Monday, May 29, 2017

Shonen Knife, Candy Warpop, Pet Tigers at the Beauty Bar Thursday May 25, 2017

I learned about Japanese cult favorites Shoen Knife through Redd Kross way back in the early 80's (SK started in 1981), although they were eclectic enough back then that it was reasonably difficult to find their records. As their Stateside popularity grew, they released more records over here and toured a number of times. I caught them at least once before, but that was a good 20+ years ago. So, we were looking forward to seeing them again and catching up on their sounds.

Opening at the Beauty Bar was locals the Pet Tigers, a duo consisting of drums and keyboards. As such, they have a New-Wave-y/somewhat electronica sound with poppy melodies, programmed bass lines and plenty of effects to fill out the sound, including a well-used harmonizer on the vocals. Interesting and different!

Another local fave, Candy Warpop, came next with their effect-laden, kinda stoner-rock, kinda Siouxie-Goth sounds. All good players, they had a theatrical and political edge ("Trump is a Nazi" is one song) and they tackled subjects like sexual predators, as well. They closed with a Reagan Youth cover (I know nothing about that band, so didn't know how to compare it to the original) that was super noisy and in which the singer did some biblical preachin'. Again, something out of the ordinary, at least from my musical circle.

By the time that Shonen Knife was ready to go on, the patio at the Beauty Bar was packed with fans who totally dug their simplistic punk-pop sounds. The band sounded considerably better and more entertaining than we remembered them from ages ago and their tunes, energy and super-fun performance was a great breath of freah r'n'r air. Older numbers like "Twist Barbie" were mixed with brand new tunes that they described as being influenced by 60's and 70's hard rock. Lots of harmonies, all three members sang at least one song (although guitarist Naoko is the main lead vocalist), plenty of riff-rockers and glam-rock numbers, lots and lots of songs about food, a kazoo solo and a slew of Redd Kross/Kiss stage moves! Great performance! Thank you to the Beauty Bar for this amazing gig!