Japanese Punk Legends Shonen Knife Sing About Food : The Salt : NPR

Shonen Knife performs at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on April 30. For over 35 years, the all-female trio has been serving up catchy punk songs with a delicious twist: Many are about a love of food.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR


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Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Shonen Knife performs at the Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on April 30. For over 35 years, the all-female trio has been serving up catchy punk songs with a delicious twist: Many are about a love of food.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR

By night, they play gigs. By day, they sample ramen in cities across America.

They’re the three women of Shonen Knife, a legendary rock band from Japan. For over 35 years, the band has been serving up infectious punk songs with a delicious twist: Many of them are about food. Think song titles like “Wasabi,” “Hot Chocolate” and “Sushi Bar.” But don’t dismiss them as bubblegum pop: Over the years, some of their biggest fans have included giants of alt-rock music.

This spring, Shonen Knife embarked on its latest adventure – a ramen rock tour of the U.S.

Why ramen? Well, ramen is really like Japanese soul food, says Daisuke Utagawa, a ramen restaurateur in Washington, D.C., and unofficial ambassador of Japanese food culture. “It’s probably as important as your pizza here.”

(Left to right) Risa, Naoko and Atsuko of the band Shonen Knife eat ramen at Haikan in Washington, D.C., before playing a show. D.C. was one of their stops on a self-titled “Ramen Adventure Tour” of the U.S. By night, they play gigs. By day, they sample ramen in…

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