Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Ready for my J Pop National Service
I`d better make this quick as I could be called up to join a J Pop band at any moment. In order to appeal to teen groups (and their pocket money), bands used to have 5-6 members, one for each teen to like and `adopt`. Suddenly Japanese bands are appearing with even more members (see Hey!Say!Jump above with 10 band members). Not only that but after a few months the members `graduate` to spawn other bands which appeal to new markets and age groups. It`s the J Pop version of swine flu. At this rate everyone in Japan will at some time or other be required to spend time in a J Pop band.
Two examples. Morning Musume (Morning Daughters) are an all-girl band of such saccharine-sweet, paedophile-attracting awfulness, I weep for the lost cause that is Japanese gender equality whenever they appear on TV. And in one guise or another, they are ALWAYS on TV. Formed in 1998, they currently have 8 members, 17 former members, and 9 associated acts including Country Musume and Mini Moni. They`ve released 9 albums and their 41st single, Kimagure Princess, is out this week. From an anthropological point of view they tick many of the boxes for Occidentalist thinking. For example, their amateurish style of singing and dancing suggests an honest, country attitude, free of the corruption and dishonesty of the city (or just a total lack of talent). They are popular across Asia in countries where women are supposed to be dumb and compliant. And young. Minimum age requirement at auditions is 12 years old. Here`s their 2006 hit, Sexy Boy, featuring para para style dancing. Para para style is when everyone learns the dance movements to a song and does them at the same time. Japan is a group society, remember.
Plastic boy band Exile currently has 14 members, being an amalgamation of Exile and J Soul Brothers, which was the original name of Exile until they became Exile, and J Soul Brothers emerged as a new band. Stay with me. They have only one former member, Shun, who quit when he found he couldn`t fit on stage with all the others there. Since 2001 they`ve released 31 singles, 7 albums and 7 Best Of albums. Interestingly, they don`t have to be young. Their ages range from 23-40. Here`s their No 1 single from July this year, Fireworks - part one only due to Youtube copyright reasons.