Shonen Knife Celebrate 30th Anniversary With Osaka Ramones

Shonen Knife as the Osaka Ramones
Shonen Knife as the Osaka Ramones
Shonen Knife as The Osaka Ramones

Shonen Knife as The Osaka Ramones

For those of us with short memories and those of us who were not around to actually remember, I present a few facts that may help illustrate just how long ago 1981 was. In 1981, MTV started broadcasting for the first time; and played music videos exclusively. President Reagan succeeded Jimmy Carter in the White House. It’d be two years before Return of the Jedi would receive a theatrical release. This means that anyone around at that time had no idea what would happen to Han Solo after being frozen in carbonite or that those kisses (for luck) shared between Luke and Leia were totally incestuous.

And In 1981, all those years ago, something amazing happened in the Japanese metropolis called Osaka. The Yamano sisters, Naoko and Atsuko, joined forces with their friend Michie Nakatani to form the debut iteration of Shonen Knife; an all-female, pop-punk sensation.

It goes without saying, that very few bands make it to the thirty year mark. Fewer still are those that make it with the original line-up; and Shonen Knife is no exception there. Of the original trio, only guitarist and lead singer Naoko remains; now partnered with bassist Ritsuko Taneda on bass and Emi Morimoto on drums.

Still, Shonen Knife shows no signs of slowing up any time soon. Less than a year ago, the band released three albums in the states under the Buffalo, New York- based Good Charamel Records label. This Summer Shonen Knife’s scheduled to play various gigs in Japan (including a performance at the Fuji Rock Festival in Naeba) and a stint of UK shows in August.

Somehow, they’ve even found time to record an entire Ramones tribute album. See? The knife is sharper than ever.


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