Khan-Do Attitude

There aren’t a lot of live shows where you’ll see a musician hit in the nuts with a banana. Or watch a guy do lurid things to English chanteuse Duffy’s photo. Or see a dude strut around in a bejeweled turban and gold-sequined dress. But these are just some of the things that can happen onstage at a King Khan & the Shrines show. Over the past couple years, the Berlin-based garage-soul outfit — which features a French organist, a German horn section, a Japanese go-go dancer, and an Indian/Canadian singer — has grown into one of the most unpredictable, uproariously enjoyable touring bands around. Khan himself is a non-stop whirlwind of outrageousness, coming off like a lascivious cross between Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Lux Interior. As for the Shrines’ music, it revitalizes the gritty, grimy good-time soul of the ’60s, filtering Martin Denny exotica and Seeds-ish psychedelia through James Brown funk. (The band’s secret weapon is organist Fredovitch, who attacks his instrument like Godzilla stomping through Tokyo.) Vice Records has just reissued the group’s 2007 album What Is?!, which is the perfect excuse for another stateside jaunt for the band. (Sadly, frequent tourmates the Black Lips aren’t joining this time.) About the only thing predictable about a King Khan & the Shrines show is the euphoria it causes.

Mark Sultan and Apache open.
Thu., May 28, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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