Sunday, April 30, 2006


Looks like the President of the United States, exercising his role as music-critic-in-chief, has weighed in on the controversy surrounding "Nuestro Himno," the new Spanish-language version of the national anthem.

But here's the question nobody is asking:

When Jimi Hendrix wrote the dang song, did he mean for it to be sung in Spanish?

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Friday, April 28, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Back from the Shadows Again by The Firesign Theatre
America First by Merle Haggard
Keep on Truckin' by Hot Tuna
The Song is Still Slipping Away by Shooter Jennings
Rolling Stone From Texas by Old 97s
Harder Than Your Husband by Frank Zappa with Jimmy Carl Black
Red Staggerwing by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris
The Ballad of Jessie Jane by Alice Cooper
Trailer Park Liberal by Joe West

Tesla's Hotel Room by The Handsome Family
Looking For Love by Alejandro Escovedo
Old Dan Tucker by Bruce Springsteen
Rider in The Rain by Reckless Kelly & Joe Ely
Green and Cold by Raising Cane
Unoriginal by Hundred Year Flood
(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle Blow by Townes Van Zandt

A Man of God by Trilobite
Run by Eric Hisaw
Baby Do Right By Me by Danny Santos
(I Am Your) Destroyer by Gary Heffern
You Only Kiss Me When We Say Goodbye by Cornell Hurd
It's No Secret by Mose McCormack
Cold Dark Taverns by Jim Terr
Prayin' Hands by Elliott Rogers
Maryanne, Good Time Gal by Kell Robertson

Standin' in the Need of Prayer by Bethleham & Eggs
Maybe You Heard by Todd Snider
Power, Lust and Money by Bob Neuwirth
That Old Time Feeling by Guy Clark
Amsterdam by Jon Dee Graham
Space City by Drive-By Truckers
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, April 28, 2006


I wrote a sidebar for Andy Lenderman's story in today's New Mexican concerning Jan Goodwin's testimony at the Robert Vigil trial Thursday. My piece deals with the likely political fallout of that testimony.

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 28, 2006

Testimony in former state Treasurer Robert Vigil’s corruption trial Thursday that state finance officials wrote a letter four years ago asking Attorney General Patricia Madrid to investigate possible wrongdoing in Vigil’s office is a “one-day story for the average reader,” a prominent New Mexico pollster says.

But such a story is likely to enjoy a longer second life in the form of unceasing campaign ads directed against Democrat Madrid’s bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, pollster Brian Sanderoff added in an interview Thursday.

“We know it’s going to be a negative, nasty campaign on the part of both sides, given the history of recent elections in the First Congressional District,” Sanderoff said. “Political opponents normally try to capitalize on the perceived weaknesses of their opponents.”

Jan Goodwin, who was director of the Board of Finance in 2002, testified Thursday that she wrote a letter to Madrid on behalf of the board, calling for an investigation of an apparent violation of the state’s procurement code.

The alleged violation was related to the hiring of California investment adviser Kent Nelson — a key figure in the alleged kickback scheme that ultimately resulted in 28 federal charges against Vigil and the guilty plea of a previous former treasurer, Michael Montoya.

“A letter makes a great graphic in a negative TV ad,” Sanderoff said.

However, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said Madrid never received the letter and called the document Goodwin testified about a “draft.”

But well before Goodwin’s testimony, state Republicans persistently have been accusing Madrid of turning a blind eye to corruption in state government for years.

On Sept. 22 — less than a week after Vigil and Montoya were charged — the state GOP issued a news release criticizing Madrid for not investigating the Treasurer’s Office. That basic statement has been repeated by the GOP ever since.

Marta Kramer, executive director of the state GOP, said Thursday that Madrid’s failure to investigate the Treasurer’s Office will certainly be the thrust of campaign ads this season.

“The Republicans will continue to expose the conflicts of interest and the record of Patsy Madrid,” Kramer said. “It’s our job to point out her record. She didn’t have the will to investigate her friends and colleagues.”

Publicly, the Madrid campaign claims such allegations will have no affect on the campaign. “The attorney general has worked with the federal prosecutors,” campaign spokeswoman Heather Brewer said. “She indicted one of the key people in the scandal, Angelo Garcia.”

Shortly before Vigil and Montoya were charged, Garcia was indicted in state court in a fraud case alleging he and two partners cheated elderly people out of more than $900,000 in an alleged real-estate scam. Garcia, who has admitted to being a middleman in the alleged Montoya/Vigil kickback scheme, has pleaded guilty to federal charges and agreed to testify against Vigil.

The Madrid campaign has steadfastly blasted Wilson for taking campaign contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who stepped down after being indicted in Texas on charges of conspiracy to violate election laws.

Since her first election in 1998, Wilson received nearly $47,000 from DeLay’s political-action committee. Last year, she returned the $10,000 she’d collected from DeLay’s political-action committee in June — but not the $36,959 she received from the PAC between 1998 and 2003. Wilson campaign officials have said she won’t return that money.

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: The 88 and Mbconn

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 28, 2006

Not long ago I was in my car with The New Pornographers’ first album, Mass Romantic, in the CD player. When it finished, I decided to pop in something I’d never heard of before from my new CD pile — Over and Over, by The 88.

When the first song, “Hide Another Mistake,” came on, for a moment I thought I’d made a mistake. I didn’t recognize the song, but I wondered: Could I have left the New Pornographers CD in the player? I’ve done dumber things before while trying to change CDs in the middle of traffic. (Or even away from my car. Ask any frequent listener of my radio shows.)

But no, this was indeed the right disc.

Like the Pornographers, this Los Angeles band, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Keith Slettedahl, plays upbeat, hoppy-poppy, infectious rock — at least on their best songs. I probably should have known by the mod, à go-go, New Wavy album cover, which pictures a miniskirted model in sunglasses relaxing with oversized headphones in a red plastic Jetsons-style recliner.

Besides the Pornographers, you can hear echoes of The Kinks, T-Rex, perhaps The Beatles, and even a little Mott the Hoople in the mix.

One of the best tunes here is “Nobody Cares,” which features a prominent honky-tonk piano by Adam Merrin. Slettedahl has a hint of a yodel in his voice as he sings the refrain, “Nobody cares what you’ve been through and nobody cares how much you do and nobody cares what kind of drugs you’re on.”

It was only after listening to Over and Over a couple of times that I learned one of the songs, “Coming Home,” was being used in a commercial for Target discount stores. In these corporate times, this seems to be a major way that new bands are being introduced. (Remember The Shins and McDonald’s?)

I’ve yet to see the commercial, and I’m not sick of it yet, so “Coming Home” sounds great to me right now. It’s bouncy, extremely hummable — and bound to move a lot of patio furniture.

The 88 stumbles when it tries to go acoustic on “You Belong to Me” or slow and goopy on “Jesus Is Good,” where they sound like they’re making a halfhearted effort to evoke The Band.

The main trouble with this record is that Slettedahl and crew don’t seem to be able to keep the energy they lay down on the first several songs. Over and Over starts to sag in the middle. When they’re up, The 88 is a lot of fun. However, this album is burdened with too many forgettable tunes.

The 88 plays Monday, May 1, at the Launchpad, 618 Central Ave. S.W., in Albuquerque. Admission is $7. I don’t think they’re selling advance tickets at Target.

Also Noted:
From Black to Purple by Mbconn, This is one of the strangest, most weirdly satisfying CDs to cross my path in some time.

All I really know about the self-described “psychedelic noise rock artist” Mbconn is that his real name is Alex Loesche, he lives in Chicago, and he likes old Guns ’n’ Roses — though he’s glad that Nirvana usurped their popularity and that his music doesn’t sound much like either band.

An e-mail press release for the CD says, “After scoring a screenplay someone had left behind in a bar, spending years trying to start a band and not being able to find the right musicians, Mbconn decided to just record the album himself.”

From Black to Purple sounds like a soundtrack for a movie that could never be as good as its soundtrack.

The album has a homemade — but not sloppy — feel about it. I imagine a kid with an electric guitar and various other instruments locked in a bedroom and creating a dark universe of guitar, synths, and drums.

But despite the sonic darkness, there are light moments. When Mbconn sings, his lyrics are stream-of-consciousness, almost childlike verse that reminds me of Daniel Johnston (though his voice is closer to Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis).

“From the bottle to the door/I poked holes in their folklore,” he drawls in the first song, “Thursday Night Crowd.” Later in the song, he sings about a woman who is “hoping all the rich guys will stare/’cause every time she stands up she’s showing off her underwear.”

Most of the songs are opuses that are at least six minutes long. There’s one almost pretty, three-minute piece called “The Breather,” and one raging 27-minute “hidden track” — “Troubadour’s Blues” — that doesn’t really hide very well.

This album might be challenging for some. I don’t foresee any of these songs being used in a television commercial. But it’s very listenable, the kind of music I like for driving at night on long, lonesome road trips.

(Check out Mbconn’s Web site . You can download several songs there, including “Troubadour’s Blues.”)

Thursday, April 27, 2006


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 27, 2006

Did the payday-loan industry pay for another trip for the governor that the media haven’t reported yet?

According to the Democratic Governors Association’s most recent contribution-and-expenditure report, filed earlier this month, Advance America, the nation’s largest payday-loan company, made an in-kind travel contribution valued at $2,352 to the DGA on Feb. 5.

The next day, Richardson — who is chairman of the DGA — gave the keynote address at the Emergency Issues Conference at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the governor’s office said in a news release.

From there, Richardson traveled to Washington to participate in a news conference with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to discuss how President Bush’s budget proposals affects their states.

The governor’s office said at the time that the DGA was paying for Richardson’s trip.
The DGA’s report, which is filed with the Internal Revenue Service, didn’t list any other travel expenses or contributions for those days.

In a copyrighted story three weeks ago, the Albuquerque Journal reported that Advance America last year made at least six in-kind travel contributions totaling nearly $17,000 to the DGA. At least some of the dates of the earlier contributions coincide with Richardson travel.

In early February, the state Legislature, then in session, was considering a Richardson-backed payday-loan bill that some critics — including consumer advocates and Attorney General Patricia Madrid — criticized as being industry friendly.

The bill died on the Senate floor as the result of a threatened filibuster.

Advance America operates at least 10 offices in New Mexico, though none in Santa Fe.

On Feb. 24, Advance America contributed another $10,000 to the Democratic Governors Association, bringing its total for the year so far to $12,352.

Efforts to reach Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley were unsuccessful.

Speaking of trips to Washington: Times have changed in our nation’s capital since the last time I was there.

I went to Washington, D.C., last weekend for a friend’s wedding. One of the first things I saw in the airport after landing was a souvenir store that prominently displayed a bunch of funny products aimed directly at the president of these United States.

The store, called America! (motto: “Products for the Patriotic Soul”), had T-shirts and bumper stickers featuring the famous open-mouthed face from Edvard Munch’s The Scream with the message “Bush. 3 More Years!”

Other anti-Bush products there greeted the visitors: T-shirts saying “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Kerry” and “I Can’t Wait For 2008.”

No, that last one didn’t show the smiling face of Gov. Bill Richardson, who adopted that ominous message for a graphic featuring his likeness used in recent mass e-mails for the Democratic Governors Association.

Up by the cash register, impulse shoppers can buy politically charged candy in colorful tins. There’s Indictmints, ($3.99 for a 4-ounce tin) that feature a picture of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s indicted former chief of staff; U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who is facing charges stemming from a 2002 state legislative race; Karl Rove, President Bush’s top political adviser who made his fifth appearance Wednesday before a CIA-leak grand jury; and Cheney sitting in a cell in prison stripes. And there’s also National Embarassmints (same price) showing the prez with a bag of money in one hand, a Bible in the other and a pistol at his side. (I guess they were out of Impeachmints, which are advertised on the store’s Web site.)

All this in an airport named for Ronald Reagan.

In fairness, the online catalog for America! shows a more even-handed inventory. For instance, there are bumper stickers that say. “Run, Hillary, Run (For use on front bumper only).” They just weren’t quite as eye-catching as the anti-Bush souvenirs.

This store contrasted sharply with any D.C. souvenir stand I saw on my previous visit. Back in the summer of 2002 — less than a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — the button and bumper-sticker trade was far more subdued. About the only souvenir I bought then was a refrigerator magnet featuring the Bush twins.

Tainted bucks: Last week, this column reported the rush by many politicians to give to charity their campaign contributions from Guy Riordan, whose name came up last week in testimony at the trial of former state Treasurer Robert Vigil.

Former Treasurer Michael Montoya, who has pleaded guilty to a count of extortion, said under oath that Riordan — an investor/broker/game-park operator/Richardson buddy — paid him kickbacks, sometimes in restroom stalls. Riordan’s lawyer denies it, and Riordan hasn’t been charged with any crime.

I still haven’t heard from Gary King, who is running for attorney general. King, running for Congress in 2004, received $500 from Riordan. King hasn’t responded to phone calls.

Terry Brunner, campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said last week the senator probably wouldn’t return a $1,000 Riordan contribution from 1994.

And Eric Serna — who has a lot of recent problems of his own — told a reporter Wednesday that he “might consider” giving up the $250 he got from Riordan for his 1997 Congressional race. “I don’t even recall receiving it,” he said.

Serna currently is on administrative leave as state insurance commissioner while the attorney general investigates his dealings with Century Bank.

Reporter David Miles contributed to this column.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Wonkette, earlier this week, was not impressed with Amanda Cooper's insisting that there was no talk about her boss Bill Richardson's 2008 plans during a recent meeting with high-level political consultants. (Check the bottom of last week's Roundhouse Roundup.)

The weird part is the fantasy about Richardson's announcement. Read it yourself HERE.

Tijuana, here we come!


I was going to put this in last week's column, but I ran out of space.

Kate Nash had a piece in the Albuquerque Tribune last week about that Bill Richardson story in the Denver Post that reported the governor speeding again.

Here's the official denial from the governor's office:
"I was following the governor's vehicle, and I don't believe we were speeding," (spokesman Gilbert Gallegos)said. "We certainly weren't going 90 miles an hour."
This gave me a feeling of deja voodoo.

Here's a quote from a column of mine last year when a freelance photographer I was working with couldn't keep up with the gov's SUV.

Richardson spokesman Billy Sparks denied the governor was going that fast. “I was in the car behind him, and we didn’t go over 70,” he said.
What can you say? I guess it's good to have loyal people behind you.


Julia, bless her twisted little heart, sent me another one of these damned meme things. Here goes ...

Four jobs I've had:
1. Reporter (New Mexican, Journal North, Santa Fe Reporter)
2. Musician/entertainer
3. Substitute teacher
4. Manager: Vagabond Trailer Court

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. O Brother Where Art Thou
2. This is Spinal Tap
3. Repo Man
4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Four places I've lived:
1. Santa Fe
2. Albuquerque
3. Oklahoma City
4. Brush Ranch, N.M.

Four TV shows I love:
1. The Daily Show
2. The Colbert Report
3. The Sopranos
4. Deadwood

Four concerts I'm glad I went to:
1. Tom Waits in Austin, 1999
2. Butch Hancock under a tarp in a thunderstorn on a rafting trip on the Rio Grande 1995
3. Roger Miller at Springlake Amusement Park, Oklahoma City 1965
4. The Waco Brothers at the Yard Dog Gallery in Austin
(during South by Southwest, various years between 1997-2006)

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Washington, D.C. (just got back!)
2. Southern California (mainly L.A. and San Diego)
3. Denver
4. San Blas, Mexico

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Chile rellenos at Guadalajara Grill
2. "Family Style" dinner at The Salt Lick near Austin, Texas
3. Rice vermicelli with shrimp and grilled pork, May Cafe, Albuquerque
4. Bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys in Washington, D.C. (recent discovery)

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Google News
3. Yahoo NoDepression Alt Country board
4. All the major New Mexico political blogs

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Actually, I'm pretty happy to be home right now

Four things I love about my town
1. Friends and family
2. Culture stuff
3. Food
4. Running into old high school friends at the supermarket. (Shout out to Paul Armijo)

Four bloggers I'm tagging:
OK, here's the deal. I'll be a good sport and answer this, but I'm BREAKING THE CHAIN -- I'm not inflicting this on anyone else. If anyone reads this and wants to answer the questions on your blog -- have at it. Otherwise ...

I don't know if I'm tempting the old chain letter curse -- I could end up like that unfortunate Army major in the Phillippines and end up with monkey demons in my pantry, chemtrails in my skies and a bad case of anal warts -- but what the hell. The Bozo Buck stops here, as a great man said.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Just got back from our nation's Capitol, where I went to the wedding of Chuck of Liisa. Loads of fun, though I didn't take a laptop, so I'm behind on blogging, etc.

There should be a lot of new photos on my FLICKR account in the next couple of days, so check in.

And here's Laurell's playlists for my radio shows this weekend. (THANKS LAURELL!!)

Friday, April 14, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Guest Host: Laurell Reynolds

Wayne Hancock-Thunderstorms and Neon Signs
New Lost City Ramblers- Little Maggie
Jamie Hartford Band- Who Cut Your Heart Out?
Allman Brothers- Midnight Rider
Buffy Sainte Marie-Rolling Log Blues
Neko Case-John Saw That Number
George Jones and Tammy Wynette-Golden Ring
Merle Haggard-Bottle Let Me Down
June Carter Cash-He's Solid Gone

David Crosby-Cowboy Movie
Kris Kristofferson-For The Good Times
Gordon Lightfoot-Somewhere USA
Bingo-Red Apple Juice
Holy Modal Rounders-If You'll Be My Girl
REM-Witchita Lineman (live)
The Louvin Brothers-If Could Only Win Your Love

Joe West-Jam Bands In Colorado
John Denver-I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado
Judy Collins-Daddy You've Been On My Mind
James Taylor-Carolina In My Mind
Cordelia's Dad-Old Virginia
Neil Young-Long May You Run
Emmy Lou Harris- Today I Started Loving You Again
Kitty Wells-Making Believe
Gillian Welch-Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor

Michael Hurly-The Tea Song
Geechie Wiley-Last Kind Word Blues
Dock Boggs-Country Blues
Lee Sexton-Pretty Polly
Clarence Ashley-Little Sadie
John W. Summers-Fine Times At Our House
Holy Modal Rounders-Dance In Slow Motion

Terrell's Sound World
Sunday, April 16, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Guest Host: Laurell Reynolds

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Patti Smith Group-Because the Night
MC5-American Ruse
Janis Joplin-The Cuckoo
Love-7 and 7 Is
Jimi Hendrix-Highway Child
Robin Trower-Little Bit Of Sympathy
Morphine- Thursday
I'm Free Now
Dramatic Theme- Pink Floyd

Frank Zappa-My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama
Peaches En Regalia
What's The Ugliest Part of Your Body
GTO's-Wouldn't It Be Sad If There Were No Cones?
Syd Barrett-Love You
Eric Burdon And The Animals -San Francisco Nights
The Byrds-I Knew I'd Want You
It's A Beautiful Day- Wasted Union Blues
Edwin Star- A Girl Like You
Captain Beefheart-Zig Zag Wanderer

The Fugs W/ The Rounders-I Couldn't Get High
GTO's-The Original GTO's
Sinead O'Connor-I Want Your Hands On Me
Peter Gabriel-I Have The Touch
Siouxie And The Banshee's-Melt
Mazzy Star-Fade Into You
Jane's Addiction-Of Course

Olivia Newton-John-Magic
ABBA-Knowing Me, Knowing You
Funkadelic-Can You Get To That
John Lennon & Yoko Ono-Watching the Wheels
Laura Love- Mahbootay
The Doors-Freedom Exists
-End Of the Night
Scott Joplin- A Real Slow Drag
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, April 21, 2006


A version of this appeared in The Santa Fe New MexicanApril 21, 2006

Everybody’s favorite Southern rockers (well, at least mine), The Drive-By Truckers, for the last several albums have created kudzu-covered musical landscapes populated by Southern characters both famous — Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Wallace, Buford Pusser — and small-time farmers, gamblers, unknown stockcar racers, bootleggers, local losers. While singing with pride about the “Southern Thing” and gleefully playing with and adding to the region’s mythology, any pride or sentimentality about Southern living you might detect in a Truckers song is countered by grim realism. Poverty, ignorance, corruption, and racism hang like Spanish moss in the Truckers’ songbook.

However, on the Truckers’ new CD, A Blessing and a Curse, the band, lyrically at least, seems to have crossed the Mason-Dixon line.

No, the sound hasn’t drastically changed. They’ve still got their three-guitar, three-singer, three-songwriter front line (Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell). They still play it loud and, when called for, can play it awful purty. And they’re still following the advice of Isbell’s dad in the song “Outfit” (“Don’t sing in no fake British accent.”)

But the pure Southern themes from the previous albums are missing. The songs on A Blessing and a Curse are more universal, not pinned to any geography. Less grits, but no less gritty. The Truckers still sing of debauchery, despair, decay, and domestic misery. But heck, even Yankees experience these things.

Of course it would be impossible to completely de-Dixify these guys. Cooley’s deep Alabama drawl, for instance, is still a powerful force.

And even when they’re rocking their hardest, the music is still soaked in Allman/Skynyrd roar with blues and country undercurrents. And ain’t that what we love about the South?As always, the Truckers have filled their album with terrific songs. As the album starts, right in the middle of an ugly lover’s spat in Hood’s song “Feb. 14,” a listener almost feels like he’s got to duck to avoid being hit by a flying object.

“Flowers flying cross the room/Vases smashed against the floor. Said I’d rather be alone/Take your chocolates and go home.”

This is followed by a Stones-y Cooley song called “Gravity’s Gone.” It’s about a soul gone adrift in the champagne/cocaine world of rock ’n’ roll excess.

That world grows even more desperate on Hood’s “Aftermath USA,” which has a similar Exile on Main Street feel — and is sung with a similar wicked grin. The narrator wakes up to find his home — and by implication, his world — in shambles.

“There were beer bottles in the kitchen/And broken glass on the floor … Crystal meth in the bathtub/Blood splattered in my sink/Laying around in the aftermath/It’s all worse than you think.”
In addition to these rockers, A Blessing and a Curse contains some of the prettiest songs the Truckers have ever recorded.

“Little Bonnie,” written and sung by Hood, is the story of a child who dies and the guilt her father feels.

“My grandma said she would keep her in the mornings/A swollen angel who never would complain/She’d read her stories about little girls and princesses/Whose daddies don’t feel punished for what heaven takes away.”
The melody of Cooley’s “Space City,” played quietly on an acoustic guitar, is devastating in its sad beauty. But not nearly as devastating as the story it tells.

The song is about a man grieving at the grave of a lost love with a heart full of regrets at the way he treated her.

“My hands are as good to me as they’ve ever been/And I ain’t ashamed of anything my hands ever did/But sometimes the words I used were as hard as my fist/She had the strength of a man and the heart of a child I guess.”
Blessing ends with a song in which Hood gets very serious, talking to a troubled friend. A spacey Jerry Garcia-like steel guitar (actually it’s former Trucker John Neff) plays in the background as Hood says, “I was 27 when I figured out that blowing my brains out wasn’t the answer.” (Ah, that magic age of 27. Remember Kurt Cobain’s mother’s reaction when her son committed suicide at that age? “I told him not to join that stupid club,” she said, referring to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison, all of whom were 27 when they died.)

“So I decided maybe I should find a way to make this world work out for me, No, it’s a wonderful world, if you can put aside the sadness/And hang on to every ounce of beauty upon you/Better take the time to know it, there ain’t no way around it/If you feel anything at all.”
The last verse concludes with Hood declaring, “It’s great to be alive,” but the refrain of the song warns, “Gonna be a world of hurt/Gonna be a world of hurt/Gonna be a world of hurt …”

I just love this damned band. It’s great to be alive!

Concerts: The Drive-By Truckers appear with Son Volt and former Meat Puppet Curt Kirkwood at El Rey Theater, 622 Central Ave. S.W., in Albuquerque, on April 30. Tickets are $25 in advance, available at Bookworks and Natural Sound in Albuquerque, online at, Tickets Santa Fe and by phone from the Lensic Box Office at 988-1234. It’s $30 at the door.

Unfortunately the Truckers won’t be at Son Volt’s Santa Fe show the night before. But The Handsome Family will be. Plus, it’s at the ever-bitchen Club Alegría on Agua Fría Road. Tickets are $23 and available through Tickets Santa Fe.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Careful readers of this blog (thank God we don't have too many of those) might have noticed some strange gibberish in the original version of this morning's Roundhouse Roundup. (The post right below this one.)

In the paragraph about Patricia Madrid, in which her campaign spokeswoman Heather Brewer talked about Madrid donating the money she'd received from Guy Riordan to the Humane Society, there appeared the words "Who is Heather Brewer?"

It was an "invisible" editor's note that I'd picked up in cutting and pasting my column.

Heather Brewer, (whoever she is), caught it and called me up to good naturedly razz me about it. But thanks to her, I found another editor's note, which I promptly removed from the blog.

And no, none of these showed up in print.

The joys of blogging ...


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 20, 2006

New Mexico charities should get together and name former state Treasurer Robert Vigil as “Man of the Year.”

No kidding. If nothing else, the state treasurer scandal has created a windfall for charitable organizations.

On Tuesday, Gov. Bill Richardson’s boxing buddy and campaign contributor Guy Riordan was implicated in the scandal by former Treasurer Michael Montoya. Montoya, testifying at Vigil’s trial in federal court, said he received as much as $100,000 in kickbacks from Riordan in exchange for investment contracts. Most of this money, Montoya said, was passed to him at restroom stalls at restaurants.

Riordan’s lawyer hotly denied this. And the Albuquerque investment broker/commercial-hunting ranch owner hasn’t been charged with any crime.
But Richardson wasn’t taking any chances.

Shortly after the story hit the wires, the governor’s office zapped out a press statement saying Riordan had been yanked off the state Game Commission, and Richardson would donate the $24,000 in campaign donations he received from Riordan to “New Mexico charities.”

Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley said Wednesday that first lady Barbara Richardson’s office will determine which charities will get how much money.

Chain reaction: By Wednesday, several other politicians who have accepted Riordan’s generosity in recent years were following suit.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish’s re-election campaign announced it will donate $10,000 to the United Way of Central New Mexico. Denish chef of staff Chris Cervini said Riordan gave Denish $5,000 in 2004 and $5,000 last year.

I found an e-mail from Rep. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, in my in box saying “my campaign donated $500.00 today to the Santa Fe Children's Museum representing the amount Guy Riordan/Wachovia Securities gave in May 2004.”

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Patricia Madrid’s congressional campaign said the $740 Madrid received from Riordan in 2002 is going to the dogs. Madrid will be giving the money to the American Humane Association, Heather Brewer said. Madrid is having some of her money people check to make sure $740 is the total amount Riordan has given Madrid, Brewer said.

Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque, said Wednesday that he’ll be donating his $1,000 in Riordan money to charity. He hasn’t decided which one.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chávez said Chávez’s mayoral-campaign organization will donate the $1,500 it received from Riordan to the Albuquerque Public Schools Foundation for programs promoting early-childhood literacy and helping homeless students.

Riordan also donated $200 to Chávez’s 1992 state Senate race. Chávez spokeswoman Deborah James said that campaign organization folded years ago. But to avoid any appearance of impropriety, James said, Chávez would personally donate $200 to the APS Foundation.

What a deal: Riordan gave $250 to the New Mexico Democratic Party in 2002. Party executive director Matt Farrauto said the party probably won’t be giving that donation to charity.

But he said he’d make a deal with U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M. “We’ll give the $250 to charity if Heather donates all the money she got from Tom DeLay,” he said.

Wilson, between 1998 and last year, received nearly $47,000 from the indicted former House majority leader’s political-action committee. Last year she returned the $10,000 she’d collected from DeLay's PAC in June, but not the $36,959 she received from the PAC between 1998 and 2003. Wilson campaign officials have said she won’t be returning that money.

Wilson in January did donate $1,000 she received from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, after he pleaded guilty to a fraud charge, to the Boy Scouts.

Don’t forget Vigil: As reported several months ago in this column, the former treasurer — on trial for 28 felony counts of extortion, racketeering and money laundering — started what I dubbed a “Kickbacks for Kiddies” program.

According to records in his court file, Vigil was captured on tape talking with a “cooperating witness” about helping Vigil’s wife's favorite charity — Big Brothers Big Sisters — by soliciting contributions from investment advisers who contract with the state.

At one point, Vigil tells the informant, “Where is there a law that doesn't allow you to help kids, you know. Bunch of (bovine manure) ...”.

Refining the national message: This week, Wonkette — that Washington, D.C.-based blog whose motto is “Politics for people with dirty minds” — described a meeting, supposedly taking place this week on Mansion Ridge Road in Santa Fe.

Gov. Richardson, the blog said, “is hosting several top political consultants at the Governor’s mansion this week, as part of a two-day retreat to ‘refine his national message’ leading up to his 2008 presidential bid.”

Not so, says Richardson’s political director Amanda Cooper.

Cooper said there was in fact a recent meeting in Santa Fe that involved several Richardson campaign consultants, including Steve Murphy of Murphy Putnam-Media, in Alexandria, Va., who was U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt’s national campaign manager in 2004; Doc Sweitzer of the Philadelphia-based Campaign Group, who worked Richardson’s 2002 campaign; and Dave Gold of Taos.

But Cooper claimed there was no talk about refining any “national message.” It all had to do with Richardson’s re-election campaign and “moving New Mexico forward,” she said Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


My daughter talked me into starting a FLICKR page.

CLICK HERE to see photos of loved ones, favorite bands, landmarks, etc. (Some of them, perhaps most of them, you've already seen on my blog, but in weeks to come there will be a lot you won't see anywhere else.)

Monday, April 17, 2006


Sunday, April 16, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Peter Cottontail by The Bubbadinos
Easter by Patti Smith
The Temple by The Afghan Whigs
Damned For All Time by Scratch Acid
Superstar by Murray Head
Jesus Christ Pose by Soundgarden
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues by Bob Dylan
The Ballad of John & Yoko by The Beatles

Take a Chance by Hundred Year Flood
Roam by The Yahoos
Wilder Than the Wind '66 by Johnny Dowd
Cheated Heats by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Where There Are No Children by KULT
Mussolini vs. Stalin by Gogol Bordello
The Burglars Are Coming by Solex

Across the Borderline by Ry Cooder with Freddy Fender
Wave by Alejandro Escovedo
Across the Wire by Calexico
California Snow by Dave Alvin
The Line by Bruce Springsteen
Ballad of the Tucson Two by Howe Gelb with Freakwater
Born in East L.A. by Cheech & Chong
Deportee by Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals

Single Again by The Fiery Furnaces
Mr. Ambulance Driver by The Flaming Lips
Habeus Corpus by David Thomas & Two Pale Boys
A Day of the Trumpet by Fireblood Angel Band
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Friday, April 14, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
If You Play With My Mind (You're Gonna Get Your Hands Dirty) by Cornell Hurd
You Can Pick 'em by Jessi Colter
Wednesday by Drive-By Truckers
8 Miles a Gallon by Scott Miller & The Commonwealth
Do What I Say by The Waco Brothers
Whole Lotta Things by Southern Culture on The Skids
Jubilee by Jon Dee Graham
Half as Much by Van Morrison
Smokey & The Bandit by Lucy Falcon

If I Needed You by Townes Van Zandt
I Can't Help It If I'm Still in Love With You by Hank Williams
Parallel World by Steve Terrell & The Desperados
Love Hurts by Roy Orbison
When Two Worlds Collide by John Prine & Trisha Yearwood
Lion's Jaws by Neko Case
The Old Part of Town by James McMurtry
Fruit of the Vine by Nancy Apple
Baby Let's Leave Me by Rex Hobart

California Snow by Tom Russell
Stranger in Town by Dave Alvin
Gone in a Gamble by Cordero
Mendocino/Dynamite Woman by Sir Douglas Quintet
Someday We'll Look Back by Merle Haggard
Lulu's Back in Town by Leon Redbone
Pink Burrito by R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders

Middle Man by The Bottle Rockets
Here Comes Forever by Curt Kirkwood
Once I Loved an Outlaw by David Bromberg
The Pilgrim Chapter 33 by Emmylou Harris
Be My Love by NRBQ
Passin' Through by Gary Heffern
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, April 14, 2006


From L.A. Times:

"Joey Fatale, the 4-foot, 4-inch New Yorker who heads the all-dwarf KISS tribute band MiniKiss, is denying published reports that he tried to sneak past security last month at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to confront a rival band leader, 4-foot "Little" Tim Loomis of Tiny Kiss, for allegedly ripping off his idea for such a group."


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 14, 2006

While the debate over illegal immigration from Mexico has dominated the nation’s headlines in recent weeks, it’s an issue that has long been addressed by this country’s singers, songwriters, guitar pickers and rock-and-rollers. It’s a one-sided debate in music land, however. In all the songs I’ve ever heard, those who cross the border without documentation are regarded with compassion.

Like the issue of crime — on which our politicians scream for harsh punishment while our songsters show sympathy to the men workin’ on the chain gang — songs about immigrants seem to express our kinder side. Here are a bunch of songs that deal with immigration.

* “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee)” by Woody Guthrie. On Jan. 29, 1948, a U.S. government plane deporting 28 people to Mexico caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon in California and crashed, killing everyone on board. When he heard news of the crash, Guthrie was not only saddened by the tragedy but angered at how the story was reported. The victims weren’t named. They were just deportees.

The story is told from the point of view of “Juan, Rosalita, Jesus and María” — names he assigned the doomed passengers. (It’s interesting that “Jesus” was among those names. Though Guthrie was an avowed communist — and they’re supposed to be “godless” — the figure of Jesus often appears in his songs as a helper of the poor and powerless.)

“Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted/Our work contract’s out and we have to move on/Six hundred miles to that Mexican border/They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.”
“Deportee” has been recorded by dozens of performers, including Joan Baez and Dolly Parton. My favorite rendition was a sad waltz by the Byrds on their underrated 1969 album, The Ballad of Easy Rider.

* “A Matter of Time” by Los Lobos. I’ll argue that this is Los Lobos’ greatest song. Appearing on their first major-label album, How Will the Wolf Survive, more than 20 years ago, it’s at least the first song that proved the East L.A. group was destined to become a great band.

The song is a hushed conversation (”speak softly; don’t wake the baby”) between a Mexican man and his wife right before he departs for the United States. “I’ll send for you, baby/Just a matter of time,” he promises. While the words suggest uncertainty, Steve Berlin’s jaunty sax gives an underlying sense of optimism.

* “Across the Borderline” by Ry Cooder. Cooder performed this song, co-written by John Hiatt and Jim Dickinson, on his 1987 album Get Rhythm. But the best version was sung years before by Freddy Fender in Cooder’s soundtrack for the movie The Border.
“Up and down the Rio Grande/A thousand footprints in the sand/Reveal a secret no one can define ...”
This song tells the other side of the story heard in “A Matter of Time”:
“When you reach the broken-promise land/Every dream slips through your hand.”
* “California Snow” by Tom Russell and Dave Alvin. The co-writers each recorded it separately, Russell’s version appearing on his 2001 album Borderland and Alvin’s on Blackjack David (1998).

The narrative, as a friend said, could almost be a Cormac McCarthy short story. It’s about a Border Patrol officer who comes across a Mexican immigrant lying in a ditch with his wife, who has died of exposure in the mountains east of San Diego. The experience horrifies the officer and makes his own life seem cheap and empty. By the end of the song he’s contemplating going back to his ex-wife and trying to reconcile.

* “The Line” by Bruce Springsteen. Here’s another song from the point of view of a Border Patrol officer. Here the officer falls in love with an immigrant girl and crosses the line by helping her cross that other line — compromising his friend, another officer, in the process.

This song is from The Ghost of Tom Joad, Springsteen’s 1995 album that has several other songs about immigrants, most notably “Sinaloa Cowboys,” about a pair of brothers caught up in the drug trade.

* “Born in East L.A.” by Cheech and Chong. It’s a goof. It’s a parody of Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” But while it’s a joke — about an American Chicano mistakenly deported — it’s a sharply pointed joke, and like the Cheech Marin movie it inspired, it’s a lot better than it should have been and, 20 years later, it holds up well.

* “Wave” by Alejandro Escovedo. This song is about the singer’s father, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 12 to search for the parents who had abandoned him. The song — from By the Hand of the Father, a play by Escovedo that deals with his family history — starts optimistically: “The sun is brighter there/and everyone’s got golden hair ...” But the boy learns, “the sun’s not brighter here/It only shines on golden hair.”

* “Xich vs. the Migra Zombies” by Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals. This collaboration between two Los Angeles indie-rock vets is a metallic romp about immigration agents chasing two men through a mall. It’s from the 1998 album Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals. Inspired by California’s Proposition 187, which meant to eliminate social services for illegal immigrants, the album also includes a version of Guthrie’s “Deportee.”

* “Across the Wire” by Calexico. The Arizona-based kings of mariachi rock, with trumpets blaring and accordion pumping, sing of “Alberto y Hermano on the coyote’s trail/and dodging the shadows of the Border Patrol/out in the wastelands wandering for days/the future looks bleak with no sign of change.” It’s on their 2003 album, Feast of Wire.

* “Ballad of the Tucson Two” by Howe Gelb (with Freakwater). Dan Strauss and Shanti Sellz, immigrant-aid volunteers, were arrested last summer while taking three illegal immigrants from the desert near Tucson to a hospital. They are facing felony charges. This is a strange but wonderful ode to the two, with Freakwater sounding like Appalachian ghosts singing “Amazing Grace” and Giant Sand man Gelb mumbling his lyrics about the Sonoran sun to a near-bossanova beat. The song is available on iTunes.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April13, 2006

Prospective jurors in former state Treasurer Robert Vigil’s trial — scheduled to begin Monday in Albuquerque — might be grilled about their individual political beliefs.

A 13-page “Request for Voir Dire Questions” filed in federal court this week lists specific questions prosecutors want to ask during jury selection.

Vigil faces multiple counts of extortion , money laundering and racketeering . The FBI says he demanded kickbacks from investment advisers in exchange for giving them state business .

Included in the list of proposed questions for the jury panel is an entire section under the heading of “Political Biases.”

Among them:

* “You will hear evidence in this case that defendant belongs to the Democratic party. Are there any jurors who would tend to sympathize with defendant as a result of this fact? Conversely , are there any jurors who feel they would be biased against defendant because he belongs to the Democratic party?”

* “Are there any jurors who feel that Democratic politicians are generally more honest than Republican, or other, politicians?”

* “Are there any jurors who feel that Republican politicians are generally more honest than Democratic, or other, politicians?”

* “Is there anyone on the panel who thinks that the United States Attorney’s Office should treat politicians differently, depending on their party?”

* “Is there anyone on the panel who has an issue with the United States Attorney prosecuting Democratic politicians?”

* “Is there anyone on the panel who has an issue with the United States Attorney prosecuting Republican politicians ?”

Background for us nonjurors: For the record, Vigil is a Democrat, while U.S. Attorney David Iglesias is a Republican . He was the GOP nominee for attorney general back in 1998.

He lost to current Attorney General Patricia Madrid, who is running for Congress against incumbent Republican Heather Wilson. State GOP leaders have criticized Madrid for not investigating Vigil in 1999 after a scathing state auditor’s report about activities during Vigil’s tenure as auditor.

But what’s that got to do with Scooter?: The former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney comes up in the proposed Vigil jury questions.

“Has anyone on the panel heard of a person named Scooter Libby? What opinions do you have about the United States prosecuting a high level official in that case?”

Libby is under indictment in the Valerie Plame case. There’s no evidence that he had any dealings with Vigil. On the other hand, there’s no evidence that Vigil leaked the name of any undercover CIA agents.

Getting theoretical: Here’s another proposed question that might draw out potential jurors’ ethical attitudes.

“Suppose a person walks into her boss’s office and asks her boss for a raise. Further assume the boss responds, ‘I’ll think about it. Oh, by the way, would you like to buy a raffle ticket to benefit my son’s soccer team?’ or ‘I’ll think about it. By the way, would you like to go out with me on Saturday night?’ In this situation, is there anyone on the panel who would not feel obligated or pressured to say ‘yes’ ?”

There’s a follow-up: “If the son’s raffle tickets cost $1,000 each, would this make a difference?”

Full disclosure: I once bought a Halloween pumpkin at my general manager’s church. This didn’t get me a raise.

Go ahead, punk, make my day: When Gov. Bill Richardson announced that Dave Contarino was stepping down as his chief of staff to take a top position in the Richardson re-election campaign, the governor had all sorts of kind words for Contarino . Richardson called Contarino the “strategic mind” of the Richardson Administration” and “my most senior and trusted aide.”

But in his autobiography, Between Worlds, published last year, Richardson had another word for Contarino.


Richardson discusses how he approached Contarino in September 2001 to become his campaign manager .

“To my astonishment, the punk turned me down,” the governor, or his ghostwriter, wrote. “He has a life apart from politics, he said — a business , a wife, two small children — and he didn’t want it ruined. The guy had cojones, I thought. Fine, I said. I thought we could suck him in later. I did. Lock, stock and barrel.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


What do you know, I'm in a book!

In his new compilation Untold New Mexico: Stories from a Hidden Past, just published by Sunstone Press, Jason Silverman included a version of my story on political murders in the state, (Albert J. Fountain, Jose Francisco Chaves, Ovida "Cricket" Coogler). This originally was published in New Mexico Magazine in 2004.

Also Jason quotes me and acknowledges an old New Mexican story of mine in his chapter on the 1947 execution of Louis Young.

The book is full of stories about Pancho Villa, Buddy Holly, Chuck Jones, Igor Stravinsky, Jack Johnson, Roswell aliens and more.

There's stuff by other buddies of mine too. Jon Bowman lists his favorite movies shot here and Bayou Seco (Ken Keppeler & Jeanie McLerie) list their favorite New Mexico songs.

And yes, the introduction is by none other than the governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. (No, he doesn't comment directly on my contributions.)


My friend and former colleague K.C. Compton, who now lives in Kansas, has not one, but two blogs:

Great Big Wow


Samurai Mama, which New Mexican readers might remember was the name of her column for the paper. (Was that the '90s, the '80s, or both?)


Here's the most surreal thing I've found in my Junk Mail folder lately:

onion, oats shambles a celluloid narcissist quandary, stub handler islander overshot celluloid. veterinarian, husk nylons
jumpy to rear methane extinction, flew to scientifically was corruption embarrassing stagnant or queasiness

prophesy to procrastinate exceedingly S.O.B. an exit ramp, survival, the carbon paper of approximation the brownstone
invigorating to Baptist! mimic railing place mat, deadlock, tropics military earthquake breaking point scope house-sit the
fragile sisters-in-law to salute drowsily as UN a as crayfish trio, of propaganda with liquor store of certification the authority, hemlock, is bleachers acrimony the as immutable
stage commit, it dysfunction encumber
The subject line was "noticeable ain't." And following the above magnificant prose was what looks like a press release for something called "America Asia Petroleum."

I hope this isn't some secret code to activate some terrorist sleeping cell.


I wanted to post a link to a site Helen told me about where waitresses from across this great nation posted the names of bad-tipping customers. However, the site seems to be down. (Hint: If you're going to stiff a waitress, don't pay the bill with a credit card.)

I notice it was just named Web Site of the Week by The Boston Phoenix, so maybe their server got overloaded.

From the Phoenix:

it is downright fascinating to hear about the relentless waitress-badgering that comes from, say, Rudy Guliani or Sharon Stone. Among those notorious for being poor tippers are Kathie Lee Gifford, Pat Sajak, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis (who allegedly left a sub-dollar pile of change at a café in Grand Rapids, Michigan). Even Boston’s own Steven Tyler is a well-known “10-percenter
In case it comes back to life, here's the link to

Monday, April 10, 2006


Sunday, April 9, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Dudley by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Gloria by Patti Smith
What's Mine is Yours by Sleater-Kinney
Breaking the Rules by The Fall
Sometimes the Devil Sneaks in My Head by The Immortal Lee County Killers
Where's Your Boyfriend At by The Yayhoos
Honeychain by Throwing Muses

The Barren Fields by Hundred Year Flood
This Life by The Grabs
Black JuJu by Alice Cooper
Home by Iggy Pop
Hometeam Crowd by Loudon Wainwright III
Come Out and Play by Richard Cheese

Troubled Friends by Gogol Bordello
Pretty Thing by Nightlosers
On Wings of Love by The Red Elvises
Pain by Kazik
Kamarage by Kultur Shock with Carla Kihlstedt
Ya Habibi, Ya Ghaybine by 3 Mustaphas 3

The Wand by The Flaming Lips
Thursday Night Crowd by Mbconn
Babe, I Got You Bad by Nick Cave
Shame by P.J. Harvey
Junk is Still King by Gary Heffern
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, April 09, 2006


The Blue Angel CD release party for Hundred Year Flood was just a blast from start to finish.

I'd just seen them last month for their short set at South by Southwest at the New Mexico Music Showcase, and that was a good one.

But it was nothing like playing a decent-length set for a hometown crowd ("Seventh is a heaven, nine is a cloud/It's great to be part of the home team crowd ..." -- Loudon Wainwright III)

The Blue Angel album is really growing on me and the songs from it -- many of which the band has been playing in their live shows for awhile now, were strong, especially the title song, "Don't Go," and the show-stopping "The Barren Fields."

I also heard some tunes I'd never heard before.

There's the freshly written "Ain't Gonna Fight in a Rich Man's War" (the title's similar to a Steve Earle song, but this one's funkier), one called "If I Were the President of the U.S.A." (Bill Palmer spells out a platform I could endorse) and a really cool Mexican- style polka with Felecia on accordian and Bill singing praises to Mexican food. (Hey, Palmer, you think you're the only one to write a song about enchiladas?)

I've also got to mention the venue -- The Santa Fe Brewing Company. I haven't been to this location since it was Wolf Canyon (is that the right name) years ago. I was impressed. The atmosphere is informal and friendly. The food was good (I had the Ruben sandwich, Helen had athe Greek wrap and Anton ate a hamburger bigger than his head) and reasonably priced. The stage and the dance floor work well as did the sound system.

The management is very music friendly. There are photos of local musicians -- Bonnie Hearne, Alex Maryol, George Adello to name some -- on the walls. I hope this place will be successful.

Bill gave a plug for Frogfest in mid August, which I'm assuming will be at the Brewing Company. Besides the Frogville acts (HYF, Goshen, Joe West, Boris McCutcheon, ThaMuseMeant, etc.) there might be some extremely worthwhile national acts. I was out of town last year for Frogfest. I can't let that happen again this year.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Friday, April 7, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
What Am I Living For? by Van Morison
Gravity's Gone by The Drive-By Truckers
There Are Strange Things Happening Everday by Cornell Hurd
I Keep Thinking of You by Sir Douglas Quintet
Cowboy Boots by The Backsliders
Dirty Knife by Neko Case
Shake the Chandelier by The Gourds

Champion Dog by Hundred Year Flood
Beautiful Weapon by Curt Kirkwood
The Coach's Wife by The Dashboard Saviors
Align Yourself by The Bottle Rockets
Cheap Motels by Southern Culture on the Skids
Starman by Jessi Colter
Gettin' Drunk by The Yayhoos
Honeychild by Susan Cowsill
I can't Help It If I'm Still in Love With You by Mark Weber

Arizona by Alejandro Escovedo
En Esta Momento by Cordero
Next Time a Diamond Won't Cut it by Andy Hersey
Oh No Hank by Jon Langford
Country Bumpkin by Cal Smith
The Only Trouble With Me by Merle Haggard
Who At My Door is Standing by Johnny Cash
Traveling Song by A. Paul Ortega

Iowa City by Eleni Mandell
That's the Way Love Goes by The Harmony Sisters
Wild Life Out West by Raising Cane
I've Always Been a Rambler by Ralph Stanley
Meant to Be That Way by Danny Santos
Butcher Boy by ThaMuseMeant
Epitath (Black and Blue) by Kris Kristofferson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, April 07, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 7, 2006

The Yayhoos are loud, irreverent, a little crazy, and a lot of fun. And in case anyone’s forgotten, those qualities are the basic building blocks of rock ’n’ roll. Their new album, Put the Hammer Down, is a boozy, sometimes bluesy, guitar-crazed testament to the gospel of good timing.

“Gettin’ drunk, gettin’ naked, gettin’ laid, and gettin’ out,” is the refrain of one of the songs here. That pretty much sums up the spirit of Put the Hammer Down.

The band has an impressive résumé. It consists of singer Dan Baird (formerly of the Georgia Satellites); guitarist Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (who has played with Joan Jett, The Del-Lords, and for the past several years, Steve Earle); drummer Terry Anderson (The Olympic Ass Kickin’ Team); and bassist Keith Christopher (another ex-Georgia Satellite, who’s also played with Billy Joe Shaver, Paul Westerberg, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and others.)

As in their first effort, Fear Not the Obvious, The Yayhoos sing of a world where it’s always Saturday night, the girls are all pretty, and the beer is cheap and plentiful. It starts off with “Where’s Your Boyfriend At,” a celebration of adulterous potential. I’m not sure why the instrumental bridge alludes to the “Batman” theme.

“Would It Kill You” has some fun with domestic discord. “Would it kill you to take that noose off my neck/Would it kill you to stop acting like a wreck?”

There’s even a song here (“Everything/Anything”) that introduces the boys in the band: “My name is Roscoe, and I am the boss/Without me the Minnow would be lost ... My name is Dan, I talk loud and a lot/Without me this band wouldn’t rock.” This track would be the obvious choice for a theme if The Yayhoos got their own weekly sitcom.

While most of the songs are original, The Yayhoos do a couple of inspired covers — The O’Jays’ “Love Train,” which features various Yayhoos trading vocals, and an especially exhilarating version of the B-52s’ “Roam.”

Also noted

*Sex, Fashion and Money by The Grabs. Eleni Mandell has a voice that can make men melt. Her heartbreaking, sultry alto, as heard on her solo albums (I have Afternoon and Country for True Lovers, produced by ex-Santa Fe guitarman Tony Gilkyson), will give you good dreams. And her version of “Muriel” on a Tom Waits tribute album a few years ago is stunningly gorgeous.

The Grabs is an Eleni side project. It’s a garage-y little rock quartet featuring guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards — with Mandell’s voice out front.

One could almost compare her voice to that of Neko Case, who breaks out of her country restraints and rocks as a member of The New Pornographers.

Except, while I probably like Eleni’s voice more than I do Neko’s (is that a gasp I hear out there in Reader Land?), the Grabs ain’t no New Pornographers.

It’s not a bad effort. Mandell says it was a lot of fun to record, and I believe her. Still, I don’t think this musical backdrop is the best forum for Mandell’s voice. But there are a couple of high points worth mentioning.

“Movie Star” is a put-down of some slick third-rate Steve McQueen who tries to put the moves on the singer at a party, (“Then you asked for my number, or you ordered me to give it.”) It’s got a guitar hook right out of “Then He Kissed Me” and a refrain with ba-ba-ba-ba-ba background vocals that take me back to the late ’60s, when bands like The Association roamed the earth. And the faux doo-wop of “Hope Is for the Hopeful” is a little hokey but ultimately irresistible.

As for the best-written song, that’s got to be Mandell’s “This Life,” where a forbidden crush has the singer fantasizing about reincarnation. “Last life you were my teacher/Next life you’ll be my double feature.”

So check out The Grabs. But not until you hear Mandell’s other albums mentioned above.

*The Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese. Remember Bill Murray as Nick the Lounge Singer, who belted out happy-hour versions of songs like the Star Wars theme and “You Gotta Serve Somebody” on Saturday Night Live back in the ’70s?

Remember Pat Boone’s In a Metal Mood (I liked Tiny Tim’s version of “Stairway to Heaven” better) or Paul Anka’s Rock Swings (should have been called “Smells Like Middle-Aged Spirit”)? Then you’ve got the basic idea of Richard Cheese.

Cheese does lounge and big-band versions of songs like “Rape Me” (OK, he does Nirvana better than Anka), “Baby Got Back,” (it’s a big-butt bossa nova!) “Gin and Juice” (give me The Gourds!) and Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.”

It’s fun for awhile. In fact, hearing Mr. Cheese croon profanity after profanity in Slipknot’s “People Equals S**t” is nothing short of hilarious.

But the concept gets old quickly. You wouldn’t really want to sit down and listen from start to finish.

Down in The Flood: Hundred Year Flood returns to Santa Fe on Saturday, April 8, with a CD-release party for their excellent new album, Blue Angel, which I’ve been playing a lot lately on my radio shows and which Rob DeWalt reviews in this week’s Pasa Tempos.

The show opens with the Texas Sapphires, a country group that last month was named “Best New Austin Band” at the annual Austin Chronicle Music Awards.

The party starts at 9 p.m. at the Santa Fe Brewing Company Pub & Grill (27 Fire Place, on Frontage Road off I-25 south of the city).

$10 gets you in the door. For another $5, they’ll throw in a copy of Blue Angel.For more information, check out the Brewing Company's Web site or call Santa Fe Brewing Company at 424-3333.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 7, 2006

Poll results released by Geno Zamora’s campaign for New Mexico attorney general show that 44 percent of 400 likely Democratic primary-election voters contacted during the last week of February preferred candidate Gary King. Zamora was the choice of 9 percent, while 8 percent liked Lem Martinez, and a whopping 39 percent were undecided.

But wait. That’s only the first round.

Zamora’s next set of poll numbers — obtained “after comprehensive information on all three candidates is presented” to the same 400 Democrats — has Zamora pulling ahead significantly, leading King 33 percent to 24 percent, with Martinez lagging behind with 19 percent.

As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”

So what is this “comprehensive information” that so boosts Zamora (and Martinez) and so deflates King? What could the pollsters have said to cause poll participants to give Zamora an extra 24 points and cause nearly half of King supporters to flee?

Did they claim that Gary King shot a man in Reno just to watch him die?

Nothing like that, the Zamora camp says.

But they won’t say exactly what mysterious “information” was used in the poll conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Bennett, Petts & Blumenthal firm, which is described as having a statistical margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Although Zamora himself told me early Wednesday afternoon that he had no problem with releasing the information used in conducting the poll, later in the day campaign spokesman Allan Oliver refused to hand it over.

“I hope you understand that the poll is a part of our strategy,” Oliver said.
I understand.

In general, Oliver said, the “information” consisted of the pollsters “progressively going through each of the candidates’ experience.”

There also was “information on each of the issues.”

Oliver said the information was “even handed.”

But when asked if he could categorically say that there was no negative information given about King or Martinez, Oliver wouldn’t answer with a simple yes or no.

“We talked about all their experience,” he said. “I wouldn’t characterize it as positive or negative. I don’t want to characterize it either way.”

I understand.

Pushing too hard? Oliver insisted that this was not a “push poll.”

And maybe that’s right.

While that term is bandied about a lot, according to the Wikipedia, “True push polls tend to be very short, with only a handful of questions, so as to make as many calls as possible. The data obtained is discarded rather than analyzed.”

The example they cite is the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary where a telephone pollster asked GOP voters, “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” McCain lost that primary to George W. Bush.

However, the Wikipedia article says, “The term is also sometimes used incorrectly to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative.”

Sounds like “strategy.”

King responds: Contacted Wednesday, King shrugged off Zamora’s poll results.

“I’ve had a pollster tell me that they can get me any answer they want if they just ask the right questions,” he said.

The “uninformed” poll results obtained by Bennett, Petts & Blumenthal are consistent with his own poll numbers, King said.

But King said the “informed” poll results “probably indicate that if I sat on my hands and didn’t do anything, it would be possible for an opponent to close in. I’m not going to let that happen.”

See the Zamora poll results on Joe Monahan’s blog.

UPDATE: Due to some kind of human snafu at The New Mexican, this column did not appear in Thursday's paper as it usually does. It should be in Friday's paper. (Keep your fingers crossed.)

I changed the date of publication at the top of the post.

On Thursday, I spoke with Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff, who told me that Zamora’s poll doesn’t sound like push polling.

“It sounds like aggressive message testing,” he said.

Of the “information” the poll-takers gave, Sanderoff said, “If it was equally balanced between negative and positive information about the candidates, there’s no reason for (the numbers) to have changed that much.”

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Theresa "Tink" Gomez e-mailed some photos of Alex Magosci today. She said I could post them here, so here's a few:

Alex with Tink

Alex with The Rev. Horton Heat

Alex with Carlos Ortiz and a Cowgirl waiter

And I found a couple of mine that are a little better than the ones I posted last night. Both are from the infamous trip to South by Southwest in 1995 :

An Austin horseback cop tells Alex and Sandy he won't have any Junk on his streets.

Junk finally plays SXSW. Their opening act was Irma Thomas.

Monday, April 03, 2006

ALEX MAGOCSI 1964-2006

(Alex is the one in the center of this photo, taken at the first Thirsty Ear Festival, 1999)

I just found out over the weekend that Alex Magocsi -- a former co-worker, a fellow music freak and a friend -- died last week.

I had to write his obit today. I'll post that below.

Before that, though, let me share a few personal memories.

I got to know Alex through The New Mexican. We had similar tastes in music. I was a fan of his band Junk, which featured Alex on drums and his girlfriend Sandy on guitar and vocals. I used to catch them playing at weird "underground" venues like "Waggy World" off Baca Street and "The Junkyard," which was the converted mechanic shop off Siler Road, which also served as Alex's residence in those years. Once he hired me to be the bouncer for a Junk show at the Junkyard. I earned a 6-pack of beer and didn't have to crack any skulls the whole night.

In March 1995 I went to South by Southwest with Alex and Sandy. Or at least part of the way. Their old school bus, which I dubbed "The Junk Heap," broke down in Clovis. I ditched them, catching a ride to Lubbock, where I got on a plane. But they showed up a couple of days later and I documented their frustrating efforts to play on the streets for festival- goers.

They finally secured a spot right off Sixth Street, a block or so from where Irma Thomas was doing a free concert. The second Irma stopped, Alex and Sandy started up. The show was a triumph, at least until the Austin cops shut them down. But for the four or five songs they played, they made $200 in tips and cassette-tape sales.

The trip back to Santa Fe was hellish though. The Junk Heap broke down again near some little Texas Podunk, where we stayed for hours until it got fixed.

The next year Alex moved back to Texas for awhile. During that time he started an online magazine called Re:Verb. This was the first place where I was ever published on the Web. Re:Verb ran Terrell's Tune-up in a slightly altered form. (The logo above is my old Re:Verb logo.)

All Alex's friends know that the last five years or so were terrible ones for Alec. He called me one morning three years ago to tell me that his friend Howie Epstein had ODed. It was then that I realized Alex was in bad shape.

I saw him about a year after that. He came into the Capitol news room babbling that Johnny Cash had died as the result of some conspiracy. Alex said and that he'd gotten "too close to the truth" and was scared for his own safety.

I was scared for him too. But not because of any Nashville conspiracy.

Today when writing his obit, I recall telling him, "Dammit Alex straighten up, because I don't want to have to write your damned obit." Actually I'm not sure whether I really told him that or if I just thought of telling him that.

It doesn't matter.

God damn it, Alex.

(Here's a post about Alex in The Dallas Observer blog)

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 4, 2006

Alex Magocsi, local music writer, Web publisher and one-time leader of what he called "Santa Fe's most dysfunctional band" has died.

Magocsi's body was found March 27, which according to a database was his 42nd birthday, in his car in Tesuque on property where he had planned to move this month.

The cause of death has not been determined, Sheriff Greg Solano said Monday.

“The (Office of the Medical Investigator) felt he died of a medical condition brought on by years of drug abuse,” Solano said. The OMI is waiting for toxicology reports before making a final determination, the sheriff said.

There was no evidence Magocsi had abused drugs immediately before he died, Solano said, and no evidence of foul play. He apparently died a few days before his body was found, Solano said.

Tanya Kern, who had agreed to rent a mobile home to Magocsi — and who discovered his body in his 1986 Cadillac on her land — said Monday she was “traumatized” by Magocsi’s death.

“He was trying so hard to start over and get back on his feet,” she said. “He’d been so happy and was so excited about moving here.”

Kern had given Magocsi permission to sleep in his car on her property. Previously, he’d been living in a motel, she said.

Magocsi, a Texas native, was music editor for the weekly Dallas Observer before moving to Santa Fe in the early 1990s. He worked for The New Mexican, first as a dispatcher, later as an assistant editor and columnist for the newspaper’s weekly magazine, Pasatiempo. He was responsible for a column called “Dr. Dis” and a later column called “30-Second Notes.”

But his real love was music. He was a drummer who, along with a girlfriend, started a group called Junk.

Magocsi proudly touted Junk as “Santa Fe’s most dysfunctional band.” Junk’s problems keeping a bass player were so comical, Magocsi once created a handbill advertising for a new bassist and listing all the past ones and the reason they left.

He returned to Texas in the mid-1990s. There he created an Internet music-and-pop-culture magazine called Re:Verb. After a short stint in Dallas, he returned to Santa Fe, where he again worked for The New Mexican (until about five years ago) and started a new band, a short-lived country/punk band called Lucy Falcon.

Magocsi moved to New York in 2001 to take care of his ailing father, a friend, Brian Combs, recalled Monday. His father died shortly after his son’s arrival. “He never really got over his father’s death,” Combs said. It was the start of a dark period in Magocsi’s life, one marked by increasing alcohol and drug abuse, friends say.

After returning to Santa Fe, Magocsi befriended Howie Epstein, the former bass player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who died of a drug overdose in 2003.

Magocsi said he and Epstein had started a local band tentatively called The Bottomfeeders. Epstein died before the band ever played in public.

Combs said in recent months, Magocsi had begun reaching out to old friends he hadn’t seen in years.

Kern said her mother, Mansi Kern, had rented a Tesuque house to Magocsi several years ago. “He was excited to be moving back here,” Tanya Kern said.

Kern’s property is on a road called Avenida de la Melodia. “I guess that was appropriate,” Tanya Kern said.

“Like my mother said, ‘Alex died in his favorite place.’"


Sunday, June 9, 2024 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM  Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell Email...