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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    + The deluxe tip-on gatefold 2×LP package features lyrics, color labels, high-res Bandcamp download code, three sides of music, and a fourth-side vinyl Moby Dick etching artwork by Allen.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Just Like Moby Dick via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $28 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    + The gatefold CD edition includes a six-panel lyrics insert with different Moby Dick artwork by Allen.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Just Like Moby Dick via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $14 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    + Get both physical formats for one low price.
    + The deluxe tip-on gatefold 2×LP package features lyrics, color labels, high-res Bandcamp download code, three sides of music, and a fourth-side vinyl Moby Dick etching artwork by Allen.
    + The gatefold CD edition includes a six-panel lyrics insert with different Moby Dick artwork by Allen.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Just Like Moby Dick via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $38 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

     

  • Button/Pin/Patch

    Smoke the dummy (that's Bob the Dummy to you) with Terry to commemorate our reissue of his 1980 album. Enhance any lapel with irreverent style and grace. This exquisite artifact measures 1.5" in diameter, with a durable steel pin-back. The text on the rim reads: TERRY ALLEN & THE PANHANDLE MYSTERY BAND / SMOKIN THE DUMMY.

    In a typewritten 1981 letter to his friend and mentor H.C. Westermann (reproduced in the reissue liner notes), Terry writes:

    MY KID BUKKA GOT A CHARLIE MCCARTHY DOLL FOR CHRISTMAS ONE YEAR WHEN HE MADE UP HIS MIND HE WAS GOING TO BE A VENTRILOQUIST. HE IMMEDIATELY PAINTED IT UP TO LOOK LIKE A VAMPIRE ... AND I JUST AS IMMEDIATELY PUT ON A PAIR OF JO HARVEY'S SUNGLASSES AND THE SLEAZIEST JACKET I COULD FIND (western slime) AND SAT FOR FAMILY PHOTOS ... ANYWAY, I BLEW RINGS OF SMOKE ON THE DUMMY AND BUKKA SAID I WAS SMOKIN THE DUMMY.

    I GUESS IT RANG SOME KIND OF DEMENTED BELL …

    The fabulous and brilliant Jo Harvey Allen took the photo, which appears as part of the album cover triptych.

    Perceptive fashionistas will recognize this as the third installment in our grand tradition of apparel featuring hirsute smoking men.

    Western slime!
    ... more
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $3 USD or more 

     

  • Put some illegal vibrations on that bumper, and show the open road how you truly feel about SoCal. A ferocious full-band reprise of "There Oughta Be a Law Against Sunny Southern California," originally released on Terry Allen's immortal 1975 debut album Juarez, appears on 1983's Bloodlines—you can buy our deluxe reissues of both records here.

    Printed on thick, durable vinyl this 3" x 11.5" bumper sticker is resistant to scratches, sun, and water. (It's probably not resistant to switchblades, however; the fabulous Jo Harvey Allen brought the one pictured back from Tijuana; you can also find it on the back cover of Bloodlines.)

    The song itself recounts a larcenous and murderous episode of Allen's multidisciplinary JUAREZ body of work, starring its antiheros, the Juarez-born pachuco Jabo and the bruja Chic Blundie. Don't get it twisted.

    THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW AGAINST SUNNY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    chorus: WELL I’M GOIN BACK
    GOIN HOME AGAIN
    YEAH I’M GOIN BACK
    TO MY OWN AGAIN
    YEAH I’M GOIN BACK
    AHHH TO MY HOME TOWN
    THE ONE THAT PUT ME OUT
    THE ONE THAT LAID ME DOWN

    WELL I WIRED UP A CAR IN EAST FONTANA
    I WAS A’HEADED FOR SAN BERDU
    AHHH MY MIDNIGHT OIL
    IT WAS ON THE BOIL
    AN BOY I WAS A’BARREL’N THROUGH
    THEN I TOOK A TURN
    BUT I HIT THE CURB
    AN SPUN OFF THE CENTER LANE
    AN WHEN I HEARD THE CRASH
    WELL I STOMPED THE GAS
    AND I WAS BARREL’N THROUGH AGAIN

    I LEAVE A FEW PEOPLE DEAD
    BUT I GOT OPEN ROAD AHEAD
    YEAH
    I LEAVE A FEW PEOPLE DEAD
    BUT I GOT OPEN ROAD AHEAD

    AN I REMEMBER THE COP
    WITH HIS SLICKED-BACK HAIR
    WHEN HE TOLD ME
    TO GET OUT A’HERE
    AN I REMEMBER THE JUDGE
    WITH HIS GOLD PLATED MOUTH
    HE SAID “GO LIVE IN THE NORTH
    YOU GOTTA DIE DOWN SOUTH”

    YOU GONNA DIE DOWN SOUTH

    chorus

    I WENT FLYIN THROUGH SOUTH SAN BERDU
    WITH MY MIND ON EAST L.A.
    WHERE MY PACHUCO QUEEN
    SHE’S COOKIN RE-FRIED BEANS
    AN SHE’S WAITIN FOR ME TODAY
    YEAH STOPPED ON OFF AT THE LIQUOR STORE
    MADE EVERY BODY LAY DOWN ON THE FLOOR
    TOOK ALL THEIR WHISKEY
    TOOK ALL THEIR BREAD
    THEN SHOT OUT THEIR LIGHTS
    JUST BEFORE I FLED

    YEAH
    I LEAVE A FEW PEOPLE DEAD
    BUT I GOT OPEN ROAD AHEAD
    YEAH
    I LEAVE A FEW PEOPLE DEAD
    BUT I GOT OPEN ROAD AHEAD

    AN I REMEMBER THE BITCH
    WHOSE BLACK TONGUE LIED
    WHEN SHE TOLD ME
    SHE’S DIS-SATISFIED
    AN I REMEMBER HER DADDY
    BIG AS A TRUCK
    HE SAID “FUCK WITH ME BOY
    IF YOU WANT TO FUCK”

    YEAH, FUCK WITH ME BOY
    IF YOU WANT TO FUCK

    chorus

    SO THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW
    AGAINST SUNNY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    YEAH THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW
    AGAINST PUTTIN THE DEVIL
    BEHIND THE WHEEL …
    CAUSE AS LONG AS YOU PEOPLE ARE GONNA SANCTION SUCH AN EVIL
    WELL I’M GONNA TURN YOUR ASPHALT
    BACK INTO BRIMSTONE
    YEAH YOU GOD DAMNED BET
    I WILL
    ... more
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $5 USD or more 

     

  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 6 Terry Allen releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Smokin the Dummy, Bloodlines, Just Like Moby Dick, Pedal Steal + Four Corners, Lubbock (on everything), and Juarez. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $51.20 USD or more (20% OFF)

     

  • Terry Allen T-shirt: "Just Like Moby Dick"
    T-Shirt/Apparel

    Just Like Moby Dick.

    Our second Terry Allen t-shirt, the cetacean sequel to "Today's Rainbow Is Tomorrow's Tamale," features—for the first time ever, as far as anyone remembers—an original drawing by Terry himself, of a sperm whale triumvirate, scarred and freshly harpooned "Just Like Moby Dick," to commemorate the masterly 2020 Panhandle Mystery Band album of the same title.

    Screenprinted by hand, in two oceanic blues, by our eco-friendly focused friends at Print Natural in Philadelphia, these 100% cotton, pre-shrunk, fine jersey short-sleeved t-shirts (BELLA+CANVAS) are available in Vintage White—slightly off-white, the true Mellvillian Whiteness of the Whale hue—sizes XS through XL, in a very limited edition.

    Wear while listening to the Panhandle Mystery Band, partying in any port of call with Queequeg and Tashtego, and keep sailin' on through.

    www.paradiseofbachelors.com/terry-allen
    www.paradiseofbachelors.com/pob-055
    terryallen.bandcamp.com/album/just-like-moby-dick
    ... more

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  • Terry Allen T-shirt: "Today's Rainbow is Tomorrow's Tamale."
    T-Shirt/Apparel

    N.B. UNTIL WE REPRINT, THESE SHIRTS ARE AVAILABLE ONLY VIA OUR WEBSITE: paradiseofbachelors.com/shop/pobmerch-004/

    We print these shirts in small, limited batches, so reserve yours today.

    Today's rainbow is tomorrow's tamale.

    Is there any more potent and perfect koan? Not for our money here at PoB. In celebration of our deluxe, definitive reissues of Terry Allen's "Juarez" (1975, PoB-26) and "Lubbock (on everything)" (1979, PoB-27), we are proud to present the Terry Allen Tamale T-shirt—as far as we know, the first such item to exist in the wold, and long overdue—featuring the immortal line from Juarez and the cover of that abiding masterpiece of music and visual art on the front, with the PoB logo tastefully deployed on the back.

    Available in White or Slate, sizes XS through XL, these 100% cotton, fine jersey short-sleeved t-shirts (Los Angeles Apparel or BELLA+CANVAS) are screenprinted by hand by the eco-friendly Philadelphia outfit Print Natural, in a limited edition. Perceptive fashionistas will recognize this as the second installment in our grand tradition of apparel featuring hirsute smoking men.

    www.paradiseofbachelors.com/terry-allen
    terryallen.bandcamp.com
    ... more

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  • Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band: Smokin the Dummy Shirt
    T-Shirt/Shirt

    N.B. FOR NOW, THESE SHIRTS ARE AVAILABLE ONLY VIA OUR WEBSITE: paradiseofbachelors.com/shop/pobmerch-004/

    “Pink and Black is comin’ back” … in the glorious form of a SMOKIN-hot Terry Allen shirt, the newest addition to our collection of Terry couture and our fourth smoke-themed apparel design. Light it up!

    Designed by Terry himself with Noel Waggener, the shirts, featuring Bob the Dummy, commemorate our reissue of Smokin the Dummy (PoB-065) as well as the occasion of Panhandle Mystery Band’s annual performance at the Paramount Theatre in Austin on January 28, 2023.

    Available in both breezy short-sleeved and cozy long-sleeved styles, in sizes XS through 2XL, these 100% cotton BELLA+CANVAS shirts are screen-printed by hand by eco-friendly Philadelphia shop Print Natural, in, appropriately, the color Natural, for a subtle but accurate nicotine-stain tint.

    Quantities, as always, are limited, so get your SMOKIN shirt today. Don’t be a dummy.

    Sportin’ these new shirts, as the song goes, “Yeah … we’ll both be cool.”
    ... more

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Harmony Two 05:45
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about

Album page: www.paradiseofbachelors.com/shop/pob-055
Artist page: www.paradiseofbachelors.com/terry-allen
Other options: lnk.to/PoB55

ALBUM ABSTRACT

Iconic and iconoclastic Texan songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen’s heartbreaking, hilarious new album, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, features the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), Shannon McNally, and Jo Harvey Allen; mainstays Bukka Allen, Richard Bowden, and Lloyd Maines; and co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin. The connections to Melville’s masterpiece are metaphorical and allusive, as elusive as the White Whale. The masterly spiritual successor to Lubbock (on everything), Just Like Moby Dick casts its net wide for wild stories, depicting, among other monstrous things, Houdini in existential crisis, the death of the last stripper in town, bloodthirsty pirates (in a pseudo-sequel to Brecht and Weill’s “Pirate Jenny”), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the “American Childhood” suite), a vampire-infested circus, mudslides and burning mobile homes, and all manner of tragicomic disasters, abandonments, betrayals, bad memories, failures, and fare-thee-wells.

The deluxe tip-on gatefold 2×LP package features lyrics, color labels, high-res Bandcamp download code, three sides of music, and a fourth-side vinyl etching artwork by Allen. The gatefold CD edition includes a six-panel lyrics insert with different artwork by Allen.

ALBUM NARRATIVE

“Laughter is just a slowed down scream of terror.” – Thomas Disch

Terry Allen’s 2019 retrospective exhibition, The Exact Moment It Happens in the West: Stories, Pictures, and Songs from the ’60s ‘til Now, at his longtime gallery L.A. Louver, surveyed the celebrated artist’s over fifty-year career bridging the disparate, and usually distant, worlds of conceptual art and country music. (Allen himself is suspicious of all such labels, famously asking, “People tell me it’s country music, and I ask, ‘Which country’”) The show concluded with a recent, and ongoing, body of work entitled MemWars—Terry likes puns—that deploys a three-channel video installation and drawings to examine nine indelible episodes from his life that have informed his influential songwriting. The real-life characters who inhabit the picaresque stories he tells (alongside his wife and collaborator of fifty-eight years, the actor and writer Jo Harvey Allen) may have monstrous names—The Wolfman of Del Rio, The Gorilla Girl, Monkey Man, Headlight Woman, the Burn Couple—but, like all of us, they have endured mundane and all-too-human pain. MemWars concerns the mirages and ravages of memory, the fragmented ways we remember, and are remembered. It is Allen’s essential subject matter, refracted kaleidoscopically through a multiplicity of media.

Appropriately, then, his heartbreaking, hilarious new album Just Like Moby Dick, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, takes its title from the archetypal monster of American literature and the American imaginary. (Coincidentally—or not—his label Paradise of Bachelors also takes its name from a Herman Melville story.) “Memory shot her crystals as the clear ice most forms of noiseless twilights,” Melville writes, and for most of the novel, Moby Dick himself remains hidden, haunting Ahab as a crystalline monster of fathomless memory, a terrible fever dream from the depths. The whale remains a specter on Allen’s record too, appearing explicitly only in the briny final line of the last song “Sailin’ On Through,” and on the artist’s Side D vinyl etching and CD insert drawings, where he lurks menacingly beneath the roiling seas of Thomas Chambers, the 19th-century maritime painter whose floridly freaky nautical scenes adorn the album jacket.

The connections to Melville’s 1851 masterpiece are metaphorical and allusive, as elusive as the White Whale. The masterly spiritual successor to widely acknowledged art-country classic Lubbock (on everything) (1979), Just Like Moby Dick casts its net wide for wild stories, depicting, among other monstrous things, Houdini in existential crisis (“Houdini Didn’t Like the Spiritualists”), “The Death of the Last Stripper” in town, bloodthirsty pirates (in a pseudo-sequel to Brecht and Weill’s “Pirate Jenny”), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the “American Childhood” suite), a vampire-infested circus (in “City of the Vampires”), mudslides and burning mobile homes (“Harmony Two”), and all manner of tragicomic disasters, abandonments, betrayals, bad memories, failures, and fare-thee-wells. It begins graveside, with Houdini alone with his ectoplasmic doubts in “the silence of the night” (another “noiseless twilight”). It ends with death too, old friends fading into “ashes, dust, and songs.”

Fortunately, Just Like Moby Dick features friends in spades, including the full Panhandle Mystery Band in its current, formidable iteration. It is the most collaborative album in Allen’s catalog and arguably his most sonically rich and varied as well. Terry shares keyboard duties with his son Bukka Allen, who also plays accordion and piano. Pedal steel master and de facto Panhandle bandleader Lloyd Maines contributes slide guitar and dobro, while Richard Bowden brings his characteristically kinetic and lyrical fiddle; both musicians have appeared on every Allen album since Lubbock (on everything). The brilliant Charlie Sexton, a veteran of Bob Dylan’s bands since 1999—he’s also played with David Bowie and Lucinda Williams and stars as Townes Van Zandt in Ethan Hawke’s 2018 Blaze Foley biopic—co-produced the record with Terry at Austin’s Arlyn Studios, plays guitar, and sings. Drummer Davis McLarty, a Mystery Band mainstay since Human Remains (1996) is joined by more recent rhythm section additions Glenn Fukunaga (bass) and Brian Standefer (cello). Terry’s other son Bale Allen sits in on djembe on “Abandonitis.”

The most clearly transformative new presence here, however, is Shannon McNally, who sings sublimely throughout, taking lead on “All These Blues Go Walkin’ By” and Jo Harvey’s jazzy “Harmony Two” and duetting with Sexton on “All That’s Left Is Fare-Thee-Well,” making this the only Allen album to cede lead vocals to other performers. Just Like Moby Dick is also unusual in featuring five songs co-written, in various permutations, with fellow travelers Joe Ely and Dave Alvin, as well as Sexton, McNally, and three other talented Allens (Jo Harvey, Bukka, and Bukka’s son Kru), largely emerging from 2018 songwriting sessions hosted by the Crowley Theater and Hotel St. George in Marfa, Texas. The satirical triptych “American Childhood” includes two previously unrecorded 2003 songs, “Civil Defense” and “Little Puppet Thing,” related to Allen’s DUGOUT project, depicting a childhood in the shadow of Cold War atomic terror. They bookend “Bad Kiss,” in which a high school girl enlists, leaving home and an abbreviated romance for the war-torn Middle East. But history repeats itself in an endlessly stuttering cycle of brutality and death: “It’s just the war/Same fucking war/It’s always been/Never ends.”

“It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me,” reveals Ishmael in Moby-Dick. He reels off a litany of possible reasons—scientific, symbolic, cultural—why that might be, but it all boils down to absence, to blankness and emptiness. Pirate Jenny’s ship and flag may be “as black as her past,” but white is the color of death and surrender, of ghosts and the void—a symptom of “Abandonitis,” that American disease. “All good luck has death in it” reads one of Allen’s blood-red drawings in The Exact Moment It Happened in the West, emblazoned beside a broken wishbone. So do most good jokes, most good songs, most wisdom. Memory shoots her crystals as clear, white ice.

KEY POINTS

+ Terry Allen’s first album of new work since 2013’s Bottom of the World
+ Featuring contributions from the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), Shannon McNally, and Jo Harvey Allen; mainstays Bukka Allen, Richard Bowden, and Lloyd Maines; and co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin.
+ The deluxe tip-on gatefold 2×LP package features lyrics, color labels, high-res Bandcamp download code, three sides of music, and a fourth-side vinyl Moby Dick etching artwork by Allen.
+ The gatefold CD edition includes a six-panel lyrics insert with different Moby Dick artwork by Allen.
+ RIYL: Dave Alvin, Ryan Bingham, David Byrne, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Guy Clark, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Little Feat, The Flatlanders, Blaze Foley, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Jason Isbell, Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson, Shannon McNally, Geoff and Maria Muldaur, Willie Nelson, Randy Newman, John Prine, Doug Sahm, Charlie Sexton, Bill Joe Shaver, Silver Jews/Purple Mountains, Sturgill Simpson, Kurt Vile, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lucinda Williams, Townes Van Zandt.
+ Artist page/tour dates/back catalog: www.paradiseofbachelors.com/terry-allen

credits

released January 24, 2020

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Terry Allen Santa Fe, New Mexico

Legendary Texan artist Terry Allen occupies a unique position straddling the frontiers of country music and conceptual art; he has worked with everyone from Guy Clark to David Byrne to Lucinda Williams to Bruce Nauman, and his artwork resides in museums worldwide.
www.paradiseofbachelors.com/terry-allen
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