Masanori Mark Christianson

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Masanori Mark Christianson
Birth name Masanori Shirota
Also known as Masanori Mark Christianson
Born (1976-01-18) January 18, 1976 (age 41)
Japan Tokyo, Japan
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Punk rock
Occupation(s) Creative Director, Musician, Songwriter, Visual Artist
Instruments Bass Guitar, Drums, Glockenspiel, Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Tambourine, Violin, Vocals
Years active 1990–present
Labels Bodycast Records
Brushfire Records
Easy Sound Recording Company
Hippies Are Dead Records
The Rebel Group
Vagrant Records
Associated acts Ambulance
Golden Gram
The Hawaii Show
The Heavenly States
The Lotus Eaters
Plutonium Foil
Release The Sunbird
Rice Grinder
Rogue Wave

Masanori Mark Christianson (born Masanori Shirota, January 18, 1976 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese-Korean-American musician, creative director, and visual artist. He may be best known as a bass guitarist and multi-instrumentalist for the Oakland, California indie rock bands The Heavenly States,[1] Rogue Wave, and Release The Sunbird.

Masanori, also an award winning advertising art director and copywriter, has worked for clients ranging from the Target Corporation to the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Although not a serious venture, Masanori occasionally dabbles in modeling, voice-over and extra work for corporations such as UnitedHealth Group and the Investigation Discovery Channel.

Masanori is the older sibling of Los Angeles based musician and composer Ken Christianson. He is an alumnus of Carleton College.


-Spanning the years from grade school through high school, Masanori was a 5 time State of Minnesota Music Teacher's Association classical piano contest performance winner.

-Masanori played harmonica on a noise track for the song "Own Your Own Home" by the Oakland, California band Rogue Wave on their album "Asleep At Heaven's Gate" prior to joining.

-Masanori was a member of the band The Hawaii Show which was a side project of Steve "Dude" Barone from the Minneapolis, Minnesota post-punk band Lifter Puller, precursor to The Hold Steady.

-Masanori played with Dan Greenwood from the Minneapolis, Minnesota band Cloud Cult in both groups Masanori and The Lotus Eaters.

-The album "You Can Feel Me" by Los Angeles, California singer Har Mar Superstar was recorded at Masanori's former Uptown, Minneapolis apartment in Minnesota.

-Masanori, Lori Barbero from the Minneapolis, Minnesota band Babes in Toyland and Marcel Galang from the Minneapolis band The Hang Ups have an imaginary band named Rice Grinder in homage to Masanori's Japanese-Korean, Lori's Filipino and Marcel's Chinese-Filipino heritages.

-Masanori's first rock and roll concert that he attended was performed by the Minneapolis, Minnesota alternative rock band The Replacements.

-Masanori designed the logo for the Target World Challenge, an offseason PGA Tour event hosted annually by Tiger Woods at the Jack Nicklaus designed Sherwood Country Club golf course in Thousand Oaks, California.

-Masanori once won a $600 bet from Robert Pollard by reaching level 32 in Dig Dug (Pollard reached level 29).

-The billboard slogan "Third World Brunch, Sally Struther's Portions", written by Masanori for Minneapolis, Minnesota restaurant Chino Latino, was removed after Sally Struthers threatened a lawsuit deeming it slanderous and the controversy aired as an evening news piece on CBS affiliate WCCO-TV.


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "Biography: The Heavenly States". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 May 2010.