7th Street Entry is a very good place to see Shonen Knife. It's a fairly small club with a low close stage. Unless you flew to Japan or something, you couldn't do better for seeing them.
The Blind Shake
The Blind Shake were great. They are a local band. They are, simply, a great high-energy live band. I'd definitely go see them again. They addressed this issue after coming onstage and before starting up: "We're from here." (Translated: come see us!)
They are a sort of loud aggressive stomping garage rock, with a pretty fierce preciseness to how they played. I loved their double detuned Danelectro guitar sound. This video conveys them well, though the sound muddies up in the louder parts.
There has been an interesting similarity in some recent shows I've seen. A distinct contrast between a formidable and intense frontwoman presence during songs, with a different shyer or more reserved or milder or more regular-person presence in between-song stage patter. Marissa Paternoster with Screaming Females, Yasuko Onuki with Melt-Banana, and Jessica McFarland with Heavy Cream all do some variation of it.
Here's the video for their pop single. And then, for capturing performance, maybe this one.
I liked this band. I'd go see them again. I don't remember so much about their performance, a week later, partly I think because there was a bit of lessening in audience energy during their set. Audience enthusiasm is just so vital, for actually making a great performance. Which point brings us to Shonen Knife.
Shonen Knife came out to the Shonen Knife Intro Ditty. They paraded around some banners. I don't know what the banners said. Probably "Shonen Knife."
The setlist was (I might have gotten the order of some songs wrong here): a bunch of Shonen Knife songs.
There was a Shonen Knife song. And then another. And then another. And then, maybe, the one about being a cat. And then another song. At somewhere around this point, the crowd came crashing into me. They had all set about dancing, and announced their collective presence about it.
My favorite song was Antonio Baka Guy. That was second to last. The slow sludgy part was extra slow and sludgy.
I also really liked Perfect Freedom. Which is a riff rocker questioning the Sex Pistols. I can't make out Shonen Knife politics. I don't suspect many people can.
I also liked, as another recent song, Capybara. Which has more lilting island rhythms.
After the show was over, the band went away. I think they paraded around some banners first. I don't know what the banners said.
Then they put on the Ramones Intro Ditty. And the Osaka Ramones came out. The Osaka Ramones wear leather jackets and stuff.
The setlist was a bunch of Ramones songs. Blitzkrieg Bop, Beat on the Brat, Pinhead, Rock n Roll High School, the KKK Took My Baby Away. Songs like that.
There was more singing along. There was more dancing about. I walked away from the show reeking of beer. Somehow, Pabst's Blue Ribbon got spilled all over my head. A fun time was had by all.
[Shonen Knife does tour blogging. About Minneapolis, Emi, Ritsuko, and Naoko.]