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Japan’s pop-punk band Shonen Knife brings USA Ramen Adventure Tour to Savannah

 

Japan’s pop-punk band Shonen Knife brings USA Ramen Adventure Tour to Savannah

24 Apr 2017

 

 

International pop-punk royalty Shonen Knife is returning to Savannah to not only play, but also find our town’s best Ramen dish.

“I find something fresh and new every day during the tour, but if music and Ramen get together, the tour will become super fun,” frontwoman Naoko Yamano said.

On 2014’s “Overdrive,” Yamano wrote a tune called “Ramen Rock,” a hard-hitting, garage-rock tune about one of her favorite noodle dishes. The U.S. has seen a rise in popularity of the Japanese dish, so to interject some extra fun, the band has built the entire tour around Ramen.

The “USA Ramen Adventure Tour” is blazing through the States with 21 dates, including May 3 at The Wormhole. The band will be searching out the best Ramen dishes in each city and blogging about what they find.

“It is the first time for us to explore Ramen restaurants in each area,” Yamano said. “I’m very excited to eat Ramen in the U.S. and let people know how delicious they are via our website, and my blog.

“For Savannah, we have reached out to a couple of places and are waiting to hear back from them so far. We will keep updating the information on our website. Please keep watch.”

In the early 1980s, inspired by a host of rock ’n’ roll coming out of the United States, sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano formed the garage-rock foundation of Shonen Knife in their native Osaka, Japan.

Shonen Knife — a name inspired by a brand of pencil sharpener blades — took notes from bands like the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and even the Beach Boys to shape the bedrock of three decades worth of music. The all-female punk band wrote catchy, whimsical songs about food, animals and Barbie dolls with both Japanese and English lyrics.

From 1982-86, the original trio of the sisters Yamano and drummer Michie Nakatani released four albums. Their first release on Zero Records, “Burning Farm,” made its way to Olympia, Wash., and the infamous independent label K Records, which re-released it to an American audience, setting the stage for the band’s most successful period.

Another now-legendary independent label, Sub Pop, included a track from “Burning Farm” on a 1986 compilation. Soon, the band would be famous in the underground scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s via word of mouth and independent releases. Alternative rock giants Sonic Youth added Shonen Knife to a bill in Osaka, which led to their first international tour.

By the early 1990s, Shonen Knife had garnered an international following, including one of their biggest fans, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. For their U.K. tour of “Nevermind” in 1991, Nirvana asked Shonen Knife to open.

They released their first major-label record, “Let’s Knife,” in 1992, and have since turned out 14 major-label records — their latest being 2016’s “Adventure.”

For 36 years, Shonen Knife has been touring the world and turning out records to new generations of fans. Naoko Yamano has remained the band’s frontwoman since the inception, but the bass, keys and drums have seen revolving members over the years.

“Having no purpose is the key [to longevity],” Yamano said. “Doing daily work while having fun.”

Since the beginning, Shonen Knife’s songs have been based around fun topics, from “Twist Barbie” to an eponymous song about the hot mustard wasabi on last year’s “Adventure.” They honored one of their favorite bands, the Ramones, changing the name of the band to the Osaka Ramones, for a full album of covers in 2011. Shonen Knife returns to Savannah after a gig at the Dollhouse in 2014.

“I had a very good time in Savannah last time but there was no time to look around,” Yamano said. “I’d like to go to the haunted house tour. Let’s rock!”

IF YOU GO

What: Shonen Knife and P. Launcher

When: 6 p.m. May 3

Where: The Wormhole, 2307 Bull St.

Cost: $20

Info: wormholebar.com

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