Review by Steven Stock
With joyous children dancing and scampering about and a regal black labrador calmly surveying the festivities, Shonen Knife’s outdoor concert at the Mt. Sabattis Pavilion in bucolic Long Lake last Saturday felt more like a particularly hip wedding reception than a punk rock concert.
Chicago-based brother/sister duo White Mystery took the stage first with a brief but intense blast of stripped-down punk/blues boogie, as an intermittently rainy day gave way to bursts of glorious sunshine. The weather had cleared completely by the time Shonen Knife – three effervescent ladies from Osaka, Japan – took over, expressing their appreciation for the beautiful setting before launching into “Riding On The Rocket.”
Read the rest of this entry »
“Gabba gabba hey!”
Those were the closing words of Shonen Knife, chanted by the trio as they wrapped up their euphoric, high-energy show at Valentine’s Music Hall with the Ramones’ punk-rock battle cry.
For their encore, Shonen Knife had emerged dressed as their Ramones-covering alter ego, the Osaka Ramones, wearing faded blue jeans and shiny black leather jackets. Starting with “Blitzkrieg Bop” and closing with “Pinhead,” they whipped through seven Ramones songs in short blasts, their fists raised in the air and long black hair thrashed in circles.
Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac – who co-produced “Osaka Ramones,” Shonen Knife’s latest album – handed the trio bouquets of pink flowers following their jubilant Valentine’s performance. The album is a cover tribute to Shonen Knife’s beloved American punk forebears, released on Takac’s Good Charamel record label.
When they started in 1981, the all-female group from Osaka, Japan, endeared fans with catchy tunes, all-around cuteness and charming lyrics about animals, sweets and dancing Barbie – but could barely play their instruments.
Read the rest of this entry »
For the past 30 years, Shonen Knife – the high-spirited female pop-punk trio from Osaka, Japan – has been churning out silly but irresistable, hook-filled songs such as “Neon Zebra,” “Space Christmas,” “Riding on the Rocket,” “Get the Wow,” “Concrete Animals,” “Brown Mushrooms,” “Tomato Head,” “Buttercup (I’m a Super Girl)” and “Banana Chips.”
The trio – led by guitarist-vocalist-founding member Naoko Yamano – is currently wrapping up their 30th anniversary American tour in support of the band’s latest album, “Osaka Ramones: Tribute to the Ramones,” but before they head home to Japan the tour will play one last U.S. show on Sunday night – at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany.
Opening the show will be Albany’s own politically charged punks the Last Conspirators. With hot-wired frontman Tim Livingston leading the charge, the band promises to unveil some new songs from the band’s upcoming third album.
BUT WAIT… What’s this? FREE TICKETS? That’s right, we’re giving away a pair of FREE TIX to a lucky Nippertown reader! To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. The winners will be selected at random and notified on Friday. Good luck! Congratulations to Christine!