Today is January 6th, celebrated by many as the feast of Epiphany, commemorating the time when the Three Kings from the East brought gifts of Gold, Frankenstein and Meh to the God-cub Jesus, asleep in the hay. And today you, dear reader, get to feel two-thirds as special as the Holy Baby, for Two Queens from the East now shower you with two valuable presents.
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.
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
Nani’n’Nerun?, that sub-unit of the similarly fond-of-terminal-punctuation idols, You’ll Melt More! are one of the better things to emerge in 2020. Their name is a pun that sounds like “What do you do?” in Japanese, but that question mark conveys to me, a non-Japanese speaker, a sense of incredulity, as if I can’t quite believe what they have just done.
And I can’t quite believe what they have just done, which is to release a new album, six songs long but clocking in at a total of two minutes and thirty-two seconds. No that’s not per song, that’s the entire length of the album! It may sound like two teenage girls messing about with GarageBand but sometimes that’s exactly what we need and it’s also the sort of punk rock behaviour we cheer and clap for at Homicidols dot com. Short Short Songs 1 (and please God let there be a 2) is out now on your favourite digital music platform and you can listen to the entire thing in less time than it takes to read this article.
Thirty-three seconds longer than this album though, is their new single Sky Wah Wah, for which they’ve made another of their fun MVs:
Our fully comprehensive but not-too-throughly-serious retrospective of the first 50 (52 actually) MV’s by the always daring and darling YOU’LL MELT MORE! may have been wrapped up, but this blog has no plans to stop covering one of our personal favorite groups! Yea, verily, let it be known that as long as YMM! has the power to melt our hearts, we’re on board with them til’ the end!
Having gotten my opening declaration out of the way, let’s talk about what item has us here today: A terrific live performance of the bravest and most experimental idol unit returning to a band configuration that includes new members Nerun and Nani! This is also notable because Kechon gets to play an actual full drum kit while Younapi has cast aside her usual keytar for a nice n’ noisy guitar…
First off, I’m always very happy to see these ladies do their “band thing” and I’d be more than pleased if they did it more frequently. Are they the most polished and slick band around? Heaven’s no and thank goodness for that! There’s already a a few hundred too-slick, booooooring, over-produced bands on the planet, and who really needs another one on that forgettable heap? Personally, I’m from the Shaggs School of Primitive Rock and this scratches that itch wonderfully.
You can sense the slightly tense concentration here as the group does something they don’t do that often, but that tension is tempered with a shot of joy and fun that keeps this from feeling awkward and forced like a music school recital. You can get a feeling of quiet satisfaction in Kechon as she keeps up the time on the drums, like a personal battle is being won, while Younapi becomes giddy as she shifts from playing simple chords to let loose on a chaotic Jojo Hiroshige-esque guitar solo. I also love the way Chiffon not-quite-so-discreetly sneaks across the stage to get her own little shot at making some guitar noise too…
— ゆるめるモ！ (@ylmlm_staff) August 21, 2020
And then there’s our two new members, “Song of the Summer 2020” nominees Nerun and Nani… Being so relatively green, they perhaps haven’t gotten a crack at an instrument yet, but they do a great job of offering vocals and even a little of back-up percussion including yes, a glorious cowbell! And then Nerun pulls out a recorder (most infamous instrument in the world) and manages to play it in a non-irritating fashion, which is certainly no small feat!
It’s a short, breezy video that goes by fast, but I think it’s most certainly brought us a few minutes of positive cheer. Hopefully we’ll get a another reward like this soon, and goodness knows I hope we can get more ep/MV/singles from YOU’ll MELT MORE! before the year is over. We need all the good vibes we can get!
With this spirit in mind, and a realization that summer is rapidly coming to a close (and heading into an uncertain Fall) here’s one more live blast of Yurumerumo! to take us out…
Welcome to part 52 of our increasingly inaccurately named “50 YMM MVs” series, but unless they drop a fifty-third one in the next twenty-four hours – a not completely remote possibility – then we have at last reached the finale.
I don’t know whether we won anybody over to the You’ll Melt More! fandom or whether anyone managed to stick with our coverage until the end but we had fun revisiting all their music videos anyway. We finish with their latest one, from about three weeks ago – Mou Innai Ringo Ame (No More Thanks Candied Apple):
Yes, it was inevitable that if we did a feature on all the music videos of a group well known for being prolific producers of music videos, then there was a high chance of more music videos being released in the middle of our coverage. So now we enter extra time in our You’ll Melt More! chronicles with the MV for Yuru-bics!
Here’s a little back-story on the 50 YMM! MVs project: We actually started coordinating this quite a few months ago ! We had begun writing the earlier MV articles well-before MV #50 had dropped . So at one point, we were watching YMM!’s social media daily waiting for the 50th MV to finally show up so we could begin publishing. We waited…. and waited….
You know what held us up? Yep, Covid-19.
The virus has indeed changed everything in our routine. Some things are rather mundane and inconvenient, and some have been very heavy on our personal lives. The idol industry isn’t on a par with caregivers, but it most certainly touches our spirits and often means a lot to us, so to see it affected by all this was surreal and often disconcerting. In the case of YOU’LL MELT MORE!, Younapi‘s graduation plans were altered and the possibility of concerts were dashed. And with our quarantine needs interrupting the ability to shoot a bonfire MV, YMM!, and many other idols came up with a new way of reaching out to socially distanced fans: A Quarantune, if you will...
Sadly after over three years with a stable line-up, Ano suddenly withdrew unexpectedly from You’ll Melt More! in late September 2019. We were left to wonder what the future held for the group after the loss of such a popular member. Then on New Year’s Eve, we got…this thing:
The hell was that?! Anyway we’ve decided not to count it in our list, not because it’s, er, special, but because the group’s Youtube account filed it under their commercials/announcements playlist and not their MV one. Instead YMM MV #49 is Surpriser, from February of this year.
We’re almost at the end of our journey, so what better way to celebrate than by being launched into space to dance with You’ll Melt More?
It’s Day 47 of the 50 YMM! MV marathon, and today we’re watching the MV for “Gachigaki”, in which the girls trade-in their Patty Hearst-esque revolution chic outfits and now dress like street hooligans as they deal with the seedy side of late-night urban Japan…