Given this blog's love of garage rock and soul music, I'm not sure how we haven't written about King Khan before, but we're about to fix that.
Let's get the preliminaries out of the way. Mr. Arish Ahmad Khan is a Canadian who's been playing in garage and soul bands since the mid-90's. His wild James Brown meets Iggy Pop stage persona is the stuff of legend. Prior to Idle No More, he hadn't released a record for 6 years as he went through a very rough stretch following the death of some close friends and other challenges that found him landing in psychiatric hospitals, Buddhist monasteries and diving deep into the culture of indigenous peoples.
Idle No More is simultaneously a cathartic release, a street party and a serious artistic statement from a man more known for wild stage antics than gravitas.
Equal parts soul and high energy garage rock, Idle No More has a deep party groove that reminds me more of Brian Jones-era Rolling Stones than anything. Few current bands use horns like this.
Let's kick it off right with "Bite My Tongue":
Here's one of my favorites "So Wild": Interestingly, the "official" video is perhaps the most out of character song here, the deep soul of "Darkness", which recalls nothing less weighty than Nina Simone:
And on and on this fine CD goes, 12 songs of heart, swagger and soul.
You can stream it all here at Spin Magazine web site.
King Khan and his full on 9 piece soul band The Shrines are launching a tour now, the stage being where King Khan truly earned his crown:
11 San Diego CA Casbah
12 Los Angeles CA Culture Collide Festival Festival 10/9-10/12
13 San Francisco CA Slims w/ Hell Shovel
14 Portland OR Dante's w/ Hell Shovel
15 Vancouver CAN The Rickshaw Theatre
16 Seattle WA Neumos w/ Hell Shovel
17 Boise ID Neurolux
18 Salt Lake City UT Urban Lounge w/ Hell Shovel
19 Denver CO Larimer Lounge
20 Kansas City MO The Record Bar
21 St. Paul MN Turf Club w/ BBQ Show, Toxic Shrews, Hot Rash
22 Madison WI High Noon Saloon w/ Hell Shovel
23 Chicago IL Bottom Lounge
24 Cleveland Heights OH Grog Shop w/ Hell Shovel
25 Detroit MI Magic Stick w/ Hell Shovel
26 Toronto CAN The Horseshoe Tavern
27 Montreal QC CAN La Tulipe
29 Boston MA Brighton Music Hall
30 New York NY Webster Hall
31 Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
1 Washington DC The Black Cat
2 Durham NC Motorco
4 Atlanta GA Terminal West w/ Hell Shovel
5 Birmingham AL The Bottletree w/ Hell Shovel
6 New Orleans LA Siberia w/ Hell Shovel
8 Austin TX Fun Fun Fun Fest Nov 8-10
9 Puerto Rico Hacienda Siesta Alegre
12 El Paso TX Tricky Falls w/ Hellshovel
13 Phoenix AZ The Crescent Ballroom