Friday, October 31, 2008


Friday, October 31, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Mr. Undertaker by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Wild and Free by Hank Williams III
Jungle Fever by Charlie Feathers
Hillbilly Monster by James Richard Oliver
Wouldn't You Know by Billy Lee Riley
Penny Instead by Charlie Pickett
Bullet in My Mind by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Hush Money by The Collins Kids
The Hydrogen Bomb by Al Rogers & The Rocky Mountain Boys

North to Alaska by Johnny Horton
Hillbilly Fever by Little Jimmy Dickens
Crazy Arms by Jerry Lee Lewis
5,000 Country Music Songs by Ry Cooder
Indeed You Do by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
TV Party by The Asylum Street Spankers
I'm a Fool to Fool Around With You by Hank Thompson
Ghost Woman Blues by George Carter

Down Thru the Holler by Hundred Year Flood
The Wicked Things by Boris McCutcheon & The Saltlicks
How Will You Shine by The Gourds
Million Dollar Funeral by Califone
Forbidden Angel by Mel Street
Snatch It and Grab It by Freddy Hart
Pilgrim on a Train by Gann Brewer
The Bum Hotel by Uncle Dave Macon

Werewolf by Michael Hurley
Murder's Crossed My Mind by Desdemona Finch
Everything is Broken by Bob Dylan
The Gallows by Possessed by Paul James
You Can't Trust Them by Fred Eaglesmith
Something to Think About by Willie Nelson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


Admittedly, I have a hard time envisioning Barack Obama as Moe, but I'm a sucker for the Stooges, so I'm going to post this thing.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 31, 2008

Lou Reed’s Berlin is known as the most depressing album in rock ’n’ roll history.

It was released in 1973, and the critics hated it, calling it bloated and overblown and a huge downer. The public ignored it nearly as thoroughly as did the radio industry, which had made a daring and unlikely hit out of Reed’s gay-life celebration “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Indeed, Berlin was a full-force dive into the wild side. It’s a song cycle about a drug-doomed young couple that involves bad dope, domestic violence, crazy promiscuity, the Child Protective Services, and ultimately, suicide.

As Terry Allen would sing, “Ain’t no Top 40 song.”

And yet Berlin has held up amazingly well through the years. Harrowing lines like “somebody else would have broken both of her arms” and “Caroline says as she gets up from the floor/‘You can hit me all you want to/But I don’t love you anymore’” are no less politically incorrect now than they were 35 years ago, but the sad story of Caroline and Jim is an unflinching look at the dark impulses of love and obsession.

In December 2006, Reed and film director Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) recorded a concert film over a five-night stint in Brooklyn. The DVD, called Lou Reed: Berlin, and the CD, titled Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse, were released this month.

The original Berlin band was basically a rock-royalty supergroup that included bassists Jack Bruce and Tony Levin, Steve Winwood on organ and harmonium, and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. There are some great players on the new version, too, including original Berlin guitarist Steve Hunter and two bassists, longtime sideman Fernando Saunders and Rob Wassermann. Reed’s backup chorus includes soul belter Sharon Jones and bizarro warbler Antony Hegarty. There are strings and horns and even the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

The emotional punch is still there.

The thing about Berlin is that it doesn’t waste a lot of time focusing on the happy times between Jim and Caroline. By the time the ironic “Happy Birthday” segment in the intro plays, grim reality is starting to overshadow any giddy romance. The title song is a bittersweet memory of a small cafĂ©. The guitar and a bluesy piano add a sad counterpoint to Reed, who wearily intones, “It was very nice, oh honey, it was paradise.”

“Lady Day,” which Reed has kept in his live repertoire for years, still sounds potent, with Reed spitting out his description of the hotel Caroline called home. “It had greenish walls/A bathroom in the hall.” You’d thinking he was singing about hell’s most horrible pit.

If anything, the new version of “Oh Jim” is even stronger than the original. Drummer Tony “Thunder” Smith lives up to his nickname in the song’s intro. There’s a tense guitar conversation between Reed and Hunter and a cool call-and-response with Reed and Jones.

But the real core of Berlin has always been the final three songs.

“The Kids,” which deals with the government removing Caroline’s children from her home, is the one that always gets to me. On the St. Ann’s version, Reed fully gets into the character of Jim, practically shouting the lines, “Because number one was the girlfriend from Paris/The things that they did, ah, they didn’t have to ask us/And then the Welshman from India, who came here to stay.” By the end of the song he’s railing against “that miserable rotten slut.”

As in the original, the song ends with a recording of crying children shouting “Mommy! Mommy!” (A weird little tale about the original song from the All Music Guide: “To ensure that the horror of the song truly hit home, producer Bob Ezrin set up a tape recorder in his own home, then, when his children returned from school, told them that their mother was dead. At least, that’s the legend.”)

This is followed by “The Bed,” a somber, almost whispered, suicide song. “This is the place where she lay her head when she went to bed at night/And this is the place our children were conceived/candles lit the room brightly at night/And that odd and fateful night.”

In the new version, the Brooklyn Youth Choir adds eerie, angelic background sounds. Watching the DVD and seeing the sweet faces, you’re almost tempted to scream, “Get those kids outta there! That’s no place for children!”

But unlike the original album, Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse doesn’t stop at “Sad Song.” It includes the encores — “Candy Says” (vocals by Hegarty) and, because this is a Lou Reed concert, after all, a rousing “Sweet Jane.”

But fitting in best with the mood of Berlin is “Rock Minuet,” an overlooked tune from Reed’s 2000 album Ecstasy. It’s an eight-minute descent into sexual violence and murder — an acoustic number occasionally fortified by some truly monstrous electric-guitar solos.

The new Berlin: come for the drugs and suicide, stay for the back-alley throat slashing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Republican Steve Pearce might have been aided by the televised debates between him and Democrat Tom Udall. According to Rasmussen Reports, Pearce gained five percentage points on Udall in the past two weeks.

However, that's just a dent. Udall still leads Pearce 56 percent to 41 percent, according to Rasmussen.

Since Rasmussen's last poll, which was conducted on Oct. 13, Udall lost a little and Pearce gained a little in the favorability ratings.

Udall is now viewed favorably by 58% of voters, down from 64% two weeks ago. Forty percent (40%) view the Democrat unfavorably, up from 33%. Pearce is viewed favorably by 49%, up from 43% two weeks ago. The Republican is viewed unfavorably by 47%, down from 53% in the last poll.

As reported in today's Roundhouse Roundup, Rasmussen found Barack Obama beating John McCain 54-44 percent. (Click HERE for more info.)

According to the poll, (500 likely voters interviewed Tuesday), Gov. Bill Richardson gets good or excellent ratings from 48 percent of New Mexico voters , while 20 percent give him a poor rating.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 1, 2008

San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez made the latest issue of Rolling Stone — and it’s not a review of his band Wyld Country.

And no, it has nothing to do with the controversy surrounding Maez’s association with a certain Public Regulation Commission candidate, although the headline of the article is “Block the Vote.”

The article, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, is about voter disenfranchisement and it tells about the disaster that was the Democratic Party Caucus in February.

The article starts out with an anecdote involving Maez and providing a description of Las Vegas, N.M., that I don’t believe came from the Chamber of Commerce:

“These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line. On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.”

Kennedy and Palast go on to say that in the caucus, “one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists.”

It’s worth noting that the caucus was not run by the state or the various counties, but by the Democratic Party itself. The party did get its lists from the state, but nobody ever has explained what caused the problems, which led to thousands of provisional ballots being cast, which led to the final results not being known for two weeks. (Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama by just a hair.) The party in April canceled a scheduled summit to discuss the problems.

In the article, Maez blames “faulty list management by a private contractor hired by the state.”

That company is ES&S, which has denied any role in the caucus problems. “ES&S’ role related to the New Mexico voter registration database is limited to providing centralized voter registration software, working with the state to implement the centralized system and providing technical support in using the system,” a company spokeswoman told the Associated Press in February.
Another New Mexican quoted in the Rolling Stone story is state Auditor Hector Balderas, who also found his name missing from the voter list during the February caucus.

Kennedy and Palast wrote, “ ‘As a strategic consideration,’ (Balderas) notes, ‘there are those that benefit from chaos at the ballot box.’ ”

Maez has been at the center of one of the major flaps in Jerome Block Jr.’s PRC campaign.

Block admitted lying about $2,500 in public campaign funds that he reported was paid to Wyld Country. Block had maintained that the band had performed at a May 3 rally. But he later admitted the rally never took place after two band members told newspapers there never was such a performance. The New Mexico secretary of state has recommended fines totaling $11,000 for Block and has said Block should return another $10,000 of the public campaign funds he accepted.

Pied Piping: Gov. Bill Richardson on Wednesday practiced what he’s been preaching around the country — he voted early.

Perhaps he felt obligated to vote early after a headline in the South Tampa News and Tribune called him the “Pied Piper Of Early Voting.”

Columnist Joe O’Neill said Richardson gave a “boilerplate pep talk” in Tampa (he gave one of those in Santa Fe on Wednesday, too). But O’Neill said the governor was “Looking and sounding more animated and affable than when he was a presidential candidate … .”

Richardson was in Florida last week campaigning for Obama.

So if Richardson is the Pied Piper, I guess that makes me a rat.

Right after his speech, I went back to the County Courthouse and voted.

I have to bust myself for hypocrisy here. A couple of weeks ago, while covering a political event, I was asked by a nice woman to vote early and I told her something to the effect that early voting was for Communists. Election Day is a nice American tradition and I usually enjoy going to the school near my house, seeing my neighbors, etc.

But on Wednesday morning, early voting looked so quick and easy, I couldn’t resist. (That sounds like the rationalization of a smash-and-grab jewelry store window thief, I realize.)

The wait turned out to be only around five minutes. And while I didn’t see any of my neighbors, I did see several friends and acquaintances, including a certain television reporter whose voting experience took much longer than mine. He “spoiled” his first ballot by accidentally voting both ways on a judicial retention question, so he had to wait for a second ballot.

Latest from Rasmussen: Obama is leading Republican John McCain 54 percent to 44 percent in New Mexico, according to the latest Rasmussen poll released Wednesday.

In the Senate race, Democrat Tom Udall leads Republican Steve Pearce “by a wide margin,” according to the Rasmussen Web site, but the actual numbers won’t be released until today.
The telephone survey of 500 likely voters in New Mexico was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on Tuesday. The margin of error is 4.5 percent.

Got Clout? Richard Greene, host of Air America’s radio show Clout tonight will broadcast his show live from The Santa Fe Film Center, 1616 St. Michael’s Drive. The two-hour show starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free to the first 100. Air America, a liberal talk-show network, broadcasts in Santa Fe on KTRC-1260 AM.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Joe the Plumber
Cedric the Entertainer
Larry the Cable Guy
Rosie the Riveter
Floyd the Barber
Popeye the Sailor
John the Baptist
Conan the Barbarian
Vlad the Impaler
Jack the Ripper
Mott the Hoople

Monday, October 27, 2008


Steve Clemons, a foreign-policy blogger who used to work for Jeff Bingman, blogged this:

I can't validate this and probably won't try for the time being. But I will report a reasonably high quality rumor that reached me from a high quality source.

The rumor is that McClatchy News is trying to report a story that should Barack Obama win the election, most of the key members of his Cabinet will be announced on Friday, November 7th.

And the two most likely candidates for the job of Secretary of State, according to the rumblings are. . . . .Senator John Kerry and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Read the whole post HERE.


Jim Terr weighs in on the Jerome Block controversies. "Block Around the Clock" ( the one at the bottom of this post) is the funniest.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sunday, October 26, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

IT's THAT MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEARHalloween Hootenanny by Zacherle
The Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon by The Cramps
You Must Be a Witch by Dead Moon
Welcome to My Nightmare by Alice Cooper
Halloween by The Misfits
Bo Meets the Monster by Bo Diddley
Werewolf by Southern Culture on the Skids
Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Witchdoctor's Curse by The Frantic Flattops
Haunted House by Jumpin' Gene Simmons

Devil Dance by The A-Bones
Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blonde
The Lonely Vampire by Wee Hairy Beasties
Graveyard Stomp by The Meteors
(It's a) Monster's Holiday by Buck Owens
Heebie Jeebies by Little Richard
Don't Fear the Reaper by Clint Ruin & Lydia Lunch

Necrophiliac in Love by The Blood-Drained Cows
Vampiro by Los Peyotes
Scream and Scream by Screaming Lord Sutch
Ribcage Mambo by Frenchy
House of Voodoo by Half Japanese
Voodoo Voodoo by LaVern Baker
Halloween by Mudhoney
Eye of the Zombie by John Fogerty

Witchcraft in the Air by Bettye LaVette
Zombiefied by Electriccoolade
Feast of the Mau Mau by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
I'm a Mummy by The Fall
The Ghost and Honest Joe by Pee Wee King
Edgar Allen Poe by Lou Reed
Voodoo Trucker by Deadbolt
't Ain't No Sin by Tom Waits with William S. Burroughs
Ghostyhead by Ricki Lee Jones


REP. TOM UDALLMy package of stories o the U.S. Senate race appears in The New Mexican today. The main story is HERE.

The Tom Udall profile is HERE.

The Steve Pearce profile is HERE.

A look at both candidates' campaign contributions is HERE.

And don't forget my story on John McCain's appearance in Albuquerque yesterday. That's HERE.

Kate Nash covered last night's Obama appearance in Albuquerque last night. You'll find that HERE.

I'll be covering the final Udall/Pearce debate tonight. That's on KOAT, Channel 7 at 6 p.m.


Nine days out and Barack Obama is winning all the opinion polls. But he also won a lesser-known poll last week.

According to the fine folks at Baskin-Robbins, more people voted for their flavor "Whirl of Change" ("Peanut-Nougat ice cream whirled with chunks of chocolate-covered peanut brittle and a caramel ribbon") than "Straight Talk Crunch" ("Caramel ribbon, chocolate pieces, candy red states and crunchy mixed nuts swirled into White Chocolate ice cream.")

The vote was close -- 51 percent to 49 percent. The icecream giant didn't break down the numbers according to electoral college votes.

For the record, unless they make a sugar-free version, I won't be trying either flavor.

Saturday, October 25, 2008



John McCain returned to Albuquerque this morning.

Here's the link to my story.

The weirdest thing I heard heard today won't be found in my story. When Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was introducing McCain, he invited New Mexico supporters to visit Myrtle Beach, S.C. There, the senator said, you'll find a new Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not Aquarium, where you can see "Sharks chase Siamese twins."

That might not be an exact quote. Maybe he said the Siamese twins chase the sharks.

Either way, I haven't been able to get that image out of my head since.


Friday, October 24, 2008


Friday, October 24, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Jerry Lee Lewis
Pick Me Up on Your Way Down by Jimme Dale Gilmore
Bye Bye Blues by Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Honky Tonk Hangover by Miss Leslie
Waiting For a Train by Dickey Betts
Pistol Packin' Papa by Jimmie Rogers
Insane Crazy Blues by The Memphis Jug Band
Jesus Throwed Up a Highway For Me by Holy Ghost Sanctified Singers
Ol' Hen by Gus Cannon
Cluck Old Hen by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

Some of Shelly's Blues by Michael Nesmith
That Little Old Winedrinker Me by Sleepy LaBeef
Handcuffed to Love by Johnny Paycheck
Your Atom Bomb Heart by Hank King with Bud Williams & His Smiling Buddies
Sadie's Back in Town by Sonny Burgess
The Wayward Wind by Lynn Anderson with Emmylou Harris
Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City by The Bottle Rockets
Medley of Burned Out Songs by Asylum Street Spankers
Mike the Can Man by Joe West

Neck of Tha Woods by Hundred Year Flood
Waiting for the Demons to Die by Boris & The Saltlicks
Your Red Wagon by Paul Burch & His Honkey Tonk Orchestra
I Ain't Got Nobody by Asleep at the Wheel with Don Walser
Last of the Drifters by Tom T. Hall & Johnny Cash
Girl on the Greenbriar Shore by Bob Dylan
Take a Trip by Rev. Utah Smith
Wee Scary Beasties by Wee Hairy Beasties

Railroad Bill by Greg Brown
Blue Wing by Dave Alvin
The Ballad of Jakeleg Judy by The Dolly Ranchers
Wheels by Fred Eaglesmith
Amanda/A Couple of More Years by Waylon Jennings
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


Two musicians I know have had some serious health problems lately.

Jimmy Carl Black, former Mothers of Invention drummer and still the Indian of the group, has been suffering from leukemia for a few years now. He lived in New Mexico for a few years in the early '80s. He had a local band called Capt. Glasspack & His Magic Mufflers. And yes, he did play drums on "The Green Weenie" on my album way back when.

I saw Jimmy play the Outpost in Albuquerque late last year and he seemed to be doing well. But now I understand he's taken a turn for the worse.

He's living in Germany now. Do send your prayers.

Victoria Armstrong, a singer and songwriter who has performed around Santa Fe for years with her husband Don, recently had coronary bypass surgery and is recovering at her home in Tucson, Margaret Burke tells me. "... and of course the bills are astronomical and they are in need of dinero.."

Therefore Margaret and others are organizing a benefit for Victoria, Sunday Nov. 2 at 2nd St. Brewery. It's a four-hour show starting at 2 pm.

Musicians who are on the bill so far include Margaret Burke, Jim Terr, Steve Guthrie, Janice Mohr-Nelson, Sid Hausman, Raj Badri, Jono Manson, Bill and Bonnie Hearne, Joe West, Arne Bey and Sharon Gilchrist.

"We won't be selling tickets- but hopefully people will be feeling generous and we'll have plenty of hat passing!" Margaret says.

If anyone would like to send them a check:

Don and Victoria Armstrong
p.o. box 40994
Tucson, Az 85717


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 24, 2008

Back in the mid ’60s, when “96 Tears” and “Wooly Bully” ruled the airwaves, the heroes of the sound that would later be termed “garage rock” were Hispanics. Question Mark and all of his Mysterians were Chicanos. So was Domingo Samudio, better known as Sam the Sham, who with The Pharaohs blended Tex-Mex and Memphis soul into an exciting sound.

And even though Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers were gringos, their Sir Douglas Quintet, which included drummer Johnny Perez, also capitalized on the Tex-Mex sound. They might have tried to pass as British, but there was no way to miss the San Antonio in their music.

So with that history, it shouldn’t be surprising that some of the most exciting contemporary bands propagating the garage-band sound come from Spanish-speaking territory. There’s The Hollywood Sinners and Wau y Los Arrrghs from Spain. And from the great nation of Argentina comes Los Peyotes, who recently released their debut album — Introducing Los Peyotes — on London’s Dirty Water Records (also home to The Hollywood Sinners).

These guys have the basic fuzz-Farfisa-and-frantic-rhythm sound down pat. They even get surfy now and then, like on the instrumental opening song, “El Corredor Quemado,” and on “Psicosis V.”

The singer, who goes by the name David Peyote, sometimes sings in English as well as in Spanish. “Action, action ... oh, gimme your love!” he sings in “Action.” Those are some of the only decipherable lyrics in the tune, but really, what more do you need to know?

Just in time for Halloween, there are some good, fun horror hits (well, they ought to be hits) here. My favorite part of “Vampiro” is when the wild bongos come in toward the end. Then there’s “Scream,” which features a recurring screech playing off a frantic guitar.

To show their great debt to the original American garage-band sound, Los Peyotes have a song called “No Puedo Hacerte Mia.” Yes, it’s a Spanish version of The Seeds’ “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” (The original has recently been excavated for an Axe body spray commercial.) Los Peyotes do the song justice. You’d think Sky Saxon had changed his name to Sky Sanchez.

Consumer note: Introducing Los Peyotes is available on as an import. But you can get it cheaper through Dirty Water’s American distributor, Get Hip Recordings. (Click the link, then click “store,” then “exclusive labels,” then “Dirty Water” — you probably can figure it out from there.) Of course it’s even cheaper from your favorite download vendor — eMusic, Amazon, iTunes.

Also recommended:

* Smash Hits
by Figures of Light. This is a bizarre little project from Norton Records. The original Figures of Light was a stripped-down prepunk band from New York City led by singer Wheeler Winston Dixon and guitarist Michael Downey. They were influenced by a lot of the usual suspects — early Stones and Who, The Troggs, The Stooges, The Pretty Things, Blue Cheer, etc. (And though Figures of Light doesn’t list them in the liner notes, it’s obvious The Velvet Underground had a lot to do with their sound as well.)

At the band’s first concert in 1970, they destroyed 15 television sets onstage at Rutgers University. An early poster for FOL described their show as “a rock ’n’ roll violence sonata.”

In 1972, they released their first and only single, “It’s Lame,” backed with “I Jes Wanna Go to Bed.” They pressed 100 copies.

It flopped.

Figures of Light broke up and never looked back.

Until a couple of years ago, that is, when Miriam Linna, high priestess of Norton Records, came across one of the original Figures of Light singles at a swap meet. She tracked down Dixon, now a professor of film studies at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Dixon contacted Downey for the first time in 25 years or so, and Figures of Light was reborn.

After all those years, the group was back in the studio, aided by Linna on drums, her A-Bones bandmate Marcus “The Carcass” Natale on bass, and guitarist Matt Verta-Ray (Jon Spencer’s partner in Heavy Trash). They recorded six new tracks in one day.

Smash Hits includes those songs, some recent live and studio recordings, the original two songs from the “It’s Lame” single, and the infamous “Ritual TV Smashing Finale,” recorded live in 1970. (According to the liner notes, Norton honcho Billy Miller said of this recording, “You guys make ‘Sister Ray’ sound like ‘MacArthur Park.’” He wasn’t far off.)

Basically, this is primitive rock ’n’ roll at its most stripped-down. Even the new recordings capture the lo-fi spirit. Like the punk rock that would erupt after the original FOL folded, the songs are full of a certain nihilism and angst leavened with wicked humor. You know they’re just joking on the 45-second “Why Not Knock Yourself Off”: “If you feel like a chronic complainer, why not knock yourself off?/They’ll put you in a 6-foot container. Why not knock yourself off?”

You’re kidding, right, guys?

My favorite cut has to be “Seething Psychosexual Conflict Blues.” Dixon sings, “Sometimes I feel like a woman; sometimes I feel like a man/I got these seething psychosexual conflicts that you won’t understand, oh no!”

Also worthy is “I Got Spies Watching You,” a reckless rocker with a cool tremolo guitar that was recorded as a demo at a Lincoln, Nebraska, studio in 2007. It’s all raw, crazy, and irresistible to those of us who like it that way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008



Former Rio Arriba County political strongman Emilio Naranjo remained hospitalized at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, but one of his sons told me Wednesday night that he is doing better.

Naranjo, 92, was hospitalized about a week ago because of dizziness and possible heart problems, his son Benny Naranjo, a prosecutor with the 13th Judicial District, said. "He's doing a lot better."

Benny Naranjo said he voted early Wednesday and was wearing his "I Voted" sticker on his tie when he visited his father in the hospital. "He saw that sticker and said, 'Way to go," the younger Naranjo said.

Emilio is a former state senator, county sheriff and longtime Rio Arriba County Democratic Party chairman. He was the top political figure in Rio Arriba for more than 40 years beginning in the 1950s.

I first found out about Emilio being in the hospital on Monday and wrote about it HERE.

I interviewed Emilio nearly 25 years ago for a lengthy cover story in The Santa Fe Reporter. I wish I had that in an electronic form so I could post it on the blog.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Octobber 23, 2008

Is anyone out there not sick of candidate debates yet?

In recent weeks, we’ve seen three presidential, one vice presidential, two U.S. Senate, and I’m not sure how many Congressional debates.

Last week, we even had a double-header — the last Barack Obama/John McCain debate followed minutes later by the first Tom Udall/Steve Pearce debate.

As always, there have been a variety of formats and a plethora of rules. Frequently you see the candidates questioned by a panel of journalists, sometimes just a lone moderator.

Often there are questions from audience members (or e-mailed questions from television viewers). Sometimes the candidates have their own podiums or stools or they have to sit together at the same table.

Some formats discourage interaction between candidates. I remember a 2006 state land commissioner debate between Pat Lyons and Jim Baca in which both seemed eager to challenge each other. It could have been an interesting night, but the candidates kept getting interrupted by a moderator who insisted on sticking with the boring rules and kept going on to the next question instead of allowing Lyons and Baca to go at it.

Then there was the state Public Regulation Commission forum sponsored by business organizations this week in which the candidates got the questions in advance and read from scripts. Nobody better complain about “gotcha” questions there.

Here’s a few things I’d do if I ran the debates:

* First, I’d have a single moderator. It would have to be someone knowledgeable on the issues. And most important, it would have to be someone with enough guts to interrupt and say, “Please answer the question,” to any candidate who started giving a stump speech instead of sticking to the topic at hand.

* The first part of the debate would be a town-hall format with questions from unaffiliated voters. But, unlike the recent presidential town-hall forum in Nashville, Tenn., the questions would not be pre-screened and pre-approved by anyone. Trust the people! Sure, you’ll get some pointed questions, maybe even a few rude ones. You might even get a stray nut ball now and then. But seeing how the candidates handle those unpredictable questions would tell us far more than their canned answers to canned questions.

* The second part would be the candidates questioning one another. These segments hands down have been the most interesting part of the debates between Udall and Pearce. Udall made Pearce praise George Bush, while Pearce socked Udall with an unexpected question about some child-porn bill. Back in 2006, it was a question from Heather Wilson about raising taxes that stumped her Congressional opponent Patricia Madrid — and may have helped cost Madrid the election.

* The final third would be a feature I’ve never seen on any debate, though it’s almost always done these days during post-debate coverage by television networks: fact-checking. You’d have to have a team of journalists frantically Googling during the early parts of the debate to see who got what wrong. The moderator would then confront the erring candidate. If there weren’t enough provable errors, then the rest of the time could be filled by more questions from the audience — or by the candidates.

Of course, if one candidate got his facts wrong significantly more than the other, his supporters would complain that “the media” was biased against him. But chances are, they’re going to make that claim anyway so let ‘em squawk.
Debbie's dad
Mr. White Bucks doesn’t buck White: Here’s one of the stranger celebrity endorsements I’ve seen lately.

Actually, it’s not technically an endorsement, but the 1st District Congressional campaign of Republican Darren White on Wednesday released a statement announcing that singer Pat Boone had presented White with an Honorary Guardian of Seniors’ Rights award.

Boone is national spokesman for a group called the 60 Plus Association — “a non-partisan seniors advocacy group with a free enterprise, less government, less taxes approach to seniors issues,” according to the group’s Web site.

“I am pleased to present this award to Darren White,” Boone said in a statement. “He is a tax cutter, protecting the pocket books of senior citizens. 60 Plus calls on nearly 5 million seniors for support so I believe I can speak on behalf of seniors when I say that they can count on Darren White. Clearly, seniors will have no finer friend in Congress than Darren White.”

Boone praised White for opposing “the death tax,” which actually is called the estate tax.

But the most interesting claim on the news release was the description of Boone — “a recording artist, movie and TV star second to none in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.”

Second to none? Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis and a few dozen others might take issue with that — and that’s just dealing with the ’50s.

Blog Bonus: I wonder if Pat Boone would groove on the cop-rock band that was second to none in the early 90s, Darren White & The Force.

Where the heck is Bill Richardson? The traveling governor was on the campaign trail again this week, this time in Florida.
He was there Tuesday and Wednesday, attending Obama campaign events in Palm Beach, Immokalee, Port Charlotte, Tampa and Kissimmee. This is according to various online newspaper reports. The governor’s office doesn’t make public announcements of when the governor leaves the state.

Next week, according to The Sandusky Register, Richardson will be in Erie County, Ohio.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I meant to post this on Sunday, but my article about Saturday night's debate between Tom Udall and Steve Pearce can be found HERE.

Kate Nash covered the CD3 debate for us Sunday night. You can find her story HERE.

Two weeks and one day left, folks!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Sunday, October 19, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Working Man by The Cellar Dwellers
Grease Box by TAD
Pleasure Unit by The Gore Gore Girls
Mr. Custer Stomp by The Scouts
Louie Louie by Paul Revere & The Raiders
We're Having Much More Fun by X
The Open Mind by Mudhoney
Snake Eyed Suzie by Thee Cybermen
Fat Angel by Jefferson Airplane

A. on Horseback by Charlie Pickett & The Eggs
Angeline by Figures of Light
Baby Stardust by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
Te Voy Odiar by Wau y Los Arrrghs!!!
Blow My Mind by Hollywood Sinners
Action by Los Peyotes
Panic Button by Edgar Allen & The Po' Boys
Long Haired Guys from England by Too Much Joy
Murder in My Heart for the Judge by Moby Grape
Woody Woodpecker by Mel Blanc & The Sportsmen

Moonlight Drive by The Doors
Flames Over Nebraska by Pere Ubu
Lizard's Tongue by Dickie B. Hardy
I'm Gonna Kill You Tonight by Lightning Beat-Man
Don't Go Away by Thee Midnighters
Haywire Hodaddy by The Hodads
Do the Trouser Press by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
The Weirdness by The Stooges
Welcome to My Mind by Duggie Ward

Loneliness by Junk
Do Lord Remember Me by Mississippi John Hurt
You Better Run by Junior Kimbrough & The Soul Blues Boys
Rock Minuet by Lou Reed
Lucky Day by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, October 17, 2008


Friday, October 17, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Huntsville by Merle Haggard
Plastic Love by The Riptones
The Struggle in the Puddle at the Bottom of the Bottle by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Good Girls by Bovine
Little Red Corvette by The Gear Daddies
Burn Your Fun by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Davy Crocket by Thee Headcoatees
No Swallerin' Place by June Carter
On This Mountain Top by Johnny Paycheck
Then You'll Know What It Means to Be Blue by Spade Cooley

Tell Ol' Bill by Bob Dylan
Absolutely Sweet Marie by Jason & The Scorchers
Billy 1 by Los Lobos
One Good Gal by Charlie Feathers
The Young Psychotics by Tav Falco
Real Cool Ride by The Hillbilly Hellcats
Ridin' With the Blues by Ry Cooder
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O Dee by Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio

Between the Whiskey and the Wine by Miss Leslie
Brothers of the Bottle by George Jones
The Drinking Song by Loudon Wainwright III
Wreck on the Highway by The Waco Brothers
Bulldozers and Dirt by Drive-By Truckers
The Winner by Bobby Bare
Crawdad Hole by Gus Cannon

Loser by Dave Alvin
Moon Gone Down by The Gourds
Tennessee by Last Mile Ramblers
Killing Me by Fred Eaglesmith
Former American Soldier by Chip Taylor
Night Accident by Robbie Fulks
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Thursday, October 16, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Octobber 17, 2008

Warning: Between the Whiskey and the Wine by Miss Leslie is unadulterated hard-core, heartache honky-tonk music. Don’t look for irony. Don’t look for hipster detachment. This is real emotion. Nothing cute here. This is the sacred ground where Tammy Wynette and Kitty Wells have tread. Yuppie slummers, get packing.

Leslie Anne Sloan’s clear, intense voice just stops you in your tracks. Unlike many female country singers, there’s nothing sugary, flirty, or kittenish about Miss Leslie’s voice. She enunciates every word and sings with a power that lets you know she means every word that leaves her lips.

The liner notes let you know that this is a very personal album. According to one of Leslie’s hometown papers, the Houston Press, the singer went through a “rough divorce” (are there any easy ones?) since her previous album. The songs here — every one an original — deal with her struggles with alcohol and coping with the divorce. Archetypal country fare to be sure, but nothing on this album sounds like a clichĂ©.

“This album is about a journey I started several years ago — a journey toward finding myself and living that person without apologies,” she writes in the CD’s booklet. “This album is mainly for anyone who has lost themselves — and ever tried to find themselves in something else — whether it was a bottle, another person, or a song.”

While Leslie’s earlier records — Honky Tonk Revival and the live Honky Tonk Happy Hour — are good authentic Texas country stompers, neither has the emotional punch of Between the Whiskey and the Wine. When she sings lines like, “So keep pouring drinks until I can’t remember/ Cause that’s the only way I know I’m bound to heal” (on “I Can Still Feel”) or “A shot of Makers on my left, a glass of red on my right and somewhere in the middle you’ll find me” in the title song, you get the feeling she knows what she’s talking about.

Even on upbeat songs with hints of humor, like “Honky Tonk Hangover” (“My head is sore, I smell like beer/And all my money is gone”), there’s a troubling aura of truth that gives a troubling aura of truth that give the songs an edge.

Adding power to Leslie’s music is her band, a bunch of two-step studs known as Her Juke-Jointers. The steel guitar of Ricky Davis (who has played in the bands of Dale Watson, Gary P. Nunn, The Derailers, and Asleep at the Wheel) and the fiddle, played by Leslie herself, drive the sound. Rounding out the Juke-Jointers are Ric Ramirez on upright bass (he’s served time with Wayne “The Train” Hancock) and Timmy Campbell on drums.

After a dozen heartbreakers, the last song on the record, “Love Will Find You,” is like a ray of hope. Leslie sings it with just as much conviction as she does her woozy, boozy laments.

Also recommended:

*Dirt Don’t Hurt by Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs. OK, I’m not completely down on ironic, hipster takes on country music.

This lady is probably doomed to be best known for singing, “I love Jack White like a little brother,” in her funny little cameo on The White Stripes’ novelty song, “It’s True That We Love One Another.”

But there’s a reason The Stripes would want Holly on their album. Though not that well known in the States, she has released about a dozen solo albums, plus a couple of live recordings, since the early ’90s. She’s also done a couple of duet albums with British garage band guru Billy Childish. She began her career with a Childish offshoot, Thee Headcoatees, a not-so-slightly deranged garage/punk take on the girl-group sound. (The group did funny odes to Jackie Chan, Davy Crockett, and Santa Claus.)

And yes, “Holly Golightly” is her real name — Holly Golightly Smith, to be exact — even though some assume she lifted it from the character in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Her latest album — the second released under the name Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs — is a bluesy country romp with a jug-band spirit. The first album under that name was last year’s You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying.

Dirt Don’t Hurt was recorded in five days in Spain. Holly sings and plays guitar and banjo, while “The Brokeoffs” — actually her longtime sidekick “Lawyer Dave” Drake — sings and plays several stringed and percussion instruments. He gets a solo spotlight on the blues-drenched “Cora.”

One of the coolest songs here is a barnyard meditation called “Cluck Old Hen,” which is, in fact, about a female chicken. “Kick and squall, cackle and strut/I think everyone hates her guts.”

Holly and Dave get nice and spooky on the minor-key “Burn Your Fun,” which warns of religious fanatics taking over. “Better run, better run, better burn your fun/Preacher man’s comin’ for you.”

Religion’s on their minds on another tune, “Gettin’ High for Jesus” (”I’m gettin’ high for Jesus, cause He got so low for me”) featuring a squawking harmonica and tremolo guitar.

By far the prettiest tune on the album, and indeed, one of the most gorgeous country melodies I’ve heard in years, is “Up Off the Floor,” a slow waltz that reminds me a lot of “Tennessee Blues” by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge.


Good news for the Democrats in the latest Rasmussen poll in this Enchanted Land.

Barack Obama is leading John McCain 55 percent to 42 percent -- that's a margin of 13 percentage points -- while Tom Udall is leading Steve Pearce 57 percent to 37 percent, 20 big ones.

Check out the presidential poll HERE and the Senate poll HERE.

Obama has a 17-point lead among Hispanics in New Mexico. He leads by 15 among women but trails by eight among men.

Rasmussen conducted the telephone survey of 700 likely voters on Monday -- obviously before last night's presidential and Senate debates. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

There were also numbers for the current president and out governor.

Just 27 percent of likey voters in New Mexico say Presdient Bush is doing a good or excellent job.

Gov. Bill Richardson fares better, but he's below 50 percent. Those polled, by a margin of 48 percent say he's doing a good or excellent job. Only 17 percent say he's doing a poor job.


Kate Nash and I put together a story on the Manny Aragon conviction. You can see it HERE.
And as for the question about the Manny M. Aragon Torreon, the executive director of the center, Eduardo Diaz, told me the center's board at its meeting next month will be looking at the possibility of renaming the tower.

I also covered the Tom Udall/Steve Pearce debate. That story is HERE.

Finally, here's a Youtube that's been making the rounds on political blogs. It's the only debate you really need to see.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Octobber 16, 2008

I don’t usually write about conspiracy theories. My masters at the Trilateral Commission discourage such discussion.

But lately I, as well as other reporters, have been hearing a political scenario that doesn’t seem all that implausible.
They know you're reading this blog
As is the case with about 97 percent of all political discussion in Santa Fe in recent weeks, it has to do with the Public Regulation Commission race between Democrat Jerome Block Jr. and Green Party candidate Rick Lass.

First, some background for those who haven’t been keeping up. Block has admitted he wasn’t telling the truth about a $2,500 campaign expense paid to his friend San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez. Block claimed on the document, and to reporters, the money was for Maez’s country band to play at a rally — an event that later turned out never to have occurred. After this news hit the papers last month, Block returned the money — which came from public election funds — to the state. The secretary of state and attorney general are looking into the matter as a possible fourth-degree felony.
Jerome the Younger
The gist of the scenario is as follows. (Remember, all this is speculation.)

The Attorney General’s Office files criminal charges against Block for filing false campaign finance reports — but not before the Nov. 4 election.

Block, despite a steady stream of bad publicity for months, wins the election.

Sometime after the charges are filed, Block is heavily pressured to step down.

At this point, Gov. Bill Richardson steps in and appoints his own choice, a less-objectionable Democrat, to the 3rd District PRC seat.

You don’t have to believe in chemtrails to wonder if something like this might be in store.

There’s at least a couple of versions of this going around. One friend of mine theorized that Attorney General Gary King is in on the deal, and he would purposely “drag his feet” on filing charges against Block to make the rest of the story all come true.

Another friend of mine — a Democrat who isn’t fond of either Block or Lass — presented this scenario to me not as a conspiracy theory but as his personal fantasy of what he hopes will happen. In this person’s version, “Richardson appoints someone decent” to the PRC.

Of course, Richardson might not be around to appoint anybody. There’s widespread speculation that if Barack Obama is elected president next month, he’ll tap the governor for some post in the new administration.

More Richardson travels: The governor remains active in his out-of-state campaigning for Obama.

On Oct. 3, he traveled to Wisconsin, where he attended events for Obama in Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls. “I am here because Wisconsin will elect the next president of the United States,” he told a crowd of about 100 at a Mexican restaurant in Milwaukee, according to a report on by reporter Russell Korinek.

Six days later, he flew to Washington state, where one blogger wrote, “Richardson was a big hit in Spokane Thursday, making a speech to the annual luncheon sponsored by the Gallatin Group and Avista at the Davenport Hotel, and revving up the Democratic troops for Obama and (Washington Gov.) Chris Gregoire later in the afternoon at the Carpenters’ Union Hall in the Logan Neighborhood.”

The next day, Richardson was in Nevada, where he spoke to a Students of Color Leadership Symposium and other events in Las Vegas, then up to Reno, where he predicted “that his state, Colorado and Nevada will prove pivotal in the presidential election,” according to one Reno television Web site.

This week’s New Yorker: I don’t know whether Richardson will be on hand in Las Cruces on Friday to greet Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, who is scheduled to appear at an Obama rally there.
But if he is, I bet he might want to discuss an item from a profile on Biden in this week’s New Yorker.

In the piece on the Delaware senator — who like Richardson ran for the 2008 presidential nomination — reporter Ryan Lizza writes about a conversation between the two.

“According to a senior Biden aide, after a debate in which Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor, argued that he could have all hundred and sixty thousand American troops out of Iraq in a matter of months — something that is logistically beyond reach, according to most observers — Biden approached Richardson backstage and told him that the plan was impossible.

Richardson didn’t seem concerned. ‘I know it is,’ he said. (A spokesman for the Governor said that Richardson does not recall the exchange.)”


Manny Aragon, former state Senate president pro-tem and Majority Leader, pleaded guilty this morning to three federal felony counts of conspiracy and mail fraud in the Metropolitan Courthouse scandal.

According to his plea agreement, he'll serve 5 and a half years in federal prison.

Read an Associated Press account HERE.

According to one AP account Aragon told reporters outside the federal courthouse today “It wasn’t a very happy day for me,” and said he was eager “to put this behind us and move forward.”

But just a year ago, I covered his arraignment, after which he told reporters, "Those of you who were in the courtroom know that I have pleaded not guilty. I have only one further statement. I am completely innocent."

I wonder if this means the National Hispanic Culture Center will change the name of this tower?



Public Regulation Commission candidate Jerome Block, Jr.'s latest campaign finance report has lots of interesting stuff. Read Doug Mattson's story HERE .
One expense that caught my eye was a minor one -- a $35.91 payment for a lunch at Twin Peaks, an Albuquerque restaurant that has nothing to do with the greatest TV show of the late 80s and early 90s.

There doesn't seem top be a Web site for the Albuquerque location, but here's one for the Twin Peaks in Austin. Be sure to click the "scenic views" tab.

Here's a review of the eatery published a year ago in The Weekly Alibi. The paper says Twin Peaks is "a fairly new twist on the old Hooters formula of meat + beer + boobs = happy guys ..."

My favorite part of the review:

Our server, Gina, was clad in the regulation uniform of a tiny red-and-black checkered flannel tie-top with an open front, the shortest shorts imaginable and cutsie faux-wilderness-whacking boots. As expected, you can really see more meat on these ladies than on the chicken wings they’re hawking, and the wings are pretty meaty.
Block's report doesn't specify what he ordered.

Block, remember is using public campaign financing.

CORRECTION: The Albuquerque Twin Peaks doesn't have a fancy Web site, but they do have a MySpace. Under "About Me" it says "All female wait staff. NO SIDEWORK ..."


Slate online magazine this week published a story about New Mexico as a swing state. Reporter Jacob Leibenluft toured the state from Las Cruces to Raton. He was in Santa Fe for the Caroline Kennedy visit where he interviews state Auditor Hector Balderas.

One thing that stuck me is Leibenluft's contention while noting the small turnout for Caroline, that "many of the press reports about her visit erroneously said the event wasn't open to the public." That's certainly not true in any of this reporter's press reports -- and I don't remember seeing that in other papers either. I do recall that Caroline's appearance at PC's wasn't announced until the day before (I confirmed it the night before it was announced) and that until then all of her New Mexico events were closed fundraisers. That had been reported by myself and others.

Anywho, check out the Slate story: CLICK HERE.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention the story published yesterday in The Guardian. Nice photo too.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I appeared Friday on KNME's IN FOCUS as a part of the panel for The Line.


Hank Williams, Jr. campaigned with John McCain and Sarah Palin today. He sang a little song.

But for those of you who prefer Ralph Stanley, here's what the doctor says:

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Sunday, October 12, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Where's Your Boyfriend At by The Yahoos
A. on Horseback by Charlie Pickett & The Eggs
Generation by The Jelly Bean Bandits
Lost Avenue by Johnny Dowd
Red Eyes and Tears by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Inside Out Over You by Mudhoney
English Civil War by The Clash
Big Brother by Mose Allison

Monster Rock by Screaming Lord Sutch
I Think of Demons by Roky Erikson
(Check out my Spooktacular podcast HERE)
Attack of the Zorch Men by The Meteors
They Have Us Surrounded by The Dirtbombs
Draygo's Guilt by The Fall
Action by Los Peyotes
It's Lame by Figures of Light
Thee Olde Trip to Jerusalem by The Mekons
Cheap Thrills by Ruben & The Jets

Highway Man by Howlin' Wolf
Wolfman's Romp by The Juke Joint Pimps
Work Me Baby by Junior Kimbrough
Stalking My Woman by Howard Tate
Ain't No Sunshine by Freddie King
Washerteria Woman by Little Freddie King

Tonya's Twirls by Loudon Wainwright III
So Long Marianne by Leonard Cohen
East Easy Rider by Julian Cope
Rickity Tickity Tin by Barbara Manning
Spiral by Giant Sand
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


Here's my 90 e-Music downloads for this month:

* Sun Recordings by Howlin' Wolf. Before he moved to Chicago and became a giant on Chess Records, Wolf recorded for pre-Elvis Sun records in Memphis.

This collections shows Wolf doing what he does best -- raw, minimalist blues. Nobody can deny there is power here. "Chocolate Drop" is just good stomping fun. "Drinkin' CV Wine," with Wolf singing in a higher key than usual, makes it sound cool to be a wino, and "In the Groove" is a Memphis blues refiguring of Glen Miller's "In the Mood."

While this material is not quite the quality of the classic tunes that would mark his tenure at Chess. Not that the material is bad here -- it's just that there's nothing on par with "Smokestack Lightning," "Goin' Down Slow" "Back Door Man" or "Killing Floor."

Still, it's a joy hearing Wolf develop his talent, showing hints of what was in store.

Junior Kimbrough*All Night Long by Junior Kimbrough. It was the Charlie Feathers reissues I recently reviewed that made me crave a little more Junior Kimbrough in my life. (The Feathers retrspectives included a couple of duets by Charlie and Junior)

This was Kimbrough's first album, and indeed one of the albums that helped launch Fat Possum back in 1992. Kimbrough, along with fellow Mississippi Hill Country bluesman R.L Burnside, were the embodiment of the back-to-basics Fat Possum blues asthetic of that era.

Some of Kimbrough's best-known songs are here -- "You'd Better Run," "Do the Romp," "Stay All Night," "Done Got Old." (And some of the tunes I already had from Fat Possum Compilations.)

Kimbrough's high-pitched moan and the rough-cut minimalist guitar/bass/drum musical backdrop create a hypnotic sound. You feel like you've isolated the basic DNA of American music right here.

I shall make the Earth my home and I shall never ever leave it * Teenagers From Outer Space by The Meteors. This is classic psychobilly from England by one of the first bands to embrace the term.

They have the punked-up rockabilly sound down like perfect masters. And one thing I like about them from the start is that they don't try to sound like they're from Tennessee. Their British accents are loud and proud. Jon Langford could jam with The Metoers and not sound out of place.

Much of their songs on this album are horror. "My Daddy is a Vampire" and "Graveyard Stomp" make me think Screaming Lord Sutch was an influence. There's even a song called "Voodoo Rhythm." Could this be where my favorite Swiss record company got its name?

The Metors do science fiction too -- "Dog Eat Robot" and "Jupiter Stroll" for instance. In fact the album title comes from one of the tackiest '50s sci-fi B movies I've ever seen.

And they do a fine version of The Electric Prunes' "Get Me to the World on Time."

I'm weak and I'm afraid *Make It Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson. This Memphis maniac's been a sideman for Alex Chilton and Tav Falco and used to write for Cream magazine. But that doesn't matter. He's a complete nut, at least on stage. "What part of I have a personality disorder don't you get?" he chides an audience on one tune here. And yet he's actually pretty lovable. In real life he works as a librarian.

Backed by his bands including The Young Seniors, Our Favorite Band and American Musical Fantasy, that offer up ragged-but-right versions of songs like "Theme From a Summer Place," "Mr. Blue," "Last Date,"and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying." Ross rants, raves and tells shaggy dog epics kind of like a cross between The Legendary Stardust Cowboy and Roy D. Mercer.

Sand gets in your eyes
*Provisions by Giant Sand. I'm still absorbing this one. This is Giant Sand's first album in four years or so -- though Sandman in chief Howe Gelb has released solo efforts in between. I'm not the first writer who's expressed confusion at what constitutes a Giant Sand album vs. a Howe Gelb album.

Gelb already named a previous album "Glum" (which still is one of my favorites), but that title would have fit this record as well. There's a somber tone throughout. Gelb's raspy voice seems almost a whisper on many tunes.

The piano-bar apocalyptic lament "Spiral" -- in which Isobel Campbell adds background vocals -- might be Gelb's "Everybody Hurts." It don't get much glummer than this.

Provisions rarely breaks out and rocks, (though it gets close with some crazy guitar on the instrumental "World's End State Park" and a few chaotic moments on "Muck Machine" and "Belly Full of Fire") but the noirish tremolo guitar and the late-night truckdriver radio melodies that grace several of the cuts make this album an intriguing listen.

* The rest of Introducing Los Peyotes . I'd snatched the first few tracks last month (plus one of the songs, "El Humo Te Hace Mal" when it was released as a "single" several months ago.)

The Argentines are one exciting little band. Offering original Farfisa-fueled garage rock they play mainly original Spanish songs. But they also do a fine take on The Seeds' "I Can't Seem to Make You Mine."


* "CIA Man" by The Fugs. Here's the other side of "Secret Agent Man." No kissing of persuasive lips here. I heard this during the credits of Burn After Reading and had to have it. This is the 1986 version of The Fugs. The music is a little more focused, a little less chaotic than their '60s incarnation.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


My daughter apparently found this old New Mexican house ad from 1995. It's me with my lovely children 13 years ago.

You can actually read the copy if you check out the LARGE version.



The Secretary of State's office this morning released Jerome Block Jr.'s official response to questions about his $2,500 campaign expenditure, of which he has admitted lying.

Here's the Public Regulation Commission candidate's explanation:

In April of 200 I entered into an agree with Mr. Paul Maez of the Wyld Country Band to play at a campaign event scheduled for May in La's Vegas, N.M. Our campaign was to pay $2,500 for this performance. In accordance with the New Mexico campaign reporting Act ... the payment for this performance was reported on Form C of the Report of Expenditures & Contributions as campaign expenditure for “Rally Entertainment.” This form was filed with your office on July 3rd, 2008.

Due to a scheduling conflict Mr. Maez’s band was unable to play on that date. In light of this, we agreed that the band would play at another event before the June primary. Subsequent to making those arrangements, Mr. Maez informed me that his band would be unable to play an event by June 3rd. Based on our agreement, I decided to set aside those funds for the sole purpose of paying him for a later performance. Inasmuch, I reported the $2,500 as an expenditure on Form C as “Rally Entertainment” for the purpose of paying a band for its performance in the future.

At some point I erroneously stated to Mr. David Giuliani of the Las Vegas Optic that the Wyld Country Band had in fact played at an event. I negligently made this statement. My negligence was due to the pressure and details of the campaign. My intent was not to mislead, confuse or disguise any expenditure on the part of my campaign.

On Sept. 24th, 2008 I explained to Mr. Giuliani via e-mail that the band had not played, but was planning to at a later event. Because of the attention given to this discrepancy, and to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I canceled a campaign rally scheduled for September 27th, 2008 in Las Vegas at which the band was scheduled to play. Upon canceling this event, Mr. Maez returned the $2,500 to my campaign. Because this money was unspent and unencumbered by any future debts it was returned to the Public Election Fund on September 26th in accordance with the New Mexico Election Code ...

This response will raise more questions about Block. It's not clear from this exactly when or why Block cancelled his Sept. 27 rally.

In a Sept. 18 interview with The New Mexican's Doug Mattson -- which took place when Block was sticking with his story that Wyld Country had played the May rally which he claimed attracted 75 to 100 people -- Block said he was cancelling the Sept. 27 shindig because of the possible perception of "impropriety" because Maez also serves as San Miguel County clerk. His response to the Secretary of State appears to say he cancelled it because of the attention given to the "discrepancy" of the May rally never actually taking place.

UDATE: My story posted on The New Mexican's site is HERE

A pdf of Block's response is HERE

Block's opponent Rick Lass of The Green Party responded to Block's response. He said:

First, it is clearly illegal to use primary funds for the general election under the campaign financing law. For Jerome to make a payment to the band using primary funds for a gig to be played in September is against the law, and he acknowledges in yesterday's letter that that is what he did.

His campaign finance report of July 3 shows he made the payment June 9, after the primary election was held.

He says that he lied to Giuliani because of the pressure of media calls. If he can't handle the pressure of accounting for his actions to his constituents, how will he stand up to the pressure of industry lobbyists and the media spotlight if he is a PRC Commissioner?

I worked hard along with other activists to enact public campaign financing, and one of the objections we heard was that candidates would use public funds improperly. We said that that would not happen because there would be strong enforcements written into the law. I call on the Secretary of State and Attorney General to act swiftly and decisively in this matter to uphold the integrity of the public financing system.

Jerome's most recent letter merely adds to his history of missteps and misstatements, and proves that he is unfit to hold the critical job of representing New Mexicans on the Public Regulation Commission.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Friday, October 10, 2008
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
Maverick by Laurie Lewis & Kathy Kallick
Burn Your Fun by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Pride Covered Ears by Johnny Paycheck
I Ain't Got Nobody by Merle Haggard
Jasperoux by Buckwheat Zydeco
Boney White Moon by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Johnny Cash by Ry Cooder
Joe Bean by Johnny Cash
Mississippi by Bob Dylan

Cheap Living by Eric Hisaw
I Say a Little Prayer for You by Mary & Mars
Bring 'em All In by Mike Scott
Hopes Up High by The Flatlanders
Shoot for the Moon by Bovine
I'm Wasting Good Paper by Eugene Chadbourne

Loudon Wainwright III Set
All songs by LW3 except where noted
Black Uncle Remus
School Days (by LW3, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Rufus & Martha Wainwright)
The Swimming Song
Me and My Friend the Cat
A Fine Celtic Name
How Old Are You?
New Paint
Prince Hal's Dirge
A Father and a Son
Needless to Say

Jacob's Ladder by Greg Brown
16 Tons by Joe Cocker
The Ghost of May West by Trailer Bride
Pretty Girl by Miss Leslie
Will You Visit Me on Sunday by Marty Stuart & Loretta Lynn
Last Drop by Chris Mars
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


Public Regulation Commission candidate Jerome Block, Jr. today delivered a response to the Secretary of State as to why he lied on a campaign finance report about public money he spent.
But the Secretary of State’s office refused to let reporters see Block’s response.

The embattled Block delivered his written response shortly before 5 p.m. However spokesmen for Secretary of State Mary Herrera said the document wouldn’t be released until Monday at the earliest because Herrera and a deputy hadn’t had the chance to review the response.

Asked why it was important for the office to review the letter before letting reporters see it, spokesman James Flores said, “We don’t want to get inundated with calls about something we haven’t seen.”

Attempts to get a copy of the response from Block were unsuccessful.

The Secretary of State's Office on Monday of this week sent the letter to Block, asking him to "clarify" why he lied about a $2,500 expenditure in public campaign funds. The office also wanted to know Block’s explanation for a Sept. 24 e-mail exchange with a Las Vegas Optic reporter, in which Block admitted lying.

Block at first said he gave the $2,500 in public funds to San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez's band, Wyld Country, to perform at a May rally. But he changed his story last month after two band members said there was no such performance.

At stake could be the seat Block hopes to win in November. Under the state Voter Action Act, violation of the statutes mentioned in the secretary of state's letter constitute a fourth-degree felony, and -- should matter go to trial and result in a conviction -- could strip Block of his right to vote.

The law also says a candidate who violates the Voter Action Act could face a civil penalty of $10,000 per violation and could be required to pay back all campaign funds. Between the primary and general-election races, Block has received $101,000 in state money.

Read more in Saturday's New Mexican. (Will update with link)

UPDATE: 7:49 p.m. James Flores called to tell me the document will be released on Saturday.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 10, 2008

It’s hardly a new phenomenon for musicians to go back and re-record their old songs for new albums. Mostly these are business ploys. A record company persuades an old pro to redo his songs and purposely make them sound as close to the original hits as possible. This way the company can market a “Greatest Hits” package without having to license the original recording from the old record company. Virgin Records did this with Roy Orbison in the 1980s.

Likewise, sometimes musicians who don’t have the rights to their own early recordings will re-record and repackage those songs themselves. John Prine did this with Souvenirs, released on his own Oh Boy label in 2000.

But occasionally an aging artist will revisit his old songs as a purely artistic exercise. That seems to be the case with Recovery, the latest album by Loudon Wainwright III, which features songs from his first four albums, going back to the early 1970s.

Most of the 13 songs here were originally recorded with just Wainwright’s piercing voice and his acoustic guitar. They’ve been rearranged for this album with the help of producer (and longtime Wainwright fan) Joe Henry, who brought in the same basic band he used for Wainwright’s previous album, Strange Weirdos.

While this CD isn’t just an exercise in nostalgia for baby boomers, the songs will bring back memories for old-time Wainwright fans. Listening to it last week, I immediately recalled the first time I heard Wainwright screeching “Me and My Friend the Cat” on KUNM late one night in 1972.

The song selection is nearly impeccable. If I were compiling a “Best of Loudon: The Early Years” retrospective, just about all of these songs would be there — though I would have included “Me and My Friend the Cat” and the terrifying “Hospital Lady.”

Most of these tunes are like old friends to me — including the song “Old Friend,” which is about a man realizing that he no longer has anything in common with a buddy but the past. Fortunately that’s not the case with the songs here. Unlike some friendships, nearly all of the tunes have held up extremely well over the past four decades.

One of the most fascinating realizations in listening to these songs is how Wainwright, even though he was in his 20s when he wrote these songs, often wrote from the perspective of an old man looking back on his youth. “In Delaware when I was younger” are the first words on “School Days,” the first track on his first album (Loudon Wainwright III, 1970) and one of the songs included here.

In “New Paint,” a song about a man’s awkwardness on a date with a woman, the singer sadly declares, “If I were 16 again, I’d give my eye tooth/I’m tired and I’m hungry and I’m lookin’ for my youth.”

And of course there’s “Old Friend,” where Wainwright sings, “The good old days are good and gone now/That’s why they’re good, because they’re gone.” When he first sang this, those “good old days” couldn’t have been long gone, unless he was singing about some kid he hadn’t seen since kindergarten

While the original versions of these songs were powerful, now — sung by a 60-plus Wainwright — they are infused not only with a tangible wistfulness but also with an earned wisdom. “New Paint” in particular takes on a new sadness. Nobody really believed Wainwright in 1973 when he sang, “Sometimes I feel ugly and old” and that he was a “used-up 20th-century boy.” But now, aided by Greg Leisz’s heartache steel and Patrick Warren’s pensive piano, those lines are jolting.

“Motel Blues,” a tune about luring a girl to his room (“Chronologically I know you’re young/But when you kissed me in the club you bit my tongue”), takes on new implications. Singing it back in the ’70s, Wainwright sounded desperate when he cried, “Come up to my motel room — save my life!” But now that line sounds literal, though Wainwright sings it as if he’s resigned to the fact that the girl probably won’t succumb to his pleas.

Perhaps the most powerful track on Recovery is “Saw Your Name in the Paper.” This song was inspired by the death of Janis Jo though she’s never mentioned by name. For years I’ve suspected that it might also have been partly directed at Wainwright’s childhood friend Liza Minnelli. Maybe that’s because of the line “Your mother must be happy — they said you stole the show.”

But whether it’s about Janis, Liza, or the next American Idol winner, the song is a meditation on the dark side of fame and the fickleness of the celeb-loving public.

“Maybe you’ll get famous. Maybe you’ll get rich/It’s all right.
Don’t be afraid. Lots of us got that itch/Lots of us, we need it. We need it really bad/Lots of us are desperate. Lots of us are sad.”

And yes, as is the case with most of his tunes, the song turns out to be about Wainwright himself. It was written about the time he was being touted as a potential “new Dylan” (one of about 863 “new Dylans” of that era). Wainwright’s only partially successful quest for fame has been a frequent topic in his songs. There was “AM World,” “Two-Song Set,” “The Grammy Song, “Harry’s Wall” and of course, the title song of his 1983 album, “Fame and Wealth,” just to name a few.

The one low point on the album is the last song. I won’t call “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry” a clunker, but this is the one early Wainwright song I wouldn’t have included. I never understood its appeal, even when Johnny Cash covered it. It’s the biggest production number on Recovery — with a string quartet — but this weird little parable doesn’t hold a candle to the rest of the tunes.

But for the most part, Recovery reminds me why I first became a Wainwright cultist all those years ago and why he continues to be such a worthy artist.

Baby, it’s a public radio world: You knew I couldn’t resist doing a Loudon Wainwright III tribute on the radio. Tune in to Terrell’s Sound World, 10 p.m. Sunday on KSFR-FM 101.1 for some old, new, and in-between Loudon. The Wainwright segment starts at the 11th hour. (And don’t forget The Santa Fe Opry, 10 p.m. Friday, on KSFR.)


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