Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Xanandu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree

My long-awaited portrait of the great King Khan's in today's PopMatters.

King Khan & the Shrines + Live Fast Die
30 July 2008: The Iron Horse — Northampton, MA

When King Khan enters, after an extended jazzy vamp, all thunking bass and blast of horns, he’s wearing a glittery cape and mask…and why not?

King Khan has never been in Northampton before, and he is pretty sure he doesn’t like it.

It starts even before his massive band takes the stage, when he, still in Bermuda shorts and truckers hat, harangues us to get closer for the opening act, New Hampshire-scuzz punkers Live Fast Die. “C’mon, that’s the worst thing you can do…stand in the back,” he importunes. “Don’t sit at the tables. Don’t be like that.” Muttering darkly (and inexplicably, since we’re in Massachusetts) about “people from New Hampshire,” he has us pegged as recalcitrant squares right from the beginning.

Fair enough. He comes from Montreal and lived in Europe, both wilder, crazier scenes, places where, quite possibly, women don’t stand there like they’ve “got a poker up their pussies.” We are trying, to limits of our straightened abilities, to have the kind of good time that King Khan insists on…but we may just not be capable of it; so, sorry. It’s New England. People have been trying to get us to loosen up for centuries.

The funny thing is, it just about works.


Visit King Khan's MySpace

And Live Fast Die's, too. I don't think they're really from NH, regardless of what it says on their page.

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