Thursday, September 30, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 1, 2010

Call this one Hank III’s “contractual obligation” album.

Rebel Within, the fifth album on Curb Records by the grandson of the sainted Hank Williams, has plenty to like, and there’s nothing really bad on it. Still, it lacks the punch of most his previous works, especially 2006’s Straight to Hell. This one has the feel of an odds ’n’ sods outtakes record.

I’m not exactly sure how a radical troublemaker like Hank III — whose heart lies in the world of hardcore punk as much if not more than in that of country music — ever got hooked up with a label like Curb in the first place. True, young Hank’s dad, Hank Williams Jr., has recorded on Curb for years. But by most reports, Hank III has long been estranged from Junior — who calls Kid Rock his “rebel son.”

Curb your enthusiasm: The company is run by Mike Curb, a political conservative and former lieutenant governor of California. He was also a musician, heading a vocal group called The Mike Curb Congregation. The MCC provided background vocals for the Sammy Davis, Jr. hit “The Candyman” and had a hit of its own with “It’s a Small World” — yes, the theme from the Disneyland ride. The Congregation also backed Hank Jr. on the pre-outlaw-country schlock hit “All For the Love of Sunshine.” Back in 1970, when he was head of MGM and Verve Records, Curb gained national notoriety for dropping 18 acts from the label, including The Velvet Underground, for suspected drug use.

It’s not surprising that a self-described hell-raiser and vocal advocate for drinkin’, druggin’, and — at least at one point a few years ago — devil worship would knock heads with someone like Mike Curb. Curb and Hank III have been involved in several lawsuits through the years. The company didn’t want to release a record by the singer’s punk band, Assjack. That’s certainly their prerogative.

But, in an example of pure music-industry evil, Curb also fought hard to keep Hank III from taking it to another label or releasing it on his own. The company even got a court order stopping the artist from selling self-burned copies of Assjack CDs at his shows.

As Hank III and The Louvin Brothers would say, “Satan is real.”

Hank III responded by selling T-shirts at his concerts emblazoned with the message "Fuck Curb!” He also refuses to sell his Curb CDs at his shows.

Back to the record: But maybe the slapdash, so-long-Curb-Records nature of Rebel Within isn’t the only the reason for the more subdued spirit of the album. Some songs here deal directly with the consequences of nonstop partying, crazy indulgence, and addiction. If Straight to Hell and Damn Right, Rebel Proud were parties, this one is the hangover.

The first song is called “Gettin’ Drunk and Fallin’ Down.” And, like other songs on the album, such as “Lost in Oklahoma” and “Drinkin’ Ain’t Hard to Do,” it’s more about fallin’ down than it is about the joys of gettin’ drunk. “It’s the kind of living that’s going to put me in the ground,” he moans. And you believe him.

In the title song Hank sings “The more I try to do right it just seems wrong/I guess that’s the curse of living out my songs.” This is an obvious reference to a line from a famous tune by his dad: “Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?”

Then there’s “#5,” a slow honky-tonker with heartbreak fiddle and sobbing steel guitar. It’s about quitting, or at least wanting to quit, heroin. “This is the last time the needle’s going in to try to set my soul free,” he sings. “I’ve done had four friends die around me/Now I realize that old number five just might be me.” (In an interview on Outlaw Radio Chicago, Hank said that in real life, he has never smoked crack or shot heroin.)

“Tore Up and Loud” is more like the Hank III of yore, both in content and in sound. It’s full of distorted vocals and psychobilly reason and ends with an obscene rant about being free (tempered by a sly “shave-and-a-haircut” banjo riff).

Indeed, don’t think Hank III has lost his sense of humor. The album ends with a wild hillbilly romp called “Drinkin’ Over Mama.” But it’s not your typical country mama song. Here mama starts drinking at the age of 61, and she gets killed “by her own crack pipe.”

It’s sure going to be interesting to see what Hank III comes up with next, now that he’s out of the Curb cage.

Also recommended

* Too Drunk to Truck by Sixtyniners. In the tradition of their Voodoo Rhythm label mates The Watzloves and Zeno Tornado, this is a European band — from the Netherlands, to be exact — that loves good old American honky-tonk music.

But like those other acts (and Hank III, for that matter), the Sixtyniners love it enough not to get too reverent about it. The title song, for instance, is a play on a classic by The Dead Kennedys. And “Livestock” is an animal party that starts out with barnyard noises.

Sixtyniners, led by singer/guitarist Michiel Hoving and drummer Claudia Hek, play some covers here — a spirited “John Hardy” sung by Hek, a stomping take on George Jones’ “The Race Is On,” and a fun “Almost Done,” a song that has appeared under various guises, such as Leadbelly’s “On a Monday” or, slightly altered, as Johnny Cash’s “I Got Stripes.” Here it’s done with a shuffling beat and cool trombone.

The band even evokes memories of Jerry Jeff Walker on “Terlingua,” the pretty tune that closes the album. And they can do some crazy blues too, like the Bo Diddley-esque “Hell” and “Play Dead,” in which the guitar sounds like a punkier version of Duane Allman.

Monday, September 27, 2010



I have spoken with the Old Man in the Cave and he has told me to invite you all to a Forbidden Cavern Fandango. From the depths of the Earth come some of the craziest sounds of R&B, rockabilly and garage madness -- and as an added bonus, you'll hear some of my favorite Japanese rock tunes.

Play it here:


Here's the playlist

(Background Music: Cyclone by The Fabulous Cyclones)
Bip Bop Bip by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Rockin' the Joint by Esquerita
Lizard Hunter by Gas Huffer
The Beam by The Screamin' Yeehaws
Scarum Harem by The Spook Lights
Heard It All Before by New Mystery Girl

(Background Music: Busy Body by The Jolly Green Giants)
Bulldog by King Coleman
Little Bad Wolf by The Tra-Velles
Satellite Baby by Skip Stanley
Tell Me What to Do by The Giant Robots
Visitation by Manby's Head
Sanbuca by The Bama Lamas
The Post Office Line by Dan Melchior & Das Menace
Love Blood Hound by K.C. Mojo Watson

(Background Music: Waltz of the Ratfinks by Mr Gasser & The Weirdos)
Go Ahead by The Amppez
Good Bye My Roller Girl by Mummy the Peepshow
Mink Oil by The Rodeo Carburetter
Guitar Date by The's
Alligator Night by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
Samisen Boogie Woogie by Umekichi
(Background Music: Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakomoto)

The Amppez, Mummy the Peep Show and Umekichi are on the Benten label, home of great Japanese girl-punk

The Dan Melchior song is from the Free Music Archive and was recorded live on WFMU

Listen to this podcast 7 p.m. Mountain Time Tuesday September 28 on Real Punk Radio

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sunday, September 26, 2010
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
Wilder Wilder, Faster by The Cramps
Sex Android by The Barbarellatones
Sugar Buzz by The Ruiners
Ghost Shark by Rocket From the Crypt
Who Do You Love by The Preachers
The Trip by The Rockin' Guys
Wail by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Whip the Booty by Andre Williams

Tula by Alejandro Escovedo
Falling Down Again by Buick MacKane
A Different Kind of Ugly by Sons of Hercules
Nama Bersembunyi by arrington de dionyso
Baby by Lyres
Alcohollywood by The Raunch Hands
One Hit Wonder by Texas Terri Bomb

God Jazz Time by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
Lingerie Shop by Tsu Shu Ma Mi Re
Ikebukuro Tiger by Guitar Wolf
Your Smiling Face is About to Break by The Amppez
Sex Cow by Teengenerate
Roller Coaster by Red Bacteria Vacuum
Watering by Detroit7
Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakomoto

Let Them Talk by Red Elvises
Ride Helldorados by Deadbolt
Almost a God by Movie Star Junkies
Magpie Song by Delaney Davidson
Sally Go Round the Roses by Holly Golightly
Don't Knock by Mavis Staples
Lucky Day by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, September 24, 2010


Friday, September, 2010
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
Running Out Of Money by The Stumbleweeds
Big Bad Wolf by Clinton O'Neal & The Country Drifters
Got a Date with Sally by Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers
The Old Man From The Mountain by The Gourds
Gator Man by Queen Ida
Streamlined Mama by Buddy Jones
Gettin' Drunk and Fallin' Down by Hank III
Vacant-Lot by Deano Waco & The Meat Purveyors
The Race is On by Sixtyniners
Uncle Fudd by Dorothy Shay

Brother, Drop Dead by Redd Stewart & His Kentucky Colonels
Dead Flowers by Jerry Lee Lewis with Mick Jagger
Loco by DM Bob & The Deficits
Junkie Eyes by Kell Robertson
Diddy Boppin' And Motor Mouthin' by Clara Dean
Sweet Jennie Lee by Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel
Weakness In A Man by Waylon Jennings
The Talking Hotpants Blues by The Hickoids

Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul by Maria Muldaur
Sippin' Whiskey by Electric Rag Band
Blues in the Bottle by The Texas Shieks
I Love Onions by Susan Christie
Maverick by Laurie Lewis & Kathy Kallick
Keep Your Hat on Jenny by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
Bullet In My Mind by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Creep Along Moses by Mavis Staple

One Sweet Hello by Merle Haggard
Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home by Mississippi John Hurt
Pamela Brown by Leo Kottke
Together Again by Steve Jordan
Haunted Man by Amanda Pearcy
Country Bumpkin by Cal Smith
Kiss At The End Of The Rainbow by Mitch & Mickey
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 24, 2010

The first album by Grinderman is an intense burst of bile, anxiety, rage, obscenity, and loud, sloppy rock ’n’ roll.

It’s my favorite Nick Cave album since 1995’s Murder Ballads. The new Grinderman album, Grinderman 2, while slightly less ragged than the original, is almost as good. And I wouldn’t argue all that hard with those who say it’s even better.

Like many, I assumed that this band — named for a Memphis Slim song and basically just a stripped-down version of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds — was a one-off side project for Cave. When I heard a new Grinderman album was in the works, I was afraid it would be a pale shadow of the first. Such fears were baseless.

Reviewing the first album in 2007, I wrote, “Rock ’n’ roll supposedly is a young man’s game — traditionally, some of the best of it is created by horny, sexually frustrated young guys. But with Grinderman ... Cave proves that horny, sexually frustrated middle-aged men can rock, too.”

And three years older, they still can.

Going on the premise that sometimes you can judge a book, or an album, by its cover, the artwork on both albums helps explain the difference between the two efforts. On the first album, the artwork shows a monkey clutching its private parts. The colors are distorted — the animal is green, yellow, and orange. It’s like an image buried inside some advertisement designed to subliminally get you scared and angry.

The cover of Grinderman 2 is disturbing in a different way. It’s a shot of a real wolf — his fangs clearly visible — inside what looks like an upscale home — white marble floors, off-white walls, white roses in a vase, and Roman sculptures. The wolf is in the house — maybe your house. You don’t know how it got there, but it’s there.

Indeed, the wolf stalks Cave’s lyrics on several songs here. In the opening song, “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man,” Cave sings of himself and his unnamed brother: “I was Mickey Mouse. And he was the Big Bad Wolf!”

Later, in “Heathen Child,” Cave sings of a girl: “Sitting in the bathtub/Waiting for the Wolfman to come!” And maybe it’s my imagination, but in the instrumental break near the end of the next tune, “When My Baby Comes,” I almost think I hear a wolf howl. It’s the same with the start of the following song, “What I Know.”

The first three songs of Grinderman 2 present a classic example of saving your best for first. On “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man,” Cave howls like Chester Burnett (aka Howlin’ Wolf) on “Smokestack Lightning.”

You can hear echoes of other songs here, too: Patti Smith’s “Gloria” and The Doors’ “When the Music’s Over,” and there’s an intentional nod to blues belter Lucille Bogan’s notorious “Shave ’Em Dry.”

“Mickey Mouse” starts out with a brief, slow guitar introduction and then explodes into full-force demon rock. A bass throbs, drums crash, and a guitar spits distorted sounds as Cave sings, “I woke up this morning/I thought what am I doing here.” His brother is raging and howling at him. There’s a “lupine girl” whose hair is on fire. And someone is “rattling the locks.” In other words, a typical weekend at Nick Cave’s house.

“Worm Tamer” rocks even harder, with a mutated Bo-Diddley-conquers-the-Martians beat. It’s full of fun innuendo and double-entendre. “Well, my baby calls me the Loch Ness Monster/Two great humps and then I’m gone.”

Then “Heathen Child” takes us right back to the nightmare world of “Mickey Mouse.” A girl is “sitting in the bathtub sucking her thumb,” though she’s fully armed as she waits for that Wolf Man.

In one verse Cave sings mockingly: “You think your great big husband will protect you. You are wrong!/You think your little wife will protect you. You are wrong. You think your children will protect you! You are wrong!/You think your government will protect you. You are wrong!”

The album slows down somewhat on the next couple of songs. But even though the music on “When My Baby Comes” is more sedate than before (at least the first half, before Cave and the boys go into a Black Angels-like psychedelic excursion, the lyrics are still full of dread and violence: “They had pistols, they had guns/They threw me on the ground as they entered into me (I was only 15!)” Cave sings, reminding old fans of his songs like “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry.”

“What I Know” is more mellow — musically, at least. The surreal sonic backdrop sounds like a desperate radio broadcast from a distant dimension. But the rage returns on the next song, “Evil.” Over an almost metallic backdrop, Cave bellows, “O cling to me little baby in this broken dream/And let me protect you from this evil.”

“Kitchenette” is the song that most reminds me of the first Grinderman album in sound and in spirit. The wolf returns, but this time it is a Tex Avery-style cartoon wolf in the house. It’s a swaggering, damaged blues number with Cave in full Nick the Lech mode, coming on to a helpless housewife. “What’s this husband of yours ever given to you?/Oprah Winfrey on a plasma screen,” he sings. “And a brood of jug-eared buck-tooth imbeciles/The ugliest kids I’ve ever seen.”

Caution, would-be ladies’ men: the surest way to bed a married woman probably doesn’t involve insulting her children. But if she likes loud, unfettered, sleazy scary rock ’n’ roll, you might just have a chance if you play her some Grinderman.

Blog Bonus: Enjoy the "Heathen Child" video

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As in 78 rpm.
Valise Phonographe ODEON 1932 Vadasz
According to the L.A. Times:

Elvis Costello’s forthcoming album, “National Ransom,” mines a century’s worth of pop music history in both the characters, scenarios and themes in his songs, and in the atmospheric sound that producer T Bone Burnett has given the record.

So it makes perfect sense that Costello, a voracious fan of music of all styles, would want to add a vintage touch of some kind in conjunction with the album’s release come Nov. 2.

Vinyl LP version? Everyone’s doing that nowadays, so Costello is going one step beyond: He’s releasing four songs on a pair of 78 rpm discs.

Well if that ain't quaint. I think I'll just hitch up the horse and buggy and go see if they're selling it at the local dry goods store.

(Photo of Odeon 1932 Vadasz by Daniel Hennemand)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Sunday, September 19, 2010
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
Kedalaman Air by Arrington de Dionyso
Happy Birthday Bitch by The Ruiners
Gimme Culture by Red Bacteria Vacuum
Invasion of the Surf Zombies by The Barbarellatones
Mad Dog by DM Bob & The Deficits
Heart of a Rat by Rocket From the Crypt
The Striker by The Giant Robots
Jump, Jive & Harmonize by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
The Man With The Weird Beard by Arthur Godfrey

Sunshine/Red Lips, Red Eyes, Red Stockings by The Red Elvises
Come Back Lord by Rev. Beat-Man & The Unbelievers
Do the Wurst by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
Leave Me Alone by Nathaniel Meyer
Crazy Baby by The Blasters
Jail Bait by Andre Williams & Green Hornet
Hang It Up by King Coleman

Big Black Witchcraft Rock by The Cramps
You Must Be a Witch by The Lollipop Shoppe
Witchcraft by Elvis Presley
I Put a Spell on You by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Witchcraft in the Air by Bette Lavette
Devil Smile by Nekromantix
Voodoo by The Combinations
The Witch by The Sonics
I Lost My Baby to a Satan Cult by Stephen W. Terrell

Non-Alignment pact by Pere Ubu
Moving to Florida by Butthole Surfers
Dream Girl by Nick Curran and the Lowlifes
Bad Trip by Lee Fields
White Cannibal by James Chance
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Yacking With Kinky

I had a hard time deciding whether to put my interview with Kinky Friedman on this blog -- after all, I first came to love him as a songwriter/performer -- or on my political blog.

But considering that most of out conversation was about politics -- and even when I asked him about his musical career, the talk veered back into politics -- I decided to put it over there.

Kinky's scheduled to be at Monte's of Santa Fe cigar store next Sunday. He said he hasn't decided whether he's going to sing any songs.

In the interest of full disclosure -- and full ego gratification -- I should mention that back in the early '90s I opened for Kinky twice when he played in Albuquerque at the El Rey Theatre. He said he remembered that when I talked to him last week, but he probably was just being nice.

Saturday, September 18, 2010



They were even better than I thought they'd be. In case you missed my Barrence Whitfield interview yesterday, the R&B belter from Boston reunited, first time in nearly a quarter century, with two original members of The Savages, Peter Greenberg, now a Taos resident, and Phil Lenker.
The crowd was far smaller than it should have been (proving true what that gal told The Santa Fe Reporter this week, "My experience of nightlife in Santa Fe is, when I’m looking for something really cool, I can’t find it and, when I’ve found something really cool, I wish more people were there.") But those who were there got a good taste of what Barrence is all about.

Check my snapshots HERE.

If you live in Albuquerque, you've still got a chance. Barrence and The Savages will be at Low Spirits, 2823 Second St. N.W., 8 p.m. tonight. Don't be an idiot, just go!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 17, 2010

When I heard that Barrence Whitfield & The Savages were coming to New Mexico, three words immediately came to mind: “Ow! Ow! Ow!”

That particular exclamation has become something of a trademark for Boston soul shouter Whitfield. It is the name of one of his albums, and he often uses it to punctuate the messages from his Twitter account. But most important, you can hear him scream, “Ow! Ow! Ow!” when he really gets going onstage, pounding some song into submission.

Fans can expect to hear it more than once when Barrence and his band rip it up at Santa Fe Brewing Company on Friday, Sept. 17, and at Low Spirits Bar & Stage in Albuquerque on Saturday, Sept. 18.

His New Mexico shows represent the first time in nearly a quarter century that Whitfield will play with original Savages guitarist Peter Greenfield (now a Taos resident and guitarist for a garage band called Manby’s Head) and bassist Phil Lenker.

Back in the early 1980s, Whitfield and his Savages were known as one of the wildest acts ever to hit the East Coast. Whitfield’s music draws upon the unfettered rock and R & B of the ’50s — think of an endomorphic Little Richard — even more than the sweaty Southern soul of the ’60s.” According to the All-Music Guide, “Whitfield was a dervish onstage, working himself into such a frenzy of screaming and running around that he would occasionally black out.”

Whitfield verified that in a recent telephone interview. “Some nights my clothes would get ripped to shreds,” he said. “I blacked out a few times. In Baltimore one time I was trying to run up the walls in this club. I ended up kicking a hole in the wall.”

Ow! Ow! Ow!

“Afterward, the manager came up, and I thought he was going to tell me we couldn’t play there anymore. But he handed me a pen and asked me to sign the wall where I’d kicked the hole.”

Whitfield was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and moved to New Jersey when he was about 3. His birth certificate gives his name as Barry White, but when he began performing, he took the name Barrence Whitfield to avoid confusion with the ’70s soul giant.

Like so many American kids in the ’60s, he listened to AM radio. “It was a great thing that they played so much variety back then,” he recalled. “You’d hear Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Paul Mauriat (“Love Is Blue”) — all on the same station. Now everything is so controlled.”

The first 45 rpm record he bought was “I’m Losing You” by The Temptations. His first album, he said, was something by Paul Revere & The Raiders. But his first band, he said, was a Funkadelic tribute band called Funkasonics. Whitfield, in high school at the time, played the drums.

He moved to Boston in the late ’70s and set out to study journalism at Boston University. But he got a job at a record store and soon fell in with a crazy crowd of rock ’n’ rollers. “A friend of mine had heard me singing, harmonizing with records we played in the store. He said, ‘A friend of mine is looking for a black rock ’n’ roll singer.’ So I met Peter [Greenberg].”

Greenberg had been the guitarist for Lyres, a Boston neo-garage group that is still in business today, as well as Lyres’ precursor, the punk band DMZ. “He asked if I could sing like Little Richard and Esquerita,” Whitfield said. “I said, ‘Who’s Esquerita?’ ” (Answer: Esquerita was the stage name for R & B maniac Eskew Reeder Jr., who some say was a big influence on Little Richard.)

Whitfield credits Greenberg with giving him an education in a musical form that is a huge influence in his music: rockabilly. “I didn’t listen to it much before I met Peter,” he said. “Oh, I knew Jerry Lee Lewis and some others. But Peter made me listen to a lot of old rockabilly like ‘Wild Hog Hop’ by Bennie Hess.” Whitfield then imitated Hess’ hog snorts that grace the song.

Thus were born The Savages. They burned it up with obscure songs like “Mama Get the Hammer,” “Bloody Mary,” “Whistle Bait,” and “Georgia Slop.” The original Savages had broken up by the mid-’80s, after Greenfield decided to go back to school and study environmental engineering.

Whitfield kept the band’s name for a few more albums. In the early ’90s, he decided to stretch musically — to show that he wasn’t just a crazy guy who could shout like Little Richard and James Brown. He wanted to make a country album. A friend introduced him to singer-songwriter Tom Russell, who collaborated with Whitfield on two records.

“When we were recording the first one, I realized it wasn’t really country music anymore,” he said. “I said it was turning into something else like voodoo. And Tom said, ‘Hillbilly voodoo.’ ” Hillbilly Voodoo became the name of the album, and Whitfield said it’s still one of his favorites.

But R & B and soul are in Whitfield’s blood, and he’s still making some fine records, such as last year’s Raw, Raw, Rough! And he, Greenberg, and Lenker have booked time later this year in a Cincinnati studio to do a new Savages album. The band’s first album, with a bunch of added live tracks, is soon scheduled for rerelease.

“I really think this is the start of something great,” he said of his renewed partnership with Greenberg. “And it’s starting in New Mexico, of all places.”

Barrence Whitfield & The Savages Live!

7 p.m Friday, Sept. 17
Santa Fe Brewing Company, 27 Fire Place
$15 from Tickets Santa Fe at the Lensic
and at the door; 424-3333

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Low Spirits Bar & Stage,
2823 Second St. N.W., Albuquerque
$12 at the door


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 17, 2010

I probably ought to be more leery of those projects in which rock ’n’ roll bands perform — and in some cases record — song-by-song concerts of one of their old albums.

Lou Reed did it a couple of years ago with Berlin. Van Morrison did it around the same time with Astral Weeks. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd did it with Dark Side of the Moon. Brian Wilson has done it with The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds as well as with Smile (the concert being released on DVD). I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

And now comes Pere Ubu, under the direction of Ubu Maximus David Thomas, with The Annotated Modern Dance, a live rerecording (from what their website calls a “semi-pro fan recording”) of The Modern Dance, the group’s first album (1978), and other Ubu smash hits (well, they should have been) from that era, like “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” and “Heart of Darkness.”

I say I should be more leery because trying to re-create an album seems like an attempt to perpetuate the whole “rock is art” heresy. To me rock ’n’ roll is much better when it’s not trying to be art.

Keep your Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; I’ll take “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” any day.

The only trouble is, I honestly like most of the examples that I listed above (the ones I’ve heard, anyway). Reed’s Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse updated the original with some great background vocals by Sharon Jones (and the addition of an obscure and disturbing Reed tune called “Rock Minuet”). While I don’t have much use for the live Pet Sounds, the Smile concert was a triumph.

And yes, I like this new Modern Dance by Pere Ubu. It might not have the raw ferocity of the original — my dog doesn’t get upset by the shrill noise that starts off the new version of “Non-Alignment Pact,” as he does with the original’s intro. But Annotated still makes me wish I had been at the concert.

Back to the ’70s: Pere Ubu was lumped in with “punk rock” when they first started out. But that’s just because they were noisy, and most people didn’t understand either kind of music.

While it wasn’t that difficult to trace the “punk” roots through The Stooges and The Dolls and the ’60s garage snot-rock that preceded them, Ubu was a different creature altogether. The band probably had more in common with Captain Beefheart, but unlike the good captain, there was no obvious kinship with Howlin’ Wolf and Delta blues.

Ubu sounded truly alien. Some might connect them with fellow Ohioans, Devo. But as much as I love Devo, that band was cartoonlike. Ubu’s music sounded more like transmissions from a planet full of space monsters.

“Chinese Radiation” sounded like a riot in progress on Modern Dance — until it slowed down and sounded like a funeral. “Life Stinks” (written by Peter Laughner, an original Ubu member) could have been the urgent plea of a dying man. And the six-minute dirgelike “Sentimental Journey” (no, not the Doris Day classic) might mark the first time that breaking glass was ever used as a percussion instrument.

The album didn’t sell very well.

Modern Dance in the modern century: The Annotated Modern Dance was recorded last March at The Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, the city from which Pere Ubu arose in the mid-’70s. “We would only do this for the Beachland Ballroom and a lot of money,” Thomas says on the album — half jokingly, I assume.

Although frontman Thomas is the only original member of Ubu to perform with the group in I don’t know how many years, for this concert he recruited original Modern Dance guitarist Tom Herman, who quit the group circa 1979 (though he returned in the late ’90s for the album Pennsylvania). Too bad they couldn’t get original keyboardist Allen Ravenstine, who perfected all those wacked-out Plan 9 From Outer Space noises on the original album. But “new guy” Robert Wheeler (he first recorded with the band in the mid-’90s) does a decent job on an EML synthesizer.

There’s been a lot of crazy music in the past 32 years — a lot of it directly influenced by Pere Ubu — so the new Modern Dance isn’t quite as shocking as it seemed during the first go-round. And yet Thomas’ wild warble still sounds menacing in just about every song. His falsetto isn’t quite as desperate sounding on “Life Stinks” as it was on the original, but still, if you heard it in a dark alley, you’d probably call 911. Even though it has always been hard to decipher all the lyrics, Thomas’ vocals hit you on subliminal levels. Sometimes you laugh; other times you worry about the guy.

Herman has plenty of shining moments here, too. He goes nuts on the slide on “Real World” and even more so on “My Dark Ages.” He propels “Street Waves,” which starts out as a jumpy little rocker and then descends into a forest of noise and feedback, only to return. (Thomas tells us the song was inspired by a used-tire store.)

That’s another point in favor of The Annotated Modern Dance — the inclusion of those early singles. In case anyone forgets that Pere Ubu started out as and remains, first and foremost, a rock ’n’ roll band, treat your ears to songs like “Final Solution,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” and especially “Heart of Darkness.” There’s noise, and there’s weirdness, but there’s also that jungle beat.

The Annotated Modern Dance is available only as a download. You can find it HERE.


OK, here's the deal: Get thee to KSFR, Santa Fe Public Radio and give them some money for their pledge drive. Go online or call 505-428-1393 or (toll-free out of the Santa Fe area) 866-907-5737.

This is for KSFR's music fans, especially fans of my shows.

What other radio station in Santa Fe is going to let some guy come in twice a week to play weird stuff by The Cramps, The Fall, Roky Erikson, King Khan & The Shrines, Wanda Jackson, New Bomb Turks, Howlin' Wolf, Angry Johnny & The Killbillies, The Oblivions, Sun Ra, The Seeds, Ronnie Dawson, T. Model Ford, Dead Moon, T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole, Pere Ubu, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Cornell Hurd, Gogol Bordello, The Collins Kids, Lee Fields, The Delmore Brothers, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Los Peyotes, Billy Childish, Iggy Pop or Dean Martin, if one of his songs fits in?

Not to mention lots of New Mexico musicians like Joe West, Hundred Year Flood, Manby's Head, Bayou Seco, Goshen, Kell Robertson and The Scrams.

Nobody but KSFR, that's who.

This is what I do for the station 10 p.m. (Mountain Time) Fridays on The Santa Fe Opry and same time Sunday on Terrell's Sound World.

But most important right now, GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!

online or call 505-428-1393 or (toll-free out of the Santa Fe area) 866-907-5737.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Sunday, September 12, 2010
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
Plenty Tuff and Union Made by The Waco Brothers
1234 Ever by Jon Langford & Skull Orchard
Three Cool Chicks by the
I'm Not Like Everyone Else by The Chocolate Watch Band
Lizard Hunt by Gas Huffer
Hell on Me by The Screamin' Yee-Haws
Real Crazy Apartment by Winston's Fumbs
In a Holler Over There by The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band
Comme L'Agent Secret by The Cool Jerks

Hot Rod Rally by The Supersuckers
Out of My Mind by The Staggers
Carne Voodoo by Rocket from the Crypt
(Find You In) El Paso by Deadbolt
Get On Your Knees by Reverend Beat-Man
Come Back Bird by Manby's Head
Butthole Surfer by The Butthole Surfers
Happyland by Arrington de Dionyso and the Old Time Relijun
In tne Stars by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Loo-Key Doo-Key by King Coleman
Bloody Mary/Goin' to Jump and Shout by Barrence Whitfield
The Boo Boo Song by King Coleman
(Hot Pastrami with) Mashed Potatoes by Joey D & The Starliters
Mama Get the Hammer by Barrence Whitfield
Black Bottom Blues by King Coleman
Go Ahead and Burn by Barrence Whitfield
Shake Your Tailfeather by Andre Williams, Bettye LaVette, Nathaniel Mayer, The Mighty Hannibal, King Coleman, Rudy Ray Moore, Barrence Whitfield, The Great Gaylord, Lonnie Youngblood & The Soul Shakers

Barrence Whitfield is coming to Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque this week. Check his schedule HERE

Mean Old Man by Jerry Lee Lewis
I Don't Want No Funky Chicken by Wiley & The Checkmates
Final Solution by Pere Ubu
Nine Below Zero by Sonny Boy Williamson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE


R&B master Carlton "King" Coleman died yesterday in Miami at the age of 78.

He was best known for a weirdo hit called "The Boo Boo Song." A few years ago, the Funky 16 Corners blog said of that song:

It sounds like the kind of guy, that if a certified lunatic like Screaming Jay Hawkins saw King Coleman coming up the sidewalk, he’d pull the bone from his nose, avert his eyes and cross to the other side of the street, murmuring to himself, “Omigod, omigod, omigod. It’s that King Coleman...PUH-leeze don’t let him see me....” Suffice to say, that as far as you were concerned, things only got worse. The wild babbling emanating from the grooves builds to a crescendo, a mess of corrupted nursery rhymes, nonsense syllables and wild wailing.

Coleman also was responsible for "(Do the) Mashed Potatoes" in 1959, later mutated by Joey D & The Starliters into "(Hot Pastrami with) Mashed Potatoes." Coleman recorded his song with James Brown's band. The Associated Press, in its obit for Coleman cites a 2003 Miami New Times article that says "Brown had initially planned to do the vocals himself, but a dispute with his record label made that impossible."

WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban blog has an MP3 download of the King's "Crazy Feeling" and some worthwhile links.

His obituary in the Associated Press is HERE.

I'll pay tribute to him tonight on Terrell's Sound World (10 p.m. Mountain Time on KSFR, 101.1 FM in Northern New Mexico, streaming live HERE.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Friday, September 10, 2010
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
This Cat's in the Doghouse by Rosie Flores
Monkey and the Baboon by Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers
Wild Hog Hop by Bennie Hess
Peg Pants by Bill Beach
Bop, Man, Bop by Doug Amerson & His Dude Cowboys
Ain't Got a Clue by Josie Kreuzer
Ducken by Hasil Adkins
Drinkin' Over Mama by Hank III
Sunbonnet Sue by Fort Worth Doughboys
Before They Make Me Run by Steve Earle & The Supersuckers

My Own Kind of Hat by Rosie Flores
If I'm to Blame by Chipper Thompson
Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues by David Bromberg
Alabama Getaway by Jessie McReynolds
Maria Elena by Kell Robertson
The Place by Unknown Wombat
Move It by T. Tex Edwards & The Saddletramps

Irma Jackson by Barrence Whitfield
Artificial Flowers by Cornell Hurd
Livestock by The Sixtyniners
Livin' On Love by Ray Campi
In the Jailhouse Now by Jimmie Rodgers
Betty Lou' s Got A New Tattoo by Creep
I Ain't Got Nobody by Bessie Smith
Precious Lord by Lydia Clark

Strange Ways to Win Wars by Jon Langford & Skull Orchard
I've Got a Tender Heart by Eleni Mandell
My Walking Stick by Leon Redbone
Evenin' Breeze by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
TV Preacher by Clothesline Revival
Go Ring The Bells by Johnny Paycheck
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

Thursday, September 09, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 10, 2010

Jerry Lee Lewis first recorded “Middle Age Crazy” in 1977 — back when he was middle-aged. Now, 33 years later, at a time the song itself is headed for middle age, he has rerecorded it.

The new version of the tune is done as a duet with country singer Tim McGraw (with Ronnie Wood and Gillian Welch playing guitars) on the Killer’s new album, Mean Old Man (named for a Kris Kristofferson song that kicks off the festivities).

Good news/bad news time. The good news is that Lewis, who turns 75 this month, is still up and recording and sounding pretty good. The cover of the album features a photo of Jerry surrounded by adoring young women who look like they might be his granddaughters.

The bad news is that it’s another one of those guest-star albums consisting mainly of duets with famous “friends.” This was the case with his previous album, Last Man Standing (2006). Lots of the same collaborators are back — among them Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and John Fogerty.

And the worst news is that Kid Rock is back again. Lots of aging country singers apparently think it gives them cachet with the youth market to associate themselves with this guy. But to me, it only raises the question: Does anyone really like Kid Rock?

Though this album is hardly essential, there are lots of fun moments. Three of my favorites involve members of The Rolling Stones. “Mean Old Man” has Wood on lead guitar. But Kristofferson’s wry lyrics, as interpreted by Lewis, are what set the tone for the whole album.

“If I look like a mean old man that’s what I am/If I look like a mean old man/Who’ll do you any way he can/To break your heart and kiss your hand/That’s what I am.”

Jagger, who sang “Wedding Dress” with Jerry Lee on Last Man Standing, stays in the background here on “Dead Flowers,” singing harmony on the choruses in his most obnoxious hick imitation. He makes the word "flowers" sound like "fliers." There’s some sweet pedal steel by Greg Leisz here, too.

And then there’s a cover of The Rolling Stones’ greatest “country” song, “Sweet Virginia,” with Richards on guitar and background vocals (along with Kristofferson and a singer named LaTonya Hall). It’s a perfect song for Jerry Lee Lewis, and with a crackerjack fiddle by Ken Lovelace, the Killer kills it.

But there’s one big mystery here. In this version, Jerry Lee scrapes the “shine” right off his shoes. That’s not what the Rolling Stones scraped off back on Exile on Main St.

My first reaction was “someone censored Jerry Lee!” But when you think about it, nobody could ever censor Jerry Lee Lewis, so he probably did it himself. There’s something weirdly charming about the original rock ’n’ roll wild man refusing to sing profanity on a record.

There are some other worthwhile tracks here. Jerry and Willie Nelson do a decent version of Johnny Bush’s “Whiskey River” — though it’s nowhere near the same league as the stunning Nelson/Lewis collaboration on “A Couple More Years” on Last Man Standing.

He does a good honky-tonk version of former Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine,” though I would have liked it better had Sheryl Crow stayed with the background vocals and not taken a verse for herself.

There’s also a jumping version of “You Can Have Her” featuring James Burton and Clapton on guitar. This one is vastly superior to the first Jerry Lee version of this I heard on The Killer Rocks On, way back in the early 1970s. The early rendition was all gummed up with a string section. This one rocks as it should.

Let me reiterate: This is not essential Jerry Lee. If you’re new to the Killer — if, say, you came to him via Kid Rock — get thee to some early Sun sides. There are lots of compilations out there. Pick up a copy of Live at the Star Club, Hamburg (a 1964 show where he’s backed by The Nashville Teens, a British Invasion band), and then treat yourself to his underrated “country” period (’60s to early ’70s).

And be thankful that your lifetime has intersected with that of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Also recommended:
* Old Devils by Jon Langford & Skull Orhard. Founding Mekon/Waco Brother/Pine Valley Cosmonaut Jon Langford comes out rocking on his latest outing. He sounds hot, bothered, and full of the wrath of God on the opening song, “1234Ever.”

In this and songs like “Getting Used to Uselessness,” he’s raging against the dying of the light, but as The Mekons once sang, “Only Darkness Has the Power.”

While Langford condemns out-of-control materialism in songs like “Luxury” and “Death Valley Day,” he also laments the crushing spiritual poverty caused by the awful economy.

One of the coolest tunes on Old Devils is “Pieces of the Past,” which begins with old R&B devil Andre Williams reciting a history lesson about slavery and Capt. Henry Morgan, a fearsome pirate who has been turned into a funny logo for a rum company. “He was a very, very bad man,” Williams snarls. And you believe him.

There are some intense rockers here. The rockabilly-informed “Self Portrait” is one example, as is the superpatriot-mocking “Flag of Triumph.” And “Rivers of Ice” is carried by what can only be described as a “scary blues” guitar hook.
But there also are some pretty ballads, such as the title song, the countryish “Death Valley Day,” and “Haunted.” The last of these, with its ragged horn section, reminds me of some of Black 47’s better material.

Then there’s the closing track, “Strange Ways to Win Wars,” featuring a call and response with fellow Mekon Sally Timms and a melody that reminds me of “The Country Is Young” from Langford’s All the Fame of Lofty Deeds.

Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar

When I think of TV funnyman Arnold Stang I think good country music.

Actually this movie, Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar features the likes of Homer & Jethro, Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl, Faron Young, Kitty Wells, Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizzell and Bill Monroe.

I just put it on my Netflix Queue.

(Thanks to Robert Nott for alerting me to this.)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


News flash: Big fish swallows a little one. has purchased, for an undisclosed price, Amie Street, a music download service I've been known to use. As of Sept. 22 the Street will be blockaded and pages will be redirected to Amazon.

It's not clear whether Amazon will keep Amie's price structure -- in which tracks start out way cheap then go up to $1 depending on their popularity. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Here's some good news and bad news from Yahoo News:

Users that have an Amie Street account should download all their purchased music by September 22 and spend their remaining balance by that date, as it will not be transferred to Amazon.

Furthermore, Amie Street is giving its users a $5 promotional code that they can spend at Amazon's MP3 store.

This reminds me of iTunes' recent purchase of LaLa. What are the big fish going to eat when the small ones all are gone? (Answer: their customers!)

I first started using Amie Street a little more than a year ago when I was looking to alternatives to eMusic, which had just raised its prices. I found some good stuff over there -- I basically looted their Voodoo Rhythm catalogue -- but over time, Amie's catalog -- at least of the stuff I like and didn't already have -- failed to keep up. My purchases there became more and more infrequent.

Still, I hate to see it go. It was always nice to know that another good alternative for cheap and legal downloads was out there.

(Thanks to my friend Chuck for tipping me to this and sending me the email Amie Street sent him. For some reason Amie didn't email me. They must be talking to some of the New Mexico politicians who have decided to leave me off their lists.)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat Dan Singa Live

Here's some music for your Labor Day, courtesy WFMU's Free Music Archive.

This is the current band of Arrington de Dionyso, formerly of Old Time Relijun, who I talked about in my latest monthly eMusic report. These songs are from his 2009 album, Malaikat Dan Singa and it features lyrics by William Blake (there's that guy again!) translated into Indonesian. The show was recorded in May.

And here's some good news for us here in New Mexico: de Dionyso and his band are coming to Albuquerque on October 12, venue to be announced.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010
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
Surf Narcs by The Barbarellatones
You Can Have Her/Mean Woman Blues by Jerry Lee Lewis
Keep a Knockin' by Little Richard
A Poison Tree by Movie Star Junkies
Dog is Life/Jerusalem by The Fall
Tyger by Arrington de Dionyso and the Old Time Relijun

Hey Gyp by Eric Burdon & The Animals
A Luz Sobre Mim by Horror Deluxe
Lost Planet by The Thunderbolts
Shakin' All Over by The Gibson Bros. & Workdogs
Naked, Naked Naked by The Raunch Hands
Let Me Holler by King Khan & The Shrines
Ride Danny Ride by The Nekromantix
Girl of Matches by Thee Headcoats
Woodie on a Safari by The Silly Surfers

Wooden Heart by Brave Combo
Strip Joint is Closed by The Red Elvises
Rebellious Love by Gogol Bordello
Who Stole the Kiska by Frankie Yankovic
I Want Beer #2 by Kazik
The Happy Wanderer by The Polkaholics

Strange by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
King Kong/Whistle Bait by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Dizzy Miss Lizzy by Larry Williams
Jailbait by Andre Williams & Green Hornet
Pieces of the Past by Jon Langford with Andre Williams
Panic Holiday by The Country Teasers
Like a Wanderin' Star by Stan Ridgway
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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eMusic September

Besides my usual 50 credits, this month includes 15 additional ones eMusic gave me as "loyal member." eMusic caught a lot of flack last year when it changed their its pricing structure, but to their credit they've given us loyal members similar bonuses two or three times. So, thanks.

* Varieties of Religious Experience: 1993-2003 by Arrington de Dionyso and the Old Time Relijun. While writing my recent review of The Movie Star Junkies' A Poison Tree, I started Googling around looking for rock bands that had covered William Blake poems. There I discovered "Tyger" by this band. I'll stand by my description that it sounds like Roy Orbison on angel dust.

That was interesting enough for me to download the whole album. This is a fun little distillation of lots of classic avant, primitive rock. I hear Beefheart. I hear Ubu. I hear some Thinking Fellers. And there's a definite No-Wave influence here. Whoever's playing that sax owes James Chance some royalties.

Old Time Relijun is a creature of K Records up in Olympia, Washington. So I'm probably hearing a little Twin Peaks mushroom madness in there too.

* Fuck Me Stupid by The Raunch Hands. Yes, Eric Davidson's We Never Learn still is inspiring me to catch up on some of superstars of Gunk Punk that I somehow overlooked in their glory days.

The Raunch Hands were a rootsy little outfit, playing hard-charging whacked out punk blues back in the '80s before many people were doing that.

This 1995 release was the Raunch Hand's last album for Crypt Records. They were getting close to breaking up, but the group sounds like they were having the time of their lives recording it.

My favorites here are "Baby Don't You Tear My Clothes," a hilarious rewrite of "Baby Let Me Follow You Down." "What's the Matter Now" is a soul workout with touches of crazed gospel energy. This might be what the Almighty Defenders were aiming at on their Punk gospel" album.

*The Ding-Dongs. (My comments on this and the next album might look hauntingly familiar to loyal readers. I wrote about these a few weeks ago in my Terrell's Tuneup column.)

Mark Sultan, aka BBQ, meets Bloodshot Bill for a rollicking half-hour of Canadian trash rockabilly. This is unabashed bashing fun. The sound is closer to what you’d hear on a Bloodshot Bill album than to King Khan & BBQ. It’s less scatological and more traditional rockabilly sounding.

My one complaint is that Sultan’s amazing voice isn’t at full force here. He does channel Buddy Holly on the tune “Worried Man.” and does a respectable job on the countryish “Until I Die.” But nowhere does his voice really soar.

* $ by Mark Sultan So if you want more Sultan, check out $, his latest solo album, which was released earlier this year. Not only will you hear more Sultan, you’ll get a greater diversity of sound.

Compared with his previous solo album, The Sutanic Verses, $ is far more experimental. For instance the kick-off cut, “Icicles” is a 6-plus minute opus with a lengthy instrumental section marked by layers of fuzz guitars and faux Mideastern sounds . Is BBQ going prog rock? Naw, the album retains an admirable home-made, blues-slop appeal.

* 10 Tracks from Red Hot Rockabilly (the ones I didn't already have) I was listening to an old episode of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour the other day -- and came across a rockabilly song I hadn't noticed before: "Okie's in the Pokie" by Jimmy Patton. I had to have it! Doing a quick search on eMusic I found it on this collection of (mostly) obscurities. Also included here are Buck Owens' original version of "Hot Dog" (under the name "Corky Jones") and a bluesy shuffle called "Grits" by a wildcat named Harmonica Ray.

* The 64 remaining tracks from Hillbilly Classics. This collection has to be my eMusic find of the year. It's a 73-song collection of mostly obscure country tunes from the '40s and '50s and it costs only 12 credits. I picked up nine songs last month, so these 64 tracks only cost me three credits.

Several tunes on my latest podcast Hillbilly Pig Out -- "Give it To Me Daddy" by Hartman's Heartbreakers, "Nothin; Clickin' Chicken" by The Down Homers and "Who Puts the Cat Out When Papa's Out of Town" by Sam Nichols came from this collection. And I've been playing lots of it on The Santa Fe Opry in the past few weeks.

There are a few well-known artists here. There's pre-Nashville Sound Chet Atkins (doing "Boogie Man Boogie"), The Carter Family, Spade Cooley and Tennessee Ernie Ford. But for every Delmore Brothers or Grandpa Jones, there's five or six like Roy Hogsed or Smoky Wood & The Woodchips. This almost is a secret history of country music. Truly, this is the music Nashville would like you to forget.

* "Navajo" and "Wild Texas" by Los Peyotes. These are the two tracks I didn't already have on the Psychotic Reaction EP by South America's Los Peyotes. "Navajo" is an instrumental "surf" rocker in the tradition of "Apache," except it's got a flamenco (!) finale. "Wild Texas" is a cool fuzz 'n' Farfisa rocker Los Peyotes do so well. The band has a new album called Garaje o Muerte coming out at the end of the month.

* "Ducken" by Hasil Adkins from 1950s Rock 'n' Roll and Rockabilly Rare Masters. Here's another cool bargain collection from eMusic -- 56 tracks for 12 credit. I had only one credit left, so I made a "down payment." I hope the rest of it's as fun as this Hasil track. He does a pretty good impersonation of a police siren here.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Friday, September 3, 2010
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
Handcuffed to Love by Johnny Paycheck
Hey Sheriff by Josie Kreutzer
Okie's In The Pokie by Jimmy Patton
Hell's Comin' by The Cedar Squeezers
Bald Headed Baby by Buddy Sharpe & The Shakers
Rebel Within by Hank III
Hot Dog by Corky Jones (Buck Owens)
Action Packed by Ronnie Dee
Sweet Virginia by The Rolling Stones

Sweet Virginia by Jerry Lee Lewis with Keith Richards
You Shake Me Up by Andy Anderson
Oh You Pretty Woman by Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel
Oh Honey Baby Doll by Bloodshot Bill
Word to the Wise by Bill Kirchen with Dan Hicks
Who Walks In When I Walk Out by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Don't Make Me Walk Away by The Stanfields
Sharon by David Bromberg

What Am I Doing Hanging Around by Michael Martin Murphey
Freight Train Boogie by Doc and Merle Watson
Keep on the Firing Line by Ralph Stanley
Corn Liquor Made A Fool Out Of Me by Bad Livers
Steamboat Whistle Blues by John Hartford
Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan by Miss Tammy Faye Starlite
Cash on the Barrelhead by Dolly Parton

You're the Reason by Nancy Apple
A Man Like Me by Roger Miller
In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine with Iris DeMent
A Girl Don't Have To Drink To Have Fun by Wanda Jackson
Third Rate Romance by The Amazing Rhythm Aces
Lead Me On by Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty
You're Lookin' at Country by Eilen Jewell
Haunted by Jon Langford
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

Thursday, September 02, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 3, 2010

Elusive rock ’n’ roll poet William Blake might be considered something of a one-hit wonder.

True, folks like Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, and Patti Smith owe Blake an obvious debt, and Van Morrison actually name-checked Blake and his band The Eternals in “You Don’t Pull No Punches But You Don’t Push the River” on Veedon Fleece. Folkie Greg Brown did a whole album of Blake tunes in the 1980s called Songs of Innocence and Experience, and an Olympia, Washington, band called Arrington de Dionyso and the Old Time Relijun did a version of Blake’s “Tyger” that sounds like Roy Orbison on angel dust.

But Blake’s only work to get much mileage in the rock universe is his poem “Jerusalem,” best known for its treatment by 1970s prog-rock commissars Emerson, Lake & Palmer, who recorded it on their album Brain Salad Surgery. The Mekons recorded it too, though I prefer the trash-rock version by The Fall from the late ’80s.

However, a new version of an old Blake poem (written in 1794) recently emerged. A Poison Tree, the new album by Movie Star Junkies, features a Blake poem as the title cut. “I was angry with my friend:/I told my wrath, my wrath did end./I was angry with my foe:/I told it not, my wrath did grow.” Spoiler alert: The “wrath” grows into a tree, and by the end of the poem, “In the morning glad I see/My foe outstretched beneath the tree.”

That Blake is a heck of a writer. Too bad he’s never made any albums of his own. But I bet if he did, he’d sound a lot like The Movie Star Junkies. They’re a well-read bunch. Their previous (and first) album was a whale of a record called Melville, which featured songs about shipwrecks and crazy obsessions.

The Blake tune is pretty indicative of the rest of this album. Images of murder, torture, and betrayal color the lyrics. “How many nights I got to wait before you put me on a stake?” is the first line of “Leyenda Negra.” Then there’s “Almost a God,” which ends with a religious observation: I admire the devil/For finishes everything.”

And there’s another song about a tree, “The Walnut Tree,” a minor-key romp that sounds like Gogol Bordello paying tribute to Johnny Cash’s chunka-chunka beat. It’s a song of doomed love. My favorite foreboding line: “We danced in a field with ravens and crows.”

The basic MSJ sound is dark but melodic — spaghetti-Western guitars over (a real) Farfisa organ and drums that evoke a marching band. The band proudly cites The Birthday Party as an influence, and you can hear echoes of early Nick Cave in there. The last song, a seven-minute epic called “All Winter Long,” ends in a dense instrumental with fuzzy guitar licks that bring back memories of The Electric Prunes.

The album is barely more than 30 minutes long. But it’s intense enough by the time it’s over that a listener feels like he’s been through a journey.

Also recommended:

*Two-Headed Demon by Urban Junior. Voodoo Rhythm is fond of the one-man-band concept. They’ve red albums by John Schooley and Bob Logg III (both Americans), French wonder King Automatic, and label head Rev. Beat-Man’s masked alter ego Lightning Beat-Man.

And now comes Urban Junior, who, even by Voodoo Rhythm standards, will amaze you with how much noise one man can produce.

But unlike most of those others listed, Urban Junior doesn’t seem to be following in the footsteps of the late West Virginia madman Hasil Adkins, who created a distinctive one-man country/blues bash sound. Instead,

UJ describes his sound as “Swiss-spankin-electro-trash-garage-boogie-disco-blues-punk” and lists The Beastie Boys as an influence. He fears not the synthesizer. But don’t get the notion that his sound is slick or glitzy. He uses his synth as an assault weapon.

The title cut sounds like invading Huns in a disco massacre. “With the Idiots” is a little more rootsy, at least in the opening moments before the decibels rise. It has what sounds like a theremin solo.

UJ shows his true perversity in the last song, “We Love Urban Junior,” in which a couple of little girls — well, at least they sound like little girls — literally sing his praises, complimenting both his music and his manly physique.


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