I’m sad I missed this show, I can say that much.
Shonen Knife, the Japanese all-girl pop/rock/punk band that has amassed a cult following since their formation in 1981, played Spaceland in Los Angeles last Friday.
I haven’t actually listened to Shonen Knife before, but given the circumstances of their popularity, I probably should.
Their involvement with Sub Pop Records and the grunge movement has long been one of their most recognizable characteristics, even enlisting Nirvana songwriter/”spokesman for a generation” Kurt Cobain as a fan. Cobain, after hearing their music, was a fan right away, and after he saw them in concert in LA in 1991, said “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.”
Cobain’s love for the band led to Nirvana asking them to open their UK tour in 1992, just before Nevermind was released.
The funny thing about this request is that Shonen Knife lead guitarist/singer/principal band member Naoko Yamano did not know who Nirvana was. Speaking about the tour and the opportunity that was presented to her band, Yamano is quoted as having said
“So I went to a record store, and I bought their CD. And when I saw their photograph, I thought they might be scary persons, because their hairstyles and their clothes were very grunge. But once the tour had started, I noticed that all the members were nice, good persons. And because this was our first experience of a long tour, the drummer Dave [Grohl] helped us with setting up the drum kit.”
Needless to say, the fact that Kurt Cobain was a fan of Shonen Knife helped them out, as Nirvana and grunge enthusiasts often seek out the bands that Kurt liked (such as Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, the Melvins, and the Meat Puppets, to name a few).
Well, Shonen Knife hit up LA last Friday, and this recap of the show from Blogging LA is a very thorough description of the band and its origins, as well as the show itself.
After reading this, I’m significantly more interested in finally checking out Shonen Knife.
I’m also sad I skipped the show, as it looks like it was pretty awesome.
I’ll end this post with the band’s video for their new song, Perfect Freedom.