The members of Shonen Knife are deeply in love with the Ramones. The Japanese trio's sound is a mirror image of the short three-chord assaults that their miscreant forebears perfected decades ago, but unlike the hordes of American imitators, they've done away with the leather jackets and druggy angst, crushing the underlying menace of punk with happy juggernauts about how awesome candy and friends are. Shonen Knife's cutesy, non-threatening image might not mesh with songs about beatings or blitzkriegs, but there seems to be enough "Rock 'n' Roll High School" to go around. Besides, there's something slyly subversive, almost prankish, about Japanese women removing the anger from American rock and replacing it with effervescent glee. At this point, the band has spent almost 28 years(!) dismissing their native country's popular music trends while staying faithful to a simple, vibrant sound that suits them—and really, is there anything more punk rock than that? With Red Pens. 18+.
Wed., Oct. 21, 8 p.m., 2009