FFF8 in Pictures – Sunday Edition

King KhanSlow rolling is now done, though I think we may put up a PYAITK version of FFF8 coverage. FFF9 info is pending and you can recommend artists to the festival honchos.

But for now, you get to peep a ton of bad ass festival pics from a couple Sundays back. This edition features Cayucas, The Men, XXYYXX, Dennis McCoy, PLG, Matt Hoffman, Washed Out, Dismemberment Plan, Deltron 3030, MGMT, Bonobo, Slayer and King Khan with just enough crowd shots that you could be a star!

Click past the break people…

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King Khan & the Shrines – Idle No More


Rating: ★★★ · ·

Well into a decade’s worth of an impressive career, it seems as if King Khan is slowing down a bit.  Not only does this reference his musical output, but also the pacing of the songs on the latest King Khan & the Shrines record, Idle No More.  The psychotic garage/blues infusion seems much more reined in here, leaving some great slow burners, but nothing with the frenetic energy of previous albums.

“Born to Die” opens with a sitar, which seems like the perfect prelude to a booty-shaking track from King Khan, yet it never goes quite in that direction. Sure, there’s some pedal work on the guitar and a bit of a stomp, but there’s no ferocity here; it’s rather a tame song, though by means a bad one.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the theme on this record: good tracks, though nothing great. “Bite My Tongue” follows, and it floats along in a similar manner as its predecessor.  It’s got parts that are fairly catchy, lyrically speaking, but musically, it seems to miss that killer punch that you’d get from a song like “Torture.”  However, the R&B influenced tracks are much stronger and focused, making them the standout tunes on the album.

Yes, KK has always had a huge soul/R&B influence, but I think one of his most successful takes comes on Idle No More in the form of “Darkness.”  I love how the track barely moves beyond guitar and vocals until the 1 minute mark where you get the emotional release from the introduction of horns and light percussion.  Of course, it lurks back into its quiet form, but that again builds towards that soulful explosion.  And, as if we needed more proof of the group’s love for classic R&B, then you don’t have to go further; “Pray for Lil” is waiting for you.  It’s definitely got the Shrines working the horn section, and King Khan bringing his own vocal touches, but the main vocal performance is remarkable.  It might just be my favorite track on the LP.

I don’t want to be too harsh on King Khan & the Shrines because there’s a lot of music on here that I really enjoy, such as “So Wild” or “Yes I Can’t.” The deviant attitude is still visible, the songwriting is successful…I just wanted more of a punch.  It’s as if Idle No More was created for more of a high school prom, rather than some dingy club filled with joyous dancers.  For me, this whole record shows a band writing good songs, but without the madness that was present in previous years, it’s just that, a good record. Not a great one.

Jamming out with King Khan and the Shrines

kingkhanLong have we adored KK and the Shrines, and we’ve been excited since they first announced their upcoming for Merge Records.  On the latest single, there’s definitely a bit of restraint, at least for my ears.  The song holds back from the typical garage rock pummeling, using an effects pedal to sort of provide a tripped out stomp; I like the clarity of the vocals throughout as well, which is a touch of a change.  They’re titling the album Idle No More, and it will hit streets on September 3rd.  The release will also see a world-wide tour, though, sadly, there’s no scheduled Austin date.

Show Preview: King Khan @ the Mohawk (2/4)

Date Saturday, Feb 4th
Location Mohawk
Doors 800 pm
Tickets $11 from Frontgate

Rock n’ roll season is clearly upon us, and Mohawk is kicking things off the right way.  They’ve got one of the best live acts around coming to town Saturday night with King Khan and the Shrines taking to the stage.  We haven’t really heard a lot of new stuff coming from the camp, but their catalog is worthy of endless sets of straight out jams.  And if that wasn’t good enough, the most excellent Jacuzzi Boys will be starting your night out the right way, fresh off the release of their album, Glazin on Hardly Art.  Come on folks, get out and get rad.


Download:King Khan & The Shrines – Torture [MP3]


King Khan & The Shrines @ Emo’s (4/5)

Date 4/5/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $15 from Ticketweb

Holy crapola, Emo’s has a pretty tasty little lineup for you music fans on Monday evening.  First up, on the outside stage, you’ve got crazy good live band King Khan & The Shrines along with The Fresh and Onlys and The Strange Boys.  Then inside you’ve got The Wedding Present and Ringo Deathstarr.  Not too sure if you can go between the outside and inside stage for this one, but it’s worth a try.  If only it wasn’t on a Monday…

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/king_khan-torture.mp3]

Download: King Khan & The Shrines – Torture [MP3]

King Khan and the BBQ Show – Invisible Girl


Rating: ★★★ · ·

If you haven’t heard of King Khan in the last several years, you’ve probably been living in some remote region of the world, the Falkland Islands perhaps. Here we are again with another King Khan and the BBQ Show release, the more R&B influenced of Khan’s two monikers.  Invisible Girl is precisely what you would expect from the group, but the jury is still out on whether that is precisely what people are looking for from the BBQ Show.

One of the things to love about KK & the BBQ Show is just how much they can throw in a touch of soul into their stomping garage workings.  Such an endeavor could create a bit of cacophony, yet they never seem to go that route, always holding back enough to make the group seems like one of the tighteset around.  Take “I’ll Be Loving You,” a song that seems better suited for the high school proms of the late 50s.  It’s got a great vocal performance, but that beat just makes you shake something fierce.  “Spin the Bottle” is somewhat similar, mostly in the nostalgic feelings created by the incessant handclaps.

And we can’t forget the humor that makes Khan and associates such an enjoyable listen.  On “Animal Party” the narrator is hosting a party with a roomful of chickens, and yes, there are animal noises mimicked in the openingi moments of the song.  Still, the song doesn’t come off as a huge joke by any means, and once you move beyond the silliness of the lyrics and the noises, you get to the heart of a pretty solid song.

Yet there is something that doesn’t sit quite right on this album, at least for this listener.  Every song on here is easily considered a good track.  They each stand alone on their own individual merits.  But, when thrown together amongst each other, they seem to blend in together throughout the entire album.  There is a great sound here, but there is very little differentiation in the writing of the songs, so you find yourself lost in the album, trying to find your way out of the mess.  Don’t get me wrong, you can listen to this album over and over, time and time again, as I have, but at some point it blends together.

All that aside, this is just another good performance from King Khan and the BBQ Show.  Perhaps I’m expecting something entirely new and different, some sort of evolution, but that’s just my dream.  Khan has his own purpose on Invisible Girl, and while I might find that it runs together after repeated listens, it doesn’t mean it’s not better than most of what’s out there nowadays.


Download: King Khan & BBQ Show – Invisible Girl [MP3]

New Tunes from The Almighty Defenders

almightydefendersThe Internet was abuzz with news that the union between Black Lips and King Khan would finally come to fruition. The group, under the name of The Almighty Defenders, will be releasing their self-titled album on September 22nd. Personally, this track, “Bow Down and Die” has a killer riff throughout, reminiscent of the BBQ Show, but I’m not entirely sold on the echo-y gang vocals, but you be the judge.


Download: The Almighty Defenders – Bow Down and Die [MP3]