Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
One of the subjects that came up, right in the middle of this King Khan & BBQ Show session was that of Dolly Parton's nipples and the perceived shape of them. Happens all the time, I'm sure you're thinking to yourself. Well, they got pretty life-like, there in the room, on this particular occasion. They were taking on a shape that you could definitely picture and it was nothing like you would have ever imagined from a nipple before, we're pretty sure of it. For a session jokingly sponsored by Capn' Crunch breakfast cereal, the between song banter was raunchier than it might normally have been and no one minded, for scraping the bottom of the barrel for comedic effect doesn't describe the way that King Khan and Mark Sultan/BBQ write music. It might be what they turn to for fun, but the recently reformed collaboration between long-time Canadian cohorts cooks up equal parts gritty garage songs and ballads that are just as garage-y, but they're more in line with those swooning laments from yesteryear, akin to the why-must-I-be-a-teenager-in-love moments.
They're songs that were either written after a night of pawing, groping and swapping spit with someone up there at make-out point, or a night feeling miserable about not being up there at make-out point with someone right now, slipping a hand up a shirt or down some jeans. It's all about having fun in the backseat of an automobile, or wishing you were there, knowing that the only way to get yourself into a situation like that is to throw on the sweetness and the charm and aim for the heart. It's the pecks on the cheek and holding doors that's going to lead to the heavier stuff and dudes have never been idiots about the order of things.
Khan and Sultan, with these four songs, might always be thinking about the shape of the nipples hiding under shirts, but they're going to try to be gentlemen to get them to that jackpot - or so it seems. Khan was wearing a lovely Montreal Canadians sweater, knitted for him by his grandmother, and you tend to believe that he might have at least partially listened to her, if she ever sat him down to talk about romance and the purpose of it. Sultan is the same way, as a writer, offering stories of sentimental love, of stars falling into the ether and, as heard on "Into The Snow," a love that fades to white, proving to be crushing for the character in question.