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SHONEN KNIFE

The all-female musical band Shonen Knife is a Japanese pop punk/garage rock band, who sing songs both in Japanese and English. Among their fans are Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Redd Kross, and Sultans of Ping. They cite as their main influences 1960s girl groups and punk rock such as The Ramones. They have also performed as a Ramones tribute band under the name The Osaka Ramones.

Shonen Knife formed in Osaka, Japan in December 1981 with sisters Naoko Yamano (vocals and guitar) and Atsuko Yamano (drums) and their friend Michie Nakatani (vocals and bass). Michie Nakatani left the band in December 1999, with Atsuko Yamano performing bass. Mana Nishiura joined to take over on drums. Nishiura played her first live show with the band in May 2001; she left in 2004. (She was killed in a New Jersey highway accident November 4, 2005 while touring the U.S. with DMBQ.) Touring drummer Etsuko Nakanishi was inducted as a permanent member as of May 2006, but she left the band in 2010, to be replaced by Emi Morimoto. The bandís touring bass player(for two years) Ritsuko Taneda had been promoted to full member in October 2008.

Many alternative rock groups have cited Shonen Knife as a favorite of theirs, and the resulting word-of-mouth gained significant exposure for the band. In 1989, Gasatanka Records released a double-album tribute entitled Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Themí, which features renditions of the groupís songs by a number of contributing bands, including Redd Kross, Sonic Youth, L7 and Babes In Toyland (the latter band on non-CD formats only). The tribute albumís success led to Shonen Knifeís first American tour in 1990, and group later signed with Virgin Records in 1992.