Saturday, December 31, 2005

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, December 30, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Bonpart's Retreat by Glen Campbell
Grapevine by Tom Russell
Got No Strings by Michelle Shocked
The Tigers Have Spoken by Neko Case
Wintertime Blues by John Hiatt
House of Gold by Bethleham & Eggs
Beat me Daddy Eight to the Bar by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Bohemian Rhapsody by Grey DeLisle

Ride 'em Jewboy by Kinky Friedman
Newry Highwayman by Josh Lederman y Los Diablos
Don't You See That Train by The Delta Sisters
Home on the Range by Terry Allen
Lawd, I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City by Alvin Youngblood Hart
Feel Like Lightnin' by Otis Taylor
Well I Guess I Told You Off by The Carter Sisters

Keep Going by by Boozoo Bajou with Tony Joe White
Endless War by Son Volt
Peace Begins With You and Me by Bobby Earl Smith
I Saw Your Face in the Moon by Mac Wiseman
Border Town by Chris Whitley
Permanently Lonely by Willie Nelson
Choices by George Jones
Queenie's Song by Guy Clark

(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle by Townes Van Zandt
Wild Geese by Bill & Bonnie Hearne
Private Thoughts by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
I Met Her in Church by Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
Some Humans Ain't Human by John Prine
Hotwalker Coda by Little Jack Horton
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, December 30, 2005

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: TOP MUSIC OF 2005

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Dec. 30, 3005


TOP ALBUMS of 2005

1) Barbecue Babylon by Drywall: The world of Barbecue Babylon is apocalyptic. Corruption is everywhere. A desperate spirit of lawless has settled over the land. Thievery and murder abound, but the government has gone even more insane than the populace. Life is cheap. Love is tawdry. Paranoia thrives. Doom is always just around the corner. Stan Ridgway makes a great carnival barker at the gates of Armageddon.


2) Rehearsing My Choir by Fiery Furnaces: It’s a wild journey led by Olga Sarantos, the 83-year grandmother of the siblings known collectively as The Fiery Furnaces -- through darkened corridors of the past, filled with memories, fantasies, triumphs and regrets, part sung and part spoken word by Olga and granddaughter Eleanor Friedberger. It’s all told in the secret language that family members share, part verbal scrapbook, part travelogue of 20th Century Chicago, part radio drama, colored by meandering melodies, synthy squiggles, bleeps and blurps, church music, carnival tunes, insane soundtracky backdrops, kiddy songs played on what sounds like dingy dongy toy xylophones and even a few moments of raunchy rock ‘n‘ roll.


3) I've Got My Own Hell to Raise by Bettye LaVette: LaVette is an unjustly overlooked singer who should have been a huge star in the 1960s, but through a series of strange misfortunes, somehow missed the boat. I’d like to believe that there’s a parallel world somewhere in some galaxy in which Bettye is right up there in higher reaches of the soul pantheon.


4) Fair & Square by John Prine: Prine shows there’s still gold in those classic three-or-four-chord melody structures he does so well. During this last decade, he’s struggled with throat cancer. His voice has dropped an octave or so, but that always was a scratchy instrument. The important thing is that he didn’t lose his sense of humor nor his sense of poignancy.


5) Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon: Frantic guitars and drawling vocals telling tales of sex and sin, often with hints of revulsion though usually with a big grin, and a fair amount of self effacement, or at least self-consciousness about rock-star pretensions. Would Van Morrison sing about his comb-over?





6) Below the Fold by Otis Taylor: You know you’re going to be in for a ride in the opening stains of the first song. A plunking banjo is joined by a screaming guitar, a crazed fiddle, drums and bass, as Otis shouts “Oh Yeah!” It’s a joyful one-chord acoustic cacophony -- and there’s a cello in there too.






7) If You Don't Already Have a Look by The Dirtbombs: Detroit’s Dirtbombs play good old fashioned stripped-down fuzz-tone rock with a blast of raw punk power, maniacal crank-damaged rockabilly and strong nod to soul music. Just don’t call it “garage rock” or singer Mick Collins will rip out your spleen.





8) The Woods by Sleater-Kinney: This roaring, all-girl, Pacific Northwest trio shows how screaming guitar rock can still have brains, soul and relevance. “Let’s Call it Love” is a savage 11-minute frenzy that brings back memories of Steppenwolf‘s “Magic Carpet Ride,” The Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” and Patti Smith’s “Radio Ethiopia.” Corin Tucker’s hopped-up Banshee wail is still the band‘s greatest weapon.


9) Master of Disaster by John Hiatt: This record is soulful, rootsy, full of tales to astonish and dripping with wry humor and hard-earned wisdom. In some ways Hiatt reminds me of the masked luchadore on the cover. When he crawls back in the ring you know it’s going to be a thrill. It may be all show biz, but the bruises are real.





10) Picaresque by The Decemberists: When an album starts off proclaiming, “Here she comes on her palanquin/On the back of an elephant/On a bed made of linen and sequins and silk …” you know you’re in for a fantastic voyage through some unusual terrain. This literate record is full of regal bombast, pomp and inspired pretentiousness. Don’t knock pretentiousness. Sometimes a high dose of fantasy is good for the soul.

Honorable Mention

Hotwalker by Tom Russell
Human Cannonball by Joe West
Got No Strings by Michelle Shocked
Moments From This Theatre by Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
Red Dog Tracks by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

Reissues:
Keep on The Sunny Side by June Carter Cash
Horses by Patti Smith
The Silent Majority by Terry Allen
The Holy Bible by Manic Street Preachers
Raw Vision by The Tom Russell Band

In the Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop poll, critics are asked to list their favorite “singles” -- though the definition of “singles” has loosened to the point that it basically just means “songs” rather than 45 rpm discs or CD tracks designated for radio play. Here’s my ballot for the “singles” competition.

1) “My Baby Joined the Army” by Terry Evans -
2) “Oklahoma Bound” by Joe West
3) “Hell Yeah” Neil Diamond
4) “Endless War” by Son Volt
5) “Keep Going” by Boozoo Bajou with Tony Joe White
6) “The Green Fields of France” by Dropkick Murphys
7) “The Saga of Jesse Jane” by Alice Cooper
8) “Lawd, I'm Just a Country Boy in this Great Big Freaky City” by
Alvin Youngblood Hart
9) “Private Thoughts” by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
10) “Newry Highwayman” by Josh Lederman y Los Diablos

For 2004's Top Music list, CLICK HERE
For previous years CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 29, 2005

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: THE YEAR OF THE JUDICIARY

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 29, 2005

There’s only three more days left of the Year of the Judiciary.

This, of course, is according to the Bill Richardson calendar. Remember last January, during the State of the State address, the governor proclaimed, “Some called 2003 the Year of the Governor. 2004 was the Year of the Legislature. Let’s make this the Year of the Judiciary.”

Richardson was right. 2005 was a remarkable year for the state’s judiciary. Every time you turned around, it seemed another New Mexico judge was in the news.

Richardson has declared 2006 to be the Year of the Child.

Pray for the children!

Here’s some highlights from the Year of the Judiciary:

* Feb. 11: State District Judge Edward Fitch of Socorro drives his government-owned mini van off an embankment on a southwest Santa Fe frontage road. Sheriff’s deputies found a large bottle of vodka in the van, which had been opened and partially consumed. Breath-alcohol tests showed the judge to have a blood alcohol count of more than twice the legal limit. Fitch later pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and resigned from the bench.

* March 31: Gov. Bill Richardson appoints former state police officer Tommy Rodella -- the husband of a state Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-San Juan Pueblo -- as the new magistrate judge for Rio Arriba County. The Rio Grande Sun later reports the state police internal affairs division investigated Rodella more than 10 years ago, concluding that Rodella, as a police sergeant in Española, had pressured officers in his command to dismiss traffic citations to benefit his wife's political supporters. Richardson stands by Rodella.

* May 27: Las Cruces Magistrate Ruben Galvan resigns from the bench about a month after his first trial on charges of rape and bribery end in a hung jury. Galvan in August was acquitted in a second trial. Prosecutors said he promised a Las Cruces woman he would dismiss a pending battery charge against her husband if she would have sex with him. Galvan admitted to having sex in a parked car with the woman. The rape charge stemmed from the woman saying she’d told Galvan to stop several times. At the time of his resignation, Galvan was on probation for failing to disclose a sexual relationship with an assistant district attorney who had cases before him.

* June 22: The Supreme Court ordered a two-week suspension without pay for a Doña Ana County magistrate Susana Chaparro who interfered in a traffic case involving her adult son. The court noted in its unanimous decision said Chaparro has a “history of misconduct.”

* July 4: Judge Rodella drives from Española to Tierra Amarilla to personally spring a family acquaintance, who had been arrested on a DWI charge, out of jail. Richardson expresses his “disappointment” with Rodella and following a July 20 meeting between the two, Rodella resigned.

* July 5: The Supreme Court disciplines Columbus Municipal Judge Javier Lozano for his former business relationship with a company that contracted with the village to auction vehicles impounded by police. The J-Loz Auction Services got a 17 percent fee for conducting the sales, and Lozano was paid from those profits, according to the Supreme Court order. Lozano got a formal reprimand, a $500 fine, and supervised probation during the rest of his term, which expires in March.

* August 12: The Judicial Standards Commission recommends Santa Fe Municipal Judge Fran Gallegos be suspended for “a myriad of ethical violations.” Besides altering records, the commission says, Gallegos failed to properly instruct defendants concerning their options for making pleas. Later in the month the high court suspends Gallegos for 90 days while the commission conducts further investigations.

* Oct. 20: The Supreme Court reprimands Taos Magistrate Erminio Martinez for working part time for the Taos Pueblo Tribal Court. He was suspended for three days and fined $812, which is what he’d earned with the Pueblo. Full-time judges are prohibited from taking other jobs.

* Nov. 3: Judge Gallegos resigns after state police file three felony counts of tampering with public records against her. Her case is pending.

* Nov. 8: David Gregorio Valdez, who had been appointed by Richardson to take Rodella’s place as Rio Arriba magistrate, withdraws, admitting he failed to disclose to the governor’s staff that he’d done jail time in the early 1980s for not paying child support. So far, Richardson has yet to fill the vacancy.

* Dec. 14: Gallup Magistrate Rhoda Hunt resigned and promised never to run for or hold any judicial office in an agreement filed with the state Supreme Court. This followed an FBI investigation in which Hunt allegedly admitted to “numerous criminal and ethical violations” including taking bribes in exchange for favorable rulings; improperly taking free legal services and a vehicle from lawyers who appeared before her; taking $2,000 to marry an already-married Palestinian man so he could avoid deportation; and using an alias and a fraudulent social security number on a loan application and defaulting on the loan.


*Dec. 15: Santa Fe District Judge Daniel Sanchez signs a restraining order from a woman who claims comedian David Letterman is harassing her in secret code on his late-night talk show. When this hits the news, Sanchez gets more laughs than Letterman has in years. (Sanchez voided the restraining order this week.)

* Dec. 21: Another Las Cruces judge, state district Judge Larry Ramirez was put on six months supervised probation and got a formal reprimand for intervening in a case against his adult son, who was cited for drinking in a city park. Before the reprimand, Ramirez attended an ethics course for judges and reimbursed the Judicial Standards Commission for $1,500 in costs.

Monday, December 26, 2005

HAPPY HOLLANDAISE!

I didn't want to post anything angry on Christmas or Christmas Eve, but this story really pissed me off.

It's about a local cook, David Luckey, who wanted to give a free meal meal to the homeless on Canyon Road just before the Christmas Eve farolito walk. Luckey's been homeless himself in the past and he had this crazy idea to try to uplift the spirits of the needy right where the community goes to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Naturally, some of the East-side elite heaved a collective "How gauche!"

Talk about a war on Christmas ...

Here's some of the reaction:


The Farolito Walk has been a nuisance for Canyon Road homeowners and businesses for many years, said Dina Aquilina, who is president of the (Historic Neighborhood Association's) board and has lived in Santa Fe for 30 years. She said she remembers a time in Santa Fe when people set up farolitos in their own neighborhoods and walked closer to home.

"I just wish we could get back to when everyone did this in their own neighborhood,"
and then:

"Encouraging homeless people to come to this neighborhood is not a good idea," (John Pen Lafarge) said. "What we are trying to do with (the Farolito Walk) is to create a remembrance of Christmas."

I've always liked Pen, but jeeeeeeez!

My 13-year-old son was so angry when he read this, he wanted to go demonstrate against the city if they tried to stop Luckey for not having a permit.

As it turned out, Luckey went ahead and had his free dinner for the homeless. The city didn't bust him.

And furthermore the Farolito Walk was wonderful as usual (much warmer this year than last). The homeless didn't rampage through the neighborhood and Canyon Road property values remain untouched.

Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, December 23, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Out There a Ways by The Waco Brothers
Marry Me by Drive-By Truckers
Everybody's Doin' It by Commander Cody & His Lost Plant Airmen
Thunderbird by John Hiatt
U.S. Steel by Tom Russell Band
Baby My Honey by The Jimmy Stadler Band
Christmas on the Moon by Troy Hess

Blue Kentucky Girl by Emmylou Harris
Gorgeous George by Ronny Elliott
Mike the Can Man by Joe West
Children Go Where I Send Thee by Bethleham & Eggs
Get Right With God by Lucinda Williams
High on Jesus by Kinky Friedman
Then I'll Be Movin' On by Mother Earth
Merry Christmas Elvis by Michelle Cody

Don't You Make Me High (Don't You Feel My Leg) by Maria Muldaur
He Went Slippin' Around by The Carter Sisters
Please Cut My Song, Mr. Travis by Jim Terr
Let's Waste Another Evening by Josh Lederman y Los Diablos
Brimstone Rock by 16 Horsepower
For Too Long by Eric Hisaw
Merry Christmas for Me by Nancy Apple with Rob McNurlin
Gail with the Golden Hair by The Handsome Family
The Story of Susie by Billy Ray

I'd Deal With the Devil by Dale Watson
Taking a Walk by John Prine
Yo Ho Ho by Terry Allen
Faithful Shooter by Richard Buckner
Something to Think About by Willie Nelson
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
SUBSTITUTE CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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

Friday, December 23, 2005

SECRET CODE


I for one am not laughing at the story of the Santa Fe woman who got a restraining order against David Letterman for harassing her in secret code on his show. (CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE)

I know how the poor lady feels.

For years, Sponge Bob Squarepants has been giving me tips on the horses.

And every one of them is wrong.

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: LOCAL YOKELS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 23, 2005

Before you stuff your holiday shopping cart with CDs by those from beyond our state‘s borders, think again and consider giving the gift of local music. Here are some recent examples:

*Unscrambled: The Gospel Truth by Bethleham & Eggs. This band, featuring Joe West, Margaret Burke and Lydia Clark, started out last year as a good-time gospel brunch (Sundays at the Cowgirl restaurant) side project for these veteran Santa Fe musicians. It seems only right that they committed some of their material to CD.


And with three strong vocalists and some of Santa Fe’s finest instrumentalists (guitarist Ben Wright and bassist Josh Martin, two thirds of the late lamented Mary & Mars for starters), there’s no way this could have turned into anything less than a blast.

This is a country-tinged, blues-informed album featuring several familiar gospel tunes (“Angel Band,” “John the Revelator”) and some you may have never heard of.

The album starts off with a West original, “Twelve Gates to the City,” featuring some true Westian lyrics you aren’t likely to find on other gospel records. (“I knew a girl she came from France/She took off her clothes off and she liked to dance ...”)

Other standouts include Clark’s brassy of “Standin’ in the Need of Prayer,” Burke’s sultry version of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” and “House of Gold” an obscure Hank Williams song sung by West.

And there’s a showstopper by guest vocalist Terry Diers, who, back in the ’80s was a real force on the local music scene. (Personal flashback: I thought I was pretty cool 20-some years ago when John Ehrlichman called me “sleazy.” But then, one night backstage at Club West, I heard Screamin’ Jay Hawkins call Terry Diers “crazy.”) Diers sounds like a sage here on the old spiritual “Children Go Where I Send Thee.”

A couple of weeks ago at their CD release party at the Cowgirl, Bethlehem & Eggs did a bunch of songs that aren’t on this album, including covers of Lucinda Williams’ “Get Right With God” and Bob Dylan’s “Slow Train Coming” (I was impressed that West had all 37-or-so verses memorized!) I’m already looking forward to Bethleham’s second album.

*Thoughts & Time by Ken Valdez featuring Michael Kott. Valdez is a powerful performer and impressive electric guitarist. At last summer’s Thirsty Ear Festival he joined Alex Maryol on stage and created a living example of the sum being greater than the total of its parts.

So it’s pretty amazing that his new album would be an acoustic album full of almost meditative songs. Aided by Kott, a cellist (!) best known for his work with Robert Mirabal, Valdez has created an intense, brooding and soulful work.

My favorites here are “Best Intentions,” which was written by Santa Fe psychedelico Key Francis and the six-minute odyssey called “Tragiksoul.”

*Sagebrush Alley by The Jimmy Stadler Band. Taos resident Stadler has long been a mainstay of Northern New Mexico stages. With a tight little combo including bassist Dave Tolland and drummer Craig Neil, (who share songwriting credits with Stadler on all the songs here), Stadler plays a rootsy style, with nods to blues, soul and a little country.

There’s a song inspired by a New Orleans cab driver (no, not Mem Shannon) called “The Big Easy.” Besides the nice New Orleans piano, my favorite part of the song is the fact that Stadler rhymes “The great state of Ohio” with “Louisiana bayou.”

The best songs though are “Baby My Honey,” a cool blues stomper with a monster bass; the easy acoustic funk of “Bad Habit” (the bad habits here being hard work and being overly concern for one’s health); and “Let’s Go See Daddy,“ a moving tune about a son who worships his dad, who gets arrested and apparently executed for killing a guy in a barroom fight.

*Live by Bernadette Seacrest & Her Yes Men. Good news and bad news here.

The good news is that there’s a new Bernadette Seacrest album and it sounds smoky, seductive, and slinky.

The bad news is that about the time the CD arrived, The Yes Men are no more. According to the singer, she and the band have split and it’s not quite clear what she’s doing next.


But like, I say, the CD is really good …

Recorded live last summer at Santa Fe’s Swig bar, where the group held court most Friday nights for most the past year or so, Seacrest, backed by a bass, sax and drums, shows her stuff as a torch singer with a punk-rock past.

There are some familiar tunes here (“Summertime,” “Fever”), but the real treats are the originals penned by bassist Michael Grimes and Seacrest crony Pat Bova. The best one here is a Grimes song called “Money,” which sounds like it’s from some imaginary crime movie.

Even though she’s no longer surrounded by a bunch of Yes Men, I bet Seacrest re-emerges soon with something mysterious and wonderful.

*Please Cut My Song, Mr. Travis by Jim Terr & Friends. Subtitled “Songs for other singers (plus a couple that no one else would ever cut)” this collection features some comedy and parody for which Terr is most notorious, (in this respect, I don’t think he’s ever topped “The Ballad of the Queen Berets” from about 15 years ago) as well as just some dang good songs.


Standouts here include a couple of country weepers -- “This Changes Everything,” performed by Nashville singer Kathy Chiavola and “Three-Teared Wedding Cake,” sung by Margaret Burke; and a folky “Excuse Me While I Have the Blues,” sung by Don Armstrong.

Terr’s own best moments are “Some Guy in Kansas City” (a funny look at the effect of greeting cards); “Bringin’ the Honky Tonk Home,” a Jerry Lee Lewis style country song; and the title song, a plea to a New Mexico Music Commissioner. Hey, Randy’s cut worse songs than “This Changes Everything.”

Thursday, December 22, 2005

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: USED CARS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 22, 2005


Would you buy a used car from this administration official?

Jeff Siembieda, deputy director of the New Mexico Sports Authority has been appearing on television lately. But it’s not for talking up Gov. Bill Richardson’s efforts to bring a National Football League team to the state.

No, he’s selling cars in a commercial for Cross Country Auto Sales, an Albuquerque business.

Siembieda, a former morning news anchor on Channel 13 and sportscaster on Channel 7, said he’s not violating any state rules by making a commercial. In an interview Wednesday he said he checked it out with the governor’s office before doing the ad.

“It has nothing to do with my duties as deputy director,” he said. Cross Country wanted him, he said, because of his radio show.

Siembieda hosts a sports talk program called “The Big Show” weekday afternoons on Albuquerque’s KKNS, 1310-AM. Cross Country, he said, is an advertiser on the station.

Siembieda ran into some criticism earlier this year for keeping his radio show while taking a job in the administration. He earns about $50,000 for the state.

But apparently, there’s no problem with the governor’s office with the show, and indeed no problem with the commercial.

Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said Wednesday that the commercial was “just a one-time deal.”

“It was just a favor for a friend,” Gallegos said. “It’s not an ongoing thing. He wasn’t representing the Sports Authority. There’s no conflict with his job.”

O.K. But if we start seeing commercials with state Public Safety Secretary John Denko endorsing Blake’s Lota Burger or Department of Finance and Administration chief James Jimenez plugging Cliff’s Amusement Park, we’re going to start to wonder.

Who did you support? Santa Fe art and real estate tycoon Gerald Peters’ fund raiser to help retire state tax secretary Jan Goodwin’s 2002 campaign debt was Wednesday night. Goodwin ran in the Democratic primary that year, losing to Robert Vigil, who has since resigned in the face of scandal and federal indictment.

In a cover letter that went out with the invitation, Peters wrote, “As you may know, I also supported her 2002 campaign for the position of state Treasurer.”

Perhaps it was only moral support.

A search of Followthemoney.org, the Web site for The Institute of Money in State Politics found no contribution from Peters or any of his companies to Goodwin’s campaign.

However, according to the Web site, Peters’ umbrella Peters Corp did make one contribution to the treasurer’s race. In October, 2002, the company gave $500 to Vigil, who was running unopposed in the general election.

Goodwin said last week she has an outstanding campaign debt of $71,500. More than $100,000 of the $179,000 she spent on that race was from herself and her family.

Carraro weighs his options: State Sen. Joe Carraro might try to change Senates.

In an interview last week, the Albuquerque Republican said he’s considering a race for incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s seat next year.

“I’ve made several trips to Washington, D.C. where I’ve talked with various people,” Carraro said. At first he was talking with “conservative groups,” he said. Recently he’s been talking to official Republican organizations, he said.

If he does run, Carraro said that none other than Jack Kemp, the 1996 GOP vice presidential candidate, would be his national fund raiser.

Candidates in the Republican primary so far include Santa Fe City Councilor David Pfeffer and former state Sen. Tom Benavides of Albuquerque.

Nobody’s saying it’ll be easy beating Democrat Bingaman, whose approval rating is nearly 60 percent according to the most recent Survey USA/KOB poll, conducted on Dec. 12.

Monday, December 19, 2005

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, December 18, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


THE STEVE TERRELL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Santa Claus is Coming to Town by The Rev. Horton Heat
Counting the Days, A Christmas Polka by Marah
Aou Tumhen Chan Pe by Asha Bhosle, Bappi Lahiri, Chorus, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi, Sushma Shreshtha
Egg Nog by The Rockin' Guys
Gloria by Elastica
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Pietra Wexstun
Even Squeaky Fromme Loves Christmas by The Rev. Glen Armstong
Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope by Sonic Youth
Santa and the Sidewalk Surfer by The Turtles

Merry Christmas From the Family by Robert Earle Keene
Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight by The Ramones
Go Tell it on the Mountain by Mojo Nixon & The Toadlickers
Lucy's Tiger Den by Terry Allen
Christmas in Jail by The Youngsters
Did You Spend Christmas Day in Jail by The Rev. J.M. Gates
Must Be Santa by Brave Combo
Six Bullets for Christmas by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Deck the Halls with Parts of Charlie by The Cryptkeeper
Little Drummer Boy by Joan Jet

St. Stephen's Day Murders by The Chieftains with Elvis Costello
Fairtytale of New York by The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl
Christmas in Paradise by Mary Gauthier
The Last Month of the Year by The Fairfield Four
Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto by James Brown
Blue Christmas by Stan Ridgway
Christmas is a Special Day by Fats Domino
Christmas Boogie by Canned Heat with The Chipmunks
Good King Wenceslas by The Jingle Cats

Oy to the World by The Klezmonauts
Goyim Friends by The LeeVees
White Christmas by Otis Redding
Oh Holy Night by Brian Wilson
A Change at Christmas by The Flaming Lips
Christmas Everyday (Maybe It'll Help)by Giant Sand
Silent Night/What Christmas Means by Dion
Star of Wonder by The Roches

Saturday, December 17, 2005

THE POETRY OF SPAM

I don't think I've ever actually bought a can of SPAM, and I know I've never actually read the label.


But my friend Ciskoe, as part of a "Secret Santa" package, gave me a Christmas stocking containing a can of the the pride of Austin, Minn.

On the back is a recipe for SPAM quesadillas. And beneath the recipe is this commentary:
"Do not be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe. Yes, it is easy to make, but the flavor is complicated and exotic. Like something that pulls at your senses and then flies away, wanting to be chased. And you will chase it, oh yes you will."
It struck me that somebody is actually paid money to write stuff like that. It also struck me that this particular writer really enjoys his or her job.

Almost makes we want to make some SPAM quesadillas.

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, December 16, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Pretty Boy Floyd by The Byrds
Anacostia by Son Volt
Burn, Burn, Burn by Ronny Elliott
Master of Diaster by John Hiatt
Crazy as a Loon by John Prine
For Too Long by Eric Hisaw

The First Christmas by Nancy Apple & Rob McNurlin
Walking the Floor Over You by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Cocktails by Robbie Fulks
Pair of Goats by The Gourds
Let's Leave it Alone by Kelly Hogan
Three-Teared Cake by Margaret Burke & Jim Terr
Five Fingers to Spare by Marti Brom
Caryl Chessman by Country Johnny Mathis
Can Man Christmas by Joe West & Mike the Can Man
Blue Christmas Lights by Chris & Herb

Candy Man by Mississippi John Hurt
Angels Laid Him Away by Lucinda Williams
My Creole Belle by Taj Mahall
Dupree's Diamond Blues by The Grateful Dead
Betty and Dupree by Brownie McGee
Angel Band by Bethleham & Eggs
Gabriel's Call by Hazel & Alice
Angels in the Street by Hank Webster

There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays by Leon Redbone
Blue Wing by The Tom Russell Band
Big Boy Can't You Move 'em by Clothesline Revival with "Uncle" Bradley Eberhard
Wilderness by Peter Case
It's Not My Time to Go by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Nothing But a Child by Steve Earle with Maria McKee
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, December 16, 2005

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: LENNON'S "WORST ALBUM" RECONSIDERED

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 16, 2005


Imagine this scenario. It’s December, 1971 and President Richard Nixon is sweating like a maniac in some underground White House bunker. He’s just read a FBI report on a concert in Ann Arbor. Mich. -- 15,000 screaming hippies raising their unwashed fists and singing along with an ex-Beatle to demand that some pot-smoking anti-war crank be sprung from prison. The president shivers as he reads every word the FBI agent had written down: “…"gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta set him free."

It wouldn’t end there. Nixon knows that bastard John Lennon was intent on uniting with crazy radicals and marijuana addicts. Not just to disrupt the convention and lead the youth vote against him in next year’s election like some sinister foreign pied piper, but to force him to strip naked and dance with Mao Tse-tung.

He had to be stopped. The FBI was trying, but they weren’t doing enough. The INS were a bunch of impotent gimps. Liddy and the boys were busy with other projects.

There was only one he could turn to, someone who had warned him years ago about those nefarious Beatles, their drugs and their communistic ways. Someone who had offered to help and had already been commissioned as a special law enforcement officer.

Nixon calls in Ron Zeigler and beats him with a flyswatter until he draws blood. That feels better, Nixon sighs. He picks up the phone to make the call.

“Rosemary, get me Elvis Presley.”

XXXXXXXXXXX

Last week, on the 25th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination, I awoke to a radio interview on Democracy Now with Jon Weiner, a history professor at the University of California who has written two books about Lennon’s political activism in the early ‘70s and the Nixon administration’s attempts to have Lennon deported.

“He wanted to be part of what was going on,” Weiner told Amy Goodman. “What was going on in New York was the anti-war movement, and he became friends with Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and Bobby Seale and other activists … That's what got him in trouble with the Nixon administration.

And yes, according to Weiner an undercover FBI agent actually attended a “Free John Sinclair” concert starring Lennon and actually “wrote down every word John Lennon said, including all the words to the song (“John Sinclair”) , including `gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta set him free.’ ” (Sinclair was the manager of the MC5 and leader of a group called he White Panthers. He’d been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two joints of marijuana.)

After hearing the interview, I knew that I gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta get myself a copy of Some Time in New York City, which was re-released last month on CD. So I did.

This work, in which Yoko Ono wrote and sang about half the songs, generally is reviled as Lennon’s worst album.

The basic rap on the record is that a mighty Beatle, the mad genius responsible for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus” had been reduced to writing third-rate, radical chic political screeds.

It’s true, writing protest songs is tricky business. Recently I received a CD called Christmas in Fallujah by someone called Jefferson Pepper. I can’t figure out how someone could make a song about the ravages of war sound so smug and banal.

On the other hand, the Iraq war has produced several top-notch protest songs -- Terry Evans’ “My Baby Joined the Army” (written by Ry Cooder), “Can’t Make Here,” by James McMurtry” Robert Cray’s “20.” It’s also shown that a good protest song can be timeless. Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,“ Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” and Mose Allison’s surreal “Monsters of the ID” (revived recently by Stan Ridgway) with lyrics about “goblins and their hags … out there waving’ flags…” still resonate.

For the most part, Lennon and Ono’s lyrics to these songs fall well short of “Masters of War” or “Monsters of the ID.”

Only a few of them are outright embarrassing. The worst undoubtedly is “Angela” about jailed radical professor Angela Davis. With a goopy, string-sweetened arrangement, Lennon sings, “They gave you coffee/They gave you tea/They gave you everything but equality.”)

However, Some Time in New York City isn’t nearly as bad as detractors say. And some of the songs are good old-fashioned kick-ass rockers.

Lennon’s band here was a gritty and greasy New York group called Elephant’s Memory, led by sax maniac Stan Bronstein.

“John Sinclair” and “Attica State” are high-powered stompers featuring Lennon on a mean National guitar. “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” about the troubles in Northern Ireland, might also have its roots in Lennon’s rivalry with Paul McCartney. McCartney had recently released a tepid and polite tune called “Give Ireland Back to the Irish.” Lennon’s song, aided by Yoko’s weird warble and Bronstein’s sax, blew McCartney’s song to smithereens. And the autobiographical “New York City” is good, mindless fun.

The oft-vilified Ono even has a couple of good contributions here. “Sisters O Sisters” is the type retro girl-group charmer that would have fit in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. But her song “We’re All Water” with its great beat and crazy images -- “There may not be much difference between Chairman Mao and Richard Nixon/If you strip them naked” -- should have made everyone forgive her for breaking up The Beatles.

There’s some wonderful live bonus material here, including a powerful “Cold Turkey.” My only beef here is that in this release Capitol Records cut some of the Lennon jams with Frank Zappa, which appeared on previous versions of Some Time In New York City, replacing it with a bland Yoko song “Listen the Snow is Falling” and “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” This is a great holiday hit, but it’s already included on who knows how many Lennon compilations.

In the end, Tricky Dick didn’t really have much to worry about in regard to John Lennon. But what a time of wonder, when a rock ‘n’ roll star could make a president shake.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

HIGH-FLYIN' SID

In regard to today's column, a reader just pointed out that while Jack Schmitt is indeed the only New Mexican to ever walk on the moon, he is not our only astronaut.

Sid Gutierrez is another high flying New Mexican. He's a space shuttle pilot, having flown two shuttle missions.

He's from Albuquerque and works at Sandia National Laboratories.

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: N.M. TAKES UP SPACE

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 15, 2005



At a star-studded event at the Eldorado Hotel (well, Victoria Principal of Dallas fame was there) Wednesday morning, Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Companies (and star of his own reality t.v. show) joined Sir Bill Richardson to announce a plan to build a $225 million space port in southern New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic is already selling $200,000 tickets for two-and-a half hour trips to space. Principal has already has paid for the first flight.

Of course the guv has to go through the formality of convincing the Legislature to go along with setting aside $100 million over the next three years for the project. Legislative leaders at the announcement seemed agreeable. But even if the Legislature approves, Richardson will have to convince the voters in conservative southern New Mexico counties to approve a sales tax increase to help fund what Richardson is calling “The Second Space Age.”

After the presentation, I asked the Rebel Billionaire a question that apparently no state official thought to ask:

Will there be discounts for New Mexicans for space rides?


After all, we’re paying for the space port. And we’’d even allow Virgin Galactic to install a huge replica of one of Branson’s irises — which is part of the logo for the company — which would be visible from outer space.

Branson chuckled. “I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll consider it.”

Return to the Moon: Only one New Mexican has any first-hand experience in space travel. That’s former U.S. Sen. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt. In 1974, as an Apollo 17 crew member, Schmitt was the last man to step on the moon.

Schmitt, a geologist by profession, is a long-time supporter of private industry leading the way into outer space. But in a telephone interview Wednesday, Schmitt said the state should be very careful about investing millions of taxpayer dollars in space ventures.

“Ultimately the value has to be sufficient to support private investment,” he said. “If the investors believe they’ll get a return on their investment. I don’t see that the taxpayers, in general terms, should be investing.”

Richardson said that two studies have shown the proposed spaceport would bring thousands of jobs to the state and have an economic impact of $750 million. But Schmitt said the state should have the studies reviewed by an independent company.

Schmitt was a consultant for the state about 10 years ago when New Mexico first started talking about a space port. “I supported the idea of building an airport in southern New Mexico that also could serve as a space port,” he said. An airport would pay for a spaceport, he said.

Several years ago, he helped start a company called Interlune-Intermars Initiative Inc. to attract investors to fund a project to mine the moon. The moon, he says, contains a form of helium called Helium 3, which he says could be used to create a clean energy-source through nuclear fusion.

Schmitt’s book, Return to the Moon, which deals with lunar mining, was published last month.

Monkeys and moon walks: A media handout package at the Virgin Galactic announcement included a “New Mexico Space History Timeline.”

It mentioned Robert Goddard, who moved to Roswell in 1929 to build and test rockets and Werner von Braun, who launched a V-2 rocket into space from White Sands Missile Range in 1946. It even mentioned Enos, the space chimp who orbited the Earth in 1961. Enos was trained at Holloman Air Force Base.

But somehow, the list didn’t mention the only New Mexican to go to the moon.

House Speaker Ben Lujan, however, paid verbal tribute to Schmitt, saying his moon trip was inspiring to all New Mexicans.

Indeed, that moon walk was taken very seriously by voters.

Republican Schmitt beat Democrat incumbent Sen. Joe Montoya in the 1976 election. Many political observers believed the turning point in the race was when Montoya gave a speech mocking Schmitt, saying that a monkey could be trained to go into space.

Schmitt lost to Democrat Jeff Bingaman in 1982.

Back to Earth: Eric Serna’s not the only politico around here who knows how to throw a fundraiser.

Art mogul/real-estate baron/would-be-casino operator/former state Board of Finance member and major Bill Richardson money-man Gerald Peters is throwing a benefit for Tax and Revenue Secretary Jan Goodwin.

Richardson is listed as host on the invitation, along with Peters and his wife. Co-hosts include New Mexico Finance Authority Chairman Steve Flance, Transportation Commission member Johnny Cope and longtime Richardson ally Butch Maki.

Goodwin ran for state treasurer in 2002, losing in the Democratic primary to Robert Vigil — who went on to get indicted on federal extortion and money-laundering charges and resign. She said Wednesday her campaign debt is about $71,500.

The Dec. 21 fundraiser starts out with cocktails at Peters’ gallery — which costs $500 a head. A buffet dinner at Peters’ home will cost $1,000.

Asked whether Goodwin will be running for treasurer again next year, Goodwin said, “I like my job. I’m very happy where I am.”

Of course, that didn’t stop her from applying for the treasurer’s job after Vigil quit.

Monday, December 12, 2005

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, December 11, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
We're All Water by Yoko Ono
The Alibi Room by Drywall
Straight Street by The Fiery Furnaces
King of the Rodeo by Kings of Leon
Night Light by Sleater-Kinney
Necrophiliac in Love by The Blood-Drained Cows
Silent Night by Bad Religion

Pray for Pills by The Dirtbombs
Monkeyheart by Kevin Coyne & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Here Come the Bastards by Primus
Shelter from the Storm by Bob Dylan
She Looks Like a Woman by The Fleshtones
Kratae by Johnny's Guitar
A Small Demand by The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Christmas is a Special Day by Fats Domino

Members Only by Abdul Rasheed with The House Rockers
Bo Meets the Monster by Bo Diddley
Mamma's Got a Friend by Otis Taylor
Out on the Water Coast by Sonny Boy Williamson & The Yardbirds
I Don't Care No More by Sonny Boy Williamson & The Animals
Backwater Blues by Irma Thomas
I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got by Bettye LaVette
Jumper on the Line by R.L. Burnside
Hole in the Wall by The King Edward Blues Band

Secret For a Song by Mercury Rev
John Wayne Gacy Jr. by Sufjan Stevens
Man of God by Neil Diamond
My Pet Rat St. Michael by Mark Eitzel
We Both Go Down Together by The Decemberists
The Wanderer by U2 with Johnny Cash
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, December 11, 2005

DEEP THOUGHTS ON THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS

The cruel war is raging ...



"I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's
homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium."
Jon Stewart

"The truth is, anytime someone starts talking to you about how Christians are persecuted in the United States, you are -- right then and right there -- talking to a retard. There's just no other way of saying it. And the War on Christmas is an idea akin to a bullshit sandwich, once you've deleted all the "sandwich-like" characteristics, anyway. "
Wonkette

".. has it occurred to you, you nerd, that that’s not very nice,
We Jews believe it was Santa Claus that killed Jesus Christ."
Kinky Friedman
from "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore"


"May the Baby Jesus shut your mouth and open your mind."
Motto of The Family Dog in San Francisco circa 1966.

R.I.P. GIANTS


Richard Pryor, 1940-2005













Eugene McCarthy, 1916-2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, December 9, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Honky Tonk Hiccups by Neko Case
1 Way Ticket to the Blues by Marti Brom
Rootin' Tootin' Santa Claus by The Buckerettes
Big Ol' White Boys by Terry Allen
There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere by Hank Thompson
Bad Habbit by Jimmy Stradler
Tonsils in Taiwan by Jim Terr
Sittin' on Top of the World by Jack White
Kaw-Liga by Silver Sand

Is Anybody Going to San Antone? by Doug Sahm
Lawd, I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City by Alvin Youngblood Hart
Stoned Faces Don't Lie by The Bottle Rockets
Santa Can't Stay by Dwight Yoakam
John Law Burned Down the Liquor Store by Chris Thomas King
Black Soul Choir by 16 Horse Power
I Walk the Line by Telly Savales

Twelve Gates to the City by Bethleham & Eggs
Sinner, You'd Better Get Ready by The Lilly Brothers
Trouble in the Amen City by Porter Wagoner
Standin' in the Need of Prayer by Bethleham & Eggs
Dust on Mother's Bible by Buck Owens
He Will Set Your Fields on Fire by Flatt & Scruggs
Nobody's Fault But Mine by Bethleham & Eggs
The Old Rugged Cross by Johnny Cash

River by Albert & Gage
Little Hearts and Flowers by Bobby Earle Smith
Oil Field Girls by The Tom Russell Band
Four Walls by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Scrapyard Lullaby by Chris Whitley
Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton
The Wayward Wind by Jackie "Teak" Lazar
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, December 09, 2005

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: NEW CHRISTMAS ALBUMS

Technically there is no Terrell's Tune-up column in today's Pasatiempo. Instead I wrote a bunch of Christmas CD reviews for the special Christmas Pasatempos section. Here they are:

A version of these were published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 9, 2005



BRIAN WILSON
What I Really Want For Christmas

(Arista)

One of the most oddly enduring Christmas albums of the rock ’n’ roll era is The Beach Boys Christmas, a 1964 outing that featured mostly original Yuletide songs, plus “Blue Christmas,” “White Christmas,” a stunning version of “We Three Kings” and a few other Christmas chestnuts. Even considering the frequently cornball production, the Boys of summer created a wintertime classic.

Forty-one years later, Brian Wilson not only pays homage to The Beach Boys Christmas with this album, he has created a holiday treat that stands on its own. This is due mostly to Wilson’s own sensibilities. But much credit should go to the band he’s been using for the past several years, The Wondermints. (The documentary on the making of Smile gives a viewer great appreciate for the contribution of this band -- especially to keyboardist/singer Darian Sahanaja -- to Wilson’s art. )

The new album has a couple of novelty tunes from The Beach Boys Christmas, “The Man With All the Toys” and that album‘s best-known ditty, “Little Saint Nick.” (Of the old stuff, I’d have preferred “Santa’s Beard,” the story of a brat who exposes a department-store Santa.)

More importantly there are some new songs, including the title tune, which Wilson co-wrote with Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin and “Christmasey,” which he co-wrote with Jimmy Webb. If I have one complaint, ’d have liked some more originals here.

The other songs are the usual suspects -- “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” a rocking “Deck the Halls,” etc. -- all done up in Beach Boys-style harmonies. He doesn’t revive “We Three Kings,” but there’s one incredible jaw-dropper in Wilson’s version of “Oh Holy Night.” As Wilson and his group sing “Fall on your knees/Hear the angel voices,” all I can say is “Bet yo’ sweet pork chops!”


REV. HORTON HEAT
We Three Kings

(Yep Roc)

The king of the psychobillies has entered the Christmas sweepstakes with a good rocking collection.

There are the classic holiday tunes -- the title song is an instrumental, part ominous surf music, part hoedown. Likewise, “What Child is This,” is a Link Wray inspired instrumental. “Frosty the Snowman” practically melts because of the speed, while the reverend plays a slow, earnest take of “Silver Bells,” complete with gospelish organ and piano.

This album also is a survey of classic rock ‘n’ roll and country Christmas songs. Heat does a worthy cover of Elvis Presley’s “Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me,” a crooning version of Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper,” a properly rocking romp on Chuck Berry’s “Run, Rudolf Run” and a hearty salute to Buck Owens on the obscure Owens holiday hit “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy” (I’m sure the Rev. would agree that it’s worth it for Buckaroo fans to seek out the original.)

But the weirdest cut on We Three Kings is Heat’s inspired melding of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with the theme from the Batman television show. It’s good he remembers the true meaning of Christmas.


MARAH
A Christmas Kind of Town
Yep Roc

Anyone who’s ever sat through a Christmas pageant at virtually any elementary school or church -- and serious enjoyed it despite of, or even because of the corniness and amateurishness -- would get a kick out of this album.

This roots-rock band from Philadelphia (where the concept of “roots” also includes Phil Spector) apparently called up a bunch of friends (including a sexy singer who calls herself “Felicia Navidad“), took a serious dip into the wassail and made this album, a collection of songs, silly skits and general Yuletide goofiness.

There are a couple of songs associated with 1960s animated Christmas specials. There’s “Christmas Time is Here” where Marah and crew sound disturbingly like the Peanuts gang, and “Holy Jolly Christmas,” (sung by Burl Ives on the 1964 clay-puppet classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.)

There’s some typical over covered songs like “Silver Bells,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “Winter Wonderland.” But there’s a very obscure Buck Owens song “Christmas Times A Comin’” And better yet are some fine original tunes here including a polka-like “Counting the Days (Til Christmas),” the Brian Wilson-worthy “Christmas with the Snow” and “New York is a Christmas Kind of Town.”


THE LEEVEES
Hanukkah Rocks

(Reprise)

Back in the late ‘80s — when 2 Live Crew was the rap group that was the biggest threat to civilization — there was a parody of As Nasty as They Wanna Be called As Kosher as They Wanna Be by a group calling itself Two Live Jews. The anchor cut was a takeoff of Crew’s “Me So Horny,” called “Oy! It’s So Humid.”

The LeeVees (Adam Gardner and Dave Schneider) channel the spirit of Two Live Jews, and probably even Allen Sherman on this collection of funny songs about Hanukkah and the chosen people in general.

“Latke Clan” is about Hanukkah spirit (“Santa’s cool/But Hanukkah Harry’s the man …”), while “Goyim Friends” examines the jealousy that Jewish kids feel when they get six packs of socks on Hanukkah when their Christian pals get snowboards and iPods for Christmas.
My favorite is “How Do You Spell Channukkahh”: “In elementary school/A Spanish kid told me/That it starts with a silent J/But Julio was wrong.”

The humor is non-stop and the music is catchy, infectious pop rock, including Farfisa organ on many tracks. Maybe next year The LeeVees will team up with Kinky Friedman for more Jewish holiday fun.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: ORDERED BY GOD

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Dec. 8, 2005



Gov. Bill Richardson was the interview subject in this week’s “10 Questions” section of Time magazine. He talked about immigration, his book, his meetings with famous dictators, etc.
And he also spoke a little bit about theology, specifically the divine right of early primary states.

“Nobody should tamper with Iowa and New Hampshire being the initial primaries or caucuses,” Richardson told Time. “That's God given and party given.”

This is even stronger than what he told people in New Hampshire last summer at a political breakfast. There, Richardson said that having the first primary in the nation is “your birthright.” But he didn’t mention God by name.

Even so, a Democratic National Committee panel is apparently trying to mess with God’s plan.

The 40-member commission is considering a plan that would add a Western and a Southern state to the January primary calendar.

“The four Western states under consideration are Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada as well as Colorado,” Rocky Mountain News columnist Peter Blake wrote Wednesday. “But Mike Stratton, a Colorado political strategist who's on the commission, conceded Nevada is the likely choice.”

Stratton, by the way, was working for Richardson during the governor’s visit to New Hampshire last June.

But a Nov. 30 story in the Manchester Union Leader quotes New Hampshire’s secretary of state William Gardner saying he will move up the New Hampshire primary if the Democrats adopt the proposed primary plan. And state law allows him to do it.

Truly he is a man of God.

Meanwhile, Richardson still is pushing for a regional primary — which would include this state, Arizona, Utah and possibly others — for Feb. 5, 2008.

For the record, God didn’t create the New Hampshire primary until 1913. Actually, according to the New Hampshire Political Library’s the Web site, it was a body called “The General Court” that created the primary. The first primary actually wasn’t held until 1916.

But New Hampshire didn’t become the first-in-the-nation primary until 1920, when the state of Minnesota decided to drop its primary and Indiana moved its primary back to May. I’m not sure what happened here.

Did God also create the Minnesota and Indiana primaries and decide He had made a mistake?

Or were those primaries the work of Satan?

At first New Hampshire primary voters elected delegates to the national political conventions. It wasn’t until 1952 that God decided the names of the presidential candidates themselves should be on the ballot.

God didn’t get the January Iowa caucuses going until 1972. (A history of the caucuses by The Des Moines Register also gives former Iowa Gov. Harold Hughes some of the credit.)

Baseball blues: The subject of Richardson’s professional baseball “career” was bound to come up in the Time interview.

After all, last week in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Tom Ruprecht, a writer for Late Show with David Letterman poked wicked fun at the governor’s recent discovery that he actually had not been drafted by the Kansas City Athletics in the 1960s.

Ruprecht’s story, headlined “Field of Hallucinations,” started out, “Yes, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico had to embark on an exhaustive fact-finding mission to determine whether or not he was ever a major-league baseball player. (And we wonder why nothing gets done in government.)”

In the Time interview, Richardson, apparently decided that a good defense is a bad pun.

“I had been told by various scouts that I would be drafted if I signed,” he told reporter Karen Tumulty. “When it appeared in the official program of my team that I had been drafted, I assumed it was correct. However, the mistake was mine. I should have checked. Obviously, it's become a little bit of an instance where I dropped the ball. Get it, Karen?”

“I get it, I get it,” Tumulty replied.

“Get that?” Richardson continued. “Dropped the ball?”

Flattery will get you nowhere: State Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque, who according to the Roundhouse rumor mill was considering a run for state attorney general or treasurer, announced last week that he would instead seek a fourth term in the House of Representatives.

“While I am flattered by the support I have received to run for higher office, I believe the best way I can serve the people of New Mexico is to remain in the Legislature,” Park said in a news release.

How come I get the feeling that if he’d been flattered with more support, he might have been making a different announcement?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

E-MAILS FROM POSSUM

I've recently been involved in correspondence with the one and only George Jones. I didn't realize until this week that he's not only one of America's greatest entertainers, he's also an important official with the government of Mauritius. Not only that, but he has a plan that could make ME some money.


Here's the e-mails we've exchanged the past few days:

From: georgejones@virgilio.it
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 5:34 AM
To: (Me! Steve Terrell!)
Subject: Funds for keeps/investment

Sir/Madam,

My name is Mr George Jones, chairman of contract award and monitoring committee of the ministry of industry and international trade development, my duty as empowered by the Mauritius government is to provide the basic amenities, social recreational activities in urban and rural areas.

This program includes assistance to deprived local communities and to co-ordinate projects and development at the national level. Furthermore,from this projects were able to realize some reasonable amount of u.s.$21.8 (Twenty one million eight hundred thousand US. dollars only) as commission from various contractors resulting from over invoicing of payment receipts/vouchers hence all the necessary approvals has been completed.

These approved funds were packaged and dispatched through a security company for onward delivery to its destination in Europe. The money was first deposited into a security vault before we arrange for its movement to Europe through diplomatic channel using decoy purporting that the fund belongs to an expatriate/company.

As we are government officials, the oath of office does are not allowed us to operate foreign bank account, hence we need you to stand as the beneficiary and claim the fund on our behalf from the security company.

Presently I am now in Europe to search for a reliable person/company of high integrity /dignity and one with conscience who will claim this fund on our behalf as the beneficiary.

We have agreed to give you 30% of the total sum as commission for your assistance/effort and 5% will be used to settle every expenses incurred, we will use 65% to invest under your recommendation/guide and go into joint venture business with you.

I would greatly appreciate your assistance and I look forward to your response as soon as possible through this e mail address:georgejjons@netscape.com

Best regards,

Mr George Jones

(To which I replied ...)

From: (me)
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 5:34 AM
To: georgejones@virgilio.it
Subject: Re: Funds for keeps/investment

You can't fool me, George! You're America's greatest country singer.

swt

(Then today, George wrote back ...)

From: georgejjons@netscape.net
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 2:40 AM
To: Steve Terrell
Subject: information from Mr George Jones.


y will be required to come with their official handling charges.{NOTE: That's how it actually starts, "y will be required ..." Must be some Mauritian slang.) The fees representing the handling charges will be paid in the office on your arrival, and receipt will be given to you immediately before your funds is subsequently released to you.

On your acceptance of all the above, the contact details of FORTIS security company is below:

FORTIS SECURITIES AND FINANCE
15 KOMMERSTRAAT,AMSTELVEEN BRANCH,
AMSTERDAM THE NETHERLANDS.
CONTACT PERSON;MR VAN ENLO
EmailAddress: fortisfinancebv@mail2world.com

Please due contact them and get back to me,I will be waiting for your response including the requested information of your personal data(full names, address, phone/fax numbers) or do you want us to use your official contact information below.

Note : the motto of this business is trust , secret and confidence. I will expect your phone call as soon as you receive this mail.

Sincerely.

George Jones

(Wow! George Jones is sharing secrets with ME! And I notice his e-mail changed too. So I wrote back ...)


From: (me)
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 2:40 AM
To: georgejjons@netscape.net
Subject: Re: information from Mr George Jones.

I love the way you do "Window Up Above."

Possum, you are a genius.

swt

XXXXXXX

Remember folks, the motto of this business is "trust , secret and confidence," so please don't tell anyone.

Monday, December 05, 2005

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, December 4, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Backstreet Girl by Social Distortion
This Side of Heaven by The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Let There Be Pain by The Stillettos
Dimples by The Animals
Push Up Man by The Fleshtones
The Unheard Music by X
Hit the Road Jack by Cat
Captain of a Shipwreck by Neil Diamond

Robert Mugge Set
(from the soundtracks of Deep Blues and Last of the Mississippi Jukes)
Jr. Blues by Junior Kimbrough
Casino in the Cottonfields by Vasti Jackson & The King Edward Blues Band
Love Like I Wanna by Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes
Strokin' by Patrice Moncell

John Lennon Tribute
Not John by Loudon Wainwright III
Give Me Some Truth by John Lennon
No Reply by The Beatles
Cold Turkey by John Lennon
Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles
Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles
God by John Lennon

Instant Karma by John Lennon
I Am the Walrus by The Beatles
Run For Your Life by The Beatles
Remember by John Lennon
Don't Let Me Down by The Beatles
The Late Great Johnny Ace by Paul Simon
Medley: Happy Xmas/Give Peace a Chance by John Lennon
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, December 03, 2005

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, December 2, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Don't Get Above Your Raisin' by Ricky Skaggs with Elvis Costello
Haley's Comet by The Tom Russell Band
Cortez Sail by Terry Allen
The Moon is High by Neko Case
Ghosts in the Holler by The Family Lotus
Trotsky's Blues by Joe West
Behind the Fear by Lurn Hatcher

Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over by Jack White
Steve McQueen by Drive-By Truckers
I Like My Chicken Fryin' Size by Hank Thompson
New Lee Highway Blues by David Bromberg
County Line by Eleni Mandell
Silver Bells by The Rev. Horton Heat

He'll Have to Go by Ry Cooder
The Big Easy by The Jimmy Stadler Band
Blue Louisiana by Bobby Earl Smith
Hard Luck Troubador by Nancy Apple & Rob McNultin
To the Music World Unknown by Oneil Howes
Bluer Than You by Ronny Elliott
It Took 4 Beatles to Make One Elvis by Harry Hayward
Your Past is Going to Come Back to Haunt You by Emily Kaitz
Christmas Time is Here by Marah

On the Wings of a Dove by Lucinda Williams & Nanci Griffith
My Sister's Tiny Hands by The Handsome Family
Lonely Boy/Greener by Boris McCutcheon
Ain't No Cane on the Brazos by The Band
(Think About a) Lullaby by Merle Haggard
Last Train from Poor Valley by Norman Blake
Am I That Easy to Forget by Bobby Bare
Four Walls by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, December 02, 2005

ROBERT MUGGE'S MUSICAL SPIRIT

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
December 2, 2005

To filmmaker Robert Mugge, music is a metaphor for the human spirit.

“It’s beneath the surface in every film I’ve made,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “Music is a leaping-off place for discussions of social issues, cultural issues, political issues, even religious issues.”


Mugge, who will be in town to present three of his music documentaries at the Santa Fe Film Festival, is enmeshed in a project to document the effects of Hurricane Katrina on a city that is a major wellspring of American music. Mugge is making the Katrina movie for the cable network Starz.

“The story of what’s happening in New Orleans is so big,” Mugge said, “you can turn on a camera anywhere there and get something interesting. You can talk to anyone you see on the street and get a great story. So music makes it a manageable focus.”

Music has been a metaphor for Mugge’s spirit since his early childhood in North Carolina in the early 1950s, when a radio introduced him to the strange and alluring world of American music — country, gospel, and rock ’n’ roll.

Mugge began studying film in the early ’70s at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. By the end of the ’70s he’d made documentaries about Frostburg, Md. (an Appalachian mining town where he’d gone to college in the 1960s), and controversial Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo. George Crumb: Voice of The Whale (1976), a portrait of the contemporary avant-garde composer, was Mugge’s first music movie.

In 1978 Mugge began filming Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, a portrait of the Alabama-born jazz spaceman. From then on, music, musicians, and places where music is made have been his focus.

Music isn’t shortchanged in Mugge’s movies. Unlike many music documentaries that interrupt great performances for inane fan chatter or irrelevant observations, Mugge frequently allows the whole song to play and let the music speak for itself. And his interview segments almost always go straight to the core.

Mugge has made documentaries about bluegrass, reggae, and Hawaiian music and has done films centered on Rubén Blades, Sonny Rollins, Robert Johnson, and Gil Scott-Heron. In 1984’s Gospel According to Al Green, Mugge became the first interviewer to get the soul singer to open up about a terrible night in which a spurned girlfriend threw a pot of boiling grits on him — causing second-degree burns — then went into a bedroom and fatally shot herself.

He’s done several movies on the blues, three of which are showing at the film festival. Deep Blues, a 1991 film narrated by Arkansas music writer Robert Palmer, features performances by Mississippi masters R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough — captured on film well before they became cult heroes on Fat Possum records — as well as lesser-known worthies like Jessie Mae Hemphill (both solo and with her fife-and-drum band), Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes, and Big Jack Johnson.

Mugge said that a major point of Deep Blues was that pockets of authentic Mississippi blues were alive and well. But by 1999, when he made Hellhounds on My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert Johnson, “I started to sense (Mississippi blues) was beginning to die. A lot of performers were dying, and jukes were closing down.”

That concern prompted him in 2003 to make Last of the Mississippi Jukes, which also is showing at the film festival. While it’s full of high-powered performances by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Chris Thomas King, Vasti Jackson, Bobby Rush, and Patrice Moncell, it’s ultimately a sad film.

It starts off with a brand-new juke joint in Clarksdale, Miss., the Ground Zero Blues Club, which is co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman. But it ends at the Subway Lounge in Jackson, Miss., shortly before the club closed. At the end of the film there’s hope that the Subway would be renovated and revived. However, due to structural problems, the building has since been demolished.

The third film Mugge presents in Santa Fe is Rhythm ’N’ Bayous: A Road Map to Louisiana Music, originally released in 2000. Mugge said the purpose of this film was to show the impressive breadth of music in Louisiana — Cajun, zydeco, Creole, gospel, country, blues, soul, funk, jazz, rock ’n’ roll — and not just focus on “the same people” usually chosen to represent Louisiana music.

Among those featured in the movie are jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, rockabilly artist Dale Hawkins, New Orleans rocker Frankie “Sea Cruise” Ford, and blues pianist Henry Butler.

Rhythm ’N’ Bayous can be considered a preamble to his new project about Katrina’s effect on New Orleans music, a joyful picture of “before” that will provide a sad contrast with the “after” that Mugge is documenting.

In the days before his interview with Pasatiempo, Mugge had been in New Orleans and other locales in the South talking with and filming performances of New Orleans musicians. He found cars on top of houses and in swimming pools, and he saw mysterious men dressed in black patrolling the neighborhoods at night. He filmed in clubs with no running water and unspeakably foul restrooms.

Mugge convinced the Army Corps of Engineers to take him up in a helicopter for an aerial perspective of the city and of landmarks such as Fats Domino’s house. Mugge’s co-producer, Diane Zelman, convinced a voodoo priestess to allow the crew to shoot a voodoo ceremony in a neighborhood where electricity hadn’t been restored. At the climax of the ritual — whose purpose was “to bring the city back to life,” Mugge said — the lights suddenly came back on, evoking nervous laughter from all involved.

Mugge filmed a gig at Grant Street Music Hall in Lafayette in which Marcia Ball presented fellow pianist Eddie Bo with a new electronic keyboard to replace the one he’d lost in the hurricane.

He shot an unknown guitarist playing an unplugged electric guitar on the roof of his mother’s home.

“We filmed Irma Thomas going back to her home, which is now gutted,” Mugge said, speaking of the venerated soul singer. “We went with her to her nightclub, the Lion’s Den, which was destroyed. She pointed to these Christmas lights on the wall and said, ‘You guys put those there 12 years ago’” when Mugge filmed Thomas for True Believers, a film about Rounder Records.

The new Thomas footage as well as that of Ruffins, whom he tracked down in Houston, will be interspersed with old performance footage “from happier times.”

A major question underlying the Katrina project is whether New Orleans will survive as a living, thriving music center. It’s a question Mugge has yet to answer.

“Cyril Neville believes there’s a real conspiracy among white financial people to do away with the black, impoverished neighborhoods,” Mugge said. “That’s where the people get this culture that’s responsible for this music.”

But even people who are less conspiracy-minded fear that New Orleans will be rebuilt as a Disneyfied version of its former self, perhaps something like Beale Street in Memphis, once a bucket-of-blood crucible of the blues, now an upscale tourist district offering safe, sanitized blues.

“People want to make sure that the city (government) doesn’t sell them out and don’t try to turn it into a new Las Vegas,” Mugge said.

Many New Orleans musicians have fled and might not return. Ruffins is Houston, Eddie Bo in Lafayette, and Neville in Austin, Texas. “These guys are really good and they’re still New Orleans musicians,” Mugge said. “But if New Orleans ceases to be New Orleans, there’s no place for them. If every city in the country has its own New Orleans musician, are they truly New Orleans musicians if the city’s ceased to function?”

New Orleans, Mugge says, “is like a body without a spirit. The music itself is the spirit.”

(The photo way above is Robert Mugge with Jack Owens during the filming of Deep Blues.)

Schedule for Mugge Films at Santa Fe Film Festival

Deep Blues 7:30 p.m Thursday Dec. 8
Rhythm 'N' Bayous 2:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 9
Last of the Mississippi Jukes 2:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 11
(All at CCA Cinematheque, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe NM 87505, phone: 505 982 1338)

STEEEEEEE-RIKE!

The commentary on Gov. Bill Richardson's baseball career keeps coming.

Here's a hilarious op-ed piece titled "Field of Hallucinations" from Tom Ruprecht in The New York Times.

One of my favorite paragraphs:
Howard Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, concedes he may not have been a member of the Beatles. "I have distinct memories of singing 'Penny Lane' and 'Rocky Raccoon,' but whether I did that as a member of the Beatles or in my dorm room, I am unable to determine at this time," Mr. Dean says. Scientists studying Beatles albums find no evidence of Mr. Dean's voice, though they do note that there is one scream on "Helter Skelter" that could be his.
I like this one too:
With others in Washington rewriting their biographies, former House majority leader Tom DeLay asserts his claim that he is the pope. The recently indicted pontiff denounces his colleagues' dishonesty and proclaims himself "saddened" by the state of politics before jetting off with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff for missionary work in Cancún.

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: A WORTHY CONSPIRACY

So you thought The Hives were the only serious high-voltage guitar band to come out of Scandinavia? Think again.

The (International) Noise Conspiracy is one exciting band of Swedes whose albums almost, though not quite live up to their live performance.

On the new (I)NC CD, Armed Love, Dennis Lyxzen and the boys continue on their strange path of aggressive socialist lyrics and even more aggressive music.

While The Hives are armed with personality and humor in addition to their musical chops, these guys are all hopped up on rhetoric.

“The (International) Noise Conspiracy calls for a change,” proclaims the band’s Web site bio. “Now is the time for questioning, organizing and action. The political left needs to take the step back into the mainstream and the open air to let people know that there's an alternative to this barbaric state of the world today.”

(They’re not completely humorless. An earlier (I)NC song was titled "Capitalism Stole My Virginity.")

“To have rhythm and revolution/Seems like an easy solution/But right now we‘re gonna set it all on fire” Lyxzen sings on the title song, basically proclaiming the Conspiracy’s underlying philosophy.

“We got guns for everyone … We got love for everyone,” he proclaims on one song.

The Conspiracy comes across like a modern -- but not too modern -- version of the MC5. Or imagine if Rage Against the Machine had started out on Shindig?

Few other bands could get away with singing lines like “No more dreams about the power structure/Now we’re on the move,” (from “Landslide”) or “I don’t want to have to wait forever/I want freedom on this side of Heaven,” (from “This Side of Heaven.”) Few bands could even get away with having a song titled “Communist Moon” these days: “Let’s share all our dreams tonight under a communist moon,” Lyxzen bubbles.

All this would sound like so much left-wing flotsam and dribble except one thing.

These damned commies are good!

Armed Love is produced by Rick Rubin, who contrary to popular notion doesn’t just work on reviving the careers of senior citizens like the late Johnny Cash, Donovan and, most recently Neil Diamond. He’s captured the sweaty essence of the band.

One strange aspect of this album: Somewhere along the line the group lost its keyboard player, Sara which is an important part of their sound. (Reviewing their set last year at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin I compared them with Steppenwolf, a truly underrated band from the late ‘60s known for their keyboards as well as their guitars.)

Rubin compensates for this loss by supplying guest keyboardists, including the likes of Benmont Trench (of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers) and, even more impressive, Billy Preston. It works on this album, but I hope they find a permanent organist.

Also recommended

Beachhead
by The Fleshtones. There’s a song on this album called “Late September Moon.” I don’t think it’s a communist moon. When they sing “I Want the Answers,” I don’t think they are addressing the song to The White House. Indeed you won’t find much in the way of politics on this or any other other Fleshtones album I’ve heard. (O.K., they had an early song called "Atom Spies," but that was a surfy instrumental that sounded a lot like the "Batman" theme.) Their only mission is to praise “Pretty Pretty Pretty” women, encourage good lovin’ in every state of the union and spread the gospel of what they call “Super Rock.”

But like the (International) Noise Conspiracy, this American band revels in old-fashioned fuzzed-up guitar/cheesy keyboard rock. In fact The Fleshtones are one of the only contemporary “garage” bands that enthusiastically embraces the term and the concept of “garage-band” rock.

Maybe it’s their age. The band has been around for almost 30 years now, starting out in the mid ‘70s in Queens, New York. Singer/organist Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng and drummer Bill Milhizer have been the band from the start.

They were contemporaries of The Cramps, a band with whom they often are compared. However, while The Cramps leaned more towards horror and other B-movie imagery, The Fleshtones tended to avoid obvious shtick.

Still, they sounded -- and still sound -- like they memorized every song of the entire Nuggets box set.

About half of Beachhead was recorded in Detroit and produced by Jim Diamond of The Dirtbombs, while the other half was recorded in North Carolina by Southern Culture on The Skids’ Rick Miller. Although the band touts this as some kind of “North vs. South” concept, Diamond and Miller have similar sensibilities, at least when it comes to The Fleshtones.

You won’t find much artsy stuff here, just the hard-driving Fleshtones Super Rock. A little retro -- “I Want the Answers,” for instance, has a melody similar to The Standells’ “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” and The Romantics’ “What I Like About You” -- but vital enough to rock without nostalgia.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: POLL DANCING

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Dec. 1, 2005


That Richardson. His suits don’t fit, but his latest poll numbers ought to make him feel pretty comfortable.

In fact, a statewide tracking poll shows Gov. Bill Richardson with a 63 percent approval rating, a full 10 points higher than his approval number just four months ago.

The poll was conducted between Nov. 11 and 13 by a New Jersey firm called SurveyUSA and paid for by KOB TV in Albuquerque. It is based on automated phone calls to 600 New Mexican adults. The margin of error is 3.9 percent.

Participants were asked “Do you approve or disapprove of the job Bill Richardson is doing as Governor?” Only 34 percent said they disapproved.

The gap between his approval and disapproval numbers also is widening. “Richardson has gone from Plus 13 in June to Plus 29 in November, which is singularly impressive,” said Jay Levy, an editor with SurveyUSA.

According to the poll, which tracks numbers for governors in all 50 states, Richardson is now the 13th most popular governor in the nation. That’s up from July when he was merely the 20th most popular governor.

Suiting Up: So what’s happened since July to help Richardson’s approval numbers?

There was the trip to North Korea in October, allowing Richardson to wear his diplomat suit.

There was his quick and widely praised appointment of Doug Brown — a Republican — to fill out the term of indicted state Treasurer Robert Vigil, allowing Richardson to wear his bi-partisan suit.

Then there were the energy-rebate checks — sent to virtually every taxpayer in the state — allowing Richardson to wear his Santa Claus suit.

And there were television commercials airing all over the state in early November with actors posing as cowboys touting those energy-rebate checks (and poking some good-natured fun at the governor’s suits.)

New Mexico pollster Brian Sanderoff said the ads — which weren’t countered by any GOP commercials — could be a factor in the better poll numbers.

Greg Graves, who is managing the gubernatorial campaign of Republican J.R. Damron of Santa Fe, said Wednesday he believes the commercials are a major reason for Richardson’s improving numbers.

One problem with this theory though. According to SurveyUSA, Richardson’s numbers rose most between September and October, before the commercials were aired.

Automated calls: About a month ago Sanderoff conducted a poll for The Albuquerque Journal that included a question about Richardson. He found Richardson’s approval rating at 53 percent.

Sanderoff on Tuesday pointed to the fact that SurveyUSA’s poll uses an automated system.

He said that people who aren’t interested in state politics or who don’t have an opinion on Richardson — not to mention those among us who get angry when we get calls at home from automated androids — are more likely to hang up on such a call than they are when there’s a live human on the other end of the line.

Therefore, Sanderoff said, the percentage of “undecideds” is going to be much lower in automated polls, while the percentage for approval and disapproval tend to rise. In the new poll a measly three percent were undecided.

But even with this factor, Sanderoff noted that the overall trend in Richardson’s SurveyUSA polls is upward.

Graves said he’s not daunted by Richardson’s high numbers.

“He’s got a record he’s going to run on and he’s got a record we’re going to run on,” he said.

Richardson, Graves said, “is going to be under more scrutiny and more of his foibles are going to be reported. You’ll see how quickly 10 points can be made up.”

No Joy in Mudville: The poll was taken before the story broke about Richardson admitting that he indeed was not drafted by the Kansas City Athletics in the mid ‘60s as he’d previously claimed.

The national response to that story has not been pretty.

Bob Warner of Cincinnati Enquirer wrote.

“Richardson has had hopes of making it to the big show — as a Democratic presidential nominee. Maybe someday he will have to research how he didn't get that call either.”

But Richardson has at least one defender. Local gallery owner and activist Steve Fox took time out of his recent crusade against the sweetener aspartame to write a letter to the online edition of Editor and Publisher.

There Fox called the baseball story “a dismal and failed attempt at character assassination.”

“How about the other party's leaders' protracted and elaborate lies about Iraq's ‘weapons of mass destruction,’” Fox asked.

Monday, November 28, 2005

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, November 27, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Thanksgiving in Reno by Too Much Joy
Family Functions by That Dog
Amazons and Coyotes by Simon Stokes
Don't Slander Me by Roky Erikson
Serious by The Fleshtones
Pink Stillettos by The Stillettos
Let's Make History by The (International) Noise Conspiracy
I'm Coming Over by X
Square Pegs by The Waitresses

Seven Silver Curses by The Fiery Furnaces
K-Stars by Stereolab
Out of the Window by Yo La Tengo
Treat Me by Boozoo Bajou
All Alone by They Might Be Giants
Crackhouse Mayhem Suicide by Stuurbaard Baakkebaard
Hell Rules by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Nobody's Cryin' by Bernadette Seacrest & Her Yes Men
Little Sparrow by Bettye LaVette
Tomorrow Night by Lavern Baker
I'll Weep No More by Betty Everett with Ike Turner
Fattening Frogs For Snakes by Sonny Boy Williamson & The Animals
Having a Party by Sam Cooke
Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul

Hell Yeah by Neil Diamond
Wear Your Love Like Heaven by Donovan
A Solitary Life by Richard Thompson
Magic Time by Van Morrison
A Better Word For Love by NRBQ
How's it Gonna End by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

THROWBACK THURSDAY: While the Fiddles Played "Bonaparte's Retreat."

Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow by Adolph Northen It was on this day in 1812 that Napoleon Bonaparte, decided to retreat from Russi...