Shonen Knife

The Birds & the B-Sides

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Eighteen odds and ends from the Shonen Knife '90s catalog: single-only cuts, import-only songs or versions, four live performances from their first British gig, and contributions to tribute albums to the Carpenters, the Beach Boys, and Harry Nilsson. Shonen Knife have a devoted following for a cultish alternative act, and fanatics will appreciate the thoughtfully assembled, thoroughly annotated collection of these rarities, which would set you back a few hundred dollars or so if you tried to track them down via their original sources. If you're not devoted enough to become a fan club member, it's neither a place to start nor an essential addition. The covers (especially of "Heatwave" and the Beach Boys' "Don't Hurt My Little Sister") generally outpace the original material, which doesn't vary as much as it could or should.

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