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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I just heard back from the Indiana Steve Terrell, whose Hoosier Lawyer blog I stumbled upon a couple of days ago.

In addition to his serious legal-issues blog, he also runs a fun blog called "Hoosier Daddy?"

I haven't been through the whole thing yet, but I laughed out loud at the story of the 3-year-old kid who got stuck inside a "Win a Stuffed Animal" machine at Wal-Mart.

(If I had a quarter for every time I denied my son money for those damned machines, I could buy 100 stuffed animals!)

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Monday, May 30, 2005


Sunday, May 29, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night by The Electric Prunes
Rich by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Valley of the Saroos by The Blue Men
Dirty Water by The Standells
Burn the Flames by Roky Erickson
Night of The Hunted by Mudhoney
You're Pretty Good Looking by White Stripes
Phantom Dragster by The Bobby Fuller Four
Amazon and Coyotes by Simon Stokes

I Can Make Music by The Rev. Al Green
Only the Strong Survive by Jerry Butler
Ghetto Life by Rick James
Voyage to Atlantis by The Isley Brothers
I'll Be Alright by Terance Trent D'Arby
Love Train by The O'Jays

Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
The Burden by Terry Allen
Bataan Death March by Robert Mirabal
The Big Battle by Johnny Cash
Western Hero by Neil Young
51-7 by Camper Van Beethoven
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by The Pogues

Soma by The Strokes
Home by Stuurbaard Bakkebaard
Root Smooth Sapling Whips by Jean Smith
Lay Me Low by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Sunday, May 29, 2005


Somewhere in Indianapolis there's a lawyer who is in danger of getting getting puzzling e-mails from folks wondering about Bill Richardson's latest doings or asking what band did that weird song last week on The Santa Fe Opry.

And I'm probably lucky I haven't heard from people asking about Indiana real estate law or personal-injury litigation.

Yep, there's another Steve Terrell in Bloggerville. Check out the other Mr. Terrell's Hoosier Lawyer.

And no, neither of us starred in Drag Strip Girl or Invasion of the Saucer Men.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005


Friday, May 27, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Three Foot High and Risin' by Johnny Cash
High Water (For Charlie Patton) by Bob Dylan
The Day John Henry Died by Drive By Truckers
Oh Tired Feet by Terry Allen

Honky Tonk Merry Go Round (EP)
I Thought I'd Die
Hudson River Blue
Lovesick Blues

You Don't Want What I Have by Robbie Fulks
The Good Ain't Gone by Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys
Ride Me Down Easy by Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
Get Up and Go by David Bromberg

The Moon is Down by John Prine
Give a Little Whistle by Michelle Shocked
Please Don't Go Topless, Mother by Troy Hess
Up on Mars by Hasil Adkins
Downtown Chicken by Scott Biram
Hotel Hell by The Earl Brothers
Brain Damage by The Austin Lounge Lizards
Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young by Faron Young
Lean on Me by Michael Hurley
Amos Moses by Jerry Reed

My Biggest Fan by Loudon Wainwright III
My Generation's Golden Handcuff Blues by Peter Case
I Love Her, She Loves Me by Ware River Club
Howard Hughes' Blues by John Hartford
The Man in the Bed by Dave Alvin
My Father by Audrey Auld Mezera
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

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Friday, May 27, 2005


Talk about "activist judges" ... here's a family-values jurist in Indiana who has ruled that a divorced couple of the Wiccan persuassion can't teach their religion to their 9-year old son. CLICK HERE

According to the Associated Press, Judge Cale J. Bradford followed the recommendation of a court commissioner who presided over a custody hearing for Thomas Jones and Tammy Bristol.

A court commissioner wrote the unusual order into the couple's divorce decree after a routine report by the court's Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau noted that both Jones and his ex-wife are pagans who send their son, Archer, to a Catholic elementary school.

"Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones display little insight into the confusion these divergent belief systems will have upon Archer as he ages," the report said.

The divorce decree said "the parents are directed to take such steps as are needed to shelter Archer from involvement and observation of these non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."

The commissioner who wrote that obviously knows nothing about Southwestern Indian tribes who have little trouble reconciling their traditional religions with Catholicism.

One little ray of hope here. The head of a conservative Christian group in Indianapolis actually is siding with the Pagans.

"The parents have the right to raise their child in that faith, just as I have the right to raise my child in the Christian faith," said Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana.

I think that judge underestimates the intelligence a child has. I do agree that perhaps some confusion may come from Archer being raised in a Pagan home whil attending a Catholic school...but don't all religions have the same basis? I think that with proper parenting and an education from the parents (as long as the information being given is unbiased), he would be able to form his own opinions with little confusion.
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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 27, 2005

For a jolting reminder of the era when both country music and local television productions were raw, real, spontaneous and fun, a good place to start is The Buck Owens Ranch Show DVD collection.

Available only through Owens’ Web site, these three discs contain episodes of Owens’ syndicated television show, which showed in some 100 markets between 1966 and 1972.

Before I get started here I’d be remiss not to give a consumer warning. Strictly speaking. these DVDs are a giant rip off.

Sold only separately they cost $29.99 each, plus postage and handling, so if you get all three the cost is over $100. Each disc contains only three 30-minute episodes — and unfortunately each one contains one inferior early ‘70s segment (more on that later).

That being said, I’m glad I spent the money. I love these DVDs.

Part of it is sentimental. The Buck Owens Ranch was taped in my hometown of Oklahoma City at WKY-TV studios. The show initially was sponsored by a local store, Mathes Brothers Furniture. I saw the very first episode in 1966 and rarely missed it on Friday night until I moved to Santa Fe in 1968.

But even more important than these precious memories, is the fact that nearly 40 years later, the music not only holds up, it’s even better than I remember.

The Buckaroos was an extremely tight little roadhouse band. “Tender” Tom Brumley was one amazing steel guitarist. But the real menace was guitarist/singer/occasional fiddler Don Rich. His guitar solos often were breathtaking and sometimes downright crazy. His harmonies with Owens could rip out your heart and stomp on it.

Though Buck and his band were the main focus, there were some fine guest performers as well. Bakersfield icon Tommy Collins was a frequent guest, performing mainly novelty songs, (at least on these DVDs.) Kaye Adams, famous for her proto-feminist trucker theme “Little Pink Mac,” also was a semi-regular.

By far the most surreal performance in this collection was J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet, a gospel group, led by a frog-voiced singer with a pencil-thin mustache. (This group would become part of Elvis Presley’s stage show.) Here they sing “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.” I had to check the credits to make sure that David Lynch didn’t direct this episode. The Stamps, in their pompadours, matching green suits and otherworldly expressions are weird enough. But what about the sudden shifts of Sumner’s scalp? His hair looks like some sleeping mammal that wakes up only when Sumner hits certain notes.

The earlier definitely were the most fun. As the DVD notes explains, “During the first few years, the shows were performed live to tape—each segment between commercial breaks was done without stopping or editing!”

Indeed, there were some rough moments there. You sometimes can hear the sound man making adjustments in the middle of a song. Whenever someone sings near the fountain, you can hear the water gurgling. And at one point Buck practically has to shout at Tommy Collins, who was on another part of the set, to start a song.

But by 1970, the show became slicker, more professional -- and ultimately far less immediate and far less charming.

As the DVD notes explain, “In later years Buck brought his son Mike in to help and they started editing the shows together after the songs were taped.”

In the 1970 and ‘71 shows included in the DVDs, The Buckaroos still have Rich, though his role seems diminished. Brumley was gone. Instead of Tommy Collins and Kay Adams, there’s the cheesy Hager Twins and Buck’s talentless son, “Buddy Alan.” (I do like big-haired/mini-skirted singer Susan Raye, who had joined the Owens troupe by this time though.)

In short The Buck Owens Ranch had become a junior version of Hee-Haw, which Buck had started co-hosting in 1969.

Owens quickly was heading for artistic decline by 1970. But the mid ‘60s episodes included in these DVDs show Buck Owens in his prime.

{CLICK HERE for an interesting article that contains some deatils about The Buck Owns Ranch.}

Other notable music DVDs:

The Dirty South Live at the 40 Watt Club by Drive-By Truckers. The Truckers don’t make it out to New Mexico very often (last time was January 2002 when they played Burt’s Tiki Lounge in Albuquerque), so if you’ve been craving to see this band, this DVD might have to do.

The performances here, including nearly all the songs from their latest and best album The Dirty South, was recorded last August at the kick-off shows for their 2004 tour.

It’s a hometown crowd for The Truckers (who, like R.E.M. before them, rose from the Athens, Ga. Scene) so the energy is high and crowd’s enthusiasm seems to fuel the band.

Besides the Dirty South tunes, the Truckers also include some of their greatest older tunes, including “Sinkhole” and “The Southern Thing” and their wild-eyed Southern boy version of Jim Carrol’s “People Who Died.”

My only complaint: No “Steve McQueen.”

The Pretenders Greatest Hits
(to be released June 7). One of the first videos I ever saw on MTV featured guys in business suits jumping up and down in slow motion on “Back on the Chain Gang.” It’s true, Chrissie Hynde’s sad and soulful voice is the main draw of that beautiful song, but the video imagery, Chrissie in her denim jacket and windswept sheepdog bangs, helped burn it in my mind forever.

This collection includes classic late ‘70s/early ‘80s Pretenders works as well as increasingly less essential products going up to the late ’90s.

I started losing interest in The Pretenders’ music almost 20 years ago, and have been disappointed with all their post Learning to Crawl albums. But seeing a scowling Chrissie with graying hair and a black cowboy hat in the 1999 “Human” video, looking like some criminally insane cousin of Lucinda Williams makes me want to give some of her more recent stuff another listen.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005


When a member of the state press asks Gov. Bill Richardson about his intentions in 2008 he'll usually laugh and roll his eyes and act like this is something we're making up.

However, Richardson's ambitions are obvious to the national media as well. Check out today's edition of ABC News' The Note

Six things that are known:

1. What George F. Will thinks of the Democrats, the filibuster deal, and Harry Reid.

2. What Paul Gigot thinks of ethanol.

3. How badly Bill Richardson wants to be president. (Emphasis mine)

4. How high Sen. Grassley's frustration level is over Social Security.

5. How Michael Whouley reacted when Carlos Watson named him one of the five possible "next Karl Roves" on CNN.

6. How quickly the RNC will put out a press release on what Bob Rubin said yesterday to the House Democratic caucus.

The only other reference to the gov in today's Note is a link to a New Hampshire Union Leader story that mentions his upcoming trip to New Hampshire, which, if you believe the governor's office, has nothing to do with the 2008 New Hampshire primary.

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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 26, 2005

Gov. Bill Richardson is catching flak in the blogosphere for amassing a $3 million re-election campaign treasury.

But the complaints aren’t coming from Republicans, who have yet to find an obvious frontrunner to challenge Richardson in 2006. They’re coming from fellow Democrats — specifically the progressive wing of the party, or as some of them call themselves, the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”

Over on the Democracy for New Mexico blog, a site that grew out of Howard Dean’s national Democracy for America group, Dems have been going back and forth over a recent post by the blog’s co-founder and webmaster Barbara Wold.

“Is it just me, or is anyone else put off by Gov. Richardson’s already large campaign fund for the 2006 governor’s race?” Wold pondered .

“What peeves me is that we frequently hear ‘we have no money’ when we suggest that the Dems, particularly our County Parties, do something about building our Party BEFORE the next election cycle,” she wrote. “No wonder it’s so difficult to raise funds for party activities when the big honcho at the top sucks all the bucks into his own personal coffers for a race that’s way down the line.”

Noting a couple of major donors on Richardson’s contribution list — namely Miguel Lausell, a political and business consultant based in Puerto Rico who gave the governor $25,000, and California real-estate investor Richard L. Bloch, who also pitched in $25,000 — Wold wrote: “Hmm. I wonder what they expect to get from such generous donations to a governor’s race in New Mexico? We once were truly the party of the people. What are we now? The party of the big bucks contributors?”

This initial post prompted just a handful of replies. But one Democrat who noticed was Amanda Cooper, Richardson’s political director.

In a lengthy reply, Cooper defended her boss, saying Richardson “has taken the lead here in New Mexico and across the country when it comes to the importance of investing and strengthening the Democratic Party. New Mexico is the first state in the country to put grassroots organizers on the ground. The grassroots organizer program was conceived, developed and funded by Gov. Richardson and his organization. Gov. Richardson not only placed the organizers at the Democratic Party, he continues to raise and donate the money for them to work in communities around the state in an effort to help move the party forward.”

Cooper denied the guv keeps all his campaign contributions for himself.

She wrote that Richardson “invested over a half a million dollars in helping candidates run for office here in New Mexico just last cycle, over a million dollars registering people to vote, holding campaign trainings, and turning out people to the polls.”

Cooper’s post elicited major response. And some blog regulars weren’t impressed.

“Are these organizers working for Richardson or the Democratic Party?” one poster asked. “Is the party just a parking lot for Richardson organizers before they go over to his campaign in ’06?”

Another wrote: “We are all happy we have a Democratic governor. And we are all glad that Richardson has brought more attention and resources to our state. ... What we (are) concerned about is someone making a private kingdom out of donations from large donors and sucking up all the capital for himself instead of for ALL our candidates, and our on the-ground operations.”

Some defended Richardson.

“As the leader of our party and the executive branch, and with a punch clock on the national playing field, the governor is the most obvious recipient for special interest largesse, which is why he has three million in the bank,” one man wrote. Richardson, he said, “has shown that he is able to say no to some of his biggest donors.”

Another wrote: “Instead of sitting around complaining about Richardson, we should be happy that he’s investing in the party both in NM and across the nation. We have the chance to have a two term gov running for President of the United States. What’s not to like about that?”

One poster got all historic on us: “Machiavelli would be pleased, reacting like a Jacobin Mob, which one of our leaders will we bring to the guillotine today!! Need not worry about the GOP, we will cut the throats of our own.”

But keeping quiet in the name of party unity doesn’t seem likely with these folks. These guys think the higher-ups might learn some things from the lower-downs .

In one of her posts, Wold said: “I think one thing people in higher positions in the Party here and nationally don’t seem to fully understand is how much mistrust and disgust there is within the Dem base about how things have gone and who’s in charge of the message and how it’s communicated and disseminated. There is a massive sea change happening from the ground up and people are very frustrated with the business as usual attitudes of many of our ‘leaders.’ ”

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Pasatiempo editor Kristina Melcher asked me to post this. Feel free to copy it and pass it on to any northern New Mexico musician you know. I don't want to hear any whining if you get left out.

Will you be in Pasatiempo's Music Directory?

If a musician plays in northern New Mexico and nobody is there to hear it --
does it make a sound?

Don't put this to the test. Instead, tell us who you are (or your band,
ensemble, orchestra, or any other musical life forms play; where you play (Santa Fe, La Cienega, Cerrillos, Las Vegas, Pecos, Los Alamos, Española, Chimayo, Taos or any surrounding areas); and how others can contact you (by phone or online).

We¹d like to consider you for inclusion in our new directory. Deadline to
apply is Friday, June 10 at 5 pm.

E-mail your facts to with "music info" in the subject line, or fax us at 505-820-0803. Or use the mail: send info to R. Benziker, Pasatiempo, The New Mexican, P.O. Box 2048, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 25, 2005

U.S. Rep. Tom Udall has signed onto a letter asking that President Bush answer questions about a top-secret document written in 2002 by an adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair indicating the U.S. had already made up its mind to invade Iraq and planned to manipulate intelligence to justify it.

Rep. John Conyers,
D-Michigan, and 88 other Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Bush earlier this month asking whether the July 2002 memo, unveiled by The Sunday Times of London on May 1, accurately portrayed the administration's thinking at the time. It also asks whether there was a coordinated effort to “fix” intelligence to justify an invasion.

Conyers’ letter said the memorandum — which has come to be known as “The Downing Street Memo” or to some war opponents as “The Smoking Gun Memo” — “raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own administration.”

Udall — who voted against the Iraq war resolution in October 2002 — wasn’t among the first wave of Congress members to sign Conyers’ letter.

“So many reps didn't get a chance to sign it that they've done a second letter and he's on that one,” Udall spokesman Glen Loveland said in an e-mail Tuesday.

“Rep. Udall signed the (second) letter because he feels that the allegations need to be addressed,” Loveland said. “Many of our constituents still want answers about the planning that happened before the beginning of the war.”

A spokeswoman for Conyers said Tuesday that “four or five” Congress members, including Udall, had asked to sign on the request for Bush to answer questions about the memo.

Conyers’ second letter, dated May 23, chides Bush about not answering the original letter.

Bush spokesman Scott McClelland has said there is “no need” to respond to Conyers.

The Downing Street Memo, written by Blair foreign policy aid Matthew Rycroft, consists of secret minutes of a British cabinet meeting eight months before the invasion of Iraq and three months before Congress passed the resolution authorizing military force in Iraq.

No British official has challenged the authenticity of the memo.

The minutes quote the British intelligence chief Richard Dearlove saying who said of his American counterparts: “Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and (weapons of mass destruction). But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

The memo quoted British foreign secretary Jack Straw saying “the case was thin” for an invasion because Saddam Hussein “was not threatening his neighbors” and because “his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”

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Monday, May 23, 2005


Sunday, May 22, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
The Sky is a Poisonous Garden by Concrete Blonde
Eve Future by The Mekons
Debaser by The Pixies
Freedom by J. Mascis & The Fog
Panthers by Wilco
Cosmic Highway by Les Claypool

Johnny Gillette by Simon Stokes
Love to Burn by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
My Little Problem by The Replacements with Johnette Napolitano
People Who Died by The Jim Carrol Band
Sex With the Devil by Anne Magnuson

Puzzlin' Evidence by The Talking Heads
Under the Waves by Heavy Trash
Don't Step on the Grass by Steppenwolf
You Are What You Is by Frank Zappa
Detachable Penis by King Missile
Touch Sensitive by The Fall
South Street by The Orlons

Back on the Chain Gang by The Pretenders
Isis by Bob Dylan
We Both Go Down Together by The Decemberists
Here Come the Choppers by Loudon Wainwright III
Poison by Susan James
The House Where Nobody Lives by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Saturday, May 21, 2005


Friday, May 20, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Georgia Hard by Robbie Fulks
Blame the Vain by Dwight Yoakam
I Thought I'd Die by Karen Hudson
Dirty Little Town (Too Late For Prayer) by Jay Ruffin
Jamie Was A Boozer by Joe West
Blood, Sweat & Murder by Scott H. Biram
Cat Squirrel by John Schooley
I Ain't Got Nobody by Emmett Miller
Jimmy Martin Set
All Songs by Jimmy Martin except where noted
Grand Old Opry Song
I'm Sittin' on Top of the World
Hold Whatcha Got
My Walkin' Shoes
Tennessee by The Last Mile Ramblers
Save It Save
Losin' You (Might Be the Best Thing Yet)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Guests (Jimmy Martin plays guitar)

Charlie Poole set
All Songs by Charlie Poole except where noted
Shootin' Creek
Moving Day by Arthur Collins
It's Moving Day
He Rambled
If the River Was Whiskey
May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister
May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister by Hank Thompson
Can I Sleep in Your Arms by Willie Nelson
Goodbye Booze

All Go Hungry Hash House by Norman Blake
Hank and Fred by Loudon Wainwright III
The Other Side of Town by John Prine
You Wouldn't Know Love by Billy Joe Shaver
Summer Wages by David Bromberg
Baby Mine by Michelle Shocked
Take Me by George Jones
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

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Friday, May 20, 2005


My daughter Molly sent me this link to this site devoted to the strange phenomenon of The Muffler Man, the fiberglass giant that appears in scattered places throughout this great land of ours.

There's even mention here of the Lumberjack at Central and Louisiana in Albuquerque near my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, the May Cafe.

This is part of the amazing Roadside America site, where it's easy to get lost for hours.

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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 20, 2005

So you thought country music was invented in 1927 when Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family recorded for Ralph Peer in Bristol, Tenn.? So you thought that Hank Williams was the original drunken driver on the Lost Highway and that Waylon and Willie were the original country outlaws?

Then get yourself familiar with Charlie Poole, a North Carolina banjo man whose unjustly short musical career and helped build the foundation for country music and whose short tragic life -- his drunken indulgences, his scrapes with the law -- became an early blueprint for rock ‘n’ roll excess.

Though scattered Poole compilations have been available through the years, Columbia Legacy this week released a three-disc Charlie Poole box set, You Ain’t Talkin’ To Me: Charlie Poole and The Roots of Country Music, with a classic R. Crumb cover and impressive liner notes by Hank Sapoznik, (a klezmer musician as well as author and scholar.)

But this 72-song box isn’t just a collection of Poole recordings. While Disc One is all Charlie, the subsequent discs include Poole tunes along with versions that preceded those recordings, and/or later versions by those who followed Poole. There’s even a song by a guy who bought Poole’s banjo when Charlie needed the cash in 1930. (This was Preston Young, who, with Buster Carter, recorded their version of “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms” years before Flatt & Scruggs.) In other words, you can hear what inspired him as well as who he inspired. It’s a glimpse of Poole’s entire musical word.

So who is this Charlie Poole character?

Born in 1892 in Eden, N.C., Poole was a mill worker, a bootlegger and a baseball player. According to Sapoznik, Poole’s three-finger banjo style developed from a baseball injury -- a drunken Poole made a bet that he could catch a ball without a glove no matter how hard it was thrown. He ended up breaking his fingers.

Poole began playing a self-made banjo fashioned from a gourd at the age of eight. He eventually was able to afford a proper store-bought banjo with his profits from running an illegal moonshine still.

In the early to mid 20s, Poole’s band The North Carolina Ramblers did their share of rambling. They gigged out west in Montana and as far north as Canada. Poole and company traveled to New York in 1925 -- two years before the Bristol sessions -- where they got a contract with Columbia Records. From that original recording session that July, Poole had his first 78 rpm hit : “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down Blues” backed with “Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight, Mister.”

“Deal” went on to become a Flatt & Scruggs bluegrass classic. “Sleep in Your Barn,” which has the basic melody of “Red River Valley” is a hobo song later recorded by bluegrass great Mac Wiseman and honky-tonk titan Hank Thompson. Country-western songwriter Hank Cochran refashioned it into a romantic ballad, “Can I Sleep in Your Arms.” which Willie Nelson included in his landmark Red Headed Stranger.

Sapoznik‘s description of Poole‘s live performances reads like something that would make Howlin’ Wolf or even Jerry Lee Lewis jealous: “By all reports, a Poole show was something to see. Punctuating sly twists on familiar songs with his rat-a-tat picking style, Poole would leap over chairs, turn cartwheels, clog dance on his hands, and shake up audiences with repertoire that was just as surprising. Typical sets would careen from prim, cautionary heart songs to a ditty usually reserved for bawdy house anterooms to fiddle tunes to over-the-top renditions of popular songs, before drawing to a close with a contemplative hymn.”

Indeed, Poole was no purist. He put his stamp on hoary old folk songs as well as Tin Pan Alley pop hits. He could sing historical ballads like “White House Blues” ( a remarkably un-mournful account of the assassination of President McKinley), maudlin sentimental tunes like “Husband and Wife Were Angry One Night” (in which a little girl pleads with her parents not to divorce), funny tunes like “The Hungry Hash House” and “The Man Who Rode a Mule Around the World,” drinking songs like “If the River Was Whiskey” and a call for temperance called “Goodbye Booze,” (which unfortunately Poole didn’t heed.)

And Poole took “coon songs” -- minstrel show novelty songs that made fun of Black people -- and scrubbed them of their racial overtones.

One such case was “It’s Moving Day.” Originally recorded in 1906 by Arthur Collins, it’s a “comically” take on a poor Black getting evicted by a landlord. But when Poole recorded it in 1930, evictions were commonplace for all races. Poole retains the song’s gentle humor, but shucks all of Collins’ shuck-and-jive.

Sapoznik’s description of Poole shouting down talkative audience members (“Did you people come here to talk or to listen?”) reminds one of a volatile scene from Elvis Presley’s movie Jailhouse Rock.

And in a description in the liner notes of a barroom bust by a Rorer descendant, Poole makes 50 Cent look like a wimp.

“One of the officers nabbed Poole. ‘Consider yourself under arrest,’ he told him. Never having been one to run from a fight, Poole replied, ‘Consider, hell!’ and came down across the officer’s head with his banjo, the instrument neck hanging down his front like a necktie. Another policeman pulled a revolver on Poole, who grabbed it as the two wrestled across the floor. The officer managed to get the barrel of the pistol in Charlie’s ear but as he pulled the trigger to kill him, Poole shoved the gun away so that it went off near his mouth. The explosion chipped his front teeth and left his lips bloodied and badly burned.”

The Depression killed Poole’s music career and booze killed Poole. He lost his recording contract by 1931. He died later that year, following a three-month booze spree, which Sapoznik says began as a celebration of an offer to appear in a Hollywood film.

The life and music of Charlie Poole seems like a worthy subject for a film.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005


Marlee MacLeod, bless her heart, sent me this little musical questionnaire game of tag. I've got to answer some seemingly harmless questions about music on my blog, then forward it to five other blogsters, who are obligated by some secret Code of the Web to post their answers and pass it on to five other blogsters. Kind of like a chain letter I guess, though the promise of riches and happiness and the threat of ruin and humiliation are only implied.

Check out Marlee's answers at her blog.

The last CD I bought was: I think I might be forgetting something I picked up in some bargain bin somewhere, but the last ones I remember were the new re-issue of Don't Slander Me by Roky Erickson and Sonic Youth's Sonic Nurse, which I bought on the same day. I think this was after I won The Q People, A Tribute to NRBQ on E-bay.

Song playing right now: "Some Humans Ain't Human" by John Prine. (On shuffle mode right now are Prine's Fair & Square, Georgia Hard by Robbie Fulks and The Appalachians (Companion to the Public Television Series.)

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
1) "Rag Doll" by The Four Seasons
2) "Freddy's Dead" by Curtis Mayfield
3) "It Is No Secret What God Can Do" by Elvis Presley
4 ) "Georgia Lee" by Tom Waits
5) "All Apologies" by Nirvana
5 and a half) "Touch of Evil" by Tom Russell

Five people to whom I'm passing the baton (and who I hope forgive me):

1) Mike at The Unruly Servant
2) Ken at New Mexiken
3) Mary at Tua's Corner
4) Julia at Julia Goldberg's Blog
5) Tom at The Donegal Express

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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 19, 2005

Gov. Bill Richardson had some rosy news Wednesday. The state Tourism Department will have a float in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.

That parade, which is part of the annual Rose Bowl game, is in Pasadena, Calif. — coincidentally the city where Richardson was born.

The state’s float will cost an estimated $125,000 to $150,000 Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley said. Although the state might seek private donors, it’s already part of the Tourism Department’s budget, Shipley said.

Last year an estimated 22 million households around the country tuned into the parade, a news release from Tourism said. “This even will allow us to become a stronger presence in southern California, which has always been one of our major markets,” Tourism Secretary Mike Cerletti said in the release.

Could this be a ploy for more national exposure for the governor?

“He wants to go to the game but not be in the parade,” Shipley said.

No word yet on a Bill Richardson balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

California roses: Speaking of a stronger New Mexico presence in southern California, six staffers from the state Democratic Party hopped in a van and headed to Los Angeles to help out in the successful mayoral campaign of Antonio Villaraigosa, who ousted incumbent L.A. Mayor James Hahn by a landslide vote Tuesday.

“This was our field staff,” party spokesman Matt Farrauto said. “We viewed that election as an exciting opportunity for our field organizers to get on-the-ground, real-world experience.”

Villaraigosa is the first Hispanic mayor of L.A. since 1872.

A story in Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times said, “In an instant, his victory Tuesday bestowed on him the prominence of the (Democratic) party's highest-ranking Latinos, among them New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado.”

While Farrauto downplayed talk of Richardson himself sending the staff to California, he said he might have first heard the idea from Richardson’s political director Amanda Cooper. Cooper couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

While nobody’s claiming the New Mexico Six were pivotal in Villaraigosa’s election, it almost certainly would be viewed as a friendly gesture. And someone running for, say, president, surely wouldn’t mind the mayor of the second-largest city in the U.S. on his side.

More fun with campaign contributions: The Richardson campaign contribution report is the gift that keeps on giving.

One contributor with a Beverly Hills address who nobody has paid much attention to is Kirk Kerkorian, an 87-year-old billionaire investor.

According to a recent story in The Associated Press, Kerkorian “bought and sold MGM three times, changed management more than once and dealt away major assets, including the studio’s soundstages and much of its film library, including such classics as Gone With the Wind.

“He built some of the largest hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, including the MGM Grand. He sold his empire there once, then returned to buy out rival casino mogul Steve Wynn.”

But though, according to Forbes magazine Kerkorian is worth around $8.9 billion, he only gave Richardson’s re-election $2,000. Perhaps Kerkorian is watching his budget due to his current $870 million offer to double his investment in General Motors Corp. If successful that would boost Kerkorian company’s holdings to about 9 percent and make him one of the auto maker’s largest shareholders.

Last week in this column I listed several of Richardson’s entertainment industry contributors, including singer Andy Williams and Virginia Mancini, widow of composer Henry Mancini, who wrote Williams’ greatest hit, “Moon River.”

But there’s another Williams/Mancini connection, one that involves Richardson’s biggest contributor so far, Univision honcho Jerry Perenchio.

An August 2004 feature in Business Week Online says this of Richardson’s benefactor: “He's a jet-hopping, 73-year-old former boxing promoter who pals around with George Bush (41 and 43) and lives in the sprawling Bel Air (Calif.) mansion featured in the 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. He loves throwing lavish parties — once he even flew in Henry Mancini and Andy Williams to perform at his son's 1981 wedding.”

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Somehow my story in this morning's New Mexican didn't make it on to the free Web site (Don't get me started here ...), so I'll post it here.

By the way, in the Fan Man e-mail I quote in the article Jamie Lenfesty asks club patrons to e-mail him favorite memories of the Paramount.

I have a few of my own. I have fond memories of playing there, opening for Jonathan Richman and Jimmy Carl Black's German blues group (The Farrell & Black Band) and for last year's Bonnie Hearne benefit with half the musicians I know in Santa Fe.

But probably my favorite show there was the Concrete Blonde show in 2002. Not only was I happy that Johnette and the boys were together again and playing as ferociously as ever, but that was my daughter's 21st birthday. It was the first time I took her to a club show without having to make arrangements with the management to get her in.

So e-mail Jamie your stories and read the story below:

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 18, 2005

After bringing popular music acts to downtown Santa Fe since late 1998, The Paramount Lounge and Nightclub will close at the end of next month.

In a mass e-mail to club patrons sent Tuesday, music promoter Jamie Lenfesty wrote, “After almost seven years I am very saddened to say that it does indeed appear that The Paramount, the best nightclub that Santa Fe has ever had, is going to close at the end of June.”

The e-mail says the closing is due to “a variety of factors,” including the health of owner Donalee Goodbrod. “Her guidance and energy kept the Paramount going and the loss of that energy was a blow from which the club was never able to recover,” Lenfesty wrote.

Goodbrod, who suffered a stroke last year, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
Referring to the final two shows he has booked at the Paramount — Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra on May 24 and alternative country singer Kathleen Edwards on June 15 — Lenfesty wrote, “please come out and show your appreciation for the Paramount and enjoy what will be the last big club shows in Santa Fe at least for awawhile.”

Doug Roberts of Phase One Realty, which has listed the Paramount’s site at 331 Sandoval St., said Tuesday that his agency is trying to sell or lease the building, which is owned by a company called Dogleg LLC.

“There’s been a lot of interest,” he said, both local operators and folks from out of town.”

Roberts said one party has discussed making office space out of the building, but the others would like to operate a restaurant and/or a nightclub in the building.

According to Phase One’s Web site, the owners would sell the 9,100-square foot building for $2 million.

A Phase One brochure for the property says, “Originally built as architectural offices in 1988, the building was extensively renovated for a high-end restaurant. Since that time property has housed several successful restaurants, the most recent of which were the Paramount nightclub, (Bar B) and Paramount Pizza.”

Before it became The Paramount, the building housed a short-lived nightclub called Cowboy. Before that, the building was the Double A restaurant, which closed in February 1997. A story in this paper at that time described it as a “Los Angeles-style glitter dome.” The Double A operators spent $5 million to remodel the building for the restaurant that lasted less than two years.

In his e-mail Lenfesty recalled many of the nationally known acts that played the Paramount. Among those to play there were Lucinda Williams, Los Lobos, Warren Zevon, Ralph Stanley, Bo Diddley, R.L. Burnside, Rickie Lee Jones, Concrete Blonde, They Might Be Giants, Ozomatli , Toots & The Maytals, Gillian Welch, The Flatlanders, Alejandro Escovedo, Stan Ridgway, Terry Allen and Junior Brown.

There are few other Santa Fe venues for national popular music acts. The Lensic Performing Arts Center brings in several name acts, but it’s a theater and not set up for dancing. WilLee’s Blues Club on South Guadalupe St. has been booking national blues artists like Ian Moore and Mem Shannon (scheduled to play there May 28). But that club is much smaller than the Paramount.

The Paramount opened about a year after the closing of a downtown spot called Santa Fe Music Hall. At that time there was much discussion and hand-wringing in the popular music community about why Santa Fe has such a hard time keeping music clubs going.

Some said at the time it was because of a slump in the tourist industry. Some noted that people don’t drink as much alcohol as they did in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Some said Santa Fe has a scarcity of people in their early 20s and that baby boomers don’t go out at night as much as they used to.

Lenfesty, in an interview Tuesday, said that whoever runs the next big music club here should explore doing more “all-ages shows” with an enclosed area for those who are too young to drink but come to hear the music.

“They have it in Albuquerque, I don’t see why we couldn’t have it hear,” he said. “It’s young people and college kids who really support live music.”

Lenfesty said the Paramount was able to work for so many years because it didn’t cater to one particular crowd. “There was live music, there were DJs,” he said. “You’ve got to be everything to everybody. You had hard rock shows, country, blues, reggae ... Bar B was more loungy. The DJs attracted gays and straights. You can’t just cater to one group and make it in Santa Fe.

“The Paramount worked for a long time and it would still work except for the loss of Donalee’s guidance,” he said. “When she got sick, that was the end.”


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Joe Monahan today writes about Gov. Bill Richardson's recent blasts at the bloggers.

He's talking about recent Richardson speeches that have criticized some unspecified blogs for inaccuracies.

It should be noted that the governor gave these speeches before a new local blog launched. I'm sure that whatever irked the gov about the blogs he'd read was mild compared with Fat Bill and Me.

Fat Bill, which debuted Monday, is the creation of John Coventry, a longtime (20 years? 25 years?) City Hall agitator and frequent, if no longer perennial, City Council candidate. (He told me the other day he's considering a run for mayor next year.)

Richardson is the main target of the blog, which seems to be a natural extension of Coventry's ire-inspiring comments on The New Mexican's Web site in recent months.

It's outrageous. It's obscene. It's probably libelous.

But it's pure Coventry, which means it's kind of fun in a twisted way -- unless you're the target of one of his rants.

Which I have been in the past. About 20 years ago he threatened to punch me in the nose because I called him a "gadfly" in print. I told him I could have chosen another annoying insect.

Then back during the whole Clinton sex scandal, Coventry had a gig with former Municipal Judge Tom Fiorina's old radio show on KTRC (or was it KVSF?) as a roving "reporter." One day during the show, Coventry was at The New Mexican fielding live ambush "interviews" with reporters and editors. He stuck a cell phone in my face and barked, "Steve Terrell, how much perverted sex do you have?"

I could only answer honestly. "Not nearly enough," I told Coventry and his radio audience.

For the record, I'm not the "journeyman reporter" quoted in Fat Bill who warned Coventry about the governor's state police detail. I know most those officers and while they are very serious about their duty, I wouldn't describe any of them as humorless.

My advice to Richardson and anyone else who gets the treatment on Coventry's little corner of cyber space: If working on his blog makes him miss just one City Council meeting, it's all worth it.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005


As published in the Santa Fe New Mexican
May 17, 2005

Gov. Bill Richardson usually is treated with chummy deference when he makes one of his frequent appearances on national news shows. In fact some say the national media tends to fawn over Richardson, even conservative commentators.

So it must have been a shock for the governor two years ago when making the rounds on the talking-head circuit after the New York blackout, a fellow guest on The O’Reilly Factor accused Richardson, a former energy secretary of being a party to “the snake oil of deregulation” and described the governor’s observations as “wonderful blather.”

That other guest was Greg Palast, an American investigative reporter whose work is featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Observer and The Guardian, Harper’s magazine, and who authored the 2002 book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.Don’t bet on Richardson showing up Saturday when Palast speaks at Cloudcliff Cafe and Art Space about his work.

In a telephone interview last week, Palast said he’s coming to New Mexico to investigate what he and several progressive activists in the state say are problems with the presidential election here last November. President Bush beat Democrat John Kerry by less than one percent here according to official results.

“I’m coming here more to investigate than talk,” Palast said.

It won’t be his first time here. In the 1980s, Palast said, he assisted then state Attorney General Paul Bardacke in an investigation of Public Service Company of New Mexico and the now defunct Southern Union Gas Company.

Working for The Observer, he also investigated the Geo Group, then known as Wackenhut, the private prison company that operates facilities in Santa Rosa and Hobbs. The story focused on the 1999 killing of Ralph Garcia, a Wackenhut guard killed during an inmate uprising.

Palast said he plans to talk Saturday about some of his recent investigations, including a Harper’s story about Pentagon documents he uncovered indicating the Bush administration — long before the Iraq invasion — was considering two very different plans for Iraq’s oil fields. One plan called for privatizing Iraq’s oil, a move that would have damaged the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries. But, Palast said, American oil producers balked at this plan. So instead, the administration went with a plan in which the Iraqi government owns a single oil company. Under this plan, OPEC and American oil companies continue to prosper.

He also intends to talk about “the smoking gun memo,” a top-secret British government document written by a foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair describing a July 2002 meeting between Blair and the head of British intelligence.

“Military action was now seen as inevitable,” the memo said. “Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

But it’s Palast’s views on the election that local organizers are stressing.

After all, one of Palast’s best-known investigations concerned the 2000 presidential election — specifically Florida state officials’ purging voting rolls of alleged felons, a move some critics say tipped the election to George W. Bush.

Then last year, Palast created a noisy Internet buzz in a widely circulated article published only days after the election. There Palast wrote, “... it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.”

The culprit, Palast argued was “spoilage” — ballots from old punch card machines that were unreadable and provisional ballots that were cast but never counted.

“Hispanic voters in the Enchanted State, who voted more than two to one for Kerry, are five times as likely to have their vote spoil as a white voter,” Palast wrote Counting these uncounted votes would easily overtake the Bush ‘plurality.’”

Palast’s numbers were challenged in by writer Farhad Manjoo in a “debate” published in that online magazine.

Palast said last week he wants to look at why there was such a high “undervote” — ballots that were cast but showed no choice for president — in this state and why so many of those tended to be in high Hispanic or American Indian areas.

The statewide undervote rate was 2.45 percent. According to a study for a national organization advocating a recount, Indian precincts in New Mexico had an undervote rate of 6.7 percent , while Hispanic precincts had a 3.5 percent undervote rate.

According to a report by Scripps-Howard News Service New Mexico was one of only four states with an undervote of more than 2 percent in 2004.

Election errors are often just due to “a goofball factor,” Palast said. “I don’t look at it as Dick Cheney in his bunker calling up Diebold.”

But he said that voting machines seem to break down and have problems mainly in poor and minority districts. “If it happened in Republican country club districts, it would be fixed,” he said.

Palast is scheduled to speak 5 p.m. Saturday at Cloudcliff Cafe and Art Space, 1805 Second Street in Santa Fe. Tickets are $15. For more details CLICK HERE

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Monday, May 16, 2005


Sunday, May 15, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Haunt by Roky Erikson
Murder in the Graveyard by Screaming Lord Sutch
I Ain't Nothin' But a Gorehound by The Cramps
The Ballad of Dwight Frye by Alice Cooper
TV Eye by Iggy Pop
Do You Swing? by The Fleshtones
The Hump by Heavy Trash
Needles and Pins by The Ramones

The Mariner's Revenge Song by The Decemberists
The Black Freighter by Steeleye Span
The Deserter by Fairport Convention
Room 229 by Ian Moore
Killer Inside Me by MC 900-Foot Jesus


Recordings by Jack Clift in Uzbekistan, 2004
(19-minute improvisation) by Jadoo
The Hankerchief is Gone by Baxhi Sashok
You Are My Ray of Light Sevarra

Gim Git (Silence) by MC Mario with Jadoo featuring Greg Leisz
Laka Baluk by Jadoo
Uzbeksky Capitan by Baxhi Sashok
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Sunday, May 15, 2005


This isn't much time to publicize it, but the situation in Uzbekistan prompted me to devote the last hour of tonight's Terrell's Sound World to the music of that troubled land.

My brother Jack has been to that former Soviet republic two or three times in recent years and has recorded loads of jams with Uzebeki musicians. Jack will be on the show with me tonight on the second hour of my show to play some of his recordings.

Those of you in Santa Fe can hear the show 10 p.m. to midnight on KSFR, 90.7 FM. Everyone else can hear it streaming from KSFR's Web site. The Uzbek portion will start at 11 p.m. Mountain time.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005


Friday, May 13, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
The Glory of True Love by John Prine
Got No Strings by Michelle Shocked
Countrier Than Thou by Robbie Fulks
Home on the Range by Terry Allen
Coal Miner's Daughter by Loretta Lynn
Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round by Karen Hudson
Dry Lightning by Michael Martin Murphey
Lonesome Cowboy Burt by Frank Zappa featuring Jimmy Carl Black

Then I'll Be Movin' On by Mother Earth
Marijuana Fields by Big Ugly Guys
Chili Fields by Lenny Roybal
Whatcha Gonna Do Now? by Tommy Collins
Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight by Whiskeytown with Alejandro Escovedro
Dying Breed by Allison Moorer
Between Lust and Watching TV by Cal Smith

The Genitalia of a Fool by Cornell Hurd with Justin Trevino
What Made Milwauke Famous by Johhny Bush
Squaws Along the Yukon by Hank Thompson
Payday Blues by Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Out of the Past by The Strangelys
Billy's First Ex Wife by Ronny Elliott
Borrowed Angel by Mel Street
Don't Make Me Break Your Heart by Rex Hobart & His Misery Boys

Oklahoma City Bombing by Acie Cargill
Billy Joe by Audrey Auld Mezera
Hearts-a-Bustinn' by Jimmy Dale Gilmore
Dancing With the Tiger by Hank & Nancy Webster
Atmosphere by Shine Cherries
Legend in My Time by Leon Russell with T. Graham Brown
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

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Friday, May 13, 2005


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 6, 2005

How best to describe the sound of The Decemberists?

Maybe something like “From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets/Melodies rhapsodical and fair.”

I’m plagiarizing here (not me actually. My press secretary will take the fall.) It’s a line from the first song on The Decemberists’ new album Picaresque.

No there’s not really a lot of coronets on this album, but the sound of this Portland, Ore. band sounds like Robyn Hitchcock fronting Steeleye Span. In fact the album that Picaresque msot reminds me of is Steeley’s underrated 1977 album Storm Force 10, undoubtedly the British folk-rock band’s grittiest work in which songs by Bertold Brecht joined the traditional material Steeleye did so well.

This literate record is full of regal bombast, pomp and inspired pretentiousness.

Yes, I said “pretentiousness.” I realize that this has become a dirty word in rock ’n’ roll, where “keeping it real” is among the highest virtues.

But don’t knock pretentiousness. Sometimes a high dose of fantasy is good for the soul. And for you purists out there, I have some harsh news: Tom Waits isn’t really a bowery bum who plays piano in waterfront dives, most of the Beach Boys never surfed and the members of The Band weren’t really Civil War veterans.

When an album starts off proclaiming, “Here she comes on her palanquin/On the back of an elephant/On a bed made of linen and sequins and silk …” you know you’re in for a fantastic voyage through some unusual terrain.

That first song -- the one with the elephants and coronets and … palanquins (Look it up, I had to ) -- is “The Infanta.” It’s about the baby daughter of a Spanish king. Introduced with a screaming horn and drums that suggest an elephant stampede, the setting of the song is a grand parade.

There’s a king and his concubine, dukes and virgins. The narrator seems to be full of wonder at the spectacle, but there is tension just beneath it all. A baroness ponders her “barren-ness.” Who are the “luscious young girls of the Duke and Dutchess? And what’s this lake from which the Infanta’s cradle was pulled?

Picaresque is bursting with wild, sleazy sex. The heroes of “On the Bus Mall“ are gay prostitutes.

With a Morrissey-like melody, Meloy sings, “But here in the alleys, your spirits were rallied/As you learned quick to make a fast buck/in bathrooms and ballrooms, on dumpsters and heirlooms …”

“We Both Go Down Together” deals with a rock ‘ roll theme older than “Rag Doll,” “Down in the Boondocks.” “Patches” or “Hang On Sloopy“ -- romance between social un-equals.

But unlike the typical rich-boy/poor-girl sagas, in which all would be peachy except for uptight parents or “society,” Meloy‘s song deals with the inherent power issues in such relations. In fact, by the end of the song the affair sounds more like rape than romance.

“I found you, a tattoo’d tramp/A dirty daughter from the labor camp/I laid you down in the grass of a clearing/You wept, but your soul was willing.”

My favorite songs on Picaresque are long theatrical pieces. “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” is a tall tale of a young man seeking revenge against a gambling sailor who’d wrong his mother years ago. Mom’s final request to the lad was “Find him, bind him, tie him to a pole/and break his fingers to splinters …” The climax of the story takes place inside the belly of a whale.

With its minor-key accordion and one-two beat and weird waltz interlude, this nearly nine-minute piece would have fit in perfectly on Storm Force 10.

But best of all is “The Bagman’s Gambit,” which sounds as if it were ripped from the pages of a Tom Clancy novel. Starting off with slowly strummed, stark guitar chords, a plain-clothes cop is shot on the steps of the Capitol, and we‘re plunged into the plot.

“Bagman” deals with a lowly government worker who sells unspecified secrets to an enemy spy -- in exchange for sex.

“And I recall that fall/I was working for the government/And in a bathroom stall off the national mall/How we kissed so sweetly!/How could I refuse a favor or two/And for a tryst in the greenery/I gave you documents and microfilm too.”

With its sad melody, and Phillip Glass-like string interlude (featuring guest Decemberist Petra Hayden), by the end of a song, a listener feels he’s a co-conspirator.

{NOTE: The rest of today's column was devoted to Acie Cargill, whose latest CDs I published prematurely here a couple of weeks ago.}

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Thursday, May 12, 2005


So yesterday I receive Disc One of Season One for Carnivale,, the bizarre HBO dramatic series.

I watched both episodes on the disc and was immediately hooked.

It's the story of the never-ending battle of good and evil, set in a traveling carnaval in the Dust Bowl era. It's like Tom Joad in Twin Peaks. It's got almost everything I enjoy in a t.v. series -- circus freaks, psychic weirdness, Adrienne Barbeau, a hallucinating preacher, cootch dancers ...

So today I learn that only hours before I slipped the disc in my DVD player, HBO went and cancelled the series!

This made me sad.

There's an effort to save it. Check out this blog There's even a post there from Carnivale creator Dan Knauf.


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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 12, 2005

It looks like Gov. Bill Richardson’s well-publicized overtures to the entertainment industry is starting to pay off. At least for him.

According to Richardson’s re-election campaign finance reports filed this week, better than 10 percent of the $3 million he’s raised so far comes from southern California, much of that from the world of movies, music and television. And the overwhelming amount of this was collected at a fundraiser in Los Angeles late last month, Richardson’s political director Amanda Cooper said.

It’s already been reported that Richardson’s contributors include Sylvester Stallone, Disney CEO Michael Eisner and music producer Quincy Jones are among those who care enough about New Mexico state government to give thousands of dollars to Richardson’s campaign.

Others include actor/director Rob Reiner ($2,000); Tijuana Brassman Herb Albert ($5,000); former talk-show host Merv Griffin ($2,000); Film producer Brian Grazer ($2,000); former Paramount Studio head Sherry Lansing ($5,000); Universal Studio head Ronald Meyer ($2,000).

There’s a couple of celebrity widows on the list. Jackie Autry, who was married to singing cowboy Gene gave $5,000 to put Richardson back in the saddle again. And Virginia Mancini, wife of the late composer Henry, gave $2,000.

There’s another possible Mancini connection: There’s a $2,000 contribution from one Andy Williams in Branson, Mo. Cooper couldn’t confirm that this donor is the crooner in the sweater who had a big hit in the ‘60s with Henry Mancini’s “Moon River.” But that Williams does have his own theater in Branson.

Richardson’s old pal Jerry Perenchio provided for about half of the governor’s So-Cal cash. The president of Univision gave $100,000, which his wife Margie Perenchio, — modestly described in the report as a “homemaker” — kicked in another $50,000. Perenchio’s son John Perenchio, a music executive, gave $4,000. Those who listed their occupation as being part of Perenchio’s Chartwell Partnership chipped in $6,000, while Univision vice president Andrew Hobson contributed $2,000.

In 2003, Richardson lent his name to a full-page advertisement Univision placed full-page ads in national papers. In the ad, Richardson urged Democratic Congressional leaders to back a controversial merger between Univision and Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. The Federal Communications Commission later approved the deal.

A fair and balanced contribution: But Perenchio isn’t the most famous television mogul to donate to our governor. Rupert Murdoch chipped in $2,000 to Richardson’s re-election campaign. The Australian-born Murdoch is CEO of News Corporation Ltd., which includes Fox News, the favored cable news channel of conservatives, as well as the neo-conservative journal The Weekly Standard and the right-leaning newspaper The New York Post.

Asked about the contribution, Cooper said “What can you say? He loves the governor.”

Other interesting contributors: At least two cabinet secretaries from the Clinton administration donated to Richardson — former Transportation Secretary Federico Pena and former Commerce Secretary William Daley. Daley is the brother of the Mayor of Chicago Richard Daley. (Richardson was Energy secretary and United Nations Ambassador during Clinton's last term.)

Then there’s Michael Johnson, CEO of Herbalife, the vitamin supplement company that sells its products via a pyramid-style distribution structure. He supplemented Richardson’s campaign by $4,000. (Hey, Richardson is working Republican state Sen. Steve Komadina's side of the street here!)

There’s a Dr. Peter Bourne of Washington, D.C., who gave $1,000. Neither Cooper nor Richardson spokesman Billy Sparks could verify that this is the same Peter Bourne who served as President Jimmy Carter’s drug policy adviser. Bourne resigned after being accused of snorting cocaine at a Christmas party. (He has denied that allegation.)

An online resume for the former Carter aide at the Institute of Human Virology (where Bourne is on the board of advisers), says of the doctor, “He was an adviser on foreign policy to U.S. Congressman Bill Richardson and in that capacity he negotiated a variety of agreements with foreign governments, including Iraq, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran and North Korea.”

My kind of town, Chicago: But even more striking than the famous names on this contributor list are all the names from other parts of the country.

Richardson has never been shy about collecting cash from beyond this Enchanted Land. In 2002 a full 40 percent of the $8 million he raised came from out of state, a percentage far higher than those of governors from surrounding states.

As was the case in 2002, there are plenty of contributions from New York, Washington, D.C. and Houston.

And this year there are significant contributions from Illinois, mainly Chicago, totaling more than $125,000. Most of these were dated in early October or mid April. Among these are lawyers, consultants, bankers, developers, health care facilities, food industry people — all who apparently have some interest in New Mexico.

(One big contributor does have an obvious interest. Chicago businessman Martin Koldyke headed the group of investors that bought the baseball team that would become the Albuquerque Isotopes. His contributions to Richardson totaled $13,700.)

Cooper said these contributions usually come from Richardson fund-raising receptions in these cities.

“A lot of these people are old friends of the governor,” she said. “A lot of them knew him even before he was a Congressman. It says a lot for a person when you can keep those kinds of relationships.”

Indeed. It’s good to have friends.

UPDATE: In a wee-hour frenzy of Googling, I found a Perenchio/Mancini/Williams connection. Read the first paragraph (at least) of this story. (Richardson is mentioned down at toward the bottom of the story.)

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Courtesy of Rev. Moon's paper.

You can find the James McMurtry download HERE and my original thoughts about the First Pod HERE.

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Monday, May 09, 2005


The Albuquerque Tribune's Kate Nash mentioned this blog in her weekly column today, along with some of the usual suspects in New Mexico political blogdom.

Kate recently jumped ship from The Albuquerque Journal to take Shea Andersen's place at the Trib. (Shea's moving to his own private Idaho.)

Kate quotes UNM political science professor Gil St. Clair, who says kids these days are mainly getting their news from blogs and talk radio -- not newspapers.

That's a happy thought ...

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In last Friday's review of the CD reissue of Terry Allen's The Silent Majority, I said "... the original cover was a doctored photo of Allen with Nancy Reagan. On the new one she was replaced by a stuffed coyote."


I got an e-mail from Terry who informed me that the photo was not doctored. That's him at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. talking to Nancy about some video he was showing.

Apparently, however, the coyote on the cover of the reissue is actually stuffed.

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Sunday, May 8, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
My Happiness by Elvis Presley
My Mammy by Al Jolson
Cosmic Slop by Funkadelic
Dear Mother by Acie Cargill
Mother's Little Helper by The Rolling Stones
White Winos by Loudon Wainwright III
Mamma's a Rainbow by Ronnie
I'm Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail by The Everly Brothers
Mother Bowed by The Pilgrim Travelers

Grandma's Hands by Bill Withers
Dear Mama by Tupac Shakur
Kulu Se Mama by John Coltrane
Dust on Mother's Bible by Buck Owens

I Found Out by John Lennon
No Child of Mine by Marianne Faithful
Kicking Television by Wilco
Peace Attack by Sonic Youth
I Want You Bad by J. Mascis
Missing by Beck

Starry Eyes by Roky Erickson
Half a Canyon by Pavement
R U Still in It by Mogwai
The Bagman's Gambit by The Decemberists
Mi Manera by The Gipsy Kings
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Saturday, May 07, 2005


Friday, May 6, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
When the Hammer Came Down by House of Freaks
Where There's a Road by Robbie Fulks
Wake Up and Smell the Whiskey by Dean Miller
A Girl Like That by Steve Earle
What You Mean to Me by NRBQ
Glendale Train by New Riders of the Purple Sage
Fast Train to Georgia by Billy Joe Shaver
You're Lookin' at Country by Loretta Lynn
The Girl I Left in Sunny Tennessee by Charlie Poole

The Bare Necessities by Michelle Shocked
Great Big Bear by The McCarthys
Bears in Them Woods by Nancy Apple
Walkin' After Midnight by The GrooveGrass Boyz
Transfusion by Nervous Norvus
Garbagehead by Eric Ambel
Swinging From Your Crystal Chandeliers by The Austin Lounge Lizards

Big Ol' White Boys by Terry Allen
War-Scarred Horses by Ronny Elliott
Woodrow Wilson by Vic Chesnutt
All of the Monkeys Ain't in the Zoo by Tommy Collins
Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
I'll Be Rested by Devil in a Woodpile
Price of Progress by Jason Ringenberg

Rehab Girl by Joe West
Cowgirls Ate My Mother by Bone Orchard
Army Ranger Pat Tilman by Acie Cargill
Sold American by Kinky Friedman
Frozen by Souled American
Vultures Await by Will Johnson
Permanently Lonely by Willie Nelson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

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Friday, May 06, 2005


Lots of folks can't believe we're still fighting the Scopes Monkey Trial 80 years later. But I'm still amazed we're fighting the "Louie, Louie" war. (I still recommended Dave Marsh's wonderful and extremely funny book about this touchstone song -- though it looks like Dave might have to write at least one more chapter ...)

Meanwhile two Republican state senators from Texas have made sure that no decent, patriotic Lone Star motorist will have to suffer the indignity of traveling down a highway named after a dope-smoking liberal like Willie Nelson.

Finally, Starbucks is refusing to sell the new Springsteen CD. The funniest take on this is Wonkette's.

As a certain outlaw country icon sang on his Yesterday's Wine album, "These are difficult times."

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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 6, 2005

Terry Allen’s latest musical release, The Silent Majority, is a reissue of a an old collection of outtakes and oddities and stray cuts from soundtracks, theater and dance (!) productions and other Allen projects.

In the liner notes there’s a “warning” describing it as “a compilation of out-takes, in-takes, mis-takes, work tapes, added tos, taken froms, omissions and foreign materials.”

So you’d think the album would be in danger of dissolving into a disparate jumble of unrelated musical notions.


Originally released on Allen’s Fate label more than a decade ago (the original cover was a doctored photo of Allen with Nancy Reagan. On the new one she was replaced by a stuffed coyote) The Silent Majority presents a surprisingly unified collection of irony-filled commentary on what it means to be an American.

Allen looks inward at America and its history. He sings “Home on the Range” with Joe Ely. He envisions Jesus as an Old West gambler/gunslinger (“Yeah, you went for your cross/But you drew slow and you lost …”), he memorializes a doomed New Mexico honky tonk picker in a medley from Pedal Steel, a 1988 dance production by Margaret Jenkins.

But Allen looks outward too, as an American pondering the rest of the world. And that’s when things get really interesting.

The first cut, the minute-and-a half “Advice to Children,” has Santa Fe resident Allen alone at his piano urging youngsters to strive for mediocrity, “Because this is America/the biggest and best of them all/Yeah this is America/All strung out on valium at the mall.”

Next thing you know, you’re listening to East Indian instruments -- tambora, veena, santoor, tabla, mridangam -- introducing Allen drawling about sailing in the ocean, “Trying to find America with you.”

You barely notice when Lloyd Maines’ steel guitar sneaks in.

The song is titled “Yo Ho Ho,” a nod of solidarity with sea pirates.

It may seem contradictory, looking for America while sailing to a foreign land. With Allen, somehow it makes sense. It’s a theme he also explored in his stunningly still relevant soundtrack for the 1984 film Amerasia, re-released a couple of years ago. (The song “The Burden” appears in Silent Majority.)

Some of the most satisfying tunes on Silent Majority feature Allen’s country-eastern experiments with musicians in Madras, India (recorded in 1992).

Besides “Yo Ho Ho,” Allen used the Indian musicians on his old outlaw romp “New Delhi Freight Train” (covered almost 30 years ago by Little Feat).

But the most thought-provoking cut recorded in Madras is a tune called “Big Ol’ White Boys,” a song first featured in a Paul Dresher theater production called Pioneer.

“Big ol’ white boys cross the ocean/In little bitty ships the whole world ’round,” Allen sings as the Indian instruments play obliviously in the background. “Got no notion where they’re goin’/What they’re doin’, or what they’ve found.”

In Allen‘s final analysis, the Big White Boys, after taming the mountains and the prairies, “rule the world while we get dumber/In the name of glut, our Lord and greed.”

Not every track on The Silent Majority is full of socio-politico importance. One of my favorite cuts here actually is a fairly mindless six-minute jam called “3 Finger Blues.” It’s a snarling little rocker with Allen on piano and Maines on guitar sounding like they’re trying to tear down some prison wall.

It’s great that Sugar Hill is re-releasing all these great out-of-print Allen masterpieces. But this just whets my appetite for some new material from Allen. I know the big white boy’s got some new material. Let’s hope we hear it soon.

Also Recommended:

Valentine Roadkill
by Ronny Elliott. Here’s another tasty collection of tunes by Tampa, Fla. roots rocker Elliott. To steal (and mangle) a line from Elliott, it’s full of full of song, soul and fire.

Elliott’s voice, as well as his subject matter, lends itself to sad melodies, but this album seems even more somber than usual.

The war in Iraq seems to permeate Valentine Roadkill -- and not just in tunes like “No More War,” “War-Scarred Horses,“ and “I Don’t Hear Freedom Ring Anymore.”

You also hear a reference to “the blood of Arabia” in songs like “Hope Fades” over a droning steel guitar and a martial drum beat, along with sad images of a drunken George Jones on stage and Elvis passed out at Graceland.

Then there’s an untitled song about having a little talk with Jesus (featuring Elliott’s first dabbling in electronica weirdness) where the Lord “wasn’t wild about the idea of being appropriated by a bunch of hillbillies in the United States of America to fight wars for oil and greed.” But, according to Elliott, Christ likes Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

It wouldn’t be a Ronny Elliott album without some great songs about his fallen rock ‘n’ heroes. The album starts out with “Valentino’s Dream,” an ode to Huey Meaux, the “Crazy Cajun” who produced Freddy Fender and discovered Doug Sahm. Another troubled record producer, Phil Spector, is the subject of “Do Angels Ever Dream They’re Falling.”

Lord Buckley, Hank Williams and Jack Keruoac are memorialized by Elliott in “When Idols Fall,” though the singer did Hank more justice in “Loser’s Lullaby” from his album Magneto a couple of years ago.

It’s easy to get lost in Elliott’s words and stories. But the music by his longtime band The Nationals makes it even easier. Sonic delights on this album include Wayne Pearson’s sax on “Valentino’s Dreams” and Natty Moss-Bond’s harmony vocals on “War-Scarred Horses.”

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Thursday, May 05, 2005


There's a new New Mexico political blogger -- Tom Bailey, a self described "post college grad in ABQ w/o a job who's interested, check that, sometimes obsessed with politics."

He's got a real interesting post today about the general manager of KOB TV making campaign contributions to Heather Wilson and Pete Domenici.

I put a permanent link to Bailey's site on the right side of this blog.

Tom's a lefty. I also link to home-grown right-wing blogs. Keep the debate nice and loud. I'm a reporter, not a partisan.

Speaking of right-leaning blogs, I was going to update my link to Rep. Greg Payne's blog -- he's got a new address. But then I noticed Payne's blog wasn't there in my link section. Ooops! My oversight. It's there now.

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As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 5, 2005

Whenever someone asks Gov. Bill Richardson whether he's running for president in 2008 these days he'll just chuckle and answer with some variation of his official line of "Aw shucks, I'm too busy being governor of New Mexico to even think about that."

But out in Cyber Land, on at least one merchandising Web site, it appears that several people are trying to promote a Richardson 2008 campaign - or at least make a few bucks trying.

If you go to, click on "Go Shopping" and do a search for Bill Richardson, you'll find a whole souvenir shop full of Richardson paraphernalia.

There's Richardson 2008 T-shirts and sweat shirts - long sleeved, short sleeved, no sleeved - with several designs, Richardson 2008 coffee mugs, Richardson 2008 refrigerator magnets, Richardson 2008 tote bags and, of course, red-white-and-blue Richardson 2008 buttons, Richardson 2008 bumper stickers.

You can find Richardson 2008 baseball jerseys, Richardson 2008 golf shirts, Richardson 2008 BBQ aprons, Richardson 2008 infant creepers.

One bumper sticker even has a running mate chosen for the governor: "Richardson Obama 2008. "

Most of the goods feature generic looking logos. But you can find a few items featuring the face of our governor.

The site allows you to sort the goods by popularity. Apparently the biggest selling Richardson item at Cafepress is the "Bill Richardson President 2008 Trucker Hat" selling for $16.99.

These are few of my favorite things:

* The "Bill Richardson President 2008 Dog T-shirt" $19.99 "Put your pooch in his own cool doggie T-shirt," the blurb says. "Let him wear a doggie-cool design so he can express what he'd like to bark out loud." You'd think it would at least mention the fact that Richardson signed "Scooby's Law."

* The "Patriotic Richardson 2008 Boxer Shorts" $14.99 These feature an "open fly .for thinking outside the boxers."

* The "Bill Richardson President 2K8 Classic Thong." Under the description it says "Bill Richardson served in the US Congress, a US Ambassador, Energy Department chief, and Governor of New Mexico. Add to that his Hispanic heritage, and is a solid choice for President in 2008." But when you click "More details," you get beyond the governor's resume: "This under-goodie is 'outta sight' in low-rise pants. Toss these message panties onstage at your favorite rock star or share a surprise message with someone special ... later." Makes you wonder: Did Monica Lewinsky wear a Bill Richardson thong? This sells for $9.99.

Who's selling this stuff?: Cafepress is an umbrella for several web-based "shops" in which anyone can design and sell their own T-shirts, mugs, thongs or wall clocks. Merchants can remain anonymous behind monikers like "Irregular Goods: For Progressive Resistance," "Pres 2008" and "Democrats for President 2008 Bumper Stickers, More."

A spokeswoman for Cafepress couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

Many of these "shops" sell doodads for several possible candidates. For instance at ButtonZup, Richardson is one of 11 possible Democratic contenders. He's right between former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and under Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

Though the overwhelming majority of the Richardson curios at Cafepress are supportive, there's one bumper sticker the governor wouldn't like: "Another Hard-working Teacher Stabbed in the Back by Gov. Bill Richardson," it says. This sticker, selling for $3.99, is offered by an outfit called "Unpractical Apparel." The only other politician to get barbed here is President Bush. He's on a T-shirt that says, "The W stands for Worthless." An e-mail to this merchant was unanswered by press time.

Thoughts from the gov's office: Asked what Richardson thinks about this treasure trove of Richardson products, the governor's chief of staff and 2002 campaign manager Dave Contarino said Wednesday Richardson is focused on his 2006 re-election campaign.

"It's flattering that at a national level there's a market for Bill Richardson memorabilia," Contarino said. "Unfortunately we can't share in the proceeds and royalties."

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005



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Sunday, May 01, 2005


Sunday, May 1, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest hosts: Chuck McCutcheon and Liisa Ecola

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Crawling From the Wreckage by Dave Edmunds
Color Me Impressed by the Replacements
Mr. Pinstriped Suit by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Don't Slander Me by Roky Erickson
Give Me Back My Wig by Hound Dog Taylor & the Houserockers
Rental Car by Beck
JC Auto by Sugar
Jimmy Carter Says 'Yes' by Gene Marshall

The Infanta by the Decemberists
Greasy Jungle by the Tragically Hip
Material Girl by Petty Booka
You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla) by the Dickies
LSD Partie by Roland Vincent
Helena Polka by the Polkaholics
Root of all Evil by Desdemona Finch

Kryzys Energetyczny (Energetic Crisis) by Kazik Staszewski
Who Is Getting Married by the Warsaw Village Band
Marianna by KULT
Nie Pij Piotrek (Peter, Don't Drink) by Elektryczne Gitary
Wyszkow Tonie (The Town of Wyszkow Is Sinking) by Elektryczne Gitary
Szybka Piosenka o Zabijaniu (A Short Song About Killing) by De Mono
Mam Juz Ciebie Dosc (I've Had Enough of You) by De Mono
Jeden Raz Odwiedzamy Swiat (You Only Go Around Once) by Wilki

Streams of Whiskey by the Pogues
Handshake Drugs by Wilco
Common Man by the Blasters
Crackhouse May Day Suicide by Stuurbaard Bakkebaard
B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas
Hulkster in Heaven by Hulk Hogan
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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