Tonight: King Khan & the Shrines at Neumos, Male Bonding at Chop Suey

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kingkahn3 PICNIK.jpg
Renee McMahon
King Khan & The Shrines, with The Fresh & Onlys, Unnatural Helpers. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. King Khan--the

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Tonight: King Khan & the Shrines at Neumos, Male Bonding at Chop Suey

  • Tonight: King Khan & the Shrines at Neumos, Male Bonding at Chop Suey

  • ">

    kingkahn3 PICNIK.jpg
    Renee McMahon
    King Khan & The Shrines, with The Fresh & Onlys, Unnatural Helpers. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467. 8 p.m. $15. King Khan--the stage name of Canadian musician Arish A. Khan--is probably more well-known for his stage antics than his music. He wears a variety of accessories-- warrior helmet, donkey-tooth necklace, suit jacket--but is almost always bare-chested. His performance with the Shrines, his longtime backing band, was one of the most talked about events at Sasquatch! 2009, partially because Khan was wearing only underwear, a gold cape, Airwalk shoes, and a headdress. If only people would pay as much attention to how ridiculously good his soul-inspired music is. The Shrines are a nine-piece band funk band, tied together with Khan's James Brown-esque vocals. The instrumentals and vocals seem to melt into place like red velvet cake. Khan's antics and outfits are like the cake's cream cheese frosting: delicious, but ultimately just a distraction from the best part. PAIGE RICHMOND

    Male Bonding, with The Soft Pack. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8000. 9 p.m. $12. Legions of young bands are doing the skuzzy, fuzzy thing, but the London trio Male Bonding brings a wealth of surefire hooks to the equation. All splashing melodies and crashing instruments, the band's debut Nothing Hurts has songs that would fit on Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque. It's more punk and off-kilter in other places - think Vaselines - and there's a thread of confusion and awkwardness in the lyrics. "Weird Feelings" jumps out immediately as the most intelligible slice of garage-y pop, although the closing anomaly "Worse to Come" uses acoustic guitar and guest vocals from Vivian Girls to excellent effect. Prior to its recruitment by Sub Pop, Male Bonding had only a few songs scattered across vinyl on its own label. After hearing Nothing Hurts, it's clear the vote of confidence was well worth it. DOUG WALLEN
     
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