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Sep 20, 2014







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Shonen Knife, Pop Tune
Good Charamel Records, June 5

06/21/12



Any older punk has to be beyond shocked, like, super-shocked, encountering the K-Pop offerings on cable’s Mnet channel. How squeaky clean and retro-’70s it is, all these Asian Brady Bunch Bands trying to be Justin Bieber or the Go-Gos or whatever, all with the spazziness knob cranked to 11.  K-Pop (Korean pop) and its predecessor, J-pop (Japanese pop), aesthetic black holes that they are, do have an enchanting angle, implicitly offering American kids a world where the moral compass is still stuck in the 1950s and you just plain don’t run off to have sex or do dope because mom and dad will punt you a good 50 yards and break your cellphone in half and sell your PS3 on eBay. Immediately. All this super-sticky, ultra-refined-sugary Asian bubblegum might never have happened were it not for the three Japanese girls in the original Shonen Knife, who simply wanted to be the Ramones, not much to ask out of life, right? Cut to now and this Pop Tune album, where, after 30 years, only one original member is still here, but it’s the same trip: three-chords, massive hookage, tattered Engrish as sung by living Hello Kitty cartoons, the works. Basically: They have not decided to become Rush or Kansas, they’re still The (Asian girl) Ramones. In other breaking news, there appears to be quite a bit of oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere. A —Eric W. Saeger






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