Saturday, May 02, 2009

King Khan & The Shrines; Mark Sultan @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

King Khan & The Shrines; Mark Sultan; Georgiana Starlington
@ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY - May 1, 2009

I had always hesitated to see Khan with the Shrines because as much as I loved the pulse-pounding soul I heard on record, I resisted the gimmicky antics I heard about, not to mention the obnoxious sudden hipness of the act and the later scenester embracing of that nice little secret called King Khan & BBQ. But putting aside the snobbery for a night, I finally took in King Khan & The Shrines and Holy Moly what a show. Yes it was a little gimmicky - the fat man in the speedo spitting glitter, who came out of the crowd, appeared to be a plant. But Khan kept his notorious wang in his pants and kept his spit and other bodily fluids to himself (maybe it was because of the swine flu), and instead focused on his amazing music. The thrilling, heart-stopping soul churned out by Khan's seemingly endless number of musicians is up there with the greats. In fact, I officially shun the notion of exclusivity, and declare that King Khan & The Shrines go beyond their crass scenester popularity, and come to be a top-rated popular act among the soul circuit. Don't lose any of that garage grease, and just take it to the polished confines of the soul music world. They won't know what hit 'em (Hopefully it won't be Khan's wang).

"Mark Sultan" was in fact "BBQ" as he was in Toronto at Rancho Relaxo two weeks prior. It was him on guitar and snare drum with 2 pals helping out on either side of him. It was a fine reminder of his stellar voice and songwriting but there was no "Shake Real Low" and again ol' Montreal Mark felt the need to mess around with his songs - speed 'em up, slow 'em down, stop 'em halfway - as if he's either tired already of his old catalog or wants to mess around with his tight little fan base. Also the contrast of seeing this act from a place like Rancho to a place like MHOW was noticeable: despite MHOW's fantastic acoustics, it was a little too large to absorb Sultan's pocket-full-of-energy.

And why was there some apparent of rule of no King Khan & BBQ during the night? Come on boys, you're in the same room.

Georgiana Starlington is a country-punk act. The front gal looks like a 60's/70's Nashville star and is drunk like one too and her band is deliberately sloppy. I suppose I can look up where this is from (and I will) but I'll just go ahead and say Atlanta and lob this shtick in with that crude garage scene down south that was fun for about 10 minutes before every mustache-and-big-sunglasses scenester made it as uncool as the sloppy music. Looking it up...hmm...they appear to be locals. And it appears this is a band name, not the name of the chick. I better go re-edit this paragraph. OK, done. Well I'm glad that's settled.

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