Thursday, August 31, 2006

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: RICHARDSON FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 31, 2006


We all know Gov. Bill Richardson is becoming quite fond of New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first presidential primary. But could he like it enough to be running for governor of the Granite State?

A strange document popped up Wednesday on a blog called New Mexico Matters, published by Gideon Elliot, a past deputy executive director of the state Democratic Party.

It’s a New Hampshire political committee registration form dated Aug. 7, 2006, for a political committee called Richardson for Governor.

The chairman is one David Contarino, who is chairing the governor’s re-election effort in this state.

And no, the governor of New Mexico isn’t really trying to govern two states, said Richard Bouley of Concord, N.H., who is listed as treasurer of the committee.

“It’s the (political action committee) he’s established in New Hampshire,” Bouley said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “It was set up if he wants to give to candidate committees here.”

So far, Richardson for Governor has contributed $2,500 to the New Hampshire Senate Democratic Caucus, said Bouley, who said he’s a longtime friend of Richardson’s.

Bouley also said the committee isn’t a precursor to a Richardson for President committee. “He has not announced he’s running for president,” Bouley said.

A Thousand Percent: Those of us old enough to remember the brutal 1972 presidential election know what “1,000 percent” means.

Only days after ’72 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern nominated Sen. Tom Eagleton of Missouri as his running mate, news broke that Eagleton had received electro-shock therapy for depression and exhaustion.

Initially, McGovern stood by his man, declaring in front of television cameras that he was behind Eagleton “1,000 percent.”

Days later, Eagleton was dumped from the ticket. From that point on, supporters of President Nixon’s re-election used the phrase to mock McGovern.

Last week, New Mexico Democratic chairman John Wertheim had a “1,000 percent” moment.

When political blogger Joe Monahan published rumors that something was about to break that could drive Democratic state auditor candidate Jeff Armijo off the ticket, Wertheim sent an e-mail to reporters declaring the party “does not comment on unsubstantiated and unattributed rumors in the blogosphere.”

Fair enough. And probably a good idea.

But the chairman took it a step further: We affirm what we know to be true: that Jeff Armijo will be the next Auditor of the State of New Mexico.”

When the Albuquerque Tribune on Saturday published a story about police reports by two women who claimed Armijo made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances toward them, Wertheim, of course, had to backpedal.

And of course by Tuesday, following a meeting with Richardson, Armijo had hit the Eagleton Highway.

So why did Wertheim make such a bold statement about Armijo being the next treasurer?

I can’t believe Wertheim knew about the damaging allegations and hoped nobody would find out.

So that leaves two choices.

Either Wertheim had asked Armijo about the “unsubstantiated and unattributed rumors in the blogosphere” and Armijo lied and said there was nothing.

Or perhaps Wertheim had so much faith in his candidate that he couldn’t conceive of any possible problem, and that faith was so strong, he didn’t bother to check it out.

Unfortunately for him and Armijo — who after all, hasn’t been charged with any crime — newspaper reporters did check it out.

Another AG flier: Once again, there’s a full-color flier from Attorney General Patricia Madrid landing in New Mexico mailboxes.

Once again Republicans are saying the mailer — this one dealing with how to avoid scams — amounts to nothing more than campaign literature paid for by the public for Madrid’s Congressional race against Republican incumbent Heather Wilson.

Like the previous Madrid mailers — which concerned prescription drugs and Internet sex predators — the flier titled Don’t Get Burned has a prominent photo of the attorney general.

In the new one, she’s wearing the same outfit and pearl necklace she wears on the photo of her campaign Web site.

Like the fliers that came before, the new one advertises a new publication by the AG’s office, this one called, Don’t Get Burned: How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off.

However the new flier is just a single double-sided sheet, unlike the previous four-page mailers.

And the previous ones indeed were more like campaign brochures, featuring glowing comments about Madrid from news media.

On the previous mailer, Madrid’s name appeared 11 times. On the new one, only four times.

And on the bottom of the back page is a disclaimer: “Taxpayer money was not used for the printing or distribution of this flier. "

Like the others, the anti-scam flier was paid for with money from a settlement in a class action lawsuit against Microsoft.

Once again, the AG’s office argues that the settlement money isn’t “taxpayer” money because it didn’t come directly from taxes — though others argued it’s public money that was won by tax-paid lawyers for the benefit of the citizens of the state.

“As someone who had shares in Microsoft, it was my money,” joked Sam Thompson, a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

The anti-scam book can be downloaded HERE. For a hard copy, call (505) 222-9000.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ARMIJO DROPS OUT



According to the Associated Press, Jeff Armijo has dropped out of the state auditor's race after meeting with Gov. Bill Richardson.

This comes following allegations of sexual misconduct by two young women. Read more HERE

UPDATE: Here's the word from the Gov's office:

“I appreciate Jeff Armijo’s action,” Gov. Bill Richardson said. “He has acted in the best interest of his family and the Democratic Party.”

As a result of Armijo’s decision to withdraw from the race, the New Mexico Democratic Party’s State Central Committee must meet to choose a replacement candidate.

“I support a competitive process in which the State Central Committee chooses the best candidate to represent the Democratic Party on the ballot,” Gov. Richardson said.

THE SPAGHETTI LISTS

For some reason I'm on the mailing list of Eddie Spaghetti of The Supersuckers.

Today Eddie sent me his lists of "Over-Rated Bands of All Time" and Top 10 American rock bands. I don't agree with all his choices on either list, but feel free to add your own choices in the comments section. Here's the list with Eddie's comments:

Over-Rated

1 The Doors
2 The Velvet Underground
3 Radiohead
4 R.E.M.
5 U2
6 Coldplay
7 Kiss
8 The Beatles
9 Dave Matthews Band
10 Tiger Army - no, I'm kidding! They're FAR from over-rated, they just suck. (I dunno why they're my new favorite whipping boys. It used to be that Sully guy from that heavy metal band whose name I can't remember). 10, unfortunately, has got to be Pearl Jam. Or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I'm not sure. At least Eddie Vedder can sing!

So... now you may discuss. This list in no way means that a band is no good (although The Doors are clearly that) and I actually like some songs by bands on this list, I just think these bands are all held in such high regard that their music to merit ratio is WAY out of whack. There could also be a more current version featuring bands like Modest Mouse, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, etc. But we can do that later. I also left off a lot of these "jam bands" that are way too popular for their own good, (You know who the guiltiest ones are), because I admire their D.I.Y. work ethic. (I had to include Dave Matthews though because I see him occasionally at my local coffee shop and we've needed something to talk about for awhile now.)

OKAY, just for frame of reference, so you can see where I'm coming from, here is my list of Top 10 AMERICAN rock bands. Remember, these are just the ones from the USA here:

1 The Ramones
2 C.C.R.
3 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
4 ZZ Top
5 Van Halen
6 Aerosmith
7 Cheap Trick
8 Replacements
9 X, The Pixies, Zeke, Zen Guerilla, Nirvana, Dwarves, Supersuckers, The Hangmen, Lazy Cowgirls, Mick Collins (Dirtbombs, Blacktop, Gories) The Upper Crust, etc...
10 The Rolling Stones

9 was hard. I sort of crammed all my faves in there (and I think Nirvana may be number 11 on the over-rated list. They suffer from being over-rated AND influential which kind of goes hand in hand, I guess). I realize also that the Stones are not from America, (just in case you thought I lost my mind) but it seems like they deserve the "honorable American" status to me. Like when you give some dumb actor or musician and "honorary doctorate" at some university or something.

Monday, August 28, 2006

RADIO RUSS

Russ Gordon, who produces the Los Alamos summer concert series (which I'm never able to attend since they're on Friday night) just started doing a radio show on KRSN.

According to an e-mail he sent, the show started 3 p.m. today on KRSN, 1490 AM. "The show will be Mon. thru Fri. and hopefully, it'll be on the web by week's end," Russ said. "The music will be `free form', an eclectic mix."

Knowing Russ, I bet it's good.

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, August 27, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Another Man Done Gone by Irma Thomas
Idlewood Blue (Don't Chu Worry 'Bout Me) by Outkast
Crazy Crazy Mama by Roky Erikson
Eve of Destruction by The Dickies
Hands by The Raconteurs
Lady Bird (Green Grass) by The Fall
Heart of Darkness by Pere Ubu
Cue the Light Brigade by The Cherry Tempo

I Wish That I Was Dead by The Dwarves
Longhaired Guys from England by Too Much Joy
Down the Road by Dead Moon
Bold Maurader by Drywall
Man in the Plaid Suit by Hellwood
Nightmare Hippy Girl by Beck
Save it For Later by Sol Fire
Sweetheart (Frito Lay) by The Electric Ghosts
Do the Trouser Press by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

Bat Macumba by Os Mutantes
El Nozanin by Sevara Nazarkhan
Tokyo Surf by Stuurbaard Bakkebaard
Tip My Canoe by Dengue Fever
Pretty Thing by Nightlosers
Lieto by Varttina
Troubled Friends by Gogol Bordello

C'est pas la mer a boire by Les Negresses Vertes
Idol by Kazik Staszewski
Biskotin by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi
Mana Janab Ne Pukara Nahin by Shaan
Sitta by Cankisou
The Soba Song by 3 Mustapas 3
Natasha Loves Reggae by The Red Elvises
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, August 26, 2006

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, August 25, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Eight Miles High by Chris Hillman
The Heart Bionic by Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals Starvation League
I Hung it Up by Junior Brown
Wild Gods of Mexico by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Radio the Station by Goshen
Tiger, Tiger by The Sadies with Kelly Hogan
Lonesome On'ry and Mean by Waylon Jennings
Juan Charrasqueado by Steve Chavez

Peggy by Eric Hisaw
Madman by Chrissy Flatt
Caves of Burgundy by Trilobite
Don't Get Weird by Boris & The Saltlicks
Inman's Liquid Gold by Raising Cane
Geogie Buck by Carolina Chocolate Drops
This Old Cowboy by The Marshall Tucker Band

Thirsty Ear Festival Set
Kokomo by Greg Brown
If I'm to Blame by Chipper Thompson
Gone in Pawn (Shake Sugaree) by Po' Girl
Midnight Moonlight by Be Good Tanyas
Wind Howlin' Blues by David "Honeyboy" Edwards
Down Home Blues by Hazel Miller
Surfer Girl by Dave Alvin

Summertime's Almost Gone by Jono Manson
Blues in the Bottle by Chris Smither
Mojave High by Tony Gilkyson
Slow Down Old World by Willie Nelson
Wild Geese by Bill & Bonnie Hearne
I Don't Want to Play House Anymore by Carrie Rodriguez
On the Banks of the Rio Grande by Blind James
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, August 25, 2006

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: SOME LOCAL CDs

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 25, 2006


Here’s a batch of CDs released in recent weeks (well, in some cases, recent months) by New Mexico musicians we know and love.

* Summertime by Jono Manson. Jono’s back! After lying low for a few years, Manson seems to be gigging everywhere. And he has a new album, his first solo record since 2001’s Under the Stone.

Summertime is pure white soul, featuring a funky, horny (great sax and trumpet) band.

Several cuts stand out. “Jr. Walker Drove the Bus” is an upbeat tribute to the “Shotgun” man, utilizing a passage of Walker’s “What Does It Take (to Win Your Love).” “Ends of the Earth” is a soul ballad that would make Robert Cray jealous and features a cool organ solo. Manson gets almost swampy on “Red Wine in the Afternoon,” with a tasty slide guitar and mandolin.

His humor shows through on the rocking “Please Stop Playing That Didgeridoo.” His irritation with the hippie didj player grows as the song progresses. “If you don’t stop, I’m going tok it in two,” Manson growls. “You ain’t no aborigine/in your tie-dye T. ... Take your hacky sack ’cause them’s the only balls you’ve got.”

*The Cherry Tempo by The Cherry Tempo. Singer/songwriter Javier Romero has been making music around here since he was old enough to step up to a microphone. He was in Mistletoe a few years ago, and like that group, The Cherry Tempo plays brash but always melodic indie pop. The band’s Web site mentions a song called “Sunny Day Beatlestate.” That doesn’t appear on this CD, at least under that title, but that could almost sum up the sound here — a cross between classic emo and the Fab Four, sometimes mixed with new-wavey synths. (The opening strains of “Treble Is High” take you in a time machine to 1982, while the untitled “secret bonus” track sounds like Wall of Voodoo on angel dust.)

My favorite here is “City of Squares.” Add about 17 singers and some robes, and you’ve got what could be one of the best Polyphonic Spree songs ever. I’m fond of the sentimental “Of Ghosts, Keepsakes,” an uncharacteristically soft ’n’ purdy number.

*Third Floor Serenade by Sol Fire. This is the second album by this band, fronted by brothers Buddy and Amado Abeyta. You could call this a second-generation Santa Fe band since the Abeytas’ dad, Chris Abeyta, is a founder of the longtime local favorite Lumbre del Sol. (Sol Fire does Chris’ song “Universal Flight” here.)

Like the band’s friends The Cherry Tempo, Sol Fire has a modern-rock sound. However, it has a more distinctive Chicano-rock sound. You can hear a little Carlos Santana in some of the guitar solos.

And like Santa Fe bands going back to the ’50s and ’60s, these guys know how to rock (“Save It for Next Time” proves this), but they’ve got a true feel for soulful, romantic ballads. (A few years ago in an interview, Dave Rarick of the classic ’60s Santa Fe group The Morfomen told me, “We played Rolling Stones songs and everything, and they were good to dance to. But mf the Santa Fe groups were known for the romantic ballads. ‘The End of the Highway’ was like that, ‘When You Were Mine’ was. Maybe that’s part of the Spanish influence. We liked the romantic stuff.”)

This really shows on “We Don’t Have That Much Time Together,” a mainly acoustic, Terence Trent D’Arby-penned song featuring a pop-flamenco guitar.

*Corridos y Mas by Steve Chavez. I don’t speak Spanish, so I’m a real dilettante (or dill-something) when it comes to music like this, but I have to say I love most of the songs on this album by Española singer Chavez. This is more traditional music than the other stuff I’ve heard by him. The best songs here are upbeat corridos.

As Chavez explains in a press release, “A corrido is basically a song written in story form (which) documents a historical event, be it love, war, or even the death of a popular or famous individual.”

Even with my linguistic handicap, there’s plenty to appreciate. Songs like “Juan Charrasqueado” and “Rosita Alviare just good, get-down music I associate with Fiesta. It’s danceable and hummable, and Chavez has a smooth, sincere voice that deserves to be heard in more homes.

E-mail: stevechavez@newmexico.com.

*Ride the Rain by Raising Cane. If there’s such a thing as a bluegrass corrido, Aimee Hoyt’s found it on her song “Inman’s Liquid Gold,” a tune about bootlegging and murder in southwestern New Mexico.

Inman murdered a neighbor during Prohibition but got out of jail free, reportedly because the governor was one of his customers. That wouldn’t happen these days. Inman would go to prison, but politicians would donate his campaign contributions to charity.

*The Music of Le Masque by Christopher B. McCarty. This is a collection of country-rock, folkish, soft-rock tunes by songwriter Chris, who is probably most famous for co-writing several Steve Miller tunes. A couple of those are here, including a tropical version of “Swingtown,” which was a hit for Miller back in the '70s.

The best title is undoubtedly “Vincent Van Gogh With a Gun.” It’s actually a pretty tune. But my favorite is the opener, “Glimpse of God,” a Dire Straits-like rocker.


* Trilobite by Trilobite. This is a folky little group led by Albuquerque singer/songwriter Mark Lewis, backed by singer Michelle Collins (who sometimes reminds me of Victoria Williams, sometimes of ThaMuseMeant’s Aimee Curl).

The mood here is often dark and mysterious. This feel is aided by the plethora of strings. Dave Gutierrez plays mandolin, banjo, and pedal steel, while some tracks have violin (Hilary Schacht), viola (Alicia Ultan), and cello (Sasha Perrin, who also plays pump organ).

My favorite track on this album is also one of my favorite songs on another New Mexico album, Cactusman Versus the Blue Demon by Boris & The Saltlicks. Lewis wrote “The Caves of Burgundy” — a song about a man being lured into the realm of faery (or maybe it’s just hell) by a supernatural beauty following a car wreck

Thursday, August 24, 2006

BLOG CHANGES, ETC.

I just rearranged my links on the right side of the blog to include a new section on some of my favorite New Mexico music sites. It's not intended to be complete. And if you're looking for an individual band or singer, try the state Music Commission's directory or The New Mexican's music directory. The links are right there.

XXXX

In another change, I've decided to go back to Haloscan for my comments here due to problems described at the bottom of in the "Mystic Judicial Dwarves" post below.

All new posts will have Haloscan comments. Unfortunately it seems that I can't disable the Blogger comments without hiding the existing comments. So the old posts will have two comment links. So use the one that says "Comment," not the one that says "Post a Comment." (Is that confusing enough?)

XXXXX

Here's a link to my story in today's New Mexican about another Robert Vigil relative in the state Treasurer's Office who was fired only to find another government job.

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: A RICH HISTORY OF CORRUPTION

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 24, 2006


Listening to recent New Mexico political ads and blogosphere chatter — with all the reports of kickbacks, cronyism and special favors for campaign contributors — one might think we’re living in the sleaziest era of corruption in the history of the state.

Not even close.

A recently published book about a murder near Las Cruces 57 years ago is a sobering reminder that political corruption is nothing new here. In fact, this state has a rich tradition of official corruption and chicanery.

In many ways, the current crop of scoundrels are amateurs compared with the cast of characters in Peter R. Sandman’s Murder Near the Crosses.

This is a nonfiction account of the infamous Cricket Coogler case, the slaying of an 18-year-old Las Cruces waitress/”party girl” written by the son of a sheriff’s deputy who was part of the investigation.

As also documented in Charlie Cullin’s 2002 film The Silence of Cricket Coogler, the Coogler case wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill sex murder. A maverick grand-jury investigation and the work of a brave reporter named Walter Finley revealed the victim was a playmate of high-level politicians who frequented illegal Mafia-run gambling joints.

In the first chapter, Sandman, relying on FBI records received through the Freedom of Information Act and papers from a judge involved in the grand jury investigation, says the Cleveland mob and gangsters from Los Angeles were involved in New Mexico gambling. While the federal government never prosecuted any of the Mafia gambling interests in New Mexico, apparently the FBI kept tabs on the operations.

In Doña Ana County, Sandman wrote, Mafiosi made direct payments to Sheriff “Happy” Apodaca, a judge and a state corporation commissioner, who divided his share among politicians in Santa Fe.

Though nobody was convicted for the homicide, a state corporation commissioner was tried on morals charges for serving Coogler liquor when she was a minor and having her “in his possession for evil purposes.”

Commissioner Dan Sedillo was acquitted of those charges after the three major prosecution witnesses invoked the Fifth Amendment.

Sedillo was in the Las Cruces area the night Coogler was last seen alive. He had flown to El Paso with then Lt. Gov. Joe Montoya — later a U.S. senator. The book cites testimony from a witness who saw Montoya, Sedillo and Coogler in the same motel room hours before the killing. (Montoya, a Democrat, never was charged with any crime.)

Another Coogler-related case that went to trial was a federal civil-rights case. Sheriff Apodaca, state Police Chief Hubert Beasley and Deputy Roy Sandman were accused of torturing a black man in an attempt to get a murder confession. The three were convicted and served a year in prison.

Author Sandman has a personal ax to grind here. Roy Sandman was his father.

Pete Sandman said in a telephone interview this week that he believes his father was framed and that accounts by the torture victim, Wesley Byrd, were full of discrepancies.

The author said his father didn’t believe Byrd was guilty. Roy Sandman, who left the Sheriff’s Department to work for the district attorney shortly after Coogler’s murder, was instrumental in revealing many of the illegal-gambling connections with the case, his son said.

In 1953, when Pete Sandman was 4 years old, Roy Sandman died of a gunshot wound to his head. While law-enforcement officials called the death a suicide, a coroner’s jury only would classify his death as “gunshot wounds, causes unknown.” Pete Sandman believes his father was murdered as payback for his investigative work.

Sandman quotes a former state representative, Sixto Leyva of Santo Domingo, who in a speech on the House floor in 1951 over a bill to fund a full investigation of the Coogler case said:

“Any time any members of one party become so powerful they can dictate to the judiciary to cover up a crime, as they did in (Doña Ana) County, it is up to us as elected representatives of the people to solve that crime. ... Somebody from high up was covering up the murder of this girl. Some high official is involved in this case.”

What happened to that bill? According to Sandman’s book, it passed the House. But “it was sent to the Senate where it disappeared.”

(Murder Near the Crosses is published by Barbed Wire Publishing. A page for this book should be up soon, Sandman said.)

Blog Bonus: An Aug. 15, 1949 article about the Cricket Coogler murder can be found HERE

A little excerpt:

At 18, pretty, ignorant little Ovida ("Cricket") Coogler was a
product of New Mexico's political corruption. ... Under Happy (Apodaca) and his political friends nobody cared if a girl like Cricket ran wild. Occasionally, as a matter of fact, flashy politicos from the state capital itself came to Las Cruces and obligingly helped her get drunk.

Back to the present: A group that was indicted in 2004 on a charge of making an illegal $100,000 campaign contribution to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s political action committee is running television ads in New Mexico supporting U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care is an umbrella group for 15 for-profit members of the American Health Care Association.

The ad never suggests voting for Wilson. It just thanks her for “Fighting for New Mexico seniors. Voting to protect Medicare funding for quality nursing home care (and) standing up for New Mexico seniors.”

“Heather Wilson likes to talk about her integrity,” said Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for Wilson’s Democratic opponent, Attorney General Patricia Madrid. “She needs to stop talking and take action by standing up to this scandalous organization and demanding they stop spending their tainted money on ads supporting her campaign.”

Wilson spokesman Enrique Carlos Knell said Wilson has no control over third-party ads “any more than we do over the thousands of dollars spent to bash Heather Wilson in support of Patsy Madrid.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

PANEL DISCUSSION WITH ALGERIAN OFFICIALS

On Tuesday I was part of a panel -- along with state Sen. Dede Feldman and Bob Johnson, director of New Mexico Foundation for Open Government -- that met with a visiting delegation of Algerians, three women and two men that included a couple of judges, a lawyer, a diplomat and the director of an organization that aids women who are victims of violence.

The visitors wanted to learn about how New Mexico is dealing with corruption and ethics reform. But in our discussions, through French interpreters, I believe I learned more from them than they did from me.

Lawyer Khaled Bourayou -- whose clients include Algerian newspapers -- gave us a brief history of his country. Algeria won independence from France in 1962 and was a one-party socialist state until 1989 when the country adopted a new constitution. Bourayou said the official policy of Algeria now favors human rights, equality for women, free elections, freedom of press and private property rights. But the government's main problem remains its struggle with Islamic fundamentalists who want to estalish an Islamic Republic.

Although press freedom is the offical policy, Borayou said his government had to crack down on a radical Isamic paper that was calling for the overthrow of the government.

I told him here that in the U.S. many of us feel that the free expression of extremist views is considered a safety valve and that most people reject the truly crazy ideas. He argued that Algeria is such a religious society the Islamic extremists are able to manipulate the people and that the paper had to be shut down because it was a threat to freedom. He reminded me of this country's McCarthy era. I agreed that there are always those who would take our freedoms away and that you always have to be vigilant.

(Here is a recent article (from a South African site) about the Islmamic milita in Algeria linked to al Qaeda, which says the movement is in decline. Violence between the fundamentalists and the government has cost an estimated 200,000 lives since 1992.)

Mohamed Amara, a Supreme Court magistrate, asked why corruption was a problem in a country so affluent where civil servants are well paid. I answered with a line from an Elvis Presley song: "A poor man wants to be a rich man, a rich man wants to be king."

By the way, I was surprised that at least some of the Algerians were already familiar with our state treasurer scandal. New Mexico's corruption is known worldwide!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

MYSTIC JUDICIAL DWARVES

My brother alerted me to this critical news story.


Filipino 'dwarf' judge loses case

A Philippines judge who said he consulted imaginary mystic dwarves has failed to convince the Supreme Court to allow him to keep his job.


Florentino Floro was appealing against a three-year inquiry which led to his removal due to incompetence and bias.

He told investigators three mystic dwarves - Armand, Luis and Angel - had helped him to carry out healing sessions during breaks in his chambers.

But, you know, it probably wouldn't hurt if Armand, Luis and Angel would advise some New Mexico judges ...

UPDATE: This morning I found an extremely lengthy (like 17 times larger than the original post) comment from someone claiming to be Judge Floro. I reluctantly deleted it just due to space. (For some reason the comments here appear on my blog itself, not in a separate pop-up. Blogger hasn't been able to help me. I've got to do something about that.)

Most of the comment was repetitive recapping of the news story from various sources and comments of support from others. Here is a link to Judge Floro's blog, where some of those comments seem to come from. Again, I can't vouch for the authenticity, but it's pretty interesting. I'll save the original comment so if anyone wants to see the whole thing, e-mail me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

FROGFEST DAY 2

All my Frogfest Photos are HERE.

Right as I was about to leave the second day of Frogfest Sunday night, John Treadwell (Dear Leader and president-for-life of Frogville Records ) came up and said to me, "Well, are you going to tell Santa Fe what a great show they missed?"

I guess I'm doing that now.

Frogfest was loads of fun for those of us who went. To those who didn't: You shoulda been there ... No way around it, the turnout was disappointing. Probably the weather scared off many. Then, it was Indian Market, which traditionally is a weekend when many locals leave town. (And Saturday night there was the Native Roots & Rhythms concert at Paolo Soelri, which I heard also suffered from the rain).

Sometimes it seemed that the camera crews nearly outnumbered the audience. Not only was the L.A. Filmmakers Cooperative there (they'd been camped out at Treadwell's place for a few days), but local filmmaker Lexie Shabel had a crew there. A couple of years ago Lexie did a short documentary called VFWya, which was about the scene that spawned Frogville. I did an on-camera convesation with her about the meaning of it all.

Anywho, I've said it for years: Santa Fe has a lot more good musicians than it deserves. We're lucky to have a Frogville and Frogfest. Consider this a wag of the finger, you sunshine music scenesters!

I have to confess, I was pretty much towed away myself after Saturday's Frogfest spectacular. I didn't drag my fat ass to the Santa Fe Brewing Company until just before 2 p.m. Upon arrival my friend Bruce chided me about missing the first act. "You missed Toast!" I felt like saying "I AM toast."

For the most part I planted myself in the KSFR booth for the first part of the day, wandering up to the stage every now and then to catch Nathan Moore's set and the Texas Saphires (who do a great honky tonk version of X's "The New World.")

I didn't really come to life until about the time Goshen came on stage. Grant Hyunga, backed by The Brothers Palmer did his hopped-up Hounddog-Taylor-on-Angel-Dust tribal stomp, grating and hypnotic at the same time. It was wonderfully invigorating.

After this, two of Frogville's finest -- Nathan Moore and Joe West -- did a battle of the singer-songwriters, passing a single guitar back and forth.

James McMurty was the headliner. He was the only national name on the bill. Unfortunately I had to leave to do my radio show before he finished, but at least I got to snap a couple of pictures and hear him do "60 Acres," "Can't Make It Here" and my favorite, "Choctaw Bingo" before I had to leave.

Even though the turnout was disappointing, some of the Frogville folks already are talking about next year. Sure hope they follow through.

Now only two weeks til Thirsty Ear!

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, August 20, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Teenage Prostitute by Frank Zappa
Undercover of the Night by The Rolling Stones
Little Tease by Goshen
Contort Yourself by James Chance
The League of Bald-Headed Men by The Fall
Sheela na Gig by P.J. Harvey
Ten Commandments by Hellwood

I Love You Still by Hundred Year Flood
Cartwheels by Patti Smith
In Total Focus by Drywall
Blue Skies by Terry Adams and Marshall Allen
Things We Like To Do by NRBQ
Man About Town by Tony Gilkyson
Just a Gigolo by Bing Crosby

Milkcow Blues by Dead Moon
Sister Midnight by Iggy Pop
Snake in the Radio by Mark Pickerel
Skip to the End by The Futureheads
The Modern Dance by Pere Ubu
Wildcat by Pretty Girls Make Graves
Hands by The Racontuers
KKK by The BusBoys

Thing of Beauty by Hothouse Flowers
Hibernation Statement by Redneck Manifesto
Summer Jazz by The Electric Ghosts
Eve of Destruction by P.F. Sloan with Frank Black and Buddy Miller
Inside Job by Pearl Jam
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, August 20, 2006

FROGFEST DAY 1


I'm too exhausted to to into much detail about the first day of Frogfest. (And Day 2 is still before me) I think I'll let my photos do most of the talking.

But it indeed was a blast and a half. I was manning the KSFR booth for most of the day, but it wasn't hard to catch the music. (After the rain moved the festival inside the Santa Fe Brewing Company for a couple of hours Saturday evening, we gave up on the booth for the day.)

Hundred Year Flood did a surprisingly strong set especially considering the steady drizzle at the beginning of their performance. It climaxed with the appearance of a trio of fire dancers who provided a hell of a ligth show.

Joe West got back from England Saturday night, but jet lag didn't hinder his set with The Santa Fe All Stars (Sharon Gilchrist, Ben Wright and Susan Hyde Holmes).

I'd never seen Boris McCutcheon live before, but it was worth the wait to see Boris & The Saltlicks. ("Caves of Burgundy" was the highlight.)

And though I'd never actually seen Percy Boyd, I'd seen all the musicians before (Nathan Moore of ThaMuseMeant, most of Hundred Year Flood and steel guitarist Augie Hayes.)

There were old favorites like Bill Hearne and Jono Manson, and some bitchen neo-honky-tonk from Dave Insley & The careless Smokers.

One of my favorite moments was a relatively quiet one. Blind James, a singer who reminds me a little bit of Michael Hurley, was doing his set inside the Brewing Company singing his song "On the Banks of The Rio Grande." When he got to the chorus, from behind me came a heavenly chorus -- surround sound! It was members of Hundred Year Flood singing harmony parts. Lord it was fine.

Check ot my Frogfest photos.




Speaking of Hundred Year Flood, check out this You Tube video.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, August 18, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Rainy Day Woman by Waylon Jennings
1,000,002 Songs by The Sadies with Kelly Hogan
Mother Hubbard's Blues by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Where Were You When I Needed You by P.F. Sloan with Felix Caveliere
Bible Black Starless Sky by Andy Fairweather Low
Party Lights by Junior Brown
Inman's Liquid Gold by Raising Cane
Love Minus Zero No Limit by Doug Spartz
Silver Threads and Golden Needles by Linda Rondstadt

My Eyes by Tony Gilkyson
Between the Cracks by Dave Alvin
Magic Girl by Chip Taylor
Oklahoma Hills by James Talley
I'll Wait by Mark Pickerel
'50s French Movie by Carrie Rodriguez
How Many Biscuits Can You Eat by Stringbean


Frogfest Set
El Presidente by Goshen
Caves of Burgandy by Boris & The Saltlicks
Red Wine in the Afternoon by Jono Manson
Love Reunited by Bill Hearne
$2,000 Navajo Rug by Joe West & The Sinners
Sixty Acres by James McMurty
South of the Border by Dave Insley with Rosie Flores
Don't Go by Hundred Year Flood
Safe by ThaMuseMeant

Where Is My Mind by Bobby Bare, Jr.
If Your Posion Gets You by Frank Black
Man of God by Triobite
Tabitha by Ed Pettersen
Columbus Stockade by Rolf Cahn & Eric Von Schmidt
Treat Each Other Right by Greg Brown
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, August 18, 2006

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT I'M THE STEVE OF DESTRUCTION

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 18, 2006


In the late summer of 1965, coming back from a vacation in Santa Fe, a haunting, jangly song came over the car radio. The singer sounded like some gruff old drunk, but his words would twist my 11-year-old head off.

“The eastern world it is explodin’/violence flarin’, bullets loadin’/you’re old enough to kill but not for votin’.” By the time he got to the part about hating your next-door neighbor (“but don’t forget to say grace”), I was definitely looking at the radio in a much different way — and probably the whole world.

The song, of course, was Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction.” It was written by a guy named P.F. Sloan, 20 years old at the time. Sloan was a Los Angeles studio regular who wrote or co-wrote dozens of hits, most notably “Secret Agent Man.” He also penned tunes for The Turtles, The Grass Roots, Herman’s Hermits, and Jan and Dean — including one of my obscure favorites, “(Here They Come) From All Over the World,” the theme song from The TAMI Show, a long-out-of-print concert movie that featured James Brown, The Rolling Stones, and others.

I’m not quite sure what Sloan’s been doing for the past 40 years or so, but he’s just come out with this dandy new solo album, to be released Tuesday, Aug. 22. Sailover includes new songs as well as old, and a slew of guest stars.

I have to confess I like the old songs best. Lucinda Williams helps out on “The Sins of the Family (Fall on the Daughter),” a jaunty little poverty protest that was a minor hit for Sloan in the mid-’60s. Old Rascal Felix Cavaliere sings on Sloan’s Grass Roots hit, “Where Were You When I Needed You,” which sounds even better than the original. And Frank Black pitches in on an obscure Sloan tune “Halloween Mary,” a folk-rocky put-down song.

And yes, there’s “Eve of Destruction,” in which Sloan, Black, and country-rocker Buddy Miller trade verses. Most of the lyrics are still intact (there’s still all that hate in Red China and Selma, Ala.), though Sloan throws a new line “and money corrupts the value of elections” into the “blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’ ” verse.

The sad part, of course, is how relevant this song still is. I just wish it could get played on commercial radio as much as it was back in 1965 so it could make its imprint on today’s young minds as it did on mine.


Also recommended:

* Goodbye Guitar by Tony Gilkyson. I’ve written before that solo albums by sidemen only prove that most sidemen deserve to remain sidemen. But this album proves there are major exceptions to that rule.

Gilkyson, a former Santa Fean, has been a side musician for most of his career. He took Billy Zoom’s place as the lead guitarist in X. He was a member of the 1980s country rock band Lone Justice. He was the major dude behind Chuck E. Weiss’ band, The G-d Damn Liars, and co-produced two underrated Weiss albums. He played on and produced Eleni Mandell’s best album, Country for True Lovers. And he’s backed his sister, the well-known Eliza Gilkyson.

But forget all that resume stuff. Goodbye Guitar shows that Gilkyson should be considered an artist in his own right.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that all 11 songs on this album are winners.

There’s some outright honky-tonkers like “Wilton Bridge,” “Worthless,” and “Old Cracked Looking Glass” (the latter written by Woody Guthrie), some decent rootsy rockers like “Mojave High” and “Donut and a Dream,” and a good hillbilly stomp in the title cut.

There’s the Euro-noirish “Man About Town,” featuring a sinister French accordion by Van Dyke Parks and background vocals by sister Eliza. Written by his late father, Terry Gilkyson, the lyrics (“Each night a new love, never a true love,”) evoke the same sad spirit as Bing Crosby’s version of “Just a Gigolo.”

But best of all is “My Eyes,” a soulful dirge of self-loathing. “My eyes have seen some glory, diamonds in the rough/but looking in the mirror is getting mighty tough ... my back is bent, my hair is gray, but the worst thing I despise are my eyes,” Gilkyson moans. There’s a pump organ and a ragged-but-right horn section.

I don’t care what he says. Anyone who makes an album like this should be proud to look in the mirror.

* Snake in the Radio by Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands. Like Gilkyson, Pickerel’s mainly been a sideman and behind-the-scenes guy. He was the drummer in the classic Seattle group The Screaming Trees and, briefly, with Nirvana.


His first solo record is on Bloodshot Records, the “insurgent country” label.

Although there are some countryish tunes here (“I’ll Wait,” “Don’t Look Back”), the most interesting tracks go in different directions.

The garage stomp “A Town Too Fast for Your Blues” is tailor-made for a cover by Dead Moon. The mournful “Ask the Wind, Ask the Dust” sounds like something from fellow ex-Tree Mark Lannegan’s song book, as does the electronica-tinged title song, another slow burner.

But Pickerel saved the best for the first. The ultra-hooky opening track, “Forest Fire,” just has to be a huge radio hit in some paralniverse. Plus it has the funniest line in the whole album: “I’m sorry ’bout your turquoise bracelet/In the morning I’ll replace it.”

Thursday, August 17, 2006

SOME UPDATES

Democratic Land Commissioner candidate Jim Baca responds to my column about Mario Burgos' campaign-finance blog:
I challenge Pat Lyons to put his campaign donations on line with Burgos. I will do it if he agrees. It wouldn’t make sense to do it unilaterally, but I will do it. Will He?
I dunno. How about it, Pat?

State Rep. Brian Moore, R-Clayton, has become the second candidate to sign up on Ethical Reporting.

Meanwhile, please note Sheriff Greg Solano's comment on a Wednesday post about Jeffrey Epstein. He's decided to donate his $2,000 contribution to two charities -- $1000 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and $1000 to Challenge New Mexico.

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: REAL-TIME CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 17, 2006


If you want to know who is giving how much money to what politicians in New Mexico races during most of the summer and early fall, you’re pretty much out of luck.

The way state campaign laws are set up, candidates for state and county offices don’t file any financial-disclosure reports between July 6 and Oct. 9.

However, a conservative blogger from Cedar Crest has created a Web site called Ethical Reporting — subtitled The Campaign Finance Reporting Blog for Politicians With Nothing to Hide — on which candidates can post their contributions, expenses and in-kind donations as they come in.

Burgos has been a critic of the secretary of state’s Web site, saying it’s difficult to use and virtually impossible to search.

“I’m an active Republican with a conservative blog who has run for political office in the past,” Burgos says on his site. “Now that we have that out in the open, please know that this site will remain strictly nonpartisan.”

He later told me: “Nothing would make me happier than for Dems to participate as well.”

Burgos said he ran the idea by Matt Brix, executive director of New Mexico Common Cause.

“I think it’s a pretty creative effort on Mario’s part,” Brix said. “I would definitely encourage candidates to use it.”


So far, only one candidate is on the site’s List of Ethical Politicians. That’s state Rep. Kathy McCoy, of Cedar Crest, who won her seat in 2004 after defeating Burgos in the Republican primary. She’s posted all donations and expenditures she incurred since the July 6 report.

McCoy is a member of the state task force that is recommending changes in ethics and campaign laws. “I thought it was appropriate as a task-force member to take this first step,” she said.

McCoy is running against Democratic challenger Janice Saxton of Placitas.

Burgos — who spent about 20 hours over the past three weeks and less than $200 creating the site — said readers can add comments about individual contributions. “If somebody’s getting money from someone who’s dealing with the state, you can post a comment,” he said. Candidates in turn can respond to the comments, he said.

But he admitted there is one drawback: You can’t click a button and total how much McCoy or future participants have raked in or spent.

“I’m not a programmer.” Burgos said.

Both Burgos and McCoy say they support the idea of the state requiring “real-time” reporting of contributions as they come in.

“The way it is now, by the time the public can look at our contribution lists, the election’s over,” McCoy said. “This helps create cynicism in the public arena.”

“I don’t like the way the (ethics) task force is going with trying to set limits (on contributions and gifts),” Burgos said. “I’m for 100-percent disclosure. If you have lunch with a lobbyist, put it out there.”

Man of Mystery: Speaking of campaign contributions, all the candidates I spoke to earlier this week who had taken money from Jeffrey Epstein — the billionaire financier recently indicted in Florida on felony charges of soliciting prostitutes — said they’d never met Epstein.

It kind of reminds me of what my mom told me about taking candy from strangers.

I also was struck by The Palm Beach Post’s description of Epstein — accused of having sex with a string of teenage girls — “Epstein, now 53, was a quintessential man of mystery. He amassed his fortune and friends quietly, always in the background as he navigated New York high society.”

Five years ago in this paper, former New Mexican reporter Elena Vasquez, writing about Epstein’s gigantic mansion in Santa Fe County (on land he calls "Zorro Ranch"), picked up on the “mystery-man” aspect of his character.

“Epstein is as mysterious today as he was when he began building his estate. He apparently is a private man who has sworn his ranch employees to secrecy — making him an enigma to his 30 neighbors in the sleepy town of Stanley. One resident said her curiosity died down after many of her questions remained unanswered.

“ ‘They wouldn’t tell anybody anything,’ said (a neighbor), who has become friends with some of Epstein’s employees. ‘... Whatever they do there is their business, so I just let it drop.’ ”

Lamont/Lieberman: So far at least 20 Democratic U.S. senators have said they will back Connecticut Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont in the general election against incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is running as an independent after losing to Lamont in the Democratic primary. Only three Senate Democrats say they’re sticking with Lieberman.


Missing from both lists is New Mexico’s junior senator, Democrat Jeff Bingaman.

“Jeff’s not going to get involved,” Bingaman re-election campaign manager Terry Brunner said this week. “He’ll leave that decision to the voters of Connecticut. He’s got his own race to worry about.”

Bingaman is running for a sixth term against Republican Allen McCulloch of Farmington.

Other New Mexico Democrats haven’t been shy about the Connecticut race. U.S. Rep. Tom Udall is supporting the Democratic nominee, a spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Richardson endorsed Lamont last week and urged Lieberman to step aside.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

MORE ON EPSTEIN

First off, Jim Baca called to say he will be returning his $10,000 contribution from Jeffrey Epstein.


My story was noted in the blog Dealbreaker.com, ("An Online Business Tabloid and Wall Street Gossip Blog.")

In a previous post Dealbreaker chided a New York candidate who was returning Epstein's contributions, offering this perspective:

Let's put it this way. By sending back Epstein's $10,000 donation, Attorney General candidate Green just bought Epstein 50 sessions with local highshool girls at $200 a pop.

(Let's do remember, folks, Epstein is innocent until proven guilty and that hasn't happened quite yet.)

UPDATE: Sheriff Solano talks about his contribution from Epstein on his blog.

UNMASKING ZORRO

Jeffrey Epstein, a New York billionaire finacier with an enormous mansion in south Santa Fe County, has been indicted on felony charges of soliciting prostitutes in Florida.

He calls his 10,000-acre New Mexico property The Zorro Ranch.

Palm Beach police say he had sex with teenage girls, paying then between $200 and $1,000 for their encounters.

But he was even more generous with New Mexico politicians. According to state records, he gave:

* $50,000 for Gov. Bill Richardson’s 2002 campaign and, under the name of one of his companies, The Zorro Trust, another $50,000 to Richardson’s re-election campaign this year.
* $15,000 to attorney general candidate Gary King.
* $10,000 to state land commissioner candidate Jim Baca.
* $2,000 to Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano.

Read my story in today's New Mexican.
Read a feature on Epstein in the Palm Beach Post
And read all the grimy details in the police affidavit at The Smoking Gun

IMMORTALS

I'm stealing this from NewMexiKen:

Four American Immortals
… died young on this date.

Robert Johnson in 1938 at age 27.
Babe Ruth in 1948 at age 53.
Margaret Mitchell in 1949 at age 48.
Elvis Presley in 1977 at age 42.

Monday, August 14, 2006

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, August 13, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Greasebox by TAD
Private Hell by Iggy Pop & Green Day
Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones by The Hives
Store Bought Bones by The Raconteurs
Stack Shot Billy by The Black Keys
Room 213 by Dead Moon
Forty Dollars by The Twilight Singers
What's Left of the Flag by Flogging Molly

Thank You Lord by Hellwood
Secrets by The Mekons
Lost in Music by The Fall
Sheriff of Hong Kong by Captain Beefheart
Drove Up From Pedro by Mike Watt with Carla Bozulich
Call the Doctor by Sleater-Kinney
You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You by Dean Martin

Crackpot Baby by L7
Black Mask by International Noise Conspiracy
My Sweet Angel and I Considered the Asthetics of The Black Pen by Bleach 03
Did You See Me? by The BusBoys
Between You and Me Kid by Mudhoney
Waves of Fear by Lou Reed
Burning Down the House by Talking Heads
Tapioca Tundra by The Monkees

Living Room by Carl Hancok Rux
Let Me Down Easy by Bettye Lavette
John Henry by Van Morrison
We Still Got It by Redneck Manifesto
It's the Day of Atonement 2001 by Dayna Kurtz
Our Day Will Come by NRBQ
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, August 13, 2006

eMUSIC AUGUST

Here's my allotted 90 downloads from eMusic this month:

*Minimum Wage Rock & Roll (plus stray cuts from other albums) by The BusBoys I snared MWR&R just just in time. Just a day or two later it disappeared from eMusic.

I hadn't thought of The BusBoys in years. But last month when I was working on my column about coon songs and minstrel shows I recalled the band stirred controversy by messing with Steppin Fetchin shuck 'n' jive stereotypes with their moves, facial expressions and other antics in their stage show. "Hey! Can I shine ya'll's shoes? I just loves to shine ya'll's shoes ..." At the same time they directly confronted racial issues in their songs. "There Goes the Neighborhood" talks about how "the whites are movin' in." Back then it just seemed funny and ironic. Now it's obvious that it was one of the first rock songs about gentrification.

They also talked about segregation in rock, which was at it's worse in the early '80s, those strange days before Prince. Rock was for whites, funk and soul was for blacks. But in the BusBoys, the twain met. "I bet you never heard music like this by spades," singer Kevin O'Neil says in the Devo-like "Did You See Me."

More than 20 years ago I interviewed O'Neil after a show at the honky tonkin' Golden Inn. He was one of the first musicians I ever interviewed who was brutally honest about how downright grueling show biz can be. He was exhausted, cynical and by his account near broke -- and this was at the height of their short-lived popularity.

But it was a hell of a show. While fooling around on Amazon.com I was delighted to stumble across another person who had been there. She says she saw Willie, Waylon and Jessie there that night. I didn't see them, but I wasn't really paying attention to the audience.

*Broken Boy Soldiers by The Raconteurs. I mainly got this one -- White Stripe Jack White's latest musical project -- for my son, who has repaid me by constantly humming "Steady As She Goes" for the past week. I do like it, though not as much as The Stripes.

*Good Bread Alley by Carl Hancock Rux I first heard Rux on Bob Edwards Weekend a few weeks ago. Rux is a poet, playwrite and photographer, but veers into music when his art calls for it. His bio says he's been commissioned for a couple of operas. This album is mainly art-damaged, literate blues. My favorite track here are the title song and "Living Room," which is a mutated "Gimme Some Lovin'." There's also a song for Kurt Cobain.

*Live from Mountain Stage by NRBQ. Maybe this isn't NRBQ's best live album, but it's a darn good one. It has songs from two shows, one before the departure of Big Al, one after. I love Al's "What a Nice Way to Go," ("Let's play some stripper music, boys," he drawls at the outset of the instrumental section). Also there's a good sleazy take on "Our Day Will Come." Who among us doesn't like Ruby & The Romantics?

*Hardwired in Ljubljana and Live at The Casbah 10/21/2004 by Dead Moon
With the zeal of a new convert. I downloaded not one but two live albums from this Portland garage/punk/psycheledelic/whatever band. Ljubljana is the better of these two, but Casbah has a version of "You Must Be a Witch."

At first I just assumed it was just a cover of the '60s garage classic (included in Rhino's Nuggets box set), but reading up on Dead Moon, I learned that singer Fred Cole actually was a member of The Lollipop Shoppe, which originally did the song. But I still want to know why Toody Cole always skips the second verse of The Rolling Stones' "Play With Fire."

The above accounts for 89 tracks: For my final track I chose to expand my modest but growing eMusic Cab Calloway collection and download "Kicking the Gong Around" (one of Cab's "Minnie the Moocher" sequels. I previously downloaded "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day.")

Saturday, August 12, 2006

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, August 11, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
I Wanna Be Sedated by Two Tons of Steel
Please Stop Playing That Didgeridoo by Jono Manson
Nuthin' Much by Doug Spartz
Have You Had Enough? by Ricki Lee Jones
Big Bad Bill is Sweet William Now by Ry Cooder
Oklahoma Waltz by Acie Cargill
American Pagaent by The Sadies with Jon Langford
Farther on Down the Road by Eric Hisaw
Mary Lou, Good Time Gal by Kell Robertson

Cookeville Kid by Porter Wagoner
Jesus Was a Capricorn by Marshall Chapman
Forest Fire by Mark Pickerel
Worthless by Tony Gilkyson
Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends by Kris Kristofferson
What a Nice Way to Go by NRBQ
Sins of a Family by P.F. Sloan with Lucinda Williams

Gun Show by Bobby Bare, Jr.
Highway to Lowdown by Frank Black
Never Gonna Be Your Bride by Carrie Rodriguez
Unglorious Hallelujah by Chip Taylor
If I Ever Get To Heaven by Kate Campbell with Spooner Oldham
Wild Wild Women of the Wild Wild West by Lynn Anderson
99 Friends of Mine by Dan Reeder
The Way of the Fallen by Ray Wylie Hubbard

Mighty Sweet Watermelon by Greg Brown
Kansas by Fred Eaglesmith
Look What Thoughts Will Do by Merle Haggard
The Maker by Willie Nelson with Emmylou Harris
In the Middle of It by Irma Thomas
Dreaming My Dreams with You by Waylon Jennings
Wings of a Dove by Dolly, Tammy & Loretta
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, August 11, 2006

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: PORTER, ACIE & KRIS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 11, 2006


Porter Wagoner has always held a special place in my musical heart. With his electrifying sequined jackets and his most pomp-worthy pompadour, Wagoner turned his syndicated TV show in the 1960s and ’70s into a classic.

While many think of Dolly Parton as a glitzy superstar, I still remember her stunning harmonies with Wagoner. Also unforgettable are those soap commercials in which the duo pulled dish towels out of boxes of Breeze.

In recent decades, Wagoner’s musical output has been negligible. However, his recently released CD, The Versatile Porter Wagoner, is pleasantly surprising. If you like your country music spooky and mysterioso, you have to check this one out.

While the CD has some predictable, modern, Branson-ready country-and-western filler, some of the tunes on Versatile remind me of Wagoner’s weirdest song ever, “The Rubber Room.”

On “Indian Creek,” Wagoner teams up with John Anderson with a musical backdrop of heavy tom-toms and Native American flute as well as a Cherokee fiddle and “Kaw-Liga” steel guitar.

“Sometimes, the water gets crimson red/From the battles they fought and the blood they shed/If you look real close, you can almost see the ghosts and hear the mournful sound of their retreat,” Wagoner sings. The song ends with Wagoner praying to the Great Spirit.

In “Mystery Mountain,” Wagoner challenges the haints and hostile critters on a forbidding landmark, while “Divers Are Out Tonight” is a tale of crime, punishment, and hidden treasure. “Cookeville Kid” is a twangy outlaw/gambler ballad in which Wagoner speaks the lyrics (“Here lies the Cookeville Kid/He bought one too many queens/so said Judge Roy Bean”). Wagoner duets with Pam Gadd on a sweet version of the old folk song “Mary of the Wild Moor.”

You can get the Versatile album for a mere $7.97 on Wagoner’s Web site,

Also recommended:

* In Old Oklahoma, by Acie Cargill and The Coyote Kick Band. Cargill isn’t really an Okie — he lives in Illinois and has roots in Kentucky — but he’s got some kin in the Sooner state. After this album, as a born Oklahoman myself, I’d be the first to nominate him for honorary Okiehood.

“I can always tell an Okie,” Cargill says in one song. “They treat you like we’re all in the same boat, nobody’s special. They hold up their end, and they expect the same from you/And they’re not afraid to be friendly.”

This pretty much sums up the spirit of this album, which celebrates the history of Oklahoma, from the Indian migrations up to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995.

The album starts off with a seven-and-a-half-minute history lesson called “In Old Oklahoma,” featuring a spoken-word recitation by Cargill in his folksy drawl backed by a jaunty country instrumental. Cargill’s Coyote Kick Band does some convincing Western swing on “Okies,” another spoken-word piece, this one concerning the Dust Bowl.

As he’s done on some of his past records, Cargill, who wrote nearly all the tunes on this album, turns over the microphone to various relatives and friends, giving the effort a homey, homemade feel. Standouts include celebrated singer-songwriter James Talley, whose “Oklahoma, You’re OK” is a moving ballad about the 1995 bombing. It reminds me of another recent Talley song, “I Saw the Buildings,” which is about September 11.

I’m also fond of cowgirl singer Mary Minton’s contributions in “Pawnee Bill” and “Tom Mix and Lucille Mulhall.”

In Old Oklahoma is part of a planned trilogy of Cargill albums honoring Oklahoma’s statehood centennial, to be observed in 2007. Red Dirt, which isn’t available yet, features Cargill, his uncle Henson (“Skip a Rope”) Cargill, Talley, Byron Berline, and others doing original tunes plus covers of Okie giants such as Woody Guthrie, Spade Cooley, and J.J. Cale. Also in the works is Oklahoma Roots, featuring Cargill and his pals.

*The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson This is the third tribute album to the old lion in recent years. Perhaps it makes sense that Kristofferson would inspire so many people to want to cover his tunes. After all, most of us old fans were introduced to his songs through interpretations of others. “Me and Bobby McGee” was first recorded by Roger Miller but made famous by Janis Joplin; Johnny Cash had a hit with “Sunday Morning Coming Down”; Ray Price recorded “For the Good Times,” to which Al Green later would add soulful new dimensions; and one-hit-wonder Sammi Smith’s soulful country/pop cover of “Help Me Make It Through the Night” is the version we remember.

The previous tributes, Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down and Nothing Left to Lose (both released in 2002), consisted mostly of alt rockers and alt-country types. Pilgrim, on the other hand, is more mainstream, with singers such as Emmylou Harris; Willie Nelson; Waylon Jennings’ widow, Jessi Colter, and their son, Shooter Jennings; Roseanne Cash; and Rodney Crowell.

Among my favorite songs on Pilgrim are Crowell’s two-steppin’, honky-tonk version of “Come Sundown” and Gretchen Wilson’s properly aching “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

I can’t forget Todd Snider’s convincing version of a relatively obscure song called “Maybe You Heard,” written after Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge divorced. The song angrily blasts friends who took sides in the aftermath of the breakup. Snider sounds like he’s taking it personally as he sings the final refrain, “Don’t turn away, hey goddamn you, you used to love her ... don’t you condemn her.”

The album has a couple of clunkers though. Brian McKnight’s overwrought, middle-of-the-road, soul/samba version of “Me and Bobby McGee” makes me yearn for Janis. Also, if the producers wanted someone to sound like Claudine Longet, why didn’t they just hire Claudine Longet instead of Jill Sobule, who duets with Lloyd Cole on a forgettable “For the Good Times”?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

RICHARDSON TO LIEBERMAN: QUIT!

Gov. Bill Richardson just added his thoughts on the Lamont/Lieberman race.

“Joe Lieberman is a good friend of mine, a true public servant who has served his constituents and the Democratic Party well. However, after a hard-fought race Connecticut's Democratic voters chose Ned Lamont as their candidate for US Senate. I look forward to supporting Ned as he fights to help Democrats take back the Senate, and I call on Joe Lieberman to respect the will of the voters and step aside.”

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: OIL MONEY

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 10, 2006

Early this week, Gov. Bill Richardson’s re-election campaign released a statement blasting Republican opponent John Dendahl for not filing his July campaign-finance report on time.

Besides implying that Dendahl was trying to hide something, Richardson campaign chairman Dave Contarino commented on what the GOP candidate had said was his major source of contributions — the oil and gas industry.

“At a time when big oil companies are reaping record profits and New Mexican families are struggling to pay $3 per gallon,” Contarino was quoted, “the public deserves to know whether or not he’s received a large percentage of his contributions from these large oil and gas corporations.”

Right on, Dave! It’s about time someone stood up to the oil barons. It’s good to know that our governor would never touch their filthy lucre.

Oh, wait a minute ...

According to Followthemoney.org, the Web site of the Institute on Money in State Politics, Richardson’s campaign, as of the end of May, had pumped the oil and gas industry for $234,263. Only three other sectors have contributed more to Richardson: lobbyists and lawyers; real estate; and his own now-defunct political action committee, Moving America Forward.

In his 2002 campaign, according to Followthemoney.org, the Richardson campaign took in $201,558 from the oil and gas industry.

To be fair, most of these contributions aren’t from “these large oil and gas corporations” Contarino was lambasting. Many are from businesses that service the oil and gas companies. His biggest single oil-and-gas contributor in this election cycle was Calloway Safety Equipment Co. of Hobbs, which gave two checks totaling $30,000.

Major multinational oil and gas producers don’t contribute that much to New Mexico politicians. But Richardson has received more money from the big boys than any other candidate in the state: $5,000 from Alon USA (which produces Fina gasoline), $4,000 from Chevron and two contributions totaling $3,000 from Conoco-Phillips.

Dendahl who finally submitted his finance report Wednesday, didn’t show any money from major oil companies.

The Cargo wing of the GOP?: I received an e-mail from a New Mexico congressional candidate Wednesday who declared that antiwar candidate Ned Lamont’s victory over incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in Tuesday’s Connecticut Democratic primary was “a victory for all Americans.”

No, it wasn’t Rep. Tom Udall, a progressive Democrat who voted against the Iraq war. It was his Republican opponent, Ron Dolin.

And no, Dolin wasn’t coming from a “yippee-the-Democrats-are-divided” point of view.

“We witnessed the birth of a movement,” Dolin said in his news release. “Grass-roots Americans, tired of professional politicians who have forgotten the people they represent, are taking back their government. ...”

“I believe Americans want a return to a citizen-based form of government,” Dolin wrote. “Incumbents in Congress no longer represent the people. Incumbents view politics as a career not as a service. Thomas Jefferson would be pleased to see a common citizen topple an entrenched incumbent.”

This goes against the typical Republican line of praising Lieberman and using Lamont’s victory as evidence the Democrats have been taken over by left-wing weirdoes.

Indeed, Dolin, a homeland-security expert with Los Alamos National Laboratory, seems to be a different kind of Republican — perhaps a “Lonesome” Dave Cargo for the new century.

A few weeks ago, Dolin attacked Udall for voting for a telecommunications bill opponents say jeopardizes the concept of “net neutrality” and an open, democratic Internet.

Later on Wednesday, Dolin unleashed another e-mail, this one blasting Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman for refusing to endorse the Republican candidate in the Connecticut Senate race.

“This is one of the most upsetting political betrayals I have ever witnessed,” Dolin wrote. “I feel bad for Republican candidates across America who have the courage to stand for election against an incumbent.”

(Dolin never mentioned his name in his statement, but the Connecticut candidate is Alan Schlesinger.)

Nobody’s expecting Udall to have any real trouble in this election. But Dolin’s making the race a lot more interesting than I expected.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

DEVELOPERS CONTRIBUTED TO LYONS CAMPAIGN

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


Developers who contracted with the State Land Office to prepare more than 400 acres for sale have contributed to the re-election campaign of incumbent Land Commissioner Pat Lyons.

The land in Rio Rancho includes 216 acres where The University of New Mexico wants to build a west-side campus. Some UNM regents have criticized the business lease with the developers — which was awarded without going through a bid process — as a “sweetheart deal.”

The State Land Office contracted with a team of developers consisting of West Wood Realty of Albuquerque, GSL Properties Inc. of Portland, Ore., and Gregory Campbell of Rio Rancho, who works as a broker for West Wood.

According to state campaign-finance records, the Lyons campaign has received $500 from West Wood, $500 from West Wood manager John Black; $500 from Campbell and $500 from Walter Grodahl III, the chief executive officer of GSL.

Lyons on Tuesday denied the contributions had anything to do with the developers getting the contract.

But Democrat Jim Baca, who is running against Republican Lyons, said, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

Lyons also denied the contract for the Rio Rancho land involved preferential treatment. “It’s no sweetheart deal,” he said. “There’s a business risk. They could lose money.”

Lyons said it’s standard procedure to approve such leases to develop trust land, and bidding is not required for leases of five years or less.

But, he said Tuesday, “maybe next time we’ll put ’em out to bid, and we’ll see what happens.”

Baca said the Rio Rancho contract and other no-bid development contracts with the State Land Office shows the need for an independent board to oversee the office’s transactions.

UNM regents expressed interest in buying the 439 acres of state trust land from the State Land Office when it was appraised for $16,500 an acre. About half would be used for the proposed new campus and the other half for commercial development to provide income for the school and to help cover the cost of the new campus.

Lyons said state law requires him to sell the land at fair market value, which currently is $32,000 an acre. Even though UNM is a beneficiary of money made on state trust lands, a spokeswoman for Lyons said that particular parcel is earmarked to benefit elementary and secondary public schools.

The property borders an area where Rio Rancho’s city hall is to be built and an arena is scheduled to open in October.

The lease charges the developers $5,000 a year and requires them to do master planning and engineering and design work to prepare the land for sale.

The developers would receive 40 percent of the land’s increase in value above a base figure of about $15,000 an acre. In addition, they get reimbursed for the money they spend on the project.

The Associated Press was used in this report.

Monday, August 07, 2006

BUSK A MOVE


I had a nice chat with Michael Combs of the Santa Fe Buskers last night. He told me that on Wednesday the City Council will consider his group's proposal to allow musicians to play for tips on downtown Santa Fe streets.

He told me that local government first got interested in restricting street entertainment back in the 1800s. Something about Mexican acrobats performing downtown. (Sounds like an insurance nightmare.)

I first met Michael about 20 years ago when I was covering City hall for the Journal North and he was leading a one-man fight for his right to pick his tunes downtown. His opponents were downtown merchants who seemed to be in great fear that street musicians would somehow scare away affluent tourists. "Gee I'd like to buy that $15,000 sculpture, but I just gave my last buck to a guy singing Bob Dylan songs up the street ..."

Combs lost that battle in the 80s. But he didn't give up. (And indeed, some of his opponents blew out of town long ago. I assume they managed to go broke without the help of street singers.)

I think it's obvious where my sympathies lie. Here's what the S.F. Buskers argue:

1. Santa Fe prides itself and markets itself on its orientation to the arts and culture. Busking is another wonderful artistic, cultural outlet and phenomenon that is an integral part of many great cities.

2. Busking will enliven the streets of downtown Santa Fe and help draw locals and tourists alike to the downtown area. This builds community.

3. Local musicians benefit from an additional source of income, and Santa Fe benefits in turn by having a better music scene.


I just snapped the above picture of a busker in Boulder, Colorado's Pearl Street Mall last week. This guy didn't seem to be driving away commerce there. Take a deep breath, Santa Fe shopkeeps. The empire won't crumble over a few guys with a few bucks in their guitar cases.

So check out the web site for Santa Fe Buskers . Note the proposed code of conduct and see exactly what Combs and crew are asking for.

And if you can, show up at City Hall about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

SNAKES!


I got a personal messager from Samuel L. Jackson this morning.

I guess my friend Dana told him about me.

CLICK HERE

(For some more surreal fun go HERE or HERE or HERE)

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, August 6, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Broken Boy Soldiers by The Raconteurs
You'll Be Mine by Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands
The Interpretor by Roky Erikson
Going South by Dead Moon
Big New Prinz by The Fall
Hurdy Gurdy Man by The Butthole Surfers
Sunshine Superman by Husker Du
Tony's Theme by The Pixies

Powderburns by The Twilight Singers
The Temple by The Afghan Whigs
Pussywillow by Greg Dulli
Is This Where by Mission of Burma
The Number by Pretty Girls Make Graves
Joey by Concrete Blonde
Columbian Necktie by Big Black
Needles and Pins by The Ramones

The Likes of You Again by Flogging Molly
Captain Kelly's Kitchen by Dropkick Murphys
Danny Boy by Black 47
The Whole Thing Stinks by Rico Bell
The Ghosts of Belfast by Bap Kennedy
Donegal Express by Shane MacGowan
Whiskey in a Jar by Thin Lizzie

Assembly of Dog by Hundred Year Flood
Junco Partner by The Clash
Advanced Romance by Frank Zappa, Capt. Beefheart & The Mothers of Invention
Only You and Your Ghost Will Know by The Mekons
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, August 06, 2006

RICHARDSON ON NEW HAMPSHIRE

I didn't cover Gov. Bill Richardson's latest trip to New Hampshire like I did on one of his trips last year. For one thing I was on vacation this time. For another, it doesn't sound like he said much new up there this time.

The governor, just like in June 2005, went there not to campaign for president (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) but to help fellow New Hampshire's Democratic Gov. John Lynch (yeah, that's the ticket ...)

Once again he made headlines by stoutly defending New Hampshire's right to have the earliest primary. A year ago I quoted him at a Manchester breakfast saying, "Besides the fact that it’s your birthright, you are the grass-roots state."

"Being from New Mexico, I believe very strongly in a Western primary. People from the West should have a say in who is chosen for president. The people of Keene should have the same right as the people of Manchester, " he joked that day. (Read my original report HERE )

Late last year, in an interview with Time magazine, Richardson spoke of the "divine right" of early primary states. (I had fun with that one in my Dec. 8 column.)

By the way, if anyone's keeping count, last week was Richardson's fourth trip -- at least -- to New Hampshire since becoming governor of New Mexico.

UPDATE: According to the Journal's Mike Coleman, there was one difference between this summer's trip to New Hampshire and last summer's.

No speeding.

Richardson joked (or was he serious?) that his driver didn't speed because New Hampshire's two-lane highways are congested, and a reporter tailed behind them in a rental car everywhere they went.

Or maybe he just had bad memories of this column last year. CLICK HERE

Friday, August 04, 2006

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: IT'S TWILIGHT TIME

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
August 4, 2006


I liked the Afghan Whigs the first time I heard their song "Retarded" on the Sub Pop compilation The Grunge Years back in 1991. But a year later on their album Congregation, the Whigs covered "The Temple" from Jesus Christ Superstar (a guilty pleasure of mine for about 35 years now). That's when I realized I was going to be a fan of this band and its singer, Greg Dulli, for the long haul.

Sometimes Dulli is the wrathful god ready to take the whip to the money changers. But more often, he's the thief in the temple -- his eye on the jewel in the idol's eye, his hands on the virgins.

The Afghan Whigs folded around the end of the decade, but Dulli raged on with The Twilight Singers, an ever-changing ensemble coloring Dulli's musical visions with 40 shades of dark. Powder Burns is the latest Twilight Singers outing, and it's a mighty one.

After a short, simmering instrumental, Dulli bursts upon the stage with the hard-crunching "I'm Ready," declaring his intentions by the end of the first verse: "I hope I see you out tonight, and I hope we get it on."

Like most of the songs to follow, the sound is big -- guitars, keyboards, and drums work into crescendos. Likewise, Dulli works his voice into inspired frenzies. Sometimes, you don't notice he's been screaming until the song starts to fade.

"Bonnie Brae" is reportedly an autobiographical song about drug abuse. "If she's your master/then get down on your knees and beg for more/I'm not saying it's easier/to live your life like a little whore."

Dulli is at his most evil on "Forty Dollars." With his altered voice harsh and mockingly nasal, he takes the guise of a white street pimp. "Buy your love for $40," he sneers. "I've got love for sale/come on get some before it gets stale." By the end of the tune, he has sardonically quoted two Beatles songs, "All You Need Is Love" and "She Loves You." Dulli actually sings the refrain of the latter, which he also used for the title of a previous Twilight Singers album.

Those aren't the only Beatles references on Powder Burns. During its quieter moments, "There's Been an Accident" features some subtle sounds reminiscent of the East Indian stringed instruments on "Within You, Without You."

Powder Burns has some quieter moments. "Candy Cane Crawl" features background vocals from Ani DiFranco, and "The Conversation" has slide guitar and a string section.

But these serve mainly as apprehensive lulls before the next explosions. After "The Conversation," the album's title song starts out with a sinister guitar riff that might remind Nirvana fans of "Rape Me." This song features strings as well. Almost like a movie soundtrack, the song is easy to imagine as a James Bond theme.

Powder Burns ends with the dreamlike "I Wish I Was," a meandering tune with a muted trumpet, a sad Dixieland trombone, and what sounds like short blasts of radio static.

From the outset, Dulli proclaimed his love for classic soul music. He never stooped to imitative retro shtick, but those with ears to hear always knew his music was flavored by Percy Sledge as much as Iggy Pop, Little Anthony as much as Lou Reed. Powder Burns is packed with Dulli's peculiar brand of soul. It's a not-so-quiet storm that won't let up.

Also recommended:

* The Obliterati
by Mission of Burma. "Are those pterodactyls flying above? I thought those suckers were extinct ... "

That's how a lot of longtime fans of Mission of Burma must feel with this new album by the classic Boston group that rose and fell in the '80s. A couple of years ago MOB did a respectable "comeback" album, OnOffOn, which was a nice surprise.

But with The Obliterati, Mission of Burma -- with three of its four original members -- appears to have really come back. The group sounds as strong as it did in its glory days. This is fresh and vital music. MOB won't be ready for the '80s-nostalgia casino circuit anytime soon.

The band, led by singer/guitarist Roger Miller (no, not that Roger Miller), still does the basic guitar rage -- sometimes discordsometimes almost melodic. The band MOB reminds me of the most is Hüsker Dü.

My favorite cut here is the five-and-a-half minute "Donna Sumeria," which starts out with ominous guitar noodling and a steady stomp of a beat and ends with a feedback-powered instrumental passage that reminds me of Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride."

Nearly as psychedelic is "1001 Pleasant Dreams," which sounds like a distant, harder-edged cousin of The Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of the Mind." (It sounds great on headphones.)

The Obliterati ends with a strange little tune called "Nancy Reagan's Head," which isn't as much political commentary as it is inspired nonsense.

Actually, in those aforementioned glory days, this band only released one proper studio album, Vs. To quote Carly Simon, maybe these are the good old days for Mission of Burma.

* Élan Vital by Pretty Girls Make Graves. This group, fronted by singer Andrea Zollo, is fast, loud, and tuneful, making music that sounds urgent with a hint of playfulness. It's an ambitious album that combines post punk, progressive rock, dub, and psychedelia, a little girl-group sound, and a dab of New Wave. (At times I hear The Waitresses in there.)

Though guitar-centric, keyboards (by Leona Marrs and sometimes multi-instrumentalist J. Clark) give an unforgettable zing. "Domino," for instance, starts out with an electric piano riff that will remind old-timers of "Money (That's What I Want)." Then a Doors-like organ creeps in, as do quick flashes of Wall of Voodoo/Devo electric percussion.

Then there are strange touches like the minute-long "The Magic Hour," with a restless trumpet that sounds like an elephant contemplating stampeding at a circus. This serves as a precursor for the psycho cacophony that begins and ends the final track, "Bullet Charm," a virtual odyssey in which Pretty Girls pulls out all the stops.

Pretty Girls Make Graves reminds me of the Bob Dylan line, "I've got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane." Hope they stick it out.