Kid Congo Powers @ Freakout Fest and Fantagraphics

Sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll 🎸

An image of Kid Congo Powers looking directly into the camera, wearing brown-rimmed glasses and a pink bowtie
NOV 11-12

📸: Freakout Festival | Pearl Charles

Friday, November 11  • Midnight
Saturday, November 12  • 2 pm 

The Cramps, the Gun Club, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds all have one thing in common—the distinctive guitar stylings of Kid Congo Powers. He’s had an exceptionally wild ride through the more subterranean depths of the rock ‘n’ roll realm, as he details in his memoir, Some New Kind of Kick (named after a Cramps song).   

Growing up as Brian Tristan in the Latino suburbs of Los Angeles, Powers found his salvation—sexual and otherwise—in LA’s nascent punk scene of the late ’70s. From his start as the president of the West Coast branch of the Ramones fan club, it was only a matter of time before Powers crossed the magic line from fan to performer, morphing into the kind of punk rock gun-slinging guitarist that’s always in demand. The story also becomes an increasingly harrowing tale once substance abuse rears its evil head, though Powers eventually beats back his demons. It’s a thoroughly entertaining, can’t-put-it-down saga

Powers’ Seattle sojourn kicks off with a performance on Friday with his band, Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, at Hotel Albatross, part of the Freakout Festival’s lineup, taking the stage at the witching hour of midnight. The next day, you’ll find him waxing lyrical at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, conversing with Tom Price (the U-Men, the Tom Price Desert Classic), chatting about his book and all things rawk. 


Gillian Gaar

Gillian G. Gaar

Gillian G. Gaar is a Seattle-based journalist and the author of several books, including She’s A Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll and Entertain Us: The Rise of Nirvana. Twitter: @GillianGaar