Monday, March 31, 2008

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, March 30, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

Support the KSFR Fundraiser. Call and pledge, 505-428-1393

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
It's Money That I Love by Randy Newman
Brother Can You Spare a Dime by Odetta & Dr. John
Money (That's What I Want) by Jerry Lee Lewis
Money Won't Change You by James Brown
Money Money by The A-Bones
Money Honey by Elvis Presley

House Rent Boogie by John Lee Hooker
Amphetamine Annie by Canned Heat
Evil Eagle by The Bassholes
Well Did You Ever (What a Swell Party) by Iggy Pop & Debbie Harry
Down to the Ground by The Fleshtones
Bad Boy by The Back Beat Band
Ever Lovin' Man by The Dirtbombs
Witches by Bichos

Red Hot by Billy Lee Riley
Baby, Scratch My Back by Slim Harpo
Eager Beaver Baby by Johnny Burnette
Tarantula by Jody Reynolds
I Hear Voices by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Pig Snoots (parts 1 & 2) by Andre Williams
Son of a Preacher Man by Ike & Tina Turner
Big Long Slidin' Thing by Dinah Washington
Kukamonga Boogaloo by King Kahn & The Shrines
Treat Me Like a Dog by King Kahn & BBQ

Mr. Orange by Dengue Fever
Thirsty and Miserable by The Dirty Projectors
I Do What I Want When I Want by Xiu Xiu
Nausea by X
Steal Away by Carla Bozulich
Ear-Cutting Samurai Monks/What a Wonderful Day by Shoukichi Kina
I'll Make You Happy by Kontikis
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, March 30, 2008

SUPPORT KSFR -- GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!

Turn your radio on. Pledge to KSFR
KSFR, Santa Fe Public Radio, began its spring pledge drive this morning.

You know the drill: Help us out. Donate what you can so we can continue bringing you quality radio such as The Santa Fe Opry, Terrell's Sound World and all the other shows you know and love.

You can pledge HERE or by calling 505-428-1393 (or, for you U.S. Postal Service fans, mailing it to KSFR, PO Box 31366, Santa Fe, NM 87594. )

And between 10 p.m. and midnight tonight, while I'm doing Sound World, call me live at the studio if you'd like to pledge. I'll take your money. I'm not proud.

But do it!

KSFR. PLEDGE NOW!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, March 28, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
New Lee Highway Blues by David Bromberg
Then I'll Be Moving On by Mother Earth
If I'm To Blame by Chipper Thompson
Don't Know Your Name by Goshen
Judas Iscariot by Joe West & The Sinners

If Daddy Don't Sing Danny Boy by The Hacienda Brothers
Wasted Days and Wasted Nights/Volver Volver by Billy Bacon & The Forbidden Pigs with Chris Gafney
Come Back to Old Santa Fe by Jerry Faires
Gorgeous George by Ronny Elliott
Unoriginal by Hundred Year Flood
If You See Me Comin' by Arty Hill & The Long Gone Daddies
Humdinger by The Farmer Boys
Leapin' Lizzie by Tom Adler

Put it Back by Billy Kaundart
Bears in Them Woods by Nancy Apple
Walk You Home by Marlee MacLeod
That Nightmare is Me by Mose McCormack
Coca Cola Cowboy by Mel Tillis
The Hurrier I Go The Behinder I Get by The Last Mile Ramblers
Prayin' Hands by Elliott Rogers
Waco Express by The Waco Brothers

Cold and Blind by Possessed by Paul James
Gris Gris by Jaime Michaels
Hula Hula Boys by Warren Zevon
Where's the Check? by The Cerrillos Islanders
The One that Got Away by Jono Manson
Texas Tornado by Ed Pettersen
Safe by ThaMuseMeant
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, March 28, 2008

PROBABLY JUST A COINCIDENCE ...

Regarding the news that former Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans is taking over the state Tax and Rev Department, and Jan Goodwin is being shuffled over to the Educational Retirement Board:
Jan Goodwin
I can't help but remember some stories I did several months ago about Richardson cabinet secretaries who contributed to his presidential campaign and those who didn't.

At the time I wrote the first story last May only four cabinet members had not given money to Richardson's national race.

Then, a week later, two of those four had gone.

Goodwin was one of the last two standing.

(The other, who still is there, is state Adjutant Gen. Kenny Montoya, who said he likes keeping the state National Guard out of politics.)

Last year all involved, including Goodwin, said there was no pressure to contribute.

And I'm sure nobody held it against her that she was one of the few cabinet secretaries who didn't go to Iowa to campaign for Richardson.

MULLETS AGAINST DRUGS

In an apparent move to head off a blackmail attempt, Darren White's Congressional campaign actually released this video in a fund-raiser email.

The sheriff's campaign Web site explains:

In the late eighties, a group of Albuquerque Police Officers decided to use an innovative way to teach kids to stay away from drugs and gangs. They formed a rock band called "The Force" and took their show on the road, performing for thousands of school children across New Mexico.

White is running for the Republican nomination for CD 1. I'm not endorsing anyone, so if Joe Carraro has any videos of him singing "That's Amore," I'll post that too.

Rock on.

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: SXSW WRAP-UP PART II

Here's the final installment of my SXSW stuff for The New Mexican. Like last week's faithful blog readers will recognize some of the items here from my blogging from Austin.

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 28, 2008


JIM JAMES, MY MORNING JACKET

I know the South by Southwest Music Festival has been over for nearly two weeks now. But I saw way too much music I feel compelled to babble about, so here’s Part 2 of this year’s SXSW saga.

One thing you can count on in Austin, Texas, during SXSW week is that music is everywhere. Besides the bars and restaurants, Austin’s art galleries, parks, vacant lots, and alleys become instant venues. And sometimes surprising musicians pop up in odd corners.
RAY WYLIE & LUCAS

During Roky Erickson’s Psychedelic Ice Cream Social at Threadgill’s, I went inside the restaurant to use the ATM. A kind stranger told me, “Hey, Ray Wylie Hubbard is playing in the back room.” Indeed he was. Hubbard — who is best known for writing “Redneck Mother,” though he has written dozens of superior tunes — was doing a short acoustic set of blues songs with his teenage son Lucas, who’s getting pretty good on guitar.

The next night, I met with a huge group of friends and friends of friends at Artz Rib House. There I was introduced to singer-songwriter Jeff Talmadge. “You’re from Santa Fe, you must know Jaime,” he said. Jaime who? “Jaime Michaels, the guy who just finished playing. Indeed, the Santa Fe singer had just done an acoustic set a few feet behind me, but I’d been so busy yakking with my pals that I missed him.

Here’s some more music that I did see:

* My Morning Jacket: I have some qualms about this band. Sometimes MMJ veers dangerously close to classic-rock pabulum. Sometimes they sound like an overblown country-rock band. But Jim James’ musical vision is so unusual that most of the time he’s able to transcend these influences. The lords of Louisville, Kentucky, played for nearly two hours, starting off with a great rush of energy and songs that were powerful and intense. I believe they were mainly new tunes from the group’s upcoming album Evil Urges, though the set was liberally sprinkled with songs from its albums Z and It Still Moves. The middle of the first hour sagged a bit as James and crew concentrated on slower, more country songs. But then they got their footing again, and nearly every song in the next hour and 15 minutes sounded like a blistering climax.

JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO * Johnette Napolitano: I was apprehensive about this show when I learned it would be a solo acoustic set. But those fears vanished once Napolitano opened her throat and started wailing. In her sexy Morticia Addams dress, she showed that singer-songwriter gigs don’t have to be gimpy. I’d seen her twice before with Concrete Blonde, but this might have been the most powerful performance of hers I’ve ever witnessed. Napolitano balanced the set with newer tunes and familiar Concrete Blonde songs like “Joey” and “Mexican Moon.” The highlight had to be her a cappella version of “Tomorrow Wendy.” Even though she left out the verse that begins, “I told the priest/don’t count on any second coming,” the song was just devastating. She’s been doing the song for nearly 20 years, but the emotion that night was raw and deep.

* Van Morrison: I was only able to catch thean the Man’s showcase. It was the first time I’d ever seen him, and he was flawless and soulful as expected, playing new or less-familiar songs. But later that night, when I saw Napolitano’s show, it was obvious that the venerated Belfast Cowboy hadn’t exactly poured his guts into his show the way she had hers.

BAYOU CITY BEACH PARTY
* Bayou City Beach Party: After my pals — who didn’t have wristbands or badges — were told they couldn’t get into the R.E.M. show at Stubb’s Bar-B-Que, we decided to go to Headhunters across the street. I’d stumbled into this joint the night before and appreciated the tiki decor and biker/punk vibe. This band, from Houston, was an energetic bunch. Singer Blake Shepard is young but a born showman, and he romped through his Stooge-y punk-boogie tunes.

YO LA TENGO
* Yo La Tengo: This New Jersey trio played an amazing set at Austin Music Hall. I arrived late, and they were playing some of their weird, poppy material with frontman Ira Kaplan on keyboards. I guess I’m just a guitar-centric kinda guy, but referred it when he switched back to guitar. Like Sonic Youth at its best, Yo La has a great knack for creating beauty out of sonic chaos. The band’s version of “Tom Courtenay” was as gorgeous as Julie Christie, who is name-checked in the lyrics.

* The Breeders: The Deal sisters’ show at the Mess With Texas festival in Waterloo Park probably was my greatest disappointment at this year’s SXSW. I’ve been a fan of The Pixies, as well as The Breeders, for years. I thought The Breeders’ Last Splash was one of the unsung albums of the ’90s. I confess I did enjoy their version of “Cannonball” and “Divine Hammer” from that album at the SXSW show, but most of their music, including songs from their upcoming album Mountain Battles, didn’t jell that night. Part of it was the sound system. In the middle of the show it sounded as if an amp was blown. But even worse, the playing often seemed half-assed. In dorm rooms all over the country there are guitar noodlers who could do better than Kim Deal on some of her s Their cover of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” started off well but fell apart by the end as the band seemed to struggle to make it to the conclusion.

ANDRE!
* Andre Williams: I caught this old R & B warlord kicking off the Bloodshot Records party at the Yard Dog Gallery. Williams, who had some minor hits in the 1950s and early ’60s, is best known for “Shake a Tail Feather,” which, curiously, he didn’t perform that afternoon. After years in obscurity, Williams started recording again with punk-based groups on independent labels, where he’s allowed to be as raunchy as he wants. He’s recorded with The Dirtbombs and, backed by the surf/country Sadies, did a “country” album for Bloodshot back in 1999. At the Yard Dog, Williams emphasized his early rock ’n’ roll background. My only complaint is that his 30-minute set wasn’t long enough.

A HIDEOUS MONSTER SNARLS! ALSO A DRAGON
* The Waco Brothers: I caught them twice — once at the Bloodshot party, then the next day at Jovita’s. As I knew they would, they lived up to the promise of their live album, which I reviewed here a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

HATS OFF TO PETER

PETER WITH HAT
Peter Blackstock, co-founder and co-editor of No Depression, just blogged about my infamous manly headwear THE HAT. Read it HERE

And for more dynamic photos of THE HAT, featuring a small army of lovely models, CLICK HERE.

Next year is a 60-day session at the New Mexico State Legislature, so most likely I won't be attending South by Southwest. Maybe I should bring THE HAT to the Legislature.

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: COIN FLIPS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 27, 2008


Hey kids! Wanna ditch school and get paid?

Back in June 2003, Gov. Bill Richardson announced what his staff called a “bold and comprehensive new plan to reduce truancy in New Mexico schools,” saying, “Truancy is a gateway crime that has been neglected far too long.”

But earlier this week, Richardson’s office announced the unveiling of the new state quarter, saying, “Representatives from First National Bank will be on hand for the public to purchase the newly released quarter. Children under 18 will receive a free quarter.”

That’s nice.

But the ceremony, scheduled for 11 a.m. April 7 in the Capitol Rotunda is during school hours, at least for Santa Fe Public Schools.

Drawn and quartered: Speaking of the state quarter, I have some crow, or maybe some roadrunner, to eat.

Two years ago, when the governor announced the state was seeking ideas for the state quarter design, I made a, well, bold prediction in my blog about the eventual result.

“Though Richardson cautioned against trying to cram too many icons on a tiny quarter, I’m betting on unabashed clutter,” I wrote in 2006. “Many will want to include representations of the three largest cultures in New Mexico — which most likely means a conquistador, an Eagle Dancer and a cowboy. Albuquerque probably will lobby hard for a hot-air balloon — which might have to share the sky with a Virgin Galactic spaceship. The Zia symbol’s got to be in there somewhere, and to symbolize Los Alamos, an atom symbol (that’s so much more tasteful than a mushroom cloud). And don’t forget the roadrunner, the yucca, maybe a Georgia O’Keeffe datura flower, and how about some bats flying out of Carlsbad Caverns?”

I guess I forgot to mention Roswell aliens and Chimayó chile ristras.

But I was wrong.

The design turned out to be a simple Zia symbol over the outline of the state.

Kos and effect: Just a few months ago, when Richardson was running for president, one of his harshest critics in the left blogosphere was honcho Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the Daily Kos blog.

In September, he called Richardson “the buffoon of this campaign” over the governor’s statement that “Iowa, for good reason, for constitutional reasons, for reasons related to the Lord, should be the first caucus and primary.”

“What a stupid thing to say,” Zúniga fumed. “What an epic pander — easily the biggest pander this cycle. ... I can’t believe I ever flirted with voting for the guy.”

But now, the blogger has changed his tune. “For the record, I am rooting for a Richardson VP nod. I’ll be writing about that later this week,” Zúniga blogged on Tuesday.

Stay tuned.
What are you gonna do, bleed on me?
Only a flesh wound: The state Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed 3rd Congressional District candidate Jon Adams’ lawsuit challenging petitions filed by Democratic primary rival Don Wiviott. The high court unanimously upheld state District Judge Daniel Sanchez’s ruling that Adams wasn’t specific enough in his lawsuit that claimed more than 900 of Wiviott’s signatures were invalid.

However, Adams, in a news release later, still insisted Wiviott had committed “massive fraud” with his petitions and said he’s considering an appeal to the federal courts.

Remember that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the Black Knight keeps on fighting even after King Arthur cuts off all his limbs? “Come back here and take what’s coming to you!” the Black Knight shouts, “I’ll bite your legs off!”

The congressional glut: Just in case you were afraid there just aren’t enough candidates for that 3rd Congressional District race, another independent candidate is trying to get on the ballot.
Building contractor Ron Simmons, 62, said Wednesday that he’s starting to gather petitions for the race and already has launched a Web site.

“I know I’m unknown, but I’m serious,” he said.

Simmons said he moved to New Mexico in 1970 and has lived in Nambé, Chimayó and Santa Fe.

He described himself as a “lifelong Democrat,” but said he became upset with the party over its superdelegate system in choosing the presidential nominee at the national convention. Simmons changed his voter registration to “declined to state” in January, he said.

He’s hosting a meet-the-candidate/petition-signature-gathering party at 1:30 p.m. April 5 at the Randall Davey Audubon Center on Upper Canyon Road.

Simmons isn’t the only indie seeking the seat. Former Green Party member Carol Miller of Ojo Sarco is making her third try for the seat.

Getting on the ballot won’t be easy for either of them. Independents need nearly 6,000 valid signatures of registered voters by June 4, the day after New Mexico’s primary election.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BY THE HAIRS OF HIS CHINNY CHIN CHIN


Read all about it! Gov. Richardson to shave his beard!

He told me it's mainly because the First Lady doesn't like his facial hair. But maybe it's also that he's getting tired of national pundits comparing him with Wolfman Jack, Klingons and Bond villains. (The New Mexican site has a poll to see who you think the beard makes Richardson resemble.)

As a Bearded American myself, I say hang tough, gov!

HELP CHRIS GAFFNEY


I just learned tonight from my friend George Bullfrog that Chris Gaffney is suffering from liver cancer.

Gaffney is a singer/guitarist/accordion player who has performed as a solo artist, with his band The Hacienda Brothers and with Dave Alvin's Guilty Men. The picture here shows him with Alvin at the 2006 Thirsty Ear Festival in Santa Fe.

His family, along with Alvin, have set up a Web site to help with Gaffney's medical expenses.

"While Chris has insurance, it will only cover a fraction of his expenses. We need to raise at least $60,000 to cover the difference.," the site says.

Please check out the Web site and help if you can.

Monday, March 24, 2008

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, March 23, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
It's a Cold Night for Alligators by Roky Erickson
Young Men Dead by The Black Angels
The System by Carbon/Silicone
The Hungry Wolf by X
Wild Baby Wow by Lightning Beat-Man
Bad! Bad! Bad! by Ketchup Mania
The Time You Spend by The Come and Go
Let Me Know by The Saints

Creep Me by Deadbolt
It's the Love by The Breeders
Take a Good Look by The Fleshtones
Yesterday's Sorrows by The Chesterfield Kings
Leopardman at C& A by The Dirtbombs
Hairball Alley by Rocket From the Crypt
Paper by The Kilimanjaro Yak Attack
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Chicken Thighs by Andre Williams
Gunpowder by Black Joe Louis & The Honeybears
Bloody Mary by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Hot (I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved) by James Brown
King of the Jungle by King Khan & The Shrines
Chicago Falcon by The Budos Band
Village of Love/Going Back to the Village of Love by Nathaniel Mayer
The Boo Boo Song by King Coleman & The Boo Boos

Tom Courtenay by Yo La Tengo
Gideon by My Morning Jacket
American Coffin by Thurston Moore
That's When I Reach For My Revolver by Mission of Burma
The Cad by Kult
Black Keyboard by Xiu Xiu
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, March 22, 2008

OBAMA & BILL

BILL & CHELSEA
I took this picture of Gov. Richardson and Chelsea Clinton in a Portsmouth, N.H. coffee shop a couple of months before the gov really pissed off Chelsea's mom.

Here's a link to my story (with Kate Nash) in today's New Mexican about the Obama endorsement.

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, March 21, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Back From the Shadows Again by The Firesign Theatre
Waco Express by The Waco Brothers
Saturday Midnight Bop by Jerry J. Nixon
Tongue-Tied Jill by Charlie Feathers
Right or Wrong by Wanda Jackson
RONNY & REBEKAHDrugstore Rock 'n' Roll by Janis Martin
Walk Hard by Dewey Cox
Ragged But Right by George Jones
Drinkin' Blues by Wayne Hancock
Your Cheatin' Heart by Ronny Elliott & Rebekah Pulley

The Genitalia of a Fool by Cornell Hurd featuring Justin Trevino
Honeysuckle Honeypie by Jim Lauderdale
Hall of Fame of Nothing by Arty Hill & The Long Gone Daddies
Wild Gods of Mexico by Ray Wylie Hubbard
All That You Need by Joe Ely
The Winner by Bobby Bare
I'm an Old Cowhand by Dr. John
Ruby (Don't Take Your Love To Town) by Walter Brennan

Bang on the Ear by The Waterboys
The Black Velvet Band by The Irish Rovers
Dirty Old Town by The Pogues
Forty Deuce by Black 47
There Were Roses by Moloney, Keane & O'Connell

Green Fields of France by The Dropkick Murpheys
You Don't Come and See Me Anymore by Malcom Holcomb
In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine & Iris DeMent
Cold Trail Blues by Chris Smither
Wild Geese by Bill & Bonnie Hearne
Sweet Rosie Jones by Buck Owens
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, March 21, 2008

INSOMNIAC ENDORSEMENT

RICHARDSON IN PORTSMOUTH
At about 2 a.m. Mountain Time, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Bill Richardson will be enmdorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president, calling him a "once-in-a- lifetime leader" who can unite the nation and restore America's international leadership.
Richardson, who dropped out of the Democratic race in January, is to appear with Obama on Friday at a campaign event in Portland, Ore., The Associated Press has learned.
The governor's endorsement comes as Obama leads among delegates selected at primaries and caucuses but with national public opinion polling showing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton pulling ahead of him amid controversy over statements by his former pastor.
I'm not sure why the weird hour. More on this later Friday.

UPDATE:
I just found this on my work e-mail. It came over at 1:50 a.m. (Don't let the "Dear Steve" fool you. It's a mass e-mail. A few minutes after it was sent, friend forwarded me a copy he got.

Dear Steve,
During the last year, I have shared with you my vision and hopes for this nation as we look to repair the damage of the last seven years. And you have shared your support, your ideas and your encouragement
to my campaign. We have been through a lot together and that is why I wanted to tell you that, after careful and thoughtful deliberation, I have made a decision to endorse Barack Obama for President.

We are blessed to have two great American leaders and great Democrats running for President. My affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver. It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall. The 1990's were a decade of peace and prosperity because of the competent and enlightened leadership of the Clinton administration, but it is now time for a new generation of leadership to lead America forward. Barack Obama will be a historic and a great President, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad.

Earlier this week, Senator Barack Obama gave an historic speech.
that addressed the issue of race with the eloquence, sincerity, and optimism we have come to expect of him. He inspired us by reminding us of the awesome potential residing in our own responsibility. He asked us to rise above our racially divided past, and to seize the opportunity to carry forward the work of many patriots of all races, who struggled and died to bring us together.

As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been
troubled by the demonization of immigrants--specifically Hispanics-- by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I fear that people will continue to exploit our racial differences--and place blame on others not like them . We all know the real culprit -- the disastrous economic policies of the Bush administration!

Senator Obama has started a discussion in this country long overdue and rejects the politics of pitting race against race. He understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our
differences can we all succeed together as Americans.

His words are those of a courageous, thoughtful and inspiring leader, who understands that a house divided against itself cannot stand. And, after nearly eight years of George W. Bush, we desperately need such a leader.

To reverse the disastrous policies of the last seven years, rebuild our economy, address the housing and mortgage crisis, bring our troops home from Iraq and restore America's international standing, we need a President who can bring us together as a nation so we can confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad.

During the past year, I got to know Senator Obama as we campaigned
against each other for the Presidency, and I felt a kinship with him because we both grew up between words, in a sense, living both abroad and here in America. In part because of these experiences, Barack and I share a deep sense of our nation's special responsibilities in the world.

So, once again, thank you for all you have done for me and my campaign. I wanted to make sure you understood my reasons for my endorsement of Senator Obama. I know that you, no matter what your choice, will do so with the best interests of this nation, in your heart.

Sincerely,

Bill Richardson

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: SXSW WRAP-UP PART 1

Note to blog readers: As many of you quickly will realize, this column is based largely on my SXSW blog posts last week. But read on until the bottom. I added some shows and pix that I was too exhausted to post last week.

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 21, 2008

6th Street, Austin
The theme of many thumb-sucker articles about this year’s South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival was the general malaise in the music industry (which puts the general malaise of the newspaper industry to shame). When I realized that Beatle Bob — the dancin’ fool/ fabulous mop top/rock ’n’ roll koshare from St. Louis — was not in Austin for the festivities, I took it as a dreadful omen for the music biz, an industry lousy with dreadful omens in recent years.

Yet in Austin last week there seemed to be more bands, more fans, and more music — both official SXSW showcases and unofficial parties — than ever before. Even so, registration for SXSW is stagnating, Michael Corcoran of the Austin American-Statesman reported.

There are three levels of SXSW goers. There are the official registrants like me. Popularly known as “badge-wearing scum,” these are the music-industry types who pay up to $650 for a badge to gain entry to all SXSW events and cut in line in front of the lesser mortals. (Bona fide reporter types like me, some musicians, and others get badges for free.)

Then there are the wristband people, who buy a pass that allows them into sanctioned SXSW events (if there’s room). And a growing number of folks forgo both the badge and wristband. Theoretically they can pay cover charges at the individual venues, though the places with well-known bands fill up quickly with badges and wristbands.
THE MESS AT THE CONVENTION CENTER
Most of my SXSW entourage used to buy wristbands but decided this year to go without. For one thing, the bands are more expensive than ever; one friend paid $165 for hers, but in some places they were going for as much as $180. And even worse, they’re a much bigger hassle to get.

In the old days, you’d find someone who lived in Austin willing to stand in line to pick up a whole batch of wristbands for you. These days, I suppose in an effort to stop scalpers, it’s only one per customer, and the wristband wearer has to be present at the time of purchase to have it attached to his or her wrist. I suppose next year they’ll just tattoo a bar code on your wrist.

And worse yet, a wristband doesn’t guarantee you entrance in the shows you want to see. Some of the most popular showcases had signs that read, “Badges Only.”

There are a zillion or so “day parties” from which to choose during SXSW that don’t require wristbands or badges; in most cases, these are free. Corcoran reported Sunday that SXSW organizers, who call these events “parasite parties,” actually provide the Austin fire marshal a list of day parties.

Their concern for our safety is touching.

Here’s a look at some of the shows and events I attended last week, official and otherwise:
ROKY ERIKSON
* Roky Erickson: The godfather of psychedelic horror rock headlined a fine afternoon of rock ’n’ roll at Threadgill’s. His Roky Erickson Psychedelic Ice Cream Social has become an annual event, but this was the first time I’d been able to go.

Erickson, whose struggle with mental problems has been well documented, seems to have recovered quite nicely. He ripped through his songs — leaning heavily on tunes from his greatest album, The Evil One.

His band, The Explosives, is a tight little trio featuring guitarist Cam King. In Austin, he was joined onstage for his last few songs by his old friend, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons (who reportedly is planning a new album with Erickson).
ROKY ART
One of the most amazing aspects of Erickson’s performance is that after each song — most of which are filled with images of paranoia, demons, vampires, and bloody hammers — Erickson flashed the most angelic smile, waved to the crowd, and thanked everyone. “Bless the sunshine,” he said at the end of the set.

Indeed. Bless the sunshine.

* Carbon/Silicon: Pretty inspiring for a bunch of old guys. This band — led by ex-Clash member Mick Jones and Tony James of Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik — played at the Austin Convention Center’s TV studios for a live concert on DirecTV.
CARBON/SILICONE
The quartet, a classic two guitars/bass/drums lineup, plays basic Clash-type tunes with its feet in and its head in leftist politics. Some of the songs had titles like “War on Culture” and “Soylent Green.” Check out some of the band’s free MP3s at their Web site.

* X: This classic Los Angeles punk group has broken up and reformed a few times but still sounds fresh and vibrant. Original guitarist Billy Zoom is back in the fold. With his blond pompadour and Chuck Berry licks, Zoom still looks as if he wandered into the wrong group, thinking he was joining a rockabilly band. But he also looks like he’s having the time of his life.
JOHN DOE (PHOTO BY MOLLY TERRELL)
The weird harmonies of Exene and John Doe are still the highlights of the band. They sing together as if they’ve uncovered some secret Appalachian code to summon the spirits of the ancestors. The group played its old, better-known songs — “Los Angeles,” “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” “White Girl,” “The New World,” “We’re Desperate,” and “The Hungry Wolf.” Some of these are 30 years old, and they don’t sound dated. But I’m wondering whether John Doe and Exene have a few more new songs suitable for X left in them.

* Joe Ely with Joel Guzman.: They recorded a live set at ME TV studios. ME TV is a cool Austin station, headquartered in a former porn theater, which, in the words of its Web site, “is a 24-hour regional network dedicated to showcasing and providing television exposure for regional artists as well as the hundreds of touring groups that make up the vibrant Texas live music scene.”
JOE ELY at 2007 Thirsty Ear Festival with The Flatlanders
Ely sang two originals, “Letter to Laredo” and “All You Need,” plus Billy Joe Shaver’s “Live Forever” and Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freight Liner,” on which he was joined by young singer Ryan Bingham.

Beside Ely’s tunes, the best part of this event, which was sponsored by the Americana Music Association, was the homemade posole, cooked and served by Joe’s wife, Sharon. She told me the recipe comes from New Mexico. I suspect Terry or Jo Harvey Allen might have something to do with that.

Blog Bonus: Some other music I didn't get around to posting about last week.
ED PETTERSEN

* Ed Pettersen: Ed's a fine songwriter and performer. His New Punk Blues released last year, is just full of good songs. He's also a good producer -- a recent project being Song of America, a 3-disc variosu artist collection of songs that made this country great.

We caught Ed at an early morning gig on Saturday, right before he had to catch a plane. Enjoyable as always, though not quite as fun as two years before when he was joined on stage by his old pal Scott Kempner of The Dictators and Del-Lords. The highlight of Ed's set this year had to be "June 1945," a very personal tale of some family history he uncovered fairly recently.
CHUCK PROPHET
* Chuck Prophet: It was worth the rude service at Jovita's to get to hear Chuck's short but potent set.

Prophet, a former member of Green on Red plays a strange brand of noirish roots rock, with lots of sinister twang. He did many songs from his recent album Soap and Water.

The only disappointment was that he didn't do anything from his Waylon Jennings album -- he recorded all the songs from Dreaming My Dreams. I could have listen to Prophet for another hour at least.


THE BLACK ANGELS *The Black Angels: This Austin band played Roky Erickson's party at Threadgill's. This is a band I want to hear more of.

When I mentioned them last week, I said they were a cross between The Jesus & Mary Chain and My Morning Jacket. But you can hear echoes of Bo Diddley and The Electric Prunes as well.

And being on the Roky bill, it's tempting to call them grandchildren of The 13th Floor Elevators.

Continued next week .

UPDATE: Apparently I was WRONG in saying Beatle Bob wasn't at SXSW. My friend Cathy said she saw him walking down the street early in the week. I did some mad Googling and learned that he apparently introduced Roky Erikson at his showcase at Stubb's last Saturday.

It's odd though -- I normally run into him at least 3 or 4 times at SXSW. And I don't think he's ever missed a Waco Brothers appearance at the Bloodshot party. Oh well ... Here's a link to a recent Associated Press story about him.

Another Update: I performed a slight edit on the X section taking out an unintentional inaccuracy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: PROGRESSIVE ABQ DEMS CHALLENGE INCUMBENTS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 20, 2008


Two incumbent state senators from Albuquerque are facing primary challenges by reform-minded Democrats employing the same new political consulting company.
Eric Griego
Former Albuquerque City Councilor Eric Griego, who currently heads the liberal advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children, is running against Sen. James Taylor in the South Valley District 14 once held by former Senate powerhouse Manny Aragon. (A third candidate, political novice Al Armijo, also is running in that district.)

Meanwhile, political newcomer Tim Keller is running in District 17 against 20-year incumbent Sen. Shannon Robinson.

Managing both challengers’ campaigns is Neri Holguin, a veteran of New Mexico politics since 2000. Holguin, who recently headed The Wilderness Society in the state, was campaign director for Soltari, an Albuquerque firm that no longer runs political races.

She’s also managing the Senate campaign of former Bernalillo County Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, who is running against John Blair in the Senate District 15 Democratic primary to see who will face incumbent Republican Sen. Diane Snyder in November.

Holguin’s workload got somewhat easier Tuesday when one of her clients, Santa Fe lawyer Brian Egolf, received no opposition in his House District 47 race.
Tim Keller
Holguin said Wednesday that Griego, Keller and Eichenberg are not running as a part of any slate.

“Both are messengers of change,” she said. “We just need better representation up in Santa Fe. But there’s nothing coordinated. I’m just fortunate to have three high-caliber candidates.”

Still, Griego and Keller are running similar campaigns against their incumbent primary opponents.

Both have been endorsed by the Conservation Voters New Mexico. Both appeared earlier this month at a Meet-up for Democracy for America/Democracy for New Mexico, a liberal activist group.
Sen. Shannon Robinson
“Both Griego and Keller stressed their strong commitment to needed reforms related to ethics, campaign finance, health care, education and a living wage,” the Democracy for New Mexico blog said. “They explained how crucial it is for those who advocate change to band together and work hard to replace legislators more interested in protecting the status quo than reforming a broken system. Only grass-roots action and determination can elect Democrats who will work on behalf of the people instead of the monied special interests.”

Both candidates list ethics reform — an issue that neither Taylor nor Robinson have warmly embraced — as a top priority.

Ethics bills routinely pass the House, but few actually get floor votes in the Senate, where they tend to die slow deaths in committees. Taylor scores slightly higher in ethics floor votes than Robinson. He voted for the bill to limit lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, which Robinson voted against. Taylor also voted for concurrence on House amendments to a 2007 bill to limit campaign contributions, while Robinson was one of four Democrats to vote against concurrence, effectively killing the bill.

In the related area of legislative openness, both Robinson and Taylor have voted against opening conference committees. Taylor this year voted against legislation to webcast Senate floor sessions. Robinson was absent for that vote.
Sen. James Taylor
Both Taylor and Robinson are canny and experienced politicians who won’t be easy to beat.

The often pugnacious Robinson has won five terms — though he hasn’t had an election opponent in 12 years. He’s delivered some of the most passionate and entertaining speeches on the Senate floor in recent years. (For the sake of full disclosure, without Robinson in the Senate, this newspaper’s “Quote of the Day” feature during the legislative session would suffer greatly.)

Taylor, who served nine years in the state House, the past four years as majority whip, was described by Gov. Bill Richardson as “one of the best natural politicians in New Mexico, in terms of getting things done, in terms of operating in a political arena and in terms of his commitment to his district.” Richardson appointed Taylor to his seat when Aragon left the Senate to take a job as president of New Mexico Highlands University. (Aragon since resigned that job after a stormy two-year tenure. He’s currently awaiting trial on federal charges in a kickback scandal involving his last years in the Senate.)

However it goes, these two races promise to be among the most interesting legislative primary battles.

Remember Jeannette!: Rep. Jeannette Wallace, R-Los Alamos, doesn’t have to worry about primary opposition. As usual, nobody is challenging her for her District 43 seat, which she’s held since 1991.
Rep. Jeanette Wallace
Wallace, in an e-mail Wednesday, said she was hurt when we failed to mention her in a story about candidates filing.

“My district is a beautiful area, it is Los Alamos, all of the beautiful Jemez Mountains and some of the most peaceful as well as controversial areas of Santa Fe,” she wrote. “I do represent a very old part of Santa Fe which is facing growth (La Cienega, La Cieneguilla, Aqua Fría, etc.). ... Santa Fe is just as important to me as Peña Blanca, Ponderosa, La Cueva, or Los Alamos. ... My district includes the Santa Fe airport, it includes the Game and Fish Dept. It also includes an area that goes back a very long time to stage coaches and sheep grazing.”

We regret the omission. And before Rep. Rhonda King writes in, let’s note that the Stanley Democrat also filed on Tuesday and faces no primary or general election opponent in District 50.

UPDATE: I corrected a couple of errors here. Conservation Voters New Mexico endorsed Griego and Keller. I originally said "League of Conservation Voters" -- which is the national organization. Also, I had the wrong Senate district number for the Robinson/Keller race.

Monday, March 17, 2008

CARBON/SILICONE

I just noticed that Carbon/Silicone has a YouTube of one of the songs they played when I saw them Saturday night:

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Thanks to Laurell Reynolds and Pete Gurule for subbing on my radio shows this weekend.

Laurell sent her play list for Friday's Santa Fe Opry. Here it is:

Friday, March 14, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by The Byrds
Joe West-Jam Bands in Colorado
Al Dexter and his Troopers-Saturday Night Boogie
The Animals-Ring of Fire
Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan-Down to the End of the Wine
Wayne Hancock-Thunderstorms and Neon Signs
Roy Orbison-(All I Can Do) is Dream You
Elvis Presely-Blue Moon of kentucky
John Trudell-Baby Boom Che
Neil Young-Cowgirl in the Sand
Restless Consumer
Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)-Jerry Garcia
Bob Dylan-Romance In Durango
Stephen Terrell-Those Were the Days
Emmy Lou Harris-Wheels /Easy From Now On
Shell Silverstein-The Taker
Gillian Welch-Everything is Free
Michael Hurley-Oh My Stars/ Troubled Waters
Willie Nelson-Peaceful Solution/ A Moment of Forever
Karen Dalton-Same Old Man
Maria Muldaur-Tenessee Mountain Home
Buffy St Marie-I'm Gonna Be a Country Girl Again
Glen Campbell-Wichita Lineman
Sibylle Baier-Give Me a Smile /The End

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Sunday, March 16, 2008

SXSW 08 DAY 4

MICK JONES & CARBON/SILICONE

The alt-rock casino circuit. That's one way of describing South by Southwest for me this year. So much of the music I heard this year -- X, Johnette Napolitano, Yo La Tengo, The Waco Brothers' Jon Langford (a founding member of The Mekons), Thurston Moore -- are aging stars of punk rock or its various offshoots.

On Saturday, the last day of South by Southwest (at least for me. Technically there are a few scattered Sunday showcases), I caught another couple of examples -- the reconstituted Breeders and Carbon/Silicone, the latest band of Clash member Mick Jones and Tony James of Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

My verdict: Carbon/Silicone hit but The Breeders missed.

The Breeders, who played at the Mess With Texas festival in Waterloo Park, indeed were a disappointment.
KIM DEAL OF THE BREEDERS
The latest incarnation of The Breeders includes former Pixie Kim Deal, the lead vocalist and her twin Kelly Deal. I've been a fan of The Pixies, as well as The Breeders all these years. I thought Last Splash was one of the unsung albums of the '90s -- and even tonight I enjoyed their version of "Cannonball" and Divine Hammer" from that album. I was touched by the Pixies reunion documentary loudQUIETloud, particularly the way in which Kelly went along on the tour to keep her sister company and protect her from the remptations of old demon alcohol. (Kim is a recovering alcoholic.)

But somehow, most of their music didn't gell on Saturday. Part of it was the sound system. In the middle of the show it sounded as if an amp was blown.

And the playing often seemed half-assed. In dorm rooms all over the country there are guitar noodlers who could do better than Kim on some of her solos. Then there was that cover of The Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun" started off well, but by the end of the song it had fallen apart. The band seemed like it was struggling to make it to the conclusion. Contrast this to X, whose average age probably is least a decade more than that of The Breeders. But X is 10 times tighter and plays with a crazier spirit.

Then there's Carbon/Silicone, who aren't nearly as frantic as X but are pretty inspiring for a bunch of old guys. Like X, they played at the Austin Convention Center's tv studios for a live concert on Direct TV. (For the record, Jones and his boys played in the half of the room called Lone Star Lounge, while X played in The Bat Bar.)

C/S is a quartet -- the classic two guitars/bass/drums/lineup. They play basic Clash-y tunes with its feet in early rock 'n' roll and its head in leftist politics. Some of the songs had titles like "War On Culture" and "Soylent Green." Check out some of their free MP3s on the Cabon/Silicone Web site.
THE SPINTO BAND -- BEHIND THE CHAINLINK
Just to be sure that I saw at least one new young band before the end of the night, I caught most of the set of The Spinto Band, an energetic little guitar-oriented group from Delaware. (They were on an outdoor stage at Emo's Annex. I watched from behind the chainlink fence.) One of their song featured kazoos while on another, one of the guitarists switched to a mandolin. One one number the keyboardist made his instrument sound like bagpipes. Several song featured some cool falsetto harmonies. Never did the Spintos sound gimmicky.

All in all, SXSW was a blast as usual. But I'm still trying to figure what it means that Beatle Bob apparently didn't show up. Probably a terrible omen for the music industry in general.

Gonna be a long drive tomorrow ...

Check out my photos HERE.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

SXSW 08 DAY 3

SWEET COMMUNION OF A KISS

Well, hell, I already raved about The Waco Brothers in my column, posted immediately below (a review of their new live album and some sweet memories of Waco shows past). So to cut to the chase, let's just say the Wacos didn't disappoint Friday at the Bloodshot records party at the yard Dog Gallery..
MARK DURANTE of THE WACO BROTHERS
For the record, there were some personnel shifts for this performance. Drummer Steve Goulding and bassist Alan Doughty weren't there. They were replaced by drummer Mighty Joe Whazisname (who played on some cuts on the live album) and bassist Davey Beebe from the Allen Oldies Band (who also backed up Andre Williams earlier at the Bloodshot Party.) Both did a fine job subbing.

The Brothers also were joined by some Waco sisters -- fiddler Jean Cooke, who has accompanied Jon Langford on several recordings, and Jo of the late great Meat Purveyors, who helped out on "White Lightning." Her presence reminded me of how much I missed the Purveyors, who always were a hoot at SXSW.

Once again, most the music shows I went to on Friday were those of old favorites. I guess I just haven't been in a real adventurous mood this festival.

Fortunately my old faves didn't let me down.
ANDRE WILLIAMS
As I mentioned above, also appearing at the Bloodshot Party was Andre Williams, an old R&B warlord who had some minor hits in the 1950s and early '60s. He was best known for "Shake a Tail Feather," which curiously, he didn't perform Friday afternoon.

After years in obscurity -- and reportedly drug addiction -- Williams started recording again with punk-based groups on independent labels, where he's allowed to be as raunchy as he wants. He's recorded with The Dirtbombs and, backed by the surf/country Sadies, did a "country" album for Bloodshot back in 1999.

On Friday Williams emphasized his early rock 'n' roll background. My only complaint -- his set wasn't long enough -- less than 30 minutes. Just enough to make me want more.

John Doe SXSW '08
Photo by Molly Terrell Brake

Playing at the Austin Convention Center -- for some Direct TV live concert series, was X, the classic Los Angeles punk group that's broken up and reformed a few times, but still sounds fresh and vibrant.

Last time I saw this group was at Club Luna in santa Fe circa 1993. At that point Tony Gilkyson, a former Santa Fe boy, was playing guitar with the group. Nowadays original guitarist Billy Zoom is back in the fold.

With his blonde pompadour and Chuck Berry licks, Zoom still looks as if he wandered into the wrong group, thinking he was joining a rockabilly band. But he still looks as if he's having the time of his life.

And of course the highlight of X still is the weird harmonies of Exene and John Doe. They sing together as if they've uncovered some secret Appalachian code to summon the spirits of ancestors.

The group played exclusively their old, better-known songs -- "Los Angeles," "Johnny Hit and Run Paulene," "White Girl," "The New World," "We're Desperate," "The Hungry Wolf." Some of those songs are 30 years old, but to these ears, they don't sound dated.

But I'm wondering whether John and Exene have a few more new songs suitable for X left in them.

(John Doe photo by Molly Terrell)

Friday, March 14, 2008

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: WACOS LIVE

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 15, 2008


WACKY WACOS

Note: This column, obviously, was written before South by Southwest. The photos are from the Waco Brothers' Friday show at the Bloodshot Records party.

If you are reading this review of the new Waco Brothers live album on Friday, March 14, consider this — this very evening, I’ll be seeing the Wacos live at the annual Bloodshot Records party at the Yard Dog gallery in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest music festival. And if you’re reading this on Saturday, this very night I’ll probably be catching the Wacos live at their showcase at some joint called Red Eyed Fly.

So while you’re reading about this album, I’ll be living it. Cosmic, no?

Unfortunately, Austin is about as close to Santa Fe as these founding fathers of “insurgent country” ever get. They rarely play very far from their home base in Chicago. So, unless you travel, this album — Waco Express: Live and Kickin’ at Schuba’s Tavern, Chicago — probably will be as close to the live Wacos experience as you’ll ever get.

While I’ve liked all the band’s studio albums, and loved some of them, there’s nothing like one of the group’s live shows. (Jeepers, I sound like a dang Deadhead.) Waco Express captures much of the band’s crazy energy and provides a sampling of leader Jon Langford’s wicked stage banter.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Wacos — at SXSW on a cramped little stage in some crowded little joint in 1996. The band romped through tunes from its first album, including the hopped-up labor rouser “Plenty Tuff and Union Made,” and super-charged covers of Johnny Cash and Buck Owens songs. Most of the musicians liked to jump around as they played, and the stage was so small that they kept bumping into each other. It was like a honky-tonk mosh pit. At one point, I thought bass player Alan Doughty was going to get in a fist fight with manic mandolin player Tracy Dear. And I was just waiting until someone went crashing into the steel guitar of Mark Durante, who, because of the sedentary nature of his instrument, didn’t get to hop around like the others. Somehow he escaped such a calamity, though there were several close moments.
WACOS in WONDERLAND
I’ve been to lots of Waco shows since then and have come to expect a similar level of madness.

Who are these guys?

The Waco Brothers started out in the mid-’90s (soon after the tragedy at the Branch Davidian compound), basically as one of Langford’s side projects. Langford, a founding member and frontman of venerated British punk band/collective The Mekons, had relocated to Chicago, as did fellow Mekons Sally Timms and Steve Goulding — who serves as the Wacos’ drummer.

Though Langford is known to form bands at the drop of a hat (The Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Skull Orchard, Jon Langford’s Hillbilly Lovechild), the mixed Brit/Yank Wacos took on a demented life of its own.

Guitarist Dean Schlabowske (who last year opened a wine shop in Chicago) and Dear (“the greatest living Englishman,” as Langford always calls him) also sing in the group. Durante made his vocal debut on the Wacos’ 2005 album, Freedom & Weep.

The Waco Brothers became the flagship band of Bloodshot Records, an influential independent Chicago label. While other Bloodshot acts like Neko Case, Robbie Fulks, and Alejandro Escovedo have gone on to other labels, the Wacos have stood by the company, mangy but loyal mutts that they are.

In addition to all the rowdy fun, irreverent laffs, and excellent steel playing by Durante, Waco Express is a showcase of the best Waco Brothers songs. All are originals, save the crunching cover of Neil Young’s Manson family ode, “Revolution Blues.” The album includes songs from all seven Waco Brothers studio records and, wisely, leans heavily on the first two albums, To the Last Dead Cowboy and — my personal favorite — Cowboy in Flames.

“Plenty Tuff,” the first Wacos tune I ever loved, is here, as are the anthemic “Cowboy in Flames,” “Death of Country Music” (“We spill our blood on the ashes of the bones of the Jones and the Cashes/Skulls in false eyelashes/ghost riders in the sky” ), “Do What I Say,” “Harm’s Way” and “Hell’s Roof” (“History is written by the winners/This is a loser’s song”).

There are also the excellent but overlooked Waco tunes like “Blink of an Eye,” which has a hint of a Slavic influence that makes me fantasize about Gogol Bordello covering it, and Dear’s “Too Sweet to Die” — “Up, up up goes love/Down down down goes hate,” sounds like a positive little message, until you realize it’s a reference to murderous Robert Mitchum’s knuckle tattoos in The Night of the Hunter.
The Waco Brothers
My two favorite Schlabowske songs are here. “Nothing at All,” which can be seen as containing an urgent political dispatch in this age of paranoia. (“What if our history means nothing at all? ... It means nothing, nothing at all.”)

Then there’s the bluesy tale of debauchery, “Red Brick Wall,” which contains a special message for fans like me who know the Waco Brothers mainly through their SXSW performances:
“On the day of his death I built JFK a shrine/Well, I know just how he felt/I get murdered in Texas every time.”
I can’t wait for this year’s murdering.

SXSW 08 DAY 2

ROKY IS KING OF THE BEASTS

Sorry, I'm late with this post. About 4 am, after a long day of rock 'n' roll, I realized I needed sleep. I thought I'd get up early enough to post it at a decent time. Guess I was wrong about that.

My SXSW day could have been complete even before Sundown Thursday. Nothing was going to top Roky Erikson, who headlined a fine afternoon of rock 'n' roll at Threadgill's known as the Roky Erikson Pyschedelic Ice Cream Social.

Roky, whose struggle with mental problems has been well documented, has been back performing for several years. But this is the first time I'd ever seen him play. And he was tremendous.
Billy Gibbons
He rips through his songs -- leaning heavily on tunes from his greatest album The Evil One -- with strength and confidence. "Cold Night For Alligators," "Bloody Hammer," "Don't Shake Me Lucifer," "I Think of Demons" ... These are songs that make me proud to be an American.

His band, The Explosives, is a tight little trio featuring guitarist Cam King. Yesterday, he was joined on stage for his last few songs by his told friend, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons (who also played with him on his recent Austin City Limits performance.)

One of the most amazing aspects of Roky's performance is that after each song -- most of which are filled with images of horror, demons, vampires, bloody hammers -- Roky flashes the most angelic smile, waves to the crowd and thanks everyone.

Although this was the first time I'd seen Roky play, it's not the first time I'd seen him. Back in 1995, my first SXSW, I went down to Iron Works BBQ, where he was supposed to do a book-signing. (He'd just published Openers II with Henry Rollins' publishing company. When I arrived, standing alone in the parking lot was none other than Roky himself.

I approached him. "Hey Roky, my name is Steve ..."
"I know."
"I'm a big fan ..."
"I know."

But he was frendly and chatty and started bumming cigarettes from passersby. It turns out that he had bolted the book-signing -- got claustrophobic inside. A few minutes later, Henry Rollins comes out of the Ironworks, trying to coax Roky back inside. Finally he got Roky to agree to get into a car and sign books there.

I'm glad Roky's better now. I'm also glad he's rocking like he always was meant to do.

The Ice Cream social had a great line-up including Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore playing with an acoustic band, including a fiddler and SY drummer Steve Shelley; ... And You Will Know Them By the Trail of Dead (most of whom look baby-faced enough to be a boy band), The Black Angels (an Austin favorite who sound like a tasty blend of Jesus & Mary Chain and My Morning Jacket), and a cool, hopped-up, almost New Wavy little band called The Golden Dogs. (We missed another band, The Strange Boys, because the aroma of Threadgill's was just too good, so we went inside to grab some lunch right after The Black Angels.)
RAY WYLIE HUBBARD & SON
Here's an unexpected musical treat: At one point during the show, I wandered on Threadgill's to use the ATM. There I learned that Ray Wylie Hubbard was doing a short, acoustic set in the back room with his teenage son Lucas, who's getting pretty good with his blues licks.

All this happened before the official SXSW showcases even began. And even before this ice cream social I went to another fun little gathering. Joe Ely and accordionist Joel Guzman recorded a live set at ME TV studios. Beside Ely's tunes, which I always love, the best part was the homemade posole, cooked and served by Joe's wife Sharon. She told me the recipe comes from New Mexico. I suspect Terry or Jo Harvey Allen might have something to do with that.
Yo La Tengo
As far as official SXSW showcases go, the best I saw Thursday were Yo La Tengo, who played an amazing set at Austin Music Hall. I arrived late, and they were playing some of their weird poppy material, with Ira on the keyboards. I guess I'm just a guitar-centric kinda guy (a "rockist" as some fancy New York publications have labeled guys like me), but I vastly preferred it when Ira switched back to guitar. Like Sonic Youth at it's best, Yo La has a great knack of creating beauty out of sonic chaos. The band's version of "Tom Courtenay" Thursday was as gorgeous as Julie Christie, who is namechecked in the song.

Then came My Morning Jacket, which played for nearly two hours. (I remember a few years ago at the Music Hall when Little Richard wanted to play longer and, it seemed, nearly gave the SXSW organizers a heart attack trying to get him off stage. I wish they would have given him two hours ...)
JIM JAMES OF MY MORNING JACKET
MMJ started off with a great rush of energy. Their first few numbers were powerful and intense. I believe they were mainly new tunes from the group's upcoming album Evil Urges, though the set was liberally sprinkled with songs from their albums Z and It Still Moves.

I have some qualms about this band. Sometimes MMJ veers dangerously close to classic-rock pablum. Sometimes they sound like an overblown country-rock band. But Jim James' musical vision is so unique, most the time he's able to transcend these influences.

The middle of the first hour started to sag a bit as Jim James and crew concentrated on slower, more countryish songs. But then they got their footing again, and nearly every song could have been the blistering climax to a great performance. The last, say, hour and 15 minutes was nothing short of breath-taking.

For more photos CLICK HERE.

UPDATE: In the original version, I identified the title of Yo La Tengo's song "Tom Courtenay" as "Julie Christy." I like that title better, but out of respect for Yo La, I corrected it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SXSW 08 DAY 1

JOHNETTE!

I was disappointed when I realized that Johnette Napolitano was going to be doing a solo acoustic set at SXSW. After all, I'd just sat through an uninspired set by Bob "Bright Elusive Butterfly of Love" Lind --one of those "What the hell am I doing here?!?" moments.

But my disappointment subsided about two seconds after Johnette opened her throat and start wailing. This woman can belt! In her sexy Morticia Addams dress, Johnette definitely showed that singer-songwriter gigs don't have to be gimpy. I'd seen her twice before with Concrete Blonde, but this might have been the most powerful performance of hers I've ever witnessed.

She balanced the set with newer tunes and familiar Concrete Blonde songs like "Joey" and "Mexican Moon." The highlight had to be her a capella version of "Tomorrow Wendy." Even though she let out the "I told the priest ..." verse, the song was just devastating. She's been doing the song for nearly 20 years, but the emotion last night was raw and deep.

Other Wednesday favorites:

* Van Morrison: I caught the last few songs of Van the Man's showcase. Believe it ot not, it's the first time I've ever seen him. Playing new or at least unfamiliar material, Van was flawless and soulful as expected. But after seeing Johnette later that night, it was obvious that the venerated Belfast Cowboy wasn't exactly pouring his guts into the show.
THE BAYOU CITY BEACH PARTY
* Bayou City Beach Party: This wasn't an official SXSW event. I'd stumbled into this bar called Headhunters on Red River on Tuesday night and appreciated the Tiki decor and biker/punk vibe of the joint. So, after my pals -- who don't have wristbands or badges -- were told they couldn't get in the REM show at Stubbs', we decided to go to Headhunters across the street.

This band, from Houston, was an energetic bunch and singer Blake Shepard is young, but a born showman.

RONNY & REBEKAH * Ronny Elliott: Speaking of worthwhile singer-songwriters, Tampa rocker Elliott is one of my favorites. He played the Florida Bandango party Wednesday afternoon at the Yard gallery. It was a typical Ronny gig. He teamed up with singer Rebekah Pulley. except for Ronny's own "The Brothels in China," the duo concentrated mainly on cover songs such as Johnny Tillotson's "Talk Back Trembling Lips" and a minor-key arrangement of Hank's "Your Cheatin' Heart." Ronny also sat in on one song with songwriter/uke-player Sylvie Simmons.

See more photos HERE.



TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Wolves, Angels and BBQ

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican   May 26, 2017 “Anger is an energy,” John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, inf...