Sunday, March 4, 2012

gotta get album: shonen knife's osaka ramones

I see Shonen Knife put out what is, for me, a "gotta get" album last year. It's called Osaka Ramones.

Shonen Knife, for the uninformed, is an all-female pop-punk trio from Japan. Their music has that hard grungy guitar sound of contemporary punk, but they manage to give it a certain childish charm and happy poppy energy. One thing that helps is that a lot of their songs are innocent ditties about food. There's "Sushi Bar" "I Wanna Eat Chocobars" and "Banana Chips."

But what I like best is when they do cover versions. My favorite is "Daydream Believer," which (heresy though it is for a Monkees fan like me to say) I like better than the Monkees version. Another one is "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," which they did for a various artists Burt Bacharach tribute album.

Osaka Ramones is Shonen Knife's album-length tribute to the Ramones. I actually found it as a result of Davy Jones' death. After I wrote a post about it (here), a friend emailed me a video of Davy performing "Daydream Believer" onstage with U2. I responded with Shonen Knife's version. But in looking for that on Youtube (in order to send my friend the link), I noticed a bunch of covers of Ramones songs. Watching them, I got confused, seeing "Osaka Ramones" listed with some of them. I wondered if that wasn't the name of a Japanese tribute band, and if these weren't their renditions. However, Amazon confirmed that Osaka Ramones is an album by Shonen Knife.

Gotta get it.

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