Japanese Pop Punk Sheroes Shonen Knife Play Newport This Week

The veteran rockers perform Wednesday at the Southgate House Revival

Sep 10, 2019 at 8:21 am
click to enlarge Shonen Knife - Photo: Tomoko Ota
Photo: Tomoko Ota
Shonen Knife

Japanese Punk Pop legends Shonen Knife began pumping out its gleeful brand of hyper-melodic/hyper-energetic Pop Rock in 1981. Influenced by the same artists as their American Punk Pop peers (The Ramones, Beach Boys, etc.), the group was one of the first Indie/Alternative Rock bands to break big outside of Japan.

In the ’80s, Hip American labels like K Records and Sub Pop began releasing Shonen Knife music and influential DJ John Peel gave them more international cred with regular spins on BBC radio. In 1989, bands like Sonic Youth, L7 and Red Kross covered Shonen Knife songs for the tribute album Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Them. The group went on to tour with Nirvana, play on an early Lollapalooza tour and release music through Virgin and Capitol Records.

Shonen Knife has maintained a loyal cult following in the years since, earning numerous TV, film and commercial song placements along the way to help pay the bills. Shonen Knife currently features founders (and sisters) Naoko Yamano (vocals/guitar) and Atsuko Yamano (bass/vocals), plus drummer Risa Kawano. Released on Buffalo, New York's Good Charamel Records (the label founded by Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls), Sweet Candy Power is Shonen Knife's 19th album release.

“This album is homage to my favorite 1960s and 1970s rock music," Naoko says in a press release for SK’s recently-released album Sweet Candy Power. "Also I put all of enjoyment, entertainment, joyful and delightful from me into songs. Inspired by my experience during tours and my daily life, I wrote lyrics with fun and a little bit of ironical viewpoint. I hope people get happy through this album."

8 p.m. Wednesday. $17, $19 day of show. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, southgatehouse.com