Thursday, April 30, 2009

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: LOCAL SOUNDS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 1, 2009



Here's a roundup of some worthy CDs by locals, former locals, and semi-locals.

* The Como Sessions Vol. 1 by Goshen. Goshen honcho Grant Hayunga is a local, all right. Although he came here from Kentucky, he has been performing around these parts for nearly two decades and, for most of that time, has been part of the venerable Frogville stable.

But this latest disc — a six-song EP — was recorded in Mississippi late last year at Delta Recording Service in the town of Como. There, Hayunga partnered with Jimbo Mathus, late of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, who produced the sessions and played guitar, mandolin, keyboards, and percussion on these tracks.

But fear not, longtime Goshen followers. Despite the different setting and different backup musicians, this is definitely a Goshen album. The essence of Hayunga's frantic slide-guitar rockers and his slower, darker meditations are very much intact.

The opening cut, "Belladonna" is rousing, with traces of funk. Corey Jenkins' drums sound like re influenced by the fife-and-drum (R.I.P. Otha Turner) sound of the Mississippi hill country. Things slow down for the next track, "Clouds of Swallows." The slide-guitar riffs in this song — as well as in the ominous "She Sets Fires" — sound like spooks in the night.

The dreamy "In the Rushes" and the sweet acoustic "Slow Burner" are the closest Goshen has come to country music in a while. But my favorite Goshen tunes are always the breakneck crazy barn-burners. Hayunga and his pals reach that level in "God Wanted to Be a Man."

A heads-up: Goshen appears at Frogfest on May 30 at Santa Fe Brewing Company. Tickets are $10.

* All Dressed Up ... and Nowhere to Go by Billy Miles Brook. Here's another local who went south to record a record. In recent months, Billy has been playing bass with The Dirty Novels in Albuquerque, a group that has kind of a garage/punk sound.

But this album is unabashedly '70s boogie with Chuck Berry/Keith Richards-style guitar and rollicking Nicky Hopkins-style keyboards. I hear the Faces, Mott the Hoople, maybe a little New York Dolls, or is it Stillwater from Almost Famous?

I can almost smell the lines of blow on the bare breasts of backstage groupies. (Note to younger readers, if there are any: This is bad and sends the wrong message to the youth. Please disregard.)

There are some slow ballads here — "The Raging Light of Dawn" and "Midnight Rain" for instance.

But my favorites are the rippers like "Moonlight Boogie" and "Tearin' Up the Town."

* Honky Tonk Breakdown: Live at the Sagebrush by Kim & The Caballeros. This album was recorded live in Taos last year by Kim Anne Treiber-Thompson and her band, which includes her singer/songwriter/guitar-picker beau Chipper Thompson. It's a good mix of original tunes by both Kim and Chipper and some covers.

The best originals are Kim's "Ghost of Her" (featuring some irresistible steel guitar by Leonard Kasza) and Chipper's "Loudmouth Cowgirls," a funny tune that reminds me of Jerry Jeff Walker's "Trashy Women." Also tasty is the slow, gospel-tinged "Nobody to Find," written by Chipper and sung soulfully by Kim.

As for the covers, the free world probably didn't need another version of "Folsom Prison Blues." A much better choice is Allison Moorer's "Dying Breed." This is a tune that has a minor-key melody similar to that of Hank Williams' "Rambling Man" and deals with hereditary addictions.

"I take a red and blue one from my mama's purse/I wash 'em down with homemade wine/To see which kicks in first. ... No one grows old in this household/We are a dying breed."
For the record, the only cover of this song I know of was by Lonesome Bob, who hasn't been heard from since his excellent Things Change in 2002. Come back, Lonesome Bob!

* Up for Air by John Egenes. This might sound corny, but it's a true story: The other day I was listening to this CD while rushing to work. I was stressed as usual, cursing people driving slower than me as "morons" and those driving faster as "maniacs." Then the title song of truck me.

"But I think I'll take it easy, stop and take my breath/There ain't no need to work myself to death." Egenes sure isn't the only one to write songs with this theme. But "Up for Air" was right there when I needed it. Thanks, John.

A former Santa Fe music stalwart who, for the last few years, has lived in New Zealand, Egenes has packed his latest album with plenty of good acoustic country/folk tunes. I think my favorite one here is "Lookin' for a Ride," a song about a mysterious hobo.

Also strong is "One More Down," which deals with an angry, homeless war veteran ("I came back home with a pocket full of hate in the place my leg used to be.") He's pushing a broom and imagining he's "cleanin' up the mess that my country made."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MENACING SOUNDS FROM THE JUNK DRAWER

I had fun last night yacking with Gabe Gomez on his radio show The Junk Drawer on Project 101.5.

In case you missed it, you can can listen to Gabe's podcast of it HERE.

Hear my golden voice as well as music by Goshen, The Dirt Bombs (with Troy Greggory), King Khan & The Shrines, The Cramps, Gogol Bordello, Angry Johnny & The Killbillies, The Molting Vultures and some Potatohead guy.

GABE AT THE JUNKDRAWER

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'M ON (IN?) THE JUNK DRAWER

I'll be appearing Tuesday night on Gabe Gomez's radio show The Junk Drawer.

That's 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM on 101.5 FM .

Give it a listen.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, April 26, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Dum Du by Butthole Surfers
Mummy Shakes by The Molting Vultures
Lonlely Weekend by The Remains
Spiderman by The Ramones
Rat's Revenge Part 1 by The Rats
Hit Me by The Fleshtones
Yesterday's Trash by The Hentchmen
Archive From 59 by The Buff Medways
Girl of Matches by Thee Headcoats
Minority Report by Los Straightjackets
Mystery Meat by Man or Astroman?

God Wanted to Be a Man by Goshen
Country Blues by The Tarbox Ramblers
The River Is Laughing by Stinky Lou & The Goon Mat
What The Hell by The Black Smokers
Mean and Evil by Juke Joint Pimps
Dreamin' About Flyin' by The Moaners
Train Song No. 35 by Edison Rocket Train
Debra Lee by BBQ

Short Fat Fannie by Larry Williams
Pappa Shotgun by Billy Stafford
Justine by The Righteous Brothers
Thunderbird by William "Thunderbird" Williams
Jungle Hop by Don & Dewy
Take a Bath by Charles Simms
Vendetta by Impala
Wine Head by Johnny Wright
My Baby's Comin' by Stud Cole
One Cup of Coffee and a Cigarette by Glenn Glenn
Primitive by The Cramps

Jesus Shootin' Heroin by The Flaming Lips
Greasy Heart by The Jefferson Airplane
Bass Strings by Country Joe & The Fish
World's End State Park by Giant Sand
True Love by Tiny Tim & Miss Sue
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

THE BLOOD OF THE KILLER

Thanks to Jim Terr for forwarding me this notice of a Nashville piano auction.

It's a Steinway model B grand pianoin ebony finish that was manufactured in Steinway’s New York factory on December 15, 1969, and sold to Claude P. Street Piano Co. in Nashville.

I don't even know how to play "Chopsticks," but hell, I'd love to own a piano that was used in recording by both Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Jimmy Swaggart.

My favorite part of the ad is this:

Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis both used this piano to record albums. A recording engineer on a particularly raucous Jerry Lee Lewis session remembers wiping The Killer’s blood off the keys after he had finished playing.

Check it out HERE:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

LIPS, COMMIES TRIUMP IN SOONER STATE

Here's a strange little political battle that brought back memories, mainly bad, of my home state.
Cussing Teletubbies
Seems like the Oklahoma State Legislature was just about name "Do You Realize" by The Flaming Lips as the official state rock song.

But then, Lips bassist Michael Ivins showed up at some ceremonial deal at the state Capitol wearing a bright red hammer & sickle T-shirt.

Oh boy ...

Politicians were aghast. Commies! Traitors! What kind of message does this send to the children?

Read about it HERE in the good old Daily Oklahoman.

A majority of the state House of Representatives passed a resolution for the song. But it didn't get the 51 votes needed to pass it.
We will bury you
But Gov. Brad Henry stepped in and used an executive order to declare "Do You Realize" the official Oklahoma State rock song. Henry said the Lips have made "creative, fun and provocative rock music" for more than 20 years. There's some kind of official ceremony in OKC on Tuesday.

Of course not all Okies agree. Some commenter on the Oklahoman site called them a "cussing tele-tubby band." Sounds like a cool new sub-genre to me.

Speaking of bad memories, this reminds me of the time when Okemah, Okla. was in the planning stages of erecting the statue of its most famous native son, Woody Guthrie. The Oklahoman was beside itself. A statue of a known communist? What next, the paper asked, a statue of his hippie son Arlo?

But politics aside, is "Do You Realize" the best choice?

I would have preferred "Jesus Shootin' Heroin."


Friday, April 24, 2009

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, April 24, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Tall Tall Trees by Roger Miller
I Still Miss Someone by John Doe & The Sadies
Dying is Easy by The Sadies with Kelly Hogan
Belladona by Goshen
Sweet Young Thing by The Monkees
Country Playboy Special by The Pine Leaf Boys
Driving My Young Life Away by Wayne Hancock
Crazed Country Rebel by Hank Williams III
Crawking Eye by Deano Waco & The Meat Purveyors
Made For the Blues by George Jones
Mama's Gonna Shorten Your Days by Butterbeans & Susie

Why Do I Feel Like Running by Big Al Anderson
Already Gone by The Tarbox Ramblers
Don't Buy a Skinned Rabbit by Blind Boy Grunt
Cajun Joe (The Bully of The Bayou) by Doug Kershaw
Tears and Wine by Billy Miles Brooks
Lookin' for a Ride by John Egenes
East Side Boys by Martin Zellar
Haul Off and Love Me by Jean Shepard

Dan Hicks Set
All Song by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks except where noted
The Diplomat
Where's the Money?
The Buzzard Was Their Friend
Ragtime Cowboy Joe
Walkin' One and Lonely by Maria Muldaur
I'll Tell You Why That Is by Dan Hicks with Tom Waits
It's Not My Time to Go

18 Wheels of Love by Drive-By Truckers
Murdering Oscar by Patterson Hood
Soldiers Get Strange by Jason Isbell
Drink Me by The Dolly Ranchers
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: DAN'S THE MAN

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 24, 2009


UPDATE: This just in from FanMan: Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks Saturday, June 27 Santa Fe Brewing Co. Patio


Here's the short version of this review: Tangled Tales, the new album by Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, is Hicks' best album since he began his big comeback at the turn of the century — which means it's his best since his heyday in the early 1970s. Not bad for a cranky old codger rapidly approaching the big 7-0.

A little history of Hicksville for the newcomers: Hicks, in the mid- to late-'60s, was the drummer for a seminal San Francisco psychedelic outfit called The Charlatans (not to be confused with The Charlatans U.K., who came much later). Even back in his Charlatan days, Hicks had a genuine love for Western swing, traditional jazz, vaudeville, jug-band blues, country, and other American roots sounds. So he started a crazy little side project — Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks — that featured acoustic instruments and two female singers he dubbed The Lickettes.

Soon the side project would become his top priority. He left The Charlatans and recorded an album. Original Recordings was an admirable effort, with a couple of tunes that would become Hicks staples through the years —"I Scare Myself" and "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away." But it wasn't until the next album, Where's the Money? — featuring a new pair of Lickettes — that the Hot Licks reached its stride. The group recorded two more albums, Striking It Rich (featuring the definitive version of "I Scare Myself") and Last Train to Hicksville (its subtitle, The Home of Happy Feet, provided a name for my favorite program on KUNM-FM 89.9).

And then in 1973, at the height of their popularity, Hicks and the Hot Licks broke up. Usual rock 'n' roll bummers, I suppose. After that, Hicks seemed to blow away. There was one album in 1978, It Happened One Bite, with Hicks and several of his old band mates. (It was recorded a few years earlier for a Ralph Bakshi cartoon feature that was shelved until the '80s.)

Hicks basically sat out the '80s and early '90s, at least as far as recording goes. His next album wouldn't come until 1994 — a live set called Shootin' Straight with a band called the Acoustic Warriors. Despite the discouraging lack of Lickettes, it was a decent album with some fine songs — which are reappearing slowly on Hicks' recent albums. (Five, yes five, of those songs appear on Tangled Tales.)

In 2000, Hicks returned, as did the Hot Licks name, with Beatin' the Heat. Since then, he released another studio album, 2004's Selected Shorts, plus two live albums.

Tangling the tale: The first difference a Hicks fan might notice between Tangled Tales and his two previous studio records is that the new one doesn't have a bunch of guest vocalists. Heat featured Hicks with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Ricki Lee Jones, and Bette Midler. Shorts had Hicks singing with Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, and Gibby Haynes. While one has to admire the perversity of any album featuring Jimmy Buffet and one of the Butthole Surfers, such pairings sometimes seem to be based more on marketing than artistic considerations.

But on Tangled, the only guest stars are instrumentalists — harmonica giant Charlie Musselwhite, mandolin man David Grisman, and blues guitarist Roy Rogers. In each case, these aces enhance Hicks' sound without overwhelming it.

As noted above, nearly half of this album consists of songs from the long-out-of-print Shootin' Straight. Considering four others are cover tunes, that probably indicates that Hicks' songwriting is slowing down. You can't hold that against him, though. Heck, what has Willie Nelson written lately? Truth is, the new versions of "Who Are You?" (featuring some fine harp from Musselwhite), "Savin' My Lovin'," "13-D," "The Rounder," and "A Magician" are superior to the 1994 live versions. Maybe it's the addition of the Lickettes (who these days are Roberta Donnay and Daria).

Hicks' choice of covers hits the target, too. The song "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" was written especially for Dan Hicks (decades before his birth). I can't believe he's never recorded it before. Also a natural choice is "The Blues My Naughty Baby Gave to Me." A far less obvious choice though is Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." But, aided by Rogers' slide guitar and those lovely Lickettes, this somehow evolves into a Dan Hicks song before your very ears.

Even more surprising is Hicks' inclusion of "Song for My Father," written by jazzman Horace Silver. It's slow and smoky, almost a bosa nova. It might remind old Hicks fans of "I Scare Myself." But what's unlike the Hicks we thought we knew is the raw sentimentality of the lyrics, a sweet tribute to the narrator's father. In the past when Hicks has done sentimental — I'm thinking of songs like "My Old Timey Baby" — it has usually been campy. That's not the case here. And it works just fine.

One of my favorites is "The Diplomat," a jaunty little tune. It contains weird lines that haunts a listener through the whole album: "I go in to cash a check so I can buy a fern/The bank is out of money and besides it's not my turn." I'm not sure why the image of Hicks buying a fern — and standing in line at the bank to accomplish that — seems so funny. But it is.

And then there's the title song, which is a fast-paced bopper featuring Hicks and the ladies scat-singing. It's an impressive display. That comes right before the album ender, "Let It Simmer," which slows things down as Hicks advises listeners to slow down and take it easy. As the song winds down, a male chorus sings in the background "Where's the money? Where's the money?," which hearkens back to the early days of Hicks' career.

Hicks knows by now that there ain't no money in the music biz for the likes of him. Thankfully, he still does it for the love.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, April 19, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Webcasting!
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Tubby by Los Straightjackets
In My Brain by Pierced Arrows
It's Not Real by Ravin' Blue
Butthole Surfer by The Butthole Surfers
Big Black Baby Jesus of Today by The Black Lips
Don't Tease Me by Question Mark & The Mysterians
Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend by Nekromantix
Down on Me by Big Brother & The Holding Company
Everyone in Town Wants You Dead by Singing Sadie

You Must Fight to Live on The Planet of the Apes by The Mummies
Planet of the Apes by Frankenstein Drag Queen
Down in the Beast by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
We Do, Wie Du by The Monks
Pretty Lightning by The New Bomb Turks
Ghost Rider by Alan Vega
Crack Head Joe by Little Freddie King
The Happy Wanderer by The Polkaholics

Chet Boghassa by Tinariwen
Brimful of Asha by Cornershop
Dum Maro Dum by Asha Bhonsle
And You Are Becoming an Indian by Kazik
Mr. Orange by Dengue Fever
Consulat by Cheba Nouria
Start Wearing Purple by Gogol Bordello
Cler Archel by Tinariwen

Walk on Water by Otis Taylor
Got a Thing on My Mind by Sharon Jones
You Messed Up My Mind by James Carr
Let Me Down Easy by Bettye Lavette
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

TINARIWEN AT BREWING CO.

Tinariwen

Tinariwen
Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Tinariwen, a bunch of Tuareg tribesmen with traditional garb and electric guitars from Saharan Mali. Their only drum is a conga-like derbouka. But believe me, they rock -- in a hypnotic kinda way.

Four of the six members (excluding the electric bassist the derbouka man) and take turn singing and playing guitars, so there's lots of variety. I don't know his name, but the guy in the gold robe, (pictured above with turquoise-colored guitar) was a crazy guitarists. His tunes were the best.

Of course, I didn't understand a word they sand. But according to the All Music Guide, Tinariwen's music has been banned in Mali and Algeria, so they must be saying something important.

One disappointing thing was that the group's leader Ibrahim Ag Alhabid wasn't there. I understand he wasn't there last time the group was in town. Is Ibrahim the Brian Wilson of Tinariwen?

No matter, this band was super.Tinariwen

And hey, I just learned that all three of their albums are on eMusic, including the one I didn't have! CLICK HERE


Friday, April 17, 2009

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, April 17, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Guv'ment by Roger Miller
Right or Wrong by Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel
After All These Years by Mose McCormack
Lookin' at the World Through a Windshield by Bill & Bonnie Hearne
Cold Hard Facts of Life by John Doe & The Sadies
Blood Sweat and Murder by Scott H. Birham
Hillbilly Heartache by Don Rigsby
The Rounder by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Say a Little Prayer by Mary & Mars

Keep on Truckin' by Hot Tuna
I'm Not That Kat Anymore by Terry Allen
Tequila Shiela by Bobby Bare
Throwin' Away My Money by Wayne Hancock
Down on the Farm by Big Al Dowling
Heartbreak Ahead by Wanda Jackson
Between Lust and Watching TV by Cal Smith
I Spent All My Money Loving You by Beausoleil
Big Mamou by Doc Gonzales
Bright Lights, Big City by Jimmy Reed

Jamie III by Joe West
A on Horseback by Charlie Pickett
Pendergast Machine by Ha Ha Tonka
Adios Mexico by Joe "King" Carrasco & The Texas Tornados
Classy Sassy Lassy by Andy Anderson
Long Run by John Egenes
Five Days, Five days by Robert Gordon
Rooster by Ray Wylie Hubbard

Down Throught the Holler by Hundred Year Flood
Neon Rainbow by Phil Lee
Stuck on a Hat Check Girl by Al Duvall
Breeze by Sunshine Skiffle Band
Can't Be Satisfied by Guy Davis
Stateline Bar by Deano Waco & The Meat Purveyors
Linda on My Mind by Conway Twitty
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: HOLY MOSEY!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 17, 2009


Mosey Mack is back.

Mose McCormack, one of the finest country songwriters in New Mexico, has just released his first album in 12 years. Appropriately enough, it's called After All These Years.

Not only that, he's re-released all of his old albums on CD. Two of those, Beans and Make Believe and Mosey Mack, have never been on CD before. Another, Old Soldier's Home, recorded in the late '70s, has never been released at all.

For those unfamiliar with Mose, here's his story: McCormack was born in Dothan, Alabama, and went to high school in Georgia, but he got out of the South not too many years after getting his driver's license. He went to California. After a brush with the law in Hawaii, McCormack became a professional jewelry maker. "My teachers were the Hopis and the hippies," he told me in an interview for No Depression magazine in the late '90s. "I started doing that for a while, and people kept telling me I could sell more jewelry if I moved to Santa Fe."

He did that in 1973. Except for some short stints in Nashville and Tulsa, McCormack has lived in New Mexico since. He hasn't been seen much in these parts in recent years, though. He's been living in Belen with his wife, Becky, and daughter Alma, who was just a baby when his previous album, Santa Fe Trail, came out.

McCormack recorded After All These Years, like all his other albums, at John Wagner Studios in Albuquerque. That could be one reason the music sounds so timeless. A bunch of Wagner/McCormack regulars play on it, including Augie Hayes on steel guitar, Mike Montiel on guitar, and Gretchen Van Houten on fiddle. There's just a little more age in McCormack's voice, but most of the tracks from the new album would fit in on the older ones, and vice versa. But most important — after all these years — McCormack still writes some mighty fine country songs.

The album kicks off with "Battle of Love," a jumpy little stomper that starts with "That white trash trailer house rockin' to the battle of love/On a rocky foundation there's a whole lot of shakin' goin' on." My favorite part is the refrain, "But I open my big mouth, uh oh/Little brain went south, oh no." Another favorite is "Another Clown," a heartache two-stepper in which Hayes and Van Houten especially shine. "No, I ain't funny anymore," McCormack sings. "Find yourself another clown."

There's a song about his daughter, "Little Alma"; a Cajun rocker; and the norteño-flavored "Dusty Devil," which has the refrain, "Came from Alabama with a banjo on his knee/Came for your tortillas, you obliged so graciously."

One might suspect that the title song of an album called After All These Years would be slow and maybe a little maudlin. Not so here. This is a fast-paced, good-humored country rocker. The first verse says, "I met her in Albuquerque/At the Waffle House down at the Big I/I said 'I feel like ham,' she said, 'You look like turkey'/I knew, then, I'd love her till the day I die."

This album is full of joy. I just hope it doesn't take Mose 12 years to do the next one.
MOSE ON THE SF OPRY
Here's a look at the reissues:

* Beans and Make Believe (1976). "That's 25-year-old Mosey on the cover," McCormack told me in a recent e-mail. Indeed it is. But that's probably the only dated thing about McCormack's debut. This one has the first recording of the singer's signature tune, "New Mexico Blues," as well as the title song, about a lovesick man living in a little dump "out behind Hamburger Heaven."

* Old Soldier's Home (1979). Mose has the best description, which appears on the liner notes: "This album was dug out of the great Hillbilly vs. Hollywood wars. The 'Major Record Deal' that got canned so deeply, we didn't think it would ever see the light of day." Or as he told me, "My 'stardom' was casually flushed into the sewers of Sunset Boulevard." It's clear there are some bad memories here. But the music, while just a little slicker than most of his stuff, is fine. I especially like "Bustin' for the Door," which, like several McCormack tunes, changes time signatures several times — though unlike most Mose tunes, this one's got sax bteaks.

* Mosey Mack (1981). This CD has the distinct honor of being the first Mose album I ever reviewed — back when I was freelancing for The Santa Fe Reporter. It's got a cool Cajun-like tune called "Mama Copacabana" and a rocked-out banjo stomper called "Bootlegger." But after 28 years, my favorite song still is "Louie," the sad tale of a working man seeking his freedom and $100 whores.

* Santa Fe Trail (1997). This is just a mighty fine CD. When it first came out, I wrote that my favorites were the hard-core honky-tonkers "It's No Secret" and "That Nightmare Is Me." That's still true, though his cowboy song "Mama's Picture" is worthwhile too.

After All These Years is available on CD Baby, Perhaps the reissues soon will be there too. You can find Mose at myspace.com/mosemccormack, but it doesn't look like he updates it much. Oh well, it's almost refreshing these days to come across a musician who's not all Internet-obsessed. If you want to buy a CD, e-mail him at mccorma696@cs.com. And CLICK HERE for a 1997 Pasatiempo profile of Mose by the late Woody Thompson.

Podcast Plug: Mose McCormack's song "Beans and Make Believe" is on my latest podcast, Santa Fe Opry Favorites Vol. 2, at http://terrellpodcasts.blogspot.com.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

FREE MUSIC ARCHIVE

Here's my latest internet music obsession: WFMU's Free Music Archive. It's a huge library of free -- and legal -- downloads of cooperating independent artists.

WFMU, that great station from Jersey City started the thing, but other stations and venues have contributed. Lots of the tracks -- which you can stream as well as download -- are live performances in WFMU's studio.

Most of the artists here I've never heard of, but I'm quite familiar with some of them: Dengue Fever, Pierced Arrows (the new band from Dead Moon's Fred & Toody), Alan Vega, The New Bomb Turks, The Moaners (featuring Melissa Swingle of Trailer Bride), Edith Frost, Bobby Bare Jr., Xiu Xiu and more.

One of the most interesting sections in the archive is the Old-Time/Historic section. Not only are there some great old recordings by the likes of Sophie Tucker (the Last of the Red Hot Mamas!) and Billy Murray, but there are some interesting new artists dabbling in the old styles. There's Al Duvall (who claims to have been in 1877, nudge nudge wink wink) who reminds me a lot of C.W. Stoneking. And best of all, there's Singing Sadie. When I first listened to her songs "Put Down The Carving Knife" and "Everyone in Town Wants You Dead" I thought it was from some bizarre 78s from the '30s. I later learned she's "the all singing all dancing queen of the burgeoning underground show tunes scene. "

I've barely begun to wade through most of this treasure trove. Looking forward to diving in deeper.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, April 12, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Again & Again by The Black Lips
Rollin' to the Jukebox Rock by The A-Bones
Higgle-dy Piggle-Dy by The Monks
Baby Please Don't Go by The Amboy Dukes
Johnny Cynic by Scared Stiff
Looking for a Kiss by The New York Dolls
Mortal Man by Mark Sultan
Makin' It by Impala

Hadn't I Been Good to You by Charles Caldwell
Grease Monkey by Kenny Brown
Roll That Woman by Paul "Wine" Jones
Rock 'n' Roll by The Velvet Underground
You Better Run by Iggy & The Stooges
Little Nasty Girl by The Black Smokers
I'll Take Care of You by Tav Falco

Sleepwalking Through the Mekong SetDengue in Santa Fe 2007
(not all the songs here are from the soundtrack album)

Tip My Canoe by Dengue Fever
Have You Seen My Boyfriend by Ros Serey Sothea
Rebel Guitars in Strange Dialect (from Radio Phnom Penh)
Seeing Hands by Dengue Fever
Dance Soul Soul by Liev Tuk & Rom Sue Sue
Master Tep Mary by Tep Mary & Dengue Fever
Pow Pow by Dengue Fever

Baby Let Me Follow You Down by Bob Dylan & The Band
Death Letter by Charlie Pickett
Foxy Brown by The Moaners
Long Time Woman by Pam Grier
Fire Down Below by Nick Cave
You Were Sleeping by Jay Reatard
Telephone Call from Istanbul by The Red Elvises
Shiny Things by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, April 10, 2009

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, April 10, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Who Are You by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Husbands and Wives by John Doe & The Sadies
Plastic Love by The RiptonesMOSE ON THE SF OPRY
Battle of Love by Mose McCormack

MOSE McCORMACK LIVE SET
HillbillyTown
Under the Jail
Mr. Somebody
Dusty Devil
Louie
Out on the Highway
(from After All These Years) Little Alma

In the Mood by Ray Stevens
Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait by Little Jimmy Dickens
Brand New Heartache by Jesse Dayton & Brennen Leigh
She Left Me Cold by The Derailers
Tennessee by The Last Mile Ramblers
Ants on the Melon by The Gourds
Freight Train Boogie by Wayne Hancock
Highway Cafe by Kinky Friedman & His Texas Jewboys
Old Car by John Egenes
Oklahoma Sweetheart by The Maddox Brothers & Rose
Brother Drop Dead Boogie by Pee Wee King

One Has My Name by Jerry Lee Lewis
The Man Worth Lovin' You by George Jones
The Last Word in Lonesome is Me by Roger Miller
Murky State of Mind by Blonde Boy Grunt & The Groans
Entella Hotel by Peter Case
Honey Child by Susan Cowsill
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: DENGUE ON FILM

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 10, 2009


Dengue Fever is an amazing California band that has helped revive the crazy psychedelic sounds of pre-Khmer Rouge Cambodia. Back in 2005, the band traveled to Cambodia — not only the land of its musical idols, but also the home of its lead singer, Chhom Nimol.

That tour — Nimol’s first trip home since she’d immigrated to this country five years before — is the subject of a rocking documentary called Sleepwalking Through the Mekong, released on DVD next Tuesday.

Directed by John Pirozzi, the film follows the members of Dengue Fever as they visit Cambodian marketplaces (where merchants are amused by guitarist Zac Holtzman’s Mr.-Natural-as-a-young-man beard and bassist Senon Williams’ height); a school where the band shares songs with a group of children; a studio where Dengue jams with masters of traditional Cambodian instruments; a karaoke bar where a couple of Dengue members sing with some locals to “I’m 16,” an old Cambodian pop hit; and various stages where the group performs its surf-a-delic sounds — nightclubs, an outdoor festival in a shantytown, and a CTN (Cambodia Television Network) studio, where the musicians are special guests on a variety show that makes Mexican television look tame.

But as fun and enlightening as Sleepwalking is, there are some basic unanswered questions that leave a viewer not quite satisfied. And these oversights deal directly with the East-meets-West story that is central to Dengue Fever’s appeal.
THAT'S A REAL FARFISA
First of all, there’s the question of how the band got so interested in Cambodian rock in the first place. According to allmusic.com, keyboardist Ethan Holtzmann fell in love with the sounds of Cambodian psychedelic rock of the late ’60s and early ’70s — Sin Sisamouth, Ros Serey Sothea, Pen Ron, and others — when traveling in that country in 1997 with a friend (who got the disease for which the band was later named). But what was Holtzmann doing over there in the first place? Was it some music endeavor? Was he an archaeologist studying Angkor Wat? Just bumming around? I would have liked to have heard him talk about this.

But more important is the story of Chhom Nimol. There’s a segment in which Nimol talks about how difficult it was coming to the U.S. by herself. Through interviews and publicity material, we’ve been told that she was a successful singer in her native land. She “sang regularly for the king and queen of Cambodia,” a press release from the filmmaker says.

The question is, Why did she come here? Was it to further her musical career? According to Dengue legend, she had a long-term singing gig at a Southern California Cambodian nightclub called The Dragon House before she joined the band (which led to the title of the group’s second album, Escape From Dragon House). I want to know more about her career in Cambodia. When she played before the king, was it command performances at state dinners or more like an American high-school band playing at the president’s inauguration?

A Cambodian music teacher interviewed in the film tells us, “The Khmer Rouge killed all the famous singers.” Indeed, those commie thugs who ruled the country between 1975 and 1979 killed artists, intellectuals, professionals, and a third of the population during their time of power. The DVD has a smattering of footage of what looks like real cool Cambodian teen-exploitation movies from that mod à go-go era. But I’d like to hear more about those wonderful Cambodian singers whose music inspired Dengue Fever — and to whom the film is dedicated.

Director Pirozzi has started work on another documentary called Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ’n’ Roll. Let’s hope he makes enough money on Sleepwalking to finish Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten.

When Dengue Fever is playing music in this film, frequently there are shots of audience members looking enraptured. Such images of adoring fans aren’t exactly rare in rockumentaries. But wouldn’t it be great if there were a Velvet Underground effect here — if, as the rock ’n’ roll truism goes, anyone who saw them in Cambodia started a band of their own? Perhaps dozens of bands will pop up there, take the music, and mutate it into something new and powerful.

Quick word on the CD: Sleepwalking Through the Mekong comes packaged with a soundtrack CD as well as the DVD. If you don’t already have Dengue Fever’s three albums, this could serve as a decent introduction. But long-time fans will be disappointed. Too many Dengue Fever songs here are the same versions that are on their previous albums — “Tip My Canoe,” “One Thousand Tears of a Tarantula,” “Hold My Hips,” and “Hummingbird.”

There is a live version of “Ethiopium” (inspired by the music of another nation with a fine little rock scene that was crushed by evil comrades in the ’70s). But there should have been more. The movie has lots of live material that should have made it here.

There is some worthwhile new Dengue material, such as the instrumental “March of the Balloon Animals,” plus some nice jams with some of the masters of traditional Cambodian instruments featured in the film.
DENGUE FEVER
One good thing is that there are handfuls of the old original Cambodian rock classics here by Sisamouth and Sothea, including “Mou Pei Na (From Where)” by both singers and “Dondung Goan Gay” by Meas Samoun, which sounds as if it could have been inspired by Santana.

Dengue radio: Hear a huge dose of the Sleepwalking on the Mekong soundtrack and more Dengue Fever and immortal Cambodian rock on Terrell’s Sound World, freeform weirdo radio, 10 p.m. Sunday. And don’t forget The Santa Fe Opry, the country music Nashville does not want you to hear, same time on Friday, both on KSFR-FM 101.1.



Thursday, April 09, 2009

FREE! JOHNNY DOWD LIVE ALBUM


I hadn't heard much new stuff from Johnny Dowd in recent years, so I checked out Blip.fm and shared a song there. Then later, while checking his official site I stumbled on some good news.

First, he's got a new live album released just last month, Ratten Speigle, recorded in Germany in 2002.

Plus, there's another live album, Live at Schuba's 2000. And it's free to download. So do that and check him out. Then spend some cash on the new release or some of his old stuff. Dowd is one of the most original talents to arise out of the late '90s.

Here's that Dowd Blip:

Monday, April 06, 2009

eMUSIC APRIL

* The Sympathetic Sounds of Montreal . From the same folks who brought you The Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit (which featured The Dirtbombs, The Hentchmen, The Detriot Cobras and a rare White Stripes track) comes this compilation of Maple Leaf garage punk. Standouts include the party-time punk of Les Sexareenos and The Deadly Snakes, who manage to pay musical homage to Tommy James as well as The Status Quo in their two tracks.I also like the catchy tribute to Loretta Lynn by The Sunday Sinners.

One man who seems like a dominant presence on this record is Mark Sultan, aka BBQ, who once was a member of The Sexareenos and later became a musical partner of King Khan. BBQ's one or two-man punk/blues/do-wop stomp is heard all over the place here.

*Sybil by Troy Gregory. Speaking of The Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit, here's another album that showcases Detroit-area bands.

I discovered Sybil while looking for the song "Born in a Haunted Barn" by The Dirtbombs, which I'd stumbled across on Blip.fm. Actually, I was looking for the album with that song, the apparently out-of-print Billiards at Nine Thirty, a split album with King Khan & The Shrines. Billiards isn't on eMusic, but "Haunted Bar" showed up on an album by this guy Gregory. And The Dirtbombs themselves are backing him up here.

Also appearing here are bands like Bantam Rooster (who play on the opening cut, an intense cruncher called "Lice, Cots n' Rabies Shots"), Outrageous Cherry (who do a song called "Regrets, I've Had a Few," which sounds like some long-lost early MTV hit, and Jim Diamond's Pop Monsoon (with an otherworldly, not very Christmasy tune called "Down 2 the Last Santa Claus.")

There's even a taste of country with The Volebeats. "Left My Mind Alone" doesn't come close to The Voles' "Two Seconds," but it's a nice surprise


*Specialty Profiles: Larry Williams: This New Orleans guy wrote some of my favorite cover songs the early Beatles did -- "Slow Down," "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and (my favorite) "Bad Boy." He had several hits of his own in the '50s, including "Boney Maroni" and "Short Fat Fannie" -- both of which could be viewed as follows to Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally." At one point Specialty Records hoped Williams would become the next Little Richard.

But it didn't work out that way. Williams had some serious demons gnawing at him. In 1959 he was arrested for selling drugs -- long before that was fashionable. He bounced around labels, working mainly as a producer. He worked with Johnny "Guitar" Watson in the mid '60s, but no major hits came of that collaboration. And between 1969 and 1978 (when he briefly emerged with a funk album, long out of print,called That's Larry Williams), he didn't work at all in the music biz.

Williams died in 1980, found at his home with a gunshot wound to his head. According to the All Music Guide, "The medical examiners called the death a suicide, but rumors persisted for years after his death that he was murdered because of his involvement in drugs, crime and — allegedly — prostitution."

This collection has all those songs The Beatles did. (Until now, I never knew what the heck John Lennon was singing on the line, "He gave his cocker spaniel a bath in his mother's Laundromat. "). "She Said Yeah," which The Rolling Stones covered, some New Orleans R&B hits like "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu" and Lloyd Price's "Just Because," and other gems like "You Bug Me, Baby" and "Let Me Tell You, Baby," which sounds like the second cousin of "Dizzy Miss Lizzy."


* Pyschobilly Box: Rockabilly Roots and Hootenany (Disc 1) This is a strange hodgepodge of actual pyschobilly bands (The Meteors and The Frantic Flintstones among them), rock stars trying their hand at rockabilly-related sounds (Lemmy from Motorhead singing "Good Rockin' Tonight," Johnny Ramone doing a surfed-up instrumental of "Viva Las Vegas") and '50s rarities from country stars.

The latter ones are my favorites. There's Patsy Cline getting into the rockabilly spirit with "Stop, Look and Listen" and a young Waylon Jennings with his mentor Buddy Holly and a honking sax (could that be King Curtis?) doing a song called "When Sin Stops."

While most of the acts are pretty obscure -- Scared Stiff, Coffin Nails, Demented Are Go, Hayride to Hell -- a lot of the songs covered here are very well known -- "Big River," "Wooly Bully," "Surf City," "Should I Stay or Should I Go."

And what's with all these cat bands? There's The Polecats, The Head Cat, 13 Cats, The Swing Cats (who do a limp, extremely non-psycho version of "Summertime"), and yes, The Stray Cats with a near 9-minute live version of their early '80s hit "Rock This Town."

There's lots of good fun here. But I don't have an overwhelming desire right now to download the second disc of this compilation. Maybe next month.

plus ...
The artist who would later be known as Dolemite
... the 16 tracks I didn't download last month from Hully Gully Fever by Rudy Ray Moore. Would I be a heretic to say I like a lot of this stuff -- basic hopped-up R&B from the '50s and early '60s -- even better than his Dolemite party-album classics?

plus ...

I had four tracks left over, so I picked up the first four songs on Merriweather Post Pavilion, the new album by Animal Collective. Sounds good so far. More on Merriweather next month after I nab the rest of the tracks.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, April 5, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino
Roadhouse by The Flamin' Groovies
Mysterious Teenage by The Vels
Jet Boy by The New York Dolls
Lice, Cots n' Rabies Shots by Troy Gregory with Bantam Rooster
El Telecote by Calvin Cool
Feels Good by Stud Cole
She Live in a Time of Her Own by 13th Floor Elevators

Monk Time/Love Came Tumblin' Down by The Monks
Loan Shark by The Guana Bats
Headcoat Man by Thee Headcoats
Jackie Chan Does Kung Fu by Thee Headcoatees
Baby I Grind by Les Sexareenos
Racoon City Limits by The Black Smokers
Alligator Night by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
I'm the Slime by Frank Zappa
Youngblood by The Coasters

Puzzlin' Evidence by The Talking Heads
Police Call by Drywall
Snow by The Mekons
Spotlight Kid by Captain Beefheart
Then Comes Dudley by The Jesus Lizard
Negro Observer by Butthole Surfers
March of the Balloon Animals by Dengue Fever
Theme From the Unknown by Davie Allan & The Arrows

Contraflow by The Fall
Is Chicago Not Chicago by Soul Coughing
Got to Be the Way it Is Part 1 by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Back to Mt Old Ways Again by Howard Tate
It's a Highway to Heaven by Alex Bradford
I'm on My Way by Mahalia Jackson
Have I the Right by Tav Falco & Panther Burns

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, April 04, 2009

TRUE STORIES

So a good friend of mine sent me a link to this tacky conspiracy nutball video and it reminded me of "Puzzling Evidence" in True Stories. In looking for that scene on YouTube, I quickly realized that several scenes from that movie -- one of my favorites of the '80s --are available.

David Byrne said after the "soundtrack" alnum came out, he regretted not releasing a version with the actual actors singing their songs. Hey Dave, I've always liked that idea. It's not too late.

Here's a few of my favorites:



Here's the great Pops Staples as a Voodoo priest. (As you'll see, this was from the German version of the film)



And who can forget The Lying Woman, Santa Fe's own Jo Harvey Allen?

Friday, April 03, 2009

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, April 3, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Viper of Melody by Wayne Hancock
A Fool Such as I by John Doe & The Sadies
Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young by Faron Young
Money Honey by Wanda Jackson
Hush Money by The Collins Kids
Repo Man by Ruthie & The Wranglers
Drugstore Truck-Driving Man by The Byrds
Oh You Pretty Woman by Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel
I'm Little But I'm Loud by Little Jimmy Dickens
Bottle of Wine by Deano Waco & The Meat Purveyors

The Fool by Robert Gordon & Link Wray
Somethin' in the Water by The Legendary Shack Shakers
Red Dog Cider by Andy Anderson
White Sport Coat by The Meat Puppets
They're Hangin' Me Tonight by Marty Robbins
The Shore by John Egenes
Blackjack David by Norman & Nancy Blake
Midnight Special by The Louvin Brothers
Merchant's Lunch by The Austin Lounge Lizards

Battle of Love/Out on the Highway by Mose McCormack
All You Can Cheat by Robbie Fulks
Drinkin' Town by Mike Neal
Texas Me by Delbert McClinton
Let's Invite Them Over by Southern Culture on the Skids
Hello Lola by The Sunshine Skiffle Band
What's That Taste Like Gravy by The King David Jug Band
Bring Back Storyville by Guy Davis

Lust Never Sleeps by Ronny Elliott & Rebekah Pulley
There Stands The Glass by Webb Pearce
Don't Make Me Pregnant by Tammy Faye Starlite
Take Me Back Again by Amber Digby
Live and Let Live by Gov. Jimmie Davis
Run 'em Off by Lefty Frizzell
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Mahalia Jackson
Hog of the Forsaken by Michael Hurley
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: MONK TIME AGAIN

(I'm a little late posting Tuneup this week. Hey I'm on vacation! Gimme a break!)

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 3, 2009


Think of Elvis crooning "Wooden Heart" with the puppets in G.I. Blues. Think of John Lennon rocking out with a toilet seat around his neck as he, Stu Suttcliffe, Pete Best, and the other Beatles entertained hopped-up, drunken sailors in various night spots along Hamburg's Reeperbahn.

Indeed, some strange rock 'n' roll hoodoo was cooking up in Germany in the early 1960s. And those with ears to hear realize that these cosmic forces, harnessed perhaps by U.S. military intelligence, culminated in an obscure but influential band called The Monks.

Though their lone "official" album Black Monk Time, was not released in the U.S. during the '60s, it became an archetypal cult classic — its praises sung by the likes of Jack White and The Fall's Mark E. Smith.

But it's available now. A company called Light in the Attic is re-releasing Black Monk Time and issuing a new compilation of lesser-known recordings called The Early Years, 1964-1965. Though you can't buy the CDs until April 14, you can listen to both HERE. (You have to register, but it's worth it.)

For those not familiar with the story of The Monks, the band was the product of the
U.S. Army. Gary Burger, David Havlicek (aka Dave Day), Larry Clark, Roger Johnston, and Eddie Shaw were American soldiers stationed at Geinhausen, east of Frankfurt. According to the Early Years liner notes, Burger originally was into country music, while Day was an "Elvis worshipper." The two guitarists started jamming together at the base's Army service club and eventually formed a band called The Torquays — named after an instrumental hit of the day by Raton, New Mexico's finest band, The Fireballs.

The Torquays were a fairly typical "beat band" of that period, performing a lot of covers by American rock and R & B groups. (A couple of their songs are on The Early Years — "There She Walks" and "Boys Are Boys," an early version of a tune that would appear in a radically different version on Black Monk Time.) They played mainly at Army dances and at Army-sponsored events to promote goodwill (in hospitals, old-folks' homes, etc.). Though nobody was getting rich, the Torquays gig was fun enough that even after they were discharged from the Army, they stuck around in Germany.

But then things started getting weird. The band changed its name. The guys got bizarre haircuts — shaving the top of their heads, leaving a monk-like fringe.

And, most important, they began seriously experimenting with their sound, writing songs based on primitive beats and minimalist lyrics. Clark's organ style alternated between medieval cathedral, roller rink, and the Tex-Mex-influenced style then in vogue with bands like The Sir Douglas Quintet and Question Mark & The Mysterians. Burger started fooling around with guitar feedback and fuzztone. And for reasons still unclear after four decades, Day traded his guitar for an electric banjo.

Some of the tunes sound like crazed polkas or travelogue music. "Hushie Pushie" from The Early Years sounds like a mutation of "Tiger Rag," except they sing "hushie pushie" instead of "hold that tiger."

This wasn't the Summer of Love for The Monks. Some of their song titles were punk-rock angry: "I Hate You" and "Shut Up."

No longer bound by military censorship, some Monks songs contained vague political rants. Take "Monk Time" (the version on Black Monk Time)

"You know, we don't like the Army. What Army? Who cares what Army? Why do you kill all those kids over in Vietnam? Mad Viet Cong. My brother died in Vietnam. James Bond, who is he? ... Pussy Galore is coming down, we like it! We don't like the atomic bomb."
More often, however, the lyrics were baby-talk simple. Sometimes, just nonsense chants: "Higgle-dy piggle-dy/Way down to heaven/Yeah!" or "Cuckoo, cuckoo/Who's got the cuckoo?/Now someone stole my cuckoo/And I wanna know who who."

And as strange and aggressive as the sound was, it somehow never sounded threatening, especially when Burger would introduce tunes like a brainumbling Down'? Well, come on Monks! Let's go!"

I, for one, do like "Love Tumbling Down." Instrumentally, the version on Black Monk Time is best, especially the crunching guitar effects Burger gets here. However, on The Early Years, the vocals sound more like a foreshadowing of the music of Ruben & The Jets. Plus, on that version you get the goofy intro.

Black Monk Time didn't do much on the European charts and didn't get released in the U.S. until the late '90s. The band recorded a couple of sides in 1967, the country-flavored but still loopy "Love Can Tame the Wild" and the gawdawful, fairy-fey generic folk-rock "He Went Down to the Sea." (Both are included in the reissue of Black Monk Time.) Shortly afterward, The Monks broke up, sparing the world any more crud like the latter song.

The Monks had a reunion in 1999 at New York's Cavestomp Festival. Since then, Day and Johnston have died. But as long as people keep discovering this timeless, primitive music, it'll always be Monk Time somewhere.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

THE TERRIFYING FUTURE

A fellow political-reporter friend of mine sent me a link to this video, which seemed to freak him out.




I dunno. Somehow it reminded me of this:

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...