As certain parts of the world is preparing for a heatwave this coming week, let the refreshing sight of Tsukishiro Himari having fun(?) in the ocean cool you down.
After years of silence, the Modern Freaks of “Chika” Idol Department in Japan re-emerged yesterday to drop a surprise announcement that rates as some of the biggest music news of the year: in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the debut of BELLRING Girls Heart, the legendary unit’s entire catalog will be made available via streaming.
— BELLRING少女ハート：公式 (@BRGHead) February 23, 2022
Never a dull moment at camp WACK eh? Their OG group has had a tumultuous but dynamic history, changing up their sound multiple times and doing some absolute insane stunts to get attention. That’s right, GANG PARADE are back from the dead with a new single and music video but this time, they aren’t planning on leaving.
Fingers Cross, the shoegazing idols from Thailand, are big faves with the Homicidols team. Really, we adore them! Cal wrote a great intro to the group, and later explored their willingness to tackle social issues with a boldness not usually associated with this genre of music. Aside from for their spectacular musical ventures, the very heart and spirit of these ladies makes for one of the more intriguing and exciting groups happening right now, and adding further proof that great idol music doesn’t end at the Japanese coastal waters.
And we’re not alone in noticing! Gerpfast Records out of Indonesia added them to their catalog of forward-thinking experimental artists. (They previously released tapes by RAY!*) Gerpfast is a label that reaches across a wide spectrum of audio treasures to release limited-edition, artfully-crafted cassette tapes, and this group suits the label’s vision perfectly. The six-song cassette is titled “Early Birth”...
Tokyo Idol Festival 2021 kicks off this Friday (aka “Thursday”, depending on what part of the world you reside in). This year, TIF will take place in front of live audiences again after 2020’s fully online festival. The iconic HOT STAGE, SKY STAGE and SMILE GARDEN are welcoming otaku back, this time with plenty of COVID protocols in place. For those of us who still can’t make it over to Odaiba, livestreaming ticket options are, thankfully, once again available.
The big question then becomes: is it worth shelling out $50 per day (or $130 for all three-days) when even Homicidols’ favorites with major label deals like Yanakoto Sotto Mute or three-time TIF alum BLACKNAZARENE didn’t land an entry on this year’s time table? Even established, alternative standouts like You’ll Melt More!, CYNHN and meme tokyo have been relegated to single 15-minute slots on the Nico Nico IDOL SHOWCASE among regional units and trad newcomers.
ATARASHII GAKKO! have a dropped a new MV and launched the world-wide distribution of “Pineapple Kryptonite”. Pineapple Superman is not amused.
The MV sees the New School Leaders battling a dog-napping space alien in a Southern California setting (I’m not sure how it survives MIZYU’s twin tail helicopter attack) while the tune takes them to some new musical geography as well. The verses of “Pineapple Kryptonite” are a moodier take on AG!’s signature blend of piano funk, acid jazz and hip hop before transitioning into a surprising, liquid drum & bass chorus. This is an ethereal, soulful vibe we’ve not experienced from the Leaders before.
I think at some point the Homicidols team developed an unspoken understanding that now matter how hard we try to keep up with chika idol and process things as they happen, we simply will never get to talk about everything that deserves attention. Sometimes we even get a mildly snarky comment about these injustices of omission, and I have to lower my head in shame and think, “Yeah, I know…”
I’ve got a mental list in my head a mile long of groups that I want to try to cover more, and here’s a big one right at the top: NILKLY. I went back and looked and there’s only one single article about them on the entire site that Maniac Emeritus had the good wisdom to write. What a crime!! I’m sorry to the group and I’m sorry to all of you!
When the original BiS arrived at their decision to disband wayyyyy back in 2014, did they ever consider how all the tangled strands of their legacy would branch out into a dozen hydra-like directions that each evolved into their own unique entities? In the moment, I recall my own bummed out reaction to the breakup quickly turning into eager excitement for the future as each member revealed their plans. There was LUI FRONTiC, Pla2me, BILLIE IDLE®︎, Tentenko’s solo experiments, and then there was one that really especially stuck out to me…. Koshouji Megumi’s newly announced “Book House Girl”, which promptly became the enigmatically named Maison book girl.
Well now. After a year of delays it finally happened and GANG PARADE are finally just another memory for all of us. But just because it’s a memory doesn’t mean it’s gone – the new GO TO THE BEDS song from their upcoming EP BLOOD COMPACT has a melody that you might have heard LAST time…