A free-form jumble of musical news and features to play you into the week:
- Japanese male idol group V6 will break up on Nov. 1 after more than 25 years together, with Go Morita set to leave their agency to pursue acting, the group’s office said Friday. The breakup follows the disbandment of SMAP and the suspension of activities by Arashi, two other major pop idol groups under the management of agency Johnny & Associates, in recent years.
- Could Miki Matsubara’s 1979 hit song “Mayonaka no Door: Stay With Me” mark the moment that the genre known as city pop was born? The track has been rediscovered by a new generation of digitally savvy teens thanks to TikTok, and the Japanese music industry has taken notice, writes Patrick St. Michel.
- Guitarist Azusa Suga based part of the sound for Tokyo band For Tracy Hyde’s new album “Ethernity” on U.S. suburbia and pop culture from the 1990s. Suga spoke to St. Michel about how the album was born out of the pandemic and fears of where the U.S. is headed — hence one track fronted by Barack Obama (kinda) and another inspired by binge-watching “Twin Peaks.”
- “Heisei no Oto” (“The Sound of Heisei”) revisits the glory days of the CD in Japan, charting an alternative history of the period from 1989 to 1996. The compilation sidesteps J-pop and makes only glancing reference to the Shibuya-kei scene, to say nothing of the Japanese acts that were making waves internationally at the time. And that’s just fine, writes James Hadfield.
- Eitetsu Hayashi, who is marking 50 years as a taiko drummer this year, is performing two concerts to offer solace to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Chiho Iuchi. The first show was in Miyagi Prefecture on Sunday, but there’s still time to catch the second, which will be held in Tokyo on Wednesday.