photos by Tim Griffin, words by Andrew Frisicano
King Khan & BBQ Show headlined two NYC shows on their brief tour with Dum Dum Girls. Those shows happened Friday, Oct. 30th at Bowery Ballroom, and Halloween night at the Bell House. (Dum Dum Girls also played Saturday, Oct. 24th for CMJ, and Monday, Oct. 26th at Bruar Falls.)
The King Khan & BBQ Show - the two-man-band of King Khan and singer/drummer/rhythm guitarist Mark Sultan - were also in town to play their parts in Almighty Defenders, who performed at the Root Studio on Saturday, October 24th. Even though they were joined on stage by the energetic Black Lips at that show, the Bowery show with the duo alone was the grimier, rawer affair. That's where the pictures in this post were taken.
At the Bowery, King Khan, in a turquoise, fringed dress, and Mark Sultan, in a turban and cloak, swarmed the stage to the opening riff of "Johnny B Goode." People danced (got kicked out), cups flew out of the crowd, King Khan did his rounds and then settled into a sitar-position at the foot of the stage, and Mark Sultan laid out rhythm guitar, kick drum and dulcet tones.
A homespun aesthetic was central to the set - the pair played through tiny Vox Pathfinder amps more suited to a bedroom practice session, and sported an attractively handcrafted backdrop. They exchanged cues with telepathic charm and made a whole lot of noise playing from records old and new (including their newest LP, Invisible Girl). There was even some overlap with the Almighty Defenders set; the song "Too Much in Love", for one, done in shambolic, backyard fashion. The band paused on a serious note to give a dedication to musician and one-time Black Lip Bobby Ubangi, who passed earlier this year.
Earlier in the show, opener Lover (not to be confused with Lovvers) kicked things off with melodic garage punk that worked best played fast and harmonized. In the same vein, Dum Dum Girls (they played right before King Khan and BBQ) benefited from the emphatic desperation of songs like their closer, "Jail La La." Its pitiful cry of "Someone took my baby" put an emotional angle on their detached, vintage-reverb sound.
Dum Dum Girls' cover of GG Allin's "Don't Talk to Me" and another song from their Bruar Falls show are posted below.
The King Khan & BBQ Show have North American shows scheduled into December. Those dates and more pictures are below too...
Dum Dum Girls...
The King Khan and BBQ Show...
King Khan & BBQ Show - 2009 Tour Dates
Nov 02 Rock n Roll Hotel NW Washington, Washington DC
Nov 03 Local 506 Chapel HIll, North Carolina
Nov 04 Star Bar Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 05 Bottletree Birmingham, Alabama
Nov 06 Spellcaster Lounge New Orleans, Louisiana
Nov 07 Spanish Moon Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Nov 08 fun fun fun fest Austin, Texas
Nov 10 Hi Tone Cafe Memphis, Tennessee
Nov 11 Exit In NASHville, Tennessee
Nov 12 Off Broadway St. Louis, Missouri
Nov 13 The Jackpot Saloon Lawrence, Kansas
Nov 14 Bluebird Theatre Denver, Colorado
Nov 16 Rhythm Room Phoenix, Arizona
Nov 17 Troubadour Los Angeles, California
Nov 18 The Independent San Francisco, California
Nov 20 Dante's Portland, Oregon
Nov 21 Chop Suey Seattle, Washington
Nov 23 The Red Room Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 25 The Warehouse Calgary, Alberta
Nov 26 Pawn Shop Edmonton, Alberta
Nov 27 Amigos Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Nov 28 Royal Albert Arms Winnepeg, Manitoba
Nov 29 Triple Rock Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dec 01 Mad Planet Milwalkee, Wisconsin
Dec 02 Logan Square Auditorium Chicago, Illinois
Dec 03 Northside Tavern Cinncinati, Ohio
Dec 04 Lees Palace Toronto, Ontario
Dec 05 Babylon Ottawa, Ontario
Dum Dum Girls - 2009 Tour Dates
Nov 12 BELLY UP TAVERN Solana Beach, California @
Nov 27 ART FAG FEST San Diego, California #
Nov 28 SPACELAND Los Angeles, California
@ w/ The Raveonettes & Crocodiles
# w/ No Age, Crocodiles, Best Coast, Ganglians, & Pearl Harbor