"I love America, and am so happy to bring my soul band back to where soul was born"
PREVIEW Local booty-shakers are hip to the musical ruler known as King Khan: when the two-member King Khan and BBQ Show played 12 Galaxies in December 2007, the joint was packed to the sweaty rafters. A bigger band calls for a bigger venue, so when the Montreal native returns to the Bay Area with his other project, King Khan and the Shrines, the faithful will no doubt follow him to the Great American Music Hall. His just-released latest, The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines (Vice), is a compilation of sorts, including an array of songs from earlier, difficult-to-track-down King Khan and the Shrines discs. "I love playing with BBQ as much as playing with the Shrines," he told me by e-mail a necessary interview tactic due to his cell phonedeprived status in deepest Europe. "In the Shrines, we play bad-ass, ball-crushing R&B. The influences are pretty much the same, though the Shrines are more inspired by New Orleans 1960s funk and Sun Ra."
Although both of Khan's bands are retro-influenced, he doesn't feel stuck in the past. "I believe this music is an everlasting tradition that must be preserved and carried on," he wrote. "I don't think we are that retro since we mix everything from free jazz to hardcore. Music is my religion, and I wanna preach the words of the masters to the masses and throw some of my own words in there too."
Khan fans may recall that his last trip to San Francisco wasn't all rock 'n' roll romance, since one of his favorite guitars was lifted by some scumbag. "I am sad I lost it because it was really a Frankenstein guitar from the 1960s made by Harvey Thomas," he wrote. "I have put a hex on whoever stole it, and if you see a one-eyed man with a piece of spaghetti for a penis dangling between his legs, then ask him where my guitar is and punch him in the face."
Fortunately, he doesn't hold it against the rest of us: "I love SF! I love America, and am so happy to bring my soul band back to where soul was born."
KING KHAN AND THE SHRINES With Jacuzzi Boys. Fri/11, 9 p.m., $13. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. (415) 885-0750, www.gamh.com