by Reyan Ali
Japanese Punk/Pop icons perform tonight at the Ballroom at the Taft
Irony is not a concept usually shared by international cultures. Case in point: cats. The
Western (internet) world shows its adoration for felines by churning
out pointless LOLcat YouTube video after LOLcat YouTube video, gilding
this love with a patina of wink-wink jokeyness, as if to say, "Sure, we
obsess over and anthropomorphize these cute beasts that don't do very
much, but since we're making a gag out of it, it's OK to openly enjoy
it. This is how we've earned our pass."Japan's Shonen Knife, on
the other hand, has willingly dedicated an entire song to the same
animals while keeping a straight face — a move that would definitely
earn mockery if they were an American band.
The 31-year-old Pop-Punk trio's "I Am a Cat" off 1993's Let's Knife
is an autumnal, simple tune where the narrator steps into an astral
"timeless zone" and finds a cat's whiskers and ears. After attaching
them to herself, she observes, "In a moment, I become a sweet little
cat/And I dance on a flying saucer." It's silly and a bit dumb,
of course, but the total absence of irony —especially since this comes
from an underground Rock outfit — is a true gift. Shonen Knife has long
championed frivolous music about frivolous subjects, and the trio’s
childlike earnestness yields great charm.With that being said,
it's somewhat surprising that Kurt Cobain of all folks supported Shonen;
but, hey, even the guy who wrote "Rape Me" needed some relief from pain
and aggression, too (see: heroin addiction). Shonen Knife's tour behind its new album, Pop Tune, comes to the Ballroom space inside the Taft Theatre downtown tonight. Showtime is 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Opening the show is red-headed sibling rockers White Mystery (from Chicago) and Cincinnati greats The Harlequins. Tickets are $13.Here's the video for the title track off of Shonen Knife's new LP.
MidPoint Music Festival was a rollercoaster of emotions and sounds
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We had joy, we had fun. We had some frustration and anger, too. Such has been the way of the MidPoint Music Festival since its origins in 2002. But, in the end, MPMF’s 2010 edition proved to be the most successful yet, drawing thousands of music lovers to downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Newport over the course of three days.
Performer and venue details now available for September festival
0 Comments · Monday, August 9, 2010
The names of many of the performers for this year's MidPoint Music Festival (coming up Sept. 23-25) have been leaking out gradually over the past few months, but the first official schedule is now available at mpmf.com. The interactive grid allows you to choose Thursday, Friday or Saturday's lineups and scroll across the 26 venues, then click on any performer name to get details.