Starting the New Year With Music

Fat Malt in Shorts

Max likes to watch the New Year’s shows in his briefs. We don’t know where he could have possibly learned that behavior.

One of our New Year’s traditions is watching the various music specials beamed live from Japan on the Nippon Golden Network.

As each year passes, the Alpha Japanese Female (AJF) and I recognize fewer of the singers, everyone looks younger and I find myself yelling at the TV , in a geezerly manner, “get those darn kids off my lawn.”

The Japanese music acts seem to be getting stranger and stranger. Submitted for your consideration are a few of the top acts. In deference to your tender ears and even more tender sensibilities, I will not link any Youtube videos.

"KIs my ft 2 - what were we thinking when we named our group?"

“Kis My Ft 2 – what were we thinking when we named our group?”

Here we have the boy group Kis My Ft2. Yes, their name is indeed pronounced Kiss My Foot, Too.

Judging by their performance on Music Station I’d say they can kiss my royal…well, let’s not go there, I have a resolution to uphold.

Now meet the ever delightful Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Smile for the audience Kyary.

Smile for the audience Kyary. Very nice. Very appealing. Very scary.

She recently came to Honolulu for a concert at the Waikiki Shell. Nobody knew if she was real or some animatronic doll but she sold the place out and had a huge group of loyal fans fly in from Japan just for the show.

To be successful, Kyary, you have to dig deep.

To be successful, Kyary, you have to dig deep.

Here’s another shot of Kyary. She is either signing “I Love You” or picking her nose, I can’t tell for sure.

Large girl groups continue to be popular.

No, I don’t mean the girls are large. I mean that the groups have many members.

The most famous is AKB 48, a favorite for almost 10 years and a marketing masterpiece whose 48 young ladies are all under the age of 21.

Don’t mock them; they raked in nearly $150 million in sales last year and were Japan’s #2 highest grossing group. Actually they have four or five teams of AKB 48 each with its own “brand image.”

Cute young ladies being marketed to "prepubescent girls and older men".

48 cute young ladies under 21 being marketed to “prepubescent girls and older males”.

Their marketing material says the group is designed to appeal to prepubescent girls and older males who purchase the group’s merchandise. That just creeps me out.

Of course success breeds copycats. Other numerically significant girl groups include acts SKE 48, NMB 48, HKT 48, SNH 48 and JKT 48.

I kid you not and that’s just groups that have the number of members listed in their names; there are tons of other girl groups with dozens of performers in each group.

The samurai foxes of babymetal.

The samurai foxes of Babymetal.

How about Babymetal? Three adorable waifs who like to dress as marauding samurai foxes, among other things, and perform the Japanese version of heavy metal music which doesn’t quite seem right because they are obsessed with using complicated, repetitive hand motions designed to make the singers look “cute.”

In Japan’s fevered and crushingly competitive music scene it’s important to have a distinct look even if the look seems to have no relationship to your band’s name.

How do sing while wearing a wolf's head. I guess you simply howl.

How does one sing while wearing a wolf’s head? I guess you simply howl.

Witness the boys from Man With A Mission who parade onstage wearing wolf heads. No doubt crying to the Blue Corn Moon and asking the grinning bob cat why he grins.

For hip hop music, the holiday shows offer Funky Monkey Baby or Maximum the Hormone. Sadly, the group School Food Punishment broke up last year. We miss them much like we miss mouth cankers.

Oh well, I guess the Japan groups really are no stranger than those in other countries. A quick look at the not quite definitive website The Weirdest Bands in the World includes groups such as The Radioactice Chicken Heads.

How to make a buck in the music biz without distractions such as talent.

The Radioactive Chicken Heads. How to make a buck in the music biz without distractions such as talent.

Other unusual group names that delight and amuse are  Anklepants, Army of Gay Unicorns, Autopsy Report of Drowned Shrimp and my personal favorite, Rancid Penguin Molestation which specializes in a musical genre called “pornogrind” and whose marketing materials are too offensive to link to in this silly blog. Sigh.

Max has indicated he is starting a group called The Hungry Maltese who will play for food.

Or maybe that’s just his solo act.

25 replies

  1. So let’s see…I cracked up at large girl groups (how come I never thought of it that way?), was creeped out, also, by AKB48 (where are their parents??) and thought the samuri group was a Japanese version of KISS. And then the chicken heads….I guess I’ll climb back into my rocker and guzzle some Geritol…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My previously young-at-heart self-image is officially crushed and obviously out of step but I guess it could be worse…I could be turning 22 and be a member of AKB48 (who’d have thought turning 22 would mean becoming a has-been?). 😦 #usedtofeelhip

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That boy group appears to have a token girl, or girl’s lovely locks. I think the same reason that anime gives me the willies is why these bands creep me out. It’s like a nightmare, like a vision of hell. I DO NOT GET Japan apparently. I have, however, heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon. And Max’s briefs are peachy keen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Androgyny in the sense of sexual ambiguity is a big deal with the current crop of J-Pop bands. Is that a boy? A girl? In some cases it’s a case of species ambiguity: human? Anteater? Mole? Who knows? Don’t worry about being confused. I asked the AJF for some inside skinny on all this and she asked why I asked her. I said “Because you are Japanese.” She replied, “Not that kind of Japanese.” Oh, Max’s briefs are Calvin Klein, just in case you needed that information.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, CK just like that kid in “Back to the Future.” BTW, I cannot deal with ambiguity. A man should have facial hair and not look like a lady. I got very confused watching Food Network last night, high voices coming out of men, low voices coming out of women-ish things. How can I put labels on people if they do that?

        Liked by 1 person

          • Sounds like he needs to go on a shorter leash. What with his out of control eating and now spending, it sounds like Max is going off the rails. I’ve always thought you have to watch out for the cute, good-looking types. They’re used to getting their own way. Indeed, for them, that is the only way!!


  4. I used to think I was somewhat in the know but then I look up from my keyboard and it’s a serious case of “what the @#$%??!! Didn’t listen to any of that music but the photos were scary enough. I lived through the androgyny phase back in the 80s when people like Boy George really confused the lot of us. I personally don’t feel like going back. I’m confused enough about my to do list. That said, I have great empathy with people who experience genuine gender issues and usually go through hell and many never find a successful resolution. Some people do feel like they’re in the wrong body. I do know of a drug that was given to prevent miscarriage at least back in the 50s and 60s and that’s caused quite a few issues with gender identity. I used to work in this area when I was a communicator in our local HIV/sexual health unit. It was a part-time job and very interesting. more interesting than I could ever explain. So while I jest about the stress of gender confusion, I pass no judgement and only offer acceptance to those with real issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I often feel I am in the wrong body because my real body would not have such a big gut and rear end and where, exactly, are my six pack abs? Snorf, snorf.

      On a serious note, You make good comments and no offense was intended to those with real issues about gender identity which, I am near 100% sure, do not include the gang in this post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can relate to your concerns about being in the wrong body. My body has also expanded in all sorts of horrible places and so much of it seems to be malfunctioning. I wish I could send this body to the dry cleaners and pick it up in a few days all “taken care of”. Wouldn’t it be nice?!!


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