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    In a year that has been filled with influential, well-respected alt-rock bands from the 90’s returning to the road – there is no band that captured the zeitgeist better than Shonen Knife.

    The 90’s were a time when an all-female, Japanese punk band from Osaka like Shonen Knife could exist.

    The band formed in the early 80’s, by sisters Naoko Yamano, Atsuko Yamano, along with friend and bassist Michi Nakatani.  They’re reputation preceded them, being influenced primarily by the burgeoning music of mid-to late 70’s – specifically punk rock and New Wave.  And being an all-female group they struck chord with the emerging feminist mindset in a misogynist Regan-era America, and the Riot Grrrrl movement swelling in the underground music scene.  It didn’t take long for the all-female, Japanese punk band to be noticed scene kids in America. 

    By the 90’s a plethora of bands that were influenced by their early work (Fugazi, Nirvana, and Mudhoney, among the many) were becoming staples on main stream radio, selling millions of records, and filling arenas all over the country.  This created an atmosphere where Shonen Knife was able to make headway in a more mainstream setting.  Kurt Cobain even invited the band to open for Nirvana on a tour of the U.K.

    They never blew up to major commercial success, the band was featured all over American television and saw them taking part in several successful compilation albums of the era.  The band has continued soldiered on, playing to a loyal fanbase and releasing albums.  They are currently touring in support of their 2014 album, “Overdrive.”

    Shonen Knife will be performing with C.J. Ramone (former bassist of Ramones) June 17th at The New Vintage.  Tickets are still on-sale $15-$20, and doors open at 8 PM.


    Photo courtesy of Shonen Knife

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    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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