Opening Acts: Is King Khan The New James Brown?

August 5, 2008


(Opening Acts is's weekly showcase introducing new up-and-coming musical acts. This week's artist is King Khan and the Shrines)

The Facts

Who: King Khan and the Shrines

Where: Berlin, Germany

Genre: Soul-Punk

Label: VICE Records

Say hello to King Khan and the Shrines. In 1995, Khan, the son of immigrants from India left the frosty soil of his native Montreal and began playing the bass guitar for the underground outfit The Spacesh*ts. After numerous tours around the globe, the twenty-two year-old Khan formed King Khan and the Shrines in 1999. These guys have been doin’ their thang in the underground scene for awhile, but only recently have they begun to get the recognition they deserve.

The band is noted for their impressive stage antics and unbelievable live shows. Typically Khan is shirtless, sweaty and screaming his ass off. The guy is like an Indian James Brown. The band also features a cheerleader, and a mixture of instrumentation including, but not limited to: keyboard, baritone saxophone, guitar, bass, and drums.

Khan and his Shrines have recently released the soul epic The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines. This record is basically a mixed bag of material from the last 8 years. It features a few of the best tracks from their 2007 LP What Is?!, along with some earlier cuts from their German-released LPs. Needless to say, Supreme Genius has got the blogosphere goin’ bananas. The record is a mixture of psychedelic soul, punk and pure insanity. The band recently played the 2008 Pitchfork Music Festival and basically blew everybody out of the water. Take that, you lo-fi indie rockers!

Are King Khan and the Shrines all hype? Here is one of the standout tracks from The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines

[video]3016752 [/video]

Did you enjoy that soultacular King Khan jam? If so, download it here for free or purchase the entire LP at Vice.