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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MELON BATAKE A GO GO Adds Two New Members as Their US Debut Approaches

MELON BATAKE A GO GO have just announced that two new members will be joining the lineup. Kotomi Kuzuki and Usako Minano of sister unit The Grateful a MogAAAz will be joining the psychobilly sidekick heroes on a rotating basis.

Kotomi Kuzuki and Usako Minano

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PIGGS vs. PIGGS: We Choose PIGGS

For those out of the loop on the latest droppings from PIGGS, the unit has been drawn into a pitched battle between their indie producer, Ryan B, versus an anonymous major-label hack over the right to produce PIGGS major label debut single.  The two sides in this contest have been separated into the Ryan B-led “TEAM Indie (Poo Poo Land Co., Ltd.)” and “TEAM Major (a certain major label)”. Each team has now produced a single and MV and PIGGS fans have been asked to vote for their favorite.  In the interest of fairness, the teams have been anonymized as TEAM A and TEAM B.

Let’s take a look at the entries:

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Yurapico Launches Solo Project

Yurapico launched her career as a solo idol just days ago and it’s already off to a fantastic start. The current member of APOKALIPPPS and former member of Guso Drop and BURST GIRL dropped the announcement of her solo project on Monday and has since held her introductory live and released two singles and two MVs.

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PLANCK STARS Announce World Tour Including Dates in the UK and USA

PLANK STARS, our favorite bohemian bad kids from Hiroshima, posted a few tweets about a week-and-a-half ago asking for fans from various countries to respond. While it seemed that, perhaps, they were tentatively sounding out support for overseas visits, plans may have already been in the works. Yesterday, PLANK STARS announced dates for a six-country world tour including overseas stops in Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, the UK and the United States. 

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SIPP Power Up their Punk Party with “SPIN4CH”

Fresh off their one-year anniversary, SIPP are celebrating with some EDM on their second single since rebranding from “Super Idol Pops Punk” to “Super Idol Punk Party”.  Featuring lyrics created by founding member, Ui, and a retro MV channeling the Y2K, here’s “SPIN4CH”: 

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From Outer Space to Arizona: MELON BATAKE A GO GO to Make their US Debut

For those of us who can’t currently get into Japan to see idols, we just got the best possible news: the idols are coming to us!! Chaotic Harmony have just announced that rockabilly idols from outer space,  MELON BATAKE A GO GO will be making their US debut at Saboten Con in Phoenix, Arizona this coming Labor Day weekend.

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Let’s Discover Some Idols: Tokyo Psychopath

The worst and most lazy Western takes on Japanese idol typically involve the broad assertion that idols in Japan are almost universally young, well-behaved, virginal and entirely controlled by exploitative talent agencies. As we know, anything more than a superficial investigation into the genre will demonstrate that this is a cavalier and reductionist presumption. The sheer number and diversity of idol units across Japan guarantees that any gross generalization an outside observer can make will be directly contradicted by dozens of exceptions. Major label and independent idol units eschewing the image of youth, affable conformity and chastity are not a rare or recent phenomenon in the least. A few examples:  Bed-In has been celebrating sexual liberation and raunchy excess since 2012; Cent Chihiro Chittiii of BiSH has been promising fans that she won’t date more than two guys at once since 2015, the same year Non of DEEP GIRL started the normalization of idols with facial piercings; Negicco, Dempagumi.Inc and 1009-thank you- all have active members who are married and/or mothers; and the rebelliousness and chaotic energy of punk and metal have been embraced by 100s of idol units for over a decade now.

Still, there are a few lines that, until very recently, idol has been very tentative about crossing. Enter Tokyo Psychopath, who introduced their smoking, drinking, tattooed selves to the world last August, and seem intent on crossing them all.

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Time Leap Tuesday: The Irrepressible Spirit of THE SPUNKY

Those blessed enough to be at Nagoya’s Club Saru on New Years eve were able witness a priceless event: the momentary resurrection of the most charmingly upbeat pop-punk idol unit ever assembled, THE SPUNKY.

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