fashion, music, news

First music video from BILLIE IDLE® up

If you were hoping that Memories of Shibuya would forget that we cover BILLIE IDLE® and proceed to stick to groups that are even vaguely Shibuya-kei, ha ha ha, nope. BILLIE IDLE®’s first single, “anarchy in the music scene,” recently got the music video treatment courtesy of director Takei Goodman, who brought an appealingly quirky touch to a lighthearted, silly clip. The song’s lo-fi new wave homage bears certain similarities to fellow idol group You’ll Melt More! (who, as with First Summer Uika and Nozomi Hirano’s former group BiS, recently collaborated with noise outfit Hijokaidan), but manager NIGO® has kept up a career-long streak of collaborating with the best producers in the business – “anarchy” is much better than anything the other group has ever put out. IDLE GOSSIP is out April 1, unless the pranksters misunderstood the spirit of the event and announced an April Fool’s gag way in advance.

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fashion, music, news

BILLIE IDLE® page gets a complete overhaul, is totally worth a news post

R.I.P.

Old BILLIE IDLE® Website

2014-2015

The old BILLIE IDLE® site was many things in its brief time on this Earth. First, it was a header graphic announcing the two former BiS members that made up half of the group, accompanied only by information on how to pay ¥30,000 to sign up for a fan club for a group that had yet to release a song, have even a single performance, or even say the names of two of its four members. Then, it morphed into something new and exciting, when that same page added the names of its two new members, Yuuhi Yasui and Momo Momose, and added a “news” section that, at the time, consisted solely of a link to group manager and noted registered-sign enthusiast NIGO®’s HOMETOWN Hi-Fi® page, where the group’s IDLE TALK podcast was (and still is) hosted. Indeed, things were on the up and up for the Old BILLIE IDLE® site, and its most recent permutation not only added photos of the girls (which Memories of Shibuya helpfully archived in this news post), but even separated information into different sections. Like a number of transforming construction vehicles, the Old BILLIE IDLE® site was coming together to form something bigger and better – but, alas, it was cut down in its prime just recently. Coinciding with NIGO®’s own migration to Ameba’s OWND service, the Old Site was savagely killed off to make way for a new BILLIE IDLE® page. This new site sacrificed the DIY spirit of the original page for slick professionalism, information presented in an intuitive fashion on a stylish page befitting of a group managed by one of the biggest names in Japanese fashion. Clearly, a tragedy for all involved, but in this time of mourning it is most important that we learn to live with the loss. IDLE GOSSIP comes out April 1, and first single anarchy in the music scene is out now on iTunes.

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fashion, music, news

Just in time for the holidays, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra offers their 25th anniversary goods for sale

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In commemoration of 25 years as one of Japan’s coolest bands (and innumerable line-up changes), Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s SKA ME FOREVER tour serves as a tribute to the astonishing lasting power of what would most likely have been written off as a novelty act anywhere other than Japan. As is tradition with Japanese concert tours, unsold merch-table gear is being offered for sale on their web store, presumably all on “while supplies last” terms. What is strange, though, is that in addition to the surplus goods, they’re also selling merchandise in advance of their New Year’s countdown show at the WORLD HALL in Kobe – presumably so fans can show up to the concert already decked out in their commemorative T-shirts. While it’s fairly common to see rock fans wearing T-shirts promoting shows they never possibly could have attended (nobody has any illusions about the 15-year-old in a 1977 Led Zeppelin tour shirt), it would nevertheless be incredibly odd to see someone wearing a shirt for a show that hasn’t even happened yet.

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fashion, music, news

Now you can own Kenji Ozawa’s T-shirt!

Although far less famous outside of Japan than his Planet of the Apes-obsessed partner Cornelius, Kenji Ozawa was, according to my Japanese source, once in fact the more popular of the two Flipper’s Guitar alumni. And now you can own a replica of the “Beaver Patrol” T-shirt he wore on the cover of his first solo album, The Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On, thanks to Natalie.mu and Roach Design! The re-release of the shirt coincides with the release of Ozawa’s Chou LIFE DVD, which itself marks the 20-year anniversary of Ozawa’s “THE LIFE SHOW” concert (featured on the DVD, naturally). You can find more info about the DVD at Space Shower’s special page for the release, although lamentably no Blu-ray release would appear to be forthcoming. Something about concert footage from 1994 being really awful to remaster, probably.

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fashion, news

Tantalizing hint of a NOWHERE reunion

 Untitled

Once the cornerstone of the Ura-Harajuku fashion scene, NIGO® and Jun “JONIO” Takahashi’s store NOWHERE has since become the stuff of legends. Although both the original store and its temporary second branch are long gone, the name continues to be used for events such as 2013’s “BAPELAND” exhibition; regardless of the actual store’s demise, the NOWHERE partnership remains alive and well in the minds of both of its originators. As NIGO® recently posted the above photo to his Instagram, captioned “Meeting with JONIO. New project coming next year,” one can only speculate at what could be on the horizon – a new clothing line, reopening NOWHERE again, a new exhibition of some sort, or a combination of any of these are all possibilities. NIGO® recently launched a collaborative exhibition based around a one-off clothing line with Tetsuya “Tet” Nishiyama, who was his replacement as head designer at *A BATHING APE® (the scene is incredibly incestuous), so perhaps a similar event with the man he’s had the longest-standing professional relationship with may be in the cards.

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fashion, news

New “Sakanatribe” goods from Sakanaction

The Sakanaction web store is nothing if not shockingly comprehensive – sure, you can find the expected items such as T-shirts and iPhone cases, but you can also find Sakanaction underwear and a branded rain poncho among the more conventional goods. While most of the designs aren’t bad, what truly amazes is just how much depth there is to the selection. Keychains! Stickers! Blankets! Multiple sorts of bags! Truly, Sakanaction’s “Sakanatribe” store offers more Sakanaction merchandise than you could ever possibly want.

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You fall in love, you lose: more from BILLIE IDLE®’s First Summer Uika

The ongoing collaboration between iOS fashion app POKER FACE and NIGO®’s new-school pop group BILLIE IDLE® continues with a new photo set of the lovely First Summer Uika – available for purchase through the app – as well as a quick video look at the shooting of the first set (featured above). As with before, she’s dressed all in clothes from NIGO®’s Adidas Originals collection (still in stores, I’d like to note – I’ve purchased a few pieces from it myself), and I personally have my fingers crossed that future BILLIE IDLE® shoots might feature NIGO®’s HUMAN MADE line; however, it’s probably more realistic to assume that UT by Uniqlo (which NIGO®, that multi-talented man of mystery, is creative director for) will be featured before the less well-known brand.

As an aside, I’ve never asked for comments before, but I feel it’s warranted here; do people want more fashion content or should Memories of Shibuya stick to the music? The ties between Shibuya-kei music and Ura-Harajuku fashion may not be as explicit as they were when NIGO®’s Ape Sounds label was regularly publishing Shibuya-kei artists and Cornelius dressed exclusively in NIGO®’s *A BATHING APE® line, but they do still continue – my only question is if people want to read about them.

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