Kid Congo takes us on a walk through his dreams of the dead with “He Walked In.” Backed by The Pink Monkey Birds, who churn an incantatory groove with Chicano swing, Kid recounts a dream visit by his one time Gun Club bandmate, the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce. It takes almost a full three-minutes for him to begin, intoning in a low Beefheart-like rumble, “Although he’s been dead for quite some years/It’s lovely to see my friend/It’s lovely to feel my friend.” It’s from the forthcoming Swing From The Sean DeLear ep available February 19 on In the Red Records. In the video, directed and shot by Opuntia director David Fenster, Congo strolls through the Tucson desert clad in a pink suit, turquoise bolo, hat, and a mustache. The beauty of the land is abundant.
“The artists would like to acknowledge the land on which this video was filmed, the land of the Tohono O’odham, Sobaipuri, and Hohokam people, and to pay respect to their elders past, present and future,” reads an official statement. “The artists also acknowledge that this land was founded upon exclusions and erasures of indigenous people, including those on who’s land we filmed. This acknowledgement is a commitment to the process of working to dismantle this country’s ongoing legacy of settler colonialism.”
I mentioned the healing quality at work in the song while discussing it with Jay Babcock of the sorely missed Arthur Magazine. He keyed in on the part of the video where, after the sun’s gone down and the band’s shifted into a mystic jazz rock shuffle, Kid Congo begins his dance. A “dance with the dead,” Jay said. In a time of great loss it’s a nice suggestion. So many are gone, but perhaps under the right conditions, they’re still available for the occasional visit. | j woodbury
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