Kid Congo Powers – Some New Kind of Kick: A Memoir

Kid Congo Powers – Some New Kind of Kick: A Memoir


Renowned musician and songwriter Kid Congo Powers, whose musical resume is rather impressive and includes stints with the Cramps, The Gun Club, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, published this deeply evocative and engrossing memoir of his via the brilliant Omnibus Press a few months ago. If you did not get this literary piece of genius for Christmas, now is the time to act and obtain it.

Kid’s tale is dark and harrowing but also inspired and incredibly uplifting in parts. As a queer Chicano youngster growing up in an East Los Angeles neighborhood who eventually fell head over heels in love with music and got swept away by the early punk pioneers such as Ramones, the book encapsulates the creative spirit and DIY ethos of the underground scene that Powers was infatuated with not to say utterly devoted to. Our main character candidly discusses and reflects on his sexuality, being assigned the role of the misfit in certain contexts, feeling like an outsider (and oftentimes embracing that), struggling with low self-esteem and lacking confidence, and driving down that depressing road that leads to chaos and self-destruction brought on by drugs. Wildly funny but downright frightening too, this is a true and proper gem where each and every page comes alive and conjures up a vivid vision of what it must have been like to experience LA, London, New York, and Berlin as a fan, writer, and innovative musician in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The drugs and debauchery play a significant part in the narrative, but what dominates and constantly propels the story forward are Congo Powers’ profound sense of joy and enthusiasm when it comes to immersing himself in music, both as a fan and musician, and his seemingly never ending will to endure and keep going despite the personal and professional setbacks, creative lows, and loss of loved ones. He possesses a unique ability to translate his thoughts and feelings into beautifully crafted sentences that evoke the aura and vibe of the times and eras in question, which makes this entry in the Omnibus catalog one of its highlights.  

Heartfelt, humorous, warm, and moving, Some New Kind of Kick makes for perfect company and places the emphasis on Kid’s journey in life while not forgetting to cover and discuss the many albums and tours he has under his belt. I especially enjoyed the chapters revolving around the birth and creation of Tender Prey and The Good Son by Nick Cave and the Bad seeds. An essential read.

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