Saturday, June 17, 2006

I'm gonna eat jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly jelly beans!

You're gonna eat cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry cherry drops!

Japan is facing Croatia today. What better music to represent Japan in the World Cup than the Japanese girl group Shonen Knife, especially since this album has a picture of the world on the cover, with several nations' flags. For anyone who doesn't know, Shonen Knife is a trio of women that formed back in 1981 and is still recording and performing in 2006. Yes, you subtracted properly, the band is 25 years old this year! Actually, there have been a couple of substitutions. The original bass player was subbed out in 1999. The drummer moved forward to fill her position, and they brought on a new drummer. Mana "China" Nishiura was the drummer from 2000 until 2003. Sadly she was killed in a car accident in 2005 while touring with another band, DMBQ. But Shonen Knife has yet another drummer, and continues to play on.

The eponymous album I offer today is actually a compilation of their first two albums, and was released in 1990. It's full of happy, goofy pop confections (with lyrics partly in English and partly in Japanese). There are songs about Barbie dolls, Tortoise Brand pot cleaner, riding bikes, an elevator named Elmar, and of course my favorite, Flying Jelly Attack, which is about eating jelly beans and cherry drops. The Shonen Knife I heard most often on the radio back in the 80's, Banana Fish, is also on this album.

I saw Shonen Knife perform in December 1993. They opened the show, followed by The Breeders, and finally Nirvana. We got to the show a little late. (Who'd have thought they'd actually start on schedule?) Shonen Knife was already on stage performing a hilarious version of Heat Wave. The rest of their set was disappointing though, consisting of rather boring grunge music rather than the happy silliness that appears on this album.

It's actually not that strange that Shonen Knife opened for Nirvana. Kurt Cobain mentioned on several occassions that he admired the band. Several other bands have also praised Shonen knife, including Sonic Youth and Redd Kross. In fact, in 1989 the album Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them was released, which consisted of covers of Shonen Knife Songs done by admiring bands such as Sonic Youth, L7, and Babes in Toyland.

Well, I guess that's enough about this album. If you haven't heard Shonen Knife you really should listen to this. It'll make you happy. And if you're a fan of Japanese soccer, you're going to need something to make you happy. I won't give you the details of my analysis of the Japan-Croatia, because they're pretty complicated, with lots of mathematical formulas some pretty intense computer simulations. I'll just give you my prediction,
Croatia 666:Japan -3.14
pw = jellybean

Oh, and by the way, everyone should write a letter petitioning FIFA to fire referee Jorge Larrionda.
What a dumbass.


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