This Week in the Mercury

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tonight in Music: King Khan and the Shrines, Horse Lords

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Though his latest, Idle No More, peers into existential heartbreak, King Khan has long been more at home as garage rock's big greasy ham—hocking half-baked slogans and sleazy innuendo, no joke is too cheap. Shameless and shirtless as sweat rolls off his mustache onto his beer belly, Khan's a natural at throwing cake and changing costumes. At Dante's in 2009, he was joined onstage by dancers with pompons, one of whom might not have been wearing underwear. And yet, confronted with such spectacle, I remained mesmerized by the band behind. They were dressed in black and relatively unadorned—eight Germans, maybe nine, all cooking together in strict, fierce counterpoint. Tight, snappy pocket rhythms, keys, horns, and auxiliary flourishes. Intertwined, ears open, playing only the right bits. They are the Shrines, from Berlin, and they crack like a whip. When their seamless, cohesive firecrackers meet Khan's cheeky shtick, a marvelous bar band is born. ANDREW R TONRY Also see My, What a Busy Week!

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) Horse Lords make the kind of amorphous, high-energy spazz-prog Baltimore's DIY music scene is famous for exporting. Evocative of a polyrhythmic Fugazi at times, or a no-wave version of Tortoise, Horse Lords have gained accolades as torchbearers of the Wham City warehouse culture and improv ethos. On the album-length song "Wildcat Strike," jams run free for a solid 21 minutes, joined by a fantastic cavalry of Pere Ubu-style sax freakouts at the end. It's fitting that Horse Lords are joined tonight by PDX's Regular Music—a mad-scientist neuro fusion of talented improvisationalists—and the warped-VHS pop of Leisure LLC, for what promises to be a melding of minds at Kenton Club. WYATT SCHAFFNER

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