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Shonen Knife

During the early-'90s alternative wave, veteran Japanese indie rock trio Shonen Knife made major fans out of alt-rock's elite (Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and Redd Kross, among others) and built a solid worldwide cult following with their Ramones meets the Beatles brand of sticky-sweet punk-pop. Formed by Michie Nakatani (vocals, bass), Naoko Yamano (vocals, guitar), and Atsuko Yamano (drums), Shonen Knife started in December 1981 in their hometown of Osaka, Japan, where all three members were working as office clerks.

The band played its first real show in March of the following year. Soon after, they began issuing albums in Japan, including 1982's cassette-only release Minna Tanoshiku (English translation: Everybody Happy?), 1983's Burning Farm, 1984's Yama No Attchan, and 1986's Pretty Little Baka Guy (the latter of which was reissued with extra tracks four years later, under the title Pretty Little Baka Guy/Live in Japan). Although their records were only available in the U.S. via import, Shonen Knife struck a chord with the underground with a track that appeared on the Sub Pop 100 compilation in 1986. In 1989, a collection of alternative bands even recorded renditions of their favorite Shonen Knife songs for the tribute album Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Them.

The first Shonen Knife release to be issued outside of Japan was a 1990 self-titled compilation that featured the entire Burning Farm and Yama No Attchan albums, as well as three tracks that were only previously available on the obscure Japanese comp Aura Music. Shortly thereafter, the group began touring America on a somewhat regular basis, supporting its 1991 release 712 with some dates opening for Nirvana just prior to the runaway success of Cobain and company's now-classic Nevermind album. Now the hip band to name-drop, Shonen Knife signed their first major U.S. recording contract with Capitol, resulting in the release of one of their finest (and best-known) albums, 1992's Let's Knife. A year later, the group switched to the Virgin label, issuing Rock Animals, which would spawn a semi-popular MTV video with "Tomato Head" (even landing a spot on the network's popular animated series Beavis & Butthead).

In 1994 the trio performed as part of the traveling alternative rock festival Lollapalooza and contributed a cover of "Top of the World" to the Carpenters tribute album If I Were a Carpenter, while Virgin issued an 18-track collection of rare tracks, Birds & the B-Sides, in 1996. Although they were able to greatly expand their U.S. fan base, Shonen Knife never obtained the breakthrough success that was expected by many, resulting in the group returning to the independents and issuing such further releases as 1997's Brand New Knife, 1998's Happy Hour, and the 2000 Japan-only release Strawberry Sound (which featured the band's revamped lineup of Atsuko Yamano on bass and Mana Nishiura, who joined Shonen Knife after Nakatani left in 1999, on drums).

Vocalist Naoko Yamano was the only original member during the mid- to late 2000s, but even after 20-plus years and difficulties maintaining a consistent lineup, the band showed no signs of slowing. In 2005, Oglio reissued the band's first four albums, and the band released Genki Shock in Japan; late that year, Nishiura was killed in a New Jersey traffic accident while touring with DMBQ. Both Shonen Knife and DMBQ performed at a tribute concert for Nishiura that was held in Kyoto in spring 2006, shortly before the U.S. release of Genki Shock. The band continued on with drummer Etsuko Nakanishi and bassist Ritsuko Taneda, releasing a live album and another full-length titled Super Group in 2009. A few months after completing 2010's Free Time, drummer Nakanishi parted ways with the band, to be replaced by Emi Morimoto. After celebrating their 30th anniversary with a concert in New York, the Yamano/Taneda/Morimoto lineup released Pop Tune in 2012 and Overdrive in 2014.

The year 2015 saw more lineup changes for Shonen Knife. In March, founding drummer Atsuko rejoined the band on bass, a reunion that was supposed to be a temporary gig while Ritsuko was away on maternity leave. However, Ritsuko did not return and Atsuko continued with the band. Months later, Morimoto announced her departure and was replaced by Risa Kawano (Brinky). In April 2016, the year of their 35th anniversary, Kawano and the Yamano sisters returned with Shonen Knife's 19th studio album, the '70s-rock-inspired Adventure, which featured the single "Jump Into the New World." ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Pop Tune

1. Welcome To The Rock Club

2. Pop Tune

3. Osaka Rock City

4. All You Can Eat

5. Paper Clip

6. Psychedelic Life

7. Mr. J

8. Ghost Train

9. Sunshine

10. Move On

x

Track List: Osaka Ramones (Tribute To The Ramones)

1. Blitzkrieg Bop

2. Rock 'N' Roll High School

3. We Want The Airwaves

4. She's The One

5. Rockaway Beach

6. Sheenah Is A Punk Rocker

7. Scattergun

8. Psycho Therapy

9. The KKK Took My Baby Away

10. We're A Happy Family

11. Chinese Rock

12. Beat On The Brat

13. Pinhead

x

Track List: Free Time

1. Perfect Freedom

2. Rock'n'roll Cake

3. Economic Crisis

4. Do You Happen To Know

5. Capybara

6. An Old Stationary Shop

7. Monster Jellyfish

8. Pyo

9. Love Song

10. Star

11. Rock'n'roll Cake (Alternative Ver.)

12. Capybara (Techno Ver.)

x

Track List: Genki Shock

1. Introduction

2. S-P-A-M

3. Jeans Blue

4. Anime Phenomenon

5. Spider House

6. My Magic Glasses

7. The Queen Of Darkness

8. Forest Walk

9. A World Atlas

10. Broccoli Man

11. Rock Society

12. Under My Pillow

13. Giant Kitty

x

Track List: 712

1. Shonen Knife

2. Lazybone

3. Diet Run

4. Blue Oyster Cult

5. Rain

6. The Luck Of The Irish

7. My Favorite Town

8. Faith Healer

9. Redd Kross

10. White Flag

11. Superstar

12. Expo '90

14. The Moon World

15. Baggs

16. Lazybone (Live)

17. Blue Oyster Cult (Live)

x

Track List: Pretty Little Baka Guy

1. Making Plans For Bison

2. Summertime Boogie

3. I wanna Eat Chocobars

4. Public Bath

5. Devil House

6. Antonio Baka Guy

7. Ice Cream City

8. Ah, Singapore

9. Riding On The Rocket

10. Kappa Ex.

11. Riding On The Rocket (Live)

12. Kappa Ex. (Live)

x

Track List: Yama-no Attchan

1. An Angel Has Come

2. Cycling Is Fun

3. Elmar Elevator

4. Banana Leaf

5. Chinese Song

6. Flying Jelly Attack

7. Cannibal Papaya

8. Dali's Sunflower

9. Insect Collector

10. Bye Bye

11. Flying Jelly Attack (L:ive)

12. Insect Collector (Live)

x

Track List: Burning Farm

1. Miracles

2. Parallel Woman

3. Twist Barbie

4. Elephant Pao Pao

5. Tortoise Band Pot Cleaner's Theme

6. Animal Song

7. A Day Of The Factory

8. Burning Farm

9. Parrott Polyneisa

10. Watchin' Girl

11. Banana Fish

12. Watchin' Girl (Live)

13. Twist Barbie (Live)

Comments

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Don't read this you will be kissed on a Friday by the boy of your dreams you will have to post this 15 times in 143min.then presa the spacebar and the boy ñame will apper
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Cool
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OMG PPG SUPER GIRL!! memories!!! my awesome childhoodxD :')
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I wish I could find out where they are playing, I would LOVE to see them
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anesthesiaca t
The real K-ON
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my chidhood
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#PPG
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progpond3
Love this band. Did an encore once as Osaka Ramones.
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progpond3
Love this band.
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dume
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Epic right Cj Jones
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Love Love Love these chicks.
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Love these doll babies! My dearly departed introduced me to them when went to S.F one year! They're amazing and flipping rock!
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completly.co l d
Epic
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rothsuede
Shonen Knife rocks !
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Shonen Knife makes me smile. Love love love these dynamite dames!
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There music makes me want to dance!!! :3
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Insect Collector is the best song the Beatles never wrote.
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Saw them 3 times. Love these guys.Girls.
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}look up on YouTube
}watch millions of lyric or people dancing to the song
}parents walk in
}look over shoulder
}turn back and face computer
}laugh after parents leave
}regret nothing
Report as inappropriate
Time for Shonen Knife in Rock and Roll HOF. They are the Ichiro of Japanese pop and vice versa.
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♥♥♥
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Wish they had Let's Knife!

=(

=(
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darklydreami n g i n f e r i
Great fun for a party! 8D
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totally agree jay porks!
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Flew from Phoenix to Sacramento on 2 days notice to see these ladies play. Good thing I caught em right before the shift from the original lineup too. That would have been a bummer. Love em! \../
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Shonen Knife rocks so sweet!
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You have to love Shonen Knife. No matter how I'm feeling, they can always make me smile.
Report as inappropriate
They sound great!
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mkropat
This band reminds me of Proxomitron. Nerdy? yes.
Report as inappropriate
I had a bad bootleg of {Everybody Happy?} back in the day '84.
Love these girls.
Report as inappropriate
I love Shonen Knife! So much fun!
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andres_skate
These chix totaly rock you guys shud hav mor artists like 'em. mor japanese music pleaz! ^^

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