Archive for the 'General Opinion' Category



01
Dec
11

Last.fm

In the digital age we live in music has excelled, not beyond anything we thought it might become, but in how it’s delivered to us. The past 20 years saw the decline of the cassette tape, compact disc, and physical formatting is now all but dead.

So as physical media phases out we turn to more convenient ways of obtaining music (not always done legally now is it?) from services such as Morpheus, Kazaa, Limewire, and most famously: Napster.

So we learned that the RIAA severely dislikes not making money on album sales… so we downloaded even more, torrenting sites becoming more and more popular, The Pirate Bay, for example.

Now I don’t know about you, but in my education I’ve found out that artists usually sign a contract and make most of their money up front. A label will give you, say, $2 million, to buy equipment, record, produce, create music videos, and finish an album. How much of that gets spent on production is usually at the band and manager’s discretion. They are then, most of the time, offered some ridiculously low royalty percentage that means even less after you divide it up between band members and management.

So artists generally don’t make that much off of album sales, but usually off of touring. Ever notice that’s why Bruce Springsteen doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about putting out new albums but will sell out stadiums on a yearly basis? Or that U2’s music has been in steep decline since the late 80s but still manage to have gigantic concerts where they rake in obscene amounts of fans a.k.a. money? (And they don’t even pay taxes to the Irish government!)

Before my tenure at Hi-Fi started I was dealt several cease and desist letters for uploading music just to my former blog’s domain just for personal use. Talk about touchy by the record companies!

So where’m I going with all of this? Well, today’s digital music playground is found through music streaming services such as Spotify, Grooveshark, iTunes, SHOUTcast, Pandora and the least famous… Napster.

I’ve tried using all of those, and iTunes, while on my home computer is fine, because I have my library there too, is not viable on the road. With the rest of these you can build and tag artists/genres you like, but c’mon, that’s a huge hassle for us to list all the bands we like and may have an itch to hear.

Last.fm takes care of that. They have a nifty piece of scrobbling software that will record what songs/artists you play the most, it even makes charts! But by far the best thing is, is that you can take your library with you wherever you go. For free. They offer your library streamed to you, they also offer your library with suggestions for similar artists. Which keeps the likes of Maroon 5 the hell out of my easy listening playlist and doesn’t turn me into a fit of rage.

So, if you’re going places, constantly on the move and let’s say maybe you’re trying to preserve some hard drive space, Last.fm is the way to go, take your own music with you and still gives you a taste of similar artists or you can just play a channel as you would on those other streaming sites.

It gives you everything… and what’s yours.

22
Nov
11

Manchester Orchestra “Simple Math”

Manchester Orchestra is an indie band from Atlanta.

Simple Math

This is their third album. The first two I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child and Mean Everything to Nothing both saw significant playtime to get them into my top 20. They’re simple.

That’s the best compliment I can give to a band in a day and age where overdubbing, vocoders, and vox tuning are prevalent. Not the case. What you see hear is what you get.

This album came out in May and hasn’t been met with much fanfare. Which is disappointing considering the almost cultist following bands like DMB, The Black Keys and The White Stripes have.

Their sound is one of a kind and their creativity is like a sunrise on a cold morning.

The album starts off with a bang with “Deer.” Then 2 tracks later with “Pensacola” it really gives you the perspective that these guys are genuinely having fun making these albums and have room for improvisation in the studio. Improvisation in music is almost always a good thing as it leads to creativity and collaboration.
The album gets suddenly somber with “Virgin” which is remarkably reminiscent of just about anything off of I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child and really sets you up for the title track “Simple Math.”

As you can see and hear, these guys know what they’re doing. “Simple Math” was nominated for MTV and UK video awards and the technical aspects of the video are just mind blowing. You usually don’t see that type of production work put into a music video.

They’ve impressed me from day one and I’ve found a place in playlists for whatever mood I’m in.

4/5

17
Nov
11

Nickelback “Here and Now”

Dear Hi-Fi readers…

Look at what I do for you. I subject myself to substandard music shit to bring you better awareness on what an abomination the band Nickelback is… the worst part to all of this? We’ll all be witness to their shittiness one week from today: Thanksgiving Day during halftime of the Lions/Packers game. I already know what I’m thankful for: the Mute button.

Just bear with me for this thought process. Some executive somewhere thought it was a good idea to have a CANADIAN band (I use the term ‘band’ loosely here) perform for AMERICAN Thanksgiving?!?!?!? Then pitched it to the NFL… and they approved it. I mean I’m not for the death penalty… but this rides the line folks.
I mean, the game is in Detroit!!! The home of mo-town!!! The home of Eminem and Kid Rock! Bob Seger! Alice Cooper! Jack White!! THE MOTOR CITY MADMAN: TED NUGENT!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus get me some blues or jazz!! Give me Adele! Aretha Franklin! Alicia Keys! Singing Empire State of Mind would be less out of place. Hell I’d take Lady Gaga and Katy Perry over these chumps.

Just goes to show, America still like imports better than domestic.

Ok so now that I got that out of the way, we can get to the real lashings; that is, what this album just did to my ears. Jerry Sandusky couldn’t even help me wash my shame away…

The problem with Nickelback isn’t the music. Rather, if you listen to some of the songs that don’t make radio release, some of them do have driving guitar and bass riffs, like the opening track “This Means War.” Drums don’t get in the way and then… it happens… Chad Kroeger starts singing and it all goes to shit.

I’ve never heard more unoriginal lyrics in my life. Made evident by the song “Bottom’s Up.” Just, classic rock is classic for a reason. Songs like Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” Skynyrd’s “That Smell,” or even Peter Paul & Mary’s “Puff the Magic Dragon” are creative and use euphemisms for drinking and drug use. I have no respect for bands that can’t think of a way to properly use a metaphor to make you think of what you’re listening to (I’m staring at you Buckcherry.)

Just, I’m 5 songs in and 4 of them have sounded exactly the same. This band has no 3rd gear. It’s either rock to a steady beat or a ballad. The problem is, every single one sounds the same. They’ve never bothered to change what they do. Which isn’t a bad thing if you’re a revered and creative band, Nickelback, however, is not. They’re a mediocre rock band who refuse to take any risks in any direction. They’re the G.O.P. of rock bands. No wonder people hate them so much.

They’re rich, successful, and somehow manage to keep drawing fans/getting votes. But dear god are the lyrics to these songs bad BAD TERRIBLE CRAP SHIT. Just listening to the lyrics of “Gotta Get Me Some” makes me feel sorry that nobody really listens to what’s being said. It’s a guy going after his best friend’s ex… right in front of him. Talk about breaking bro-code. To make a song about it though? Major foul dude.

Oh great, now we get the ballad of the album “Lullaby” and again, not going to lie, it starts out FINE. Piano and a well timed drum/bass entrance. Nice and slow… then jesus crippled christ on a cross… the lyrics are BAD. I don’t understand why Nickelback has to be so self aware:

So just give it one more try
With a lullaby
And turn this up on the radio
If you can hear me now
I’m reaching out
To let you know that you’re not alone
And if you can’t tell
And you scare yourself
Cause I can’t get you on the telephone
So just close your eyes
Honey here comes a lullaby
Buried a lullaby

Really? Is this you bragging that you get your songs on the radio? Ok fine. You think I’m nitpicking? How about that these lyrics directly follow that song about wanting to bang his friend’s ex? Or that it’s followed up by “Kiss it Goodbye” where he blantantly sings about disliking people doing drugs and seeing through people’s “bullshit.” Talk about schizophrenic. I feel like this album was written by a drunk frat boy who can’t control his hormones and ends up dry humping a staircase before he passes out.

Oh good, a semi-ballad with “Trying Not to Love You” … where he writes a lyric about not being able to find a pill that can help him how to forget “god knows I hasn’t found it yet.” How is this music? Nothing of these lyrics are moving. It’s annoying really.

Again, drunk frat boy lyrics for “Holding On to Heaven.” Just so uncreative, 9 songs in, not one lyric has stood out as deep or showing any sort of empathy or story telling. It’s literally drunk desperate guy looking for anything to cling to… which continues with “Everything I Wanna Do.”

Aren’t these guys in their 30s? Shouldn’t they be a little more mature than this? I mean, hell, at least Scott Stapp wrote a song for the birth of his son (“Arms Wide Open” for those of you who’ve been spared.)

I know there’s another song left… but I’m done. It can’t bring this album back to life. It’s just lame. Maybe if you dub out all the lyrics I’d appreciate the music. But the fact that this is what, the 6th album that’s been the same damned thing is just too much to take.

2/5 … Ok last song is playing… 1.5/5 this is such crap.

10
Nov
11

11/11/11 – Nigel Tufnel Day!

Don’t forget that although November 11th is primarily observed in the United States as Veteran’s Day, it will also be the one-time only celebration of Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel Day.

The next time to see this rare happening (like a comet) will be in 2111!

Please take the time tomorrow to reaquaint yourself with the cult classic and pay homage to the only true metal rock god who’s equipment (custom made of course!), goes to “11”.

If you are not aware of what I am talking about please click here for the classic scene.

09
Nov
11

The Foo Fighters “Wasting Light”


Everything Dave Grohl touches seems to turn gold: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and he’s even had a hand in Tenacious D, Queens of the Stone Age, and Them Crooked Vultures.

The Foo Fighters have put out some legendary albums: The Colour and the Shape (1997), There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999), One by One (2002), In Your Honor (2005). Having great success with smash hits and some brilliantly funny music videos.

There lies the problem, they have a lot to live up to with every new album that they put out. And this is where I think their last album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) fell short. It had a couple of singles and the rest of the album was fodder. Don’t get me wrong, fodder for Dave Grohl is still better than anything Chad Kroeger could write, but we hold our beloved Fighters of Foo to a higher standard.

Do they meet this standard with Wasted Light?

I think they do. I think it’s a solid album, but it doesn’t blow me away. You can hear what songs are made for radio and what songs aren’t. To put it another way, if this were almost anyone else this would be a really good album. For them, it’s just good.

Their first single “Rope” is classic Foo, fast, fun and Grohl knows the formula for making these songs better than almost anyone. No doubt a perk of his time spent with Nirvana and one of the simplification kings in Kurt Cobain. He knows how to hit only the notes that are needed to make the song sound good. There’s no guitar solos, no drum solos, there’s just what needs to be there to make the song work. Most songs are slow to start, quiet during the verse (you mean we can actually understand what you’re singing?!?!?) and then explode into a chorus and usually abruptly bellyflops back to the silence of the verse. It’s their formula for getting songs on the radio:

* does not apply to every song they release

They really dig into the ’90s vibe with songs like “Back & Forth,” “Miss the Misery,” and they close the album on a great note with the alternative feel (and 2nd single) of “Walk.” Even better, the ballad on the album “I Should Have Known” really hits home. It’s pretty: driving bass lines, simple drums and slow guitar and a more harmonic singing approach that still captures Grohl’s scratchiness and style. Until it builds up. Then we hit full on Foo Fighters goodness that explodes in the last minute and a half. A really great song, choosing to bury it second to last kind of hurts, but the change of pace was certainly welcomed. Besides the already released singles “Rope” and now “Walk” the other song that seems radio friendly is “Arlandria.”

Overall, this album has enough bright spots to impress, but there’s just a few songs that are unimpressive. I severely disliked “White Limo.” But will give them credit for trying something a little harder on the ears… they just missed the mark with this one. I feel like “A Matter of Time” is redundant and we’ve heard this song from them before in “I’ll Stick Around” from Foo Fighters.

I like the album. I’m glad they tried to go in a couple of new directions, but they missed on a couple songs and a couple of them don’t add anything but the status quo to the album.

3.5/5

08
Nov
11

Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger: The Egg 11/9/11

I received an email from our local liberal artsy-fartsy venue called The Egg; a venue that HiFi has visited on several occasions to catch excellent past shows like Dweezil Zappa and Al DiMeola.  Most of the time The Egg tends to pander to international dancing acts, modern dance groups, or musicians that often tend to be more underground yet accomplished in their own right, such as Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin.  At times The Egg will have mainstream performers such as ex-Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell or Phish bass-player-extrodinaire Mike Gordon rolling through for a rare appearance.  Often these shows are for smaller audiences and thus offer a far more up close and personal experience all around.  My only gripe in the past has been The Egg’s lame ticket policy of offering the best seats to “Egg Members” and then offering the very same seats (if the don’t sell) closer to the actual night of the show instead of when they release them to the general public. 

The Egg has two theaters, one big (Hart Theater – 982 seats) and one small (Swyer Theater – 450 seats); while each theater may reflect half of each size, it can be truly said that there are no bad seats perse.  However, during the Dweezil show (held in the larger Swyer Theater) HiFi was seated far right of the stage and were unable to see the movie screen, bummer, but not the end of the world.  For the DiMeola show it was held in the Hart Theater and it was more than cozy and probably one of the best $35 I’ve spent on a concert; truly worthwhile.

Appearently The Door’s legends Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger are touring and will play the venue on Wednesday, November 9th, cool.  As much as I am curious about an evening with members of The Doors, and I’m sure it will be a solid show, I can’t help but wish the bill included Ian Astbury (ex- The Cult) as the faux-Morrison lead singer.  Astbury has toured with them over the past few years and has imitated Morrison impecably!  I’m not sure if HiFi readers have seen a clip of Astbury channeling Morrison, but it’s pretty friggin’ awesome! 

Since Astbury will not be featured I feel affects the overall price of the tickets; simply listening to Manzarek and Krieger play will cost you the range of $35 – $60, a bit steep in my opinion.  Later in the month at The Egg, the legendary Ray Davies, the lead singer of The Kinks, and is only charging $39 – $49 for tickets! Sorry, but Manzarek and Krieger were merely backing musicians and I can’t justify that kind of cash.  It’s like paying $50 for Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones as a night with Led Zeppelin, but it ain’t.  I dunno, although Manzarek’s keyboards were an integral part to The Doors sound, I just still can’t see spending my hard earned cash.  I’m thinking more 1/2 The Doors = 1/2 the price, no?

If you check the show out I’m sure it will be good, I’m not trying to take anything away from their legacy, but without Astbury providing his rendition of Morrison I’m less inclined to want to spend the money.  I’ve provided you a clip of the Astbury version of “Break On Through” with Manzarek and Krieger backing; tell us if you think the price is worth it without him?

08
Nov
11

Jessie J – Who You Are (2011)

Ok, so for those of you who have been reading this blog for the past three years know that we here at HiFi Central never shy away from controversy, especially when it means reviewing an album out of our usual genre of metal, rock, electronica, etc.  Last year I think we reviewed a Gwar concert and then a Tango album review, so if that doesn’t prove how random and diverse we are here, nothing will.

Much like going to a therapist to reveal some dark hidden secret you have, I must admit (and perhaps, with a bit of guilty pleasure and shame) that I have a place in my heart for what I call “bubblegum music”, yes, the top-40 rotation that often makes your head blow up listening to the same 6 songs  over and over, and over.  Well, to be honest the only time I indulge in this act is when I have a week off during the summer to paint a room in my house; often involving more than paint, more a rehab and then paint.  Regardless, these projects have taken multiple days and I have found myself drawn to the local pop station to get my yearly dose of “bubblegum”; and trust me, a week of this stuff catches me up on the entire year of what’s apparently popular in that genre, ugh.  Honestly, as absurd of a cop out as it may sound, it actually has kept me motivated and focused painting a room.  The reality is that eventually I have heard enough “bubblegum” to know all the words the song and find myself mumbling like a paraniod schizophrenic.  Eventually I complete my home improvement project and then like a hibernating bear, I leave my self-imposed “bubblegum den” and get back to my regular life and what I consider much better music.

So one day, on a lark, I decided to ask someone I knew for the entire Jessie J album just to see if her hit “Price Tag” was a  one-hit wonder off the album, and/or whether there may be some merit to this genre after all.  I guess my curiousity began with this years MTV music awards show; a show that in the past decade has become more of a goofy spectacle of spoiled rotten musicians pandering to clearly a tween population.  Having said this, I was flicking channels one night and came across the show and figured I would watch for a few minutes.  I mean, the only thing more entertaining than the MTV music awards show is watching Billy Mays selling Mighty Putty or perhaps, a hot poker to the eye, your choice.    However, the most entertaining portion of the show was Jessie J belting out her own songs and covers during the intermissions between performances, and the chick can sing!  I was honestly in disbelief; there she was sitting on a mock throne belting out these songs and wearing a leg brace.  Sadly, MTV only showed a snippet of her performances and then faded out to commercial, in my humble opinion SHE was the show and everyone else was her filler, pretty awesome. 

Who You Are is a solid album intially but as usual with pop albums it too gets weaker towards the end.  British born Jessie J (who’s real name is Jessica Ellen Cornish) had been writing songs for other artists over the past few years and remained out of the limelight either by choice or simply timing.  As a debut album, Who You Are  creates for the listener a lively assortment of Cornish’s vocal range and talent, along with very catchy beats and tempo’s.   The first three songs on the album (Price Tag, Nobody’s Perfect, and Abracadabra) are well placed and provide a fun introduction to a variety of unique beats and Cornish’s ability to sing over and with everpresent time changes.  Price Tag is a fun song and appeared to be the signature song of the album and was heavily played on rotation.   It is apparent that Cornish sings with a geniune amount of emotion and passion with each of her song’s, and this can be especially reflected with the song Nobody’s Perfect

The album takes a detour with a live performance of Big White Room; I feel that this was very clever on Cornish’s part since it provides some real authenticity to her album and ability to sing.  “Authenticity” is something I feel is often lacking from most pop performers; their great in the studio yet terrible on stage; clearly not for Cornish.  At first listen, I had no idea that it was a live performance until the crowd erupted with applause. 

The next song Casualty of Love is ok, a bit mellow yet appropriately placed in the middle of the album, it is clearly a soulful ballad with its own merits deserved.  The song Rainbow brings the listener back to the upbeat tempo of a classic pop album, it’s nothing really worth noting other than its beat.  To be brutally honest, it feels like a blatant corny ethical message about racial equality and how we are “all colors of the rainbow”. barf! Perhaps this would appeal to Roy G. Biv or leprechauns but for me it just feels cheezy, the listener will be forced to skip to the next song in anticipation of something better.

Who’s Laughing Now is clearly Cornish’s personal statement and moment of justification towards all of those who ever doubted her talent or dreams now that she has made it.   Although it’s a fun song it feels very plastic and childish; not what I would consider her best song; I would have left it for a b-side.  Do It Like A Dude is a song with a good beat, but it  makes me feel uncomfortable to play anywhere other than my car with the windows rolled up.  In this song Cornish does her best to singilke she’s tough and attempts to compare herself to being able to “do it like”a brother”, huh, what?  At one point Cornish attempts a reggae-dancehall accent, although a noble attempt it is probably best left to the professionals from Jamaica.  If she sang this at the MTV music awards I can only imagine what Little Wayne, Jay Z, Rihanna and Nikki Minaj must have been thinking about some white British chick singing about “doin’ like a brother”?  While it’s a interesting song, again, I think it’s where her album begins its downward slump. 

Song’s like Mama Knows Best, L.O.V.E, and Stand Up are nothing worth writing about and actually create for the album a repetative quality and where I begin to lose interest very quickly once again (sigh).  Perhaps the only redeeming quality is the song I Need This, since once again it shows off her vocal talents and is not too over produced.  The last track is the title-track of the album Who You Are, and while a good way to end an album on a mellow note, it seems more appropriately placed in a movie soundtrack compilation, it’s good, but not mind-blowing.

The album starts off well with the first 5 or 6 songs and then quickly, as most pop albums, becomes all the same often making the listener fall in love with the just the hits and disregarding the filler.  As I mentioned before, Cornish is very talented and I think that she has my respect after watching the MTV music award performances, but her album is fun for only a few select songs. 

Jessie J’s Who You Are gets 3.0 out of 5

04
Nov
11

Ye Upper Crust – true Rock Nobility

After reading the last post about the band Shpongle and then watching the video I began to chuckle when I saw the chick with the mask and white wig; thoughts all started streaming back about a band I use to see in Boston from time to time named Upper Crust.  With band members  such as Jackie Kickassis, Count Bassie, Lord Bendover, and Duc D’istortion, how can you not love these guys?

Although the make up, wigs, and baroque  schtick was pretty outlandish; these guys actually can play a pretty solid set of punkish rock and rock-a-billy style songs, always entertaining and always full of non-stop energy.  It’s been years since I’ve seen them and I guess they do play from time to time.  Although I’m no die hard fan perse, I felt compelled to mention Upper Crust for the hell of it.  If you want to learn more about these privileged and pompous Earl’s of electric audacity, please check out their website by clicking here.

02
Nov
11

Coldplay “Mylo Whatever-o”

From Billboard:
“Slowly but surely Coldplay have become the masters of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.”

I’m here to tell you how much I disagree with the so called “genius” of Coldplay. Being a master of slinging crap at a wall and picking the 12 best turds does not make you a genius. It makes you lazy and complacent.

Oh but wait! You mean to tell me they’re jazzier? Incorporating more R&B and electronic into their sound?
Good. Another band that sold out to the fad of the times. Then again, I’ll at least give them credit for not making the same goddam album a fourth time in a row.

I swear, if you go into your iTunes/WinAmp/whatever and delete all the Coldplay album names, hit shuffle, you’d never be able to tell what song is off of what album. It’s downright pathetic that they haven’t changed a thing about their sound in so long ever… but the fact that they took this route is almost as disappointing as Skrillex leaving From First to Last to do his own crappy version of dubstep. Ugh, dubstep.

My point is, maybe in another decade I’ll look back on this album differently, but for right now, it just sickens me. This constant bandwagon jumping that record execs know will sell. So why not have Rihanna hop on board to sell more albums?!

Because this sound, this album, that’s not who this band is. They’re a remedial ripoff of the likes of U2, Radiohead, and Wilco. They’re a product of a record company exec thinking it was a good idea to recapitalize on the same sound, again.

This album is no different. It’s a capitalization of the current trendy sound. It’s like with Mylo they sat in studio and said “let’s make our version of OK. Computer while repackaging a couple of B-sides from our last album.” GENIUSES! “But let’s add in a bit of an electronic sound to appease the youth.” PRODIGIES! Piss off you yuppies.

I’m sorry, I’ve never dropped enough acid in my life to “groove” “get wrapped up in” or “sway” to a Coldplay song. No, I’m not sorry. Nor should anything Coldplay written be referred to as “dope beats” “massive anthem” or “rally rebellious youth.” You want to rally youth? Listen to the Sex Pistols, The Clash, get angry at the world you sissies! Or better yet, give your album away for free, like Radiohead did. You want to create a massive anthem? Grow some balls with some sort of call to action/sign of the times type song. Are the uprisings in the Middle East not inspiration enough? The current financial and economic ripoffs? The 1%? You want people to rally around your song, make a song against the establishment, or give your album away for free, like Radiohead did. You want dope beats? Listen to something else.

It’s lame. It’s tired, I don’t understand all the praise Coldplay continues to get, they’re not particularly enticing or exhilarating to listen to. No particular musician or real part of a song sticks out as memorable. Which explains why they re-re-repeat re-re-repeat words in “Paradise” so much. I guess this works to their advantage, so they can pump out the same exact crap every 2 years and you’ll still be enticed enough to buy it and think it’s a stroke of genius. It’s not.

They’re the soft rock, UK equivalent of Nickelback. No exceptional talent, crap lyrics, the constant need to bring in entire choruses to make songs sound full and complete. Soft rock for soft people. Soft rock hides the fact that every song you hear on that same lame ass radio station, that usually goes with the title “KISS” (what an insult to the band) or “EZ Listening” or “Lite,” are the same exact songs with a different singer’s voice layered over the top of that shit sandwich.

Do me a favor? Before you take a bite of it? Throw it at the wall and see what sticks. I bet it’s Coldplay.

2/5 — no wait, Rihanna effect: 1.5/5

31
Oct
11

Shonen Knife – Japan’s Punk Queens on Tour!

While checking out the local club scene about upcoming acts online  this past Tuesday I noticed that the legendary Japanese rock trio Shonen Knife was coming to HiFi Central’s stomping ground of Albany, NY.  The venue is Valentine’s which is a shoe-box of a club normally associated with local hardcore and rock acts that I often choose to overlook on a  regular basis; however though, at times they have had some national acts roll through worth checking out.  The last band that  I wished I had known about was the California rock group Dada; one of the best nationally unknown rock bands to come out the 1990’s.  It would have truly been pretty incredible to see them that close and personal, bummer I missed it.

So, after missing that show I’ve checked the listing from time to time just to see who may be randomly doing a one-night stand.  Well, clearly the waiting and random checking of their site has been well worth the effort since Shonen Knife will be dropping by on Sunday, November 20th (18+ show).  Shonen Knife has been around since 1981; the only remaining member making Shonen Knife still Shonen Knife  is lead singer and guitarist Naoko Yamano.  The remaining founding members Atsuko Yamano (Naoko’s sister) and Michie Nakatani left the band to pursue other interests, but the replacements for these members have held their own over the course of the last decade never losing the true Shonen Knife sound.

Over the course of the past 20 years the band has released 19 albums and toured with the likes of  Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Mudhoney, and perhaps the coolest bragging right, Nirvana.  The band has appeared on the BBC with famed rock radio host John Peel,  performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and has been featured on MTV’s 12o Minutes.  The band was a featured act on 1994’s Lollapalooza tour as well.  So, even though they have not reached the heights of fame since their decade long run in the 1990’s, they still have a loyal following and are anything but a goofy band hanging on to remnants of fame.

HiFi is heading to this show with great anticipation; I would not be surprised if it might be the last chance for you to see them in the US for some while.  This tour is supporting a Ramones tribute album entitled “Osaka Ramones” released this past July, so I’m sure that it should be a fun and unique show!  Get your tickets soon since it will be sold out, especially since Valentine’s only holds about 50 patrons; and be sure sure to bring your earplugs!

HiFi will provide a full review of this show, so check back.

You can check more out about the Valentines show by clicking here.

You can check out some samples of Shonen Knife’s “Osaka Ramones” by clicking here.




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