Kid Congo Powers and The Pink Monkey Birds
Powers is a second generation Mexican American. In 1976, he was president of The Ramones fan club, then ran a fanzine for The Screamers. After traveling to London and New York City he returned to L.A. and in 1979 met Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Pierce taught him to play guitar using open tuning, and they formed 'The Creeping Ritual', which became The Gun Club. Powers left that group before their recording debut, instead joining New York-based band The Cramps in December 1980. He rejoined the Gun Club briefly in 1983, rejoining again between 1985 and 1988, when he again left to join Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in Berlin, for several albums and associated tours. Powers has also played with The Divine Horsemen, The Angels of Light, Die Haut and The Fall.
Most recently, Powers has collaborated with New York City guitarist Jack Martin on projects like The Pink Monkey Birds, Congo Norvell and Knoxville Girls.
Hailing from the vast sprawl of Los Angeles, MIND MELD became one in the early daze of 2015. Their melodic brand of heavy garage-psych is catchier and more fully-realized than 99.9% of their peers and their hooks will grab you like a paddle cactus quill and bury themselves deep under your skin, but there will be no pain.
Members of the unit have played with and/or are current members of other bands, but MIND MELD's sum is greater than it's parts. Something about the band's sound is so natural and organic that it immediately feels like something you've heard before, but you won't be able to place it because it's all original. Influences include, but aren't limited to the Gories, the Stooges, Hawkwind, Edgar Broughton Band (they slay a cover of "Why Can't Somebody Love Me") and a mix of modern Garage and Psychedelic Rock.
MIND MELD's poppier numbers still have a air of heaviness to them, while their heavy jams can hold their own with the densest of them. The rhythm section is rock solid. Always in the pocket, not too simple, but not overly complex. The guitar is tastefully ripping, grooving along with the drums and bass most of the time, but soaring to the outer limits at just the right moments. A perfect rock'n'roll recipe.
Their debut "You're Not Free" 7" flexi-disc, which was recorded at Permanent Records in Highland Park, sold out almost immediately and was referred to by Buzz Bands LA as "a buzzing flashback to the groovy ’60s, hooky and unfussy and out of your face in under 2 1/2 minutes."
They've only been playing live for a year and they've already opened for FIDLAR, Mikal Cronin, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Meatbodies, Zig Zags, and Feels. Opening slots are fine and dandy, but you can count on seeing Mind Meld at the top of the bill sooner than later.
Tramp for the Lord
Tramp for the Lord is a new band with former Hangmen bassist Doug Cox crooning moping, loping country-rock ballads in a world-weary growl as Gun Club slide guitar and spaghetti Western canyons open up behind him.—Falling James, L A Weekly