We See Idols: WACK in the UK – Show Report

It has been just over a week since WACK in the UK and, yes, I’m just now getting around to hitting the “Post” button on this piece. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is DayJob® which has been crazy busy and eaten up all my time since I got back to the US, primarily because I took almost a full week off to go to the aforementioned WACK in the UK. But DayJob® pays me money that allows me do things like travel to other countries and see idols, so I must give it my attention. The other reason is that what started off as a straight-up show report kept growing and morphing into what is really at least two if not three different articles. At Papermaiden’s suggestion, I will now focus on the show itself and get this thing published before WACK in the UK 2: Electric Boogaloo has come and gone.

ASP in the UK – Historical Photo

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We Interview Idols: Tokyo Psychopath

Tokyo Psychopath, the fashion punks who place an emphasis on free expression above all else, are proving to be one of the most iconoclastic and, possibly, important units in underground idol. They stood out upon inception as an idol unit that allowed members to openly smoke, drink, and display the their heavily tattooed selves while pledging to be the “the most crazy punk group.” They soon became a staple of Tokyo street fashion social media and were even featured in Vogue Japan as examples of, “the new generation who are not afraid to be different and continue to pursue their own individuality.” Since then, Tokyo Psychopath have pushed the boundaries of self expression even further, not only through their music and fashion, but also through their personal statements, emerging as one of the very few idol units in Japan with openly LGBTQ+ members.

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Goodbye BiSH: A Retrospective

BiSH officially disbands today, June 29th, following their last live at the Tokyo Dome. Like the members in their final official portrait (see the banner image above), the most commercially successful unit in the history of WACK ends their existence virtually unrecognizable (other than Atsuko’s glasses) from the fierce punks with all the naïve promise in the world who were booted from the 2015 Tokyo Idol Festival. While our attention on BiSH has waned over recent years as their music leaned more and more mainstream, our affection for the group and it’s multi-talented members has never wavered. Unfortunately, neither has our disappointment that BiSH, in their eight years of existence, never performed an overseas live.

It is hard to not to fantasize about what could-have-been with a BiSH that didn’t sign to AVEX and subsequently focus the entirety of their attention on expanding their appeal at home at the expense of international ambitions. But then again, a BiSH that didn’t sign to a major domestic label could not have evolved into the significant force in J-Pop music, fashion, and culture that they ultimately became. As Cal reminds me: 

“BiSH ARE one of the most popular groups in Japan with a diverse range of punk and pop rock songs who changed the world for the better.”

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Hey America: Let’s get Ready for CHICKEN BLOW THE IDOL

We are less than one week away from CHICKEN BLOW THE IDOL landing on American shores for their US debut. 

This coming Sunday, May 14, CHICKEBLO will be appearing in Torrance, California at the LALALA Matsuri with Ramen Yokocho. They are scheduled for two performances on the main stage at 12:15 and 4:00 pm. They will also be manning  a booth at the event for merch sales and, we’re hoping, cheki.

There will also be a dozen prominent ramen restaurants from LA and Las Vegas in attendance so, Ramen + Idols? I’m not sure of a better way to spend a Sunday. 

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Get Exposed to Chemical X: We Go Behind the Scenes of an Idol Debut

On a recent winter evening in Japan, an over-reliance on Google Maps had Papermaiden and I well and truly lost in Shibuya. We were attempting to locate the address of a legendary dance studio that currently serves as the rehearsal space for NEO JAPONISM, APOKALIPPPS and other prominent chika idol units. Google insisted that the sought-after place was housed in a building among the side streets off Dogenzaka, but after fruitlessly circling through several alleyways, Papermaiden took over navigation. Soon after, Papermaiden’s efforts in orienteering led us to a single bright, square sign on a towering storefront among the thousands of others lighting the surrounding buildings and marking the target of our search.

Here, on the sidewalks of Shibuya, we met Hiroshi, the manger of the new chika idol unit, Chemical X. Papermaiden and I had been fortunate enough to be invited to attend the group’s rehearsal as the members prepared for their January 20th debut. It was a chilly evening, so the introductions were brisk: we quickly met Yossy, the group’s creator and producer, and members Amemiya R Galaxy, Chiimayu, Aoi Hitotsuki and Maho Setsuna. KILLERMACHINE, we were told, was running a bit late as she was coming from another commitment. After brief greetings, we hurried inside and upstairs to the warmth of the studio.

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We Interview 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-San

Homicidols caught up with 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-San on the evening before her recent LA performance to talk about her new album, life as an idol during the pandemic, and the possibility of getting her banned Twitter account reinstated now that Elon is in charge. Things have changed since we last talked to Hanako-San back in 2018. She has a new love in Kamen Rider and a new, brighter disposition. But don’t worry: Hanako-San still wants to kill each and every last one of you.

Special thanks to Monsterpanda as always for his expert translation skills. Also, a big “Thank You” to Derek Vasconi and staff at Idol Underworld for coordinating the opportunity for us,

‘Tis the Season for Hanako-san

The holidays are a hectic season for everyone, but this year, no one except maybe Santa himself is busier than 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-san. With an upcoming birthday show, new album and an overseas live, everyone’s favorite grindcore ghost is perfectly poised to paint the season in her signature blood red. So take all of the savings that were put aside to buy holiday gifts for the family, and direct them towards a safer investment.  Remember, the more you support Hanako-san, the less likely she is to murder you in the toilet.

First up on the calendar for overseas fans is the November 19th livestream of Hanako-san’s birthday concert. Hanako-san rarely allows her performances to be captured on camera, so this a rare opportunity  being offered via friend of Homicidols, Idol Underworld.

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SENANAN and a Mini-BURST GIRL/Guso Drop Reunion Coming to the US

SENANAN is returning to the US and bringing Miyako (HINAGAKU. and ex. BURST GIRL and Guso Drop) and  Rinchama (Sentimental Shishunki and ex. BURST GIRL and Guso Drop) along with her. The three will be appearing at Oni-con XIX in Galveston, Texas, November 11th through the 13th. SENANAN will be representing Tokyo street fashion brands KRYclothing and XRN. Rinchama and Miyako will be working as models for XRN and also performing a mini-live, reuniting as performers for the first time since departing BURST GIRL. Continue reading

We Interview Idols: MELON BATAKE A GO GO on Their New Album, US Debut & Being Idols During COVID

It was just over one week ago that MELON BATAKE A GO GO delivered their US debut performance at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona. Idols from outer space, Rutakame Run and Yuffie Sakimura, accompanied by human counterparts Tomoyo Chiyo and Usako Minano, delivered their unique fusion of rockabilly and punk idol to a raucous Friday night crowd followed by an extended weekend of activities documented here. As Saboten was winding down, I was able to sit down with the four sidekick idols and had a good long conversation about their first trip to America, their latest album, what it was like to be an idol during the pandemic and, the most important question of all, why “melon”? Continue reading

Report: The US Debut of MELON BATAKE A GO GO at Saboten Con

I apologize for not reporting in sooner but, quite frankly, I have been having too much fun at Saboten Con. It has been three years since the chika idol faithful gathered in the Arizona desert for Labor Day weekend and there was a palpable eagerness to reboot what had become (pre-COVID) an annual event for US idol otaku. It was a weekend filled with reconnecting, reminiscing, staying up late and waking up exhausted. That was all in addition to the main reason that brought us to Phoenix in the first place: the opportunity to spend four days with our favorite idols from outer space, MELON BATAKE A GO GO.

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