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Masanori Mark Christianson
Background information
Birth name Masanori Shirota
Also known as Masanori Mark Christianson
Born January 18, 1976 (1976-01-18) (age 33)
Japan Ōmori, Tokyo, Japan
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Punk rock
Occupations Art Director, Copywriter, Model, Musician, Songwriter, Visual Artist
Instruments Bass Guitar, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Tambourine, Violin, Vocals
Years active 1982 - Present
Labels Baria Records
Bodycast Records
Heart of a Champion Records
The Rebel Group
Associated acts Ambulance
The Hawaii Show
The Heavenly States
The Lotus Eaters
Plutonium Foil
Rice Grinder

Masanori Mark Christianson (born Masanori Shirota, January 18, 1976 in Ōmori, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese American musician, art director, copywriter, visual artist and model. He may be best known as a bass guitarist and multi-instrumentalist for the seminal Oakland, California indie rock band The Heavenly States.

In addition to releasing a split-single with Coldplay and The Postal Service, The Heavenly States have shared bills with artists ranging from Beck and Modest Mouse, to The Flaming Lips and have had their music profiled on shows such as the MTV drama series The Hills, E! True Hollywood Story and Saturn automobile commercials.

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

Although never a serious venture, Masanori occasionally dabbles in print modeling and voice-over work for corporations such as UnitedHealth Group.

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".

-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.

-Masanori played with Dan "Long Dong" 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 is an avid Civil War relic collector, whose prized possessions include many bullets, buttons, two cannonballs and a Confederate cavalry saber.

-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.

-Masanori took part in the Jaccuzzi au SOMMET du Mont-Blanc climb in September 2007.



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