The Goods on the Kowalski's

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by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for
originally published: March, 2005
The Kowalski's rhythm section is impeccable, keeping the beat in full gear like a lost X album

In the third sensational sinstallment of our Kitty and the Kowalskis Residency, Alex V. Cook previews the forthcoming album, 'Full Metal Jackass'...

Kitty and the Kowalskis
Full Metal Jackass

seeks to rejuvenate the tired out rocknroll interview format and offer unreleased tracks, exclusive to outsideleft.

Following an initial introduction to the artist, over the next few weeks, we'll offer a portrait of the artist as a sundowner, homeowner, party animal and check book balancer. All of the things someone told you you'd never want to read. It's a real 'what they look like without make-up'.

The music is an unreleased track, exclusive to outsideleft. It's an essential element to the residency. The artists live to make music and we believe the bands we feature should be paid for doing it. Use the Paypal link below to pay one measly dollar to download the song.

(Pay $1 by Paypal using the link below. When payment is received, you'll be sent a link to download an MP3 version of the song. The link will be active for seven days or until you download the song.)

click on the Paypal button below to download Kitty and the Kowalski's - Human Being (mp3)

Once I went on a road trip with a punk rock painter friend of mine to drive across the South to see a Basquiat exhibition, just to blow off the dust and get the fuck out of dodge. My part of the mission was to secure the rental car (neither of us had a vehicle able to get us farther than the bars), his - the tapes for the road. Our plans for our own Hope and Crosby excursion were derailed by many factors: his apartment got broken into and almost all his tapes were stolen two nights before, his sorta girlfriend showed up on his doorstep that morning to announce she might be sorta pregnant, and asked to tag along, and the art show was in fact, not in Birmingham, a fact we did not discover until we had driven the 400 miles to get there. The soundtrack to this ship of fools was the only tapes my friend had in his backpack at the time:

Blondie - Greatest Hits
Pixies - Trompe Le Monde

Did I mention that the radio turned out to be busted in our rental car, and no one felt like talking? But, I have to say, this Jim Jarmusch-movie-except-not-funny of a trip was saved by the repeated runs of the Pixies and Blondie (they are SHORT tapes) forcing us to bob our heads down the interstate, our solidarity of all being beautiful losers.

This determined optimism is the true soul of punk rock. Sure there is a patina of nihilism about it, but underneath all that cartoon rage and pontification is each of our Inner Ramones, fist raised, shouting "Hey Ho! Let's Go!" This head bobbing joy shines like a beacon out of Kitty and the Kowalski's Full Metal Jackass. "Oh Dee Dee" blazes out of the gate with its early Blondie guitar swaths cutting through with Kitty's girl group "uh-oh-oh-oh's." "Mr. Wrong" keeps this pace up, sharing the joy we all have in that post-breakup dressing-down of our antagonist. The Kowalski's rhythm section is impeccable, keeping the beat in full gear like a lost X album, which is a rarity amongst the punk rockers nowadays. "Ain't no Saint" has the kind of full release guitar solo bursts that made punk rock fun to listen to. This album is a total joy to listen to, as I expect their live show would be as well. The bubblegum anthem "I Love You Baby but I Hate Your Friends" sums up what I'm talking about. This is not knuckleheaded remorse or pain; it's the age-old song of laughing through misfortune and bad decisions, delivered via some fine hooky music. I wish the radio was spilling over with more bands like this.

Next week the final part of the Kitty and the Kowalskis residency, we actually do wrap things up with cathartic songs, New York Tea Rooms and perfect afternoons... Meanwhile: Use the PayPal link above left, to pay $1 to DOWNLOAD Kitty and the Kowalskis cover of the New York Dolls' Human Being. Its worth it, it rocks. Damn! It rocks. It really does.

Residency wk1

Residency wk2

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v

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