Take three and half minutes out of your busy day to check out this amusing Band 2 Band interview with The King Khan & BBQ Show.
I always love discovering that one of my favorite national or better yet international bands is coming to town. It’s like a birthday gift in its own little way. This time, it’s the soul machine nine piece: King Khan & The Shrines – his sensational shrines. They are heading on two massive tours (Europe & North America), making a stop at The Sinclair in Cambridge on Tuesday, June 10th. Be there or be somewhere else significantly less spiritually awakening.
– EUROPE 2014 –
04/11 CH, ZURICH – MESSAGE SALON
04/12 CH, BERN – DACHSTOCK
04/13 CH, GENEVA – L’USINE
04/14 FR, TOULOUSE – CONNEXION CAFE
04/15 FR, JOUÈ-LÈS-TOURS – LE TEMPS MACHINE
04/16 FR, LILLE – AERONEF
04/17 UK, BRIGHTON – THE HAUNT
04/18 UK, LEEDS – BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
04/19 IE, DUBLIN – WHELANS
04/20 IE, BELFAST – THE BLACK BOX
04/21 UK, GLASGOW – BROADCAST
04/22 UK, MANCHESTER – THE ROADHOUSE
04/23 UK, LIVERPOOL – KOROVA
04/24 UK, LONDON – SCALA
04/25 FR, PARIS – LA MAROQUINERIE
04/26 DE, STUTTGART – CLUB UNIVERSUM
04/27 HU, BUDAPEST – KUPLUNG
04/28 AT, VIENNA – CHELSEA
04/29 AT, LINZ – CROSSING EUROPE FILM FESTIVAL
04/30 DE, FRANKFURT – MOUSONTURM
05/01 BE, LESSINES – ROOTS & ROSES FESTIVAL
05/02 DE, MÜNSTER – GLEIS 22
05/03 NL, GRONINGEN – THE OOSTERPOORT
05/04 NL, AMSTERDAM – MELKWEG
05/05 NL, HAARLEM – BEVRIJDINGSPOP
05/05 NL, DEN BOSCH – BEVRIJDINGSFESTIVAL
– NORTH AMERICA 2014 –
05/30 AUSTIN, TX – MOHAWK / CHAOS IN TEJAS
05/31 HOUSTON, TX – FREE PRESS SUMMER FESTIVAL
06/01 NEW ORLEANS, LA – ONE EYED JACKS
06/04 BALTIMORE, MD – OTTOBAR
06/05 PHILADELPHIA, PA – THEATER OF LIVING ARTS
06/06 NEW YORK, NY – LE POISSON ROUGE
06/07 BROOKLYN, NY – MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG
06/10 CAMBRIDGE, MA – SINCLAIR
06/11 PITTSBURGH, PA – CLUB CAFE
06/12 COLUMBUS, OH – ACE OF CUPS
06/14 MANCHESTER, TN – BONNAROO FESTIVAL
06/15 ST. LOUIS, MO – OFF BROADWAY
06/16 CHICAGO, IL – EMPTY BOTTLE
06/17 MINNEAPOLIS, MN – 7TH STREET ENTRY
06/18 IOWA CITY, IA – GABES
06/19 KANSAS CITY, KS – THE RECORD BAR
06/21 DENVER, CO – WESTWORD MUSIC SHOWCASE
06/22 SALT LAKE CITY, UT – URBAN LOUNGE
06/24 VANCOUVER, BC – INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FEST
06/25 SEATTLE, WA – NEUMOS
06/26 PORTLAND, OR – STAR THEATRE
06/28 SAN FRANCISCO, CA – THE CHAPEL
06/29 LOS ANGELES, CA – TROUBADOUR
Now, here is the NEW video for “Born to Die”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVvnT83m0hc Noisey won’t let me post the video here :(.
I know I’m a little late on this and I already ran my mouth off in my last post regarding my top shows of 2013, so I’ll do my best to keep this one short and sweet. Here we go…
10) Dylan Ewen & The Southern Gospel Gangbusters – Country Fried, Southern Pride (BUFU Records) – Gangbusters? More like Gangbangers! I really got into a lot of Dylan Ewen this year in his various projects and out of all of them this was my favorite. For my money, this has Dylan’s rawest, most in your face lyrics with a nasty, bad ass gangsta edge that puts him up there with Cube, Dre, and Mr. Big. So wild. AND it’s all set to a full backing band (drums, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandalin, harmonica, you name it) busting out southern gospel, bluegrass, and country. I had the pleasure of catching the band live in the heart of JP last month and I errr uhh nearly wet myself. TOP SONG: “500 Days of Bummer”
9) Bent Shapes – Feels Weird (Father/Daughter Records) – I just received this record as a Christmas gift and I’m loving it. As a long time fan of Bent Shapes/Girlfirends this is a terrific mix of classics and some solid new jams. Every track is strong. On one hand, it feels like a greatest hits compilation and then on the other it comes across as a completely new entity. It works both ways. TOP SONG: : “I Was Here, But I Disappear”
8) Shannon And The Clams – Dreams In The Rat House (Hardly Art) – Shannon and The Clams is a big favorite of mine, so this album was a serious treat this year. This one falls in line with all of their previous work: rock ‘n’ roll at its purest. 50’s doo wop, garage rock, Ramones styled punk rock, and some of the best voices you will ever hear. It may not be the most original music, but it’s rock ‘n’ roll. This is the plateau, this is the ideal, this is the benchmark. TOP SONG: “If I Could Count”
7) Idiot Genes – S/T (Self-Released) – The third (but not final!) Boston band on this list, Idiot Genes are one of the most recent bands I have listened to in 2013. I first caught them at a show at O’Brien’s Pub last August and I was enamored with their oddball sense of humor and surly, apathetic punk attitude. Subsequently, I hopped on their bandcamp and I was blown away by what I heard. I related to the band’s sloppy, lethargic, wasted narrative. The feeling of being fucked and fagged and shagged. I was frustrated and hearing the Idiot Genes reminded me why I hold rock ‘n’ roll so near and dear to me in the first place. It is my elixir, the temporary cure to all of life’s problems. They are almost like a different kind of party band, an after party band, a hangover band. This all sounds like one miserable hangover, and by miserable I mean extraordinary. Makes me want to drink too much and then regret some of it the next day, especially when the hangover doesn’t go away by 5 /6 PM like it usually does, so then you just drink more, until the next day after that when you’re even more hungover AND still a little drunk. So, what do you do? you crack open a beer and drink some more and then you listen to Idiot Genes, one of my new favorite rock ‘n’ roll elixirs for that temporary cure. Drunk Consistently. Listen here and join me in a nightcap. Cheers. TOP SONG: “The Charles Mansion” http://stupidpants.bandcamp.com/album/idiot-genes
6) Colleen Green – Sock It To Me (Hardly Art) – Sock it to me? Ok. Ms. Green is one cool cucumber with all her Richard Nixon and True Romance references on her latest album Sock It To Me. Much like Shannon and the Clams, with this album Colleen maintains the same rock ‘n’ roll flavor she’s always had, it’s just stronger than ever. Just a great example of how pop music doesn’t have to be a big mass machine product, instead it can be as simple as a guitar, a drum machine, and passionate vocals. TOP SONG: “Number One” (The Queers cover)
5) The Monsieurs – Rock The Night (Self-Released) – Damn son, this past October I had the enormous fortune of cumming across my legs when I came across The Monsieurs at the Brighton Music Y’all opening up for the holy King Khan & The Shrines. I’ve heard plenty of great garage spunk this year, but this new release from The Monsieurs was/is a real dessert, a dish best served cold. A cold, sudden punch right in the nads that is. Seriously though, these dudettes and dude really fucking rock and pack in the punches. This band has all the bells and whistles and bubblegum and grit that you and your buddies get off on every time you listen to Hunx and Nobunny and hopefully Fagettes at home on your dad’s worn out stereo, BUTT Monsieurs turn it up to 11. From the first few seconds of “Shadow” to the last gasping breaths of “At the Hop,” this record is garage pop on steroids. Lead singer Andy Macbain is a beast, a force to be reckoned with, and his vocals are out of control, off the wall. It’s all sludgey and thuddy and LOUD. If you like rock ‘n’ roll with a rambunctious ummphhh up your ass then here ya go – yet, it’s still as sweet as a little old lady taking 20 hours to cross the street with her little old cane? So sweet it helps that sludge go down smoother… I see big things for The Monsiuers in Twenty Fourteen. In 2014, let their album Rock the Night become your musical lubricant! TOP SONG: “Kari Ann” http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/rock-the-night-8-song-digital-album
4) King Khan & The Shrines – Idle No More (Merge) – It’s always a great year whenever one of our Honorary KLYAMERS releases an album and King Khan is among our top OG’s. You could say he helped make us who we are today to paraphrase a line in the tune “So Wild,” a song dedicated to the late, great Jay Reatard. RIP Jay forever and ever. For once your wild spirit may rest in peace… the chaos of the world so foreign, yet so familiar, you feel this tone on King Khan & The Shrines’ Idle No More, their first album since 2007. It’s a very personal album, the most mature to date. Highly spiritual as ever, yet it still maintains that fantastic Khan spirit of ubiquitous joy. Love. And coming back to the KLYAM, that’s one thing I love about rock ‘n’ roll (as we see it), all the bands we rep, and this record. No matter how torturous the world can be, there’s still a light. Khan and his crew take the misery, the darkness, and they turn it on its ugly head, ultimately receiving a boisterous, fun filled album as ever been conceived by the Shrines. TOP SONG: “Bite My Tongue”
3) Nobunny – Secret Songs (Goner) – Nobunny continues the trend on this list of artists releasing albums that preserve their raw, rock ‘n’ roll character and yet augment their craft at the same time. Secrets Songs is stacked with smash hit after smash hit haha; every tune is a blast, no filler. Love Visions will probably always be my favorite, but I have to send my accolades to Mr. Bunny here. This LP has the most variety ever on a Nobunny record lyrically, musically, and aesthetically. There’s several fast poppers, screeching hardcore punks odes, and a batch of soft gentle numbers for the ladies and in particular for the Birthday Girl. NO NO 4 LYFE! TOP SONG: This is a toughie, but for now I’m going to go with “Bye Bye Roxie”
2) Peach Kelli Pop – Peach Kelli Pop II (Burger) – I know this came out in 2012, but I heard it in its entirety in 2013 and I loved it so damn much that I just couldn’t leave it off the list! This is one of the greatest pop records I have ever heard. Like I said earlier regarding Colleen Green, pop music doesn’t have to be mass produced and this certainly applies here. I was in love with PKP’s first album and I didn’t think it could be topped at the time. What was I thinking?! As awesome as her debut is, it doesn’t have anything on its sequel. Holy shit, this thing is incredible. PKP II is like Terminator 2, if it was a movie. A full blast of immediate, catchy pop songs from start to finish is what we have here. Peach Kelli Pop – Allie Hanlon channels bubblegum, garage, and 60’s Girl Groups in all of these short, but ever so sweet songs. It’s like injecting yourself with bubblegum pop music and feeling that instantaneous sugary high! This record always puts me in the best mood. Cheers. TOP SONG: “Red Leather”http://peachkellipop.bandcamp.com/
And the weiner is…
1) Hunx and His Punx – Street Punk (Hardly Art) – I know, I know I’m a Hardly Art whore. Haha, that should be a marketing trend. Labels should pick up on this. I can picture it now “I’m a Burger Whore!” or “Be a Burger Whore!” Shirts, pins, posters, let’s do it! I say this all with love. Anywhooo, since the dawn of KLYAM five years ago, Hunx and His Punx is one of the only, if only (possibly?) band that has consistently put out new, exceptional releases each year. With this album, Hunx and his cronies have snarled their way into the bowels of the rock ‘n’ roll/garage/punk landscape. I just adore and admire the way the band mixes up early hardcore punk (Germs, Misfits, Black Flag) with their classic garage rock style. Half of me says it’s an affectionate satire and the other says this is the real deal, this is the music itself. It feels like Circle Jerks or whoever comes to mind. When Hunx says he wants to beat you with a baseball bat, his screams are terrific and serve as a true homage to the aforementioned punk legends, but let’s not forget he’s saying this all because of his BAD SKIN! That’s part of the fun. I’m glad someone finally made (I could be wrong here and I very well may be missing out on loads of great, similarly styled albums) a piece of work that connects the dots in these various styles of pure rock ‘n’ roll music, which is not very pure to begin with. It’s so satisfying. I’ve always felt like that early wave of hardcore punk was like garage rock’s weird, fucked up cousin. It’s all coming from the same place essentially. It’s all about total and agonizing frustration and partying your ass off to cure that frustration. Hunx and His Punx get it. By the way, some of Shannon Shaw’s finest vocals! TOP SONG: “Mud In Your Eyes”
So, that’s it. That’s my list, but before I depart I have to give some mo’ shout outs. Here are some honorable mentions. Ben Tan – Inside Out, The Memories – Love Is The Law, Kal Marks – Life Is Murder, Saralee – S/T, The Gabba Ghouls – S/T, Kaviar Special – S/T, and last but certainly not least Lust Cats Of The Gutters – S/T , an album that was released in 2012, but nonetheless one of the best albums I heard all year.
2013 was also the first year of our record label KLYAM Records. We were/are extremely proud that our first release was one of our favorite records from 2012: Fat Creeps S/T EP
I chose not to include it on this list, because A) It was one of our own releases, B) It was originally released in 2012 and that’s when we heard it and loved it, and so forth, and C) It’s an EP and this is a list of my top LPs. Still, I couldn’t go without repping this record in a year end list of top records. Furthermore, if you haven’t picked up this album yet, then do yourself a favor and grab one now before it’s too late You can order it from KLYAM Records here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/ The record is also available at Weirdo Records and Armageddon Records, both in Cambridge, MA.
We look forward to 2014 as we have more records and shows and reviews then can be imagined! Stay tuned, then turn on, and then drop out, and we’ll meet up and listen to records or something.
Watch King Khan & The Shrines perform “Thorn In Her Pride” live on 89.3 The Current. Listen to the rest of the session here: http://www.thecurrent.org/feature/2013/10/22/king-khan-his-shrines-live
LONG LIVE KING KHAN!
The Monsieurs – Here at KLYAM we are suffocated by “garage rock” and “garage punk” and don’t even get me started on “garage psych.” At this point, we could drown in our vomit’s worth of garage. You may ask, “do you ever get sick of listening to this same style of music with bands ripping off bands that ripped off bands that ripped off bands that ripped off some poor black guys? The answer is yes and no. Yes, hearing garage all the time can be tedious and can surely make it difficult to warm up to fresh, young blood. But, no we are far too young to be cynical to say that “it all sounds the same” and sometimes it just takes a special band to make everything all right. The Monsieurs are one of those bands and they are ever so special. As one Cory Bell (SKIMASK, Funeral Cone, Ancient Filth) predicted, KLYAM seriously digs The Monsieurs!
The Monsieurs are a Boston based three piece – Andy Macbain on vocals, Hilken Mancini on guitar, and Erin King on drums (King stands up and smashes at her bass less kit a la Melanie and Peaches from Fagettes). Andy’s a real bad ace, we’re talking one kewl cat, I mean woahhhh daddy damn. He looks like a pimp (and could be) straight out of a blaxploitation flick (though he is white) – black shades, fur coat, funky hair, chewing gum, and pacing around the room like a caged cheetah that’s finally been let out and ready to rock like it’s no one else’s business.
Andy claws around, singing/screaming in everyone’s face and carrying a mic stand with him the whole time. Since I’m standing in front of the stage, he nearly knocks me out with the damn thing on several occasions. Andy spends much of this set on the floor, rocking around the somewhat empty crowd (at this point in the show, the audience is still building up and various patrons are just arriving, grabbing a drink at the bar, etc.). Glen thinks the band would fair better in a smaller, up close, and personal setting. I concur. Though, I got plenty up close and personal with The Monsieurs. Andy even kneels down and whispers sweet nothings in my ear at one point during the show.
As far as that good old fashioned, 60s garage/bubblegum pop styled rock ‘n’ roll goes, The Monsieurs are some of the best dishing it out around town. In particular, “Kari Ann” stands out to me tonight. It’s quite the ditty. Listen to all the ditties here on their album Rock the Night. Trust me, this one’s a keeper. http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/rock-the-night-8-song-digital-album
Hellshovel – Hellshovel is currently on tour with King Khan & The Shrines, although I have never heard their music before. Though, I have heard that Hellshovel is one of King Khan’s new favorite bands. Makes sense, given that Hellshovel is led by Demon’s Claws’ front man Jeff Clarke – a long time friend and collaborator of King Khan’s. A fellow Kukomonga, a death culter.
Hellshovel has a similar garage aesthetic as the other two bands on the bill, but they are a lot more laid back and mellow. It’s actually bizarre psych garage music. Spacey. It’s cool, but doesn’t burn a fire in my heart like The Monsieurs did. Still, I recommend you check out their stuff here: http://slovenly.bandcamp.com/album/hellshovel-hated-by-the-sun-lp
King Khan & The Shrines – Ahh the build up before King Khan is like no other. All the Shrines are out on stage, decked out in all black, wailin’ away as the crowd cheers loud and louder until the King finally arrives. Dressed in black and gold, the King summons his sensational shrines and the band bursts into perennial show opener “Land of the Freak” OWWWWWWW!!!.
This is our fourth time seeing King Khan & The Shrines, so we know what to expect, but the show still remains magnificent. And in terms of the set, it’s precisely what you want from the grandaddy of them all. A sweet mixture of all the vintage Shrines tunes spiced up with some fresh cuts from the band latest effort Idle No More (Merge).
I’m as ecstatic as ever to hear my favorite King Khan & The Shrines songs, but I really dig the way King introduces each hit with a tiny hint as to what the band will play next. “This next one is for all you big girls” (“Took My Lady to Dinner”), “This one is for all you poor people,” (“Welfare Bread”), and best of all a new ballad for those rabid animals we lay to rest, especially Jay Reatard and Lou Reed (“So Wild”). You forgot Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel) King! So wild. RIP to all.
I may simply be forgetting – it’s been so many shows now – but, this may be the first time I’ve ever heard the band play the slow, doo woppy love song “Fool Like Me,” one of my favorites and a real pleasure to finally hear live.
Per usual, King Khan & The Shrines puts on one of the best shows you will ever experience, but the crowd could be a lot better. Sure, people are dancing, but there is not enough movement, not enough hysteria. This is King Khan people! On the other hand, when King Khan returns for the encore – in cape – the disciples start moshing and bashing back and forth to the sounds of “Born to Die” (a newbie from Idle No More). Next is “No Regrets,” and finally we leave with the classic “Live Fast Die Strong.” LIVE FAST DIE.
Following the show, we share some kind words with the almighty defender himself. He remembered Gangbang Gordon! You may not however, you may have never even heard of him, but you will some day. When you least expect it.
Video by John Doherty
That’s right! The holiest of the holies, King Khan & His Sensational Shrines are spreading the gospel of love, peace, and rock ‘n’ roll tonight @ Brighton Music Hall!
Band: King Khan & The Shrines
Label: Merge Records
Date: September 2013
1. Born to Die
2. Bite My Tongue
3. Thorn in Her Pride
4. Luckiest Man
5. Better Luck Next Time
7. Pray for Lil
8. Bad Boy
9. So Wild
10. Yes I Can’t
11. I Got Made
12. Of Madness I Dream
Comments: I just saw a thing, announcing this as a comeback album for the sensational, one of my favorite bands for some time now, King Khan and the Shrines. That’s kind of true, I thought. Their last release – The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines – was my personal introduction to the band. It came out in 2008. But in the time between (5 years), I’ve had the great chance of seeing the Shrines three times, in ’09, ’10, and ’12. So they’ve always been around, putting on some of the finest shows a band can. The presence of King Khan as soon as he hits the stage is always met with crazy levels of reception. It is usually after the 8 member Shrines warm us up with their horny glory when Khan joins in on the madness. While Idle No More might be considered as taking it down a few notches, it is a still a bastion of psychedelic soul, R&B, and fuzzy rock ‘n roll that I haven’t found to be matched in the modern era. The older Shrines releases have some more grease to them, maybe a touch more slime, and easy flowing blunt force, but this is something of an instrumental masterpiece.
Maybe as I’ve gotten myself familiar with King Khan’s music over the years, I’ve begun to appreciate the finer aspects songwriting and recorded performance present in such an outwardly fun style of music. But yeah, what I’m trying to say, is that Idle No More has more layers and dynamics to it than the average r’n’r album, that it’s hard not to appreciate just the fact that something like this was pulled off with great success. There’s definitely some unexpected moments – like on songs like “Pray For Lil” and “Bad Boy” that feature vocals from Jena Roker who sang on “Unicorn Rainbow Odyssey” on Mark Sultan’s Sultanic Verses. That last bit of info I had to look up, but I remember a female singer from that song that was really a cool way to end an album. But yeah these songs are ultra-soul, but keenly poppy while maintaining the innate rawness of the Shrines. This is stuff that’ll most likely win over your friends that are afraid of getting into real good music. The first four songs on the album – “Thorn in Her Pride” and “Luckiest Man” are tops for me at this point – these are the ones that’ll get the people moving the most at the shows. They all sound faintly similar as far as being driven to climax by outrageously crisp horns and choruses that will struggle to leave your memory. “So Wild” is a tribute to Khan’s dear friend/one of this site’s most advocated artists Jay Reatard. The production of it recalls Jay behind the mixing boards – it sounds sorta somber at the start, but truly explodes during the chorus.
Some bands might get a little flak for songs sounding like each other, but the Shrines manipulate the formula often enough that distinct styles often shine through like the garage jangle on “Yes I Can’t” (a standout on the album for sure, a powerhouse of a song) and hand-clap galore, early Shrines throwback “I Got Made”. People who really dug The Supreme Genius oughta definitely appreciate that one, particularly. The one tune that makes it mark as a departure from the upbeat pulse of the record is the minimal “Darkness,” which is haunting and stands as a mini-closer. The real finishing touch is “Of Madness I Dream”. It sways slowly, builds progressively, and reaches a fuzzy tipping point, collapsing solos reign before Khan’s vocals re-enter to deliver the final lines.
Idle No More doesn’t quite have the sultry passion that dominates the Shrines earlier work, but for seemingly deeper songs, these still rock ‘n roll… time and time again. The stuff is held together well, a little grit has been traded in for sonic soundness and more often than not, this works great. One of the more interesting bands of our time with a just as interesting front man, King Khan and the Shrines have once again delivered to us modern rock and soul as rousing as it comes.