music, news

New video to enjoy from BILLIE IDLE®

This time around, it’s a live clip – taken from the girls’ April 4 performance at the Laforet Museum in Harajuku, it captures a spirited rendition of their second single “be my boy,” with the welcome addition of what is quite possibly the most receptive audience a still quite-new group could ever hope to play for. As with the “anarchy in the music scene” clip, this one is directed by Takei Goodman, and although the mixing leaves a little to be desired, it’s still a great performance of a fun song. Highly enjoyable.

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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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music, The Canon

The Canon: Hiroshi Fujiwara – Nothing Much Better to Do

The first album from fashion designer and style icon Hiroshi Fujiwara found him moving from punk and hip-hop to Shibuya-kei with a smooth fusion of laid-back styles. Fujiwara may be far more well-known as a fashion designer than as a musician, but on Nothing Much Better to Do he proved himself equally adept as both.

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music, news

Some exciting news from BILLIE IDLE®!

 

Been on the edge of your seat, waiting for more BILLIE IDLE® news? Well, you can safely move to the back of the chair now, because there’s more than enough here to put your mind at ease. Straight from the band’s official website, which now features the photos of all four band members you see above, we now have album art, a release date and the tracklisting for IDLE GOSSIP, as well as the news that debut single “anarchy in the music scene” is hitting iTunes as of tomorrow! As the first release from label Otsumo Records (a label so new it doesn’t even have a website yet), IDLE GOSSIP sounded from the admittedly low-quality previews on the IDLE TALK podcast like quite the impressive debut, and one can only hope that the Japanese iTunes release will be followed by an international one.

Edit – it’s confirmed, the “anarchy” single is on international iTunes!

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music, news

News from Negicco, BILLIE IDLE® and Cornelius

First things first: Negicco’s upcoming Rice&Snow LP now has a YouTube preview available (embedded above), featuring short samples of all of the album’s tracks set to a cute, if somewhat bizarre, animated visual of three scarecrows done up to vaguely resemble the Negicco girls. The originals are shaping up to be a bit of a mixed bag thus far, although previously-heard “BLUE, GREEN, RED & GONE” is still brilliant and it’s hard to argue with the singles (such as our #3 single of 2014, “Triple! WONDERLAND”). The ’80s-styled dance pop of selections like Hiroyasu Yano’s “Futari no Yuugi” and Tetsuto Yoshida’s “Space Nekojaracy” is fun as well, although usually-reliable ROUND TABLE composer Katsutoshi Kitagawa falters with his contribution to the album, the staid “Cream Soda Love.” Granted, these are just short samples, so the full versions may be better – or worse – than the little that we’ve been able to hear thus far.

Not content to let any of the other 3 idol groups featured on Memories of Shibuya (can you name all 4?) steal the limelight for too long, the girls of BILLIE IDLE® uploaded a new episode of their “IDLE TALK” podcast over at HOMETOWN Hi-Fi®, suggesting something of a “whenever they feel like it” update schedule. Last time they released an episode, I had said that my spelling of Yuhi Yasui’s name was “very tentative,” but a recent update to the group’s bare-bones website confirms that I did, in fact, get it right the first time.

And finally, following up his work as primary composer on the divisive Ghost in the Shell: ARISE anime series (currently streaming on Netflix, for the North Americans in our audience), Cornelius will be providing music for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell anime film as well. As his work on ARISE was just as polarizing as the show itself, it’s doubtful that too many fans of the anime will be pleased by this development, but Cornelius fans have reason to celebrate – in lieu of any “proper” album releases since 2006’s Sensuous, soundtracks like this one are essentially the next-best thing.

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music, news

New venture from NIGO®, HOMETOWN Hi-Fi®, goes live

Fashion, music, curry, and now podcasting – NIGO®’s ubiquitous registered trademarks may not carry the same kind of cachet as they did during the dizzy heights of *A BATHING APE®’s brief run at world domination, but that isn’t to say the man’s slowed down any. His latest venture, HOMETOWN Hi-Fi® (named after dancehall DJ King Tubby’s legendary late-’70s sound system) is currently home solely to BILLE IDLE®’s “IDLE TALK” podcast, although the front page hints that more NIGO®-specific content may be forthcoming. It’s unknown exactly what else, exactly, NIGO® plans for HOMETOWN Hi-Fi®, but those interested in hearing more about the still somewhat mysterious BILLIE IDLE® should definitely check out the podcast.

Running just shy of half an hour and hosted by the group, with First Summer Uika and Nozomi Hirano joined by alliterative new additions Momo Momose and Yuhi Yasui (spelling on that one very tentative), it serves as what is doubtlessly the de facto introduction to the group for anyone who wasn’t privileged to sit in on the actual auditions. They talk about Hirano and Uika’s former group BiS, working with NIGO®, the importance of how the group’s name is spelled, and the auditions that brought in the two new members – as well as providing unfortunately low-quality previews of the group’s new wave-inspired songs “Anarchy in the Music Scene,” “IDLE FELLAS” and “Be My Boy.” We also get to find out that their debut mini-album, which was released on cassette tape for their first 100 fans already, and will be coming out on 7″ and mini-CD instead of regular CD because that’s just the kind of silly thing that NIGO® likes to do, is called IDLE GOSSIP, although it’s unclear at this point whether said mini-album will ultimately be availble to those not signed up for their fan club. It’s worth a listen for those who can understand Japanese, and worth skipping to the bits with the song previews even for those who aren’t – no composer or arranger credits are given, but all three songs are shaping up very nicely.

(Edited with corrections from commenter “First Summer (Uika) of Love”)

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