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World Music Show will be 'Our Best Place'

Three women in tricolor (blue/yellow/pink, white and black) matching blouses and pants stand in front of shelves of records.
Good Charamel Records
Rey Bee, Inc.
Punk icons Shonen Knife are still rocking out after four decades.

The World Music Show with Ian Stewart this week will highlight new work from the long-running Japanese punk band Shonen Knife.

The trio has consistently released no-nonsense punk throughout its four-decade career. Lead vocalist and guitarist Naoko Yamano was inspired to form Shonen Knife after listening to The Beatles, The Ramones and The Buzzcocks. And most songs on the group’s new album, Our Best Place (Good Charamel Records), are shorter than 4 minutes — sharp and on point.

If you’ve followed the band since its 1981 founding, it’s pretty clear that many Shonen Knife songs revolve around food. And this latest record is no different: Our Best Place features tunes called “Vamos Taquitos” (reminiscent of the Los Angeles punk band X) and “Spicy Veggie Curry.” Other tracks on the album, like “Nice Day” and “Girls Rock,” offer a ’60s surf-rock vibe.

That band’s about to embark on a U.K. tour and might eventually return to the United States.

In the same set with Shonen Knife, music from another pair of Japanese acts — Chai and the Pizzicato Five — will be featured.

Other new music on the show this weekend includes a new track by Venezuelan musician/producer Cheo, co-founder of the band Los Amigos Invisibles. There will also be songs by Natalia Lafourcade, Sessa, Dobet Gnahoré and a classic by Desi Arnaz.

Finally, there’ll be a deep dive into some classic ska, two-tone and mento with tracks by Owen & Leon Silvera, Keith & Tex, The English Beat and The Jolly Boys.

Here are a few of the musicians who'll be featured this week.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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