After twenty-five years in the music business, Kid has finally
decided to release his first LP as a singer, songwriter, and bandleader.
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds, who have informally existed
on and off in different incarnations since 2001, included New
York heroes Jack Martin, Jerome O’Brien, Josh Belknap, and
Jorge Velez at the time of this recording. Sean Maffucci (Gang
Gang Dance, etc.), currently the new Monkey Birds
bassist, was sitting behind the board. Kid
and Jack cut a guitar team to be reckoned with (Jack being no
slouch himself – you may know him Honeymoon
Girls, Cause for Applause, Dimestore
Dance Ensemble, etc.). Belknap and O'Brien lay it
down a groove that is both solid and sleazy at the same time.
And Velez's warehouse of sound effects are varied and dynamic.
In terms of guests, Captain
Comatose, techno musicians Khan
and Snax, do the backing vocals on "The History of French
Cuisine" and legendary punk diva Little
Annie (Crass, Coil, Wolfgang Press, etc.) duets with
Kid on "The Weather The War." Finally, the cover features
the sexy chest of David Lloyd of The
Boggs and Cause for Applause.
and Underwear is a unique fusion of elements - garagy punk,
glam, dirty soul, experimental noise, dark balladry, and even
abrasive mechanical electro – all filtered through The Pink
Monkey Bird’s unique post-no wave aesthetic. This grab-bag
of songs from Kid’s past and present show the guitarist
emerging as a mature singer and songwriter. Concentrating mostly
on the themes that deal with good lovin' gone bad, cheap thrills,
perversions, and how to make sense of it all, his city of night
tackles both the heart of a Saturday night and Sunday morning
– and I do mean this as a John
Waits, and Velvet
Underground allusion. Kid's grotesques: drag queens,
leather men, and hustlers - turn tricks in 1950s Times Square,
explore bondage in contemporary rent-controlled Tompkins Square
apartments, and even engage in sexual cannibalism. They know that
the people they're engaging in the acts with are bad for them,
but they can't keep from indulging. Kid is not attempting to shock.
He, like a number of the great New York rock poets before him,
by confronting modernity's "paradoxes and illusions"
is displaying some good old fashiond Baudelairian "heroism
of modern life." As the record progresses, Kid's characters
become a bit more introspective. In "The Weather The War"
a couple confronts the fact that it just ain't working out. "House
of Cards," the big moment of redemption, a love song in fact,
revolves around the universal theme of accepting an unstable mess
relationship for what it is and blindly vowing to make it last.
The narrator concludes, "A house of cards was built to stay."
But "The Last Word" lays the hammer down and says, "What
was I thinking? Let me out of here. Let's here it for that heroism
of modern love...
was initially a Europe-only release on Kid
and Khan’s label, Trans*Solar, New York Night
Train has recently taken steps to try to license Philosophy
and Underwear for the United States - so look for it on this
site by late Feb 2006.
Kid tell you more about Philosophy and Underwear