Shonen Knife is a group that has truly transcended both the naturally conceived limits of time and geographical location when it comes to creative output. The Japanese all-girl pop-punk band has been around longer than some of today‚Äôs up-and-coming artists have even been alive and totes a fandom reaching the lofty likes of Sonic Youth and Nirvana. Channelling their favorite acts like Ramones and The Beach Boys, the trio has cemented their worldwide legacy with their simplistic yet catchy lyrics and their sharp and pointed instrumentation.
The sole original member from the band, Naoko Yamano, briefly chatted with us about Shonen Knife‚Äôs latest work Overdrive [Read More...]
I will admit that I was initially confused with the overall billing of this show because I had thought that CJ Ramone was a member of Shonen Knife for this tour and was expecting to see CJ jam with the J-pop princesses but the way the show worked out was that the opening act dropped off day of show and Shonen Knife‚Äôs set started the night off. CJ Ramone played a solo set as the headliner at 10 PM.
I was impressed with the quality merch Shonen Knife and CJ had at their tables. CJ sold hand painted skateboard decks, vinyl, and solo shirts. Shonen Knife had merch that reminded me of The Beatles back when they were a pop band; everything was cute, fluffy and nice. [Read More...]
Since the mid-1990‚Äôs cute girls as young as twelve have been recruited by the Japanese Talent Agencies to ‚Äėbecome‚Äô adorable little stars. The Japanese Idol system is all about manufacture, control and profit. Innocent looking actresses are recruited. (They do not necessarily have a background in music.) They are then expected to sweat & toil for their masters before being relentlessly and rigorously promoted...
If you are not a fan of Simon Cowell and Syco music because you do not like artifice and deceit‚Ä¶ And you think that Idol factories such as X Factor and Got Talent churn out mass-produced consumer fodder ‚ÄĒ then it figures that you should not like or support Babymetal either.
But Here are Five Bands that you Should Get to Know and be Proud to Support:
The first band you should get to know is a pop punk band formed in Osaka Japan, in 1981. [Read More...]
In a year that has been filled with influential, well-respected alt-rock bands from the 90‚Äôs returning to the road ‚Äď there is no band that captured the zeitgeist better than Shonen Knife. The 90‚Äôs were a time when an all-female, Japanese punk band from Osaka like Shonen Knife could exist.
The band formed in the early 80‚Äôs, by sisters Naoko Yamano, Atsuko Yamano, along with friend and bassist Michi Nakatani. They‚Äôre reputation preceded them, being influenced primarily by the burgeoning music of mid-to late 70‚Äôs ‚Äď specifically punk rock and New Wave. And being an all-female group they struck chord with the emerging feminist mindset in a misogynist Regan-era America, and the Riot Grrrrl movement swelling in the underground music scene. It didn‚Äôt take long for the all-female, Japanese punk band to be noticed scene kids in America. [Read More...]
Shonen Knife cleaned up afterward and they lived up to expectation. It was energetic, choreographed, and tight. The synchronized riffage and bowing guitar/bass contrasted by stand-up drumming was both entertaining and a musically respectful‚ÄĒmore playful than mocking‚ÄĒand the real definitive point would be the band‚Äôs enthusiasm. Over 30 years in the game haven‚Äôt dampened the mood, and drummer Emi Morimoto‚Äôs infectious smile kept the atmosphere bouncy and carefree. [Read More...]
The CJ Ramone and Shonen Knife tour just came through the Twin Cities last Wednesday, June 10th, at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St Paul.
This is a great double bill for Shonen Knife, who sometime play as Ramones tribute band The Osaka Ramones. It's been a while since we as saw the band in 2009, but it would seem that they've reunited with original bassist Atsuko Yamano... who is temporary replacing Ritsuko Taneda on her maternity leave. This was a unique opportunity for non-Los Angeles fans to see Atsuko performing on bass for the first time in nearly a decade.
As you can see from their setlist, it was written in Japanese, making it a challenge to decipher what they played. I believe this is their correct set, based on my notes and with a help of friend. [Read More...]
Legendary Japanese all-girl rock group Shonen Knife continues its tour in support of its latest release, Overdrive, with a live show at (le) Poisson Rouge. The icons of indie achieved cult status with their brand of poppy-fun tunes influenced by 1960s pop and punk bands.
To mark Shonen Knife‚Äôs 30th anniversary and to pay tribute to groundbreaking punk group the Ramones, the band released its 16th studio album, Osaka Ramones in 2011. So it‚Äôs fitting that joining them on stage at (le) Poisson Rouge will be CJ Ramone, the bassist for the Ramones from 1989 through 1996. [Read More...]
Pretty much an unbelievable lineup at Amsterdam tonight. After Dee Dee Ramone could no longer play bass in The Ramones, his buddy C.J. Ramone took over and gave the legendary punk pioneers a (some say needed) breath of fresh air. Since he was much younger than the other members, C.J. is still going strong and blowing up small club with his new band punk ethos. He‚Äôs joined on his current tour by the legendary Japanese pop punk trio Shonen Knife‚ÄĒwe kicked ourselves for missing their last show here, which we heard was just fantastic. Those two groups playing together would be enough, but our favorites, near local legends L‚ÄôAssassins are even opening. Gotta go. [Read More...]
Shonen Knife, CJ Ramone
When: Sun., June 7, 9 p.m. 2015
Crunchy riff, unbearably cutesy lyrics about animals, crunchy riff, unbearably cutesy lyrics about food: Japanese pop-punk trio Shonen Knife have a formula, and (despite personnel changes) they do not deviate. Nor should they. Everybody likes to pretend the essence of rock/punk is anarchy and attitude, but Shonen Knife know that Elvis and for that matter the Sex Pistols, were charming because they were unabashed novelty acts. ‚ÄúAnarchy in the UK . . . it might be a mistake,‚ÄĚ the group declares on their last masterpiece, 2010‚Äôs Free Time. Their latest, 2014‚Äôs Overdrive (Good Charamel Records), isn‚Äôt quite up to that standard. Plus it doesn‚Äôt have the wackily sublime energy of their greatest 90s tracks like ‚ÄúFish Eyes,‚ÄĚ which whimsically riffed on cross-cultural alienation from the piscine point of view. Still, even if it‚Äôs not top-drawer Knife, Overdrive has plenty of pleasures for fans, like ‚ÄúGreen Tea,‚ÄĚ about green tea; ‚ÄúShopping,‚ÄĚ about shopping; ‚ÄúFortune Cookie,‚ÄĚ about what you‚Äôd expect; and ‚ÄúLike a Cat,‚ÄĚ which must be Shonen Knife‚Äôs 20th song about cats (‚ÄúMeow, meow, meow / Fancy free like a cat /Meow, meow, meow/ Spend your days like a cat‚ÄĚ). If ever a band deserved a kitten endorsement, Shonen Knife is it‚ÄĒand what could be higher praise than that? [Read More...]