Catch Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s Final Live this Weekend

Yanakoto Sotto Mute will be holding their final one-man live this weekend before disbanding the current line-up.  The band-set is taking place this Sunday evening (Japan time) and will be livestreamed via Zaiko.

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Yanakoto Sotto Mute to Fall Silent

Winter turns to spring. The cherry blossoms bloom and fall. Idol units form and disband. It is the natural cycle of seasons.

… but it doesn’t make it any easier.

It’s been almost six years since Maniac dubbed Yanakoto Sotto Mute “the Perfect Modern Idols”, five years since they dropped a near perfect album in Bubble, three-and-a-half years since this happened,

and two years since their excellence was recognized with a well-deserved major label debut. Continue reading

PIGGS Are Dropping a New Album in December

PIGGS are dropping a new album just in time for Christmas. JUICYY, their first album since adding KINCHAN as a member, will be released on December 22nd. 

Here’s a teaser:

The album will include 13 total tracks: six new tunes and seven re-recordings of previous songs with the current lineup. From the above preview, it sounds like the “JUICYY.ver” tracks are slightly new arrangements in addition to incorporating KINCHAN’s vocals.  Continue reading

The 50 Greatest Alternative Idol Albums of the Last Decade: #21 – 30

We have hit the half-way point of our attempt to capture some of the greatness that the alternative, indie and underground idols of Japan have contributed to the world over the past ten years. If you would like a recap of the methodology we used to arrive at the album rankings, please visit week one’s installment. If you missed last week’s post or want a refresher of the albums that placed 31st – 40th, you can find that here.

Now, on with the next ten albums in the countdown plus one honorable mention that fell just a little bit short of the top 50:

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Our Cup Runneth Over with New Yanakoto Sotto Mute

The perfect modern idols have a new single on the way! That isn’t new-news, but I needed an easy intro. So: New single. Next week. This is excellent. I’m genuinely surprised every time I see it referred to as their second major — the timeline’s broken, see — but not half as surprised as about the live-fan-comment-MV-clip-reveal thing they did last week*, a neat gimmick if nothing else.

The official release is Wednesday, but yesterday we were graced with the MV and of course it’s just the most YSM thing you can possibly imagine:

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Your Homicidols Guide to Tokyo Idol Festival Online 2020

Attending the Tokyo Idol Festival has always been on my bucket list. The primary barrier for me had been, having grown up in the Sonoran desert, a complete lack of tolerance for the humidity levels of Odaiba during Japan’s late summer. Hope was kindled in my desert rat heart when it was announced that TIF 2020 would be held in October when the heat and humidity is much less gruesome. This hope was, of course, dashed completely by the COVID crisis. TIF organizer’s decision to deliver the festival entirely online for 2020 has generated a new kind of hope. This livestream format gives many of us foreigners the opportunity to check “Attended Tokyo Idol Festival” off our bucket lists, even if the accomplishment will have a COVID-shaped asterisk next to it.

https://twitter.com/TIP_TIF_staff/status/1306865546625859586?s=20

Whether you have already invested in tickets to Tokyo Idol Festival Online or are considering the reasonably hefty purchase, we have prepared the following resources for you.  Continue reading

IDOL is STILL ALIVE: Gyuno Fes is Live-Streaming Your Favorites on Nico Nico

Once upon a time, the plan was for this to be a bucket-list-level weekend. I was supposed to wake up in Tokyo this morning and hit Cinema and Boy CQ’s second anniversary live in Shimokitazawa before heading off to Hanako-San’s Death Day celebration and album release event. After a good night’s sleep, I was going to spend Sunday at day two of the Gyuu Agricultural Festival, aka Gyuno Fes (chika idol’s answer to Coachella) which was celebrating it’s fifth anniversary with an epic line-up of 50+ units that read like a Who’s Who of Homicidols

That was before the international travel warnings were issued, concerts were cancelled and new terms were added to our vocabulary like “social distancing” and “PPE”.

The only upside to all of this pandemic brouhaha is the dramatic increase in the number of chika idol live streams. So, even though I didn’t get to fly to Japan and attend Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s major label debut concert in person, I did get to watch it live from my living room.

And now we can all experience Gyuno Fes the same way!! Although the two-day festival has been postponed indefinitely, the organizers will be broadcasting a defiant “IDOL is STILL ALIVE” version of the event live on Nico Nico several hours from now. Continue reading

Celebrate Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s Major-Label Debut with a Live-Streamed Band Set

Yanakoto Sotto Mute make their major label debut tomorrow (March 25th) and, to celebrate, have invited us all to a live band set!! Can’t make it to Japan? No problem! Because of stupid corona virus the concert is a live-streamed event via the Internet and you can buy tickets with PayPal.

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Yanakoto Sotto Mute Launch “Afterglow” MV and Digital Single

At midnight Japan time, Yanakoto Sotto Mute released the MV for their major label debut single, “Afterglow”. 

Bask in it.

It’s beautiful.

The costumes. The strings. Nade-chan eating a rose; Mani eating marbles; Ichika hitting the high notes; Tsukasa with a bucket on her head. It’s all gorgeously absurd and near perfection. Continue reading

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Get Retrospective While Unveiling the Future in “Layline” MV

In a last ditch effort to demonstrate that we deserve good things in 2019, Yanakoto Sotto Mute are ending the year with an MV for Layline, #3 in their “NINE” series of singles.

Scholars of Yanamute will notice the settings of past MVs Lily, Any, Holy Grail, Awake and Morning pelting by accompanied by flashes of the imagery from “Bubble” and “Mirrors”. This 4:44 MV pays homage to virtually all of the motifs of the past while incrementally constructing a vision of Yanamute’s future. The end finds the trio back on the set of Horoscope, Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s very first MV, as they are joined by their newest member and finally head to the stage as a quartet once again.  For fans, this MV is a seismic landmark and it helps that Layline is one of the best of the “NINE” tracks YSM has been quietly releasing over the past few months. 

The MV though is in danger of being upstaged by the group’s big reveal. You recall a couple weeks ago when Yanamute dropped a teaser trailer on us without even enough info to know how to spell their new member’s name? Now we finally got the deets:

Meet Rin Tsukasa. She would like you to call her, “Tsukasa”.

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