Catch Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s Final Live this Weekend

Yanakoto Sotto Mute will be holding their final one-man live this weekend before disbanding the current line-up.  The band-set is taking place this Sunday evening (Japan time) and will be livestreamed via Zaiko.

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We Review Things: Miho’s Debut Album, “LIFE”

It has been about a year since Miho emerged as a solo idol and she has had our attention pretty much from the start. At first with her exuberant lives and then with her exceptional debut single, “Doubt”, the Idol Underworld-produced artist quickly established a unique presence with her signature smoky voice, leather jacket and focus on yasashii (kindness).  We were very excited to be provided a preview copy of Miho’s first full-length album , LIFE, which will be released this Saturday, June 25th.

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RAY to Suspend Activities

Mere days after dropping one of the best albums of 2022, RAY have announced that they will be ending their current system and suspending activities.

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Yanakoto Sotto Mute to Fall Silent

Winter turns to spring. The cherry blossoms bloom and fall. Idol units form and disband. It is the natural cycle of seasons.

… but it doesn’t make it any easier.

It’s been almost six years since Maniac dubbed Yanakoto Sotto Mute “the Perfect Modern Idols”, five years since they dropped a near perfect album in Bubble, three-and-a-half years since this happened,

and two years since their excellence was recognized with a well-deserved major label debut. Continue reading

BELLRING Girls Heart Resurrected!! (for a Limited Time)

Did anyone have “Bellring Girls Heart Reboot” on their 2022 chika idol bingo card? While we were aware that the storied idol unit was releasing all of their back catalog on major streaming services and holding a handful of live events in association with their 10th anniversary, I’m not sure anyone would have predicted this latest development.

First things first: as of midnight local time, all of Bellring Girls Heart’s major works are available on your streaming platform of choice. You may now mainline some nostalgia or, if you’ve come to alternative idol since this legendary unit’s 2016 breakup, discover some of the most formative and influential works of the genre. Continue reading

MANACLE Let Loose New Single, “BAN your HURT”

MANACLE dropped a maxi single yesterday featuring title-track “BAN your HURT” and two additional new songs. It’s available world-wide on your streaming service of choice.

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Let’s Discover Some Idols: situasion

situasion have been an issue since just over a year ago when the six-member unit introduced themselves to the world via their debut album, debutante, with the delightfully named lead-off track, “What the fuck is this situasion”.  After holding at least one performance per week in 2021, this group that prides itself on creating a uniquely new live experience for its audience just dropped a new digital single on the morning of yesterday’s first one-man live of 2022. That show kicked off a three-gig series of free one-man lives to start the new year dubbed, “Event Horizon”, just like their new English language song:

https://twitter.com/situasion_info/status/1485554429940355072?s=20

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RAY is Having a “moment”

RAY has been the center of a flurry of activity in this week that will be capped by their fourth one-man live. This includes yesterday’s drop of the MV for “moment”, a new song composed by “Almighty Omnidirectional Pop Group” Couple (who are definitely worth checking out). 

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You guys, it’s time we talk about Leiwan!

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Show Report: ATARASHII GAKKO! U.S. Debut at Head in the Clouds

It has been a rough couple of years since COVID curtailed two of my favorite past-times (travel and live music) and my absolute favorite thing (traveling to see live music). This past weekend’s trip to Los Angeles for the U.S. debut of ATARASHII GAKKO! at the Head in the Clouds festival was both my first trip and my first music festival in over two years.  

So many things have changed!!

Not only is travel and the festival-going experience itself radically different from the pre-COVID era, I realized that the nature of these show reports also needs to evolve since the last time I wrote one up. The recent ubiquity of concert livestreams (perhaps the only positive outcomes of the global pandemic) means that most of you readers who were interested in seeing the show have already done so via Amazon, Twitch or a bootleg upload on YouTube. This relieves me of my pre-COVID responsibility of composing a written portrait of the show itself, so I’ll focus on the elements of the festival experience that didn’t get captured on video (including a surprise close encounter with AG! themselves: READ ON!).   Continue reading