Tomorrow night’s Badlander gig by Japanese trio Shonen Knife isn’t getting the press it deserves, at least in local print media; and that’s really unfortunate, as it’s likely to be one of the legendary shows that people around here talk about for a long time. Paging through the Independent this morning, I see nothing more than an irrelevant caption and a photo denoting the show. And at risk of spoiling the surprise in tomorrow’s Entertainer, there’s nothing there about the show either.
I know, because I’m the guy who should have written about ‘em.
Better blog than never…
It’s a show that deserves big play — a coup of no small proportions for the local club, and an awesome opportunity for local opening acts to share the stage with a band that pretty much single-handedly started the whole Japanese music craze that swept the indie scene at the end of the last millenium.
The all-female trio has actually been around, in various forms, for a lot longer than that. Formed way back in 1981 in Osaka, the band recently released its fourteenth album, “Super Group.” Nowadays, only front-woman Naoko Yamano remains from the original lineup; yet the band’s sound and basic appeal has remained remarkably unvaried since its earliest days.
Bouncing happily between comic kitsch, perky bubblegum pop, and ass-kicking punk rock, Shonen Knife jams and sings with gleeful abandon about unapologetically idiotic topics. Good luck not singing along with the chorus on the sloppy country ditty “Deer Biscuits”: “Deer, deer, deer biscuits / Smells like soybean flour.” Neither will you have much trouble learning the chorus to “Flying Jelly Attack”: “I’m gonna eat jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly beans / You’re gonna eat cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry drops.” You get the idea.
If you need endorsement from someone with more local punk cred than I, here’s what Shane Hickey, lead singer of Volumen (which, along with our own punk-pop female trio Vera, will open the show), had to say about the gig: “Maybe I’m getting old, but this is pretty much rocking my world. Honestly, it might be an achievement that I want mentioned at my freaking funeral. If you know me, then you know I’m not kidding.”
As to why I didn’t get a preview of the show into the paper, I plead the flu. Been sick all week, so I just didn’t have the energy to wrap my mind around the show. Also, I had inquired quite awhile ago about an interview with the band; but the promoter wasn’t able to set something up. Bummer.
As I’m still feeling on the edge of blah, I’m not sure I’ll make it to the show. Let me know how it goes.
Shonen Knife appears at the Badlander this Friday, Oct. 23, with local bands Volumen and Vera. Tickets are $8 at the door (no presale available).