Brian Tristan is a La Puente, CA-born, Tucson-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known by his stage known Kid Congo Powers. The 62 year-old La Puente-born, Tucson-based singer/songwriter and musician has a lengthy career as a sideman and as a solo artist with stints in The Gun Club, The Cramps, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Divine Horsemen, Angels of Light, Die Haut, Knoxville Girls and Kid Congo & The Flying Monkey Birds, with whom he has released four albums — 2009’s Dracula Boots, 2011’s Gorilla Rose, 2013’s Haunted Head and 2016’s La Araña Es La Vida.
Tristan’s latest Kid Congo & The Flying Monkey Birds effort is the recently released Swing from the Sean DeLear EP. Thematically, the EP celebrates a dreamlike bridge between life and memory — with two of the EP’s four songs dedicated to dear friends and bandmates, who have since passed: Tristan’s Gun Club bandmate Jeffrey Lee Pierce, who died in 1996 and Sean DeLear, a beloved, underground Los Angeles non-binary punk rock singer/songwriter, artist, fashion maven and scenester, who died in 2017. Interestingly, the EP’s second and latest single “Sean DeLear” is a gritty garage rock ripper centered around a slashing guitars, a steady backbeat, a propulsive bass line, a shout along worthy hook and Tristan’s boozy Fred Schneider-like shouts and feral howling. Lyrically, the song plays a bit on DeLear’s name while featuring a playful metaphor of our dead loved ones swinging from a chandelier at a wild, never ending rager.
Directed and edited by DC-based filmmakers and musician Jonathan Howard with visual development by Jordan Albro, the recently released video for “Sean DeLear” features The Pink Monkey Birds playing in a bric-a-brac stuffed house that Wes Anderson would love, moving to room to room while Kid Congo is on the rooftop serenading a dear friend on a starry night — with the idea that the music will have DeLear rocking wherever his spectral journey takes him in the cosmos.