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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halcali vs....?

Continuing my eternal quest to make myself useful, here's a link to Godzilla Is Coming To Town!, a Bank$ song featuring H and Y. I made a query about the song a while ago, which brian gracefully answered.

It's an odd song, perhaps slightly too long (?) and with no obvious chorus. It's fun though, and the girls sound as slick as they ever have on it. Don't they sound so much more at home with stuff like this?

The download link went dead, but just leave a comment if you'd like to listen.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Yukari, say it ain't so...

This weeks Buzz Room saw H and Y finally fulfill the promise they made early September by playing the new single on the show. Twice. OK girls, I know that you’re all up for promoting the thing, but I think that most interested parties would’ve hit the record button first time round. Anyway, I was looking forward to their diary entry this week, expecting a bit of Tip Taps Tip related nonsense. Instead, I was treated to the following grimly official looking statement.

On the broadcast of October 26th, Yukari was unable to adequately two terms of
jargon. They will be correctly explained here.
I suppose you’ve guessed that Yukari made at least a moderately serious mistake, something potentially dangerous (even libelous?) that warranted a quick retraction and a neat cover up. That’s because you’re probably a rational person who does things that make sense. As it turns out, Yukari’s crime was that she was “unable to adequately explain” one term about what a playoff means in baseball, and another about something related to Japanese company M&A Consulting.

Shock. Rage. Horror.

My question is why go to these special lengths to patronize and embarrass one of your employees over two minor and trivial errors? Are we to expect H and Y to be regularly punished for being young? I’d like to see more space devoted to that, as opposed to something stupid like, oh I don't know, a fun diary for their fans to read. I mean, come on, baseball?

Well, as a teenager, it seems like you’re required to have a full working knowledge of the following if you want to avoid a flogging by your betters.

M&A Consulting

Baseball Playoffs

Don't be caught out!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

(early) Reviews (5) Tip Taps Tip

Before we start, let's remind ourselves that the Tip Taps Tip I heard this morning on Eureka 7 was an edited, 1:30-ish version of the single that's going to be released in December. I don't know if it was edited specially for the show, or if they just cut a chunk out of it, but we got the chorus twice and one verse. I say bear this in mind, because honestly, it was bad.

I was really hoping that all my cynicism of the last couple of weeks, the feeling of dread that I was getting from the label change, cynical audience targeting with the anime connection etc. was going to be put right this morning. The writer wasn't O.T.F, ok, but it wasn't someone I specifically hated either (Chipple even described Yusuke as a "friend of Escalator [Records]"), and despite my mixed feelings about the second "difficult" album, there was still enough good stuff on there to imagine that the creases etc. might be smoothed out.

So how can I sum the song up? I don't really agree with Tower's assessment that this is a "more melodious Halcali than we've seen before". In fact, it really sounds like an outtake from Osusume, with a soft-rap inbetween the chorus' akin to Strawberry Chips or Find A Way (from the Baby Blue! single).

Honestly though, it's bland. It's simply lightweight J-pop fluff and it passes out of the mind with the ease of a dental appointment. After recording the song, I listened to it again. Then again, and again. Finally I stopped after I realized that I was trying to like it, trying to find the salvageable bits of the song. In a way, it's ok. The verse doesn't have much, but the chorus is comprised of the kind of lilting background music you could happily half-listen to in an internet cafe or something. Even now, after listening to the song multiple times only an hour ago, i'm struggling to remember what that chorus even goes like.

However, it was not the full song. We'll have to wait until December for that (or next Wednesday if you're in Tokyo, they're playing it on Buzz Room). So i'm not going to write it off until i've had time to assess the single properly. Right now though, the feeling is...urp. If it wasn't Halcali, I wouldn't have given what I heard this morning a second thought.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Question...

Would you wear this...?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Eureka 7

As I mentioned a few days ago, Halcali’s new number Tip Taps Tip will feature as the closing theme to the new (3rd) season of the TBS anime Eureka 7. The new series kicks off this Sunday (23rd) from 7-7.30 am. Tune in if you’re around (and awake). If all goes according to plan I should be back with first impressions of (the new look?) Halcali next week.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Free time well spent

I don’t usually get a lot of free time at work, but today was different for some reason. Hiding behind the pretense of doing something constructive, I found Tower.jp’s promo for Tip Taps Tip. Mixed feelings followed.


Following their label change, here comes the first shot from female hip-hop unit Halcali! The title track was written by Yusuke Tanaka, familiar from Yuki’s album Joy, and marks a more ‘singing’ style of hip-hop. Showing a more melodious Halcali than we’ve ever seen, this ‘killer tune’ is nearly ready for release!
It’s also appearing as the ending theme for Eureka 7!

I’m not sure what to think. It sounds like the move to a bigger label is predictably going to bring about some changes. A more melodious Halcali isn’t something that I’m particularly excited to hear, and I really found Yuki’s (also on Epic) Joy of little or no interest. I can’t help but think that this killer tune is going to end up sounding like Crystal Kay.

It also looks like the character files and stickers are Eureka 7 related.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another Halcali cohort

The new album by Second Royal Records' Halfby (who wrote possibly my favourite Halcali song Queen of the Slopes, and remixed Giri Giri Surf Rider for the remix album), Green Hours is out now and it's great. Inventive sampling with the odd bout of rap weaved into insanely catchy (and certainly non-kitch, goodbye Mansfield) pop songs you'd have no qualms with dancing to. Yes, it's filed under club music but it's pop through and through. It's easily the most fun i've had with an album by a Japanese band since Harvard's Lesson. Put together with love and attention. I also got a free 1-track 'novelty CD' (so it says here) Your Adress(sic). Pick it up if you dare.

If you like that, next on your list should be Handsomeboy Technique's Adleie Land. Second Royal is turning (has turned?) into my new Escalator. There's certainly more warmth on the label than the computer-calcualted beats of Usagi-Chang Records anyway.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Tip Taps Tip

More confusion? Bounce.com reports Halcali’s next release to be the song Tip Taps Tip, on Epic Records on December the 7th, making a total mystery of all the goings on (airplay for late September, new song finished last August, Twinkle Star?!) I’ve been reporting on over the last few weeks. And what about the switch to (ugh) Epic Records? It’s certainly a bit odd that they should mention playing the new song on their show then, after September has been and gone, fail to mention it again. What happened with For Life then? Is this song the same one we've been hearing whispers about, or was that one scrapped? Well, whatever the reason, it’s the switch that’s obviously behind this annoyingly long delay. In any case, Tip Taps Tip is certainly a better title than the one the old rumor suggested. The track is going to be used as the closing theme song to the early Sunday morning TBS anime Eureka 7. (Here’s a plot synopsis page for the show in English)

No news over at Epic, For Life, or (unbelievably) the official site yet. Thanks a million to gira for the update.

Another one: Brian lets me know that the single is already available for pre-order from cdjapan. Early pressings come with stickers and caracter(sic) files.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Buzz Room upgrade

The Buzz Room site has been given an overhaul, turning Halcali’s Room 103 into a place fit for two teenage pop kids. There still seems to be the odd bug or two but you can still look at the older version by clicking on the link bottom right. The broadcast time has also changed, now it’s on Wednesday nights from 9:30 till 10.
And while were on the subject, what on earth has happened to the plan of the new single being ready to air by “late September”? A song which, if rumours are to be believed, was finished in August! Perhaps they’re waiting for the one year anniversary of the release of their last single (Baby Blue!) to put it out?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

More new song gossip

Over on the Halcali BBS I came across this message from Momiji (I'm sure she/he won't mind if I show you this)


[Halcali] sang their new song, Twinkle Star, at the gig I saw them at the other day [I'm gussing it was Soul Groove Party], but I wonder when it's going to be released? They said that they finished it in August, so i'm guessing it'll be soon...

Twinkle Star? It does sound slightly, well, twee, although they already have songs called Strawberry Chips and Peek-A-Boo, so it's not too out of place. There's also a discussion about Halcali rip-offs The Do-nuts ("that song sounds exactly like Giri Giri Surf Rider!") in case you feel like joining in.