KING KHAN AND BBQ SHOW, THE: What’s for Dinner?: CD

Feb 15, 2007

Jesus Christ! Whatta record! Man, unlike ninety-nine percent of the people out there, I can tell King Khan And BBQ really love rock’n’roll music (I mean, have you heard the insincere sounds of L.A.’s ephemeral The Blood Arm or The Ettes?—bands with more prepackaging than a McDonald’s Happy Meal). What’s for Dinner? is an eclectic record, pulling from Brill Building pop and the fucked up, backwoods artists on Norton Records. And really, that’s what so refreshing about King Khan And BBQ: they know their stuff and have exceptional taste. Which reminds me—have you heard the story of Lou Reed working at Pickwick Records? Before Reed formed the Velvet Underground, the cheapo label hired him as a songwriter who’s primary function was to create exploitation records of whatever genre of music was hip that week (surf, Mersey Beat, pop, girl group, etc.). He had to work fast (along with John Cale) to meet Pickwick’s quotas for number of songs required for a given period of time. Reed attributed his experiences working at Pickwick for his uncanny ability to churn out those four groundbreaking Velvets albums in like no time at all. (Lou, however, remains mute on how and why he’s been unable to make a good record since—sans Metal Machine Music, of course.) Anyway, What’s for Dinner? sounds like Lou effortlessly churning out pop songs, not about junkies and Herbert Huncke, but about stupid things like zombies and girl troubles. It’s a real fucking gem of a record; perfectly in tune with American culture, without the kitsch and shit grease of rockabilly. It’s a timeless record, relevant to any period, but thankfully available now. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, fucker—pick this one up.

 –ryan (In the Red )