The Buzz: King Khan and The Shrines

  • Updated: May 14, 2009 - 3:31 PM
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King Khan & the Shrines perform at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas on March 19, 2009.

Who are they? Montreal-reared Khan (real name: Arish Khan) fronted a Toronto psyche-punk band called the Spacesh--s before relocating to Berlin, where he assembled a crew of hard-blowing horn players, an organist and a cheerleader to create the Shrines. That's right, a cheerleader.

Why the buzz? Vice Records' 2008 compilation of the band's self-produced, '60s-style garage-rock tracks, "The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines," quickly became a critical hit, but the group really started to make its mark onstage, where Khan's wild energy and somewhat legitimately insane persona take flight. At last summer's Pitchfork Music Fest, Khan's antics included talking audience members into ripping up and burning dollar bills.

What do we think? It's hard to pin down Khan the man, a bona-fide oddity who's part James Brown, part Gibby Haynes and part Captain Beefheart. But Khan the howling singer and his band of loose misfits proved to be a powerhouse live act at the South by Southwest fest in March, bursting through songs from "Supreme Genius" like Stax Records musicians on speed.

When's the gig? 10 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock. $15.

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

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