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!
They’ve released a first MV, which is also our first look and listen at what the group is going for sound and vision-wise, and that’s the best place to get started. A lot of you Melon fans have probably already checked it out as quickly as I did, but ultimately I have only my own first impression to go by, which was a resounding…
One of my personally most-anticipated idol events of the year isn’t TIF, or Jam Expo. It doesn’t even even feature performances for that matter. For me, it’s the annual collaboration between TRASH-UP!! Records and Tokyo’s Mograg Gallery, “Art and Idol”, now in it’s third incarnation! It’s a simple and irresistible premise, an art show where all the art is created by idols. Now it’s it’s third edition, it’s fantastic to see this event be so successful and well-regarded.
When you think about it, it’s a perfect idea because the idol world is packed with wonderfully artistic talent who are always pursuing multiple ways to express themselves. As it’s been covered before in this blog, idols, especially within the chika circles, are multi-layered creatives who consistently deliver an entire package of intriguing work beyond singing and dancing.
With previous showings, it’s been the practice to keep the artwork under wraps until the opening, and then after a few days, images of the participant’s artwork pops up online via social media. I find it fascinating to see what the idols came up with, and in some cases, it’s illuminating to see their creative output because it offers a new peek into their personalities. Other times, it’s just cheeky fun. (Like the time the Dot-chans presented miniature terrariums with chirping crickets inside!) But regardless of what they do, it’s never boring. Continue reading →
So if you’re keeping track, so far Melon Batake a go go have been:
The Idol From Outer Space
Idol of the Wilderness*
Idol From Another Planet
…and as we see in this MV, they’re also the “Idol From Plan 9”!
We already know the psychobilly-flavored song (which is terrific!) because it’s a track included on their album “Ikasuze Idol 1.2.3!!’ released early in the year, so for the purposes of this article, let’s discuss the video. This has got the same inherent DIY quality that’s charmed us with their previous MVs. It’s low-budget, spontaneous, and you can very plainly see the members of the group are having a lot of fun. That’s really all you need, y’know? Continue reading →
Just a few months ago, Homicidols published a profile of fans-turned-promoters bringing alternative idols to the Western World. Looking back now, the article is a bit embarrassingly anglo-centric. Unbeknownst to us at the time, a group of Italian-speaking fans were putting the finishing touches on their own considerable efforts to launch an alt-idol festival in Italy. When the final lineup for the event was revealed in mid-February, it was clear that there was a new and significant player in the business of importing underground Japanese idol to the West.
Seemingly overnight, the hardol diaspora had grown another tendril.
On May 11th in Bologna, Italy, Monster of Dolls will play host to alt-idol A-listers LADYBABY, the Western debut of JyuJyu, and an appearance by the legendary Sari of NECRONOMIDOL fame. The event’s biggest coup, however, is scoring the first ever overseas live for perhaps the hottest chika idol act in Tokyo: Melon Batake a go go.
The appearance of this top-tier alt-idol festival, seemingly out of nowhere, was the most pleasant of surprises. Our curiosity was piqued, not just about the cost of plane tickets to Italy, but also about the festival itself, the brains behind it, and about the Italian-speaking fandom whose presence we had been totally ignorant of until now. So we reached out to our new Italian allies in the quest to bring alt-idol to the West in the hopes that we could learn all we could.
We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Well, “on the way” is relative I guess, because it already arrived on Soundcloud yesterday, and “new” is true in the absolute sense but not for long because *trumpeting herald* Melon Batake a go go’s first major-label album, IKASUZE IDOL 1.2.3!! is literally right around the corner. However, the point of the post is that Melon gave us yet another track from it as a preview, and yes, it is indeed rip roarin’:
I love how Melon’s average track length is shorter than the time it takes me to write a typical Maniac sentence
If you like this, or you consider yourself a Melon fan, you need to go get this album when it’s available. It’s a major — we can help a beloved chika darling rise and break out if we support them on their big-time label! And wouldn’t it be neat if a group of idols dressed like superheroes roleplaying as interplanetary, uh, heroes performing horrorcore takes on surf rock and the like were the breakouts to prove the rule!
DEAR IDOLS, STOP RELEASING COOL THINGS WHEN I’M TRYING TO NOT DO IDOL STUFF FOR A MINUTE. LOVE, MANIAC.
Jeez louise, you guys, can somebody please send a memo to Japan that this isn’t the time to be releasing or teasing or even suggesting the possibility of existence of new stuff? Give it a week! But no, I jest — foolish indeed is the idol fan who bemoans receiving the goods at any time, and Melon’s been on a roll as they prep for their first major (I know!) album release, Ikasuze Idol 1,2,3!!, next month.
The last coupleof entries were right in the usual Melon Batake a go go theme of “throwback rock and -abilly even and stuff that goes right into our anachronistic theme of space alien superhero girls and monster movies and stuff,” but this one, you must hear to believe, throws that concept right at a wall of latter-era rock sound and forces you to hold on, and it’s great! Continue reading →
Everyone’s favorite psychobilly melon idolsfrom outer space have returned with another MV! This time it’s “SICK IDOLS” which is the lead-off track to their album IKASUZE IDOL, which technically is already floating around in a live-show only CD form, but next month will see major-label distribution (with more tracks and and a “1.2.3!!” added onto the title.) via Columbia Japan Records. Go get yer popcorn and dig in…
It’s a terrific song! But y’know what’s great about this video? It’s a perfect example of what you can do without spending a ton of money and relying on a lot of heart to make fun things. Just like the b-movies that the Melon girls wink at, there’s a spirit here that big bucks and CGI just can’t match. Continue reading →