Thursday, September 20, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Leonard Cohen's Birthday Eve


Tomorrow is Leonard Cohen's birthday. Cohen, who died in 2016, would have been 84.

His voice would have been 1,000.

Here are a few of my favorite Leonard songs, starting with the first one that grabbed me, "So Long Marianne," which was on his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967). The version below is from a German TV appearance in 1979. (The violin solo that comes in right before the 3-minute mark is jaw-dropping.)



Here's a slow-and-low version of "Tower of Song" on Night Music in 1989



Leonard went full-blown Old Testament prophet on "The Future" -- afterall, as he said himself, he's "the little Jew who wrote the Bible." It's weird that this "official video" from 1993, censors the words "anal sex" and "crack."

Thank you for guarding my morality!



I know that we celebrated The Austin Lounge Lizards only yesterday, but I'd be remiss if I didn't include the greatest Leonard Cohen spoof in human history.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: In Praise of the Austin Lounge Lizards


They didn't start in Austin. And they're  not really lizards.

Here's a Wacky Wednesday cheer for a little string band from deep in the heart of Texas.

Actually, however, the group's origins go back to the late '70s when two Princeton students, Conrad, Deisler and Hank Card met and began playing country, folk and bluegrass. They moved to Austin in 1980, teamed up with banjo/dobro player Tom Pittman and The Austin Lounge Lizards were born.

The line-up of the band has shifted through the past, but they've faithfully kept their original vision, which, according to their website is "spoofing topics American families try to avoid at the Thanksgiving table: subjects like politics, religion, romance, and themselves."

I'll go ahead and quote their website again:  "The Austin Lounge Lizards are arguably the perfect pairing of their hometown’s slogan, `Live Music Capital of the World,' and its unofficial motto, `Keep Austin Weird'.”

The first two songs I'm going to post here are the songs that made me realize I was an Austin Lounge Lizards fan. A friend of a friend played these at a pickin' party I went to sometime in the mid 80s. The FOF (whose name I forget) explained  the tunes were from an album called Creatures From the Black Saloon .





The Lizards do bluegrass justice to this Pink Floyd classic. Truly they are a band less reverent than Spike Jones, but more punctual than George ...



And through the years, the Lizards have sung more than their share of stupid songs about Texas ...


Sunday, September 16, 2018

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, September , 2018
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
The Devil's Trick is Not a Treat by The Devils
Born to Die by King Khan
Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven by Trixie & The Trainwrecks
I'm Gonna Kill My Baby Tonight by The Mummies
So Long Johnny by Charlie Pickett
Gung Ho by Black Lips
Walk a Mile by Holly Golightly
Spice Girls by Period Pain
Black Metal by Reverend Beat-Man & Izobel Garcia
Delilah by Jon Langford & Sally Timms
Burning Hell by Tom Jones

Ride With Me by Sulphur City
Buzz Buzz Buzz by The Blasters
You Don't Love Me Yet by Roky Erikson
The Roaring 20s by Archie & The Bunkers
Put That in Your Pipe by The Mobbs
Cheepnis by Frank Zappa
Girl Scout Cookies by Blaze Foley

Roger Miller set

Old Friends by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson & Merle Haggard
When Two Worlds Collide by Flatt Lonesome
I Wish I Could Fall in Love Today by Roger Miller
Oo-De-Lally by Ben Dickey & Alia Shawkat
One Dyin' and a Buryin' by David Yow
Pardon This Coffin by Jon Rauhaus
You Can't Do Me This Way by Dean Miller & The McCrary Sisters
Lock, Stock and Teardrops by Mandy Barnett
Invitation to the Blues by Ray Price
Train of Life by Merle Haggard
The Moon is High by Neko Case
The Last Word in Lonesome is Me by Roger Miller

Lo-Fi by Bottle Rockets
25 Times by Maiorano
Gone Deep Underground by Stan Ridgway
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Roger Rides Again!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Sept. 14, 2018




He enlightened us with the hillbilly zen wisdom of avoiding rollerskating in a buffalo herd. He introduced us to the concept of “maple surple.” He struck an early blow in support of transgender people with his song “My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died.” Growing up in Oklahoma, Roger Miller was a member of my Holy Okie Boyhood Heroes Trilogy, along with Mickey Mantle and Leroy Gordon Cooper.

“My name is Roger Miller, probably one of the greatest songwriters to ever live … I have written a few songs, probably eight or 900 in my professional career, and we’d like to do about 700 or 750 here tonight.”

That’s a little Miller stage banter that kicks off the new various artists tribute album, King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller. It’s true that most tribute albums suck the warts. But partly because Miller really was one of the greatest songwriters to ever live — and partly because of the caliber of the talent that producer (and Roger’s son) Dean Miller has wrangled for this project — nearly every track is a winner. The songs capture Roger’s wide emotional range: the funny tunes, the cool anthems, the honky-tonk stompers, the surprisingly powerful heartache songs.

Among the various artists here are classic country cronies of Miller’s, a few current commercial country singers, a couple who fall into the basket called “Americana,” and some truly offbeat but enjoyable choices, including Ringo Starr, actor John Goodman, and alt-rock bands like Cake and Toad the Wet Sprocket. And here’s the news: Huey Lewis sings “Chug-a-Lug,” backed by Asleep at the Wheel, and does a credible job.

Roger Miller at home in Tesuque, N.M., 1980
Photo by Pam Mills
There are several artists here I’d never heard of, and I consider some of them to be important discoveries. For instance, the female-fronted band Flatt Lonesome does a stunning bluegrass cover of “When Two Worlds Collide.” And Lily Meola, who I don’t believe had ever graced my eardrums before, sings a soulful take on a little-known Miller song called “I’ll Pick Up My Heart and Go Home.”

I haven’t heard all 900 of Roger’s songs — probably only 650-675 of them — but I’ve heard enough to realize that for every Miller that makes you chuckle, there’s at least one that’ll rip out your heart and stomp on it.

And even though songs like “Dang Me” and “Chug-a-Lug” are what first drew me to Miller, it’s those sad ones that made me stay. Many or most of them were written back when Miller was a sideman for country stars like Ray Price and Minnie Pearl (!) while writing hits (and occasional misses) for the likes of George Jones, Faron Young, and Jim Reeves — long before he broke out as a solo artist.

Besides those tracks by Flatt Lonesome and Lily Meola, my favorite cry-in-your-beer songs on King of the Road include “The Last Word in Lonesome in Me,” a hit in the mid-’60s for Eddie Arnold and sung here by Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss; “You Oughta Be Here With Me,” sung as a medley with “I’ve Been a Long Time Leaving” performed by Krauss with The Cox Family; Loretta Lynn’s heart-stopping version of “Half a Mind”; “World So Full of Love” by Rodney Crowell.

And at this writing, my favorite song on the whole double-album, “Lock, Stock, and Teardrops” sung by Mandy Barnett. It’s slow, a little jazzy, and a lot countrypolitan. Every time I hear it, the song conjures an image of Roger and Patsy Cline smiling down on me from Hillbilly Heaven as Miller reflects, “We could have left it in a lot worse hands.”

There also are many notable upbeat songs on King of the Road. Dean Miller, backed by The McCrary Sisters, turns his dad’s “You Can’t Do Me This Way” into a soulful romp. Kacey Musgraves’ contribution, “Kansas City Star,” concerns a local celebrity who believes that big fish often do better in small ponds, even if you have to decline more money, all expenses paid, and a car.

Dwight Yoakam sings a tune he co-wrote with Miller, “It Only Hurts Me When I Cry.” John Goodman, who appeared in Miller’s 1985 Broadway musical Big River, sings — or, actually rants — the song “Guv’ment,” which he performed in that production.

And now, here’s the conventional part of a tribute album review in which the critic whines, “But they left out one of my favorite songs.”

In this case, it’s “The Moon is High (And So Am I),” which was one of Miller’s funniest from his early solo career, as well as being an early showcase of Miller’s mad genius at wordplay: “Well, the moon is high and so am I, the stars are out and so will I be pretty soon ... But come the dawn and it will dawn on me you’re gone ...”

That omission aside, Miller fans should love this album. It was put together by folks who loved Miller and his musical legacy. But unlike many tribute albums, before King of the Road can get too close to being overly sentimental, an interspersed, irreverent sound clip of Miller onstage brings it back to ground.

Hopefully this album will attract new fans who can enjoy discovering the source material.

O.K., enough of my yack: Here are some videos.

First, a promo video for this album:



Hello Dolly (and Allison too):



Mandy Barnett kills on this great Roger song:


Here's Flatt and Lonesome:


THROWBACK THURSDAY: Johnny Cash, 15 Years Gone

JOHNNY CASH MURAL
A mural at The Hole of the Wall, Austin, Texas
Photo taken 2008

Johnny Cash died 15 years ago yesterday -- Sept. 12, 2018.

His tuth goes marching on. Here's a brief musical tribute to the Man in Black:

Speaking of which, let's start with that song;



Here's a Cash obscurity I hadn't heard before yesterday



A strangle little tune Johnny did on his TV. (There's some schtick before the song starts)



Finally, a little New Mexico True from the Man in Black. (I still think the state Tourism Department should use this in an ad …)




Wednesday, September 12, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Deliver the Letter, the Sooner the Better


Smarter (and more sentimental) people than I have lamented the lost art of letter writing in this age of email, texting, and other technological advances.

Kids these days ... they only know the U.S. Postal Service as the deliverer of bills and junk mail.They don't know the fear and frustration of waiting day after day for that letter from the one you love and watching the mailman walk past your house -- or the joy you felt when the letter finally arrives.

But not that long ago, handwritten letters, empty mailboxes and even postal workers frequently appeared in popular song.

Just recently I posted here on Ketty Lester and her haunting obsession with love letters (straight from your heart). Here are a few more of my favorite songs about the mail.

Let's go back to Son House, whose best-known song probably is "Death Letter Blues."



The Marvelettes in 1961 captured our hearts with their desperate teenage pleas to a certain federal employee.



Elvis knew a thing or two about the Post Office



The King also recorded this song about tampering with the mail (or the male) in the late '60s



A little 1967 garage-pop here from The Five Americans, who for some reason assumed that zip codes, which were adopted by the U.S. Postal Service just few years before, would improve the communication lines of love.


The Box Tops, featuring a youthful Alex Chilton, a Tennessee teen who sounded like Tom Waits' grandpappy. Joe Cocker later covered it. But here's an obscure version by Al Green



From deep in the heart of Texas, here's country weeper by Asleep at the Wheel in the 1970s.



Finally, Taj Mahall wanted to move up to the country and paint his mailbox blue. I wonder if he ever really did that.





Sunday, September 09, 2018

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, September , 2018
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
Rattle Your Mind by Gogo Loco
Abuelo del Skate by Hollywood Sinners
I'm Leaving by Fiery Furnaces
Done Got Old by Junior Kimbrough
Tangled Up in Bush by Left Lane Cruiser
Rosie and Billy by Charlie Pickett
Coffin Nails by Mark Sultan
The Saddest Girl on Earth by The Legendary Tigerman
Hootchy Kootchy by Gene and Eunice
Sit With the Guru by Strawberry Alarm Clock

Just a Sign by Maiorano
Rock and Soul Music by Country Joe & The Fish
S.O.B.by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats
Broken Bones and Pocket Change by Saint Paul & The Broken Bones
Took My Lady To Dinner by King Khan & The Shrines
Let's Go Crazy by Prince

Mystery Train by Rocket 808
Town by Harlan T. Bobo
Come and Get it by Mean Motor Scooter
Dirty Photographs by The Bonnevilles
Riot on the Strip by James Williamson & The Pink Hearts
I Got Nothin' by Iggy Pop & James Williamson
Are You a Wally by Spartan Dreggs
Why You Gotta Be So Mean by The Reverberations
Short Fat Fanny by Larry Williams
Bless You by Devil Dogs

Violent Shiver by Benjamin Booker
Knocked Down by Salty Pajamas
Reincarnation by Cake
It's All in the Game / Sitting in the Park / Make It Real One More Time by Van Morrison
The Ways of the World by Waylon Jennings
September Song by Jimmy Durante
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page


Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Leonard Cohen's Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is Leonard Cohen's birthday. Cohen, who died in 2016, would have been 84. His voice would have been 1,000. Here are a fe...