King Khan & BBQ Show @ Glasslands

When: April 13th, 2013

Straight forward rock n roll with fuzzy guitars and a stripped down, DIY aesthetic has always worked for me.  From The Troggs and MC5 back in the day to more recent groups like The White Stripes and The Black Lips, good garage rock strips away the glossy bullshit and leaves just the raw materials of a good time.  It's like a great steak you can sink your teeth into and taste the cow, not the zing of a fancy marinade or distracting sauce.  Sometimes you want some worcestershire.  Shit, sometimes you need it.  But if the ingredients are quality, simplicity can be your ticket to ecstasy.  This show had two acts that both have a recipe for serving up steaming piles of tasty noise, all killer, no filler. 

First up was Bloodshot Bill, a one man music making daddy-o who snorts like a pig and kicks like a mule.  BB's sound can best be described as rockabilly boiled down to its essence.  Think psychobilly Buddy Holly.  Barely a word is understood, but the delivery is brimming with personality and power.  He belts like the Big Bopper and rasps like Robert Gordon, all while playing guitar just like a ringing a bell. Decked out in pajamas with a slick pomp to rival Danny Zuko, BB splashes the hi hat with his left foot, thumps the kick with his right, and tears it up on the archtop.  I couldn't believe what a force of nature he was in the flesh.  In between songs he'd comb back his tousled hairdo and wink at the girls in front.  My buddy Matt, who joined me for the night's festivities, told me BB is his favorite live performer right now.  He definitely brought the ruckus with his Saturday night set and made a believer out of me.  I highly recommend seeing him if he tramps through your neck of the woods.

Next up were the headliners, and fellow Canadians, The King Khan & BBQ Show.  Our friends north of the border seem to be churning out a lot of great acts lately.  This hard charging duo took the stage and rocked the place from top to bottom with their loud mix of garage punk, served with a big slice of silliness.  Mark Sultan (BBQ), dressed like a happy to be out genie, banged away on snare & kick with his feet while playing guitar.  King Khan was sporting his donkey-teeth necklace and vest.  His chunky brown body provided eye candy for the ladies, but his guitar work was all man.  I'd imagine the hyper self aware Brooklynites I run into at other shows avoided this show because it wasn't "serious" enough.  I mean, King Khan did stick his bare ass in Lindsay Lohan's face a while back.  But what dullards deem juvenile is really just a good time asking to sit on their face.  This show was a blast.  Near the end of the night, Bloodshot Bill joined them on stage.  They tore through a couple numbers and the place went berserk. 

Overall, this show was so solid, so energizing, that Matt and I ended up bouncing around until the sunlight started creeping over Queens.  We went from Sportsmen Specials in the backyard of the Levee to the King Khan afterparty at Passenger to drinking picklebacks at Lady Jay's where Loretta Lynn's "Fist City" piped out of the juke. We finished things up with a finger licking stewed chicken torta at an all night Mexican joint on Grand.  I took a crowded train home to Ridgewood, wishing the whole way I was topless in a T-Bucket with some Santo & Johnny playing me home.