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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

GIRLPOP FACTORY 05

Looks like things are getting back into gear for your two favorite pop stars. HALCALI will be gracing the stage, playing live that is, at the wonderfully titled GIRLPOP FACTORY 05. If that wasn’t enough for you, they’ll be joined by PUFFY, Tommy Heavenly 6, Yum! Yum! Orange (who you’ve probably never heard of, but come on, they sound great) amongst others. It’s all happening at the Zepp in Tokyo on 31st of July. Doors are at 3 p.m and it starts at 4. Tickets are 3,500 yen (with tax). Here’s the site if you want to take a peep. It’s all shaping up to be a bit awesome.

I’m guessing that the easiest way to get tickets would be to wander to your nearest Lawsons and use one of those fast-ticket machines. Just type in this number 35975 and all should be well. It doesn’t seem to have sold out yet but I’m guessing it will. I’m not sure if I can make it yet, but I’m certainly going to try.

Friday, July 15, 2005

More RECOMMENDED LISTENING

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I was In HMV the other day looking for the new Harvard album when I noticed, to my surprise, that the new version of No Susume is already out. I say surprised because it’s been released to absolutely zero fanfare. Although I wasn’t expecting it to have it’s own stand or anything, I did at least expect HMV to have the good grace to turn the cover round to the front in the Halcali section and write one of those little messages underneath explaining what’s going on. Unless you had access to their website (and scrolled down to the ‘albums’ bit), I don’t see how you’d be aware that the cover had been changed at all. So what’s going on? What’s the point of going to the trouble to stick the pakuri in the bin and come up with a new cover, only then to gently shush-shush it into the shops?

Well, for those of you interested, the new cover is ugly. Ugly, cheap and (dare I suggest it?) it looks like a bit of a rush job. Buying it again did give me a chance to give the album a bit of a second chance though, considering I haven’t even put it on for about 2 months. Time has given it a bit more distance from Bacon, and in that respect it stands up rather well, or at least better than it did last Christmas. Here’s my quick reappraisal then.

SONGS THAT CUT IT
Fuwa Fuwa Brand New
Marching March
Strawberry Chips
BABY BLUE!

SONGS THAT DON’T CUT IT
Introduction
History
Densetsu No Futari
Shibafu

SONGS THAT CUT IT, BUT DON’T SOUND LIKE HALCALI
OBOROGE COPY VIEW
Hare Doki Doki

SONGS THAT CUT IT LIKE NO OTHER HALCALI SONG HAS CUT IT BEFORE
Wakakusa Dance
Continued

Sunday, July 10, 2005

do-nuts

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Spurred into action by a recent post on Marxy's blog (again), I stumbled across the debut single by Halcali-lites do-nuts (渚のGO-GO GIRL!). All the signs are there- the two girls are teenage, the song lifts lyrics straight out of Giri Giri Surf-Rider and the video feels like the director wanted to copy the look of old Halcali PV's but didn't have the talent to do it. It shouldn't surprise you then that the girl on the left up there (MC Eriko- COME ON) looks almost exactly like Haruka. More information from Neomarxisme- this copycat band is none other than the brainchild of pakuri-supremos Orange Range (on their very own Spice label). All of which makes you wonder- Orange Range have stepped up to fill in the obvious gap left by a derth of new Halcali material, but shouldn't Halcali already have stepped up to plug that gap themselves?


AFTERTHOUGHT
I originally found the single while wandering past a tiny record shop in that shopping labyrinth that winds its way under Nagoya station. The strange thing is that I haven’t been able to find it anywhere since, not only is it absent from HMV and Tower, but a couple of the smaller chains that I’ve checked out too. Strangely for a band of this type, I’ve yet to see them on TV either. Commercial suicide?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

COPY, NO COPY

The hearts’ still beating loud, kids! It looks as though Halcali are putting out Ongaku No Susume again to celebrate it hitting the 100,000 sales mark. And this time it’s got a brand shining new non-pakuri cover! Do you remember all that kerfuffle from a while ago? Well, the news over at Neomarxisme is that Nagi Noda is actually getting sued over that rather upsetting theft (upsetting for me anyway. I loved that cover) she made for her Susume cover. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine that these two incidents are related, and i'm happy that Halcali have distanced themselves from it. Naturally, this also means that yesterdays “where have Halcali gone?” concern (which was genuine) has been reduced somewhat with this news. Is it too much to hope that a new single is on the horizon? Guys?

The official site has a decent-ish picture of the new cover, but no details as to when it's out.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Scha Dara Parr

Not content with releasing what will surely go down as two of the best singles of 2005, (Twilight and Saint Ojisan), this years best team up of Denki Groove and Halcali cohort Scha Dara Parr (who wrote Ah, Halcali Sensation) released what promised to be one of the albums of the year last Thursday. Anyone who got several years worth of kicks from those first two songs and were hoping for the same, brace yourself- the album is one huge clunking disappointment. Perhaps they set themselves up for their own fall with those first two singles, but almost none of it has an ounce of their spark or imagination. Another one to be resigned to the dusty shelf of what-could-have-been then. Sigh, will no-one come to fill in the pop gap left by Halcali? It’s been nearly 8 months since Baby Blue!