Take the charm of the Beatles, the power of the Ramones, the odd satire of the Descendents, and the adorableness (dont think its a word but oh well) of Lisa Loeb, shrink wrap it all together, then evenly displace the mixture into three barely 5 feet tall Japanese female bodies. Give them musical equipment, then go rock out with them. This is the essence of Shonen Knife.
Being a half Japanese kid, when I saw the ad for the Shonen Knife show I immediately took interest and went and purchsed this CD. Needless to say, it is incredible. Its one of the most energetic, fun, addictive, and unique records I have ever had the pleasure to listen to; and I will not waste any time picking up the rest of their collection.
The music basically sounds like a mixture of all the bands listed above. Just throw in a lady from Osaka with a high pitched fun voice, some equally fun backing vocals, and a Japanese accent. Then sit back and groove. I only skip one or two tracks on this album, because 90% of it is super cool. Apparently, this was their first U.S. release and I think it contains a variety of tracks from other albums; sort of like a greatest hits, but not. Anyway, check out the first three tracks, "Flying Jelly Attack", and "I Am a Cat". But dont you dare skip the other ones in the process, because youre only hurting yourself.
Ok, sorry in advance because Im going to talk about the show I just saw rather than the album. But Im still so stoked from it I need to let you know. It was easily the best show Ive seen this year, and is in the top three concerts of all time. Actually, its in its own category of cool. Shonen Knife live is just something you have to experience to have a fulfilled life, kind of like the Cramps. And like Lux Interior and Poison Ivy, Naoko and Atsuko put on one of the greatest shows EVER. And I cant forget Etsuko, the little drummer that kicked some serious butt. Each lady had their own on-stage style and flair, and it was something truly special. I also got to meet them afterwards, and being a 6'1" Asian, I kind of felt out of place because they barely came up to my shoulder when they stood next to me. Naoko and Etsuko were also very shy, but it was still such a thrill and honor.
Anyway, I encourage anyone and everyone to give Shonen Knife a listen. Im sure some folks have an either love or hate view on stuff like this, but its still worth giving a chance to. Listen to the songs "Rubber Band" and "Banana Chips" (which unfortunately arent on Lets Knife) while youre at it. And for the sake of humanity, go see them live.
Iko-o iko-o everybody lets go!
Ukaboo ukaboo everybody ukaboo!