Well, this is certainly a thing that’s happening.
What? Melon slow down? No way, they’ve got two speeds: “Go” and “Go-Go”!
So fresh outta the gate from their recent incursion into the west (Of which Chris shared his harrowing experience here.) and following up their so-recent-the-paint’s-still-wet MV for “Nightmare Before Vampire” (Of which Maniac discussed here.) we’ve already been smacked across the melon with a new video for their to be congruously released single “Runaway Girl” and owe it to ourselves to go-go check it out…
I’ll tell ya, I do like this one more than the “Vampire” tune, with certainly wasn’t bad by any means, but just more “Hey that’s pretty good!” good than “Holy-Crap-That’s-Sick-Outta-My-Head-Awesome-Good!” good. I don’t have any scientific analysis to explain why that is and really it’s subjective anyway, but this song sticks the moon-landing a little harder and nails the delivery. What’s interesting as well here is that the song is essentially another Rukatama solo showcase, and it’s also a cover of a song by 80’s rockabilly revival band ROGUE, which gives the tune a bit of familiarity among a segment of their older-school Japanese following.
As for the video itself, there’s an enigmatic story unfolding here that I hope never gets explained because it’s more fun to interpret it yourself anyway. Is Rukatama being confronted by her darker-half persona? Is she trying to run away from her inner self? Are the other Melon girls here to help her, or are they forcing Rukatama to come to terms with her darker destiny? And at the end of the MV, when she sits on the couch next to them (and herself), has she accepted her fate or has she mastered it? And what’s the significance of the subtitling beyond the fact that Thai script has beautiful aesthetics that look organically mysterious?
And also: Idols and guns… idols sure do love to pack heat! Somebody oughta write a dissertation over-analyzing “Post-war Japan Popular Culture and it’s Fascination for Young Women with Firearms”. Not me, that is, but somebody.
【⚰️めろん畑a go go新曲MV公開⚰️】
『NIGHTMARE BEFORE VAMPIRE』
— めろん畑a go go (@MELONBATAKEAGO2) May 18, 2019
On July 26th, Melon Batake a go go, through their new major label, will release “Nightmare Before Vampire” and “Runaway Girl“ concurrently as separate singles. (“Hey, why not just release one EP? Because IDOL That’s Why!”) If you love the Melon, maybe get a copy of the goods yourself, or at least keep an ear out for legit streaming avenues, and absolutely definitely tell your friends about these psychobilly idols from outer space. They’re on a mission to spread their fanbase (Go Go’s) worldwide, and that means good things may very well come our way if we prove worthy!
Oh hey, while we’re at it, here’s a video of ROGUE performing “Runaway Girl” for a little comparison and context. Enjoy!!
Happy weekend! I’ll tell you guys, I desperately need these couple of days off — the past week was a monster, and the next will be too. It’d be great if I could just chill for a little while. It’s been almost two years since I could really do it this way, but I remember when Saturday in particular could very easily be a good ol’ fashioned day of nothing, and I’d catch up on things that I really wanted to, and at that point very literally just idol for hours. It was good stuff! And with it being a decidedly dreary day and most of my projects caught up, today would be a good candidate.
But no. No, a weekend visitor will soon descend upon Maniac Mansion, and entertainment and sustenance must be provided. Alas, my dream weekend will need to come at some other time! So let’s take what we can get from a pretty solid week of idol — I told you the season was heating up again! — and you should definitely play this week’s terrifying Fun if you have a minute.
May the Fourth Be With You
Yoneko is too good for us:
1998 / ヨネコ
— イマオカ (@ima_y) May 1, 2019
It’s May! Now, where were we? That’s right, we were watching some #IdolSitcoms!
— J Pop Go (@JPopGo) April 26, 2019
— 📛iSAURE THE END🇫🇷 (@IsaureArya) April 26, 2019
— Keiotan⚓️🐬 (@keiotan) April 26, 2019
— 清外人 (Jake) (@Segazora) April 27, 2019
— Kerrie🐧ケリー (@weeaboowitch) April 26, 2019
Always one to jump on a trainwreck, I saw the live-action Sonic trailer this week. Now, this isn’t a movie review site but… pfffffft.
Anyway, I tried to fix Sonic, and kind of failed.
Why am I talking about this? Well, I ran out of ideas for Funs again, then saw ol’ Sonic and thought “Alright, let’s just do that with idols”. Continue reading
Much like our long-gone oshis making reappearances, this week’s Withdrawn Wednesday’s publication date was long overdue. Blame a lot of busy stuff on my end. But here we are, with more from the past few weeks in softening the blow of oshiloss.
Your Lost Oshi: Where Are They Now?
Ex-WagamaKi Moe is a supporting member of Re:LAYz… using the twitter and stage name of one of Re:LAYz’s own former members!?
— さくさく・○○・わーるど (@sakusaku_ReLAYz) April 24, 2019
Does Yoneko ever stop and take a break? Apparently not, because she’s released yet another new, self-composed song and music video to commemorate today’s transition from Heisei to Reiwa era. Directed by Kai, of all people, in the first in what I hope will be many collaborations by ex-Bellrings who jumped to Trash-Up records.
The song itself reminds me of Bellring gone lo-fi. And the music video fits pretty well, matching both Yoneko and Kai’s recent forays into retraux aesthetic. I’m not going to lie, through about half of the song I was expecting a sudden burst of clear vocals and thrashing guitars at each break, but nope, she sticks to the quiet, fuzzy audio quality for the entire track. But after I got used to it, I really began to appreciate the simplicity of one girl and her electric guitar. Would I say this was a good tribute to the ending Heisei era? I’m not really well-versed enough in Japanese culture to know for sure. But it’s a quality, chill, lazy-day track that I could easily imagine myself listening to alone in the garden on a sunny day, or in my bedroom on a late night, and that’s good enough for me.
Now, where’s that Kanra/Kai/Mizuho reunion single we all want?
I was just like everybody else when There There There’s announced their disbandament. A little disappointed, a little confused, and a little worried about where all our favorite ravenesque girls were all going to go. Thankfully, most of it worked out well, with some former members like Rere and Mei staying with AQBI, and in a completely appropriate and perfect twist of serendipity, Mizuho and Kai seamlessly joining the roster of TRASH-UP!! Records, which is also a home for another former AQBI mainstay, Yoneko, who’s working harder than ever as a self-produced idol.
But this post is all about Kai, (!) the delightfully deadpan idol who, despite her detached demeanor, somehow easily connects with her fans in her very own way. I’ve always really liked Kai and her rather non-idolish approach to being an idol, and I’ve been looking forward to see she how adapts to the stage as a soloist, so let’s check out her first MV, a number called “Moonlight Tokyo”…
How about this song? It’s no secret that it’s an easy sell on me when you go 80’s retro, so that’s certainly no complaint! It’s a terrific tune that I’ve listened to on repeat several times already since it debuted. I have no idea if this synth-dance-groove thing is an indicator of her future work or just a one-off tune, we’ll just need to see, but I’d be totally cool with Kai becoming a neo-city-pop queen and making a regular gig out of this sound. All the same, I have an equally positive feeling that with TRASH-UP!! at the helm, she’ll be trying out other genres as well and testing some unexpected waters for the benefit of all of us.
And what about this MV? I enjoy it’s quirky VHS (or is it Betamax?) look, complete with an old-school aspect ratio and it’s blown-out-saturation. Also, the video brilliantly tackles a classic debate that even the idol world contends with: Are you a cat or dog person? I keep telling people, “Why not both?”, and it makes me pleased-as-punch to see that Kai agrees with me!
The video also answers another anticipated question: Would the TRASH-UP!! incarnation of Kai, with her newly colored hair and a wardrobe other than black crow costumes, maintain the classic Kai personality-type we’ve come to know and adore? It sure looks that way! She’s just as endearingly disconnected as ever, coming off as the sort of person who’s far more comfortable with a couple of cute pets than a room of chanting wota, and doggone it (see what I did there.), that’s the Kai we love! Would you really want it another way?
バッヂ ￥200 pic.twitter.com/Q2D3KbjUQH
— trashup_records (@TrashupRecords) April 21, 2019
At present, I haven’t seen any word yet on any actual releases for Kai yet, digital or otherwise, but I think that’ll happen soon. Currently she’s preparing for her live debut and cooking up some merch that she showed off (see above) on twitter. There’s also an official website for her solo work, appropriately with the perfect domain name all-kai.com, cause this 100% pure Kai, and that’s just what we the people need!
— 朝倉みずほ (@mizuho_TUR) April 21, 2019
I think we’re off to a good start here! And we still have Mizuho’s upcoming idol group, ATOMIC MINISTRY (Which is an awesome group name!!) currently in it’s audition phase to still look forward to. I keep repeating it for the people in the back, TRASH-UP!! is the real future idol dynasty to watch out for, and I’d recommend paying attention to all the exciting things they have in the works.
In seems that even in a world where our dearly beloved shoegaze idols have been spirited off the mortal plane, we will (thankfully) never truly be left behind in a totally Dot-chan less world. Even now the ethereal beings slowly unravel little parting gifts that will allow us to continue reaping the rewards of their time on Earth.
The Dots dropped their final album “Points” last week, (along with a 7″ single!) gathering up their remaining unreleased tracks. There will be a review of that album here in the next day or so, so watch out for that a bit later! But let’s talk about this newest offering first…
下記ページのコンテンツが現時点よりパブリックドメイン（Public Domain, PD）に！😊https://t.co/nd7eRV0zTb
— ・・・・・・・・・運営 (@tokyo_tsukurou) April 12, 2019
While “PD” could certainly mean “Post Dots”, in this case, it stands for “Public Domain”, as in certain works in the Dot-chan universe have been placed into the care of all of us. Now before you start pressing your own Dots merch and bootlegs, keep in mind that there’s still ownership and restrictions that apply here!
Sorry I’m late again! Last week, you came up with concepts for idol cover albums!
I really want to hear an O'CHAWANZ 90's sitcom theme cover album that includes the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song. #IdolCoverAlbums
— Killer Cashew (@tsuzuku00) April 6, 2019
— ヒダリトモロー (@OTStummer) April 5, 2019
— Brian Walker (@supreme_nothing) April 6, 2019
You know what’s been a thing in idol lately? Cafes. There’s of course the AKB48 cafe, Tsubaki Factory and Morning Musume had pop-up cafes recently, even WACK had their own half-assed version of a “cafe” (if by cafe you mean grab a BiS soda at Tower Records).
Did you realise it was Friday already? I sure didn’t! I thought it was Thursday! I’m panic-writing this!
Hahahahaha, last week!
— Brian Walker (@supreme_nothing) February 23, 2019
— Christian Winsall (@toxicbreakfast) February 23, 2019
— Not a Cheque Kinda Guy (@SalemBlack4Ever) February 23, 2019
Have you seen photos of Rinahamu and her dog?
— 苺りなはむ*6/23東京ドームシティーホールワンマン (@rinahamu) January 11, 2019
She literally owns herself in animal form! It’s as weird as it is cute!
Which got me thinking, what other animals are dead ringers for our favourite idols? I’ve seen comparison photos before, but I’m in a bit of a rush, you see.
So, this week, take a photo of an idol, and take a photo of a similar-looking animal, and boom! Hashtag is #AnimalsThatLookLikeIdols.
I’m going to run off a list of other things I forgot now!