Artist: King Khan & The Shrines
Album: Idle No More
Label: Merge / Cargo Records
It has been a lengthy hiatus for KING KHAN & THE SHRINES, but we have finally finished our latest “masterpiece” and named it after an incredible indigenous-rights movement that is happening right now called “Idle No More”. I was born and raised in Montreal and spent a lot of time on the Kahnawake Mohawk Indian reservation. Much of my juvenile delinquent training came from years of tripping out there with my best friends. I began the SHRINES in 1999 with the blessings from my brothers in THE SPACESHITS, right after we disbanded. The dream was to make something reminiscent of SUN RA, JAMES BROWN, and OTIS REDDING with a hint of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, LOVE, THE MONKS and about a million other influences that riddled my LSD-soaked brain at the tender age of 22.
THE SHRINES was my pirate ship and we sailed many a turbulent sea, spreading our music “like peanut butter” all over the world. We celebrated our cult “underground” status and became the kings we are through word of mouth and by making an “aural eyegasm” that has often been called the “wildest show on earth.”
“Idle No More” is probably the most refined piece of music we have made to date. The songs are about the state of the world we live in today. “Born to Die” is an apocalyptic ode to the heinous war machine that to this day ruins our lives. “Bite My Tongue” is about the unsung heroes who are forced to live in utter poverty but who have made all the revolutions possible and are being silenced as you read this. Look up “The Invaders” from MEMPHIS and you will see what I am talking about.
“Thorn In Her Pride” is a girl-power anthem and a celebration of the goddesses who help raise the children of the revolution. “Luckiest Man” is about me and how lucky I was to receive the proper mental care I needed during a very steep and lengthy plummet into madness. “Better Luck Next Time” is velvety pop to soothe the ears. “Darkness” is about the ugly beasts that must be tamed inside of us all. It was also my attempt to do something as real as NINA SIMONE.
“Pray For Lil” is an ode to my wife, who continually saves my life and makes me a complete human being, human doing, and human going. “Bad Boy” is a requiem for BOBBY UBANGI, who was and still is Atlanta’s Finest. “So Wild” is a double requiem for two other Jays I have lost over the last few years, Jay Reatard and Jay “Berserker” Montour. RIP.
“Yes I Can’t” is a little ironic number named after Obama’s attempt at changing the police state. “I Got Made” is a Joe Pesci trip heavily inspired by the Cosa Nostra. And last, but not least, is “Of Madness I Dream,” a mirror image of what is happening to the world as we speak. Originally, I was going to call the album “Of Madness I Dream”, but then I became very enthused about the amazing work of the “Idle No More” movement. Everyone I asked had never heard of it, so I contacted the leaders of the movement and, with their permission, decided to rename the album “Idle No More” in hopes that it would increase the world’s awareness of this miracle that is taking place for the indigenous peoples of the world. If you are not familiar with “Idle No More”, look it up and GET INVOLVED!
It took a long time to make, but we are very proud and pleased to bring you this album. I hope that the future will brighten up every time it is played. Ultimately, John and Yoko were absolutely right: LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED! Peace and Love, King Bama Lama Khan, Emperor of RnB
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