Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bands I Missed: Shonen Knife


I’m starting a new topic that I’ll come back to occasionally called: Bands I Missed. I’ve never been very good about looking for new music, going to concerts, or following up on bands that I might like. So there has been a lot good stuff that I missed out on. Of course with the web being as it is today, it is easy to sample, or stumble across something. So first up is: Shonen Knife.

This Japanse girl-group has been around since ’81 but didn’t start making waves in the US until the late ‘80s. Shonen Knife is kinda’ like the Ramones (which Shonen Knife are big fans of) in that many famous bands site them as an influence and admire their music, but the girls have never had a huge smash hit. The gals of Shonen Knife are innovators if not household names though. Their favorite music includes girl groups of the 50’s and 60’s and punk rock. It makes for a delightful mix of pop sentiment and punk honesty. I like to think of them as Go-Go Punk or Kitsch Punk. If Devo exposes the darkside of our pop culture than maybe Shonen Knife is the light. I have seen their CDs around over the years but I never picked one up and I really regret that now. College would have been so much better with Shonen Knife blasting from the Stereo.

Oh and because you might be wondering, shonen means ‘boy’.

Here is the first song I came across called: Riding the Rocket. It is a really fun song with great hooks. Also, the video has, what I consider, one of the most important pop images of all time… Godzilla with Mickey Mouse ears!


Join me in checking out more Shonen Knife!


-Swinebread

8 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

Overdriven guitars, old-timey space satire, excellent day-glo color coordination, and monster movies. What's not to love?

Shonen Knife. Ichiban!

Seymour said...

Excuse me, but was the asparagus creature at the end of the vid spanking the drummer? That's unacceptable, but strangely erotic.

Strangely.

She-Hulk's Bitch said...

I've always liked green... a lot! and well, asparagus is green.

Hypatia said...

Totally fun! Like I said in person, this reminds me of the early 90's group DeeLite, which I can't like to in the limited HTML granted to commenters.

"The groove is in the heeeaaaaaart, the groove is in heeeearrrt, the groove is in the heeeaaaaart"

Pandabonium said...

That's great. Reminds me of "Pink Lady" - UFO.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oh, yes! The unforgettable Shonen Knife! Needless to say, they are still legends even here in "more than one day old is old" Japan.

It's amazing how Japanese girl pop-punk bands seem to do well in the States but bands of other genre don't. I mean...Puffy have a cartoon on Cartoon Network, for Crissake!!!

I almost wish Poly-6 (the Japanese version of DEVO) had been a bit more successful...

Swinebread said...

don snabulus I agree!

seymour I dunno, I though strangely erotic was very Japanese.

she-hulk's bitch OoooKaaay whatever floats your boat.

hypatia I think they’re kinda’ b-52-ish as well.

pandabonium.Ha Ha yeah, but Pink Lady shows a lot more skin.

the moody minstrel Wow, they’re legends in Japan? My SO said that they’re more popular in the US and Japanese folks think they’re too weird and old. Thanks for the update. I think it would be a good idea for Shonen Knife to get a cartoon too. They did do some music for Power Puff Girls. Ahh Poly-6 is gone huh… that’s too bad. I am planning to do a ‘bands I missed’ on them sometime.

Pandabonium said...

Well, I did say "reminds me of" not "they are like".... I like skin. :P