The Vectorist

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King Khan Teabags SXSW

So in my dogeared copy of Seven Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers, I read that a successful blogger posts something every day. I am not that person. I am like the Leonard Cohen of blogging. This stuff takes time. It is deliberate. Things just got busy and then before I could recover I went to Austin for SXSW. It was good, by the way, but not the musical onslaught of past years. I think a lot of folks were just sitting this one out. Or I am really out of touch.


King Khan

One of my SXSW highlights was King Khan and the Shrines. He was subdued, considering that I’d heard such wild things — peeing on the Black Lips‘ stuff, inciting Jay Reatard to stick a flower up his butt — but regardless he and the Shrines were totally on point. Still and perhaps the best time to see him is not when he’s not doing three shows a day in the Texas heat, which is why I just bought tickets to see him at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in May. You should go. It will be awesome. Mark Sultan (more on him later in this post) is opening, and so is Georgiana Starlington (the first guy who played guitar for the Black Lips is in this one).

(Digression: There were an inordinate number of two-man bands at SXSW this year, each one comprised of one dude on guitar and another on drums. Ninety percent of these bands took an eternity to set up their shit. In contrast, King Khan and the Shrines set up in record time. Impressive considering that in addition to your typical guitar, bass, drums, vocalist they also have a horn section and a cheerleader. So, hey there, Mr. Blues Hammer, Jrs., don’t be fuckin’ prima donnas. Ay, stugots.)

King Khan wore a cape and hat and came out carrying a staff. Watching him I thought of Little Richard and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. And also the Dirtbombs. Norton Records. Everything! He has showmanship! There was passion! Rock ‘n’ roll! Germans! A cheerleader! People burnt money! Women swooned! I got a sunburn! It was awesome.

The King Khan and BBQ Show: Teabag Party

But from where did he emerge? The French-Canadian/Indian King Khan joined a Montreal garage rock band called the Spaceshits at age 17. He played bass. The Spaceshit’s lead singer/guitarist was a guy named Mark Sultan, who Khan would continue to work with as the King Khan and BBQ Show. During a tour through Europe, Khan decided to stay in Germany. He was 22.

Khan’s first child was also born around this time. “I had been playing delinquent rock and roll music and when my baby was born I wanted make something more soulful, something about love,” Khan told Impose magazine.

He released a coupla albums and was eventually signed by Vice Records, which released the Supreme Genius of King Khan, a compilation, last year. (Vice has also distributed Khan and the Shrine’s What Is?!, which is the album to check out as the band is at full strength there.)

In addition to the Shrines, King Khan and BBQ have released a variety of singles and two full-lengths, such as the hard-to-find Teabag Party 7″. The album was recorded in Berlin. Its concept grew out of King Khan teabagging people at his shows.

Here is the full King Khan and BBQ Teabag Party 7″.

My favorite part is the “ball-dip-dip-dip-ball-dip-dip-dip” scat during “Teabag.” It’s what the Marcels woulda done if they coulda. Think about it.



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