Saturday, June 30, 2012

Purple Stickpin Gets (Un)Lucky on Friday the 13th

UPDATE 7-5-12: I just learned that this show has been cancelled. Tex says he's hoping to bring Purple Stickpin to Santa Fe sometime later this year.

A pretty nice consolation prize though: Big Sandy & The Fly-Rite Boys are scheduled that night at Santa Fe Sol.

(Original post below)
This should be an amazing show:

Purple Stickpin, featuring T. Tex Edwards (The Nervebreakbreakers, Out on Parole, The Swingin' Cornflake Killers, etc.) and Santa Fe's own Tommy Trusnovic (Monkeyshines, The Hickoids, Blood Drained Cows, The Floors, 27 Devils Joking), will play The Underground, or as oldtimers call it "Evangelos' Basement.) on Friday the 13th.

Opening are Chango and Monkeyshines.

I don't know what the cover is, but The Underground usually is pretty reasonable.

My review of the recent T. Tex compilation, Intexicated is HERE.

And here's a couple of videos:

Friday, June 29, 2012


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, June 29, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)
 OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
American Music by The Blasters
Crazy Ex Boyfriend by The Rev. Horton Heat (Coming to Santa Fe July3!)
Manana by Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crowns (Coming to Santa Fe July 5)
Lotta Lotta Women by Robbie Fulks
Tall Dark Stranger by Buck Owens
Rank Strangers by The Stanley Brothers
Tallacatcha by Alvin Youngblood Hart
My Money Never Runs Out by Banjo Joe (Gus Cannon)
Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man? by Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Outcast by Dave Van Ronk with Tom Russell
Red Neck, Blue Collar by James Luther Dickinson
Euphoria by Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band
Monkey Rag by Asylum Street Spankers
Hogs on the Highway by Bad Livers
Get Outta My Way by The Dirt Daubers
200 Years by David Gowans
I'm a Gonna Kill You by T. Tex Edwards (Coming to Santa Fe Friday, July 13)
The Country is Young by Jon Langford

Ball and Chain by The World Famous Headliners
Streak of Madness by Bob Helgerson
Rub a Dub Dub by Hank Thompson
If You Ain't Gonna Take It Off by Bobby Jenkins
Jack's Red Cheetah by Cathy Faber's Swingin' Country Band
Gone But Not Forgotten by Joey Allcorn
I Ain't Got Nobody by Merle Haggard
American History by Cary Swinney
If You Want to Be a Bird/Wild Blue Yonder by The Holy Modal Rounders

Dublin Blues by Guy Clark
Fourth of July by Dave Alvin
See the Uncle Sam by South Memphis String Band
Take Me by George Jones
Roswell Town by Jack Clift & The Illuminati Assassination Orchestra
We Live in Two Different Worlds by Hank Williams
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Hives Still Alive

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
June 29, 2012

As it turns out, despite their wacky turn-of-the-century catchphrase, The Hives weren’t your favorite band.

It seems like only yesterday that this Swedish group was the Next Big Thing. Singer “Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist” and the boys were viewed as rock ’n’ roll saviors who would wrest music from the corporate Huns. Or whatever. I don’t remember exactly how long Hivesmania lasted, but it wasn’t long. And I’ve completely forgotten what the next Next Big Thing was. There have been a few since then.

But even though the hype quickly withered, The Hives have consistently, if not prolifically, made good, fun rock ’n’ roll. The recently released Lex Hives is the band’s fifth full-length album, its first since 2007’s The Black and White album.

Before writing this I looked back at my review of The Hives’ breakthrough album, Veni Vidi Vicious (from 10 years ago). “These five nonblondes rock with unabashed intensity and a healthy humor,” I wrote. “The relentless guitar attack and back-to-Stooge-basics approach indeed sounds fresh, if not terribly original.”

I could say the same about the new album, though I probably wouldn’t include a cryptic reference to that ’90s one-hit-wonder, 4 Non Blondes.

But many critics have been less than kind about Lex Hives. One British writer sniffed, “You’ll only get a kick out of this record if you think all music made since 1976 is terrible and have absolutely no desire to hear anything new whatsoever.”

Oh good grief!

Granted, a lot of the tunes here have a certain classic-rock sheen. “Go Right Ahead” sounds like Electric Light Orchestra filtered through T Rex. “I Want More” might be an AC/DC sendup. (Or is that recurring muted familiar guitar riff a sample from Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”?) And on the very first track, The Hives seem to put the whole album in the context of arena-rock knuckleheadedness with their minute-long tongue-in-cheek invocation “Come On!” Here, with overdubbed crowd cheers in the background, Almqvist chants, “Come on! Come on! Come on! ... Everybody, come on!”

If you like it fast and furious — and I sure do — it doesn’t get much better than “These Spectacles Reveal the Nostalgics.” The melody is reminiscent of the Ramones. “Take Back the Toys” is raw anger. “Take back the toys you gave to me/I never knew what to do with them anyway,” Almqvist seethes in the chorus. The final song, “Midnight Shifter,” is aided by a horn section.

But my favorite on Lex Hives is “Patrolling Days.” The chorus goes, “My patrolling days are over/And I ain’t shot nobody since/I fought the big cheese out of office/And taught the hep kids how to dance.” It’s not exactly clear what the heck Almqvist is singing about, but maybe he’s identifying with an old gunslinger who wants to let the world know he’s still a dangerous dude. “I’m still standing in the hurricane’s eye and it’s dancing to my song,” he sings.

The Hives never were my favorite band. But they always sound mighty powerful.

Also recommended: 

Here are a couple of bands whose music I’ve come to know through the GaragePunk Hideout :

* Get on Board by The Molting Vultures. They come from a land Down Under — Adelaide, Australia to be exact. This rowdy bunch started out as a trio in 2004 playing surf, punk, and garage sounds, but their ever-evolving membership has grown (it’s “an evolving collective,” their Facebook page says) into a quintet. The guitars are fuzzy, the electric organ is prominent, and the beat is maniacal.

Though nearly all the songs on this album are in the two- to three-minute range, my favorite is a long one, the five-and-a-half-minute minor-key odyssey called “Rock ’n’ Roll Emergency.” Organist Jamie Vulture shines here with snaky, Doors-like riffs.

Also worthwhile is the song “Drop in & Go” (which also was the title of the group’s previous album, though the song didn’t appear there). Fans of classic-era garage music will recognize the lyrics of “The Crusher” by The Novas (“Do the hammerlock you turkey necks! Do the eye gouge!”), which the Vultures borrow here.

All the songs are original, except for an excellent cover of Roky Erickson’s “Fire Engine” (originally recorded by the 13th Floor Elevators).

*  Falling off the Face of the Earth by The Electric Mess. These guys are not really off the face of the Earth. They’re in Brooklyn.

Led by singer Esther Crow (real name Chip Fontaine), The Mess’ basic sound is based on the mid-’60s Nuggets-era sound of fuzz and Farfisa put through the punk-rock grinder. This album rocks even harder than the group’s self-titled 2010 debut.

Highlights here include the infectious opening track, “He Looks Like a Psycho” (“You say you’re choosing right, but he looks like a psycho/You’d better stay in the light because he looks like a psycho”), “Don’t Take Your Bad Trip Out on Me,” which sounds like The Count Five after drinking a case of Red Bull, and the low and slow “You’re Fired,” which may or may not be an ode to Donald Trump.

Blog Bonus: Some videos for your entertainment

Do the eye gouge, you turkeynecks!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, June 24, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

UPDATE: You can hear the first hour of this show HERE

 OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
World of Pain by Figures of Light
Dixon and Downey

Live Interview with Wheeler Winston Dixon and Michael Downey of  Figures of Light

It's Lame/ 15 Minutes of Fame by Figures of Light

Ghost Rider by The Gories
Lonesome Cowboy Bill by The Velvet Underground
It's a Hard Life by The A-Bones
Who Do You Love/Spoonful by Johnny Thunders
He Looks Like a Psycho by The Electric Mess
Blood From a Stone by The Stillettos
Human Bodies by Love Collector

I Lust U Always by Prince
Livin' In a World Gone Mad by Dumpstaphunk
Whiskey Wagon by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Ice Age by Dr. John
Everything Will Be Fine by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
No No No by Die Zorros
Treat Her Right by George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Put Me in Jail by Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crowns
Let Him Try by April March
I Got Love by The King Khan Experience
Witness by fIREHOSE
California Swamp Dance by Kim Fowley
Summer Breeze by Petty Booka
What Kind of Fool Am I by Grandpaboy
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Psssst .... Here's a Leaked Prince Song from 1982

Here's a recently leaked Prince song, "Lust U Always," reportedly recorded around the same time as the 1999 album.

The music site Antiquiet says, "While the track was never used for any Prince record, His Royal Badness did end up offering it to Mr. Robert Palmer in the late 80s but the singer turned it down."

Princevault notes, "The song paraphrases some lyrics from Annie Ross's song `Twisted' (notably covered by Joni Mitchell, and later played a few times on the One Nite Alone... Tour), but thematically fits in well with much of his 1981-2 material, concerning the narrator's uncontrollable lust for a woman."

There's also a Soundcloud version that has a download link.

But as WFMU warned in a tweet today, listen quick. Prince's lawyers are likely to get this removed from Youtube pretty fast.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

eMusic June

* Last Round by Holy Modal Rounders. If your image of American folk music is some wimpy, self-righteous dude with a guitar spouting tired political platitudes then you need a little Holy Modality in your life. Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber and all their friends and loved ones who drifted in and out of the Rounders, showed how truly subversive folk music can be.

 Like the title implies, this 1978 work was supposed to be the swan song for the Rounders. And in reality, it was their last album until a Stampfel/Weber reunion in 1999. (My theory on the real reason they got back together for the album Too Much Fun was to show the "alternative country" fans of that time how alternative country should really sound like.)

 Last Round includes some remakes of early Rounder "hits" like "If You Want to Be a Bird" (the original got almost famous for being on the soundtrack of Easy Rider. Here it's coupled with "Wild Blue Yonder."); "August 1967 (Hippies Call it STP)" (an ode to a motor oil treatment, I suppose); and "Euphoria," one of the Rounders' earliest songs. This tune was covered by just about every jugband revival groups of the '60s.

There's also some fresh madness, such as Stampfel's bluegrass/klezmer romp "Poison Sugar," the luaty faux Dixieland "Pink Underwear," an earnest Civil War-era "Year of Jubilo" (you should recognize the melody even if you don't recognize the title) and the fine sleaze rock of "Snappin' Pussy."

* The Capitol Years by Johnny Otis. L.A.-based Otis mostly is remembered for two things: 1) "Willie and the Hand Jive" and  2) his role as R&B bandleader, producer and talent scout who is responsible for discovering singers like "Little" Esther Phillips, Big Mama Thornton, Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard, and Etta James -- who died only days after Otis last January.

That history itself justifies Otis' place in the rock 'n' roll pantheon. But many seem to forget that at one point Otis himself was being groomed as a star. He recorded for Capitol Records in the late '50s. Even though his only major hit from this period was the Bo Diddley influenced "Willie and the Hand Jive," this collection shows that he recorded several tunes that probably should have been much bigger than they were.

"Good Golly" (with its not so subtle allusion to Little Richard) is a fine mindless R&B workout, as is the case with "Hum Ding a Ling" and "Ring-a Ling." Another favorite is "Telephone Baby." (I'm not sure of the identity of the woman singing harmonies  and making sexy noises in the background. Perhaps Marci Lee?) But the craziest is "Three Girls Named Molly Doin' the Hully Gully."

Johnny works Screamin' Jay Hawkins' side of the street with "Castin' my Spell" (helped by singer  Marci Lee) and "Voodoo Woman," a slow blues. And there's a couple of "Hand Jive" sequels. "Willie Did the Cha Cha" puts a pseudo Latin beat on Otis' big hit. Meanwhile, "Crazy Country Hop" is an irresistible swampy "Willie" clone.

Some of these songs feature other vocalists. There's Mel Williams, who takes the lead on "Well, Well, Well," (with a beat that sounds like it's got some New Orleans in it) and a slow, greasy ballad "Little Angel." And then there's  Marie Adams & Three Tons of Joy doing a live R&B take of the old Tin Pan Alley chestnut "Ma He's Making Eyes at Me." I'm not sure if it's live or "fake live" but the screaming teenagers are an essential part of this recording.

*Maverick by George Thorogood & The Destroyers. I believe that Thorogood is one of the most underrated rockers of the '70s and '80s.

This album, which I used to have on cassette tape, is one of his best. Maybe his very best, since, after all, this is where his classic "I Drink Alone" came from. (True confession, I can't hear this song without my mind drifting back to this San Diego strip joint my cousin took me to and to the blonde miracle-in-silicone who danced to it. She truly made the song her very own.)

Thorogood always was a good John Lee Hooker interpreter. Earlier in his career he did a fine "Boogie Chillun" and a respectable "One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer." Here he tackles "Crawlin' King Snake." While it's nowhere near Hooker's original, Thorogood does a snarling, stripped down take on it.

And Thorogood is responsible for the second "Willie and the Hand Jive" I downloaded this month.

Other Thorogood  diamonds on this include "Gear Jammer" with its crazed slide guitar lead that now seems like a precursor to a thousand blues-band bashers; "Go Go Go," a lesser-known Chuck Berry song; and the title song, which yes, is the theme song for the old t.v.western starring James Gardner. Hank  Carter's rooty-toot sax makes this song.

* Cockadoodledon't by Legendary Shack Shakers. I downloaded this one not long before I saw the Shakers with their auxiliary group, the Dirt Daubers at Santa Fe Sol earlier this month.

This is one of their earliest albums, released back in 2002 when Joe Buck was still with them (before he devolved into Joe Buck Yourself)

Besides some crazed, hopped up J.D. Wilkes originals like "Pinetree Boogie," "Blood on the Bluegrass," "Help Me From My Brain" and "Shakerag Holler," there's some crazed, hopped-up covers like Slim Harpo's "Shake Your Hips," the classic "Bullfrog Blues" (the best version of this I've heard since Canned Heat's first album) and Benny Joy's "Wild Wild Lover."

This one's almost as fun as one of their concerts. But not quite.

Enjoy this video I shot at their Santa Fe show:

Friday, June 22, 2012


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, June 22, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)
 OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Bad News by Johnny Cash
Rosa del Rio by Erik Ness
Pink Elephants by Wally Willette
The King of Fools by Bill & Bonnie Hearne with Buck Owens
Ubangi Stomp by Carl Mann
I've Got a Lot of Hiding Left to Do by James Hand
Stealin' Sugar by Ray Batts
That There Boogie by Karen Collins & The Backroads Band
Jug Town by Neil Hamburger
Little Floater by Elizabeth McQueen

Chug a Lug by Mojo Nixon & The World Famous Blue Jays
San Antonio Romero by Cathy Faber's Swingin' Country Band
Yearnin' Burnin' Heart by D.M. Bob & The Deficits
Alligators by Salty Pajamas
Swingin' from Your Crystal Chandeliers by The Austin Lounge Lizards
Tractors, Trucks and Trains by The Dirt Daubers
Burn Your Bra, Baby by Benny Johnson
Gee Baby by Great Recession Orchestra with Maryann Price
Ice Water by Glenn Barber

Turnip Greens by South Memphis String Band
Can You Blame the Colored Man by Banjo Joe (Gus Cannon)
Po' Black Sheep by Carolina Chocolate Drops
Year of Jubilo by Holy Modal Rounders
John Law Burned Downed the Liquor Store by Chris Thomas King & Colin Linden
She's In The Graveyard Now by Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band
You're Bound to Look Like a Monkey by Hank Penny
B.L.A.C.K. by South Memphis String Band

Follow the Drinking Gourd by Taj Mahal
Never Make Your Move Too Soon by James Luther Dickinson
Same God by The Calamity Cubes
Thy Burdens are Greater Than Mine by Hank Williams
Blue Ridge Mountain Blues by Martin, Bogan & Armstrong
Burnin' Flame by Stevie Tombstone
White Line Fever by Dale Watson
Some Girls by Martin Zellar  & The Hardways
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: A Clever Subversive Subtext

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
June 22, 2012

A couple of years ago a trio of roots-rock heroes — Contemporary blues growler Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers, etc.) and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All Stars) got together under the name South Memphis String Band and recorded a fun little acoustic album called Home Sweet Home, emulating the sound of old time string bands and jug bands of the 1920s and 30s like The Mississippi Sheiks, The Memphis Jug Band, Cannon’s Jug Stompers.

Like I said, it was fun and the talents of the three musicians worked amazingly. And, while many fans expected that record to be a one-off, happily they were wrong. The South Memphis String Band is back with a new member, bassist Justin Showah. And the new one is no sophomore slump. In fact, this one’s got an edge to it.

The central theme of Old Times There...  is race. This integrated  band confronts the topic head on, including songs new and old, including some using archaic, and, frankly, racist lyrics that are bound to shock the squeamish.

“Our aim is to unite the KKK and the NAACP in mutual hatred of SMSB,” Hart joked in the press release for the album. But the real purpose is to display these old attitudes and tensions, confront them head on, poke ‘em and play with them, and unveil some of the underlying truths some of these songs contained. “There was some steppin’ and fetchin’ going on back then,” Hart said, “but there was a clever subversive subtext to it.”

In some songs, the band treats race in a playful manner. “For instance in “B-L-A-C-K,” Dickinson sings one verse, “Some people don’t like their color, but I’m just crazy ‘bout mine / I know I’m white and I’m ugly, but I get by just fine.” In the next verse, Hart has the exact same tale to tell — except he’s black and ugly.

In the song “Turnip Greens,” Hart sings, “Say, the white folks go to college, and the nigra goes to field/ The white folks learn to read and write and the nigra learns to steal.” The song is credited to Sam Chatmon of The Mississippi Sheiks, an influential African American string band back in the 1920s.

Fans of Bob Wills might see a connection with the original lyrics of the western-swing classic “Take Me Back to Tulsa”: “Little bee sucks the blossom, big bee gets the honey / Darkie picks the cotton, white man gets the money.” True, archaic slurs like “nigra” and “darkie” are offensive. But both the Chatmon and the Wills song point out racial and economic injustice.
Booker T. before the MGs

A highlight of the album is a historical vignette recorded in the 20s by that old Jug Stomper Gus Cannon (and originally recorded under the name “Banjo Joe.”) “Can You Blame the Colored Man” is about Book T. Washington — the president of the Tuskegee Institute, visiting President Teddy Roosevelt in the White House in 1901.

Roosevelt is portrayed as cordial and generous: “When Booker knocked on the President’s door, ol’ Booker began to grin/ He almost changed his color, when ol’ Roosevelt said to come in / ‘We’ll have some dinner in a  little while.’”

This White House dinner was a momentous event in the nation’s history. There was anger and dismay among some Southern whites.

One paper, the Memphis Scimitar published an editorial a few days later saying:

“The most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United States was committed yesterday by the President, when he invited a nigger to dine with him at the White House.

The Nashville American was more moderate in tone:

“The South refuses social recognition or equality to Booker Washington not because of any hatred of him, not because of his respectability, but in spite of it. It denies him social equality because he is a Negro. That is the South's reason. ... To accord social equality to Negroes of Booker Washington's stamp would be a leak in the dam. It would cause other Negroes to seek and demand the same recognition.”

“Now could you blame a colored man for makin’ them goo-goo eyes,” Hart sings.

Booker T. Washington in this song is as amazed as anyone that a former slave was being welcomed into The White House. According to the song, after the dinner Washington celebrated by hiring a horse and carriage to “take the whole town in.” Sings Hart, “He was drinkin’ wine/He was feelin’ fine.”

There’s another trip to the nation’s capitol here also. In “See the Uncle Sam” is about some Alabama kid who goes to Washington, D.C. to “see the Uncle Sam.” Mathus sings, “Oh when I get to Washington, I’m gonna shout and sing / Gonna holler at old Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King.” Later there’s a sly reference to Leadbelly’s “Bourgeois Blues,” which was about another trip to Washington in which Leadbelly was treated with far less hospitality than was Booker T. Washington.

Not every song on Old Times There ... is racially charged. There’s some dandy instrumentals as well as some good-times tunes like “Just Like a Monkey,” which has the refrain “You’re bound to look like a monkey when you get old.” This one’s been recorded under various titles by lots of folks, my favorite being Hank Penny’s western-swing rendition.

Basically The South Memphis String Band has created a remarkable record that not only recreates a particular sound from a particular time, but forces a listener to confront what was going on in the world that gave birth to that music.

Quickie recommendation:

* Leaving Eden by The Carolina Chocolate Drops. If you like this Black string-band sound, you should acquaint yourself with this North Carolina trio of young African Americans. This is their latest album.

There are several fiddle and banjo songs here that know from the world of bluegrass — J.E. Mainer’s  “Run Mountain,” “I Truly Understand That You Love Another Man” (which has a discernible Irish undertow) and best of all “Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man,” which is one of singer Rhiannon Giddens’ most soulful performances.

But nothing’s quite as much fun as “Po’ Black Sheep” a rowdy, stomping tune that makes me wish I’d been at the first party this song was ever played at.


Enjoy some videos:

Here's one of my favorite Alvin Youngblood Hart songs:

Here's the Carolina Chocolate Drops performing a song from Leaving Eden

And here's the immortal Gus Cannon as "Banjo Joe."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Figures of Light This Week on Sound World

There's a special  Terrell's Sound World this Sunday night.

Wheeler Winston Dixon and Michael Downey of the mighty Figures of Light will be joining me by phone for a live interview.

Tune in.  The interview will start shortly after 10 p.m. Moutain Time Sunday

Check out my review of their latest album Drop Dead HERE

Monday, June 18, 2012

Joey Allcorn at Cowgirl Tuesday

UPDATE 6-19 8pm I just got word that the Joey Allcorn show at the Cowgirl is cancelled. Oh well, watch the videos anyway!

I just learned that honky tonk singer Joey Allcorn is going to play The Cowgirl tomorrow night, 8 p.m.

And it says on the Cowgirl website there's NO COVER!

I've played him many times on the Santa Fe Opry and hope to see him at the Cowgirl Tuesday.

Check out the videos below (and dig those tacky Tikis! The bar's called the Kreepytiki.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, June 17, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

 OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Sunday You Need Love by The Oblivians
The Beast by Roky Erikson & The Resurrectionists
Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell by Iggy & The Stooges
10,000 Beers Ago by Dicky B. Hardy
The Young Psychotics by Tav Falco
Living Wreck by Mudhoney
Runaway Daughter by The Electric Mess
Little Angel by Johnny Otis

Adios Mexico by Joe "King" Carrasco & The Texas Tornados
Ruby Red by The Copper Gamins
Bored and Lonely by French Inhales
En Tu Corazon by Gatos Salvajes
It's Alright by Hound Dog Taylor
Go Go Go by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Snatch It Back And Hold It by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Down on Me by Big Brother & The Holding Company
Orange Claw Hammer by Captain Beefheart

Family Fun Night by Figures of Light
How I Wrote Elastic Man by The Fall
The Sky is a Poisonous Garden by Concrete Blonde
River of Blood by The Black Angels
Dance Like a Monkey by New York Dolls
Black Shiny Beast by Buick MacKane
Eat Me by Pussy Galore

Vagina by Busy McCarroll
Sheila Na Gig by P.J. Harvey
Having a Party by The Mekons
Pappa Won't Leave You Henry by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Raised Right Men by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, June 15, 2012


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, June 15, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Harper Valley PTA by Syd Straw & The Skeletons
My Wife Thinks You're Dead by Junior Brown
Whatcha Gonna Do Now by Tommy Collins
Mule in the Corn by NRBQ
So Long I'm Gone by Andy Anderson
Rooster Blues by James Luther Dickinson
Pig Fork by The Imperial Rooster
Euphoria by Holy Modal Rounders

Ice Man by Filthy McNasty
Hippie in My House by Rachel Harrington
Wedding Of Hillbilly Lili Marlene by June Carter with Homer & Jethro
Mad Cowboy Love by Bayou Seco
Don'tcha Lie to Me by Scott H. Biram
Cracklins by The Gourds
Cussin' in Tounges by Legendary Shack Shakers
Helluva Weekend by T. Tex Edwards & The Swingin' Kornflake Killers
Gas Station Woman by Phil Ochs

Lazarus by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Just Like a Monkey by South Memphis String Band
Skunk Ape by The Misery Jackals
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Pesky J. Nixon
Evil Eye by Dead Man's Tree
Get Outta My Way by The Dirt Daubers
Dollar Dress by The Waco Brothers
Alcohol of Fame by The Wood Brothers

Cowboy Peyton Place by Doug Sahm
Walk Away from the Wine by Cornell Hurd
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live by Ry Cooder
Out of the Blue by Giant Giant Sand
The Round by Hank 3
Charlie's Last Stand by Loudon Wainwright III
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets
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Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Figures of Light Shine Again

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
June 15, 2012

I really liked Figures of Light’s debut album, Smash Hits, when I first heard it a few years ago. But I was afraid this group might be a flash — maybe ”flicker” is a better word — in the pan. After all, singer Wheeler Winston Dixon and guitarist Michael Downey had taken a lengthy break from the music business before they even made that album.

Hey Hey we're the Figures!
But I’m glad to say I was wrong. Figures of Light are back again with a new album called Drop Dead, and like their first, it’s blasting, primitive, raw two-or-three-chord rock ’n’ roll. Some call it “proto-punk,” but I think it might even be more proto than that.

Dixon and Downey are aided once again by The A-Bones’ rhythm section (drummer Miriam Linna and Marcus “The Carcass” Natale on bass). And this time out, Mick Collins (of The Gories and The Dirt-bombs) plays guitar. He also produced the album.

A quick history of the Figures: The original group was from New York City, influenced by The Velvet Underground and other pre-punk, post-garage acts of that era. At their first concert in 1970, the group destroyed 15 television sets onstage at Rutgers University (though I just read an article that says the real number might be as high as 27 sets).

An early poster for Figures of Light described their show as “a rock ’n’ roll violence sonata.”

They released their first and only single, “It’s Lame” (backed with “I Jes Wanna Go to Bed”) in 1972. They pressed only 100 copies of the 45. It received little if any airplay outside of New York, and Figures of Light never got anywhere as big as The Velvets or the New York Dolls or even The Dictators. They broke up, smashing their last TV well before the great punk-rock scare of the late ’70s.

We can account for at least two of those original 100 records. One, according to British rock critic David Solomons, was broken in half by Don Imus when the band tried to get him to play it during a remote broadcast in New York shortly after its release.

But more important, another copy was found at a swap meet a few years ago by Linna and her husband, Billy Miller, who owns Norton Records. Impressed and inspired, Linna tracked down Dixon, now a film-studies professor at the University of Nebraska -Lincoln. (Film is his first love and his first medium.)

Dixon talked to Downey for the first time in 25 years or so, and next thing you know, Figures of Light were shining again.

After all those decades, Figures of Light returned to the studio (with guitar help from Matt Verta-Ray, who plays with Jon Spencer in Heavy Trash). They recorded a bunch of new tracks and combined that with the original “It’s Lame “ and “I Jes Wanna Go to Bed” plus some live songs (including the near-six-minute “Ritual TV Smashing Finale”). Thus, Smash Hits came to be. That was 2008 — 36 years after their first recording.

Back to the present: One thing that amazes me about Figures of Light is how similar they sound to their 1972 recordings. Dixon’s voice sounds exactly as it did 40 years ago. They recorded Drop Dead last summer in Brooklyn, taking a mere two days to crank out 20 songs. Fifteen made it to the album. I guess they’re saving the others for the box set.

Speaking of boxes, "My Box Rocks” pulls a listener right back to Light world. It’s a swaggering boast of a song. I’m not really sure what it’s about, but who cares. By the end of the song it’s hard not to sing along, proclaiming “My box rocks!”

But that’s just an appetizer for some of the meatier tracks here. “Black Plague Blues” is a primitive thumper about the disease that wiped out as many as 200 million people in the 14th century. This is an old song. No, it doesn’t go back to the 14th century, but the Figures did play it at their first 1970 show. The track contains Collins’ best guitar solo here. I heard the tune several times before I learned that the solo is a backward recording.

Another standout is “Family Fun Night,” which might be this band’s answer to the Ramones’ “We’re a Happy Family.” Dixon repeats the refrain, “Every night is family fun night” like an insane jingle for some really crappy corporate pizza joint.

But the verses tell a different story. “Big brother hates everything on his plate. ... All through dinner he spews out hate, it’s family fun night. ... Mom shovels down food, she weighs 253. ... Later we’ll watch our separate TVs, it’s family fun night.”
Mick Collins with The Gories, New York 2010

A couple of songs on Drop Dead make me laugh every time I hear them. One is “You’re Just Another Macaroon,” a put-down of an egotistical jerk, perhaps a celebrity, from a former fan with a melody that could almost be a country song. The title and refrain introduced me to an insult I’d never heard before. I don’t think I’ve ever called anyone a “macaroon.”

Then there’s  “Mellow the Fuck Out.” The message is simple: “You got to mellow, you got to mellow, you got to mellow the fuck out,” Dixon sings/chants as the band plays an urgent garage-rock backdrop behind him. We never learn what the subject of the song is doing to deserve such advice. A friend freaking out on drugs? A bouncer at a bar dealing with an unruly customer? You can imagine umpteen scenarios where the words might apply.

The Figures of Light get almost pretty on “With a Girl Like That.” The guitars hint at Byrds-like folk rock, but it’s actually easier to imagine The Rolling Stones doing this song on one of their early albums.

I could get corny here and say The Figures of Light are a beacon in the fog of overproduced, overcalculated, overhyped modern rock. The truth is, Dixon and Downey are just a couple of hip old coots (about my age) who rock harder than most self-styled punks half their age and sound like they’re having twice as much fun doing it.

Keep shining, Figures of Light.

 Blog Bonus: It's lame!


Sunday, June 10, 2012


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, June 10, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

 OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Janet by The Saterelles
Sonic Reducer by The Dead Boys
Blank Generation by Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Down the Drain by The Escatones
Candy Can't Wait by The Dirty Novels
Here Comes Pappa by T-Model Ford
Alice by Figures of Light
Take Me Away by Willis Earl Beal

Dixie Iron Fist by Legendary Shack Shakers
Lipstick Vogue by Elivs Costello & The Attractions
Being by The Angry Dead Pirates
Psilocybic Mind by Marshmallow Overcoat
Wasted Time by The Grannies
Save My Soul From Hell by Rev. Beat-Man & The Un-Believers
Turn that TV Off by Boris the Sprinkler
The Trough by The Molting Vultures

Sweet Little Hi-Fi by Pussy Galore
Son of Sam by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Ballad To The Son Of Sam by The Consumers
Can't Stop ... Gotta Rock! by Los #3 Dinners
That Old Black Magic by Spike Jones & His City Slickers
Shortnin' Bread by The Cramps
Oh Lord by Snake Island
Hey Rockabilly by Die Zorros
Texting by Bottle Service
What You Deserve by Thee Witch Hazel Martinis

Can Your Pussy Do the Dog by The Rockin' Guys
Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground
Talking at the Same Time by Tom Waits
Gone Again by Patti Smith
Amphetamines and Coffee by Afghan Whigs
Curtain Falls by Bobby Darin
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, June 08, 2012


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, June 8, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Single Girl by The Dirt Daubers
Bible, Candle and Skull by Legendary Shack Shakers
Rock Your Baby by Candye Kane
Hillbilly Thunder Machine by Joe Buck
11 Months and 29 Days by Dave Alvin
Ice Cold Water by Ray Condo
Mama's in a Honky Tonk Downtown by Karen Collins & The Backroads Band
I Said My Nightshirt & Put On My Prayers by June Carter with Homer & Jethro
Psycho '84 by T. Tex Edwards

Can You Blame the Colored Man by South Memphis String Band
Bootlegger Blues by The Great Recession Orchestra
Deep Elum Blues by Harmonica Frank
Pass the Booze by Ernest Tubb
Crazy Boogie by Merle Travis
I Love You Honey by Cathy Faber's Swingin' Country Band
August 1967 (Hippies Call It STP) by Holy Modal Rounders
Uneasy Rider by Charlie Damiels

Down in Mississippi by James Luther Dickinson & The North Mississippi Allstars
Ramblin' Man by Soda
Small Ya'll by George Jones
Three Times Seven by Doc & Merle Watson
The Bad Girl I Keep in My Heart by Cornell Hurd
Before All Hell Breaks Loose by Kinky Friedman
I'll Save My Tears by Hank 3
My Pretty Quadroon by Jerry Lee Lewis

1957 Ford Meteor by Menic
Footprints in the Snow by Jimmie Dale Gilmore & The Wronglers
Someone to Give My Love To by Big Al Anderson
Lovin' Ducky Daddy by Carolina Cotton
Breaking Up Party by Arty Hall
Bony Fingers by Hoyt Axton
Wore Me Down by Martin Zellar & The Hardways

MORE TO COME (Keep refreshing your browser until midnight)

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: The Strange Story of Willis Earl Beal

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
June 8, 2012

It’s still a long way to Halloween, but I’m going to tell you about some haunting songs from a haunted singer and, to steal a line from Concrete Blonde, the ghosts inside his haunted head.

The artist here is Willis Earl Beal, who is from Chicago, though he recently spent a few years in Albuquerque — August 2007 until June 2010, according to the weekly Chicago Reader. He was homeless for at least part of his time there. It was during his time in the Duke City that Beal began recording homemade CDs of his songs and leaving them in public places where unsuspecting listeners could find them.

The mysterious CD-Rs and his hand-drawn fliers with messages like “Write to me and I will make you a drawing” and “Call me and I will sing you a song” led to his discovery. (That message, complete with his name and phone number, also can be found on Beal’s website.)

A flier featuring a self-portrait of Beal in a bow tie and a message seeking female companionship was featured on the January 2010 cover of Found magazine. (“I am a good person. I am employed. I pay rent for a studio apartment living space. I dwell alone,” it reads. The message includes a 505 phone number.)

A similar message discovered in a Chicago bookstore (“I want some friends & stuff ... I am not a Weasel”) sparked a lengthy feature about Beal in Chicago Reader last year.

And that built enough interest for XL/Hot Charity records to release an actual album — the lo-fi, almost no-fi Acousmatic Sorcery — earlier this year. And now he’s touring Europe — though, as I’ll explain later, that hasn’t worked out well so far.

Local-pride aside: The material on the album was recorded during Beal’s Albuquerque years. Here’s what Beal told Chicago Reader about New Mexico:

“I had to get out to Albuquerque, because Albuquerque was the place where I was gonna grow as an artist.” When he left Chicago for New Mexico, he’d just been fired from a night-shift security job at the Sears Tower — now the Willis Tower, as Beal likes to point out. He’d developed a romanticized idea of Albuquerque as a beautiful, barren place based on the 2003 film Off the Map. “A guy who worked for the IRS went out to Albuquerque to audit somebody, this family, and decided that he was an artist, and he never came back. I think it was Santa Fe,” he says. “Much to my dismay, Albuquerque was nothing like that.”

Beal leaving his self-burned CDs around Albuquerque has biographical echoes of his fellow “outsider” artist Daniel Johnston recording cassettes of his music and handing them out to students on the University of Texas campus back in the 1980s.

The first Willis Earl Beal song I ever heard was “Take Me Away,” a raw, spirited blues shout that Pitchfork compared to a field holler. Beal sings: “Now I have been wiser, I’ve been the fool/I’ve been the teacher and a pupil in the school/I’ve followed and I’ve broken each and every rule/Lord, I’m as tired as a mule.”

I was astounded. I immediately thought he was young Ted Hawkins or Abner Jay. Accompanied only by percussive bashing on what sounds like an oil drum, the song is a wild joy. Tom Waits would have killed to have done this song.

Seeking out the rest of the album, I was fascinated with the opening instrumental, “Nepenenoyka,” played on what sounds like a cross between a zither and a kalimba. This brought to mind the mysterious, itinerant Texas gospel singer Washington Phillips, who in the late 1920s recorded some powerful songs using what same say was a fretless zither. This instrument also appears on other Acousmatic Sorcery songs, notably “Bright Copper Noon.” On that song, Beal’s voice sounds less like Ted Hawkins and more like Terence Trent D’Arby, the 1980s soul rocker who could go from an angelic croon to an Otis Redding growl in the blink of an eye.

You’ll also hear Beal’s kalimba or whatever it is on “Cosmic Queries.” This song is downright spooky. It’s a minor-key moan with what sounds like some sort of woodwind. I hear Waits in this one, as well as Brazilian experimental composer Tom Zé. And then there are some lyrics about what is apparently Beal’s favorite food — oatmeal. Oatmeal pops up in other Beal songs as well. It’s something of a trademark. On the drawing that made the cover of Found magazine, Beal confessed, “I like oatmeal, train stations, night time and chamomile tea.”

But despite the power of “Take Me Away” and the quirky charms of the songs just mentioned, I have to admit I was ultimately disappointed with most of Acousmatic Sorcery. Too many songs are mopey midnight guitar dirges, the kind of stuff you could hear at 2 a.m. in any given college dorm across this great land during the past 40 years or so. Then there’s the strange but strangely uninspiring stab at rap called “Ghost Robot.”

Beal redeems himself somewhat on the last track, “Masquerade.” He sounds like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins reciting a twisted bedtime story in a disturbing half-shout (unintentionally scaring children in the process). Appropriately, the track ends in maniacal laughter.

Unfortunately, Beal’s rapid rise to cult hero status recently took a dark-side-of-fame detour.

He was arrested in late May in the Netherlands after a performance at a festival called Le Guess Who? Beal allegedly kicked a homeless heckler in the face during his show. “Because of a few bad apples, we all miss out on one more glorious, fantastic, lovely performance,” he told the festival audience. “I love you, and I even love the guy whose face I kicked in. I love him, too. He’s a good guy. He’s just drunk, a little.”

Let’s hope this is just a bump in the road for Beal. Though too many songs on his first album are undeveloped, it’s obvious that Beal possesses a wild genius that I hope to hear more of.

Blog Bonus: Let this Beal video take you away:

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

BIG ENCHILADA 49: Attack of the Tacky Tikis


Inspired by a series of startling hallucinations in the gardening section of my local K-Mart, this month The Big Enchilada takes you to an uncharted desert isle where the world's tackiest Tikis plot in secrecy. All the tacky Tikis, where do they  all come from? Can you withstand the Attack of the Tacky Tikis?


Here's the playlist:
(Background Music: Tiki by The Waitiki 7)
Everybody Says by TikiTiki Bamboos
Run Away by Dead Man's Tree
My Groupie by Thee Martian Boyfriends
Dance With You by The Black Lips
Drop in and Go by The Molting Vultures
Tiki Man by Deadbolt

(Background Music: Bi-Aza-Ku-Sasa by The Mogambos)
I'll Make You Happy by The Kontikis
I Lost My Mind by The Angry Samoans
Cat Food by Bottle Service
Good Night, Sleep Tight by The Bloody Hollies
Sasquatch Love by Horror Deluxe
Black Plague Blues by Figures of Light
Prisoner of the Tiki Room by Mojo Nixon

(Background Music: Daktari Ooh Ah by Chaos Inc.)
Payday Loans by The Winking Tikis
Little Suzie by Harmonica Lewinski
She's My Baby Doll by Terry Clements & The Tune Tones
Soul Typecast by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Circuit Breaker by Love Collector
Wine Head by Johnny Wright
Voodoo Idol by The Cramps

Play it here:

Sunday, June 03, 2012


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, June 3, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

 OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Election Day by El Pathos
Black Plague Blues by Figures of Light
A Natural Man by The Dirtbombs
Evil One by The Tex Reys
Rocketship to Freedom by The Molting Vultures
Weedeye by Churchwood
Not Too Soon by Throwing Muses
Watching My Baby by Reigning Sound
Noo, No , No by Die Zorros

Buddy Holley Glasses by The 99ers
Geraldine by The A-Bones
Please, Please Baby by The Five Hearts
Telephone Baby by Johnny Otis
Honey Please by The Evil Eyes
Evil Eye by Pussy Galore
Tangerine Submarine by The Nevermores
Parade by Pretty Girls Make Graves
Ruby Go Home by The Oh Sees


Now That I Am Dead by French, Frith, Thompson & Kaiser
I Couldn't Sleep/Seven Days of Gloom  by Joey Ramone
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Sleater-Kinney
The Crusher by The Ramones
Eyes of Green by Joey Ramone
Pet Sematary by The Ramones
Dancing With Joey Ramone by Amy Rigby
The Return of Jackie & Judy by Tom Waits
What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone

Days and Days/ Your Haunted Head by Concrete Blonde
Having a Party by The Mekons
I'm Shakin' by Jack White
This Could Go On Forever by Tav Falco
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, June 01, 2012


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, June 1, 2012 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)
 OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Can't Go to Heaven by The Dirt Daubers
Buster's Crawdad Song by The Tune Wranglers
Hucklebuck by June Carter with Homer & Jethro
Your Cousin's On Cops by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Texas Whore Pleaser by Slackeye Slim
There's No Fool Like a Young Fool by Ray Price
Trooper's Holler by Hank3
The L-Ranko Motel by Bell & Shore
Bullfrog Blues by Legendary Shack Shakers

Jack's Red Cheetah by Bob Coltman
Blues Keep Callin' by Cathy Faber's Swingin' County Band
Lucky Stars by J.P. McDermott and Western Bop
Sales Tax by The Great Recession Orchestra
Bed Spring Poker by Mississippi Sheiks
I Love Onions by Susan Christie
Jesus Walking on the Water by Asylum Street Spankers
Daisies Up Your Butterfly by The Cramps
A Girl Named Johnny Cash by Harry Hayward

(All songs by Doc Watson except where noted)
Freight Train Boogie by Doc & Merle Watson
Country Blues
The Cuckoo
Don't Monkey Round My Widder by Doc Watson & Chet Atkins
Going Down This Road Feeling Bad
You Are My Special Angel
Wabash Cannonball by Doc Watson & Jean Ritchie
Tennessee Stud
Last Thing on My Mind by Doc & Merle Watson

Hard Morning in a Soft Blur by Giant Giant Sand
Window Up Above by Johnny Paycheck
Walking in the Woods by Tom Irwin
No Reason to Quit by Merle Haggard
Hard Road by Vince Bell
Santa Fe by Eilen Jewell
Maverick by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
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 Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list


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