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…
Well this turned out remarkably well, didn’t it? ZOC is … actually, I have no idea how to preface this. If you know ZOC, you know about all of the ZOC stuff most likely, and if you don’t know ZOC you may wonder why we like to talk about them. I find them an interesting between-the-lines act, as one would probably expect from a subversion-minded Oomori Seiko-led idol unit on a major label during this particular era, but it may well be the Seiko fact that keeps the whole thing from hilariously unraveling, as to say that one is a thing and then to be it are two very different things.
Anyway! New single, double A-side(?), out today but a couple of days’ existence for the two MVs in support, and as the title implies your own personal satisfaction mileage may vary depending on your a) taste and b) relationship toward the ZOC thing:
It’s not every day that we get new long form content from the underground idol scene, especially now that we are in this whole sanitary disaster. So it was with great curiosity that I rented Derek Vasconi’s first episode of his documentary series Flowers of Passion.
Derek Vasconi has made his mark in the idol scene through several ventures: he organized the East Meets West Music Festival, and went on to create the idol merch website Idol Underworld, which aims to make idol merch more accessible for overseas fans, as well as producing original merch, like the many idol exclusive photobooks. Idol Underworld also has a sister site called Cheki World, a second-hand market to allow oversea fans to sell and trade their covetable idol polaroids. Flowers of Passion is his first foray into film and his first documentary.
The hour long episode, first of a series of five, seems centered on the production and self-production aspect, as well as the historic roots of idols. It revolves mostly around Asakura Mizuho via Bellring Girl’s Heart & Saka-Sama, NaNoMoRaL, Usakura Beni from avandoned, and finally, Merry Bad End.
So if you recall from … not long ago, there was some trepidation among WACK wota when GO TO THE BEDS did a little promo clip of themselves in gasp! frilly little tradol outfits with egads! lame-ass boring tradol music tinkling in the background, and they were doing the ganbare fists and stuff. I think Coco may have blown a kiss at the camera unironically! For about 45 seconds, people were deeply concerned. Had Watanabe finally lost it?
And then people who were alive in 2012 and/or know anything about the history of the company that GO TO THE BEDS is part of and recall their past forays into revisiting music video content from said company’s legacy acts speculated that perhaps this was a play on the famed “IDOL” incident from 2012, and there was much nodding in agreement among us. We won’t be fooled by any simpering sparkly idols! Continue reading