That’s not Idol!

No, this is not idol, but if you have a penchant for the aforementioned genre, you might find something to like here.

The Pipettes

A former UK trio, backed by band The Cassettes. The group garnered a cult following on the basis of their energetic live shows. Unfortunately they split some time ago returning as a duo for a poor second album.

The Barberettes

Korean vocal trio, in the vein of The Crystals.

The Bandana Splits

Yet another vocal trio, this time from the U.S.A. featuring solo artist of note Dawn Landes.

Shonen Knife

Long standing Osaka band, retaining one third of the original line up. Frequently tours both in and out of Japan.

Charan-Po-Rantan

Vocal and accordion duo, often accompanied by their all female band, playing a mix of circus and cabaret music.

New T-Palette Signing WHY@DOLL

Our first question is, how does one pronounce “WHY@DOLL”. Conventional wisdom would suggest “why – at – doll”, however both Japanese Wikipedia and my ssh client disagree:
ssh why@doll
ssh: Could not resolve hostname doll: Name or service not known
.
So in conclusion, in idol @, similarly to ☆ is silent and only ever present purely for aesthetic reasons.

Seeing something on T-Palette other than Negicco is great, as they seem to have recently lost a lot of their historically strong line up. Not that I dislike Negicco themselves, only their dead eyed middle aged fan base, but I am certain beyond a doubt that T-Palette used to manage at least two other groups.

The track at hand, Violet Iolite, is pleasant if a little unremarkable. Amongst the seemingly obligatory synthetic horns, the percussion and strings are somewhat reminiscent of disco. As something of a shock, the vocals are surprisingly competent, and neither girl seems to be attempting a (poor) impression of infantile voice.

Accompanying the song is a rather excellent MV featuring cook along instructions to make your very own WHY@DOLL cake. This is certainly leagues above recent confectionery themed efforts.

Overall, this track, whilst perhaps suffering a little for being somewhat generic, is fun and approachable. In a similar vein to Negicco, it is neither patronising nor leering, which in the world of idol, is a compliment.

Wehraboo Idols

Just when any reasonable person would think that AKB48 could not become any more hateful, an article on The Guardian reports that spin-off group Keyakizaka46 performed their Halloween concert garbed in uniforms with an uncomfortable resemblance to those of Nazi soldiers.

Fan of semi-naked girls and twitter user tmato30kcal produced this useful comparison image


The strongest point of comparison is undoubtedly the peaked caps with birds not unlike the Nazi Reichsadler.

I am uncertain whether to consider this a single (remarkably stupid) incident, or to take it as being indicative of a larger apathy to war crimes and ignorance of WWII in contemporary Japan. This is certainly not the only instance of the veneration of Nazi military uniforms. Furthermore, Japanese relations with Korea and China are still  strained on owing to the refusal of the Japanese state of acknowledge war crimes.

Producer Yasushi Akimoto managed to remedy the situation by explaining that he was not aware of the costumes doing precisely the kind of work he is employed to do. Lets all hope that in the future, Nazi uniforms are only worn by those intellectually and morally qualified to deal with the ramifications of such an act… Such as Prince Harry.