Friday, April 28, 2017

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Six New Ones from Voodoo Rhythm and Off-Label

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
April 28, 2017




With all the recent news of right-wing nationalism coming out of Europe, it’s refreshing to know that good old-fashioned garage-punk and other subversive stuff is still going strong on the old continent. In fact, my two favorite European music labels — Voodoo Rhythm from Switzerland and Off Label Records from Germany — have been flooding the market with wild, rocking trashy sounds.

Here’s a look at six albums I’ve been enjoying lately — and no, there are few, if any, overtly political songs among this batch. Just songs of love, sex, fun … all those things the authoritarians hate.

*  Heat Wave by The Vagoos. This fuzz-loving Bavarian quartet is a prolific bunch. This is their
third Off Label release since 2014 and, like their self-titled debut and their six-song EP follow-up, Love You, it’s full of raging, no-frills, hook-heavy guitar rock.

My favorites here include the opener, “Fidget,” which sets a properly urgent pace; “Must Be Voodoo,” partly because I tend to like songs with “voodoo” in the title; “Mint Island,” which features a Yardbirds-style rave-up guitar solo; and “Golden Key,” maybe the fastest and most furious number in an album full of frantic songs. Just listening to it makes me sweat.

But though the breakneck rockers are their specialty, The Vagoos also can play it slow and (kind of) pretty, as they prove on songs like “Hideaway” (somebody’s been listening to The Pixies) and “The Order of Laissez Faire,” which reminds me of The Black Lips (who should be releasing a new album any day now).

*  The Dust I Own by Laino & Broken Seeds. Andrea Laino is a guitar-playing, harmonica-blowing Italian fellow, but on a trip to New York four years ago in which, according to his press material, he spent some time “in a smoky blues bar on the Upper West Side,” he became obsessed with American blues.

With that inspiration still burning, he came up with a stripped down, blues-based rock sound to amaze and delight. On the Off Label release Dust, Laino is backed by drummer Gaetano Alfonsi and occasional guests.

The song “Fate of a Gambler,” with its distorted guitar and primitive beat, is in itself worth the price of admission. I’m also fond of “Can’t Wake Myself Up,” which Laino himself describes as an “homage to psychedelia. An homage to the fascinating and terrifying sensation you have when you’re convinced that dreams can go on during the daytime.” It sounds as if this “dream” was highly influenced by Bo Diddley. On the mellower side, the album ends with a sweet cover of Mississippi John Hurt’s “Pay Day.”

*  7  by Lynx Lynx. This is another garage-bred German quartet. While many of their tunes are just as unrelentingly thunderous as those of their Off Label labelmates, The Vagoos (I’m talking about songs like the opener, “Get Straight,”  “99 Things,” and, best of all, “Who Shot the Druggies”), Lynx Lynx also has a distinct softer side.

You can hear that on the folk-influenced “Coast of Wasted Youth,” the almost two-minute instrumental called “Sw├Ârds, Part II” (a soundtrack to some imaginary German horror movie?), and the heavy reverb of “Black Feather,” which features what the band accurately calls “cheap ’70s drum computer noise” behind what sounds like a classic ’60s slow-dance melody.

* Death of an Angel by Destination Lonely. When I describe the sound of this French trio as “monstrous,” that’s a compliment. They sound a lot like their Voodoo Rhythm stablemates and veteran (30 years and going strong!) garage-punkers, The Monsters. I’m sure that fact didn’t escape head Monster and Voodoo Rhythm chief Reverend Beat-Man when he signed them.

Like The Monsters, Destination Lonely is fast, loud, and raunchy, with a sincere affection for distorted vocals and guitar. Plus, they’ve got a good sense of rock ’n’ roll history.

Besides covering a song by 1990s Ohio psychobillies, The Gibson Bros (the opener, “Dirt Preacher”), the title song is a cover of a spooky 1955 hit by Donald Woods and The Vel-Aires.  (I first heard the song as performed on a live album by The Kingsmen.) This new version has a spookhouse electric organ that sounds like it’s being played by Del Shannon’s zombie.

Alawalawa by Blind Butcher. Back in the late ’70s, I believed, deep in my heart, that disco sucked
— except for maybe a few songs like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and The Village People’s “My Roommate.”

But this album by a Swiss duo is making me rethink that. Actually, Blind Butcher sounds like an illegitimate demon offspring of disco and punk.

I’m reminded of bands like Electric Six (remember the song “Danger! High Voltage” from 2003?) as well as some ’80s New Wave acts like Nina Hagen. Blind Butcher, I bet, could do an amazing cover of “Cosmic Shiva.” They’ve already got the German language down. And the irresistible opening track, “Staubsaugerbaby” (“Vacuum Cleaner Baby”), is cosmic in itself.

*Intergalactic Sex Tour by The Sex Organs. OK, so this a shtick-laden goof — two guys, a guitarist and a drummer, dressed up like cartoon or perhaps Cubist versions of actual sex organs. (They’re not realistic looking. I don’t think the drummer is in any danger of being grabbed by President Trump.)

“They traveled light-years across the universe on a mission to planet earth to bring YOU their special inter-galactic brand of SEX & ROLL,” their press release says. Most of the songs are introduced by dramatized radio reports of the invasion. And many of the song titles can’t be printed in a family newspaper like ours.

Yeah, The Sex Organs are dumb. But they’re good, dumb, dirty fun. They’ve got the two-man band sound down as they bash away at these catchy, if filthy, tunes. And the last song, a five-minute instrumental that slowly builds from a primitive stomp into a cosmic-orgasmic free-jazz-like frenzy is actually pretty impressive.

Some videos for yas

Here's The Vagoos from Heat Wave.



My favorite Laino song



From the new Lynx Lynx



The title song from Destination Lonely's new album



Blind Butcher with their trashy disco



Hey hey, we're The Sex Organs!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: When the Party Lights Dim

Claudine Clark can definitely be considered a one-hit wonder.

The R&B belter, who turned 76 yesterday, had a big hit back in 1962 with a song called "Party Lights."

The song, written by the Georgia-born, Philadelphia-raised Clark herself  was about a poor kid whose oppressive, over-restrictive  mother wouldn't allow her to go across the street to a big shindig where they were doing  the twist, the fish, the mashed potatoes ...

I see the lights, I see the party lights
They're red and blue and green
Everybody in the crowd is there
But you won't let me make a scene

The fish?

Not great poetry, but there was something so raw, so desperate in Clark's voice, you couldn't help but feel for the poor teen and the grave injustice she suffered.

Listen to the party, mama!

 

But like the girl in her own song, Clark for most of her career was forced to witness the fun from afar.

She went on to record more songs, including the follow-up to "Party Lights," a fun little romp called "Walkin' Through a Cemetery." Listen close, especially toward the end. It sounds as if she had Yoko Ono sitting on background vocals. I believe this should have been an even bigger hit than "Party Lights." But it didn't work out that way.


Subsequent Claudine releases didn't fare much better, though to my ears, tunes like "The Telephone Game" were just as good as lots of the other proto-soul tunes that dominated the charts in the early '60s. Here's one called "The Telephone Game."


And "Dancin' Party" sounds like a social even her mother finally allowed her to attend.

 

Clark even tried changing her name, recording as "Joy Dawn" on songs like "Hang it Up."



Alas, that didn't do the trick either.

I believe Claudine Clark deserved better.






WACKY WEDNESDAY: Golden Throats Sing For You

It's been almost two years since Wacky Wednesday explored the magical world of the Golden Throats.

"What is a Golden Throat?," you may ask. As I explained before:

Back in the '80s and '90s, when Rhino Records was actually a cool label, they released a series of albums called Golden Throats. These nutball compilations featured movie and TV stars, sports heroes and every stripe of cheesy celebrity singing ham-fisted versions of songs they had no business singing ...


Indeed, William Shatner is the Elvis of the Golden Throats. But the artists below might just be the Fabian, Frankie Avalon, and ... oh, I don't know. That metaphor is failing faster than a Golden Throat song.

Let's start off with Shaquille O'Neal. I'm pretty sure the "skillz" he's rapping about aren't musical.



William Shatner wasn't the only Golden Throat on the Starship Enterprise. Here's a little Spock Country.



I dream of Barbara Eden ...



Kevin Costner covers this Shatner classic.



And Jerry Mathers as The Beaver






Monday, April 24, 2017

Russ Gordon's 2017 Los Alamos Summer Concert Series

Russ Gordon
Russ Gordon has announced the line up for his 28th annual Summer Concert Series in Los Alamos, free Friday night concerts including some of my personal favorites like Dale Watson, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys and guitar super-stud Deke Dickerson.

Free show, 28 years ... that's the good news.

The bad news is that Russ says this will be his last. He and his wife plan to move to Seattle to be closer to his grandkids.

So enjoy the music this year.

And hey, Russ is still looking for sponsors to help pay for the shows. If you can help, or know someone who can, email him!


Here's the schedule:

May 19 - Chuchito Valdes - Afro-Cuban jazz from Havana, Cuba & Cancun, Mexico.- Los Alamos Kite Festival Night

Deke Dickerson
Deke Dickerson at The Ponderosa Stomp, New Orleans 2013
May 26 - Deke Dickerson - Alt-Indie Rock, Retro Swing, Rockabilly Revival, Roots-Rock,Hillbilly, Surf, Jump Blues & instrumental rock.

June 2 - The Coral Creek Band - Americana/Country Rock, bluegrass, Cajun, Folk & Island rock from Colorado.

June 9 - Western Centuries - Alt./Country-rock,with early R&B, Honky-Tonk twang. -  Los Alamos Chamber Fest Night

June 16 - The Red Elvises - Russian Rok 'N Roll & Siberian Surf Rok. From Moscow & Santa Monica, Calif. - Los Alamos Daily Post Night

June 23 - Big Sam's Funky Nation - Funk-soul-jazz & rock from New Orleans

June 30 - Grayson Capps Band - Gulf Coast rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.
Big Sandy in Santa Fe
Big Sandy in Santa Fe, June 2012

July 7 - Ian Moore Band - great Texas blues rock band

July 14 - The Peterson Brothers Band - again, a great Texas blues rock band with a lot of soul - Los Alamos Science Fest Night

July 21 - Michael Hearne & Shake Russell with Jimmy Stadler. Country & Americana from Texas & Taos

July 28 - Eddy & The Nomads and DK & The Affordables - Nomads play rock & roots rock from 50's, 60's and 70's plus New Mexico's musica del Norteno . DK & The Affordables play roots rock & rockabilly.

Aug. 4 - Jim Lauderdale - The great singer-songwriter-performer returns. Backing Jim will be New Mexico's Higher Ground on bluegrass and DK & the Affordables, who will back him on his Memphis soul music

Dale Watson on his home turf, Continental Club, Austin, Texas
Aug. 11 - Dale Watson - Texas honky tonk - Los Alamos County Fair & Rodeo Night

Aug. 18 - Diego Figuerido - Brazilian jazz & Flamenco guitar master -  American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Night with Los Alamos Medical Center

Aug. 25 - Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys - Rock, rockabilly & roots-rock

Sept 1 - The Paladins - Rock and roots-rock hit band from the 80's. - Smith's Marketplace Night

Sept. 8 - M5- Metales The Mexican Brass - Classical brass quintet from Mexico with pop music. Los Alamos Concert Association Night

Sunday, April 23, 2017

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, April 23, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Nobody But Me by Lyres
The Grace by The Molting Vultures
Can't Wake Myself Up by Laino & Broken Seeds
Burn 'em Brew by Left Lane Cruiser
Sookie Sookie by Steppenwolf
Fidget by The Vagoos
Vete de Aqui by Ton Ton Macoutes
I'm s Full Grown Man by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Crybabies Go Home by The Ghost Wolves
Let's Turn This Thing Around by Peter Case

I'd Kill For Her by Black Angels
Get Straight by Lynx Lynx
No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney
Goin' Blind by The Melvins
Evil Child by Blind Butcher
Staying Undergroumd by Destination Lonely
Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Warren Zevon

Belated 4-20 Set
The Man from Harlem by Cab Calloway
Sweet Marijuana Brown by The Barney Bigard Sextet
Here Comes the Man with the Jive by Stuff Smith & The Onyx Club Boys
If You're a Viper by Fats Waller
Save the Roach for Me by Buck Wshington
Reefer Head Woman by Jazz Gillum
Light Up by The Buster Bailey Rhythm Busters
When I Get Low I Get High by Ella Fitzgerald
All the Jive is Gone by Andy Kirk & His 12 Clouds of Joy
Reefer Man by Don Redman

Bad Luck Man by Delaney Davidson
The Black Rider by Tom Waits
Born in 1947 by Ronny Elliott
It's Only Make Believe by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Love and Mercy by Brian Wilson
Lovers Never Say Goodbye by The Flamingos
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, April 21, 2017

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST



Friday, April 21, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Working Class by The Defibulators
Fuck Up by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Don't Toss Us Away by Lone Justice
What Good Can Drinkin' Do by Martha Fields
Life of Sin by Sturgill Simpson
Match Made in Heaven by Jesse Dayton
Set Me Free by Scott H. Biram
It's a Mystery to Me by Big Sandy &The Flyrite Boys
Pinball Prison by Puddles Pity Party

Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time by Mickey Gilley
Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano by Jerry Lee Lewis
Old McDonald Boogie by Johnny Tyler & The Riders of the Rio Grande
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) by Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen
I've Got the Boogie Blues by Charline Arthur
Window Up Above by The Blasters
Drinkin' Dark Whiskey by Gary Allan
We Deserve a Happy Ending by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Jackpot by Nikki Lane
The Week of Living Dangerously by Steve Earle
Ladies in the Know by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Americana by Ray Davies
Sittin' and Thinkin' About You by Dale Watson & Ray Benson
Who's Gonna Build Your Wall by Tom Russell
All Men Are Liars by Nick Lowe
Baby I Like You by Southern Culture on the Skids
Collegiana by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Ode to Billy Joe by Joe Tex
Joy by Lucinda Williams
Banshee Moon by Shannon McNally
Leigh's Song by Stephanie Hatfield
Nothing Takes the Place of You by Shinyribs
Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be by John Prine & Iris DeMent
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: It's 4-20 Time Again



Yes, this year Throwback Thursday falls on 4-20 itself.

Need I say more?

Enjoy this batch of vintage reefer songs, including a few from some of America's greatest jazz musicians.

Let's start with Slim & Slam (Slim Gaillard & Slam Stewart) singing about "Dopey Joe" from Baltimore.



Here's an old favorite, "Sweet Marijuana Brown" by Barney Bigard, featuring the amazing Art Tatum on piano.



From the mid 1940s comes Buck Washington with "Save the Roach for Me."



Gene Krupa, who actually went to jail for a few months for marijuana, offers "I'm Feeling High and Happy," featuring Helen Ward on vocals.



"Weed Smoker's Dream" by Kansas Joe McCoy & The Harlem Hamfats, later evolved into "Why Don't You Do Right." This version features a bitchen cartoon.



I have to admit I consume far more actual spinach than marijuana these days. But I don't think Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends are actually singing about Popeye's favorite vegetable.



If this ain't enough for you, check out more old-time reefer classics on an old Throwback Thursday and some newer tunes on this 4-20 Wacky Wednesday.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Cuddle with Puddles


This might be the saddest Wacky Wednesday of  all time.

That's because it features my favorite crooning sad clown, Puddles Pity Party, an Internet sensation who has helped me overcome my fear of ... well, Internet sensations.

Puddles, the creation of Big Mike Geier of Atlanta, Ga., specializes in straight-faced (if white-faced) covers of familiar songs.

The near-seven-foot clown has been at it since the '90s when he led an all-clown band called Greasepaint. In 2013, his cover of Lorde's "Royals" propelled him to his current Internet cult status. It's received more than 18.5 million views on YouTube.

Last year, The New York Times wrote of Puddles, "... his special effect is a textured voice laced with melancholy. His emotional warbling adds heft to his frowns. ...  What makes him transcend the trope is his vulnerability."

I included a Puddles Pity Party video -- his version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"-- about a year ago in my Wacky Wednesday post about singing clowns. But Puddles is still at it, so I think he deserves a post of his own.

Let's start out with a Bee Gees song that's a natural for the Pity Party treatment. Clearly, the joke was on Puddles



Here's Puddles covering my favorite Cindy Walker tune



Puddles teams up with Nicole Atkins on this wimp-rock classic, "Reflections of My Life" by the proto-Air Supply group, Marmalade.



And on this recent one Puddles covers Los Lobos' "Estoy Sentado Aqui."



But let's end on a happy note.  one of Puddles' rare tunes that's devoid of melancholy. I must have seen this mash-up of "Pinball Wizard" and "Folsom Prison Blues" a thousand times on my Facebook feed in recent weeks.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, April 16, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Easter Everywhere by Julian Cope
Fire in My Bones by 13th Floor Elevators
Pretty Girls by Nobunny
Sick of You by Lou Reed
99 Things by Lynx Lynx
Golden Key by The Vagoos
Booga Chaka by Left Lane Criuiser
Dirt Preacher by Destination Lonely
Apocalyptica Blues by Blind Butcher
Can't Wake Myself Up by Laino & Broken Seeds
She's a Fool by Leslie Gore

Heaven on Their Minds by Murray Head
The Temple by Afghan Whigs
Damned for All Time by Scratch Acid
White Jesus by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
The Ballad of John and Yoko by The Beatles
I Shook His Hand by Gary Herffern
Peter Cottontail by Gene Autry

Dead in a Motel Room by Hickoids
Hillbilly with Knife Skills by The Grannies
Chem Farmer by Thee Oh Sees
Get on Board by Dead Moon
Today Again by Sad Girl
David by Courtney Barnett
Dusty Bibles and Silver Spoons by The Bloodhounds
The Other Two by Mark Sultan
A Young Girl by Noel Harrison

I'll Be Alright by Terence Trent D'Arby
Designated Fool by Sananda Maitreya
Look It Here by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Day Tripper by Otis Redding
The Cross by Prince
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, April 14, 2017

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST



Friday, April 14, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Wild Bill Jones by Acie Cargill
Nails in the Pine by Poor Boy's Soul
Help Me Joe by Dale Watson
See Willy Fly By by The Waco Brothers
Strange Heart by Banditos
3 Pecker Goat by Jesse Dayton
Cajun Moon by Phoebe Legere
Cajun Stripper by Doug Kershaw
Eb Tit Fille by Jo-el Sonnier

I Got Your Medicine by Shinyribs
Kick in the Head by New Riders of the Purple Sage
Crazy as a Junebug by Paula Rhae McDonald
Botched Execution by Shovels & Rope
Cornbread and Butterbeans by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Only You by NRBQ
Only You by Carl Perkins
Back Street Affair by Webb Pierce
Where's the Dress by Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley

The Nail by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Forever Lasts Forever by Nikki Lane
Confession by Stephanie Hatfield
Just Someone I Used to Know by Buddy Miller with Nikki Lane
Nothin' Feels Right But Doin' Wrong by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Wish You Back by Stephanie Hatfield with Mariachi Sonidos del Monte
He's Sorry by John Wagner

I See the Want To in Your Eyes by Gary Stewart
Long Black Veil by David Allen Coe
When I Was a Cowboy by David Bromberg
Storms Never Last by Waylon Jennings & Jessie Colter
Dreamin' My Dreams by John Prine & Kathy Matea
King David's Last Psalm by Jessie Colter
Were You When They Crucified My Lord by Johnny Cash with The Carter Family
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list