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Friday, August 4, 2017

Kid Congo Powers

Back on May 14th, 2016, I went to see Kid Congo Powers at the Brillobox. I was only sort of familiar with him in that I had heard The Cramps' Psychedelic Jungle and had read about him on Wikipedia. Kid Congo Powers is a guitarist who played with The Gun Club and Nick Cave, in addition to the previously mentioned Cramps. He also was the head of the Ramones Fan Club, which is awesome. I decided to go, because my friend Dan's band, the Spectres, were playing the show.



The Spectres were the first band to play. They did their two-piece garage rock thing, which is always good. James, on drums and guitar, was more prominent for this set; usually his vocals don't come through super well, but it was fine this time.  His songs were really energetic and fun. It was a good set to set the tone of the night.


Next up was a band I have not seen for a long time - The Gothees. I saw them at a place called The Shooting Gallery a long time ago. That venue was really cool in a weird, screwed up kind of way. When I went there, directly under Arsenal Lanes, with my friend Kyle back in high school around Halloween, we were greeted by broken guitars hanging from the ceiling, spray-painted walls, a cake, and some people talking about sniffing markers. That show was one of the first shows I ever went to, and it left a lasting impression on me.

It was good to see the Gothees again. I remember looking them up after the show and being disappointed by what I heard, but the set this night was good. They have described themselves as a sort of "bubblegum pop goth", but I think they just sound like Rocket From the Tombs or Destroy All Monsters, though less energetic. The members of the band all wore suits, and the frontperson had a theremin, which is pretty cool, it was only used on a few songs. The band has the melodrama of a 60s sci-fi or horror film, the vocal style of the villain's monologue before he attempts to end the heroes lives and fails in a dramatic way resulting in his own death. This band doesn't play very often for some reason.


Kid Congo Powers was last, and he was awesome! His band, the Pink Monkey Birds, sonically journeyed from the dusty desert, speckled film grain of Rowland S. Howard and Ennio Morricone, to city street garage rock. Everything was overall fast and driving, fuzztone full blast fat guitar head-on collision sounds. The drummer was especially excellent, but the whole band was awesome - so tight! The dual guitar lineup sounded great; sometimes, this kind of thing just overlaps and makes nothing but mud. Powers' vocals were strong and sorta funky or maybe kinda like ? and the Mysterians, blunt and not particularly melodic. He was a super nice dude when I talked to him after the show too.

I'm really glad I went to the show. It was kind of a last minute decision, as I mentioned above. It was worth it though. Kid Congo Powers was so cool, and the other bands were great too. I was pleasantly surprised by the Gothees' set, and the Spectres are always great! Sometimes you can end up in a lot of debt to credit card companies for buying expensive guitars and games and stuff when you do something without thinking, but sometimes it's good to make impulsive decisions. Anyway, I'll see you next time!

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