Sunday, November 20, 2005

Memento Mori
I'm feeling very sad today because I just learned that former Shonen Knife drummer Mana "China" Nishiura, who was on tour with garage rock band DMBQ, was killed in a car crash on November 3rd. China meant a lot to me because I adored Shonen Knife as a teenager. In the days before Riot Grrl, it was pretty rare to see a female band that weren't overly-sexualised fembots, and Shonen Knife were wonderful - punky and poppy and quirky and wierd and gloriously real. "Quiver" is still one of my favourite songs about love and lust from a female perspective. They were also responsible for introducing me to the world of Japanese pop culture, for which I am profoundly grateful.
It's strange how the death of someone you never even met can make you feel so sad. When I first tried to write this there was a power cut while I was writing, which seems entirely appropriate. A few moments sitting in the dark thinking back on the past seems like a good way to honor China. Of course, seeing someone being so maudlin would have probably prompted her to crack a few jokes and smack me in the head with a drum stick.
Sweet dreams, China. You will be missed.

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