I’ve been on the lookout for good summertime best-of candidates around the idolverse the past few weeks — our pal N.FENI sort of stole a lot of that thunder though — and frankly coming up kind of short. Am I crazy? I feel like it was normal in the past for even the alt/chika scene to get a few good candidates (even if they were piss-takes) into the mix, and this year just not so much. Pandemic? Olympics? Everybody forgot how calendars work?
Anyway, not a whole lot has happened this week, but our well-loved pals in NELN did drop an album the other day (stuff we know, though), and along with it a new single that … no, screw it, I already ruined the pun.
MERRY BAD END has been invited to perform as the featured artist in the latest installment of streaming music and arts event, Digital Scene.
Digital Scene is the brainchild of Baltimore-based OTS Productions and Montgomery Drive. As they describe it: “The concept behind Digital Scene is to bring people together by virtual collaboration from around the world. We strive to present different experiences with each edition of the series.” Version 4.0 featuring MERRY BAD END will be streaming on Twitch TV next Friday, July 24th at 8:00 pm EST (9:00 am JST). Continue reading
Well, right here in this very spot today, gang, was supposed to be this big primer post for the Tokyo Idol Festival, who to see and where and when. You’ve seen them before if you’ve been around for a while. They’re usually fun to put together, doubly so because they inform how I’m going to be taking in the festival myself, via completely legal and legitimate means and don’t you dare suggest otherwise ha. But like so much else these past several months, that fell by the wayside for want of time. Boo.
Good thing for us that one of the very best things in all of idol this year (and frankly maybe last year too) hit the waves a couple of days ago, and while it took me a couple of days to catch up to it, what Maison book girl is doing here is one of their all-time best things, aurally on point and as perfect a visual accompaniment as you’re likely to get, period. I mean, just soak this in:
First, apologies that it’s a little short. Translation difficulties I alluded to elsewhere meant that the chat was not as free-flowing as I had hoped. But hey, isn’t this the first post-Necronomidol interview with Sari?I’m pretty sure it’s the first one in English, so let’s claim that. Friends, Romans, countrymen: Homicidols.com presents…
THE FIRST POST-NECRONOMIDOL INTERVIEW WITH SARI (in English)!
In this current early 2019 period of disbandments, graduations and letdowns, a favourite from all the way since the birth of Homicidols has instead gone down an opposite route. Herself being a victim of the “start of the year curse” just last year, Yoneko has been buckling down hard to make sure there’s at least one idol providing consistent positivity through the tides of bad news from other performers. In just three months, Yoneko has graced us with a digital single, three CD-Rs, a fantastic collaboration with FEATURES and three music videos.
Most recently, she has been making a passionate effort to reach out to her fans outside of Japan, turning her into a beloved figure amongst the western idol fandom almost overnight.
She’s even going through the trouble of setting up a Bandcamp for overseas fans, despite the burden being so tedious it led her to drop a curse word or two!
As she welcomed her overseas fandom with open arms, Yoneko expressed her interest in being interviewed by foreign blogs. And, well, as a foreign blog that has followed her career since 2016, how could we not take such an opportunity? And so, via a few email exchanges, Yoneko was more than happy to answer some of our questions. Continue reading
Have you ever wanted to interview an idol? Yes, I’m sure that you have. What about somebody who’s idolicity is a little here and there, but who does things that you like? And what if it’s virtual? Or what if it’s virtual in the sense that you’re not only not in the same place, but that your questions are posed not even by you, even though they’re yours, so in fact you are doing the interviewing!
Such is the opportunity presented here and now by Chaotic Harmony, the fine people behind this merch stuff and also bringing Candye Syrup (right!) and SENANAN, who this is all about, to the United States last summer. Daemon had a nice encounter with the young lady; this could be your chance to contribute to the next knowledge transfer:
Seriously though, follow those instructions; this opportunity expires tonight! And then think about going to see SENANAN in person in Tulsa next year!
Daemon‘s had himself one hell of an idol-meeting August, friends, and the still-not-last entry from his fine run of work is this interview with SENANAN. Kudos to D, thanks to Hailey at Chaotic Harmony for booking and translating, and of course big thanks to Senanan!
There is a Circle K in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, down the street from the Sheraton Grand Hotel that hosts Saboten Con each year over the Labor Day weekend. Many customers and con-goers who happened to pop into the convenience store during this past convention encountered a stunned clerk who could not stop telling each and every one of his customers about his unforgettable encounter with an energetic young Japanese woman who had reacted to the place like it was a Disneyland theme park. He would tell how she had come into the store like a tornado, about her joyful exclamations in Japanese to all the glowing lights and colors, how she marveled at the 12-foot-long fountain drinks bar before purchasing a mountain of Monster energy drinks, all pink or blue food items on offer, and then bounced off into the darkness.
The young woman the clerk had encountered that night was Senanan (stylized, SENANAN), who also documented her Circle K adventure on her Twitter feed. That this five-minute encounter turned into an unforgettable moment the clerk was compelled to share with anyone who would listen (possibly, to this day) should not be surprising. While Senanan is a singer, DJ, model, fashion designer, and social media personality, at her core she is primarily an unstoppable ball of charismatic energy.
Fans of chika idol may have become aware of Senanan because of her connections to the creative team supporting kawaii-punk idol unit Candye Syrup. She is highly active on several social media platforms, often with (former) mermaid-blue member Mai-chan in tow. She is also a manager and buyer for Candye Syrup boutiques and well known for cultivating a unique fashion footprint in the hyper-competitive world of Tokyo Street fashion. Senanan’s aesthetic infuses traditional Chinese fashion elements with Western sportswear and yume kawaii. It’s a unique, and comfortably wearable, combination of Western kakkoii and Japanese kawaii with the Chinese elements providing a playful, throwback twist. Continue reading
In one of the weirdest honors ever accidentally given to anybody, fate just so happened to twist in a direction by which Candye Syrup’s final-ever media appearance happened in the United States, and in a Homicidols sit-down executed by your friend and mine @DaeMetal
Idols are illusionists. Continue reading
This past weekend, our man Daemon hit up the East Meets West Music Fest; with Monsterpanda in tow as translator, he sat down with literally three of this site’s all-time favorite idols. Today, we have his report back from entering the holiest of holies with Yanakoto Sotto Mute, the perfect modern idols.
Talking to the people waiting for the doors to Anaheim’s Chain Reaction to open for East Meets West Fest, it became apparent that the one group over from Japan that people were least familiar with was Yanakoto Sotto Mute. Even though their debut, “Bubble”, was on several websites’ Album of the Year lists for 2017, and their follow-up Mirrors is a contender for the current year, Yanamute still seems fly under the radar for some Western fans of chika idol. One person in line behind me said he had intentionally avoided listening to them. “I don’t want to know anything about them,” he said, “I want to experience them raw for the first time.”
While a part of me envied him that imminent experience, I was also a little concerned. Yanakoto Sotto Mute can be a lot to take in all at once. Their music is complex: Rife with signature, tempo and key changes while their vocals play with harmony and dissonance. Their dancing is like a more contemplative version of Mikiko-sensei’s gesture-based choreography and can seem more focused on expressing internal dialogue than generating audience participation. But for all of the brooding introspection, Yanamute’s performances also contain frequent, audience-churning moments of fierce and inspired joy.
A few hours prior, we had been given the opportunity to speak to Yanamute’s Nadeshiko, Mani, Ichika and Rena about their impending debut American performance. As we were led in to meet them, the quartet were dressed in their signature white costumes, each cut to a distinct and individual pattern. Much like their music, they came across as both bright and introspective; contemplative and friendly. And just a little nervous. Continue reading
This past weekend, our man Daemon hit up the East Meets West Music Fest; with Monsterpanda in tow as translator, he sat down with literally three of this site’s all-time favorite idols. Today, we have his report back from crossing paths — and surviving — with Hanako-san.
On the morning of the opening day of the East Meets West Music Fest, we are directed to a rehearsal studio that sits among the warehouses of industrial Anaheim. Far from Disneyland but about a mile from Chain Reaction, site of festival itself, the studio’s walls are plastered with photos of The Dickies, Agent Orange, Voodoo Glow Skulls and other indie icons of Orange County. Over a door with a hand written sign that reads “Control Room” is a doodle signed by Derek Riggs, the artist who created Iron Maiden’s mascot “Eddie”. While the place doesn’t exactly feel haunted, we are led through the door next to the control room to conduct a face-to-face interview with a blood-drenched ghost visiting all the way from Japan.
14th Generation Hanako-san of the Toilet is a 404 year-old youkai (ghost) who haunts fourth-floor bathrooms and performs as a solo punk idol. As she explains in the intro to her shows by holding up sign boards to the audience: “My head has been cut off. I cannot speak. But I can sing.” And sing she does in a brittle, child-like voice, but more significantly, she screams. Of all the harsh vocalists in chika idol, Hanako-san is perhaps the most natural screamer. Her screams are primal and ferocious and seem to come out of her more effortlessly than clean vocals.
Upon introduction to Hanako-san, she comes across as schoolgirl-cute in her signature red and white complete with a shiny red randoseru (the iconic backpack for Japanese schoolchildren). She is as unfailingly polite as any Japanese idol would be and often bursts into sincere giggles. The only indication that we are in the presence of something more ominous are her bandaged neck, blood-red eye and eyepatch, and the bloodstains patterning her white shirt and socks.
Hanako-san’s visit to America is not only the first time that she has been outside of Japan, but the first time she has ever been on a plane. My first question to her is to see how she is adjusting. Continue reading