So, I'm finally checking in again. I'm not fully recovered yet (thanks for your kind well wishes!), but at least motivated to post something again. A lot of news has come out in the last few weeks, a lot of which I certainly didn't even notice. I also don't have the leisure to listen to many complete albums, but I did listen to the new discs from old heroes like Ride, Pet Shop Boys and James (all three of which are not worth mentioning for me, although Ride had two or three hits).

I also primarily enjoy Japanese music, which is why today I'm bringing a double feature as a re-entry, namely from the idol area. As I have certainly written before, this is an industry that is primarily known in this country from K-Pop, but which has its origins in Japan. I find normal mainstream idol pop music mostly inaudibly kitschy and stupid (apart from the exploitation mechanisms that prevail there), but there is also a so-called alternative/underground idol area in which the songwriters sometimes get creative let off steam and some really cool music is created. I'll give two examples today.

Thorns – Surprised – “Bang!Bang!” – Otera is an idol group that has been around for several years with a changing line-up and that has stylistically turned more towards rock. I think the new single is great, it's the best garage rock with a high fun factor that reminds me of Le Tigre. The video is also wonderfully crazy. πŸ™‚ If you only listened to the song, you probably wouldn't get the idea that it was about idols…

Maison Book Girl “Dark Morning” – this applies even more to this group, which can best be assigned to the ArtPop area. The music is quite strange, with strong piano notes and surprising tempo changes. The accompanying clip is terrific, including an original break (no, don't worry, your internet isn't broken ;-). Unfortunately the band no longer exists, but they left behind some EPs/albums.


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