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Fuiasco 1992

Congo Norvell’s Lullabies 10” EP, now a collector’s item of sorts, is the recorded debut of Kid Congo Powers and Sally Norvell’s long-lived partnership. Fronting the early Texas punk band the Norvells as a teen and leading what may be the first revisionist-swing combo to come out of the Eighties underground, Austin's Prohibition (which also featured members of Scratch Acid, Poison 13, and Glass Eye), Sally Norvell was already an important musical figure in her own right by this point. Additionally, she was also known for her work as the actress who played the nurse in Wim WendersParis, TX. Here the duo recorded their first of three versions of their minimalist masterpiece “Lullaby” as well as an amazing cover of Crime and the City Solution's "Angel"

Music to Remember Him By

Basura! 1994

Music to Remember Him By finds Congo Norvell expanded to a full band of legendary figures. The Nick Cave connection is pronounced as Mick Harvey produces a few of the tracks and Bad Seeds percussionist Jim Sclavunous plays the drums (also known for his work with Teenage Jesus, 8 Eyed Spy, Sonic Youth, The Cramps, Alex Chilton, Tav Falco and the Panther Burns,…). Additionally, Kristian Hoffman from the seminal New York punk era band The Mumps handles keyboard duties. The album and the tours that followed led the group to a level of popularity that resulted in a contract with Priority Records for the ill-fated follow-up The Dope, The Lies, The Vaseline.


The Dope, The Lies, The Vaseline
Priority 1996

Made with a big label budget, and considered by many to be Congo Norvell’s finest hour, The Dope, The Lies, The Vaseline never saw the light of day due to a decision by Priority to discontinue its “alternative” rock line shortly after promos were sent out to reviewers. Despite the band’s efforts to purchase it back from the label and put it out elsewhere, Priority refused to let go of it - a situation perhaps as bleak as any found in a Congo Norvell song. Promos were however sent out and bootlegs continue to circulate. Look and you shall find.


Abnormals Anonymous

After the Priority debacle Congo Norvell left Los Angeles for New York and was at it again – this time on one of the better labels around – the recently defunct Jetset. This one is another heaping helping of their unique brand of cabaret gloom. Among other things, it is a tribute to Jeffrey Lee Pierce – beginning with a slowed-down moody cover of “She’s Like Heroin to Me” and also including a dedication to the Gun Club leader, “Body and Soul” (not to be confused with the standard that shares the same name). This one features two superstar sidemen Jim Sclavunos and Paul Wallfisch from the west coast version – with the addition of Foetus collaborator Brian Emrich and Murder Ballads string-musician/arranger Liz Corcoran. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is the appearance of American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel on five different duets with Sally Norvell – truly a kindred spirit in the romantic poetry of desperation. Congo Norvell’s swan song.


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Hear Kid tell you more about Lullabies, Music to Remember Him By, The Dope, The Lies, The Vaseline, and Abnormals Anonymous.


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