King Khan and (insert any one of his wicked projects here).

Man, this guy is good. And crazy. Crazy good! First laid my eyes on him when he played with the Shrines at the Sasquatch festival in George, Washington (yes, there actually is a place called George in Washington. Look it up.) The circumstances in which I got to see them were also pretty awesome, as I had finagled my way onto the VIP balcony platform thingy (a VIP watchtower, if you will) which had a blissful unobstructed view of the stage. The group’s get-up was one thing, the sound was another. I was pretty blown away. At one point during “I Wanna be a Girl” one of the band members (however, not Khan himself) whipped down his pants to reveal a man-gina, after which he proceeded to dance and hop around the stage to the delighted/disgusted screams of thousands. Pretty fantastic first impression of this guy, I must say. Other projects Khan is involved in include the Almighty Defenders, a collaboration with members of The Black Lips, and the King Khan and BBQ show. As I was able to see the latter perform at Lee’s Palace not too long ago, I’ll say a few more words about them here. So we’ve got King Khan on lead guitar and vocals, and BBQ (Mark Sultan, who is also involved in the Almighty Defenders) on guitar, percussion, and vocals. Yeah, BBQ plays guitar, sings, and mostly works the percussion with his feet. Pretty amazing. Apparently another drummer, Leo Chips (aka the SHOW – so clever. haha) played with them on their most recent tour, and although I haven’t seen all three of them perform together, I can say they fare pretty damn well as a duo. These two definitely have a little less of the polish and zany finesse of The Shrines, opting instead for a more lo-fi, gritty, true rock n’ roll feel. But King Khan’s influence is clear in both, as all of Khan’s projects are definitely equal in terms of originality and showmanship. This guy really got me into a lot more garage rock, or more specifically his genre of what some have coined “doo wop punk”. The term in itself initially really piqued my interest. First off, I definitely have some fondness and deep appreciation for punk rock, having grown up on a bit of it thanks to my older sister (shameless plug for her Victoria-based band – Lesbian Fist Magnet! Check ‘em if you’re into some heavy, scuzzy punk/metal). But as a professional dancer, obviously, I love music that makes me dance. So to mix the dance-inducing, happy-go-lucky feel of doo wop with the ragged edges of punk? In my mind, pure fucking magic. Lately I’ve been listening to the first self-titled LP, and it is just FUN. Tracks like “Waddlin’ Around,” “Fish Fight,” and “Love You So” are quick, bouncy and definitely get my bed-dancing stamp of approval. Another random side note: notice I specified “bed-dancing” – the new trend sweeping the nation…well, my bedroom anyway. If you haven’t seen it, please check out the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and take note of the scene with Hedwig as a young boy dancing on his bed. That kid, and the entire movie, is incredible. I am convinced there is something about having a cushy surface under your feet that just makes you dance ten times better. So watch that, take some pointers and get inspired, then throw on some King Khan and BBQ show and give it a shot of your own. Seriously. Here, I even found a Youtube clip for your viewing pleasure. Now do it.