nowhere tweeting about something called 99%LOVER (Twitter) about a month back, which led to a follow, which led to … well, like, you know how most of the time the big lure in idol music is either the music itself or the ability of said idols to actually sing said music? What about the times when it’s that, plus really cool and intense dance routines?
Well, well, I figured that since Maniac managed to be successfully pushed into featuring NEO JAPONISM on this here site, it was worth nagging him like the bratty child I am into covering another saving grace of the idol world. I ultimately failed.
Well, if you’re gonna be that way, I guess I’m now the WACK meme correspondent, the Up Up Girls correspondent, and the Bed In correspondent. Good luck on hearing anything about them, I forget about Up Up Girls news all the time.
So, who are exactly Bed In?
Goddesses, that’s who
The way I like to describe Masukodera Kaori and Chusonji Mai is that they’re like the fun boozy aunts of the idol world; a little older, a little raunchier, but everyone loves them.
Seriously, you probably already recognize them just because your faves have hung out with them at some point.
Or more like, have been squished by their cleavage at some point.
Self-proclaimed “Sexy Underground Idols” (though they’ve since had their major debut), Bed In’s two main gimmicks are their blatant sex appeal and their walking homages to the Bubble Era of 80s-90s Japan. And what happens when you combine those two things? Something so beautifully camp and trashy that it sends waves of joy the likes scientists have been trying to find for decades.
Of course, Kaori’s powerful vocals and Mai’s wonderful guitar playing also helps in that regard.
Ever since I discovered them I’ve wanted Bed In to become more well-known among western idol fans, so why not start with Homicidols? Whenever I’ve tweeted about them, I usually get responses like “Oh, it’s those girls! I keep seeing [Insert WACK idol here] with them!” and they deserve so much more recognition than that. While they may be a different kind of loud than a lot of the other girls we cover, they’re so much fun to watch and listening to them makes me feel ready to go to a stanky nightclub and slap a middle-aged pervert with my handbag.
But what does Maniac have to say about them? Come on dude, I’m not letting you get off that easy.
And with that, go follow their Twitter, get excited whenever your oshi tweets a photo with them and remember, they literally use phalluses as their idol penlight of choice (seriously, look at any pic from their lives. Unless you’re a child. I don’t want us to get sued).
Friends, I don’t know how to start or end this post, save for the title. I came home from Poppy’s show drunk, euphoric and feeling completely vindicated in having taken up this bizarre world as a hobby. I saw what idol is capable of in the United States.
I’ve extolled the virtues of Poppy before, and I’ve made a few passing attempts here and there to gin up a little more interest in her among idol fans — if it worked for you, I am happy; if it didn’t, you are bad. Two nights ago, I got to take in her show from the Poppy.Computer tour right in ol’ DC, and it was absolutely the experience that I wanted it to be.
Of course I did the VIP experience, which included some merch items but, more importantly, a chance to “meet the real Poppy” via a VR experience that I really wish I could show you, but, you know, VR. Just imagine a weird series of games and puzzles with no apparent point until Poppy and Titanic get sick of you — for instance, I don’t know if what I did with the ray gun was right, or with the key in the room with many doors, or what the weird icepick things were for, but it was fun. Continue reading →
One of the things about・・・・・・・・・ that’s so much fun is that they make you work for your fandom. Just like a David Lynch film, very little is spoon fed or easily explained, but rather you have to dig deep and figure it out for yourself. This makes each little bit of new information feel like an exciting discovery as you explore the mysterious waters of the・chans.
Previously, we’ve covered some insights into the group based upon studious research and also received some very kind help from wonderful people, both musicians and fans alike. And now, just the other day, the dotstokyo twitter posted an interesting set of links that brought about some new treasured tidbits of conceptual information and highlighted some of the group’s ambitions. Continue reading →
Let’s do a thing, shall we? Goodness knows that not a ton of other stuff is going on.
I was driving home the other night, enjoying satellite radio (one of the finest investments I’ve ever made, though my package depressingly does not include a J-anything channel), when a song that I’ve heard a few hundred times now came on. I’d never thought much about it other than “oh there’s that song again,” but something about my mood or the air or whatever made me notice something about the song.
I don’t know if anybody else feels that way, but I had this weird realization that I was almost listening to an idol song. Continue reading →
Another Oomori Seiko video is upon us, friends, and once again one of the truest maestros of the craft … well, it’s not quite as befitting this site as the last one, and I completely skipped over the video from last week because I just couldn’t, not even tongue in cheek, but I want you to really watch this one while listening intently to appreciate the talent on display.
The debut single from Up Up Girls (Kari)’s sister group/second generation/backup dancers came out yesterday, and to be honest, I was getting lazy in my Up Up Girls coverage, and after the music video for “Ninoashi DANCING” turned out to just be fairly standard idol fare, I banished it to the Weekender without giving it much thought. But here’s the most important thing to come from that: