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Issue Number One: Editors Note

Happy Halloween and welcome to the first issue of New York Night Train webzine. Since this is our first voyage there are still plenty of improvements to be made. Nonetheless, there’s a lot here for you to enjoy. Read a bit more about the zine and its mission here.

The bulk of this issue and the next will be devoted the life, career, and music of noise guitar legend Kid Congo Powers. Here you will find Kid’s personal account of his journey across the underground rock landscape. More oral history than interview, you can read, listen to, or download Kid’s take on everything from his presidency of The Ramones fan club at the age of sixteen in 1976 to his current leadership of Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds. Kid and I decided to divide the discussions into chronological segments - some overlapping. This issue will include pieces about Kid’s musical upbringing and participation in proto-punk and later punk culture, meeting Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the primal years of The Gun Club, his tenure with The Cramps, rejoining The Gun Club, and the two years in London between leaving The Gun Club and joining Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The next issue will feature Kid’s discussion of his experiences with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, returning to The Gun Club once again, Congo Norvell, Knoxville Girls, and brief stints with Make-Up, The Angels of Light, Mark Eitzel, and others. This history lesson will conclude with Kid’s present work with Kid and Khan, Julee Cruise, and Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds.

Then there’s the record reviews. This week I’ll look at new releases such as Animal Collective’s stellar surprise Feels, the new pseudo-Wu-Tang CD, Think Differently Music: Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture, Blood on the Wall’s Awesomer, and Black Dice’s Broken Ear Record. I will also tell you about recent re-releases including my favorite Dictators album, 1978’s Bloodbrothers, and, sticking with the Kid Congo Powers theme, The Gun Club’s Mother Juno and Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s solo album Wildweed – both of which Sympathy for the Record Industry put on the market last week. The exploration of our feature artist’s discography this time will include a brief overview of Kid’s catalogue up to 1985 with a focus on The Cramps’ 1981 classic Psychedelic Jungle. As Kid has played on over ninety official releases (according to my calculations) and dozens of bootlegs, exploring his output is no small task for you the reader or for me. I compiled a semi-complete discography which you can now find on his website www.kidcongopowers.com.

A live section is also included - both recommending and reviewing shows. This issue's review is Vietnam, Tomorrow’s Friend, TK Webb, and Moon and Moon at Northsix and the recommended show of the week is Whitehouse and Thurston Moore at Rothko; the bill of the week is Psychic Ills, Indian Jewelry, Electroputas, Mazing Vids and Excepter at the Cake Shop; and the wildcard of the week is The Latest and The Turpentine Brothers at the Ding Dong Lounge. There is also a show list which includes mostly underground rock events.

I hope to broaden the scope of this and improve the design in coming weeks - so keep checking back. Also keep your eye out for upcoming issues looking at Vietnam, Gibby Haynes, and the New Orleans Ninth Ward’s underground musical diaspora. Join the mailing list if you want to get information about new issues, show recommendations, record reviews, and information about New York Night Train events in your mail.


Jonathan Toubin
Publisher, owner, manager, web master, web designer, editor, feature writer, researcher, critic, photographer, audio engineer, audio editor, ad manager, sole-contributor, and soul-contributor


© New York Night Train , 2005