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Montreal one-man bands unite to conquer the Silver Dollar
KING KHAN & BBQ with BRUTAL KNIGHTS at the Silver Dollar, February 3. Tickets: $5. Attendance: 200. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
No doubt you’ve heard the mur murs: rebellious teens and their delinquent young adult counterparts across the continent are stepping to a crazy new beat. They’re calling it rock and roll.
Characterized by hard strumming on guitars mixed with the clatter of drums, this unholy new musical style encourages alcohol and drug use, not to mention sexually suggestive hip gyrations.
While this music was abundant, no such dancing went down during Brutal Knights ‘ prunk (punk with crunk energy) set at the Silver Dollar last Thursday night. Blame the crowd, not the band. Though unfastened from the expected nü-hipster accoutrements, folks adhered to the “stand and lightly sway” paradigm in spite of how Nick Flanagan (sometime writer for NOW), the man in front of this shit-tight, catchy-ass, Ramones-but-funnier four-piece, was pushin’ it.
No matter. Round these parts it ain’t cool to dance during the first act of anything. When Brutal Knights run amok in the Bay Area with Fucked Up later this month, those California kids who don’t give a fuck won’t be bound by our taboo.
Speaking of fucked up, the union of label guru Mark Sultan , aka one-man-band BBQ , and Montreal-based King Khan (formerly Blacksnake ), back from Berlin – where he was surely living an exciting life in pan-European 10-piece psych-rock band the Shrines – is fucked-up good.
Appearing in whiteface and sporting a second-world-war-era East German helmet, King Khan wailed on guitar while doing Chuck Berry jackknife dances and belting backup. BBQ sang lead from the back of the stage with all the doo-wop rasp of the Earls or the Excellents in their pre-rock, post-R&B eminence, but with a new-millennium reflexive flava and lots of cussing. It should be noted that the impressively coordinated BBQ also banged out constant percussion on a tambourine and a kick drum rigged to his feet.
Between the electric clang of songs like Fish Fight and Pig Pig, off The King Khan & BBQ Show record, and before a spasmodic encore set, BBQ ranted about all the dancing that wasn’t going on.
Some kids, excited by the music of the devil, began to engage in the hopped-up frenzy they refer to as a “mosh pit.”
You can only imagine what that involves.