Friday, October 28, 2016

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: The Mystery Lights! Thee Oh Sees! The Monsters!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Oct.28, 2016

Back in the mid-1960s, there was a natural connection between soul music and the style of primarily Caucasian rock ’n’ roll we now call “garage rock.”

Practically all of those bands — from the lofty masters like The Sonics down to the pimpliest no-name Midwestern no-hit wonders — unabashedly tried to imitate African American hitmakers like Wilson Pickett and the Isley Brothers, and they did their best to mimic all those blues and R&B-soaked British bands like The Rolling Stones, The Animals, and The Yardbirds. The garage kids rarely, if ever, sounded as authentic as the performers they idolized, but the influence was obvious.

So it shouldn’t seem all that surprising that the most prominent neo-soul label of the day, New York’s Daptone Records, would start an imprint (Wick) specializing in neo-garage rock. And knowing the integrity of Daptone, which has given the world Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, and others, it's only natural that The Mystery Lights — the first band to release an album on the Wick label — would be a rocking delight. And though nobody is going to mistake Mystery Lights singer Mike Brandon for Lee Fields, there’s some true white-boy soul on the band’s self-titled album.

Starting out in Salinas, California — where Brandon and guitarist LA Solano started the band as teenagers — this quintet has the basic loud-fast-and-snotty, fuzz ’n’ Farfisa sound down like pros. They prove this handily on rockers like “Melt” — featuring crazed yelps from Brandon that sound right out of Thee Oh Sees’ bag of tricks — the loopy blues of “What Happens When You Turn the Devil Down,” along with The Seeds-like “21 & Counting” and “Follow Me Home.”

But even more interesting is when the Lights venture into the great cosmic beyond on psychedelic excursions like “Before My Own” and, especially, “Flowers in My Hair, Demons in My Head,” which features some tasty interplay between Solano’s guitar and the lysergic keyboards of Alex Q Amini.

This kid probably didn’t spend all his free time studying David Cohen’s organ solos with Country Joe and The Fish, playing Electric Music for the Mind and Body over and over again until they haunted his dreams. But it sure sounds like he did.

Also recommended:

* A Weird Exits by Thee Oh Sees. You didn’t think we’d make it through the year without another crazy collection of songs from the world’s most prolific band, did you?

Actually, this is their second album of 2016, but I haven’t gotten my hands or my ears on the first one, a live album. A Weird Exits shows a wider range for John Dwyer and crew than their last couple of albums did.

It starts out with a song called “Dead Man’s Gun,” a riotous pounder that, in short, sounds like everything I love the most about Thee Oh Sees — breakneck beat, falsetto vocals about who-knows-what from Dwyer, strange electric beeps and bleeps. It almost could be an outtake from any of my favorite Oh Sees albums: Floating Coffin, Carrion Crawler/The Dream, and last year’s Mutilator Defeated at Last. And that’s true for a few other tunes here, such as “Plastic Plant.”

But it’s the variety of sound that gives a punch to A Weird Exits. “Ticklish Warrior,” for instance, is lower and slower, showing echoes of the Melvins and the pre-synth The Flaming Lips. The spacey “Crawl Out from the Fallout” is downright dreamy, a seven-minute-plus ethereal soundscape with an edge of the blues.

Then there’s “The Axis,” which is slow and surprisingly soulful, that builds up to an explosive, distorted guitar solo. Is this Dwyer’s attempt to rewrite “Free Bird?” Dwyer gives his throat a rest on a couple of psychedelic instrumentals here — “Jammed Entrance” (the closest thing to The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” I’ve heard recently) and “Unwrap the Fiend, Part 2” (don’t ask me where Part 1 is), which features a classic Dwyer melody and a suitably screaming guitar.

*M by The Monsters. It wouldn’t be Halloween without some Monsters, and the pride of Voodoo Rhythm Records is back with their second release of the year.

It’s the Swiss group’s 30th anniversary and they’re just as monstrous as they’ve ever been. Unlike their previous album, a re-release of their long out-of-print early album, The Jungle Noise Recordings, this is newly recorded material — loud, crunching garage-punk trash with the immortal Reverend Beat-Man out front screaming on songs like “You Will Die,” “Nothing, You Coward,” and “Baby You’re My Drug.”

“Let Me Spend the Night With Your Wife” is Beat-Man’s take on some imaginary Weimar Republic dirge. “Bongo Fuzz” is a classy instrumental featuring wild bongos. “Voodoo Rhythm” is a loving, growling homage to the record label Beat-Man built, while “Dig My Hair” is senseless blaring noise — and I mean that in the nicest way.

I only wish that Edd “Kookie” Byrnes could have been around to sing this with The Monsters. I’m sure he would have lent Beat-Man his comb. But the best song on the record is “Happy People Make Me Sick.” I don’t know — it just makes me happy.

The third installment in The Monsters’ 30-year anniversary celebration will be a tribute album soon to be released. You’ve been warned.

It’s Halloween! It’s time once again for the annual Big Enchilada Podcast Spooktacular. Hear an hour’s worth of spooky rock ’n’ roll, including a song from The Monsters’ new album. Follow this link and hear all my rocking Halloween podcasts. It’s all free — a public-spirited service to you, my readers.

Some videos for ya:

First, The Mystery Lights, who like it nasty, messed up

A new video from Thee new Oh Sees album

And finally, something Monstrous

Thursday, October 27, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Some Vintage Halloween Tunes

Yes, even before the heyday of Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Screaming Lord Sutch songs of witches and spooks have been part of American music. Here's a cauldron full of vintage Halloween tunes.

We'll begin at a seance,

This ghostly number is a longtime favorite of mine.

On my latest Big Enchilada podcast I included a new bluesy version of this song performed by Bibi Farber. But she got it from der Bingle.

This next one was written by one of my favorite songwriting teams of early rock 'n' roll -- Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote many of the songs you love best by The Everly Brothers.

You might think this next one from Fran Allison (Folks my age will remember Kukla, Fran & Ollie) might seem pretty saccharine. So it might help your enjoyment by imaging the type of horrific, blood-spattered, flesh-eating  scene Rob Zombie might build around this happy little tune for some future movie. There, that's better, isn't it.

For a zillion more Halloween songs check out all my Big Enchilada Spooktaculars. Click HERE

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Equal Time for Goblins!

While recently putting together my Big Enchilada 2016 Spooktacular, I had no problem finding songs about witches, ghosts, devils, vampires and werewolves.

But one group of demonic supernatural beings that are severely under-estimated in the Spookbox Jukebox is the humble goblin. There just aren't that many songs about them.

But fear not -- or since it's almost Halloween maybe I should just say "Fear!" -- I found a few for you.

We'll start with this obscurity from Rosemary Clooney, who revealed in 1950 that goblins ride flying brooms.

Thirty years later Frank Zappa was still playing with Clooney's goblin/wobblin' rhyme.

This is another song called "Goblin Girl" by a late '90s garage/punk band from Chicago called The Goblins.

It's rumored that The Fall's Mark E. Smith has a little Goblin in his ancestry.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 had their own Hobgoblin song, in honor of the 1988 movie Hobgoblins.

And here's one for my favorite Spiderman villain, The Green Goblin. I'm not sure where this weird mash-up came from. I just hope Napoleon XIV got a cut

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

9th Annual Big Enchilada Spooktacular!


Boo! Halloween's just around the corner AND SO IS A KNIFE-WIELDING MANIAC!!!
While most people my age are busy placing razor blades in apples for trick-or-treat night, I've been brewing up this cauldron of horror for your listening pleasure. Have a ghoulishious time with some spooky tunes on this month's Big Enchilada.


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Cemetery Stomp by The Essex)
Son of The Devil by D.D. Owen
Headless Horseman by Bibi Farber
I Saw a Ghost (Lean) by The Black Lips
Obeah Man by Meet Your Death
The Little Monster by Russ "Big Daddy" Blackwell

(Background Music: Ghoulash by Satan's Pilgrims)
Three Headed Demon by The Blues Against Youth
Hotrod Vampires by Demented Are Go
Graveyard Boogie by Cawama
Foxy Witch by Fire Bad!
Satan is Her Name by The Cavemen
Meet Me at the Graveyard by Andre Williams

(Background Music: Silent Screamer by The Dave Meyers Effect)
Macon County Morgue  by Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures
Voodoo Rhythm by The Monsters
Ghost by El Pathos
The Zombie by C.W. Stoneking
Werewolf by The Kact-Ties
(Background Music: Quentin's Theme by Charles Randolph Grean Sounde)

Play it here:

Sunday, October 23, 2016



Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Happy People Make Me Sick by The Monsters

You Let the Dead In by Churchwood

The Flesh is Weak by James Chance & The Contortions

Took My Lady to Dinner by King Khan & The Shrines

Exercise Man by The Dean Ween Group

Women Who Jog by MFC Chicken

Money Rock 'n' Roll by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Nightmare by The Embrooks

Mustang Ranch by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears


Love Like a Man by The Fleshtones with Lisa Kekaula

Plastic Plant by Thee Oh Sees

Dumb All Over by Frank Zappa

Follow Me Home by The Mystery Lights

Crazy Love by Musk

Johnny by Sulfur City

Honky Tonk Biscuit Queen by The Voluptuous World of Karen Black


Voodoohexenshakit! by The Brimstones

Skylab by The Grannies

Wide Open Blues by Big John Bates

What's Your Name by Nathaniel Mayer

When Fate Deals Its Mortal Blow by Meet Your Death

Plastered to the Wall (Higher Than the Ceiling) by Swamp Dogg

Sunglasses After Dark by Archie & The Bunkers

Should've Been Home With You by James Leg

I Have Always Been Here Before by Hickoids


Brains a Flame by Johnny Dowd featuring Anna Coogan

What Is It? by The Come N' Go

Look in the Mirror by Gregg Turner

She's Wearing You Down by Stan Ridgway & Pietra Wexstun

Let's Burn Down the Cornfield by John the Conqueror

Good Old World by Tom Waits

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE


Friday, October 21, 2016


Friday, Oct. 21, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)
Here's my playlist :
OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Freak Flag by Southern Culture on the Skids
Shovelin' Bob by Washboard Hank
Ghosts on the Screen by Gary Heffern
Fools Like Me by Cornell Hurd
Then I'll Be Movin' On by Mother Earth
Killed Them Both by Wayne Hancock
Get on the Floor by C.W. Stoneking
The Stars by The Great Recession Orchestra
Odor in the Court by Doodoo Wah

Mama's Picture by Mose McCormack
Wall Around Your Heart by Chris Hillman
I Lie When I Drink by Dale Watson
Fifteen Beers by Johnny Paycheck
Big Fake Boobs by The Beaumonts
City Lights by Willie Nelson
Don't Give a Damn by Hony Tonk Hustlas
Tell Me Baby by Martha Fields
Crazy People by The Boswell Sisters

Lift Him Up, That's All by Ralph Stanley
I Was Born to Preach the Gospel by Washington Phillips
Denomination Blues by Ry Cooder
Weekender by Margo Price
Seein' Double by Nikki Lane
A Devil Named Music by Chris Stapleton

It's Only Make Believe by Kelly Hogan & John Wesley Harding
Buglight by The Flat Five
Keep it Between the Lines by Sturgil Simpson
Heartsick Blues by Luke Winslow King
Hummin' to Myself by Dan Hicks with Maria Muldaur
Have Mercy by Steve Earle
Talk to Me Lonesome Heart by Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, October 20, 2016


America lost one of its true folk music icons last month.

Oscar Brand died of pneumonia Friday, Sept. 30 at the age of 96 at his home in Greatneck, N.Y..

He was a singer, recording artist. He composed scores for Broadway musicals and documentaries and even tried his hand at TV

But as Douglas Martin wrote in his obit in  New York Times, Brand was best known for his radio show, “Folksong Festival,” 

Every week for more than 70 years, with the easy, familiar voice of a friend, Mr. Brand invited listeners of the New York public radio station WNYC to his quirky, informal combination of American music symposium, barn dance, cracker-barrel conversation, songwriting session and verbal horseplay.

Seventy years! His last show aired less than a week before he died, the Times said.

And like the best radio DJs, he was a volunteer. He did it for his love of his music and never got paid a nickel for his WNYC shows.

Although Brand never was a member of the Communist Party, during the McCarthy era, he was labeled as a communist sympathizer whose radio program was a "pipeline of communism" because he frequently invited blacklisted performers like Pete Seeger to appear on Folksong Festival

According to Martin's obit:

He invited Burl Ives, too, even though he had alienated many of his fellow folk singers by naming names to the House committee. The singer Dave Van Ronk, in his autobiography, The Mayor of MacDougal Street (2005), recalled taking Mr. Brand to task for this, only to be told, `Dave, we on the left do not blacklist'— a response that, Mr. Van Ronk recalled, `put me right in my place.'

Here's a few videos to pay tribute to Oscar Brand.

Let's start with a dirty one

Brand, who was in the Army during World War II, was a collector of songs sung by soldiers, sailors and Marines. In the late '50s, inspired by a collection of Air Force songs collected by a pilot named William Starr, Brand recorded an album called The Wild Blue Yonder, which included this next tune, "Save a Fighter Pilot's Ass."

Brand recorded an entire album of campaign songs for every president between George Washington and Bill Clinton. This is one of my favorites.

Finally, here's a clip with Brand's 1961 "Folksong Festival" interview with a young Bob Dylan. Here, the future Nobel Prize winner speaks of his (imaginary) boyhood in Gallup. N.M. and his (imaginary) travels with carnivals.

For WNYC's tribute to Oscar Brand CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Political Golden Throats

This week on Last Week Tonight  comedian John Oliver, in a segment ridiculing third parties, introduced a horrified world to the Green Party candidate Jill Stein's 1990s band, Somebody's Sister, effectively stomping down any trace of Jill-mentum there might have been.

Oliver likened the sound of the group to the Indigo Girls fronting the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A former colleague of mine had a more scathing review: "Jill Stein does not have my vote if only because her band just drove the whittled end of an old public toilet plunger up my ass, out one ear and through the very core of my creative being."

Judge for yourself ...

Of course, had things gone differently in the Democratic primary, we might have had to endure four years of a version of The Dropkick Murphys -- minus any kick. Here's former Maryland Gov. Marvin O'Malley with his band O'Malley's March.

Donald Trump couldn't make it, but he sent a friend. (You have to sit through some wretched piano noodling until you get to the dreadful vocals) Fats Domino would do a better job invading Ukraine than Putin does on this song.

Somehow this guy pulled off the musician thing with a little style back in the Nutty '90s.

And who can forget this patriotic anthem from former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The late Sen. Robert Byrd from West Virginia was never shy about his bluegrass roots

But we haven't really had a great singing politician since Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis. (I played this very song on The Santa Fe Opry last week.)

(For Donald Trump reciting the lyrics of my favorite Oscar Brown, Jr. song, see last week's Wacky Wednesday.)

Sunday, October 16, 2016



Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Look at That Moon by Carl Mann

Garbage Head by Eric Amble

Melt by The Mystery Lights

Rick Wakeman's Cape by The Fleshtones

The Same by Grey City Passengers

Baby Runaround by The Gears

Violets are Blue by The Mobbs

Dead in a Hotel Room by The Hickoids

Spook Factor by The Memphis Morticians

My Baby Left Me by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Tiger in My Tank by King Salami & The Cumberland 3


The Dozens by Eddie "One-String" Jones

Elephant Man by Meet Your Death

Human Lawn Dart by James Leg

Bloodhound by Left-Lane Cruiser

The Wolf by The Bloodhounds

Sexual Release by Lonesome Shack

Tie My Hands to the Floor by Sulphur City


Savage by The Cavemen

Milchblut by The Grannies

Tura Santana Tribute Song by The Dustaphonics

Trouble of the World by Dex Romweber

Heaven is Ugly by The Gospel Truth

Mad Mod Goth by The Fall

Evil Eye by Dead Moon

Dirty Deeds by Grandpa Death Experience


Slippin' Sideways by Drywall

Here Come the Martian Martians by Jonathan Richman

Vibrator by The Painted Dogs

Motorcycle Irene by Moby Grape

Teenage Maniac by The Spooklights

Are You Man Enough by The Four Tops

This Time Darlin' by Social Distortion

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE


Friday, October 14, 2016


Friday, Oct. 14, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Guitar Man by Junior Brown
Endangered Species by Waylon Jennings
Kung Fu Fighting by Girls on Top
I Just Left Myself Today by The Hickoids 
Rocket in Your Pocket by Jenny & The Steady Gos
King's Highway by Sulphur City
Downward Mobility by Southern Culture on the Skids
Southern White Lies by Martha Fields

Freddy Lopez by Joe West
Dirty House Blues by Wayne Hancock
My Boyfriend by Nancy Apple
If You're Looking for a Loser by Arty Hill
You're Humbuggin' Me by Dale Watson
I'm Not Drunk Enough by Rex Hobart
She's a Humdinger by Gov. Jimmie Davis
Your Past's Gonna Come Back to Haunt You by Emily Kaitz

My Gal by Jim Kweskin Jug Band
Easy Ridin' Mama by Devil in a Woodpile
Coney Island Washboard by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Euphoria by Holy Modal Rounders
Banjorena by Dixieland Jug Blowers
Lampshade On by The Dustbowl Revival
Darktown Strutters Ball by Howard Armstrong 
Down on Penny's Farm by Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur
Under the Chicken Tree by The Texas Sheiks

American Boy by Eleni Mandell
Tiny Tina by The Handsome Family
Falls of Sleep by Freakwater
Mexican Divorce by Ry Cooder
Needed by Robbie Fulks
Drinkin' Thing by Gary Stewart
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list
R.I.P John Conquest