Thursday, March 31, 2011

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: What I Did on My Spring Break

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 1, 2011

I had to attend to some (happy) family matters in Austin, Texas, last week. But even if music wasn’t the prime purpose of this little vacation, you just don’t go to the Live Music Capital of the World without catching some shows.

I was there during the week immediately following the South by Southwest Festival. The whole town seemed to be kind of hung over, but there were still plenty of good shows from which to choose (without the crazy crowds and impossible parking you find during SXSW). Here’s what I heard:

* Dale Watson at The Broken Spoke: Seeing Watson at the Spoke is pretty much the full-on Texas honky-tonk experience. This place is an authentic musical institution in Austin. A sign on the building outside said the joint has been open for 46 years. Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, and Willie Nelson have graced its stage.

I almost didn’t recognize Watson when I first walked in. His jet-black pompadour has turned to a rich silver since the last time I saw him. (He’s not even 50 yet.) But his music hasn’t changed a lick. If he looks older, his stamina onstage is as strong as ever. Watson played more than three hours without taking a break.

He and his band, The Lone Stars, which includes a steel guitar, fiddle, and a stand-up bass, play pure, raw, unadorned beer-drinkin’ honky-tonk. Watson’s voice has a lot of Hag in it, as well as a touch of Waylon.
Watson mostly performed his own tunes.

There were plenty of recent ones, such as “Hey Brown Bottle,” an ode to Lone Star beer. He did a song called “Big Daddy,” about a shoeshine man who was doing business in the Broken Spoke that night. Watson frequently plugged him on stage: “Get a shoeshine, a boot-shine, anything but moonshine.”

He also played some older songs in his repertoire such as “Truck Stop in La Grange,” in which he included a part of the ZZ Top boogie classic of similar name. In fact, Watson included a whole mess of covers of country classics like “Silver Wings,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and Jim Ed Brown’s “Pop a Top.”

A little sociological phenomenon I observed at the Spoke: It was ladies’ night at the club, and the place was full of cute college-age girls dancing with old guys who looked like Hank Hill and his friends. I asked my daughter, an Austin resident, about this. She said it’s because the old redneck guys know how to dance. “The young guys don’t know what they’re missing,” she said. Being an old guy myself, I probably shouldn’t tell them.

*  Ralph White, John Schooley & Walter Daniels at Beer Land: Schooley normally is a one-man band, a wild blues stomper who records on Voodoo Rhythm Records. That’s what I was expecting to see last week at this free show. White, who was a founding member of The Bad Livers, recently played Santa Fe, opening for Scott H. Biram at Corazón. I caught Biram there but arrived too late to see White. I figured he must like playing on bills with these crazy one-man band types.

But instead, at the Beer Land show, Schooley was part of an acoustical trio. He played slide (mostly on a resonator guitar) and a little banjo with White (who sings and plays fiddle and banjo) and harmonica player/singer Daniels. Though I would have loved to have seen Schooley in his usual hands-on-guitar/feet-on-drums mode, I wasn’t disappointed with this team-up.

Basically, the trio played mournful, spooky old mountain songs, country blues, and proto-bluegrass, sometimes veering off into John Fahey territory. They covered tunes by Muddy Waters, Dock Boggs, and R.L. Burnside and even took a shot at Charlie Walker’s honky-tonk classic “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down.”

The opening acts here were also worth noting. There was Wes Coleman, a singer/guitarist backed only by a drummer, whose melodious melodies reminded me a little of the old band House of Freaks. And there was an extremely fun little scuzzgrass band called Dad Jim, whose frontman Robert Allan Caldwell is related to the famous Caldwell brothers of the Marshall Tucker Band. Besides its rowdy version of “Ya’ll Come,” the thing I liked most about Dad Jim is the fact that the band had a black dog that made itself comfortable onstage throughout the set.

* Exene Cervenka at The Mohawk: Cervenka kicked off her tour for her new album, The Excitement of Maybe, in Austin last week. As anyone who has followed her knows, Cervenka solo is far more low-key than her work with the band that made her famous, X. In fact, on her own, she sounds closer to The Knitters, that X offshoot folk group of which she was part.

I appreciated her Austin show more than I did her new album. The record is quite enjoyable, with some nice tracks with Dave Alvin on guitar and Maggie Bjorklund on dreamy steel. But her stage sound was more stripped-down than that of the album.

Cervenka’s band was a hearty little ensemble with Austin guitar stud Will Sexton and, on the last couple of tunes, banjo picker Gretchen Phillips. But my favorite part of the band was the drummer, whose name I didn’t get. She used a washtub as a bass drum. She’s no Buddy Rich, but she banged that tub with spirit.

And, oh yeah, Exene sings her guts out.

My favorite songs she did were the upbeat “I’ll Admit It Now” (which works better without the horn section on the studio version) and the wistful, countryish “Dirty Snow,” both from the new album, as well as one of the songs she did with Phillips, “I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again” — an old folk song performed by The Maddox Brothers and Rose.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The First Song I Ever Sang My Grandson

My version probably sounded closer to Johnny Cash's than any of these.

Whatever, the lad seemed to like it.


Just stumbled on this forgotten gem

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Sunday, March 27 2011
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
What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone
Dyin' For It by Mudhoney
Livin' in the Jungle by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
It's No Secret by Jefferson Airplane
Pearl City by The Fall
Somebody In My Home by John Schooley & His One Man Band
Dimples by The Animals
Pink Slip by The Unband

Ain't it a Shame by Nobunny
Nightcrawler by The Candy Snatchers
That's My Girl by The Monks
My Confusion by The Elite
Ashes by The Pussywarmers
Sheila Na-Gig by P.J. Harvey
Evil by Grinderman
Do The Sway by The Virgos
(Hot Pastrami with) Mashed Potatoes by Joe Dee & The Starliters
Shrunken Head by Deadbolt

Your Salvation by Sons of Hercules
Floor Length Hair by Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkey Birds
Omega Todd by Kilimanjaro Yak Attack
Haywire Hodaddy by The Hodads
Hodad Makin' the Scene with a Sixpack by The Silly Surfers
Piss Off (What a Loser) by Miho Wada
Heartattack and Vine by Lydia Lunch
I'll Be Gone by Kazik
Fish In The Jailhouse by Tom Waits

Take My Hand Precious Lord by Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
One Kind Favor by Canned Heat
Wolf's at the Door by Howlin' Wolf
Why Don't You Live So God Can Use You by Muddy Waters
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? by Phil Alvin
The Lonesome Road by Snooks Eaglin
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Gotcher Brand New Big Enchilada RIGHT HERE!


I'm a grandfather now but I can rock just like a young whippersnapper. A couple of slugs of Geritol and I'm as good as new. Here's some rockin' tunes for the young at heart and old of fart. As Popeye says, "You've got to save your youth for your old age." This episode includes tons of the usual garage/punk/pyschobilly/R&B/ trash rock that I love so well. And we end with a freeform set that's an ode to grandfatherhood. Someday my grandson will hear this. Hopefully he won't be too disturbed.

Play it here:


Here's the playlist

(Background Music: No Tienes Mi Querer by The Rollings)
Don't Let me Down by The Pornostuntman
The Heist by Gotham City Mashers
Baby I Grind by Les Sexareenos
Spook Factor by Memphis Morticians
No Great Shakes by Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers
I Need Your Lovin' by Wolfman Jack & The Wolfpack
Good Time by The Mighty Hannibal

(Background Music: Sweet Georgia Brown by Cab Calloway)
Floor Length Hair by Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds
Cheetah Eyes by Clone Defects
Walking Through My Dreams by The Big Bopper
Boogiehut by The Get Lost
Red River St. by The Kill Spectors
The Monkey by The Great Gaylord
Eres Casado by Al Hurricane

(Background Music: Old Folks Boogie by Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band)
Granddaddy's Rockin' by Mac Curtis
Rock 'n' Roll Grandpap by Don Rader
Dirty Old Man by Thee Headcoatees
I Am My Own Grandpa by Asylum Street Spankers
Silver Threads Among the Gold by Jerry Lee Lewis
Grandpa's Boogie by Grandpa Jones
Look at Granny Run by Howard Tate
(Background Music: Sloop John B by Joseph Spence)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Sunday, March 20, 2011
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
You Give Me Nothing To Go On by The Fleshtones
Leave The Capitol by The Fall
I'm Cryin' by The Animals
Dream On (Little Dreamer) by Hunx And His Punx
The Shape of Things to Come by The Ramones
Too Much Monkey Business by The Yardbirds
Old Man of The Mountain by Phil Alvin
Bad Boy by Larry Williams
Cry Cry Cry (In The U.S.A.) by The Scrams
The Boo Boo Song by King Coleman

Wart Hog by Lolita #18
Hong Kong by Jerry Lee Lewis
Treat Her Right by Los Straightjackets with Mark Lindsay
Night of the Queerwolf by The Spook Lights
Brain Dead by The Sons of Hercules
Master Sold My Baby by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Jump Jive and Harmonize by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Surf Pigs by Kim Fowley and Mars Bonfire
Wiggle It Baby by Crook, Jr.
Lam Tung Wai by Chaweewan Dumnern

Transcontinental Hustle by Gogol Bordello
Cantina by Pinata Protest
I Had A Dream by Roy & The Devil's Motorcycle
God is a Bullet by Concrete Blonde
The Old Man Down the Road John Fogerty
Don't Slander Me by Roky Erikson
Don't Save it Too Long by Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends

Eddie Are You Kidding? by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Infected by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Come Back Bird by Manby's Head
Not to Touch the Earth by The Doors
She's So Satisfyin' by Purple Merkins
I Just Want to See His Face by The Rolling Stones
Will the Circle Be Unbroken by The Staples Singers
Don't You Ever Let Nobody Drag Yo Spirit Down by Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir with Wilson Pickett & Erib Bibb
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Because There's No Santa Fe Opry Tonight ...

Due to this being the last night of the state Legislature, I won't be doing The Santa Fe Opry tonight. Tom Adler will be sitting in.

Next week I'll be down in Texas, so Laurell Reynolds will bring you the SFO Opry.

I will be doing Terrell's Sound World as usual this week and next.

But since I'll be missing the Opry, I won't be able to do a tribute to the late Ferlin Husky who died this week. So enjoy this classic.

Also, let me give you a pretty country song by Santa Fe's own Billy Kaundart. I posted it on this blog a few years ago, but it's a timeless joy. Remember ... Billy Kaundart!

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Songs of a Preacher Man

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 18, 2011

A preacher in a small Southern town has a double life. He goes astray and his life and the lives of everyone around him suffer for it. Tragedy follows. (“The reverend had his wife done in by a guy I knew in high school.”)

This is the theme of a couple of Patterson Hood songs on Go-Go Boots, the latest album by the Drive-By Truckers. It’s a story he told before in “The Wig He Made Her Wear” on the Truckers’ previous work, The Big To-Do. “Wig” is based on the true story of Mary Winkler, who was found guilty of voluntary man slaughter for killing her allegedly abusive husband, the Rev. Matthew Winkler, in 2006, at the couple’s home in Tennessee.

The spiritual offsprings of that twisted tale are the new album’s title song and “The Fireplace Poker.” These are apparently fictional accounts inspired by the 1988 murder-for-hire case in which Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett, wife of the Rev. Charles Sennett, was stabbed and beaten in her home on Coon Dog Cemetery Road (I’m not making that up!) in Colbert County, Alabama.

The reverend committed suicide, authorities say, soon after being identified as a suspect. One of the contract killers, John Forrest Parker, was executed last year. “This was a wild case,” former Colbert County Sheriff Buddy Aldridge told an Alabama newspaper at the time.

The Sennett-murder songs are delightfully disturbing. In “Go-Go Boots,” there is a slow and bluesy setup in which Hood introduces the Cadillac-driving preacher, his mistress Missy, whose sexy footwear apparently did for this preacher what Mary Winkler’s wig and other accessories did for her late husband. And then there’s the son, driving his Camaro and working crappy jobs, the rage building inside as rumors about his mother’s death start to swirl.

The murder is only hinted at in “Go-Go Boots”: “He met these guys who didn’t mind getting dirty/He was a pillar and his alibi was sturdy.”

But the lyrics of “The Fireplace Poker” read almost like a police detective’s field notes. It’s a meandering epic sung matter-of-factly by Hood over a tense, sturdy beat. In the song, the preacher’s wife is stabbed and left for dead by the hired killer. But it’s the preacher who finishes the job with 15 whacks of a fireplace poker.

Also, in the song, the official story of the preacher’s suicide is questioned. The preacher’s son brings him home, apparently from questioning at the police station. Hood asks, “Was he alone when he died?/ Don’t call the son for questioning, that bullet was deserved./ Better call it suicide. Justice has been served.’”

In a video on the Truckers’ website, Hood explains that he’s fascinated when “people in positions of authority ... whether it’s a preacher or policeman, you know, people who are supposed to be standing up for the morally upright things, commit horrific crimes.” He says that he has an unfinished book and an unfinished screenplay based on the murder that inspired these tunes.

“In another life I might have been one of those people that write, you know, noir books or something, or direct noir movies,” Hood says in the video. “But instead I play in a noir band.”

“Go-Go Boots” and “The Fireplace Poker” weigh in at nearly 14 minutes. They’re like a movie within the album, but they’re not the only tracks that back up Hood’s contention that the Truckers are a noir band.

While the music here isn’t quite as rocked out as in most of DBT’s previous albums — there are lots of sweet soul grooves and a couple of honky-tonkers — the stories told are some of the most intense since The Dirty South, their 2004 album, which is still my favorite.

There’s the gripping “Used to Be a Cop,” a seven-minute Hood tale of a former officer who sounds like a walking powder keg. He’s a guy who was beaten by his father, grazed by a bullet in the line of duty, and divorced by a wife who thought he was crazy for all his fidgeting and pacing.

His car was repossessed, and he carries deep resentment about having to pay for a house, “but that bitch lives in it now.” Police work was the only thing he was good at, but he lost his badge because of “my temper and the shakes.” Mike Cooley’s guitar snarls and boils, and you keep thinking some atrocity is awaiting in the next verse.

“Ray’s Automatic Weapon” is another Hood song. This one is about a Vietnam veteran, not a criminal. The narrator is haunted by recurring nightmares and has a gnawing fear that something crazy might happen. Or maybe it already did. He begs his war buddy Ray to take back the gun he left with the narrator 40 years ago. “The things that I’ve been shooting at are getting all too real.”

Not all the songs here are blood and guts. The baritone-voiced Cooley sings “The Weakest Man,” an upbeat country tune you could easily imagine Conway Twitty singing. Cooley’s “Pulaski” is a sweet, cautionary tale of a small-town Tennessee girl who longs for the nightlife of Los Angeles. She comes to an unspecified tragic end.
Eddie Hinton

And there’s not one, but two songs written by the late soul man Eddie Hinton. My favorite is “Where’s Eddie?” an emotional ballad co- written by funky Donnie Fritts and sung by bass player Shonna Tucker.

Go-Go Boots doesn’t hold together quite as well as last year’s The Big To-Do. My initial impression is that there’s more filler on Boots. But don’t worry. You’ll get your money’s worth on the songs I mentioned. I can’t think of many other bands these days that provide this much meat per platter.


Here's the interview with Patterson Hood I mentioned above:

The Go-Go Boots Episodes - Episode 1 - Drive-By Truckers from Drive-By Truckers on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grandpa Boogie

A song for a wonderful morning.

For Molly, Dan and Gideon Kilgore Brake.

(Nothing to see here, just listen!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Sunday, March 13, 2011
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
Rats in My Kitchen by The Fleshtones
Alleys of Your Mind by The Dirtbombs
That's the Bag I'm In by The Fabs
I Want to Be Your Pussy Cat by Lightning Beat-Man
I Don't Know by The Del Moroccos
I Need Your Lovin' by Wolfman Jack & The Wolfpack
Jail La La by The Dum Dum Girls
Sweet Skinny Jenny by Esquerita
Bip Bop Bip by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Baby I Grind by Les Sexerinos
Love of My Life by Ruben & The Jets

Busload of Faith by Lou Reed
Goo Goo Muck by Ronnie Cooke & The Gaylads
The Crusher by The Novas
Rock-N Bones by Elroy  Deitzel
Miniskirt Blues by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Bend Over I'll Drive by The Cramps
Circus Freak by The Electric Prunes
Jesus Never Lived on Mars by Eddie Spaghetti

St. Pat's Set 

Sally Mac Lennane by The Pogues
The Likes of You Again by Flogging Molly
 Whiskey in a Jar by The Dubliners
The Rocky Road to Dublin by The Young Dubliners
Livin' in America by Black 47
Captain Kelly's Kitchen by The Dropkick Murpheys 
The Body of an American by Shane MacGowan & The Popes
The Rising of the Moon by The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem

I Will Stand at Your Grave by Sinead O'Connor
Almost a God by Movie Star Junkies
Ask the Angels by Patti Smith
Freedom by J. Mascis & The Fog
Puss in Boots by New York Dolls
Waitin' For Waits by Richie Cole
Innocent When You Dream by Tom Waits

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
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Friday, March 11, 2011


Friday, March 11, 2011
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
Walk Right In by Gus Cannon
Scrap Collectin' Man by Crankshaft & The Geargrinders
Graveyard Shift by Scott H. Biram
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live by The Del Lords
Pictures of Lily by The Hickoids
Teardrops by The Sixtyniners
Gone to Seed by The Riptones
Foolin' Around by Buck Owens
I'm Gonna Take You Home and Make You Like Me by Robbie Fulks

Three  Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
The Gravy Shake by The Defibulators
I Like Drinking by The Gourds
The Ballad of Lightnin' Bill Jaspar by The Imperial Rooster
The Ballad of Lynann  by Two Ton Strap 
A) Enlightenment, B) Endarkenment (Hint There is No C) by Ray Wylie Hubbard 
Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream by Gurf Morlix
The Hurrier I Go The Behinder I Get by The Last Mile Ramblers 
Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me by Eddie Peabody

I Used to Be a Cop by The Drive-By Truckers
Ramona by Jerry J. Nixon
You're Bound to Look Like A Monkey by Hank Penny
Chopped by The Watzloves
Le Pistolet by Mama Rosin
My Screamin' Screamin' Mimi by Ray Campi
My Pretty Quadroon by Jerry Lee Lewis 
Kiss an Angel Good Morning by Charlie Pride

When the Gates Swing Open by The Rev. Johnny L. Jones
Cold And Blind by Possessed By Paul James
Belshazzar by Johnny Cash
Dark Day by Silver Leaf Quartet 
Reunion in Heaven by Flatt & Scruggs 
Sayonara Yuichi & the Hilltone Boys
Going Where The Lonely Go by Merle Haggard

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

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: New Fleshtones and Dirtbombs

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 11, 2011

On their new album, Brooklyn Sound Solution, those old masters known as The Fleshtones don’t do much but have a great time. No major statement, no great artistic insight, no over- all point. And those who love this basic, unaffected ’60s rock ’n’ soul-drenched guitar rock will have a great time listening to it. It’s scheduled for release on Tuesday.

On this album, the band, fronted by founding members Keith Streng and Peter Zaremba, is joined by Lenny Kaye, guitarist for The Patti Smith Group and compiler of the influential Nuggets collection of 1960s garage-band classics. (Kaye is less known for being the author of a book about crooners, You Call It Madness.) He fits in seamlessly.

I could spend a couple of paragraphs informing the uninitiated about this seminal New York band (which claims to be the only band to debut at CBGB — in 1976 — that never broke up and never had an inactive year). But you can find out about the group for yourselves on the Fleshtones’ bio documentary Pardon Us for Living but the Graveyard Is Full, available in its entirety online HERE.

What sets BSS apart from other Fleshtones albums is that nearly all the songs are instrumentals, covers, or both.

My favorite tunes here are a couple of cranked-up blues covers. There’s the signature tune of Bo Diddley sideman Billy Boy Arnold, “I Wish You Would” (probably best-known for its cover by The Yardbirds). The Fleshtones play it with a fuzzy bass line that can’t help but make you think of The Doors’ “Break on Through.” They could easily make a medley of the two songs.

Even better is “Rats in My Kitchen,” a song originally done by Sleepy John Estes. Estes recorded this for Sun Records in the ’50s. He did it as a slow blues. The Fleshtones transform it into a pounding, menacing song of horror. “You know I came home late last night/Somewhere ’bout half past 10/They stared at me with mean red eyes/I had to go right back out again.”

My only complaint about BSS is that there are too many instrumentals. Are Streng and Zaremba trying to conserve their vocal chords or what? Don’t get me wrong, I like all the songs. Their instrumental cover of “Day Tripper” rocks, and the Kaye composition “Lost in Xandu” sounds like a forgotten surf classic from a parallel universe.

And I’ve always loved the cool, jazzy opening song, “Comin’ Home Baby,” which was done in 1962 by Mel Tormé. Now granted, neither Zaremba nor Streng can sing like the Velvet Fog, but this song would sound even better as a vocal number.

That quibble aside, it’s great just knowing that The Fleshtones are still out there keeping the sound they call “super rock” alive.

Not recommended:

Party Store by The Dirtbombs. It had been rumored for at least a couple of years that The Dirtbombs’ next project was going to be an album of bubble-gum covers. Head Dirtbomb Mick Collins had even talked about that possibility in interviews .

But while I was hearing, in the jukebox of my mind, Collins growling “Yummy yummy yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy” — with the group’s powerful two-bass, two drummers lineup behind him — The Dirtbombs threw a curveball.

The new album consists of covers of what several writers have called “classic Detroit techno” songs.

Well, burst that gum bubble!

For someone like me who couldn’t tell a classic Detroit techno band from a classic Cincinnati bagpipe ensemble, this is a huge “huh?”

But I’m a Dirtbombs fan, and one of the things I love about the group is its willingness to experiment with various sounds.

Mick Collins
 (with The Gories last summer)
Plus, I’m curious. I’ve always associated Detroit with Motown, Mitch Ryder, MC5, and the great neo-garage bands that arose there in the ’90s — groups like The White Stripes and Collins’ first band, The Gories.

But I have to say, this little experiment has left me disappointed. How many other punk bands could cover Lou Rawls, The Bee Gees, and Yoko Ono as this Motor City primitive garage/punk/soul outfit did on its 2006 compilation If You Don’t Already Have a Look?

Party Store starts off strong with a song called “Cosmic Cars.” This might have begun as a techno tune when done in the early ’80s by Cybotron. But here it’s pure Dirtbomb rock ’n’ roll. (They do another Cybotron song here, “Alleys of Your Mind,” which is also one of the best on the album.) But by the second tack, “Sharivari,” the disco drums kick in. And they’re there for most of the rest of the record. Come on, Mick, if you’re going in that direction, at least give us a few Village People covers.

If you can make it through the 21-minute “Bug in the Bass Bin” (the first six minutes or so consist of engine noises), you’re a better Dirtbombs fan than I am.

The Dirtbombs aren’t the first to attempt a fusion of techno and garage or punk or whatever you want to call it. Just a few months ago in this column I reviewed a weird little album called Two-Headed Demon by a one-man band from Switzerland, a guy who calls himself Urban Junior.

UJ’s “Swiss-spankin-electro-trash-garage-boogie-disco-blues-punk,” as he calls it, sounds looser, trashier, and closer to the punk spirit than the stuff on Party Store. And it probably helps that none of the tracks on Two-Headed Demon are more three minutes.

But The Dirtbombs rarely stay in one place. Their next album is bound to be different. Maybe they’ll even give us some bubble gum.

Blog Bonus! Here's a classic Fleshtones video by M. Henry Jones from the late '70s.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Scott H. Biram Tonight at Corazon

Scott H. Biram, one-man band, hillbilly screamer, Bloodshot recording artist and all around wild man, is playing tonight at Corazon.

The show starts at 9 p.m., with Ralph White (former member of The Bad Livers!) opening.

I've reviewed two of his three Bloodshot albums. You can find those reviews HERE and HERE

Better yet, here's a live radio show Birham did, courtesy of the Live Music Archive. Enjoy and hope to see you at the Corazon tonight.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Sunday, March 6, 2011
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
The Wanderer by Dion & The Belmonts
Necrophiliac in Love by The Blood-Drained Cows
I Wish You Would by The Fleshtones
Second Cousin by The Flamin' Groovies
Take A Chance On Me by The Mighty Hannibal 
Time Bomb High School by The Reigning Sound 
Traitor by The Jackets 
Omaha by Moby Grape 
Goat Throat by The Scrams 
Bless You by The Devil Dogs
Clown's Tears by Sherman Rubin & The Undie Dogs

Return of the Mantis by The Hydes
Rock 'n' Roll by The Velvet Underground
Alverez  by Davila 666
Blinding Sun by Mudhoney
Talk the Talk by Titty Bingo 
Little Latin Lupe Lu by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
All in the Game by Tommy Edwards 

Baby Dragon by Old Time Relijun
Rasa Senthuh  by Arrington de Dionyso
Le Redresseur De Torts by King Automatic  
White Jam by Captain Beefheart
Oh No/Orange County Lumber Truck by Frank Zappa 
Secret Code by The Dirtbombs 
Flyin' High by Country Joe & The Fish
Someone Else's Brain by Nobunny  
Domino by The Cramps 
Best Napkin I Ever Had by The Black Lips 

Down for Death by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
The Curse of Milhaven by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 
Ashes by The Pussywarmers 
Why Did You Get Mad at Me? by Lightnin' Hopkins
America The Beautiful by Ray Charles

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

eMusic March

* First Blood by Nobunny. I downloaded this in anticipation of Nobunny's show in Santa Fe last month. And then, old fart that I am, I was too pooped after a busy day of covering the state Legislature, so I missed the damned show. At least I still have the album.

But enough of my pathetic excuses. ...

Nobunny is a crazy dude, real name Justin Champlin, who prances around the stage in a ratty-looking fuzzy rabbit mask. He  looks like a wino who mugged the Easter Bunny.

His music is peppy pop punk, a slightly sweetened Ramones with some echoes of T-Rex, especially on the song "Breath." His sound also reminds me a little of that of Hunx & His Punx (who I saw open for Kid Congo Powers in New York last summer.)

* Party Store by The Dirtbombs. Here's a curveball -- The Dirtbombs, that Motor City primitive garage/punk/ soul outfit led by the mighty Mick Collins do an entire album of what several writers have called "classic Detroit techno" songs.

For someone like me who couldn't tell a classic Detroit techno band from a classic Cincinnati bagpipe ensemble, this is a big "huh"? But I'm a Dirtbombs fan and one of the things I like about the group is their willingness to experiment in various sounds.

But I have to say, this little experiment has left me disappointed.

The album starts off strong with a song called "Cosmic Cars." This might have started out as a techno tune when done in the early 80s by Cybotron. But here it's pure Dirtbomb rock 'n' roll. (The DBombs do another Cybotron song here, "Alleys of Your Mind," which also is one of the best on Party Shop.)

But by the second tack, "Sharaveri" the disco drums kick in. And they're there for most of the rest of the record. Come on, Mick, if you're going in that direction, at least give us a few Village People covers!

* The 17 tracks on  Battle of the Jug Bands that I didn't get last time. This probably is a great example of a show that would have been a lot more fun to be at than to hear later.

The Battle of the Jug Bands is an annual event that takes place in Minneapolis every weekend after the Superbowl. This album is from the 2000 show. I'm not sure whether they've released any since then.

A main problem is that the recording quality isn't all that great. And while I'm no jug purist, too many of the groups here seem don't even come close to a real jugband. Much of this album is goofy pseudo old-timey sounds, like third rate Asylum Street Spankers.

Don't get me wrong, there's some cool little tunes here. "Hot Corn" by Ammon Hennessy is one of those. "Deep Fried Gators" by Sloppy Joe is a delight, as is their Jimi Hendrix parody "Purple Hay." My favorite line there is " 'scuse me while I kiss this cow."

But one of the problems here is that there's too many "wacky" covers or parodies of rock or pop tunes. The "jug" covers of "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Up on Cripple Creek" are pretty useless.  (I previously downloaded previously "Kung Fu Fighting" by Girls on Top, which is kind of cool  and "Sweet Virginia" by Hoakim Yoakim & The Eggwhites, which falls flat.)

* A bunch of garage punk singles from Scion A/V. : Black Lips, Nobunny, not to mention Kid Congo Powers and Hunx & His Punx. I'd already picked up a few tunes by The Pierced Arrows, The Dirtbombs, Davilla 666, etc.  from the Scion website when they were offered for free there. (There's still lots of free stuff here, so check it out.)

I'm not really sure why Scion has decided to be the corporate benefactor of garage music these days. They've produced festivals and shows around the country (including the Kid Congo/Hunx show I mentioned above) and produced this cool little documentary I blogged about a few months ago.

So is Scion trying to co-opt the "garage scene"? Oh, who cares? I tend to think it's some young person in the marketing department with good taste who's somehow convince his or her bosses that this is a good promotion tool. I say enjoy it while the ride lasts. The company has made some great bands available to a lot of people who might not have heard it otherwise.

* Four songs from Hannibalism! by The Mighty Hannibal. This has been on my "Saved" list forever. It's about time I download this collection of sweet soul sounds from the Mighty one. More on this next month.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Friday, March 4, 2011
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
Git it, Beau Jocque! by Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers
Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out Of Hand by Waylon Jennings
Stop, Look and Listen by Patsy Cline
Hookie Junk by The Gourds 
Chauffeur by Rosie Flores & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Low Down Dog by Sleepy LaBeef 
Mrs. Cooper's Tea Party by Margaret Lewis 
Hornin' Zeese by Al Duvall 

Whiskey by Scott H. Biram
Baboon Boogie by Jimmy Murphy  
Something Else by Eddie Cochran
Lucky Old Sun by Jerry Lee Lewis 
Oh Babe by Big Al Downing 
The Weakest Man by Drive-By Truckers
Your Heart Oughta Be Broken by Yuichi & the Hilltone Boys  
Five Minutes to Live by Johnny Cash 
Pie-Ella by Hipbone Slim & The Knee-Tremblers 
Sitting on Top of The World by The Great Recession Orchestra

Struttin' That Thing by Cripple Clarence Lofton
Sugar Babe by Dock Boggs 
Her Name Was Hula Lou by The Carolina Tar Heels
Daniel in the Lion's Den by Bessie Jones & Georgia Sea Island Singers
Are You Washed in the Blood by Ernest Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaneers
My Rough and Rowdy Ways by Bill Cox
I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die by Miles & Bob Pratcher  
Dying Crap Shooter Blues by Blind Willie McTell 
Bye Bye Policeman by Jim Jackson
To the Work by Alfred G. Karnes 

Fucking Sailors in China Town by Peter Stampfel & The Worm All Stars
James Alley by David Johansen & The Harry Smiths
The Seeds Of My Destruction by Cornell Hurd  
Lookin' for Someone to Kill by Kell Robertson 
Dirty On Yo, Mama by James Luther Dickinson 
My Rosemarie by Stan Ridgway
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Good Enough For Me

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 4, 2011

Remember the good old days when the phrase “alternative rock” conjured up crazy visions of Gibby Haynes blasting a shotgun from the stage of a Butthole Surfers show as film clips of gruesome medical procedures played in the background — instead of now, when the term all too often means some wimp whining because his puppy has the sniffles?

There’s still some healthy weirdness out there in the outer fringes of rock’ n’ roll. One such practitioner is a guy called Arrington De Dionyso, whose old band Old Time Relijun sailed stormy musical oceans where few other sailors were brave enough to venture.

Arrington’s still around — he’s supposed to be releasing a new album this month. As for Old Time Relijun, the group’s first album, long out of print, was rereleased last year by the Northern Spy label with all sorts of bonus tracks.

Hearing Songbook, Vol. 1 for the first time might seem like stumbling onto some bizarre group of hopped-up tribesmen from deep within a jungle in a country whose name you can’t even pronounce. Actually, the group was from Olympia, Washington. It had a stand-up bassist and a drummer who sometimes played accordion — and De Dionyso, who sang and played guitar, sax, clarinet, and jew’s-harp.

A few months ago, making a stray reference to this band in this column, I said De Dionyso sounded like “Roy Orbison on angel dust.” I’ll stand by that quip. You’ll also hear echoes of the good Captain Beefheart as well as of avant-garde jazz avatars like Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane. And there’s a definite no-wave influence in Relijun. De Dionyso’s sax takes a (James) Chance. And being that the band was from Washington state, there’s probably a little Twin Peaks mushroom madness in the mix as well.

And don’t forget weirdo-rock pilgrims Pere Ubu. There’s a song here called “Ubu’s Theme” — which features accordion and what sounds like a bass clarinet. Less than a minute long, it seems like a snatch from the soundtrack of a French murder mystery. But even more Ubu-like is the following song, “Baby Dragon,” on which De Dionyso sings in a David Thomas-like warble.

Other times, De Dionyso sounds as if he’s attempting Tuvan throat singing, sounding like a sinister version of Popeye. And sometimes he employs a strange and hilarious falsetto, for example, on the song “Qiyamat,” on which he sounds like a nightmarish cartoon character.

Most tracks here are only two or three minutes, which suit OTR best. But there’s a handful of six-minute (or thereabouts) excursions on which the group gets to stretch out. “Qiyamat” is one of these. And so is “Fig,” though it’s not as interesting as most of the group’s material (hint: There’s a drum solo). By far the best long song here is “Manticore/Lion Tamer.” It’s actually a medley of two songs, early versions of both being among the bonus tracks. The reason the medley works so well is that, except for a few moments in the middle, in which a twangy guitar riff is repeated to the point of frustration, it rocks from start to finish.

I realize that this music is too nuts for most. But Old Time Relijun was good enough for me.

Arrington unleashed: Although Old Time Relijun is no longer an ongoing concern, De Dionyso is still twisting heads off. On his 2009 album, Malaikat dan Singa, he sings in the Indonesian language (the album’s name — which is now the name of De Dionyso’s backing band — means “Angels and Lions”). As strange as the concept seems, this is no intellectual exercise. This music rocks! (After all, he says he recorded the album n Indonesian “to impress a girl.”)

You can listen to (and download) several live versions of Malaikat at WFMU’s Free Music Archives. The first song, “Kedalaman Air,” might remind you of a Bizarro World version of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” with a downright vicious, crunching guitar.

Then there’s “Mani Malaikat,” a couple of minutes shorter than the album version, but just as ominous.

The set ends with a 15-minute radio interview of De Dionyso. (He talks like a regular American guy, not the screaming voodoo shaman of his performances.)

On this site you also can find other radio performances by De Dionyso, including some (mostly) instrumental meditations in which he’s backed by upright-bass player Gene Janas.

In fact, De Dionyso is all over the internet. There are lots of YouTube videos of him, and at the K Records website, there’s a streaming version of him performing “Hot Head” as a tribute to the late Beefheart. Slide over to, and you’ll find an 11-minute live video of De Dionyso and the Malaikat dan Singa band. But more important, streaming at the site are four songs from the upcoming Malaikat album, Suara Naga.

“Kerasukan” has De Dionyso angrily chanting over a farting electronic pulse. (Maybe he’s saying, “Turn that thing off!”) Drums and sax later add to the chaos.

“Baru Limunan” is the singer at his most urgent. He pleads, threatens, and warbles as the steady, pounding bass and drums suggest some race against time.

“Aku Di Penjara” reminds me of Polish rocker Kazik Staszewski when he does his version of hip-hop. “Bianglala” features a repeated bass line that sounds like a dub-reggae take of “Anarchy in the U.K.”

I don’t understand a word De Dionyso is singing, but it’s still a Relijous experience.

Here's one of the Malaikat videos.


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