Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Love Halloween

I love Halloween.

I mean, I really, REALLY love Halloween

I've been thinking about it a lot this year; I’m not sure why I love it so much.

I mean, some years I dress up, others I don’t.  Some years we decorate a lot at our house, some years we do less.  It’s not really about how I celebrate Halloween. 

Big Pimpin'
It’s the feeling.

When I was a kid, I loved it, but I think it was about the traditional stuff.  I liked getting dressed up and I was excited to get candy.

The dressing up aspect is still fun.  But I haven’t done anything personally the last couple of years and I still love Halloween as much.  And it’s not about any residual nostalgia over the candy.  I mean, you can tell by lookin’ at this big daddy, I loves me some candy.  But Halloween used to be a once-a-year opportunity to get a bunch of it.  Now, I have enough money I can usually indulge the sweet tooth anytime I want.

The first time as an adult that I really remember loving Halloween was maybe ten years ago.  I was working at a local country music radio station and we had a handful of hokey Halloween party music CDs that they told us we could play from a few times each hour, just for fun.

I remember playing Jumpin’ Gene Simmons’ “Haunted House” that afternoon - the first time I'd heard that track.  And while I’ve grown pretty tired of the “traditional” Halloween music fare (Purple People Eater, Monster Mash, etc.), this one remains a favorite.

For whatever reason, on that particular Halloween day on that particular year, I caught the spirit.  There was a feeling in the air.  You could sense the excitement.  It had been a long time since I’d caught it.  I caught it as a kid – again, costumes and candy.  I caught it as an older kid – vandalism and tricks.  And then I didn’t for a long time.  Quite in fact, I saw the whole thing as a driving nuisance more than anything.

But ever since that one year, I’ve caught whatever spirit of Halloween that exists. 

I went all out on the Dirty Roots Radio show last week to celebrate Halloween.  I had a blast digging up old Halloween-appropriate garage rock and rockabilly nuggets, and will probably do it up every year from now on.

I absolutely love classic/vintage Halloween imagery.

Dressing up is fun.  Little kids dressing up is cute. 

No, I am NOT Flava Flav!  I'm Miff Doggy-Dogg.
Your neighbors decorating their house for trick-or-treating kids is a cool thing.  Nowadays, it’s one of the only times we really open our homes and welcome people to our doorstep.  There’s a community spirit about it.  Community Halloween projects are fun.  Our community does a “Truck or Treat” a few nights before Halloween and, while I’ve never been, it always looks like it’s been a blast. 

So anyway…all of this is to say that I love Halloween and I don’t really necessarily know why.

Maybe it's just that feeling in the air.  That feeling where everyone's excited.  It's so rare that people get genuinely excited about the same, mostly positive thing.

Kids get parties at school and at daycare.  Grownups have parties at work - or at least excuses to bring in snacks.  Kids are excited to dress up and trick-or-treat.  Everyone's excited to help their kids dress up and to see the kids that come to their door.  People decorate.  People have parties.

All for the same non-religiously-affiliated reason.  Simply the name of fun.  No heavy meaning behind the holiday.  No significance or symbolism.  And outside of those few folks who ban Halloween in their home on the grounds of its devilish Satanic cult connections, there's not much about the occasion that divides us or causes anyone to exclude anybody else.

It's just fun.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - October 25th Playlist

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) at


Louvin Brothers/ Hank III – Satan Is Real/Straight to Hell (excerpt)
Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster
John Paul Keith – You Devil You
Montesas – Igor’s Party
Jim Stafford – Spiders and Snakes
Southern Culture on the Skids – Zombified
Reverend Organdrum – Experiment in Terror
Tom Waits – Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard
Tommy Scott & Scotty Lee – Exorcism
Screaming Lord Sutch – Jack The Ripper
Little Richard – Heeby-Jeebies
Little Richard – Heeby-Jeebies
Stage Fright – Bad Moon Rising
Dexter Romweber – Monster Blues
Joe Johnson – The Gila Monster
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Little Demon
Bostweeds – Faster Pussycat Kill Kill
New York Dolls – Frankenstein
The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Go-Go Godzilla
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell on You
Gil Scott-Heron – Me And The Devil
Bo Diddley – Bo Meets the Monster
The Cramps – Goo Goo Muck
The Cramps – I Was A Teenage Werewolf
The Cramps – Zombie Dance
Mike Ness – The Devil in Miss Jones
Daniel Johnston – Casper the Friendly Ghost
Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave
Meteors – Little Red Riding Hood
Howlin’ Wolf – Evil
Bryan “Legs” Walker With His Walkin’ Talkin’ Sax – Trick or Treat
The Sonics – Psycho
Larry & The Blue Notes – Night Of The Sadist
The Headliners – Voodoo Plan
Dixie Dee – Voodoo Mama
Roky Erikson And The Aliens – I Walked With A Zombie
Townes Van Zandt – Black Widow Blues
Cedell Davis – She’s Got the Devil in Her
The Coasters – Poison Ivy
Stevie Wonder – Supersticious


Thursday, October 18, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - October 18th Playlist

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) at

Onie Wheeler – Onie’s Bop
Chuck Berry – Reelin’ and Rockin’ [live]
Social Distortion – Down Here (With the Rest of Us)
Rudy Ray Moore – Rally In The Valley
Chuck Berry – You Never Can Tell
Chuck Berry – Carol
The Rivieras – California Sun
The Monkees – Goin’ Down
The Dictators – Who Will Save Rock And Roll?
The Cramps – Fever
Chuck Berry – Our Little Rendezvous
Sister Rosetta Tharp – Didn’t It Rain
Chuck Berry – Too Much Monkey Business
Luis Bacalov – Django
Link Wray – Fire and Brimstone
James Leg – Have To Get It On
The 101ers – Letsagetabitarockin
Steve Earle – Breed
The Music Machine – Talk Talk
Captain Beefheart – Diddy Wah Diddy
The Monks – Monk Time
Sammy Davis, Jr. – I Got A Woman
Chuck Berry – Crazy Arms
Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early – Hoopin and Hollerin’
Bobby Bare, Jr. – Bionic Beginning/The Heart Bionic
Stud Cole – Always & Always
Andre Williams w/The A-Bones – The Way You Dog Me Around
Johnny Cash – Orange Blossom Special [live]
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Automobile Blues
Chuck Berry – Maybellene
Mink Deville – Cadillac Walk
Chuck Berry – Down the Road a Piece
Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant
Cedell Davis – Keep on Snatchin’ It Back
Del Satins – Feelin’ No Pain
Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven
The Rolling Stones – Sway



"Rock's so good to me.  Rock is my child and my grandfather."  - Chuck Berry

"It's amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest."  - Chuck Berry

"My mama said, you and Elvis are pretty good, but you're no Chuck Berry."  - Jerry Lee Lewis

"Well, Chuck Berry is the first singer-songwriter I know of."  - Roy Orbison

"The epitome of what it is to be a rock 'n' roll guitar player, songwriter, and singer."  - Joan Jett

"The only Maybellene I knew was the name of a cow."  - Chuck Berry

Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - October 11th Playlist

Remember earlier tonight, when I mentioned on the Dirty Roots Radio Facebook page that since today's date was 10-11-12 that it must signify some kind of good luck and that some god hoodoo was in line for the show tonight? 

Yeah..not so much.

We were beset with inexplicable technical issues (AGAIN) tonight and the online stream didn't work.  I made it through the first hour before I confirmed that all online listeners had in fact lost touch (some were able to tune in for a while, others not at all).

Anyway...I wanted to extend both my sincerest apologies for the difficulties and, especially, my deepest of gratitude to those who attempted to tune in.  

As I often say, it means a GREAT DEAL to me that you make an effort to listen.  This show is my baby...a labor of love...and when someone takes the time and effort to check it out, that's an incredible thing to me.  So it's extra upsetting then when things don't go right from the technical standpoint.

I'm on the lookout for some good options for the show, including an internet station, or perhaps an archive/podcast.  There are lots of factors with each (money, equipment, etc.), but the biggest is the simple fact that I really enjoy doing the show LIVE without a net.  Recording it in advance doesn't hold the same thrill.

At any rate...I'll keep working on it and doin' what I do...and you keep (hopefully) tuning in and (hopefully) loving it!!!  (When the hamster stays on the wheel and powers the online stream appropriately, anyway!!!)

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) at

The Persuasions – Chain Gang
Johnny Cash – A Boy Named Sue
The Atmospheres – The Fickle Chicken
The Tempests – Lemon Lime
Little Willie John – I’m Shakin’
Ding Dongs – Sweet Thing
Del Satins – Feelin’ No Pain
The Excels – Let’s Dance
The Premiers – Firewater
The Premiers – Daytona
The Premiers – Little Angel Face
Wanda Jackson – Tore Down
Dale Hawkins – L.A. Memphis Tyler Texas
Andre Williams – Its Only You That I Love
The Mekons – Sin City
The Rhythm Rockers – Twang
John the Conqueror – I Just Wanna
Johnny Guitar Watson – The Bear
The Bottle Rockets – Come On
The Dinosaurs – Behind Enemy Lines
Cherokee – Funky Business
Wanda Jackson – Pushover



"Bad music can make you weak."  - Ry Cooder

Monday, October 8, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - Listener-Submitted Birthday Playlist

Sunday marked my 35th birthday and I posted on my Dirty Roots Radio Facebook page that I wanted a present from willing fans of the page; I asked anyone who was into it to dedicate one song to me.  One song that they would choose as a gift to someone.  Maybe their favorite song.  Maybe one that they remember being significant to them when they were 35.  Any old thing.

Below are the videos submitted and the accompanying comments.

Thanks to everyone who took a second to share a song!!  As I knew it would be, the list turned out perfect! Some of my favorites...some that were totally new to me...some old favorites I hadn't heard in a while.  Great stuff!  Thanks ya'll!!!  Talk to you Thursday!!

Be sure to check out the Dirty Roots Radio Show Thursday nights 
from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) on

Submitted by Ross from North Dakota...

"My number one MC5 song and probably in my top 10 of all songs."

Submitted by Joni from St. Louis...

"I think you know why!  Hope you have a doggy-dog birthday, Doodie!!!"

[Joni and I used to work at a radio station in St. Louis together.  I was the morning show producer and she worked in the Marketing Department.  I had the opportunity to interview George Clinton before a show in St. Louis and Joni was in the studio with me when I called George in his hotel room to set up the details.  We totally woke him up.  At something like 1 in the afternoon.  It was hilarious.  We got to hang out with the Atomic Dog on his bus before the show and it's a lifelong memory.

The whole Doodie thing.....that's because I call Joni "Doodie-Head" and she thinks she's cute so she calls me that, too. ...  ;-D  Just kidding, Doodie!!  I kid because I love!

From Brett in New Jersey...

"May your birthday be as big and rockin' as this."

From Lefty in Cincinnati...

"How about something from Our Founder?"

From Amy in Chicago...

"Happy birthday!  Shake ya ass to this one"

From Warren in California...

"Happy birthday, Miff!  T-Model Ford led me to Dirty Roots Radio!  CHICKEN!"

From Tawny in California...

"Happy birthday!  I turn 35 in January.  Here is my song for you!"  

          Whole lotta things that I'd like to do.  A lot in this world that I'd like to do.

          Well, I never had sex in a hurricane
          Ran around naked in the pouring rain
          Never been to New Guinea or built an igloo
          But that don't mean that I wouldn't like to

From Allen in Chicago...

"Happy birthday!  I know that you're not much of a Beatles fan, but hopefully this may change your mind a bit."  

From Victoria in Colorado...

"Hope you had a fabulous day!  This is one of my most favorite songs ever from one of my most favorite bands...Listening to this when I was about 17 on 8-track is one of the reasons I will need hearing aids soon!"

From Britney in Guatemala...


From Nick in Illinois...

"These things remind me of Ferris Bueller's take on things...'Life moves pretty fast.  You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.'  So for both our sake, here is "White Daisy Passing" by Rocky Votolato.  I guess it could be interpreted many different ways, but it speaks to me like this: Passing moments don't last, try to recognize those little moments that will mean the most to you when you look back on them in the future.  You can't recreate them, you can only remember them."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - October 4th Playlist

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) at

Ennio Morricone – Navajo Joe (Main Title)
Toni Harper – Candy Store Blues
Bob Dylan – Narrow Way
Tom Waits – Make It Rain (live)
Flat Duo Jets – The Phantom
Alex Chilton – Can’t Seem to Make You Mine
Koko Taylor – Wang Dang Doodle’s – Harlem Shuffle
Koko Taylor – Wang Dang Doodle
Howlin’ Wolf – Three Hundred Pounds of Joy
Alex Chilton – Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Ramones – The KKK Took My Baby Away
C.W. McCall – Convoy
Tom Waits – Big Joe and Phantom 309
Neil Young – Rockin’ in the Free World
The Breakaways – That’s How It Goes
The Jaynetts – Sally Go Round the Roses
Steve Earle & the Dukes – I Love You Too Much
Hasil Adkins – She Said
Hasil Adkins – Rockin’ Robin
Misfits – Rat Fink
Albert King – Born Under a Bad Sign
Thee Midniters – Whittier Blvd.
Thee Midniters – Jump, Jive, and Harmonize
Townes Van Zandt – Black Jack Mama
Joe Tex – King of the Road
Hasil Adkins – Chicken Walk
Louis Armstrong – (I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead) You Rascal, You
X – Wild Thing
The Runaways – Queens of Noise
Social Distortion – Born to Lose
Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers – Born to Lose
Bobby Bare Jr.’s Young Criminals’ Starvation League – Flat Chested Girl From Maynardville
Cake – Motor
Reverend Deadeye – Chased Ol’ Satan



"Soon I discovered that this rock thing was true
Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet
All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world
So there was only one thing I could do...
Ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long"

-Al Jourgensen

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sex & the City and Banned Books Week

We're in the midst of Banned Books Week (September 30 - October 6); an event I usually commemorate in some fashion.  The week is set aside to celebrate our First Amendment right of the freedom to read.  It's a chance to look back and reflect on how so many of the books that were banned or challenged are now considered innovative classics.

I still plan to put something together, but life's been moving too fast to formulate the thoughts from the ol' Miff mind into any kind of coherent anything...

So, in the meantime, I asked my good buddy Michael Saul, who works in a library in California, to share his thoughts on the subject; since he has the professional connection and all.

As I knew he would, he did so perfectly.  Lots to think about and unpack in the content below.  Do have a look and feel free to discuss...

And a big THANKS to Michael Saul for sharing!


Sex & the City and Banned Books Week
By Michael Saul

Irate mother is waiting in my line. I can tell she’s chomping at the bit to bite my head off. This should be fun.

“How can I help you?”

A DVD case flies across the desk. I manage to catch it, but only just.

“This is NOT appropriate for my daughter! She should NOT be allowed to check movies like this out from your library!”

I look down at the case: Sex and the City 2.Well, that’s not appropriate for anyone, I think.

“Ma’am, she was allowed to check this out because we do not make determinations about appropriateness. Our patrons may check out anything in our library provided they have a valid library account in good standing.”

“My daughter is twelve years old! Would you check this out to her if she brought it to your desk?”

“Absolutely, ma’am. The items a patron checks out are up to the discretion of the patron and/or the parents/guardians of younger patrons. Opinions vary as to what subject matter is appropriate and when. We leave that question to our patrons.”

“That’s ridiculous. I don’t think anyone her age should be allowed to check this trash out.”

“Well, ma’am, that is something you’ll have to discuss with your daughter. We don’t make policies about what is appropriate or not. We simply provide the materials. It is up to you to decide what your child should or should not see.”


Before you ask: yes, this is an actual exchange I had with a real library patron at the public library where I work.

“But what does this have to do with Banned Books Week?” you might ask.

To which I would answer: everything.

Well, everything as far as a library is concerned. Philosophically, disallowing a child access to books (or, in modern times, DVDs, CDs, magazines, ereaders, etc.) due to questions of appropriateness is the same as disallowing anyone access for similar reasons. It comes down to whether we can make any objective determination about what effect materials may have on our patrons – and, in most cases, what one person deems appropriate for a child another would call the most useless trash from the very guts of Satan. Neither would have many facts to back either opinion.

In the library where I work we hold any number of books I do not find appropriate for children. Not just in the regular collection where mostly adults browse, but in the section exclusively for children! But it is my job to put these books into little outstretched hands when I am asked. And since I believe in personal freedom and responsibility, I am happy to do it – even if that means a twelve-year-old girl walks out of my library with a copy of Sex and the City 2.

Upholding open access to information – a cornerstone of our much vaunted right to free speech – means allowing everyone access to things we don’t agree with. This is one of the maddeningly beautiful aspects of freedom: if you really want to be free you can’t decide what others should do with their personal life. And this includes what they check out from the library.

Banned Books Week is a chance to celebrate the access we all have to every horrible, degrading, ridiculous book, movie, and piece of music our fellow humans have created.

And, you know, the good stuff, too…