King Khan & BBQ Show, Milk Lines | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

King Khan & BBQ Show, Milk Lines Member Picks Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Tue., March 17, 8 p.m. 2015

If you still love the gonzo sock-hop punk that Arish “King” Khan and Mark “BBQ” Sultan played with the Spaceshits in the 90s, you won’t get any closer to its delinquent spirit in this fallen age than the King Khan & BBQ Show. Though the duo split in 2010 after several onstage meltdowns (at the time Sultan called his friend “a jackass who can’t hold his alcohol”), they’re back this year with their fourth full-length, Bad News Boys (In the Red), recorded with two microphones at Sultan’s home in Berlin. If the Spaceshits were a filthy hot rod, the King Khan & BBQ Show are a shopping cart rolling down a hill into a pond—the music’s missing some speed and power, but it’s simpler and more fun. Everything but Sultan’s gymnastic, self-assured tenor feels like it’s been jury-rigged with stripped wrenches; he plays rudimentary drumbeats with his bare feet (kick, snare, and tambourine), the guitars sound like they cost at most a few hundred box tops, and the lyrics are often the kind of ridiculous nonsense folks start talking after 12 straight hours in a tour van. Bad News Boys ping-pongs exuberantly from one stripped-down, cannibalized rock ’n’ roll style to another—including soulful, sentimental throwback balladry (“Alone Again”), silly, darkly campy doo-wop (“Snackin’ After Midnight”), and bratty hardcore (“D.F.O.,” which stands for “diarrhea fuck off”). These guys are like antibodies against self-serious sensitive-man guitar mopery, not least because of Khan’s onstage penchant for unpersuasive superhero drag and gratuitous indecent exposure. Like they say at Sea World: those of you in the first few rows will get wet. —Philip Montoro

Price: $18, $15 in advance

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