Japanese punk-pop band Shonen Knife are hitting the road to commemorate their 30-year anniversary and celebrate their latest release, Osaka Ramones, a tribute to—you guessed it—the Ramones. The stop at Bottom of the Hill tomorrow.
Formed in 1981, the all-female Shonen Knife (which translates literally to “boy knife”) didn’t really hit the mainstream until the early 90s, after support from indie labels K Records and Sub Pop and alt-rock phenoms Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Steven McDonald of Redd Kross. The timing was perfect and Shonen Knife began getting college radio play, doing television appearances and picking up momentum in the newly hip alternative noise-rock scene that was sweeping across the country.
A live performance was said to have transformed Kurt Cobain into “a hysterical nine-year old girl at a Beatles concert,” (Check out the pic!) and soon thereafter the band were opening up for Nirvana on a tour of the UK. Needless to say, 30 years later, the band is still chugging away, having etched its name deep into the hearts of most music fans who grew up during the alt-rock heyday of the 90s.
Their style may be light, almost bubblegum, but their declaration always was and remains to be clear—music made by and for appreciators of the craft of songwriting and the joys achieved therein.
Their latest release is a tribute to the Ramones, who they have credited as one of their biggest influences. I was recorded in Osaka, Japan and Buffalo, N.Y., by Robby Takac from The Goo Goo Dolls(!?). Most of the shows on this tour will sell out as the band is well known for their lively performances and soundtrack to the days of yesteryear. I suggest getting your tickets ahead of time and preparing your cheeks for the sustained smile they will need to be supporting all night.
Shonen Knife play Bottom of the Hill Friday, November 4th. Doors are at 8:30pm, tickets are $12 advance and $14 at the door, and Shannon and the Clams provide main support with The Pleasure Kills opening.