LONG LAKE - Shonen Knife is playing Long Lake this weekend?
It's true. The underground, all-female Japanese pop-punk trio is set to play the Mt. Sabattis Pavilion Saturday night.
The band, which has been rocking Japan and the world since 1981, has counted as fans over the years such musical luminaries as Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Redd Kross. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain once was quoted as saying, "When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical 9-year-old girl at a Beatles concert."
Long Lake Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Alexandra Roalsvig explained that the band is coming to Long Lake through a connection with Goo Goo Dolls bass player Robby Takac. Roalsvig's husband Paul was in a band called the JackLords that was on the same record label as the Goo Goo Dolls when the family was still living in Buffalo.
Alex Roalsvig explained to the Enterprise that the Buffalo music scene is tight-knit, and though they left Buffalo years ago, they've stayed in touch with Takac through Christmas cards and the occasional concert here and there ever since. Paul Roalsvig was in Takac's Buffalo studio in fall 2011 mixing a CD for his most recent band, The Dark Marbles.
So when Alex Roalsvig decided she needed to book some musical acts for Long Lake this summer, she talked it over with Takac, explaining the limited means she has in terms of funding and local resources. Obviously, Long Lake couldn't afford to bring an act like the Goo Goo Dolls in, Roalsvig said. But Takac runs the record label Good Charamel Records with his wife Miyoko, and he suggested one of their acts, Shonen Knife.
"I was a little hesitant as they are garage, punk, power-pop, buzzsaw guitars, just a different sound than we usually bring to the mountains," Roalsvig wrote in an email. "So I pondered it for a while, then thought to myself, 'Well, if Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls is promoting them, I'm going to bring them here.'"
Roalsvig admits that it's a financial risk to bring the band to Long Lake, but she figured it would be worth it to give it a shot.
Roalsvig posted a question-and-answer session with Shonen Knife singer and guitar player Naoko Yamano on the Long Lake website. Yamano tells her she's never heard of the Adirondacks before, but she looked it up on the Internet and "found that it's a beautiful place."
If you go...
Who: Shonen Knife with White Mystery opening
Where: Mt. Sabattis Pavilion, Long Lake (enter from Deerland Avenue)
When: Saturday, doors open at 5 p.m.
Tickets: $15, kids under 12 are free, available at the door or at the Long Lake town offices
For more info: Call 518-624-3077
Bring: Flashlights and bug spray
To read the rest of the interview, go to longlakeny.wordpress.com.
To help fund the show, Roalsvig secured funds through the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the state Council on the Arts, administered by the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.
The band White Mystery is scheduled to open for Shonen Knife.