K-Pop group “Oh My Girl” mistaken for sex workers, detained at LA airport

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RocketNews 24:

OMG, indeed!!! Awkwardness broke out at Los Angeles International Airport when the members of up-and-coming K-Pop group Oh My Girl were detained on suspicion of being sex workers. According to a statement from the group’s label, WM Entertainment, US customs officials got the idea after searching through the girls’ costumes and props.

It’s actually quite surprising since, according to several videos of Oh My Girl stage shows, they tend to be rather conservatively dressed compared to other K-Pop offerings.

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With the addition of a possible visa problem, Oh My Girl’s eight women, aged 16 to 21, were held for 15 hours before reportedly boarding a plane back to South Korea. As a result they had to cancel a performance and photo shoot for their next album cover.

WM Entertainment is said to be currently seeking legal advice to determine if the detention was unjust, but no legal action has been taken. There are also no plans for the group to return to the USA at the moment.

J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at SXSW performance creates worldwide buzz

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RocketNews 24:

Perfume, the three-member electro-pop group from Hiroshima, Japan, took to the stage for a special performance at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The annual event, held this year from March 13-22, always includes a unique lineup of musical artists, independent films, conference panels, and technological exhibitions, all carefully selected to showcase the highest levels of creativity in the current industry.

Even in that environment, Perfume’s musical and dance performance seems to have blown away the crowd with its ground-breaking use of projected visuals. Is their performance really happening in the physical world? Folks from around the world who’ve seen the video online say it’s enough to give them goosebumps!

The lovely ladies of Perfume, Kashiyuka, A~chan, and Nocchi, are no strangers to the world circuit, having embarked on sold-out concert tours in not just Asia, but in Europe and North America as well. As a result of all of this international exposure, the group was invited to perform at SXSW in the U.S., where they’ve already built up a considerable fanbase. And if those lucky fans have any say in it, this particular concert is likely to go down as legendary in the history of Perfume’s live performances.

  ▼ The trio as seen on their official website.11

The group performed at SXSW on Tuesday, March 17, taking the stage for 50 minutes beginning at the late (early?) hour of 1 a.m. As part of the set list, Perfume performed a new song called “STORY (SXSW-MIX) for the first time ever which involved the use of adjustable, semi-transparent screens onto which a variety of images were projected. The girls danced in front of, behind, and around the screens while being hit with a deluge of constantly shifting patterns and lights.

If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the trio in person, you can see the video of the performance right here:

Super-skilled girl band “5572320” reveals music video for “Hanseiki Yuutousei”, but not their identities

RocketNews 24:

Mysterious, skilled Japanese girls’ rock band (pronounced: go go nana ni san ni rei) have appeared out of nowhere with a music video for their song, titled “Hanseiki Yuutousei” (Half a Century Honor Student). Their debut single is due for release on March 25, but the identities of these young ladies remains a complete mystery.

Check out their video:

The girls’ music is packed with dissonance and syncopation but, their formation is also unorthodox: three drummers and five guitarists but no bass player. Could it be that all this complexity is meant to reflect the complex feelings of youth? After all, the lyrics do talk about the desire to change oneself, a common feeling during one’s teen years. The contrast between the hard music and setting which looks like it could be an idol music video makes an interesting statement as well.

Several commenters on the video seem to be convinced that this is idol group Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku hiding their faces. Given the eclectic nature of Ebichu’s music and their unpredictable videos, that would not be surprising. Regardless of who these eight mysterious young girls are, they have skills beyond a typical band, male or female. Perhaps we’ll learn more when they officially debut on March 20.

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Although details are still scarce, we hope that information on where to get “Hanseiki Yuutousei” (Half a Century Honor Student)” will be released soon since it’s really catchy, even though we’re probably tapping our feet to the wrong beats. In the meantime, here is the cover art.

The band’s official site can be accessed here.

Japan’s newest idol group, KBG84, hails from Okinawa, has an average age of 84

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RocketNews 24:

Japan’s idol world is quite…expansive, for lack of a better word. Even with the wide variety of groups running around, it can be hard to really tell them apart–though we have to say there was no mistaking Osaka’s Obachaaan for any other group. In fact, the “old lady” idol group is still going strong–perhaps thanks in part to the dearth of elderly competition. But it looks like Obachaaa and AKB48 are about to face some new rivals: KBG84, Okinawa’s own geriatric idol group!

KBG84, the newest idol group making headlines, is commonly described as “Japan’s idol group closest to heaven,” which seems like a cruel way to say they’re all super-old. Though we like to imagine that it’s actually a reference to the fact that they live on an island paradise!

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That said, the group’s members certainly aren’t young–in fact, you apparently have to be 80 years old or older to join and the average age is 84! And if you think that’s nuts, the central figures of the group are Miki Hanashiro, who is a mere 90 years old, and Tomi Menaka, who is 91. Say what you will about idol groups, but if we make it to 90, you can believe we’d rather be in an idol group than sitting around watching daytime TV. If you’re champing at the bit to get into the group, though, they will let people in their 70s or younger in as trainees, but you’ll likely face some competition: the group already has roughly 40 members!

As for the group’s name, the “K” is for Kohamajima, the “B” is for oBachan (old ladies), and the “G” is for “Gasshodan,” or “choir.” And, of course, the 84 is for their average age. We’re not sure if that means they’ll be adjusting the name of the group every year or not, but it’s good enough for now!

▼Kohamajima, part of the Yaeyama Islands

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And, yes, this is an active idol group–in fact, they’re a “dance and vocal” unit, though we somewhat suspect that their dancing isn’t quite as energetic as some other idol groups. They recently recorded their first track, titled “Come and Dance Kohamajima,” and it has a planned release date for sometime around June. The group has also apparently filmed a music video which featured Menaka standing and dancing–which in most other contexts might not seem impressive, but definitely is here! There are even plans for KBG84 to come to Tokyo where they will perform a show at Shinagawa Prince Hotel’s Club eX towards the end of June.

It’s shocking how much money K-Pop stars actually make

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Next Shark:

To most Westerners, the world of K-pop stars (especially the dudes) looks understandably ridiculous. But hey, we don’t judge people on looks and cultural differences. Instead, we judge them by how much money they make — and damn, we never could have guessed that ultra-feminine boys in eyeliner made this much money.

The three major K-pop labelsSM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment (all very original agency names) — have reported record profits this year. Their clients are the hottest K-pop groups out right now and they each made this much in the first half of 2014:

SuperJunior — $28,491,105.00

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Girls’ Generation — $27,796,200.00
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Big Bang — $26,985,594.00
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2NE1 — $25,253,338.00

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When those numbers are doubled for a rough yearly total, each group takes away at least $50 million, which includes tours, brand deals, albums and everything else, though that’s still not a lot for a group like SuperJunior, who has to split their nearly $57 million between their inefficient 10-member money-making bandwagon.

No, it’s not quite Beyonce or Bieber money, who raked in $115 million and $80 million, respectively, in 2014, but the top K-pop groups earned more than stars like Rihanna ($48 million), Katy Perry ($40 million), Jennifer Lopez ($37 million), Miley Cyrus ($36 million) and almost as much as Taylor Swift ($64 million).

But before you decide to pack up and move to South Korea, slap on some mascara and join a boy band (also applies for girl bands), those millions really only belong to the most successful groups. The average amount that K-pop groups make is like the difference between Bill Gates and your current bank account. While they are making more money every year, the average take home is $42,940.91, which isn’t so bad if you consider a driving a Hyundai baller.

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If you didn’t know that K-pop stars are pretty baller, now you do. You’re welcome.