Friday, October 29, 2004

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, October 29, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting:
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell
Co-host: Laurell Reynolds

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Monster's Holiday by Buck Owens
Marie Laveau by Bobby Bare
TTT Gas by The Gourds
Sweet Dreams by Roy Buchannan
Sweet Dreams by Emmylou Harris
Living With the Animals by Mother Earth
I Have A Ball by The Ex-Husbands

Let The Bells Ring by Nick Cave
The Mercy Seat by Johnny Cash
Beautiful by Gordon Lightfoot
Snow by Jesse Winchester
Train From Kansas City by Neko Case
Last One Standing Ronny Elliott
Can Man Christmas by Joe West

Stealin' All Day by C.C. Adcock
Susie Q by Dale Hawkins
Baby Scratch My Back by Slim Harpo
Born On The Bayou by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Wicked Old Witch by John Fogarty
Pole Salad Annie by Tony Joe White
Amos Moses by Jerry Reed
Who Do You Love by Ronnie Hawkins& The Hawks
8-Piece Box by Southern Culture On The Skids

Cash on the Barrelhead by Dolly Parton
I Love My Truck by Glen Campbell
Jolene by The White Stripes
One More Bottle of Wine by Emmylou Harris
If You Don't Want My Love by John Prine
Love in Mind by Neil Young
Crazy Arms by Linda Rondstadt
The Maple Tree by Grey DeLisle
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list


TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: IT CAME FROM THE SWAMP

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 29, 2004


Lafayette Marquis, C.C. Adcock’s second album (and his first one in 10 years!) is a rollicking and refreshing work that brings swamp rock into the 21st Century.


And the young Louisianan Adcock knows that swamp rock is a sound that’s not only worth preserving, but worth building upon.

It’s snaked its way through the history of rock ‘n’ roll. Though there’s no real definitions of this elusive sub-genre, you know it when you hear it in the funky tone of the guitar, the loose rhythmic grooves, the laid-back drawl of the singer.

Where it started, nobody knows. You could argue it has roots in Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya.” You have to assume a connection with zydeco and Cajun music of rural Louisiana.

You heard it in rockabilly journeymen like Jody Reynolds and his death meditation “Endless Sleep,” and Dale Hawkins’ “Suzy Q.” Bo Diddley -- and his hillbilly disciple Ronnie Hawkins -- conjured the swamp in “Who Do You Love,” while Louisiana bluesman Slim Harpo’s “Baby, Scratch My Back” practically defined the sound.

Swamp rock took a hard-rock turn with Creedence Clearwater Revival in longs like “Green River” and “Born on the Bayou.” J.J. Cale brought a little Oklahoma to the swamp. It got all souled up on “Polk Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White. And it seemed natural in the early ‘70s country charts with Jerry Reed hits like “Amos Moses.”

But some might say that since those days when the gator got Annie’s granny, the swamp has been drained. The sound now seems to live on in various revival bands, novelty acts like Southern Culture on the Skids and the occasional new release from an old master like Fogerty or Tony Joe.

While Adcock has a solid roots resume -- he’s played guitar in bands backing Bo Diddley and Buckwheat Zydeco -- Lafayette Marquis is no a work of nostalgia.

True, one song here, “Runaway Life,” where Adcock is backed only by a fiddle and acoustic guitar, is pure Cajun country.

But the rest of the album has a hard-edged sound in which the guitars not only lay out bayou grooves, they sometimes grate and thunder. The drums, played mostly by Adcock’s touring band member Chris Hunter are more frantic and ferocious than your father’s swamp rock.

Then there’s strange musical colorations on some tunes -- Dr. Dre sideman Mike Elizando on “bass and beats and mood sympathizer ,“ sax maniac Dickie Landry, who blows a maelstrom on a tune called “I Love You,” and the fluttering accordion of at Breaux just audible beneath the crunching metal guitars on “Loaded Gun.”

Other highlights here include then psychedelic “Peter Gunn” style workout called “Stealin’ All Day” (supposedly the last studio production by the late Jack Nitzsche); the Santana-goes-swamp joy of “Blacksnake Bite”; and the dark “Slingshotz n’ Boom-R-Angz,” which sounds like it’s sampled Creedence’s version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”

I’m not exactly sure why it took 10 years for Adcock to follow-up his self-titled 1994 debut. (Consumer tip -- you can find used copies of this CD for less than a dollar on Amazon.com) Usual music industry nightmares I suppose. Now that he’s on a respected indie label, Yep Roc, I hope Adcock doesn’t fade away for another decade.


Also Recommended:

Déjà Vu All Over Again by John Fogerty.
It must be that time of decade, there’s a new Fogerty album.

Since the early 70s breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fogerty has averaged two solo albums every 10 years. (And in the ‘90s, his second offering was a live “greatest hits” CD).

But it’s always good to hear from Fogerty and his first album of the new millennium is full of delights. (Plus, he’s released two albums since C.C. Adcock’s last one, so we shouldn’t complain.)

Recorded with a basic stripped down band (including drummer Kenny Aronoff on most tunes), Fogerty shows his mastery of his various styles.

“In the Garden” and “She’s Got Baggage” are raw and almost metallic. (“Baggage” has a “Hey-ho” chant in the middle that sounds almost like a tribute to The Ramones.

“Radar” features a Mysterion-style organ (played by Fogerty himself) that’ll make you cry 96 tears

“I Will Walk With You” (featuring Jerry Douglas on dobro) and “Rhubarb Pie” are sweet country numbers, while “Honey Do” is a gentle rockabilly tune.

Fogerty‘s “Fortunate Son,” “Run Through the Jungle” and “Bad Moon Rising” are some of the most enduring Vietnam-era protest songs. One this album, the title song is inspired by the war in Iraq. It’s not as strong as those others, but the song is a bitter indictment.

“One by one I see the old ghosts rising/Stumbling across the Big Muddy/Where the light goes dim/Day after day another Mama’s crying/She’s lost her precious child/to a war that has no end.”

For the record, Fogerty doesn’t get real swampy until the next to the last song, “Wicked Old Witch,” which starts off with a banjo solo before the electric guitar, bass and drums kick in.

Nearly 40 years later, the old boy’s still got swamp water in his blood.

Get swampy on the radio -- on The Santa Fe Opry, Friday 10 -midnight on KSFR, 90.7 Santa Fe Public Radio. Right after the 11th hour this week, you’ll hear C.C. Adcock, John Fogerty, Tony Joe White, Slim Harpo and others.

Then Sunday, same time, same station, Terrell’s Sound World presents the ghoulishly fun Steve Terrell Spook-tacular for the first hour of the show. Then, after the 11th hour there will be a special pre-election set of political tunes.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: THE TEXANS ARE COMING!

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 28, 2004


They're coming over the border by the hundreds.

They walk among us.

They're going to do their best to influence the election.

They call themselves "Texans."

"Last week we were in Texas and we discovered that the Texas GOP has been funneling hundreds and hundreds of volunteers into New Mexico, which makes great sense," noted political pundit Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, on his Web site this week.

It makes great sense because President Bush has his home state wrapped up. But New Mexico still is considered a battleground state. Our modest five electoral votes could be crucial in a tight race.

Between 400 and 500 Texas Republicans are coming to help the Bush campaign here, a spokeswoman for the state Bush effort confirmed.

Matt Farrauto, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said he's not surprised by the Texas Republican brigade. But he said the John Kerry campaign has 4,500-plus volunteers to help get out the vote on Tuesday. Some of those are from out of state, Farrauto said.

From blue stripes to red stripes

Sabato's Web site this week also changed New Mexico from leaning Kerry to leaning Bush.

"We can no longer ignore a series of public and private tracking polls showing Bush narrowly ahead," Sabato wrote. "Bush almost carried it in 2000, and despite Gov. Bill Richardson and his work for Kerry, Bush might be able to pull New Mexico into the Republican column. These are five critical electoral votes, and we will be watching all the way through election night."

Good words for the Gov.

Speaking of Richardson, the governor received a whole bouquet of compliments in an e-mail news release before Kerry's stop in Las Cruces last week.

Only trouble is, it was from the Bush campaign using Richardson to try to trash Kerry.

"When Senator Kerry campaigns with Governor Bill Richardson tomorrow in New Mexico, Kerry will probably be standing on the left side of the podium," Bush campaign spokesman Danny Diaz wrote. "Richardson supports the death penalty, but Kerry has voted against it at least 18 times and even opposed the death penalty for terrorists. Richardson has proposed tax cuts, but Kerry has voted 98 times for tax increases totaling $2.3 trillion. Richardson signed New Mexico's concealed carry legislation into law, but John Kerry has an 'F' rating from the NRA."

Many New Mexican Republicans pull out their hair any time national GOP types refer to Richardson as a tax cutter. The governor did push through personal-income-tax cuts for the upper brackets and fought hard to get rid of the gross-receipts tax on food. But Republican legislators insist that other taxes and fees have gone up under Richardson.

Sleepless in Southern New Mexico
Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell, and two friends -- we don't know if they're Texans -- are driving around various Southern New Mexico communities on what they call the "No Sleep Till Tuesday Tour."

Foley and friends are meeting up with local GOP legislative candidates for get-out-the-vote rallies. U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., has joined the No Sleepers at some stops, Foley said. Crowds, he said, have ranged between 30 and 50 people.

"The key is to let people know there's an alternative on the ballot," Foley said.

While the tour made it as far north as Santa Rosa, no Santa Fe area stops are planned, Foley said.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A NAVAJO BLESSING FOR KERRY

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 27, 2004


ALBUQUERQUE _ Sen. John Kerry’s campaign rally kicked off Tuesday with a unique blend of politics, baseball and Navajo spirituality.

Chester Nez, one of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers from World War II -- who recently made sports headlines by blessing the Boston Red Sox when they were three games behind the New York Yankees in the American League playoffs -- gave a traditional Navajo blessing to Kerry’s campaign.

The Red Sox came back to win four straight games to vanquish the Yankees.

Kerry, who still is trailing President Bush in most polls, hopes the blessing works for him

Nez, 83, was dressed in a Red Sox warmup jacket and red cap as he sprinkled corn pollen in the four directions as thousands of Kerry supporters gathered at Albuquerque Civic Plaza cheered.

When Kerry took the microphone he thanked Nez. “The Code Talkers were such great patriots,” he said, referring to the Navajo Marines who transmitted messages in code based on the Navajo language in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, The Japanese never did crack the code.

“We are so grateful for your service,” Kerry said. “And the Red Sox are so grateful.”

Nez threw out the first pitch of an April Red Sox game and performed a blessing for the team. According to the Associated Press, when the Sox were one game away from being eliminated by the Yankees, “Nez stepped outside his home, faced east, and said another Navajo blessing.”
Kerry got cheers when he told the audience, “I want the red Sox to win the World Series, but the grand slam will be next week when we win the election.”

Kerry had no blessings for Bush during his 35-minute speech.

He hammered the President over the report earlier this week of hundreds of tons of explosives missing in Iraq. Terrorists, he said “may be helping themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history.”

Bus, Kerry said, “Tried to hide this information until after the election. And what did the president say when the news broke yesterday? Not a word. His silence confirms what I’ve been saying for months. We rushed into war without a plan to win the peace.”

Kerry also turned to familiar themes he’s stressed throughout the campaign -- that Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs during a term in office, and that Bush’s tax cuts mainly helped the wealthiest citizens.

“We need a president to fight not for the most powerful corporations in America, but for the families that built America and keep America strong,” he said.

He promised to raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour, increase the child care credit by $1,000 and establish a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition. He claimed the government could absorb these costs by cutting corporate welfare and rolling back Bush’s tax cuts for the highest income levels.

Kerry also promised to put Los Alamos National Laboratories and Sandia Laboratory to work on creating alternative energies.

“I want America’s energy future to not be in the hands of the Saudi Royal family,” he said.

In a written statement issued before Kerry‘s appearance, Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said “John Kerry’s ‘ripped from the headlines’ attacks are not a vision for winning the War on Terror and not enough to rally voters behind his plans for job-killing tax hikes.

“Kerry keeps trying to talk down New Mexico's economy, but can’t hide the reality that the state’s unemployment rate is below its average in the 1990’s, “ Diaz said. “Kerry's funding numbers for his energy trust fund don’t add up, and would take money needed for essential services like education away from New Mexico. New Mexicans aren’t going to trust a candidate who proposed slashing our intelligence budget by $6 billion after the first World Trade Center attack. I hope this wasn’t John Kerry’s last visit to New Mexico, because he leaves our state with less support after each trip.”

Early during his speech a small group began heckling Kerry. “That’s alright,” Kerry said. “Look folks, the mind is a terrible thing to waste. Nobody who attends my campaign rallies has to sign a loyalty oath. I welcome diversity of opinion.”

That was a dig at Bush, who has sometimes required people attending his rallies to sign statements of support. Organizers of a July event in Rio Rancho for Vice President Dick Cheney had such a requirement.

Monday, October 25, 2004

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting:
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Stand for the Fire Demon by Roky Erickson
One Kind Favor by Canned Heat
Cannibal's Hymn by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Top of the Hill By Tom Waits
Babbling Flower by Dead Meadow
Perfect Day by Lou Reed

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN SET
51-7
Take the Skinheads Bowling
O Death
New Roman Times
Jack Ruby
Tania
Hey Brother

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB SET
(All songs by American Music Club except where noted)

Ladies & Gentlemen
Jesus' Hands
Now You're Defeated
Myopic Books
No Easy Way Down by Mark Eitzel
It's Your Birthday
Johnny Mathis' Feet
The Devil Needs You

God's Eternal Love by Sally Timms
Ghosts of American Astronauts by The Mekons
I Hear They Smoke the Barbecue by Pere Ubu
Wonderful by Brian Wilson
Across the Bright Water by Bone Pilgrim
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


Saturday, October 23, 2004

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, October 21, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Ya'll Think She'd Be Good 2 Me by C.C. Adcock
Chere Bebe by BeauSoleil
Alons A Grand Coteu by Cyndi Lauper
Half a Boy Half a Man by Queen Ida
After the Mardi Gras by Big Al Anderson
Cajun Medley by Eugene Chadbourne
Blood of the Ram by The Gourds

If You Knew by Neko Case
I'm Gonna Take You Home and Make You Like Me by Robbie & Donna Fulks
Where's the Devil When You Need Him? by The Legendary Shack Shakers
Puttin' People On the Moon by Drive-By Truckers
Tell the King The Killer's Here by Ronny Elliott
New Fashioned Imperialist by Jason Ringenberg
I'd Have To Be Crazy by Willie Nelson
When That Helicopter Comes by The Handsome Family

Life, Love, Death and The Meter Man by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Turn That Chicken Down by Geraint Watkins
It Ain't Easy by Goshen
Squid Jiggin' Grounds by Peter Stampfel & The Bottlecaps
Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream by Blaze Foley
Strange Noises in the The Dark by The Austin Lounge Lizards
High on a Mountain Top by Loretta Lynn
Mike the Can Man by Joe West

Sad Mountain by Boris McCutcheon
Her by Richard Buckner
The Bum I Loathe is Dead and Gone by Desdemona Finch
This Old World by Buddy Miller
I Will Walk With You by John Fogerty
When You Sleep by Tres Chicas
Be My Love by NRBQ
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list



Friday, October 22, 2004

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: CLASSY REUNIONS

As published in the Santa Fe New Mexican
October 22, 2004

There’s one rock ‘n’ roll truism that generally holds true. “Reunion” albums -- works by bands that had broken up years ago -- generally tend to disappoint.

However, a couple of new CDs by bands rooted in the world of 1980s indie rock are exceptions to that rule. Like Mission of Burma’s sturdy OnOffOn released earlier this year, Camper Van Beethoven’s New Roman Times and American Music Club’s Love Songs For Patriots are surprisingly good.

Not only are they reunion albums that don’t suck, but they sound like natural additions to each band’s discography. And there’s not much nostalgic about either effort. Both are psychologically in tune with the here and now. These are the records that CVB and AMC would have released in 2004 even if they hadn’t broken up 10 or 15 years ago.

First the Camper album..

This California band -- probably best known for the goofball anthem “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” -- broke up in 1989, shortly after releasing Key Lime Pie.
Since then, singer David Lowery enjoyed some success with his band Cracker, while other CVBers splintered off into less successful ensembles such as The Monks of Doom.

The new album features the original CVB lineup, including violinist Jonathan Segal, whose crazed fiddling stands out here. Like their best work, the music on New Roman Times has audible folk/country roots, a sense of adventure that leads to forays into Mexican music, disco, avant garde noise rock, a little proto-disco and often overtones of Baltic or gypsy sounds (thank you Mr. Segal), with a viewpoint that veers from hipster wise-guy to earnest working man.

New Roman Times is nothing short of a rock opera. Playing off the very real current culture-war divisions or Red State/Blue State America, the songs tell a story of a new civil war in this country. The once united states have disintegrated into feudal fiefdoms (“the Republic of California”) and cold corporations (TexSecurIntellicorp) warring with one another.

The songs tell the story of a disillusioned, drug-addicted ex-soldier who breaks with his corporate masters to rejoin a rebel California militia to fight for truth, justice and hippie chicks.

But despite the backdrop of this Mad Max future, much of the lyrics are thinly-disguised acidic commentaries on today’s news and politics.

This is especially true of the song “Might Makes Right,” a reggae/tango in which the protagonist soldier begins to have doubts about the war he’s fighting.

“They want us from their villages/They want us from their towns/Who can really blame them?/Shit blows up when we’re around/ We fly above their house with our Huey double props/We scare the crap out of their kids/their mothers/and their flocks.”

And on the home front, there’s “Civil Disobedience,” a song of Patriot Act-inspired paranoia in which John Ashcroft probably deserves co-writing credits.

The album ends on a harsh note. The song “Hey Brother,” in which a suicide bomber prepares for his big bang. It’s not clear whether this is the protagonist or some nameless enemy. But with the bittersweet sweet gospel-influenced melody with a piercing steel guitar and lyrics such as “When we smite them with our swords/In the name of our just lord/We do bring glory to his name,” you know the ending isn’t a happy one.

But Camper fans should be happy about New Roman Times.
The same can be said about the new American Music Club album.

AMC never even reached Camper Van Beethoven’s modest level of fame. Even so, the group made some of the most striking music of the late ’80s and early ’90s. The band broke up in 1994 after their second major-label album San Francisco.
Singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel, whose boozy, usually bleak, but incisive emotional rages were always the core of the Music Club's sound, went on to produce a steady stream of solo albums.

However, Love Songs For Patriots is a perfect illustration of what Eitzel’s solo work lacked. His bandmates perfectly color the open wounds of Eitzel’s lyrics. With the band behind him, each bruise is a rainbow. An AMC realizes this from the first cut, “Ladies & Gentlemen” where a rumbling guitar crashes against a pounding piano and crashing drum in the first song,

Sometimes the accompaniment is pretty, like the gentle acoustic folky guitar-based sound of “Myopic Books” and “Song of the Rats Laving the Sinking Ship.” Sometimes they create what sounds like an atonal psychological thunderstorm like the last four minutes or so of the closing 7-minute tune “The Devil Needs You.” And some songs, like “Love Is,” have elements of aural beauty as well as dissonance.

And to be sure, Eitzel is still writing some powerful lyrics. The stand-out here is “Patriot’s Heart,” which has little to do with poliitcs, at least as most of us know it. It’s the story of a male stripper in a gay club.

At one point Eitzel shouts, like the dancer screaming at a patron: “Aw come on grandpa, remind me of what we’re celebrating/That your heart finally dried up?/Or it finally stopped working?” Drummer Tim Moody provides a harsh, near martial-beat while new member Vudi plays his piano like it’s a percussion instrument.

Not all is darkness here. The group sneaks in some subtle humor. In “Myopic Books,” Eitzel longs for a bookstore where they play Dinosaur Jr. and “the people who work there would be super skinny/and super unfriendly/That would make me happy.”

As is the case with their best material, American Music Club makes depression sound almost attractive.

Hear this stuff on the radio!: Hear 30 minutes of Camper Van Beethoven and 30 minutes of American Music Club and Mark Eitzel Sunday night on Terrell’s Sound World on KSFR, 90.7 FM (streaming live on www.ksfr.org) CVB will start just after 10:30 p.m. MDT, while AMC will begin right after the 11th hour.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: SENATE? HOUSE?

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 21, 2004

State Sen. Joe Carraro, R-Albuquerque, thought he had a safe glide to election day with no opponent in his re-election bid for his Senate District 23 seat.

Or so he thought.

This week Carraro found a political postcard in his mailbox that gave him a start.

It was from New Mexico Progressive Action, a liberal PAC, seeking votes for Democrat Janice Kando for Senate District 23.

“All these people kept calling me up saying, ‘Joe, you need any help in the campaign,’ “ Carraro said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I kept telling them I was unopposed, but they said they thought I had an opponent.”

Carraro said after he got the postcard he called the state Bureau of Elections just to make sure.

In reality, Kando, a family physician with a Corrales address, is running for the seat in House District 23, against Republican incumbent Rep. Eric Youngberg.

Carraro said he’s not sure whether Kando or her supporters actually thought she was running against him.

Apparently that’s not the case. Though Kando couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, her website makes it clear she’s running for the House. “NM House District 23” is even part of her campaign logo.

David Duhigg, treasurer of New Mexico Progressive Action, whose name appeared on the cards, couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Easy races

Carraro said that while it’s good not to have to worry about campaigning he almost wishes he did have an opponent. “I’m going to win, but I’m not going to beat my record,” Carraro said. That record was in 2000 when Carraro won 83 percent of the vote against a Libertarian opponent in the general election.

Actually the state legislative races could use a lot more competition. This year 25 of the 42 Senate seats have only one candidate running. There are 13 unopposed Republican senators and 12 unopposed Democrats. And despite rumors to the contrary, not all of those are running for Senate president pro tem.

This is up from 19 races with only one name on the ballot in 2000.

It’s a similar picture on the House side where 43 of the 70 seats are uncontested this year. Twenty five of those are Democrats while 18 are Republicans.

Poll dancing

Because of an agreement with Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, MSNBC and Knight-Ridder newspapers, we can’t tell you the result of the latest New Mexican/KOB-TV poll on the presidential race until Friday’s paper.

But in the meantime, for the benefit of all you poll junkies out there, another statewide poll of New Mexico voters was released Wednesday.

American Research, Inc., an independent firm based in New Hampshire, shows Sen. John Kerry at 48 percent to President Bush’s 46 percent. Ralph Nader has one percent in this poll, while five percent are undecided.

Although Kerry has a slight edge, it is well within the 4 percent margin of error.

The bad news for Kerry is that he was up by five percent in the AMG New Mexico poll a month ago and ahead by seven points two months ago.

AMG polled 600 likely voters in the state. Interviews were conducted Saturday through Monday.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

LIBERALS WALK AMONG US

A version of this story was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 20, 2004


When the Kerry campaign announced this week that their candidate would be appearing in Las Cruces, the state Bush campaign responded with an e-mail statement from spokesman Danny Diaz that began, "John Kerry's attempt to run from his liberal record is taking him to Las Cruces this weekend."

The prominent use of the word "liberal" is consistent with a tried-and-true Republican strategy. In the final debate between President Bush and Kerry last week, Bush repeatedly used the "L-word" to hammer Kerry.

And of course the word "liberal" is used quite liberally in Republican political commercials, which have been bombarding New Mexico and other swing states this year. (The recently released report of the Nielsen Monitor-Plus and The University of Wisconsin Advertising Project shows Albuquerque to be the number two market in the United States for campaign ads, second only to Miami, Fla. during the period of September 24 - October 7.)

References such as "John Kerry and the liberals in Congress" are aired constantly here in an attempt to persuade voters to reject Kerry.

Syndicated columnist Robert Sheer recently wrote a piece that said, "I like liberals. They gave us the five-day workweek; ended child labor; invented unemployment insurance, Social Security and Medicare; and led us, despite fierce opposition from 'America First' pseudo-patriots on the political right, to victory over fascism in World War II. Liberals also ended racial segregation and gave women the vote."

However, a new poll for The New Mexican and KOB-TV illustrate why Kerry and other Democrats don't try to reclaim the word liberal as something positive. The poll shows that the "liberal" label hurts far more than it helps.

Mason-Dixon Polling and Research of Washington, D.C. asked 625 likely voters statewide last week, "If a candidate describes themselves as "liberal", does that make you more likely to vote for them, less likely to vote for them, or do such labels have no real effect on your vote?"

Twenty eight percent said they would be less likely to vote for a self-described liberal. Only seven percent said they would be more likely to vote for an admitted liberal. Of the remaining voters, 62 percent said there would be no effect, while 3 percent said they were unsure.

The results were predictable among supporters of Bush and Kerry. Of the Bush supporters, 53 percent said the liberal label would make them less likely to vote for a candidate while none said it would make them more likely. Of the Kerry supporters, 17 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate calling himself "liberal," while only one percent said less likely."

Undecided voters - who are the target audience for all the campaign ads - tend not to like the description of liberal. None said they'd be more likely to vote for a self-described liberal, while 22 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for such a candidate.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that "liberal" in the past 35 years or so, has become a "radioactive" word.

"I believe it's a reaction to the excesses of the '60s," Sabato said. "It was the era of riots, assassinations, Vietnam, overspending. It's a reaction against the attitude that if we throw enough money at a problem we'll solve it."

Sabato said the word has been poison since about 1968.

New Mexico pollster Brian Sanderoff, in an interview Tuesday, said that 1968 might be the last time any presidential used the word in a positive way.

Sanderoff, who operates Research and Polling Inc. of Albuquerque, said that Hubert Humphrey, running for president that year against Richard Nixon, had a commercial that had a man-in-the-street saying Humphrey was "a good liberal man."

Sanderoff said when Republicans repeatedly use the word "liberal" to tarnish an opponent, they are playing directly to conservative-to-moderate Democrats and independents.

"New Mexico has 32 percent Republicans and 51 percent Democrats," he said. To win, Republican candidates must appeal to "Anglo moderate to conservative Democrats. That's who really decides elections in this state."

Albuquerque consultant Doug Turner - who has worked for several Republican campaigns including that of former Gov. Gary Johnson - said Tuesday that Republican candidates label their opponents as "liberals" to appeal to a more conservative base.

"Republicans have spent a lot of energy drawing negative associations to that word," Turner said. "People have to put their views and perspectives into 30-second spots and drive it over again and again and again."

Turner is not currently working for any campaigns. His business now concentrates on corporate public relations.

Turner, Sanderoff and Sabato agreed that Democrats haven't been successful at making "conservative" a charged word.

"Many Hispanics, who always vote Democrat describe themselves as 'conservative,' Sanderoff said. "And they are on many social issues."

However some Democrat ads use the description "right-wing" to describe their conservative opponents. " 'Right-wing' means 'extreme,' out of the mainstream," Sabato said.

"Democrats will point out that their Republican opponents 'always vote with the Republican leadership,' "

Sanderoff said. "That's an appeal to those conservative-to-moderate Democrats. It's telling them, 'You don't want someone who votes with the Republican leadership all the time.' "

Monday, October 18, 2004

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAY LIST

Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
I'm in Love Again by Fats Domino
Get Ready For Love by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Starry Eyes by Roky Erikson with Luanne Barton
More of You by The Fleshtones
Where Were You by The Mekons
Puddin' Truck by NRBQ
You're My Girl by Neil Young
Mr. Soul by Buffalo Springfield

My Name is Mud by Primus
One Reporter's Opinion by The Minutemen
That Gum You Like Is Back in Style by Camper Van Beethoven
A Love Supreme by The Twilight Singers
Drugs (Electricity) by The Talking Heads
Sentimental Marching Song by Sally Timms
All in a Day by Joe Strummer
Hornet's Heart by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Waitin' For Waits by Richie Cole
Don't Go Into That Barn by Tom Waits
Murder in the Red Barn by John Hammond
Heart Attack and Vine by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Way Down in the Hole by The Blind Boys of Alabama
Dead and Lovely by Tom Waits

Patriot's Heart by American Music Club
Demons and Fiends by Robyn Hitchcock
Step Into the Light by Mavis Staples
Not Alone Anymore by The Traveling Wilburys
Wind Chimes by Brian Wilson
Carrickfergus by Van Morrison & The Chieftains
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, October 16, 2004

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAY LIST

The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, October 15, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting:
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Lower 48 by The Gourds
Cussin' in Tongues by The Legendary Shack Shakers
Why You Always Cheatin' On Me? by Nancy Apple

Nancy Apple Live Set

Bears in the Woods
My Boyfriend
Table For Two, Dinner For One
Angel Cried
Pride
You're the Reason
Shoulda Lied About That
Fruit of the Vine
Truck Driver's Woman

Midnight Rodeo by Cordell Jackson
Honey Do by John Fogerty
Honey Don't by The Beatles
Home to Houston by Steve Earle
Tuskegee Pride by Jason Ringenberg
Let's Live Together by Robbie Fulks
I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine by Elvis Presley
Next Stop Santa Fe by Sid Hausman & Washtub Jerry
Wrong by Splitlip Rayfield

Town by The Dashboard Saviors
Music Man by Hank & Nancy Webster
Two Seconds by Laura Cantrell
Somewhere in My Heart by The Volebeats
I'm Falling in Love Again by Willie Nelson
Sold American by Kinky Friedman
Jacob's Ladder by Greg Brown
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list


Friday, October 15, 2004

A SLAP IN THE FACE

Here's hours of bi-partisan political entertainment Chuck the Duck just sent me.

Slap the candidate of your choice. CLICK HERE

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: WORTH THE WAITS

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 15, 2004



Real Gone is Tom Waits’ roughest, most grating and most out-there albums since -- well, maybe this one is his roughest, most grating and most out-there album ever.

Starting out with a crazed, five-minute human beat-box, clunky, funky out-Becking Beck nonsense workout called “Top of the Hill”, which hands off the baton to a gritty Latin-flavored tune called “Hoist That Rag,” which sounds like he’s fronting Giant Sand trying to be Santana, Waits lets us listeners know that we’re in for a crazy ride.

The very title recalls Elvis’ challenge to his band after the false start of “Mystery Train”: “Hold it fellas, that don’t move. Let’s get real, real gone for a change.”

So Waits gets more gone than Elvis ever imagined.

But even though Real Gone may be something of an acquired taste for a casual Waits fan, and even takes a little time to warm up to for Waits zealots like myself, this album is definitely worth the time and effort. While its charms aren’t as obvious as those of Mule Variations or Frank’s Wild Years, Real Gone is an amazing piece of work.

Some of Waits’ best musical collaborators play here. Guitarist Marc Ribot, who helped Waits redefine his sound in the mid ‘80s, returns here. Les Claypool of Primus plays bass on a few cuts, though most of those duties are covered by Larry “The Mole” Taylor (a founding member of Canned Heat). Waits’ wife Kathleen Brennan co-wrote the songs (I still say she’s the anti-Yoko, because Waits’ work improved after she started collaborating with him) and their son Casey plays turntables and drums.

As for Waits, he sings (as well as, grumbling, mumbling, scatting and sometimes screaming,) he plays guitar, he creates percussion tracks with vocal loops, and on a spoken-word recitation called “Circus” he plays the chamberlain.

But he doesn’t play piano. In fact this is the first album he’s ever made where he doesn’t touch the piano. Back in the ‘70s he told us “The Piano Has Been Drinking." Maybe now the piano’s in rehab. At any rate, it’s a radical departure for a musician who first became famous playing piano with a beatniked-up cocktail jazz sound.

Real Gone, for the most part has two basic styles. There are noise songs like “Top of the Hill,” “Metropolitan Glide” and the 46-second post-modern chain chant “Clang Boom Steam”

And there’s songs that might be described as blues noir/grainy art-house torch tunes. These are my favorites.

They include the 10-minute “Sins of My Father.” Some complain it‘s too long, but the length just becomes part of its captivating hypnotic power.

There’s “Dead and Lovely,” a classic Waits cautionary tale of a good girl who falls in with a bad, bad dude. The title tells you it ends tragically.

“Make It Rain” starts out with a blues cliché, but Waits is well aware that this road has been traveled. “She took all my money and my best friend/You know the story/Here it comes again.”

One of the scariest tunes Waits has ever done is “Don’t Go Into That Barn.” Could this be a continuation of the story he first told more than a decade ago in “Murder in the Red Barn”?

In a chilling call and response between evil-doers, (with Waits calling as well as responding), the signer growls “Did you bury your fire? /Yes, sir!/ Did you cover your tracks?/ Yes, sir!/ Did you clean your knife?/ Yes, sir!/ Did they see your face?/ No sir!/ Did the moon see you?/ No sir!

Some tunes are an unholy cross between noise tracks and raunchy blues. Such is “Shake It,” in which both Ribot and Taylor play guitar while Claypool’s bass rumbles and Waits wails "like a preacher waving a gun around.”

Most of the album has an otherworldly feel about it. Te sound quality is almost tinny, as if it was the unearthed soundtrack from some long forgotten surrealist film.

But at the end of the album Waits brings us abruptly into the present with what turns out to be one of the strongest anti-war songs of the Operation Iraqi Freedom era.

The narrator of “The Day After Tomorrow” is a lonely soldier. With Waits’ raspy voice, you know it’s got to be a real dogface right out of a Bill Mauldin cartoon.

With Waits writing one of his saddest melodies in recent memory, this song is the “grand weeper” among all the “grim reapers.”

The singer, writing a letter to loved ones back home, is cold and “tired of taking orders.” He shudders at the bloodshed he’s seen, but doesn’t dwell on it. “I still don’t know how I’m supposed to feel at all the blood that has been spilled.” And he wonders about the enemy praying to God. “How does God chose? Whose prayers does he refuse?”

But mostly he’s having bittersweet nostalgia about home. “What I miss you won’t believe/ Shoveling snow and raking leaves.”

He’s coming home, he says, the day after tomorrow. But the listener can’t help but wonder. Is death waiting around the corner? Is this show going to drop? A lesser writer would have had the song end in a terrible tragedy. Waits, in his wisdom lets you wonder. Waits lets you hope.

Real Gone can be considered Waits’ first new album of the millennium. True, he released two albums, Blood Money and Alice in 2002. However both of those were from theater works and were composed years before. Real Gone is a sometimes difficult album for difficult times.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: SEXING UP THE ELECTION

As published in the Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 14, 2004

According to New Mexico election lore, miniature bottles of whiskey was always the traditional method to entice otherwise reluctant voters to the polls. But a Web site erected by a group of Harvard and Columbia University alums is trying something different to penetrate the low-turnout problem.

Votergasm.org, according to its mission statement, is "a non-partisan nonprofit campaign formed to simultaneously reverse two disturbing trends in American society: low voting rates among young people, and unacceptably low rates of youth sexual activity."

Don't panic. They're only talking about youth who are old enough to vote.

Participants are asked to sign a pledge. There are three levels.

* To be a "Citizen," one must pledge to withhold sex from non-voters for the week following the election.

* To be a "Patriot," one must pledge to have sex with a voter on election night and to withhold sex from non-voters for the next week.

* To be known as an "American Hero" one must pledge to have sex with a voter on election night and withhold sex from non-voters for the next four years.

The Web site has a section to help organize election night parties. "Make your party sexy without being sleazy," Votergasm advises.

Such parties are listed by the state. So far the response from New Mexico has been rather limp. Only one is listed in New Mexico.

Most of you probably think it's in Albuquerque, the home of all those free-love college students at the University of New Mexico who read about Votergasm last month in the Daily Lobo. Or perhaps in liberal Santa Fe.

However, the sole Votergasm election night party listed is in that Sin City on the San Juan -- Farmington.

But alas, the guy who posted on the site said he just did out of curiosity.

In an e-mail Wednesday the 19-year-old man who asked to be identified only by his first name, Cody wrote "I actually heard about it on Rush Limbaugh."

Limbaugh, who has talked about Votergasm at least three times on his national radio show and Votergasm, which has links to Limbaugh's transcripts, have each had some fun at each others' expense.

Cody, who indicated he's supporting said he posted "just to see what kind of turn out it would get and see how far people would go just for a presidential election."

He's received only one response so far -- in addition to the query from this columnist. Cody said he's not really going to have an election night party.

Rapidly responding

Most polls give John Kerry a slight edge over President Bush in last Friday's debate, while many pundits declared that debate a tie.

But there's one aspect of the debate that Bush won hands down: The rapid response battle.
While the general public is busy watching the debate, each political camp has a team of laptop warriors scurrying to find contradictions or arguments to oppose what the opponent just said.

I assume both sides have a similar operation to the Democratic "war room" I visited during the Republican Convention in New York - rows of tables where the rapid-response teams Google and Lexus/Nexus away to create instant press releases to make the other guy look bad.

Judging from my e-mail inbox, the Bush camp was twice as aggressive as Kerry's on Friday.

Counting e-mails from the time the debate started until shortly before midnight (which actually is an artificial cut-off time as the partisan debate analysis resumed early Saturday), the Republicans sent 26 e-mails compared to 12 from the Democrats.

These includes electronic correspondence from the national as well as state campaigns.

Bush's numbers might be slightly padded. For instance I got two e-mails with Bernalillo County Republican Chairman Darren White's analysis of the debate. (Surprise, surprise. Bush won according to White.)

The Kerry squad wins for the funniest heading though. While most of Bush's Most of their e-mails during the debate had the subject heading of "Breaking Debate Fact" (they were numbered, going up to 12), Kerry's e-mails were called "Bush vs. Reality."

After the debate both sides sent out favorable quotes from various commentators.

I'm writing this an hour and a half before Wednesday's third and final presidential debate. I have no doubt that my inbox will be full again tonight. Already I've received an e-mail from the Kerry folks with the subject heading "Prebuttal - What This Election is Really About."

DEBATE WATCH: THE FINAL ROUND

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 14, 2004


The final debate between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry changed few if any minds in the audience that watched the event at Santa Fe Community College Wednesday.

But, with the election less than three weeks away the passion levels of both sides seemed to be at full throttle.

Just like the previous debate-watching parties at the college during the past two weeks, about 100 people showed up.

Judging from comments made after the debate during a discussion broadcast on KSFR, 90.7 FM -- as well as crowd reactions during the debates -- Kerry supporters seemed to outnumber Bush voters, which isn’t surprising for a community in which Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans.

However, Republicans made a bigger show of force than they did at previous debates.

While there was some loud reaction to some speakers -- and toward the end of the night many Bush supporters walked out en mass on one speaker who was critical of Bush -- there was no moment as tense as last Friday when some audience members began shouting at former Republican Congressman Bill Redmond.

Local leaders of the two campaigns showed up to support their candidates.

Democrat John Pound, local chairman of the Kerry-Edwards campaign, said, “We’ve watched all four debates. I want you to ask yourself, who is the most intelligent? Who expresses the most wisdom.”

Pound’s conclusion was predictable.

Republican Bob Parmelee, county chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, echoed Bush’s criticism of Kerry for calling the nations that helped the U.S. in the Iraq war “the coalition of the coerced and bribed.”

“What a way to build a coalition,” he said. Parmelee also blasted Kerry’s sister for going to Australia and backing a candidate who favored pulling that nation out of Iraq.

Parmelee said that nearly three fourths of soldiers in Iraq are backing Bush.

Phillip Chavez, a New Mexico National Guardsman who recently returned from serving eight months in Iraq, said sarcastically that he didn’t know the U.S. was losing the war until he got back home. Chavez said spirits are high among the troops in Iraq.

However Mary Jo Boyd, who said she was visiting from Texas, said many soldiers are afraid to express their true feelings against Bush and the war. “If my sons were drafted I’d tell them to be very careful about saying anything opposed to the president.

A man named Francis said, “Bush absolutely did not respond to the question about the minimum wage. He has no intention of raising the minimum wage from the dismal $5.15 an hour.”

But Leonard Rodriguez said, “Whether it’s $5.15 or $7 an hour, poor is poor. Education is what will change that.” He said Bush is stronger on education than Kerry.

Michael Rothberg prompted the Republican walk-out when he made a lengthy statement against Bush. Rothberg said his grandfather was a millionaire when he died, but he was glad that his family had to pay a 50 percent estate tax. He said Bush’s tax cuts didn’t help the economy because there is so little manufacturing in this country.

“Who benefited? China?” He said he would have rather have seen the money spent on tax cuts be used to build bridges because Americans, not Chinese, would be hired.

When Rothberg went on, one Bush supporter yelled, “Filbuster!” At that point several Bush backers began leaving.

Across town, singer-songwriter Carole King -- famous for songs such as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Natural Woman,” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” -- watched the debate with Democrats at Kerry-Edwards headquarters in Solana Center.

King, who has been campaigning for Kerry in several cities around the state this week, said in a telephone interview after the debate that Kerry is the first presidential candidate she’s campaigned for since Gary Hart in 1984.

“For the past three and a half years, I’ve felt the country has been going in the wrong direction and I’ve felt so frustrated and powerless, I decided I’d better get off my duff and support the man I know is so clearly a strong leader.”

She said she’s known Kerry for years. “I’m a resident of a rural community in Idaho called Custer County. It’s just over the hill from a vacation home owned by John and Teresa.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

BIKING WITH KERRY

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 13, 2004


Sen. John Kerry decided to take a short break from his debate preparations Tuesday and take a little bike ride up Canyon Road.

Of course when you’re running for president, nothing is that simple. The Democratic candidate was accompanied by two Secret Service agents on bikes, two state police cruisers and at least one sports utility vehicle full of law enforcement officials.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Kerry and his protectors left the Inn at Loretto — where he has been boning up on domestic issues for tonight’s debate with President Bush. Wearing a Navy blue shirt and shorts, Kerry waved as he passed a group of people on East Alameda.

When he left the hotel Kerry wasn’t wearing his orange and yellow striped helmet. However when he returned about 4:30 p.m., the helmet was on his head.

Kerry rode his Serotta Colorado III road bike, manufactured by a New-York based company that specializes in custom-made bikes. Kerry’s press secretary David Wade said Kerry takes the bike with him on the campaign trail.

The New York Times reported in May that Kerry owns two Serotta bikes, the Colorado — which according to the company’s website retails for about $1,900 — and an Ottrott, which sells for about $8,000.

Among the pedestrians who saw Kerry were Fran and Allen Kirschner, tourists from Philadelphia who are Kerry volunteers in Pennsylvania.

“We didn’t know he was going to be in town,” said Fran Kirschner, who said the couple stopped in Santa Fe before going to Denver to visit their son. “We were just coming from the state Capitol. We saw Bill Richardson too.” Richardson was in the Capitol rotunda Tuesday to sign a contract with state employees who are members of the Communications Workers of America union.

“We just saw Kerry give a speech at a rally at the University of Pennsylvania,” Fran Kirschner said.

Meanwhile, campaign officials said Kerry decided to extend his Santa Fe visit. Instead of leaving for Arizona Tuesday as originally planned, he decided to stay an extra night.

“He intends to watch the Red Sox game tonight,” Wade said. The senator from Massachusetts is a fan of the Boston Red Sox, who on Tuesday played their rivals the New York Yankees in the first game of the American League Championship series.

Kerry will fly out of Albuquerque about 10 a.m., spokesman Ruben Pulido said.

Wade said Kerry was spending part of his debate preparations in mock debates with two podiums and a table.

Greg Craig, a former Clinton administration lawyer, is portraying Bush in the practice debates, Wade said. Campaign advisors Bob Shrum and Ron Klain are taking turns portraying the Tempe, Ariz., debate moderator, CBS newsman Bob Schieffer.

Asked how Craig, who has played Bush in previous debate rehearsals with Kerry, prepared for the role, Wade joked, “He learned to swagger.”

Craig doesn’t actually sound like Bush, Wade said. “But he’s done a good job researching Bush speeches and attack lines,” he said.

Among Kerry’s domestic advisors in Santa Fe is U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. Frank has expressed interest in running for Kerry’s Senate seat if Kerry wins the presidency.

Another adviser is Gene Sperling, who was President Clinton’s national economic policy adviser.

Shortly after Kerry returned from his bicycle trip, Sperling was spotted going into the hotel. He was carrying a box of dinosaur bones he’d just bought from a downtown store called Dinosaurs and More.

Sperling said his job is to help Kerry boil down complicated economic issues into succinct points that can be made in the 90-second segments allowed in the debate. “That’s the really hard part, what are the few key points,” he said.

Although Kerry has a reputation to be long-winded, Sperling said the candidate has had no trouble in keeping to the time limits. “I think you saw that in the first two debates,” he said.

Although Kerry is leaving town, more political celebrities are descending upon Santa Fe today.

* Feminist movement pioneer and co-founder of Ms. magazine Gloria Steinem will “discuss the women's vote over eggs and chile” at a breakfast at El Farol, 808 Canyon Road. The $100-a-plate event, scheduled for 8 a.m. will benefit N.M. Women Vote 2004, a program designed to turn out 11,000 infrequent female voters in November. New Mexico’s First Lady Barbara Richardson also will appear at the event.

* Singer-songwriter Carol King will host a “women’s town hall meeting” 3 p.m. at Wild Oats Community Center, 1090 St. Francis Drive. King sang her 1971 hit “You’ve Got a Friend” at the Democratic National Convention in July. The meeting is sponsored by the state Democratic Party. For reservations call 982-5727.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

THE POLITICAL CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 12, 2004


Dozens of people gathered at the Plaza gazebo Monday holding umbrellas in the drizzling rain as CNN's Inside Politics telecast live from Santa Fe.

But the most heard question among the onlookers wasn't concerned about the topics host Judy Woodruff was talking about. Instead, Santa Feans wanted to know, "Is Kerry supposed to speak here?"

Many were disappointed when they learned the answer.

Indeed, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was in the neighborhood, just a couple of blocks away. He was holed up at the Inn at Loretto, preparing for Wednesday's debate with President Bush.

Members of the Santa Fe Police Department SWAT team, who are responsible for protecting visiting dignitaries, were stationed visibly on the first floor of the hotel. The lobby had heavy traffic by members of the national press who are following Kerry. Dozens of these were filing stories from laptop computers in the Chaco Room in the basement level of the Inn.

Kerry went to the hotel immediately after his speech at Sweeney Center and didn't emerge all day, campaign spokesman Ruben Pulido said.

"He stuck to just working," Pulido said. "He had breakfast from room service. For lunch they picked up food for him at The Shed. He ate enchiladas verde and green chile stew."

With Kerry were members of his domestic policy team including economic adviser Gene Sperling as well as campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, Pulido said.

Greg Craig, a former Clinton administration lawyer, is in Santa Fe to portray Bush in practice debates, Pulido said. Bob Shrum, a Kerry campaign strategist, is portraying the Tempe, Ariz. debate moderator, CBS newsman Bob Schieffer.

Two CNN programs - Inside Politics and 360° with Anderson Cooper - were telecast live from the Plaza Monday. CNN's American Morning with Soledad O'Brien and Bill Hemmer will be there today beginning at 5 a.m.

Santa Fe is just one of the stops for CNN, which is being telecast from various cities in battleground states.

But though the news network wanted to show some local color, CNN initially wanted to park its Election Express bus directly behind the gazebo, which would have completely blocked the view of the Palace of the Governors, a state Tourism Department official said.

State tourism marketing director Jon Hendry told a reporter that he tried to convince CNN officials to allow a full view of the Palace, the oldest public building in the U.S. Hendry said a compromise was reached in which the bus would only block about half of the view of the Palace.

In front of the bus, on the Plaza sidewalk were bales of hay topped by large pumpkins. Hendry denied he was responsible for these props.

When Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter took the stage, Woodruff told her - off camera, "Welcome to cold, wet New Mexico." She told Cutter that she hadn't planned on Monday's rain. Woodruff's legs were covered in a Indian-style blanket, Woodruff said was bought just before the show to keep her warm. "Sorry I don't have one for you," she said.

During Woodruff's show, some Kerry supporters tried to get behind the gazebo to show their campaign signs.

Patricia Anderson, who sells jewelry beneath the Palace portal, said she tried to show her sign that read "Native Americans for Kerry-Edwards, Catch the Dream" on camera. But Anderson said she was stopped several times by private security guards. Instead Anderson stood with a group of about a half dozen people holding their signs across Palace Avenue from the Plaza. They could be seen from a distance on television.

When Cooper's show came on later Monday, CNN apparently relented. A large and enthusiastic group of Kerry supporters waved their signs every time Cooper was on camera.

{For coverage of John Kerry's speech CLICK HERE}


Monday, October 11, 2004

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAY LIST

{Note: I didn't host The Santa Fe Opry Friday because I was covering the debate watch at Santa Fe Community College. Kevin Stone of KSFR's Coffee House substituted for me. I don't jave his play list but I know he ended the show with Tammy Faye Starlite's "The South is Gonna Rise Again."}

Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting: http://www.ksfr.org
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell
Co-host; Laurell Reynolds


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Run Through the Jungle by Link Wray
Deja Vu (All Over Again) by John Fogerty
Have You Ever Seen the Rain by The Ramones
Zig Zag Wanderer by Captain Beefheart
Hard Loving Man by The Fleshtones
Undercover of the Night by The Rolling Stones
Drivin' South by Jimi Hendrix

Three Blind Mice by The Electras
The Lumberjack Song by Monty Python
War Pigs by Black Sabbath
Birthday by The Beatles
I Found Out by Nathaniel Mayer
Gloria by Van Morrison With John Lee Hooker

Heroes and Villains by Brian Wilson
Love and Mercy by Jeff Tweedy
Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine by Brian Wilson
Hang on to Your Ego by Frank Black
Wonderful by Brian Wilson
Surf's Up by David Thomas
Heros and Villains by Geraint Watkins
In Blue Hawaii by Brian Wilson

It's Allright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding by Bob Dylan
Sam Stone by John Prine
Day After Tomorrow by Tom Waits
The Deserter by Fairport Convention
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


Friday, October 08, 2004

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: SMILE A LITTLE SMILE FOR ME

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 8, 2004


The great ethereal art-rock Philosopher’s Stone, The Beach Boys’ fabled “teenage symphony to God” known as Smile is finally a reality -- though now it‘s a 62-year-old man‘s symphony to eternity.

Brian Wilson Presents Smile, released last week, is nothing less than an artistic triumph, an eccentric, often-emotion trip through American history as seen through the drug-addled eyes of youth in the late ‘60s. There are stretches of intense melancholy, moments of sheer silliness, tears, smiles, banjos, theremins, French horns, Beach Boys-style harmonies, barnyard noises, fake Hawaiian music, orchestral flourishes, crow cries uncovering the cornfields, columnated ruins dominoing, fresh, crispy vegetables …

As the Bioneers would say, it’s all alive, it’s all intelligent, it’s all connected.

A little history for those not versed in Smilelore:

It was Wilson’s friendly -- but very serious -- rivalry with The Beatles that led him to start the album that he first called “Dumb Angel,” but later became known as Smile.

Teaming up with then-unknown songwriter Van Dyke Parks and the best studio musicians in L.A. Wilson recorded untold hours of sessions for the album, intended to be even more artful than Pet Sounds and more cosmic than “Good Vibrations.”

But Wilson‘s increasingly bizarre behavior during these sessions showed that his mental state was slipping into the abyss.

Capitol Records, which back then was cranking out two or three Beach Boys albums a year, kept pressuring Wilson to finish Smile. The company even printed covers for the album for an early 1967.

There were other pressures as well. The other Beach Boys, especially Mike Love, hated the strange music, hated the weird lyrics by Parks and hated what Brian Wilson had become. And Wilson’s already fragile psyche wasn’t helped by the amount of LSD and speed he was consuming.

By the time The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Wilson cracked. It was the start of a decades-long exile in Banana Land for Brian. The group did a half-hearted salvage job on the shambles that was Smile with Smiley Smile, which was released in late 1967.

A few stray Smile tunes popped up through the years on Beach Boys albums. And of course there were jillions of bootlegs of the Smile sessions in various forms.

In 1993, the Beach Boys’ box set Good Vibrations contained a generous suite of Smile material. Still, this was only a hint of what Smile could have been. It left a fan only wanting more.

For years Wilson has expressed reluctance about revisiting Smile. Nothing but bad memories from a terrible period in his life, he’d say. But with the steady goading of his wife and members of his latest touring band The Wondermints, Wilson finally agreed to finish what he’d started all those years ago.

I had hoped that one day Wilson would go to the vaults and finally patch together a definitive version of the album. Instead, Wilson and The Wondermints recorded entirely new tracks. And, with the help of Parks, Wilson even wrote some new material for the project.

I was disappointed with the new live version of Pet Sounds Wilson released a couple of years ago. It gave me little reason to hope for the new Smile. Plus, I was one of those jaded rock ‘n’ roll cynics who feared that remaking the lost masterpiece would ultimately cheapen the mystery and mythology of Smile.

I was in for a fantastic surprise.

First of all, there are some first-rate songs here. I always thought “Heroes and Villains” was musically stranger -- and stronger -- than “Good Vibrations.” It tells a vague story with the historical backdrop of the western migration of this country. It’s done here complete with the “in the cantina” bridge that was missing from the original single.

And the melody of the chorus is hauntingly reprised in various points in the album, most noticeably in “Roll Plymouth Rock,” (originally titled “Do You Like Worms/“) which deals with the European conquest of America from Plymouth Rock to Hawaii. To the “Heroes and Villains” melody, Wilson sings, “Bicycle rider, just see what you’ve done to the church of the American Indian.”

There’s “Cabin Essence,” a wistful meditation on frontier life accented by a lone plunking banjo, a sad harmonica and a weirdo chorus chirping “doing doing doing” The scene is pastoral until the last when ominous visions of the railroad crossing the country and the Grand Coulee Dam spring forth.

And perhaps the grandest Wilson song of them all, “Surf’s Up” is the album’s centerpiece. It’s one of the saddest tunes Wilson ever wrote: “A choke of grief, hard-hearted I/Beyond belief a broken man too tough to cry.”

“Surf’s Up” is preceded here by two cuts that seem to serve as introductions, “Song For Children” and “Child is Father to the Man,” playing not only with the background vocal part in final refrain of “Surf’s Up” but with a melody line from “Good Vibrations.”

There’s even snips of cover songs that crop up on Smile. There’s a verse of Johnny Mercer’s “I Wanna Be Around,” (best known in its Tony Bennett version) hiding between “I’m in Great Shape” and “Workshop.”

But the best of all is “You Are My Sunshine.” This country classic is recast with some of the saddest chords ever played by man, sung by Wilson backed by weeping strings and clicking percussion. The depressing mood is broken by a cheerful honking sax.

Perhaps Smile isn’t the ultimate pop album of all time as some of the hype that surrounded the great lost work implied. It’s often disjointed and if you’re like Mike Love and want song lyrics to always make literal sense, this album will only frustrate you.

But for me Smile is pure pop pleasure and ultimate proof of Brian Wilson’s crazy genius.

For more information on Smile, CLICK HERE

NEW MEXICAN VOTERS PANEL: THE DEBATES SO FAR

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 8, 2004


The overwhelming consensus of a panel of Santa Fe area voters following the presidential election -- including most of those leaning toward President Bush -- is that Bush lost the first debate last week.

However neither the first presidential debate between Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, nor this week’s debate between the vice presidential candidates, appeared to have changed any panel member’s mind about who to back, members said at their meeting Thursday.

“Kerry did a number on him,” said Bobby Gonzales, a retired sheriff’s deputy. “I’m still supporting Bush, but Kerry just took him behind the shed and spanked him.”

“Kerry did great,” said Dana Czoski, a substitute teacher who also is backing Bush. “Kerry gave a great performance, but that’s what it was a performance. I still think he is terribly naïve about these people,” she said, referring to terrorists.

The 12-member panel was selected by the New Mexican to give the average voter’s perspective on the presidential election. On Thursday, the second of four moderated meetings, the panel spent the first part of the meeting discussing the debate and other political news of the week.

Geary Radcliffe, a retired Los Alamos National Laboratory employee who is leaning toward Bush agreed that Kerry won the debate.

However, he said after watching the debate on television he read a transcript of the event he downloaded from the internet. Without seeing Bush’s facial expressions -- which were roundly criticized after the debate -- and hearing the coices of the candidates, the debate seemed more even, Radcliffe said.

But Kerry didn’t get all rave reviews from the panel. Daveen Masias, who said she is considering voting for independent Ralph Nader, said, “It was eye-opening to hear a potential president say `I will hunt down the terrorists and kill them.’ We’re in trouble as it is.”

But Masias said she was encouraged that Kerry brought up the fact that after the fall of Saddam Hussein last year, the only Iraqi government facility U.S. troops guarded was the Oil Ministry. “It is an oil war,” she said.

In the case of the vice presidential debate, the reactions fell along more predictable lines. Kerry supporters tended to say Sen. John Edwards won, while Bush backers proclaimed victory for Vice President Dick Cheney.

“Kerry and Edwards did me proud,” said Carmen Rodriguez, a community activist. “Both were very articulate.”

“I look at Cheney and his record and I found without doubt that he was very misleading,” said Paul Rainbird, a past president of Southwestern Association for Indian Arts . “I know that Edwards does not have a lot of experience as a political person, but he seemed very sincere.”

But Lori Montoya, a college student, said, “The debate showed me that Cheney could really be president. All Edwards did was look like a trial lawyer.”

“With all of Cheney’s years of experience, he just spanked Edwards,“ said Mike Yerby, a Qwest employee who is leaning toward Bush.

Some members said they were bothered that Edwards mentioned the fact that Cheney has a lesbian daughter.

Edwards, during a debate question concerning a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage, commended Cheney for standing by his daughter.

“I was really upset when Edwards brought up Cheney’s daughter’s sexuality,” Gonzales said.

But Dave Duran, a paralegal for the National Guard who is backing Kerry, said, “I like how it was brought up. (Gay rights) is an important issue.

Rodriguez agreed. “It’s not a big secret that Mary Cheney is a lesbian. She’s acknowledged it. Her father has acknowledged it. (Gay rights) is an issue that needs to be discussed.”

Several panel members on both sides of the political divide, said there seemed to be too much negativity in the debates.

“The in fighting gets old,” said Ken Barros, a Kerry supporter who works for county government. “They should be talking about how to make things better for the American people. Sometimes it’s like high school when they go back and forth and back and forth.”

“The vice presidential debate was particularly contentious,” Carrie Norris, a Santa Fe business owner and a Bush supporter said. “The first thing out of Edwards’ mouth was calling Cheney a liar. There was a lot of it coming from both sides.”

Further coverage of the New Mexican voter panel’s second meeting will be in Sunday’s paper.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: A MISSION FROM GOD

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 7, 2004


When Amelia Hollis Romero lost her race for a District 2 City Council race four years ago, she took it as a sign from above.

“I wanted to be on the City Council,” Romero, 65, said in a recent interview. “But God said, ‘I don’t think so, Amelia. Turn the page.’ ”
And so she did.

Not long after the 2000 council elections, Romero called up several dozen friends to discuss an idea to remedy a problem she’d come up against while campaigning.

“I’d met so many people who had such apathy and who didn’t know the issues or the policies of the city and the state,” Romero said. “I wanted to form a group to bring to our community forums they could go to and be educated.”

So Romero and her group organized a group called Voices of Santa Fe, which for the past four years has presented forums on a variety of topics.

The Eldorado Hotel has allowed the group to use one of its meeting rooms for its forums. Santa Fe Public Access Television (Comcast Cable Channel 8) has televised most of the gatherings.

Voices has organized public discussions of common political issues such as economic development, health care, forest fires and water. And it has sponsored forums on social issues not frequently discussed by politicians, such as mentoring youth and hospice for those who are dying.

And the group has held candidate forums, which sometimes produce real news. This was the case with the state Legislature candidate forum in May in which a Senate contender saw her candidacy go up in flames when she lied about having been arrested for drunken driving.

Forum tonight

It’s not likely that anything like that will happen at the Voices of Santa Fe forum tonight, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at Eldorado.

For one thing, it’s a presidential forum, so the candidates won’t be there, just local surrogates.

As is the usual practice at a Voices of Santa Fe forum, any local candidate for any office who shows will be allowed up two minutes at the podium.

Voices vice president Al Lopez — running as a Republican against Democratic state Sen. Phil Griego, but that’s another story — says local representatives will speak for Republican President Bush, Democrat John Kerry, independent Ralph Nader, the Green Party’s David Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik.

Constitutional crisis

But there was no mention of the sixth presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, the Millersville, Md., lawyer who is the nominee of the Constitution Party.

In fairness, there has been little if any visible activity of the Peroutka or the Constitution Party in these parts.

Who are these guys? According to Peroutka’s Web site, he believes Bush is just too much of a namby-pamby liberal on issues like gun control and abortion. However on the issue of the Iraq war, Peroutka is closer to Nader, calling the war “unconstitutional,” which, one supposes, is the worst thing a leader of the Constitution Party can say about anything.

Pop cultural wars:


After about the 15th pre-debate story I read characterizing the Dick Cheney-John Edwards matchup as Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker (would this make Ted Kennedy “Yoda”?), I realized a national political cliché was being born.

How common is this metaphor? A Google on-line search Wednesday produced 2,190 hits in a search for pages with both “Dick Cheney” and “Darth Vader.” But there were only 268 hits for “John Edwards” and “Luke Skywalker.”

As for the guys at the top of the ticket, the Google search yielded an amazing 2,580 hits for “John Kerry” and “Herman Munster,” a concept popularized by the hilarious bipartisan "This Land!" parody on jibjab.com. But there were only 895 hits for “George W. Bush” and “Alfred E. Newman.”

And for the record, there were three hits in a Google search for “Bill Richardson” and “Ralph Kramden,” but none of the three pages were actually comparing the governor with Jackie Gleason’s character on The Honeymooners.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

R.I.P. RODNEY


The death of Rodney Dangerfield reminds me of a line from a Waco Brothers song:

History is written by the winners.
This is a loser's song ...

Rodney spoke to the losers inside us all. He spoke to our flaws, our humiliations our hangovers, our betrayals, our lemon cars and unfaithful lovers.

No respect. No respect at all. Rodney turned it into a mantra, transforming self pity into a cosmic joke. He created a persona of a bug-eyed Everyman slob who could look at the bad luck and injustice of his life and laugh at the absurdity of it all -- with impeccable wit and precision timing, pulling at his tie and sweating like he was the subject of a police interrogation.

(Mantra? Transforming? Rodney would only snort at the idea. As he said, "Some people go to India looking for the meaning of life. I'm still trying to figure out how to start my car.)

He was my favorite comedian for more than 30 years. Even though he eventually became "hip" in the early '80s due to the popularity of Caddyshack, I loved Rodney partly because he was so un-hip. No counterculture pandering. No pretense of political revelance. No rebel anger, not even at the wife who liked to talk after sex -- so she's call him from a motel. Rodney was old school, but Christ he was funny.

When I graduated from college I mailed jackalope postcards to three celebrities I admired: Billy Carter, Patti Smith and Rodney. I'm not sure what my purpose was. Maybe just announcing my arrival to these folks I considered giants. (Or maybe the weed was just real good in Santa Fe that month.)

But I got replies from all three. Billy sent me a postcard with a picture of him drinking a beer at his gas pump in Plains, Ga. Patti, who'd recently been hospitalized after falling off the stage at a concert, sent me a note talking about recovering from a spinal injury. Rodney's fan club president sent me an autographed publicity shot of the man. The picture looked like it was 20 years old. But I loved it. It hung on my wall in who knows how many houses and apartments I lived in since 1976.

Thanks for the photo, Rodney. Thanks for the laughs.


Monday, October 04, 2004

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAY LIST

Sunday, Oct. 3, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting:
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Feeling of Gaze/Too Tough to Die by The Twilight Singers
Hard to Be Human by The Mekons
139 Hurnalser Gurtel by Sally Timms
The Right Profile by The Clash
Murder in My Heart For the Judge by Moby Grape
New Feeling by Talking Heads
Becky by The Hollis Wake

A Dying Man's Plea by Mavis Staples
Make It With You by Aretha Franklin
Big Mama's Bumble Bee Blues by Big Mama Thorton
I Wanna Dance With You by Nathaniel Mayer
Act Nice and Gentle by The Black Keys
Open the Door Richard by Louis Jordan
Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong

Child is Father to the Man/Surf's Up by Brian Wilson
A Drop in Time by Mercury Rev
Bad Days by Flaming Lips
Light and Day/Reach For the Sun by The Polyphonic Spree
Hush by Jellyfish
Sidewalk Serfer Girl by Super Furry Animals
Cabin Essence by Brian Wilson

Dead and Lovely by Tom Waits
In the Neighborhood by Kazik Staszewski
Innocent When You Dream by Elvis Costello
The Day After Tomorrow by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, October 02, 2004

SANTA FE OPRY PLAY LIST

The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, October 1, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting:
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle by Vassar Clements with Maria Muldaur
Blues About You Baby by Big Al Anderson
Slangshotz 'n Boom-R-Angz by C.C. Adcock
Mon Conne La Cause by David Hidalgo
Black Haired Girl by Dave Alvin
A Six Pack to Go by Hank Thompson
Hucklebuck by The Riptones
Soleil Brille by Beausoleil

Color of Her Eyes by The Gear Daddies
Where the Devil Don't Stay by Drive-By Truckers
With God on Our Side by Buddy Miller
Masters of War by Betty Dylan
Condi Condi by Steve Earle

Little Rivi-Airhead By Junior Brown
Rainbow Stew by Jason Ringenberg
Mrs. Leroy Brown by Loretta Lynn
What Made Milwaukee Famous by Johnny Bush
Drivin' Nails in My Coffin by Floyd Tilman with George Jones
You're the Reason by Nancy Apple
Motel Time Again by Bobby Bare Jr.
Hollywood by Kasey Chambers
That Little Honky Tonk Queen by Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley
Merchants Lunch by Austin Lounge Lizards

Denim Scarecrow by Nels Andrews
Proud Eagle by Bingo
Can Man Polka by Joe West
Root of All Evil by Desdemona Finch
Tell Me True by Grey DeLisle
Feel Like Going Home By Charlie Rich
Alone and Forsaken by 16 Horsepower
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, October 01, 2004

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: SOME CDs BY LOCAL FOLKS

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Oct. 1, 2004


Here’s a round-up of some recent CDs by New Mexico artists, including a couple of famous guys with connections to Santa Fe.

Sunday Shoes by Nels Andrews. The dark, brooding songwriter archetype is a tough one to pull off. The dustbin of recording history is cluttered with third-rate Leonard Cohens, Nick Caves, Mark Eitzels, Mark Lannegans, etc.

But when it’s done right, that is when the singer sounds authentic, when his woeful tales are intriguing and when the music packs a punch, the dark, brooding songwriter is a powerful figure.

Albuquerque’s Nels Andrews pulls it off with his debut album. He’s not in the same league with Cohen, Cave, etc., at least not yet. But Sunday Shoes is a good start.

Andrews is starting to get recognized. He won the "New Folk" prize at t the 2002 Kerrville Folk Festival, an honor whose past winners include Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett. Sunday Shoes, originally self released early this year, was picked up by a hip little Nashville label, Catamount.

He sings songs of forgotten people struggling against terrible odds winning quiet victories and humiliating defeats, of drifters roaming the backroads and back alleys of America, of ambiguous loves and doomed relationships.

The songs are full of Albuquerque references. The first track is “Central Avenue Romance.” The namesake of “Lilli Marlene” is from Martineztown

My favorite tune is “Jesse’s Mom,“ which actually is more about Jesse himself. He’s a child of illicit miscegenation, who grows up rejected in two worlds and continuously pulling up stakes, leaving those he loves to search for a place with “no more hard times,” proving that he’s possessed by the “gypsy in his blood” that his mother thought she had.

Andrews is served well by a crafty little roadhouse band called The El Paso Eyepatch, featuring ex-Hazeldine member Jeffrey Richards on guitar and banjo and Michelle Collins on harmony vocals. Another major contributor is guest mandolinist/lap steel player Jason Daniello. Brett Sparks of The Handsome Family plays accordion on “Jesse‘s Mom.”

The CD release party for Sunday Shoes is tonight at The Launchpad in Albuquerque. Guest bands include Jason and the Argonauts, Shine Cherries and The Darlington Horns. $5 cover.

*Lo Fi-Highs/Hi-Fi Lows by The Hollis Wake. I just recently figured out who this Santa Fe band reminds me of: The New Ponographers, a critic’s-darling Vancouver band that, like the Wake, plays high-charged guitar power-pop with melodic hooks that steal your heart away.

The main difference is that the New Pornographers don’t let Neko Case sing nearly enough while The genderly-intergrated Hollis Wake gives plenty of spotlight to its female singers Krysty Bosse and Sarah Meadows.

In fact the best songs on Lo-Fi Highs are from the female perspective. Take the song “This Time,” which concerns circles and cycles, if you get my drift: “It doesn’t seem the slightest bit fair/My body has to suffer this wear and tear/ especially when it’s two weeks late/ and I don’t want to procreate …”

Initially my only complaint about the album is that it uses four songs that also appear on The Hollis Wake’s first album Suburban Crime Spree. However, there’s apparently a good reason for doing so -- the new versions are better.

This especially is true for the song “Becky,” a tune about a Santa Fe barmaid who is so desperate to leave the City Different she turns to crime. The vocals on the new version is 10 times more passionate, especially on the kicker line in the chorus; “Get me out of this retarded town!”

I don’t care how much you might love Santa Fe, I think most of us have felt this sentiment before.

* After Hours by Big Al Anderson. I just found out a couple of months ago that Anderson, a 22-year member of NRBQ, is a Santa Fe resident, at least part time. (He also has a place in Nashville.)

Billing himself as “300 Pounds Of Twangin' Steel & Sex Appeal,” Anderson is a musician’s musician. His work might remind listeners of the late Charlie Rich -- especially those slow, jazzy, devastatingly lovely ballads like “Love Make a Fool of Me” and “Better Word For Love.”

And there’s a little Dan Penn -- one of Stax Records’ greatest songwriters -- in Anderson too. You hear that in tunes like “Just Another Place I Don’t Belong,” which could only be described as country soul.

Big Al plays some straight ahead country with “It’s Only Natural,” and the Hank Snow influenced “Blues About You Baby,” which was co written by Delbert McClinton.

After Hours is available only on the internet. CLICK HERE

*Down Home Chrome by Junior Brown. When I first heard that Junior was recording for Telarc, a label best .known for its blues artists, I was afraid that he might be making a sharp turn toward electric guitar blues, a style he loves at least as much as the hard-core country for which he’s known and loved.

Indeed the new album ends with a 10-minute blues workout called “Monkey Wrench Blues.” And there’s a cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady,” which I’m pretty sure I first heard the artist formerly known as Jamie Brown do in 1968 when we were both at Santa Fe Mid High and he was in a local psychedelic group called Humble Harvey.

But country fans don’t worry. Down Home Chrome is full of Brown’s trademark country cut-up songs, in which he plays the steel part of his guit-steel as much as the guit part.

But my favorite cut here “Hill Country Hot Rod Man,” in which Brown uses a horn section to create a fresh country neo-swing fusion.

THIS BLOG's ON VACATION

And so am I.  Therefore Wacky Wednesday and Throwback Thursday won't be appearing here this week or next. I have a Terrell...