In terms of energy, enthusiasm, and pure fun, they just couldn't compete with Osaka, Japan, veterans Shonen Knife. Formed in the early 80s, and championed by legendarily tasteful gents like John Peel and Kurt Cobain, their silly Ramones-inspired pop-punk is, if anything, more relevant now that the mid-90s variety of the genre has been newly nostalgized by grown-up Hot Topic babies. The band paid off their Ramones debt early with a crowd-shout along version of "Blitzkrieg Bop." (If you look close at this video, you can see me Tweeting-reporting through that like a real lame.) Newer songs, written about simple pleasures like ramen noodles or green tea ice cream were done in the style of 70s American hard rock. The head banging pleasures they brought are evidenced above. These songs were ridiculous, sure, but never smug or self-impressed. "Bear Up Bison" still totally slays.
Shonen Knife might be an intrinsically silly group, but there was a level of joy here that young bands in town looking to make their mark would do well to aspire towards. [Read More...]
The second night of CMJ occurred within hostile atmosphere; rain fell in a continuous and disorganized spray on Wednesday, the wind inverting umbrellas. ... At the Knitting Factory that night, Osaka punk band Shonen Knife played the Panache Booking Showcase, walking onstage in matching Mondrian dresses. Shonen Knife formed in 1981 but their music has a timeless quality, minimally composed but invested with boundless energy. Their new album, Overdrive, was released in April, and guitarist Naoko Yamano described it as â€śinspired by 70s British hard rock and American rockâ€ť; the songs they played from the record deftly wove those traditions into their pop-punk designs, even as they applied distinctly doomy riffs to songs about food and green tea. â€śThis song is about a delicious Japanese noodle,â€ť Naoko said, introducing the song Ramen Rock. â€śI know there are any delicious ramen restaurants around here.â€ť [Read More...]
Few examples showcase egos quite like a classic rock guitar player. The analogy of the guitar as an extension of the male genitalia becomes uncomfortably accurate as faces become more contorted and one-upmanship reaches eye-rolling proportions. Even when a shredder such asAce Frehley gives a guitar lesson, his patience dissolves as he attempts to slow his solos down to single notes, his smirk betraying the humor in amateurs trying to match his golden fingers, his sunglasses hiding the laughter in his eyes. Naoko Yamano, frontwoman for Osaka rock iconsShonen Knife, shares a similar attitude. [Read More...]
Theyâ€™ve opened for Nirvana, jammed with Sonic Youth, and have appeared on CNN News. Their videos have been featured on Beavis and Butthead, their music has appeared on the Powerpuff Girls soundtrack, and they have even recorded an entire Ramones tribute album. Theyâ€™ve got a cult following, to say the least.
Osakaâ€™s sweethearts, Shonen Knife, will be playing at Denverâ€™s Oriental Theater tonight to celebrate their North America Overdrive Tour. The show starts at 9pm (Shonen Knife goes on at 10:30pm), with opening bands The Sonic Archers, Sparkle Jetts, and 9 Volt Fatale. Tickets are $12-15. [Read More...]
The Japanese, all-female trio has been bringing its sunny, idiosyncratic brand of crowd-pleasing punk from its hometown of Osaka to audiences around the world since 1981, and released its 20th album, â€śOverdrive,â€ť this spring.
Shonen Knifeâ€™s tour in support of â€śOverdrive,â€ť which included the bandâ€™s thousandth show, wraps up with a gig on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Saint on Main Street in Asbury Park. The bandâ€™s sole remaining original member, guitarist and singer Naoko Yamano, gave us the inside scoop on the band thatâ€™s showing no sings of slowing down.
Q:I just had the chance to listen to â€śOverdrive,â€ť the bandâ€™s new album, which I really enjoyed. How does it feel for Shonen Knife to have released its 20th album? [Read More...]