Squeeze the Day for 11/16

Nov 16, 2011 at 10:37 am
click to enlarge Shonen Knife
Shonen Knife

Music Tonight: Japanese Rock legends Shonen Knife comes to Mayday in Northside for a show with locals Weakness. The trio is celebrating its 30th anniversary on its current tour, as well as its most recent release, Osaka Ramones, a (duh) Ramones tribute album inspired by the members' tribute-band side-project of the same name. A former favorite at Cincinnati's MidPoint Music Festival, the Knife is known for its infectious energy live. The show is rare ticketed event for Mayday — but $8 to see Shonen Knife in a small club is still a huge bargain. Dig the girl-group-bop spin on "The KKK Took My Baby Away" below.—-

• Contemporary Blues fave Tommy Castro returns to Newport's Southgate House tonight. Castro's 2009 solo release, Hard Believer, was on the Billboard Blues chart for over 30 weeks and helped Castro and his band earn four "Blues Music Awards" (Living Blues magazine readers picked it as Album of the Year for 2009, as well). This year, the Castro-led Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue released a highly acclaimed live album (see below for a clip). Showtime tonight is 8 p.m. and tickets are $20.

Momentous Happenings in Music History for November 16
On this day in 1987, Lisa Bonet celebrated her 20th birthday by eloping with aspiring rocker Lenny Kravitz. Like Johnny Cougar, Kravitz was going by Romeo Blue at this time, but after signing with Virgin Records following a bidding war, he reverted to his given name. Kravitz's debut, Let Love Rule, was heavily influenced by ’60s and ’70s Rock & Roll, as well as his relationship with Bonet and their daughter, Zoe. Bonet — who directed the video for the album's title-track single (see below) — was also a big influence on Kravitz's sophomore release, Mama Said, which featured more somber songs inspired by the couple's break-up. The pair divorced in 1993, the same year Kravitz became an official superstar with his smash hit album, Are You Gonna to Go My Way.

Kravitz's career is borderline Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-worthy, but Bonet has barely been heard from since the end of her TV show runs (Cosby's classic sitcom and the spin-off, A Different World). Right now, their daughter is more "It" that both of them — Zoe has appeared in films with Jodie Foster and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and became a regular on the Showtime series Californication this past season. She plays the friend of the lead character's daughter who convinces her to join an all-girl band called Queens of Dogtown. Sounds like she got a good mix of both of her folks' genes.  

Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers born Nov. 16 include: Blues pioneer W.C. Handy (1873); member of Industrial band Front 242, Patrick Codenys (1958); Jazz singer/pianist (and wife to Elvis Costello) Diana Krall (1964); and bassist for seminal British band The Stone Roses (and, later, Primal Scream), Mani (1962).

The Stone Roses recently announced plans for a worldwide reunion tour, which was major news in the U.K. (less so in the U.S.). The band was highly successful and influential in the British music scene in the late ’80s/early ’90s with their rave-influenced, psychedelic Dance Rock. Their importance is almost exclusively based on their self-titled debut; a long-delayed follow-up, Second Coming, was largely seen as a disappointment of such epic proportions it became a punchline in the fantastic zombie comedy, Shaun of the Dead. In a scene designed for music nuts, the lead characters take to throwing vinyl albums at approaching zombies. Shaun offers "yays" and "nays" for each album chosen to throw; going through his Prince collection, he refuses to let Sign o' the Times and Purple Rain be tossed, but says "Throw it," when the Batman soundtrack comes up. When Ed says, "Stone Roses?," Shaun says no at first. "Second Coming?" Ed adds. "I like it," Shaun demures, a comment on the album's very mixed reception from fans.

Here's the biggest track from that self-titled debut, which no self-respecting music fan would ever destroy, even if it was to murder a zombie.