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 ‚Äúinspired by 70s British hard rock and American rock‚ÄĚ; 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. ‚ÄúThis song is about a delicious Japanese noodle,‚ÄĚ Naoko said, introducing the song Ramen Rock. ‚ÄúI know there are any delicious ramen restaurants around here.‚ÄĚ [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...]
They‚Äôve 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. They‚Äôve got a cult following, to say the least.
Osaka‚Äôs sweethearts, Shonen Knife, will be playing at Denver‚Äôs 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, ‚ÄúOverdrive,‚ÄĚ this spring.
Shonen Knife‚Äôs tour in support of ‚ÄúOverdrive,‚ÄĚ which included the band‚Äôs thousandth show, wraps up with a gig on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Saint on Main Street in Asbury Park. The band‚Äôs sole remaining original member, guitarist and singer Naoko Yamano, gave us the inside scoop on the band that‚Äôs showing no sings of slowing down.
Q:I just had the chance to listen to ‚ÄúOverdrive,‚ÄĚ the band‚Äôs new album, which I really enjoyed. How does it feel for Shonen Knife to have released its 20th album? [Read More...]
‚ÄúJust the idea of a trio of Ramones worshiping Japanese girls roaming the earth playing their own brand of J-Rock, J-Pop, Pop/Punk Fun Time Soup, was good enough for us,‚ÄĚ recalled local musician Arlo White, of Denver‚Äôs Sparkle Jetts. ‚ÄúWhen we finally heard them it was exactly like what it sounded like in our heads: Pure Innocence, Straight forward Rock and Roll Fun!‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs a pretty perfect way to describe Shonen Knife, one of the ‚Äô80s and ‚Äô90s more obscure, but most delicious, Japanese exports. You may think that bands like Guitar Wolf hold the J-Punk torch (and they do, handily ‚Äď but not completely), but it‚Äôs Shonen Knife that made the first real stab (pun fully intended) of Ramones-powered pop from Japan into America. Shonen Knife ‚Äď and particularly Naoko Yamano ‚Äď have enjoyed 32+ years of existence, and haven‚Äôt wavered once from their original happy, poppy, cat-, food- and youth-loving brand of punk rock. And they‚Äôre not about to slow down. [Read More...]
When you can count ‚Äô90s alternative rock giants like Nirvana and Sonic Youth among your biggest supporters, success should come as no surprise. But when you‚Äôre an all-female garage rock trio from Japan, garnering a worldwide following might still seem a little far fetched. And to still have continued success in the United States more than 20 years later is something of which anyone should be proud. Sitting down with Shonen Knife at Anime Weekend Atlanta a few weeks ago, however, I quickly realized this band is still incredibly humble. Having just performed the previous night at East Atlanta 529 rock club, Shonen Knife was preparing for an afternoon performance in front a very different audience of anime lovers. And despite its brevity and broken English, this interview was one of the more interesting ones I‚Äôve done in quite a while. Singer/guitarist Naoko Yamano, the only original member of the band, sat down next to me while bassist Ritsuko Taneda and drummer Emi Morimoto created a semicircle around us. But when I asked questions, the two of them would smile, nod and giggle from time to time while Yamano did all the talking. Currently wrapping up its Overdrive tour of North America (which included the band‚Äôs 1,000th show last month), here is the result of Wrestling with Pop Culture‚Äės sit-down with Shonen Knife at AWA.
You normally perform at rock clubs like the one you performed in last night. Will AWA be your first anime convention performance? [Read More...]
In the late 1980s, it was nearly unheard of for Japanese underground rock bands to play in the United States. But Shonen Knife, appearing at the Oriental Theater this Thursday, October 16, played a show in Los Angeles in 1989.
By then, the band's music had already spent several years circulating in the U.S., thanks to a 1983 visit to Japan by Beat Happening frontman and K Records founder Calvin Johnson. While overseas, Johnson found Shonen Knife's second album, Burning Farm, on cassette; he reissued the album the following year on his label. The group's original take on punk rock, and its surreal, straight-faced send-up of pop culture, struck a chord with artists in the English-speaking world, including Sonic Youth, Red Kross and, famously, Kurt Cobain, who invited Shonen Knife to open for Nirvana on the U.K. leg of its tour for Nevermind. [Read More...]
The way people warn me about winter in Seattle as a new resident is the same way it‚Äôs feared onGame of Thrones, so the onset of dark rainy days has got me investigating light therapy lamps. But I think I discovered a cheaper alternative: Shonen Knife. The moment I hit play on thegleeful Japanese sugar-punk trio, I light up with a giddiness that rivals the feeling of the sun shining on my face. I see why Kurt Cobain took them on a UK Nirvana tour and said they transformed him into a hysterical 9-year-old girl at a Beatles concert‚ÄĒthe ladies of Shonen Knife create delightfully catchy, jump-up-and-down-on-your-bed Ramones-style punk sprinkled witheuphoric girl-group harmonies and lyrics about cats dancing on flying saucers. They totally clear the clouds out of my brain. Who needs the sun? [Read More...]
After 33 years and 19 albums, Japan's female pop-punk trio, Shonen Knife, are still globetrotting and sounding better than ever. Their latest release, Overdrive, strays a bit from their usual punk sound in favor of '70s hard rock. But it's a fun record just the same, with songs about shopping, fortune cookies, robots, cats and green tea. You can always expect a good time and a tight set from this internationally revered band. The rest of this bill is particularly strong, too. [Read More...]
More than three decades have elapsed since Japanese girl punk pioneers Shonen Knife charmed their way into the hearts of the American indie rock scene, including Kurt Cobain‚Äôs, who at one point named them as his favorite band. The iconic combo weathered personnel changes and a major-label stint, emerging more technically proficient without sacrificing the guilelessness, tunefulness, and joy that originally endeared the band to its admirers. [Read More...]
Our 9/26 show podcast/syndication edit is up and available at the bottom of this post. This week on Revenge of the 80s Radio, we play new music from SHonen Knife and Paul Collins, plus classics by Elvis Costello, anna Church, Kraftwerk, The Thompson Twins, Simple Minds, King and many more classic alternative artists. [Read More...]
It‚Äôs been many years since I‚Äôve been to the Silver Dollar on Spadina Avenue just north of College, but the bar was pretty much as I remember it. Sure, the stage was on the side now, but the edgy ambiance of the place hadn‚Äôt changed at all; I think the last band I saw there was Pussy Galore, and we got in a fight on the streetcar on the way home, but I digress. And it‚Äôs been many years since I saw Shonen Knife. The band was touring in support of its new album Overdrive, so why not? [Read More...]
What‚Äôs not to like about this nineteenth‚ÄĒnineteenth!‚ÄĒalbum from Shonen Knife, Japan‚Äôs female punk-indie legends? A few years ago they put out a stupendous record just covering Ramones songs; this time out they tackle another area of 70s rock, with ten originals that recall the heavy classic rock of Kiss, Thin Lizzy, and Bad Company. But despite the fact that their amps are cranked to eleven, the compositions themselves are cute, funny, and disarmingly literal‚ÄĒthis song is indeed filled with songs about ‚ÄúShopping‚ÄĚ (#5), ‚ÄúGreen Tea‚ÄĚ (#8), and ‚ÄúRobots from Hell‚ÄĚ (#9). Every one of these songs is a pop-punk gem, but my favorites thus far are ‚ÄúBad Luck Song‚ÄĚ (#1), ‚ÄúLike a Cat‚ÄĚ (#7), and ‚ÄúDance to the Rock‚ÄĚ (#3). Listen over at http://www.goodcharamel.com! [Read More...]
Shonen Knife is a band that should be on everyone's 'to-see' list. With over 3 decades of music and stage performance behind them, you may come in with a set of expectations, but you'll leave with an experience that's outclassed by none.
The Silver Dollar Room is a venue which places the stage in the middle of a deep room, facing into the bar, offset by 2 live-streaming TV's at either end. Taking to the stage Naoko, Ritsuko, and Emi were met with the cheers of a sold out crowd. Though I could not see the ends of the bar for the fans, I'm sure not an eye was turned away from that stage, and it remained that way the entire night. [Read More...]
A rock 'n' roll legend makes a call to the B3 realm, as King Baby Duck chats with Shonen Knife frontwoman Naoko Yamano. Hear about the band's secret behind their longevity, the advantages of being a woman in the rock world, the ultimate Shonen Knife three-course meal, what Naoko's "Bad Luck Song" is, and what a Shonen Knife anime would be like.
Grab yourself a bag of banana chips and pour a cup of green tea. It's One-On-One: Naoko Yamano of Shonen Knife! [Read More...]
Have you heard the news? Shonen Knife is coming to town.
If that last sentence does not inspire alternating waves of incredulity and glee,
then you likely are not already a fan of this supremely unique, all-girl Japanese power-trio.
However, if you‚Äôre unfamiliar with the whimsy and wonder that is the high-energy group‚Äôs calling card,
have no fear: The show‚Äôs not till Friday night.
There‚Äôs still time for you to become a convert (not to mention grab a ticket).
Pop-rock fans of a certain age and predilection have been waxing rhapsodic about the infectious nature of Shonen Knife‚Äôs electric guitar, bass and drums-fueled ditties for decades now. [Read More...]
Shonen Knife just wants to make people happy ...Punky, poppy girl guitar sound comes to Dollhouse
THERE ARE plenty of bands who've stuck it out for three decades. But only a handful who've stayed relevant the whole time.
Shonen Knife is among the latter.
Formed in 1981 in Osaka, Japan, by Naoko Yamano, her sister, and a friend, Shonen Knife‚ÄĒthe name literally means ‚ÄúBoy Knife,‚ÄĚ ironic for an all-girl outfit ‚ÄĒgleefully kept the intersection of punk and pop busy and well-lit in three-minute chunks as the music world lurched from trend to trend in the meantime.
Influencing rock icons like Kurt Cobain and Sonic Youth and in turn influenced by icons like Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy, Shonen Knife‚Äôs kitschy, catchy tunes and lyrics‚ÄĒusually about innocuous, everyday things like bananas and candy and toys and pets‚ÄĒnow seem tailor-made for a millennial generation raised on emojis and anime and web video. [Read More...]
I do not think any band can put a smile on anyone‚Äôs face more than this Japanese power pop punk trio. Naoko Yamano and her bandmates have played rudimentary two-to-three-chord songs sung in rudimentary English. They‚Äôve been going strong for more than thirty-two years and recently performed their 1,000th live show. While they may appear to be unassuming, don‚Äôt underestimate them; these ladies are simply exhilarating. We are talking about fast catchy riffs that engage, entertain and (make appropriate two-fisted hand gesture here) ROCK! - See more at: http://music.newcity.com/2014/09/16/shonen-knifebottom-lounge/#sthash.bnqFQHbq.dpuf [Read More...]