It was just over one week ago that MELON BATAKE A GO GO delivered their US debut performance at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona. Idols from outer space, Rutakame Run and Yuffie Sakimura, accompanied by human counterparts Tomoyo Chiyo and Usako Minano, delivered their unique fusion of rockabilly and punk idol to a raucous Friday night crowd followed by an extended weekend of activities documented here. As Saboten was winding down, I was able to sit down with the four sidekick idols and had a good long conversation about their first trip to America, their latest album, what it was like to be an idol during the pandemic and, the most important question of all, why “melon”? Continue reading
I apologize for not reporting in sooner but, quite frankly, I have been having too much fun at Saboten Con. It has been three years since the chika idol faithful gathered in the Arizona desert for Labor Day weekend and there was a palpable eagerness to reboot what had become (pre-COVID) an annual event for US idol otaku. It was a weekend filled with reconnecting, reminiscing, staying up late and waking up exhausted. That was all in addition to the main reason that brought us to Phoenix in the first place: the opportunity to spend four days with our favorite idols from outer space, MELON BATAKE A GO GO.
MELON BATAKE A GO GO have just announced that two new members will be joining the lineup. Kotomi Kuzuki and Usako Minano of sister unit The Grateful a MogAAAz will be joining the psychobilly sidekick heroes on a rotating basis.
For those of us who can’t currently get into Japan to see idols, we just got the best possible news: the idols are coming to us!! Chaotic Harmony have just announced that rockabilly idols from outer space, MELON BATAKE A GO GO will be making their US debut at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona this coming Labor Day weekend.
— めろん畑a go go (@MELONBATAKEAGO2) May 9, 2022
When future music historians look back at the history of the genre the English-speaking world, for lack of a better term, generally refers to as “Alternative Idol”, the decade of 2010 to 2020 will be seen as foundational. Underground idol in Japan has been around since at least the late 90s, hard rock composers were penning songs for idol units in the mid 2000s, and indie idol has probably existed since the birth of the idol genre itself. However, it was the year 2010 when the momentum of disparate events would begin to coalesce and eventually define the broad genre we know and love today. That year’s creation and subsequent seismic success of BiS and BABYMETAL would inspire the formation of hundreds of punk and metal idol units. At the same time, the zeitgeist of the early 2010s independently birthed several other less prominent but just as significant influences. Bellring Girls Heart, You’ll Melt More, Especia and others emerged to embrace an edgier and more avant-garde approach to idol, crafting the sounds and sensibilities of post- and pop-punk, new wave, techno and progressive rock into something entirely new. These early groups inspired both creative composers and adventurous music fans to embrace independent and underground idol as an effective medium for expressing almost every subgenre of rock, hip hop and electronica. Over the past decade, alternative Japanese idol has grown into a world class laboratory for the creation of some of the most innovative music on the planet. Continue reading
Gyuzo of the Tokyo Shock Boys but better known around these parts as the mad genius behind the Gyu Agricultural Festival aka Gyuno Fes aka the best recurring series of chika idol lives on the planet is making a movie!!
Tentatively titled IDOL NEVER DIES, the movie is described as a “youth fantasy” about an idol unit struggling to complete a music video on the day the world has been predicted to end. The cast of idols shooting this MV in the face of the apocalypse will include some familiar faces:
— ギュウ農フェス (@gyuno_fes) May 31, 2021
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
When Melon Batake a Go Go announced the other day that they would be holding auditions, one of the first responses in the Homicidols group chat was “Oh no, who’s graduating?”
Unfortunately, we now know that, not only was that very member Rukatama, but her departure is less of a pre-scheduled graduation and more she’s just up and left immediately without warning.
— めろん畑a go go (@MELONBATAKEAGO2) February 26, 2020
Ah, Melon Batake a go go. Remember last year, during Best Of season, when asses were shown in earnest by folks who couldn’t understand that a public process to select community favorites that they did not participate in themselves would fail to honor their favorite thing (Melon), and tried to make it as if there were some conspiracy on behalf of Team Homicidols, all of whom are unabashed lovers of Melon and want nothing but the best for them? That was fun.
The point is, we here at Homicidols Dot Com are very big supporters of Melon Batake a go go, and we have all been very happy to see their exposure grow by leaps and bounds ever since Brian first published about them ages ago. That said, we also try to avoid rose-colored glasses when regarding the things we like, so we’ve also been a little less than completely enthusiastic about everything that Melon’s done in more recent times, not because it wasn’t good but because it was getting kind of tired.
And so color me very pleasantly surprised when Melon — two weeks away from a very big one-man and accompanying single release — dropped said single via MV and left me slack-jawed and revising my internal narrative: Continue reading
So deep was I into enjoying not doing anything last week that I didn’t even see this latest little bit from Melon Batake a go go until a little bird said on Saturday morning that I should put them on the look-up list. And oh neat, there’s a new single coming what’s now a month from today, plus other stuff!
『FINAL GAME -Idol of The Phantasm-』
10/17(木) ZeppDiverCity TOKYO
チケット 3500円(+1D) 発売中!!
— めろん畑a go go@10/17 ZeppDCワンマン (@MELONBATAKEAGO2) September 14, 2019
Oh, and an MV out really early to sell it: Continue reading