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Wednesday 15 May 2019

State of the Union - New Mexico

George writes:
Another week, another show of astounding ignorance. So I am going to investigate if New Mexico is indeed all desert and rock, and has loads of those big cactus things you see in western films…….well, there is very very little water there, only 0.002% surface area is river or lake.That is not very much……..imagine a square, with lengths 1 metre (or 100cm), if that represented New Mexico, all its surface area of water could fit into one tiny square in the corner, of length ca. 0.44cm.

This is a fascinating state. There’s Roswell, of UFO sightings fame, Los Alamos, where the first ever atomic bomb was exploded,  and it’s home to the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. What a place! And it is home to the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe so there’s going to be many fine fine songs available……..and I have made a fabulous discovery, a tex-mex/mariachi  singer Darren Cordova, but after scrolling through his albums I could find no relevant songs for today. A purchase, though, was made.

One song that I did not, honestly(!), acquire was “Point me in the direction of Albuquerque” by the Partridge Family. Drivel. As is the song Albuquerque by Sons Of The Desert, faux country drivel. Not looking good for songs about Albuquerque. But a particularly splendid band got together in Albuquerque, that is The Shins. Whose album Wincing The Night Away is a gem and should grace the shelves in your music room.

And so to the obvious song:

Splendid, we are all agreed on that, aren’t we?

And  there is a particularly splendid track called Santa Fé, by the band Beirut. Beirut is the only band, the ONLY band, that I have discovered and liked via my partner. She bought their first album, on a whim, when we were in Berlin. That album resides in her collection, of course.  This track comes from the album The Rip Tide, is rather good, it reminds me of some of the songs of Hiss Golden Messenger.

There’s other faux country songs by Billy Dawson and Bri Brigwell that are too vomit-inducing for you to bother investigating, some mindless pap by Jim Glaser,  and there’s a track called Albuquerque from an album Garbage Songs I found In Old Emails, a very apt title if this particular song is anything to go by.

That’s New Mexico, “Oh fair New Mexico, we love we love you so”  as Busy McCarroll sang. Busy McCarroll, not Busty McCarroll (not one to google at work!)

So no trips to Bandcamp to make purchases this week. But the geography of New Mexico seems well worth a visit: there’s an area of the state that has what looks like steeple-like rock towers with mushrooms on top, there’s White Sands (white from gypsum not some form of quartz or of shells), the Fajada Butte, huge caverns, Taos, a town of adobe houses, so many fantastic-looking and sounding places to visit.

Next week, another state, but probably not as interesting geologically as New Mexico.

CC writes:
My contribution this week comes from nearer home courtesy of Livingston's finest and former Felson's front man Dean Owens


  1. What? No room for Tom Jones' classic 'Young New Mexican Puppeteer'?

    1. I was just thinking that earlier myself

    2. That comes under the "too obvious to post" category

  2. 35 years ago I spent 2 weeks in New Mexico as part of my 1st holiday in the USA. I stayed with friends of friends in Santa Fe and enjoyed days in the cooling atmosphere of a bar/restaurant called "The Santa Fe Orehouse" (*snigger*).
    I spent the rest of my holiday in Colorado and saw the Steve Miller Band at Red Rocks. They sang "Take The Money And Run" which features the lines:
    "They headed down to, ooh, old EL PASO
    That's where they ran into a great big hassle" (*cringe*)

    El Paso is smack dab on the border of Texas and New Mexico. Just sayin...

  3. Breaking Bad was set in Albuquerque as was Better Call Saul, the spin off show. Of course at one point the song A Horse With No Name cropped up as just so apt for that state. I had expected the Prefab Sprout song Albuquerque to crop up at some point then realised it was actually called The King of Rock 'n' Roll - I think the song was about makes of jukebox.

    The film High School Musical starring a young Zac Efron was also set in New Mexico and as my daughter was a young teenager when it came out I was bombarded by songs from it - I don't imagine you will know them!

  4. Alyson - I always confuse the names Zac Efron and Zach Braff, although until I read your above post, I had no idea about Zac Efron other than that he was a celebrity.

    1. He was on my daughter's wall when she was a teen but he has now morphed into Ted Bundy it seems!

  5. I just finished Michael Nesmith's biography, and he lived in New Mexico for years after the Monkees. His tales confirm what I already knew... this is the weirdest state in the Union. My wife loves Santa Fe, however.