Friday, November 30, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 30, 2007

Johnette Napolitano’s new solo album, Scarred, could almost pass for a Concrete Blonde album. It’s dark, intense, full of sneaky little hooks, sometimes a little overwrought, and, of course, it’s centered around the low, hoarse, frequently world-weary but always sexy voice of Johnette Napolitano.

All it lacks is the distinctive guitar scream of James Mankey (who mixed several tracks but didn’t play on it). A new collaborator, Will Crewdson, plays some pretty good guitar and provides some tasty little electronic gurgles and rumblings here and there.

Napolitano performs a couple of covers on Scarred. There’s a so-so Coldplay song called “The Scientist.” And there’s The Velvet Underground classic “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” though I’m not sure the free world really needs another version of this.

Far more interesting and arresting are Napolitano’s original tunes. Napolitano opens with “Amazing,” a song with a catchy chorus that sounds like it could be a happy love song. “Amazing, you’re amazing. ... And I just want to live in your light.” But as the minor-key melody suggests, there’s something deeper going on. “Look at my hands/Look at my feet/Clumsy stumps of leftover fin.” It’s a song of self-loathing and co-dependency.

It’s not hard to connect this with the title song — a smoldering little masterpiece of inner pain. Here, Napolitano sings of being so damaged by love gone sour that her only refuge is sleep. The lyrics are sparse, but the emotion in her voice as she wails, “I am so scarred,” is downright frightening.

The lyrics of “Save Me” sound like they’re from a woman trapped in a building after an earthquake. “I heard a train on the roof and a burglar alarm/And a shaking foundation/And I tried to hold on. ... And the windows breaking/And the dogs were barking.”

I can’t help but remember the time I interviewed Napolitano over the phone in February 1994 — the day of a big earthquake in Los Angeles that shook her home in Silver Lake. (“I got home about 2:30 this morning. About 4:30 it hit. I just shook in my bed. I crawled on hands and knees, got my dog, and went outside to see my neighbors. ... Something like this puts things in perspective. Life is very short and precious. This is just a reminder.”)

“Save Me” is just one of several “spoken-word” songs in which Napolitano recites rather than sings the verses. Also in this category are “Poem for the Native,” “I’m Up Here,” and “Everything for Everyone.” She’s used this technique occasionally since the early days of Concrete Blonde (remember “Roses Grow”?), but she overdoes it here. On all three of these songs, however, the music builds up to such a powerful rage, I wouldn’t want to tamper with any of the chemistry.

Still, I go back and forth between loving and hating “Everything for Everyone” because of the vintage pop-psych slogans that Napolitano drops into the lyrics. She actually says, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life” and that she wants to be “naturally high.” Oh well, at least the music doesn’t sound like John Denver’s.

I thought I was going to hate “Poem for the Native.” Usually songs by white people extolling the mystic virtues of Native Americans make me cringe. (Except maybe Hank Thompson’s “Squaws Along the Yukon.”) But, to her credit, Napolitano’s song doesn’t fall into patronizing clichés. Plus, the dang thing rocks every time it gets to the chorus.

As for “I’m Up Here,” which closes the album, this song sounds like it might be a furious rant against God himself. “Where was I when the levy broke?/When the husband choked his wife?/Where was I when the priest ruined his son?” (The first one Napolitano thanks in the liner notes is “The Creator,” so maybe she’s hedging her bets.)

Napolitano plays at Santa Fe Brewing Company (27 Fire Place, 424-3333) at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets open. Tickets are $18 in advance at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St., 988-1234.

Not recommended:

*White Chalk by P.J. Harvey. Just a year ago, the release of Harvey’s The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 reminded me of what a vital rocker Polly Jean Harvey was, especially when she first started out. Her first three albums (four if you count the outtakes record 4-Track Demos) were nothing short of mighty.

Harvey’s output in the last 10 years has been spotty. But this album is one big splotch. The only people I can imagine voluntarily listening to this dreary dreck are college girls reading Sylvia Plath at 4 a.m. It makes me want to stick my head in an oven.

That being said, the one little thing I do appreciate here are the opening piano notes on the first song, which remind me of the intro to the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” The name of the song: “The Devil.” Clever. But not enough to carry the rest of the record.

Forget the piano, Polly. The world needs your guitar.

*R.E.M. Live. Most washed-up rock bands that insist on carrying on join the casino circuit. Those from commercial rock’s higher strata release two CD, one DVD live packages — heavy on the “greatest hits” and fortified by backup musicians.

I have to admit, many of these songs still have a lot of power. “The One I Love,” “Cuyahoga,” “Orange Crush” (I still don’t know whether they were singing about Agent Orange or the Denver Broncos), and “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth” are well done.

Probably the weakest tracks are the new protest songs “I Wanted to Be Wrong” and “Final Straw.” Don’t get me wrong, I love a good protest song: “We Can’t Make It Here” by James McMurtry, “Nothing at All” by the Waco Brothers, “They Crowned an Idiot King” by Swamp Dogg, “Rich Man’s War” by Hundred Year Flood. But these R.E.M. tunes are anemic.

The sad truth is that R.E.M. has a history to be proud of. I’m just not so sure about the present.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 29, 2007

When Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez officially announced his U.S. Senate run in October, he said he had spoken recently with Gov. Bill Richardson, whom he called “the next president of the United States.” At the time, Chávez declined to say exactly what he and the governor talked about, though a statement released the same day by Chávez’s campaign said Richardson “indicated” he had no intention of running for the Senate seat.

That wasn’t surprising. Richardson and his spokesmen have “indicated” hundreds of times that Richardson isn’t going to run for Senate since U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, a Republican, announced he’s not seeking re-election.

But in an interview Monday, Chávez provided some details about his conversation with Richardson, indicating there were more indications indicated than originally reported. “He told me he’s not running for Senate, ” Chávez told me. “But then he told me, ‘I never say never.’ ”

The Richardson presidential campaign didn’t respond to a question about his conversation with Chávez except to repeat Richardson is not running for Senate.

Chávez’s version of the conversation reminds me of The New York Daily News’ interview with Richardson in August. When the paper pressed him about his insistence he wouldn’t accept a place on the Democratic ticket as vice president, the governor said, “I never preclude anything.” However, he quickly added, “But I am telling you that I’m not interested.”

Richardson was asked yet again about the vice presidency during an interview Thursday on XM satellite radio’s POTUS ’08 network (the nation’s first 24-hour news radio station dedicated to the presidential race). “Well, I’m not interested in the vice presidency. Obviously, it would be an honor, but I’m going to win the nomination.”

I guess that settles that.

You say it’s your birthday: Chávez might have had a chance to clear things up about Richardson’s possible Senate plans at Richardson’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago.

Only problem is, unlike his Senate primary rival, U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, Chávez never got an invitation to the birthday bash thrown at one of the Santa Fe homes of Andrew and Sydney Davis, who are generous contributors to state and local Democrats.

“Gee, I was at his birthday party last year,” Chávez said. Then, with a wry grin the mayor added, “My invitation this year must have gotten lost in the mail.”

More on Art Hull: For months now, the Richardson administration has insisted Art Hull, longtime lobbyist for Public Service Company of New Mexico, didn’t lobby for the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority Act when he worked for the Governor’s Office as part of PNM’s Loaned Executive program.

Attorney General Gary King’s staff took Richardson’s staff at their word about this when investigating Hull’s role earlier this year. “The governor’s office did not assign Mr. Hull to work on legislation creating the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority,” Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Glenn said in a letter to Ben Luce of the watchdog group Break the Grip, which called for the investigation. Glenn said she found no evidence to the contrary.

However, on Wednesday, Break the Grip announced they had unearthed, via the state Open Records Act, an e-mail from Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos to blogger Joe Monahan on Jan. 30 (after the Legislative session had begun) that said, “With the exception of the governor’s proposed Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, Art is not lobbying on behalf of any of the governor’s energy package.” (That’s exactly what Monahan posted soon after Gallegos sent the e-mail.)

Luce — who says Hull’s lobbying for the bill while on the governor’s staff is a conflict of interest — is calling for the attorney general to reopen the investigation. Gallegos couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Back to the races: Speaking of Udall, the congressman from Santa Fe has scheduled his formal announcement 11:45 a.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in the city that calls Marty Chávez mayor. He’ll be doing a three-day “announcement tour” with stops in Santa Fe (4 p.m. Saturday at Eldorado Hotel), Los Lunas, Las Cruces, Silver City, Clovis, Las Vegas, Mora and Taos.

Also on Thursday, state Sen. Joe Carraro of Albuquerque will announce his candidacy in the Republican primary for the soon-to-be-open 1st Congressional District seat. Carraro will be facing Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White in that race. Carraro’s announcement is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the George O. Breace Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 401, 2011 Girard S.E. in Albuquerque.

On Friday, a third Democrat formally will get into the Senate race. Santa Fe activist and alternative newspaper publisher Leland Lehrman will make it official. He’ll announce at noon Friday at the Capitol Rotunda. At 7:30 p.m. that night, he’s having an “after party” at the Green Palace, 209 E. Palace Ave, which Lehrman owns with his wife, Vera. The Shiva Brothers are playing music.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


My story about those weird Richardson-for-Senate petitions can be found HERE.

Basically nobody believes they are real and speculation consensus is that it's some kind of political mischief.

One person I spoke to said it might be an attempt to discourage Richardson fans who might want to contribute to Tom Udall's Senate campaign. Of course -- assuming people would believe Richardson is soliciting petition signatures with unsigned letters on plain white paper -- that would discourage Richardson backers from contributing to Marty Chavez's campaign too.

So could it be a Republican plot? I don't see it. It doesn't matter to the GOP if contributions to Democrats in the primary is slowed down. Everyone realizes that no matter who the candidates are, both parties' general election Senate campaigns are going to be ridiculously well funded next year.

One Dem I talked to yesterday said the petitions could be from "some college student" supporting a presidential candidate other than Richardson in an effort to make Richardson look less serious in the presidential race.

Or indeed, could it be from the Richardson camp afterall -- sending out plain-white generic letters as a head-start on petition gathering as part of "Plan B" if the presidential race isn't successful? Not too likely. As one Democrat said, the number of signatures that could be gathered in such a fashion would be minimal.

So who knows? I'm just surprised that whoever did it couldn't come up with a fake letterhead with some cheesy campaign logo to at least make the thing look a little more believabe.


Also in today's paper I wrote an obit for the late Stretch Boles, who headed the state Highway Department back in the days they were coping with that newfangled Interstate system thing. You can find it HERE.


For a good, basic description of the arcane ritual known as the Iowa Caucuses, check out Carter Bundy's column today over at Heath's blog.


Jackie came across an interesting book -- American Carnival: Journalism Under Siege in an Age of New Media by Neil Henry that quotes a former Capitol Bureau partner of mine, Mark Hummels. (Read her post HERE) Mark is cited as an example of a young journalist who got frustrated with "the game" and "the mediocre standards of the newspapers he worked for."

`I came to realize,’ he explained, `that government officials are so well-trained in obfuscation and spin that it’s next to impossible to get a real answer to most questions you ask them. This continues to drive me absolutely nuts with people in general, and with people in positions of trust especially. I came to think of reporting `both sides of the story’ as either 1) reporting `both’ sides of the octagon, or 2) giving `equal time’ for the Republicans and Democrats to tell their lies...’
Jackie also quotes Henry talking about the governor "luring some of the state’s best news reporters by offering better-paying work as public relations officers for the Richardson administration."

But, she notes that "a whole lot of `the state’s best news reporters' stayed at their jobs and kept chipping away tirelessly at the dreck coughed out by the administration in the guise of news."

Bless you, Jackie. Indeed some of the state's best reporters are still reporters. And so am I!

Monday, November 26, 2007


My article about Bill Richardson's changing view on the Iraq view can be found HERE.

Here are some links to some sources cited in the story

* Paula Zahn 2/18/03 (I got the date wrong in the article. There will be a correction in tomorrow's paper.)

* Candy Crowley 3/11/03

* Freedom House 3/20/03

* Larry King 4/13/04

* Meet the Press 5/27/07

A sidebar on fact-checking some of Richardson's campaign claims is HERE.

Below are links to the various sources challenging those claims.

* Jobs

* Driver’s licenses for undocumented workers (and HERE )

* Kyoto Treaty

* Yucca Mountain (and HERE )

* Education

* Roswell UFO “cover-up”


Sunday, November 25, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Froggy by The A Bones
I Saw a Ghost by The Black Lips
Fuzz Gun 2001 by Mudhoney
Well All Right by The Hives
A Little Bit of Love by The Mooney Suzuki
The Weirdness by The Stooges
Lonesome Cowboy Bill by The Velvet Underground
Die by The Rockin' Guys
Dirty Old Man by Neil Young
Give Me Back My Wig by Hound Dog Taylor

Wonderful Witches by Thurston Moore
Almost Ready by Dinosaur Jr
Hubcap by Sleater-Kinney
Get it On by Grinderman
Six Strings That Drew Blood by The Birthday Party
Imaginary Diseases by Frank Zappa
My Babe by The Righteous Brothers

Save me by Johnette Napolitano
The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden by Concrete Blonde
It'll Chew You Up and Spit You Out by Concrete Blonde
Poem For the Native by Johnete Napolitano
La Llorona by Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals
Ghost Riders in the Sky by Concrete Blonde
Death of a Sufer by Vowel Movement

The Assassination by The Dixie Nightingales
Rollin' & Tumblin' by Bob Dylan
Pressing On by Chicago Mass Choir
She Sang Angels to Rest by Richard Thompson
Johnny Mathis' Feet by American Music Club
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Politics in New Mexico has been fun lately, but not this much fun.

I wonder which one of our potential CD 3 candidates is most likely to have been brainwashed and abducted by a Satan cult?

And here's a little musical interlude:

UPDATE 7-7-08: I got rid of the lousy eSnips player because the jerks at eSnips kept eliminating the song without asking me. (I own all the rights to it. I wrote it, recorded it, etc.) But this should work.


Here's a link to Anne Constable's story on Bill Richardson in Iowa.

I did a sidebar of the high and low points of the Richardson campaign so far this year.

Closer to home, here's a story about Marty Chavez attacking Tom Udall over his vote on the national labs budgets.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


My stories about Bill Richardson's first political campaigns ran in today's New Mexican --- as did this 1978 photo of Richardson's weirded beardo stage (which I believe was shot by my old colleague Barbaraellen Koch.)

The story of Richardson's impressive if unsuccessful race against Manuel Lujan in 1980 can be found HERE.

The story of his hard-fought and controversial primary battle against Tom Udall, Roberto Mondragon and others can be found HERE .

More is coming in the next two days inThe New Mexican.

Speaking of politics, there's a new blog for Santa Fe County Democrats, Ward 47-A. Check it out HERE.


Friday, November 30, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Hill Country Hot Rod Man by Junior Brown
Maybellene by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriquez
Riders in the Sky by Dick Dale
Undo the Roght/Somebody's Back in Town by The Flying Burrito Brothers
Red Rumor Blues by Ronny Elliot
Flash of Fire by Hoyt Axton
Thumbelina by Albert & Gage

November by The Rockin' Guys
Jack Ruby by Camper Van Beethoven
Lee Harvey by The Asylum Street Spankers
He Was a Friend of Mine by The Byrds

San Francisco by Ted Hawkins
I Made a Mess of This Town by Scott Miller & The Commonwealth

The Girl on Death Row/Psycho by T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole
Strangler in the Night by Albert De Salvo (The Buggs)
The Boston Strangler by Johnny Legend
Dolores by Eddie Noack
The Rubber Room by Porter Wagoner
Down in the Wrecking Yard by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Way Out in the World by C.W. Stoneking
O'Reilly at the Bar by Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Collegiana by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Coffee Blues by John Sebastian & David Grisman
My Walking Stick by Leon Redbone
Cruelle Tendresse by Les Primitifs du Futur
Old Pine Box by The Dead Brothers
Wildwood Fkower by Amy Nelson & Cathy Guthrie
Thanksgiving by Loudon Wainwright III
No Expectations by Johnny Cash
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, November 23, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 23, 2007

One of the rough edges of country music that has been almost completely smoothed out by Nashville tastemakers in recent decades is the great tradition of hillbilly madness/murder songs. Sure, you can sing proudly about putting your boot in the orifices of approved enemies of the state, but you won’t find the likes of Willie Nelson’s “I Just Can’t Let You Say Goodbye” or even Marty Robbins’ slightly milder “Laura (What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got)” on today’s safe and sanitized country radio.

The world of alternative country, of course, always has had an odd fascination with the dark side of country music.

But before anyone had ever heard the term “alt country,” a band of misfits called T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole released Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone to Kill, consisting of honky-tonk tales of crime and psychosis. Originally released in 1989 on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label, it’s been re-released recently by Saustex, based in Texas. The sound definitely is lo-fi — tinny even — but Pardon Me is a real kick.

To start with, the album contains some well-known classics of the sub-subgenre. There’s the title song, which originally was recorded by Johnny Paycheck. Here the narrator calmly tells a barroom buddy that he’s about to commit a crime of passion.

Edwards does a respectable take on the late Porter Wagoner’s horror tale, “The Rubber Room.” If there’s an Out on Parole reunion, I suppose they could do “Committed to Parkview,” an exploration of a similar theme penned by Johnny Cash and sung by Wagoner this year on his final album, Wagonmaster.

And Edwards does a pretty good version of “Psycho,” which was written by the great blind bard Leon Payne (best known for writing Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway”). A one-hit country wonder named Jack Kittel recorded perhaps the definitive version of this black-humor honky-tonker. Elvis Costello also recorded a version back in the ’80s, though I first heard it done by ex-Angry Samoan Gregg Turner here in Santa Fe. The narrator is talking to his mother, talking about killing a couple, about his crazy dreams, and his doubts about his sanity. “I woke up in Johnny’s room, mama/Standing right there by his bed/With my hands around his throat, mama/Wishing both of us were dead.” But is his mother really listening?

Considering that Edwards doesn’t have the voice of Johnny Paycheck, Porter Wagoner,or even Jack Kittel, the true gems of this album are the obscurities, oddities, and little-known novelty tunes. They include “The Girl on Death Row,” written by none other than Lee Hazelwood (I don’t think he ever sang this with Nancy Sinatra); “LSD Made a Wreck of Me,” a cautionary drug tale (“I started using LSD, it gave me quite a kick/Better than booze and easy to use/But it made me mentally sick”); and “Dolores,” a sad saga of a hapless serial killer who accidentally murders his own sweetheart. If only she’d listened to him and stayed inside!

The weirdest one here is “Strangler in the Night,” which has lyrics allegedly written by Albert DeSalvo, believed by many to be “the Boston Strangler.” When DeSalvo was in prison, a Cambridge record company actually released a spoken-word single with greasy ’50s-style slow-dance rock (reportedly by a Boston band called The Bugs) behind someone with a good radio voice reciting DeSalvo’s lyrics: “I don’t know a woman/And yet I crave on/My mind tells my body/Don’t just stand there, get one!” (You can find an MP3 of the original HERE.)

My one complaint about Pardon Me is that the liner notes should be better. We should know more about Johnny Legend, who wrote the song “Smitty” (and also ballads about the Boston Strangler, the Black Dahlia killing, etc.), and about where these other songs came from. But even without satisfying your inquiring mind, these songs are a twisted delight.

Also Recommended:
* Satisfied by John Sebastian & David Grisman. After immersing myself in the tasty but gruesome T. Tex Edwards album for the purposes of writing this review (the things I go through for you people!), a little nice music sounds pretty good and clears the palate. And good music doesn’t get much nicer and friendlier than this recent collaboration between mandolin master Grisman and former Lovin’ Spoonful frontman Sebastian.

These guys played together with Maria Muldaur and other future stars of folk in The Even Dozen Jug Band more than 40 years ago.
According to the liner notes, they hadn’t seen much of each other in 40-some years. But on this album they sound like they’ve been playing together forever.

My favorite songs are covers of Mississippi John Hurt: “I’m Satisfied,” plus “Coffee Blues,” the song that gave Sebastian’s famous band its name (“I’ve just got to have me my lovin’ spoonful”).

* The Other Side of the Mirror: Live at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965 by Bob Dylan. Every few years, I guess, the rock ’n’ world needs another excuse to get all hot and bothered at the holier-than-thou folkie purists who got so hot and bothered over Dylan “going electric.”

This DVD contains that magic moment at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when Dylan came onstage with members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band with their (shudder) electric instruments.

While the folkie hecklers deserve all the scorn they’ve received, watching Dylan’s crazed version of “Maggie’s Farm” captured here shows why they were shocked. Dylan and his band are ablaze. He wasn’t singing about freedom anymore; he was living it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 22, 2007

A new SurveyUSA poll on the New Mexico U.S. Senate race, performed on behalf of KOB-TV, confirms results of some other polls that have floated around in recent days.

Basically, U.S. Rep. Tom Udall is ahead of everyone in both the Democratic primary (where he has a near 2-to-1 edge over Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez) and the general election (where he’s leading Republican Reps. Heather Wilson by 15 points and Steve Pearce by 14 points.)
In the GOP primary, according to this poll, Wilson beats Pearce by 19 points. In a general election matchup, Wilson is ahead of Chávez by only 1 point. Pearce would defeat Chávez by 10 percentage points.

Where it gets fun is when you look at the demographic groups supporting the various candidates. In the Republican primary, Wilson is beating Pearce among Republicans who call themselves conservatives and those who call themselves moderate.

But here’s the surprise: Pearce — the man from Hobbs who has perfect or near-perfect ratings from a wide spectrum of conservative interest groups — is mopping up the earth with the more moderate Wilson among Republicans who identify themselves as liberals. He’s winning the liberal wing of the state GOP 70-18 percent.
David F. Cargo
One has to wonder: How many times did they call Dave Cargo?

But seriously, only 4 percent of the 500-plus New Mexico Republicans interviewed by SurveyUSA called themselves liberal.

On the Democratic side, Udall is ahead of Chávez in every demographic group except voters between the ages of 18 and 34. There, Chávez has a 4-point advantage. Maybe it’s all that fancy Internet stuff Chávez has been doing, such as his recent online town hall.

Udall has a 1-point lead among Hispanics.

The automated poll was conducted last weekend. A total of 1,737 registered voters were called. The margin of error was 2.5 percent in the general election questions, 4 percent in the Democratic primary questions and 4.4 percent in the Republican primary questions.

Meanwhile, back in Iowa: The ABC News/Washington Post poll of Iowa voters caused a stir this week — mainly because it had Sen. Barack Obama edging out front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, for the first time.

Gov. Bill Richardson is in a distant fourth place, behind Sen. John Edwards. As in other recent Iowa polls, Richardson is returning to low double digits (11 percent here) after slipping for several weeks.

But again, the real fun is in the breakdown of the numbers.

There’s one issue in which the 500 likely Democratic caucus-goers polled say Richardson is the best qualified: immigration. A full quarter of those polled say Richardson is the best candidate on this issue. Obama comes in second with 22 percent.
Unfortunately for Richardson, only 2 percent of the Democrats surveyed said immigration is the most important issue. The most important issue for Democrats, according to the poll, is Iraq, which got 33 percent. Only 15 percent said Richardson is the best candidate on this issue.

Richardson tied for second with Edwards on the question of which candidate had the best experience. They each got 16 percent. However, Clinton led this question with 38 percent of those polled.

While newspaper and magazine profiles about Richardson almost inevitably mention the fact he holds the world’s hand-shaking record, this poll shows Richardson should be shaking more hands in Iowa.

Thirty-three percent of Democrats polled said they’d met one of their party’s 2008 candidates. But of those, only 22 percent said they’d met Richardson. Again, he’s in fourth place in this category. The leader here is Obama. More than half of those who said they’d met a candidate said they’d met the Illinois senator.

Birthday boy: Richardson undoubtedly shook lots of hands last Friday at a birthday party thrown for him by Andrew and Sydney Davis in Santa Fe. (His actual birthday was the day before, but he was busy that night at the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nev.)

According to those who were there, the place was crowded with politicians, government officials and a couple of Hollywood types, including producer Taylor Hackford and Scottish actor Gerard Butler.

Also spotted were Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, state Democratic Chairman Brian Colon, congressional candidate Don Wiviott and state House contender Brian Egolf.

Tom Udall was there — and was acknowledged by the birthday boy. But apparently not Marty Chávez. Could that have any political significance?

The Davises are best known for building a 26,000-square-foot residential complex on a hill overlooking Hyde Park Road. The mansion is still under construction, so the party was held at their current Santa Fe home. Andrew Davis is known to be a generous contributor to state and local Democrats. However, a check of federal election records shows he’s contributed not only to Richardson’s presidential campaign this year, but also to Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Guiliani.

I smell a rat!: While enjoying the aroma of your turkey and pumpkin pie on this Thanksgiving day, say a little prayer for the workers at the state Child Support Enforcement field office in Santa Fe.

On Wednesday, several workers had to work in different offices because the smell was so bad. One employee said there were dead mice in the old building’s ventilation system.

A spokeswoman for the state Human Services Department confirmed the agency had to call an exterminator to get rid of the dead rodents.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Been too busy to blog much lately, but I have a bunch of musical plugs I need to take care of.

First of all, don't forget the Lannis Loyd Celebration Jam at the Santa Fe Brewing Company Friday night. It's scheduled from 6-10 pm. I'll be stopping by before going out to KSFR to do The Santa Fe Opry.

Georgie "Angel" Adelo tells me some guy named Jamie Brown is supposed to show up to play. Anyone heard of this guy?

The event is free, but you'll also feel free to donate to the new Musicians Emergency Relief Fund, which George is starting.


Speaking of great old Santa Fe music memories, John Harvey, former co-owner of The Line Camp e-mailed me last week to let me know he's starting to organize the Line Camp's 30th Anniversary, which is going to be held at the Fuller Lodge on May 10, 2008. He ask me to "send out a message to all the musicians that I am gathering stories and images" of Line Camp memories for a scrap book he's putting together for publication. So if you have any stories or photos of fun at the Line Camp -- the best honky tonk Pojoaque ever had -- email John.

I wonder if he'll use my sad tale about the time I went out there to interview Taj Mahal -- my second interview EVER! -- and my first ex-wife got pissed off at me and left me stranded. The big-time rock journalist had to hitch hike back to Santa Fe with my cheap tape recorder that malfunctioned during the interview.


Finally I want to plug the commercial DVD release of Robert Mugge's New Orleans Music in Exile. I reviewed this documentary about Hurricane Katrina's terrible impact on New Orleans musicians last year in Terrell's Tune-up.

In short, it's wonderful. Check it out on

Monday, November 19, 2007


Sunday, November 18, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Torquay by The Fireballs
Nicole Told Me by Half Japanese
Bootcheck by Gas Huffer
Let's Go Trippin' by Dick Dale
Please Mr. Engineer by Bo Diddley
Daddy, Buy me a Girl by The Golden Earrings
New Kind of Kick by The Cramps
Slime and Oxygen by The Black Lips

Amazing by Johnette Napolitano
Days and Days by Concrete Blonde
Hip Shot from the Slab by Col. Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains
Spy World by Wall of Voodoo
Thunderball by Martin O.
Goldfinger by Webb Wilder
Awa Didjen by Tinariwen

Caberet of the Seven Devils by The Fiery Furnaces
The Idiot Kings by Soul Coughing
Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars by The Butthole Surfers
I, Zombie by White Zombie
Tripping by The Pretty Things
A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors by The Hives
Fall Sound by The Fall
Police Story by The Dirty Projectors
Thirsty and Miserable by Black Flag

My Man is a Mean Man by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
The Last Time by Bettye LaVette
The Harlem Shuffle (NY Mix) by The Rolling Stones
Handsome Stuff by Simon Stokes
Drop Down Mama by Dion
The One I Love by R.E.M.
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, November 17, 2007


* Still Stuck in Your Throat by Fishbone. I've been on a real Fishbone kick for the past couple of weeks. It started when I found a used copy of their 2002 album The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx at Natural Sound. I'd nearly forgotten about this group and I was surprised at how vital they still sounded. I saw them play the 1990 Lollapalooza in Denver and loved how they could sound like George Clinton one moment, Pantera the next, and then Frank Zappa -- all mixed in with a hopped-up ska sound. I also was impressed, back then in '93, at how they weren't aftraid to lay on the showmanship -- a quality you didn't much find with some of the other acts like Dinosaur Jr., Alice in Chains and Rage Against the Machine.

So in recent days I was lucky to get a couple of Fishbone albums from (the classic Truth and Soul and the relatively new Live at the Temple Bar and More. I also ripped the Fishbone CDs I already had onto my computer -- and then I stumble across this album, released just last year, on eMusic. Nearly six and a half hours of Fishbone is going through the shuffle mode of my mind. I want to say Fishbone is a major overlooked band of the '90s -- but they're still going strong and still seriously underrated -- in this century as well.

*100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. I reviewed this one recently in Tune-up, along with the new Bettye LaVette CD and the new 3-disc Wattstax collection. You can find the whole piece HERE

In fact, I liked 100 Days so much, I downloaded Sharon & Dap-Kings' 2005 album, Naturally. And if anything, I'm liking it even more. There's a duet with Lee Fields ("Stranded in Your Love") in which Lee & Sharon become a modern Butterbeans and Susie. And there's a totally revamped "This Land is Your Land." It doesn't sound like Woody, but I bet he'd love it.

Basically, I can't get enough soul music. I'm happy there's a cool "soul revival" going on and especially happy that the focus is on the music, not some bogus nostalgic cuteness. The world needs more soul.

*The Big Eyeball in The Sky by Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains. This is a good-time collaboration between Les Claypool and drummer Brain of Primus , funk keyboard great Bernie Worrell and the guitar goon known as Buckethead. So while basically it's a supercharged version of Primus with Col. Claypool in command, Bernie and Buckethead put their own peculiar stamps on the music. There's lots of tasty jams and nary a dull moment. Even the 10-minute epic "Elephant Ghost" slinks along quite nicely. It sounds like the funkiest circus you've ever seen.

*Live at Joe's Place by Hound Dog Taylor. Hound Dog was the closest the blues ever came to punk rock. Well, maybe T-Model Ford, but Hound Dog was out there a ways.

This live record (a 1972 bar gig) is nice, raw and raucous. A few standards here -- "Dust My Broom," "The Sky is Crying," "Kansas City" and a good nine-minute "Freddy's Blues."

And there's one of those strange and unintentionally funny eMusic typos -- "Give Me Back My Wig" somehow becomes "Glue Back My Wig." I like that title better.

* Emotions by The Pretty Things. Talk about being a latecomer -- I didn't really really get into this 40-plus-year-old British Invasion band until Balboa Island, thier latest, released just this year.

Emotions is from that golden year of 1967, when the group plunged into psychedelia. Unfortunately in many cases they went overboard with the horns, strings, harpsichords, harps and other Sgt. Peppery affects. Still some bitchen stuff though. Love the fuzz tone on and whatever stringed instrument (I don't think it's a sitar -- sounds almost like a banjo) on "One Long Glance." I'm also loving the acoustic pyschedelic blues of "Tripping."

*The Live Ones 6 Tracks by The Standells. Eddie Munster was right. The Standells were cool guys. Only few have surpassed their level of bitchenicity. If you don't like 'em, flake off! Get yourself a crewcut, baby! This is a way too short live show by the Dirty Water boys at Michigan State University in 1966. Good clear sound quality. My only regret is that there are only six tracks.

*Mutiny/The Bad Seed by The Birthday Party. Although I've been a Nick Cave fan for years, I basically missed out on his earlier band back in the '80s. (I wasn't invited to the Birthday Party!) I really did miss out! This band has all the spooky, threatening power of the Bad Seeds, abrasive but very listenable. Lots of critics -- including me, I think -- compared Cave's current band Grinderman to The Birthday Party. For good reason.

This collection is two BP EPs starting out with Cave shouting, "Hands up! Who wants to die" in the hard crunching "Sonny's Burning." It doesn't let up from there. "Deep in the Woods is especially frightening. "Deep in the woods a funeral is swingin' ..." Yikes!

*Nuclear War by Sun Ra Akestra. I already had an MP3 of the title track and I needed seven tracks to make my monthly 90, so this worked out perfectly.

The story behind the album, as told in the Allmusic Guide is hilarious in itself:

"Originally Ra was so sure the funky dance track was a hit, he immediately took it to Columbia Records, where they immediately rejected it. Why he thought a song with the repeating chant "Nuclear War, they're talking about Nuclear War/It's a motherf***er, don't you know/if they push that button, your ass gotta go/and whatcha gonna do without your ass" would be a hit is another puzzle in the Sun Ra myth.
Beyond the title song, many tracks here -- "Celestial Love," "Blue Intensity," "The Nameless One Number Two" -- have a cool, bluesy, sleazy yet otherworldly quality with Ra's magial roller-rink organ out front. Call it crime jazz from Neptune.

UPDATED UPDATE: Soon after I posted this I discovered that Bloodshot Records is offering its Free Label Sampler 2007: Yr Welcome, World compilation for free. So I added that too. It's got a few tunes I already have on CD by the likes of Graham Parker, The Detroit Cobras and The Gore Gore Dirls, some new material by Bloodshot stalwarts like Jon Rauhouse and Deano Waco's Dollar Store, and some acts I'm not familar with like The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Ha Ha Tonka.

Speaking of which, the roots-rocking Ha Ha Tonka also is offering a free five-song live in-studio set called The Hear Ya Sessions on eMusic. I think these guys would have a lot to talk about with Hundred Year Flood. It's a little bit country, a little bit psychedelic. And, like I said, it's free!


Friday, November 16, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
When Will I Be Loved by The Flying Burrito Brothers
Honky Tonk Lifestyle by Cornell Hurd
Love Problems by Johnny Paycheck
Dreaming Cowboy by Sally Timms
Perfect Mirror by The Mekons
I'm a Gonna Kill You by T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole
Broke Down South of Dallas by Junior Brown
Too Many Rivers by Webb Wilder
Moving Day in Jungle Town by The Hoosier Hotshots

Oh Set a Light by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
That Little Old Wine Drinker Me by Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers
I Cast a Lonesome Shadow by Hank Thompson
Holdin' Our Own by Jesse Dayton & Brennen Leigh
Hungover Again by The Supersuckers with Kelly Deal
Morning After the Night Before by James Luther Dickinson
English Noblemen by Michael Hurley
Rabbits Don't Ever Get Married by Hank Penny
Sex Crazy Baby by Hasil Adkins
Waltz Across Texas by Golden Delicious

Be My Chauffeur by Clifton Chenier
Chez Moreau by The Pine Leaf Boys
Oh Yeh Yai by Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys
In The Summertime by Buckwheat Zydeco
Cajun Stripper by Doug Kershaw
Zydeco Two Step by Nathan Williams & The Zydeco Cha Chas
Bozoo That's Who by Bozoo Chavis & The Majic Sounds
Zydeco Gris Gris by BeauSoleil

Eye For an Empty Heart by Holly Golightly
When Jesus Calls All His Children In by Buck Owens
Loser by Dave Alvin
Moonglow, Lamp Low by Eleni Mandell
Palookaville by Peter Case
Keep Smiling Old Pal by Norman Blake
Elijah's Church by Low Red Land
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, November 16, 2007


Gov. Bill Richardson got more air time than usual in tonight's CNN Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. That's according to the Chris Dodd Talk Clock. Looks like Dodd will be remembered as the official timekeeper of the 2008 primary campaign.)

However, during his extended time, the governor threw out a lot of stats and claims that might not pass close scrutiny. Lucky for him, the national media, concentrating as usual on the front-runners, didn't seem to pick up on it.

But then there's that nitpicky local media ...

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 16, 2007

Why are so many of my favorite musical acts releasing disappointing albums this year? Wilco, P.J. Harvey, The New Pornographers, and now The Fiery Furnaces.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of siblings Eleanor and Matt Friedberger and have defended the Furnaces even when other critics slammed them. What is it about the duo’s Widow City that makes it hard for me to sink into? It’s not the crazy, disjointed, abruptly changing rhythms — heck, I’m a fan of Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle, and Fishbone. It’s not the inscrutable tales and oddball lyrics — I was intrigued by the first song, “The Philadelphia Grand Jury,” in which Eleanor sings about being set up by the judicial system on charges we’re never quite sure of. All we know is “more crooked sons of bitches you can’t ever have come across.”

And I appreciate Eleanor’s shout out to the Land of Enchantment — “so said the birth chart I sent away to New Mexico for. It was made by a special commission of Navajo basketball coaches and blonde ladies” — at the end of “Automatic Husband.” About time someone acknowledged the mystic nature of Native American coaches.

Then there’s Eleanor’s fascinating recurring theme of spousal abuse. Back on the pair’s album EP, there was the brilliant “Single Again,” in which she sang of a husband who “beat me, he banged me/He swore he would hang me.” Last year’s Bitter Tea had a character whose husband’s family is plotting against her: “My mother-in-law was standing by the stove/hissing like a snake, hissing like a snake/ ... She gave orders to spill my blood.”

Here on Widow City, after a couple of tunes that seem to suggest the death of her character’s husband, there’s a song called “The Old Hag is Sleeping,” in which Eleanor sings, “My baby’s angry, he’s always so angry/He smiles only when he can give me abuse.”

But somehow the CD doesn’t live up to the promise of “The Philadelphia Grand Jury.” The songs do seem to be loosely connected thematically, but the story line, if indeed there is one, quickly becomes incomprehensible.

A couple of years ago, reviewing the Furnaces’ Rehearsing My Choir — the album that featured Eleanor and Matt Friedberger’s grandma Olga on lead vocals — I referred to “the secret language that family members share.” It seems here they are speaking that “secret language” in an increasingly thicker brogue.

This wouldn’t bother me so much if the music were more interesting. But most of the songs here sound as if the Furnaces are tired and repeating themselves. The most noticeable new element is several spots on the album that sound like second-rate Flaming Lips outtakes. Listen to “Wicker Whatnots” and try not to think of the last couple of Lips studio records.

To be fair, a couple of tunes late in the album made my ears perk up. “Cabaret of the Seven Devils” starts out with some powerful drums, then tells the story of an evil duke. But then, how could you go wrong with a song called “Cabaret of the Seven Devils”? This song is followed by “Pricked in the Heart,” which features an eerie flute that reminds me of British psychedelia like the Incredible String Band and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

But all in all, The Fiery Furnaces seem short on fire this time around.

*Rise Above by The Dirty Projectors. Straight to the point: this is one of the strangest new albums I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a remake of songs from Black Flag’s 1981 album Damaged, considered a classic of California punk rock.

But Rise Above is not your typical “tribute” album. Instead of slavishly reverent recreations of Black Flag songs, Dave Longstreth (the main Projector) filters Black Flag tunes through his own private universe. It doesn’t sound close to what normal mortals consider punk rock — except when Longstreth’s voice turns from a creepy croon to a grating scream during otherwise pretty musical passages.

The first song, “What I See,” sounds like Morrissey fronting Ween, except where did those happy African guitars come from? The song that makes me laugh out loud is “Police Story.” Black Flag played it as an angry blast of protest against cops hassling kids. But the Projectors, while leaving in all the profanity, rearrange it as a brooding lament. Longstreth sounds genuinely sad as he sings, “They hate us, we hate them.” With its acoustic guitar and trumpet, it could almost be an American Music Club tune — except Mark Eitzel never sounded half as deranged.

My only complaint is that my favorite Damaged song, “T.V. Party,” isn’t here. Maybe the Projectors are saving it for a warped remake of the Repo Man soundtrack.



Bill Richardson is 60 years old today.

I was reminded of this by an e-mail from Barbara Richardson (via the Richardson campaign) with the subject line "Don't Tell Bill."

Does this mean I'm burning a source by posting this?

I wonder what might pop out of his cake at the CNN debate in Las Vegas tonight? (That's 6 pm Mountain Time, folks.)


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 15, 2007

Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez managed to get all the way through his “online town hall” this week without mentioning his U.S. Senate Democratic primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, but Chávez in recent days hasn’t been shy about bashing Udall in national media interviews.

Meanwhile, though state Republicans have chastised Udall for being the favorite of “out-of-state liberal bloggers,” it’s Chávez, not Heather Wilson or Steve Pearce, who has felt the sting of at least one pro-Udall blogger from outside this enchanted land.

In an interview Saturday with Politico, a political Web site, Chávez referred to Udall’s “lackluster record in the House.”

“The race is about only one thing,” Chávez said, “(the) fact that Washington has failed to deliver for New Mexico. I’m the only candidate with a record of strong leadership on getting things done. … There will certainly be a contrast.”

This is similar to what Chávez told Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., publication, last week. “This will not be a sweet primary. It just won’t,” he said. “The contrast in records between me and the Congressman won’t situate him well for the general election.”

The mild-mannered Udall has yet to fire back. (And, technically, he hasn’t formally announced yet.) But some of his defenders in the blogosphere certainly have.

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the popular left-wing Daily Kos, fired with both barrels Monday. “Everyone wants Chávez out of the primary, suggesting he run for one of the House seats opened up by this Senate race,” Zúniga said. “Me, I’d rather see Chávez’ career destroyed by Udall in this primary once and for all. The last thing we need is his corrupt ass in Washington in the House, stinking up the Democratic brand and making Latinos look bad.

“So I hope he’s stupid enough to stay in the Senate race. I’ll have fun seeing him go down in flames.”

Chávez is right about at least one thing. It’s not going to be a sweet primary.

Chat room chatter: Those who watched and participated in Chávez’s Web chat seemed to enjoy it. A few reported technical difficulties. My feed only froze up completely once, though there were a few stray moments where the sound faded momentarily.

My biggest distraction was trying to listen to Chávez while keeping an eye on the chaotic but often entertaining chat room buzz to the side of the video screen, reproduced here as it appeared on the screen.

“Why does Texas buy water from NM? Now thats the question … ” one participant wrote.

“Texans are a very thirsty people … ” another replied.

“so are we,” said a third chatter.

“maybe texans will pay your ticket?” quipped on participant, referring to an earlier post from someone sarcastically asking Chávez to pay his $300 ticket from one of the controversial red-light cameras in Albuquerque.

I might have been following such an exchange when Chávez apparently made a veiled reference to a controversial Udall vote to reduce the budgets of the national laboratories in the state. I didn’t catch it, but the chatters picked it up.

“Note the shot at Udall,” a participant wrote. “ ‘who would have thought’ any member of congress would vote to cut lab funding …”

“udall voted to cut lab funding?” another chatter responded.


“dang what was he thinking???”

Even though it’s distracting, I hope Chávez keeps the chat room in his future town halls, and other candidates, who are bound to pick up on this idea, keep it too.

Yippie yi yay!: I was beginning to think the state had forgotten about the memorial sponsored by Rep. Gloria Vaughn, R-Alamogordo, to hold an official state cowboy song competition. But no, the cowboys won’t be forgotten.

A news release from the state Music Commission said the competition officially kicks off tonight during the opening ceremonies of the Western Music Association’s International Festival in Albuquerque at the Marriott hotel on Louisiana N.E. near Interstate 40.

Those wanting to enter a cowboy song for consideration should send compact discs or tapes, along with proof of copyright, to the New Mexico Music Commission, P.O. Box 1450, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

The entry deadline is Nov. 14, 2008. The commission will announce the winner in December 2008. The winning song will be submitted for a final showdown at the state Legislature in January 2009.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I've known Lannis for more than 35 years, though we weren't that close. His suicide last week shocked and saddened me. You can read my obit of him HERE .

The first time I met Lannis I was still in high school. My English teacher, his mom LaVera Loyd, brought her long-haired rock 'n' roller son to class to teach a lesson on the history of rock 'n' roll! Mrs. Loyd was a pretty traditional teacher and not any kind of flower child herself. But I always thought she was pretty cool for doing that. First time I heard Led Zepplin was when Lannis played "Whole Lotta Love" in my English class that day. I thought he was pretty cool too.

Years later, Lannis led my favorite local band The Ozone Express, a great little country-rock band with two fine female vocalists -- Christine Albert and Donna Pence. I used to go to the old Turf Club in Santa Fe almost every Saturday night. Lannis would end every show with Commander Cody's "Lost in the Ozone Again."

In writing the obit yesterday, I got to talk to another Santa Fe musician of that era, Jamie Brown, better known these days as Junior Brown. (In the early '70s, The Last Mile Ramblers, which indluded Jamie, was New Mexico's premier country rock band, but by the mid '70s, they had broken up and Ozone had risen.) He too remembers Lannis fondly.

And thanks to George Adelo, Mike Montiel and especially Lori Loyd Gallegos for their help with the obit too. And thanks to Al Faaet for that great picture of Lannis playing with The Georgie Angel Blues Band at the Santa Fe Music Festival last summer.

What can I say, Lannis? You fucked up big time! People loved you. And we always will. We all just wish you'd known it.

I'd forgotten until I was Googling around for Lannis this week that he had a Soundclick page.
If you'd like to hear some of his tunes CLICK HERE.

George Adelo says he and some other friends are setting up a fund in Lannis' name for Santa Fe musicians in need. Lannis was not in financial trouble, but as we all know, some local musicians do have such problems.

You can help defray Lannis' funeral expenses by donating to a fund at the Community Bank (where he worked as a vice president.)

Please don't forget the celebration of Lannis' life Friday Nov. 23 at the Santa Fe Brewing Company.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Sunday, November 11, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
You Dress Up For Armageddon by The Hives
I Remember You by Deadbolt
Mystery Trip by The Chesterfield Kings
Ain't That Her by The Remains
Doin' the Shout by John Lee Hooker
Justine by The Righteous Brothers
Gruby Jak Elvis by by T. Love
Flower Punk by The Mothers of Invention
Life of Pain by Black Flag
What I See by The Dirty Projectors

Kicks and Chicks by The Zipps
I'm Bigger than You by The Mummies
I Met Roky Erikson by Daniel Johnston & Jad Fair
Don't Slander Me by Roky Erikson
Deep in The Woods by The Birthday Party
When My Love Comes Down by Grinderman
Action by Electriccoolade
Nobody Gets Me Down by T-Model Ford

Let Them Knock by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Hey Sallie Mae (Get Off My Feet) by Lee Fields
Come on In by The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Everybody is a Star by Fishbone
I'm So Proud by The Isley Brothers
B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas
Talking Old Soldiers by Bettye LaVette

Veteran's Day by Tom Russell
Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
Sam Stone by Swamp Dogg
Western Hero by Neil Young
Navajo Code Talker by Vincent Craig
The Green Fields of France by The Dropkick Murphys
Soldier's Things by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, November 11, 2007



U.S. Reps. Tom Udall and Heather Wilson shared a stage today at the Veteran's Day celebration in Santa Fe. Both were smart enough not to talk about the Senate race or other partisan matters during the ceremony.

Udall told me afterward that he'll be making a formal announcement sometime during Congress' Thanksgiving break. He said he might be announcing his campaign team sometime this week.

Wilson wouldn't talk about Udall's entry into the race -- or who she'd rather run against, Udall or Marty Chavez.

I dragged my son to the event. He took a picture of his dad in action:

Saturday, November 10, 2007


While I was enjoying American Gangster, Tom Udall's staff was announcing that he's entering the U.S. Senate race.

In other developments, Don Wiviott, who has for months been running for Senate, is switching to Udall's open House seat. State Auditor Hector Balderas told my editor he's not running for CD 3, while County Commissioner Harry Montoya told me he definitely is. Former State Rep. Patsy Trujillo is forming an "exploratory committee" for the Congressional race.

See the wire story about Udall HERE.

A memo from Udall's pollster, showing Udall beating anything that moves, is HERE (Thanks, Heath)

And my analysis piece Friday is HERE.

And yes, I did like American Gangster, thank you very much.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the New Mexican's story in Sunday's paper.


I was listening to The Twisted Groove on KSFR after my show last night (early this morning) and heard a song that was hauntingly familiar. The title was "Monkey Ska" by ska pioneer Derrick Harriet. 

It was the refrain that nearly made me fall onto the floor: "Don't know what to say the monkey won't do." 

 You see, when my son was two or three he said he'd written a song called "Don't Know What to Say What the Monkeys Won't Do." I was amazed. 

Just the title alone filled me with wonder. I compared him to Captain Beefheart. But obvously, after hearing Harriet's song on the radio that my son had heard it as a toddler. It's not the type of music his mother would be listening to, so I still was amazed. 

But this morning when I played a clip of the song I found on the Internet, my son, now 15, remembered he'd seen it on the cartoon show Animaniacs. Sure enough, we found it on YouTube.



Friday, November 9, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Ghost Riders in the Sky by The Last Mile Ramblers
I Told Her Lies by Robbie Fulks
If Tomorrow Never Comes by Todd Snider
Nothin' by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Dark End of the Street by The Flying Burritto Brothers
Skip a Rope by The Kentucky Headhunters
Daddy's Cup by Drive-By Truckers

Kiss Me Honey/Wang Dang Blues by Hank Penny
Been Down Too Long by Scott Birham
Roly Poly by James Luther Dickinson
Brand New Heartbreak by Jesse Dayton & Brennen Leigh
Dollar Dress by The Waco Brothers
Don't Make Me Pregnant by Tammy Faye Starlite
The Week of Living Dangerously by Steve Earle

All songs by HT except where noted
Oklahoma Hills
Sting in This Old Bee
I'm Tired of Prestending
The Wild Side of Life
Honky Tonk Angels by Kitty Wells
Three Times Seven
I Like My Chicken Frying Size
Squaws Along the Yukon
Whoa Sailor by The Maddox Brothers & Rose
Rub a Dubb Dubb
A Sixpack to Go

Long John Blue by The Cerrillos Islanders
Blue Asian Reds by Terry Allen
I Guess We Shouldn't Talk About That Now by Bettye LaVette
I'm Not Coming Down by Ed Pettersen
Cupid's Arrow by Amy LaVere
It Only Rains on Me by Don Williams
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, November 09, 2007


"Sometimes I feel like Arthur Bremer
In my motel room
I got my pornographic comic books
I'm hearing voices from the tomb.
I've been stalking you like a cobra, baby
Ready any time you like.
Ain't nothin' gonna stop me, mam
When it's time to strike ..."

From "Pinhead for Your Love"
Stephen W. Terrell, poet.
Circa 1978

And now they're freeing Artie Bremer, the guy who shot George Wallace down in 1972. And it looks like Sarah Jane Moore might be getting out too. (But not Squeaky. She apparently likes prison life.) Here's a story about it: CLICK HERE.

Could this lead to an aging (would-be) assassins speaking tour? It's got to be worth at least one big Larry King show.


Hank Thompson died on Tuesday.

Another great country singer gone ... and so soon after Porter Wagoner.

My brother just sent me this picture of himself, our pal Jeff Hett and Hank from the mid 70s when my brother and Jeff went to the Hank Thompson School of Country Music at ehat is now Rogers State College in Claremore, Oklahoma. (Junior Brown later went there and taught there.)

I've told this story before: I was introduced to Hank Thompson by none other than Roger Miller in the early '80s when Hank played at the Line Camp in Pojoaque. That was a wonderful night for my ego! I still remember sitting around the Line Camp dressing room with Roger and Hank. "Steve's from Oklahoma City," Roger said. "He's from Reno Street." (That was an area of downtown OKC once known for its rough bars.) Hank, who used to have a televison show in Oklahoma City, got a kick out of that.

A few years earlier, when Hank played the old Ramada Inn bar on Cerrillos Road, my date and I were asked by the management not to dance. I guess a couple of hippies doing the Reno Street Swing or whatever it was was intimidating the regular customers.

Yes, there will be a tribute to Hank Thompson on tonight's Santa Fe Opry (the show starts 10 pm Mountain time on KSFR, 101. FM in New Mexico and streaming on the Web. )



My analysis piece on Tom Udall's possible Senate bid can be found HERE.

My story on the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll on the New Mexico Senate race is HERE

But why read that when you can see the poll itself?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 9, 2006

Soul belter Bettye LaVette made a more-than-respectable “comeback” album a couple of years ago. Her new effort, Scene of the Crime, shows that I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise was no fluke. This woman, with her slightly raspy voice and impeccable taste in material, is on fire.

LaVette’s late-blooming career is a weird story even by show-biz standards. She’s toiled away on the fringes of success for more than 40 years, and she’s just starting to reach her prime. She’s a true example of someone who has only gotten better with age.

LaVette started out in the 1960s, the golden age of soul, though she never quite became a household name. In 2000, the European label Munich released a live LaVette album called Let Me Down Easy: In Concert. Her performance of its title song still twists my head off. The record wasn’t a runaway hit, but apparently some people who counted heard it. LaVette started recording in this country again.

Two years ago, LaVette got the full Joe Henry treatment — covering songs by contemporary songwriters like Dolly Parton, Sinead O’Connor, Fiona Apple, and Lucinda Williams with a rocking band. I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise is a good album, a really good album. But — I’ll go ahead and say it — Scene of the Crime is a great one.

First of all, there’s the matter of the band. The Drive-By Truckers, yes, the alt country/neo-Southern rock wild boys (and girl) who made it OK for punk rockers to admit they like Lynyrd Skynyrd, play behind LaVette. But that’s not as weird as it sounds. As Truckers fans know, DBT founder Patterson Hood is the son of Muscle Shoals session bassist David Hood. Plus, the band toured this year with Stax/Volt soul keyboard/songwriter great Spooner Oldham (including a stop in Santa Fe in May.)

On LaVette’s record, DBT sounds like Muscle Shoals: the Next Generation. (Oldham and David Hood are along for this ride too.)

LaVette is no stranger to Muscle Shoals. She recorded an album there called Child of the Seventies about 35 years ago — which, in keeping with LaVette’s hard-luck biography, was not released until a few years ago.

It’s true, DBT provides a harder-edged sound than the musicians on I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise. But the band never overwhelms LaVette; it seems to inspire her.

The album grabs a listener immediately with a slinky swamp rocker called “I Still Want to Be Your Baby (Take Me Like I Am),” written by Alabama native Eddie Hinton. There are several cool rockers here that seem natural for LaVette. John Hiatt’s “The Last Time” sounds like it was written for her. “You Don’t Know Me at All” is nice and bluesy.

And LaVette also shows she can nail the slow ones. “Choices” is a song George Jones did just a few years ago, after a well-publicized alcoholic relapse. I don’t know how much of this tune applies to LaVette’s own life, but when she sings, “I found I liked drinkin’” a listener finds her completely believable.

But the showstopper is a weird old Elton John song I’d completely forgotten called “Talking Old Soldiers.” I had to check the credits to make sure it wasn’t a Tom Waits “grand weeper.” The song is the lament of a sad old veteran at a bar. One of the most frightening musical moments I’ve heard in years is when LaVette shouts “How the hell do they know what it’s like to have a graveyard for a friend.”

Among the most satisfying cuts is “Before the Money Came (The Battle Of Bettye LaVette).” Not only is it a rocking little number, but LaVette looks back on her career: “Some folks didn’t know my worth/Didn’t know where I fit in/40 years I kept on singin’ before the money started rollin’ in.” It’s a fitting triumph.

Also recommended

* 100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Ms. Jones is the undisputed queen of the current soul revival. She’s been making music since girlhood — singing in church and getting gigs as a background singer for R & B and even disco artists. But she had to keep a day job for too many years. She worked as a corrections officer on Rikers Island in New York — if that ain’l credentials, I don’t know what is.

Jones made several singles for the Desco label in the late ’90s but didn’t make her own album until 2002, when she was in her 40s.

Some accuse the singer of being retro. True, this music fits right in with good old Stax/Volt records. The Dap-Kings are nice and horny, with funky, Steve Cropper-ish guitar by Binky Griptite. True, it’s not hard to imagine Otis Redding singing “When the Other Foot Drops,” and “Let Them Knock” could have been a hit for Carla Thomas. But I don’t find the songs old-fashioned in the least. It’s just strong, honest music — about love, lust, and tears — that I like for the same reason I like those older records.

Jones saved the best for first on this album — the title song is a minor-key steamer. But there’s not a weak tune here. There’s a little Motown gloss on “Tell Me” and a little bit of the swamp in “Nobody’s Baby.” And I bet the trumpet solo at the end of “Keep on Looking” goes on a lot longer when the Dap-Kings perform it live.

* Wattstax: Music from the Wattstax Festival and Film. Speaking of old Stax music, this recently released three-disc collection is a treasure-trove. Most of the material has been released before, but this is definitive.

Wattstax, for the uninitiated, was a 1972 music festival in Los Angeles, organized by the Memphis-based label and emceed by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

There are classic performances by stalwart Stax stars like the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, and Carla Thomas. Unfortunately there’s only one Isaac Hayes song here — “Theme From Shaft.” (Hayes’ full-length At Wattstax is worth seeking out.)

But even more fun is the abundance of worthy, if not as famous, Stax acts such as The Emotions, the Soul Children, Rance Allen, Lee Sain (who does a tune called “Them Hot Pants”), and Hayes’ songwriting partner David Porter. Perhaps my favorite cut is the nine-minute “Son of Shaft” by the wonderful, funky Bar-Kays.


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