When I was a little kid, we’d sometimes go to church with my grandparents on the weekend. Their church was a little tiny place in the middle of the woods where mostly farmers and poor people went. There was a Hammond instead of a pipe organ, the carpets were faded crimson red polyester, and the walls were lined with cheap wood paneling. My grandmother sang tenor (!) in the church choir, and my grandfather would play fiddle or musical saw along with the organ and piano. Anyway, the brash, earnest crooning of the Television’s Soul’s Harbor Singers reminds me of this church.

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TruckstopAs 1980s German country music goes, I suppose this is pretty catchy. It doesn’t have any of the sad themes of modern country music– nobody loses a truck, nobody’s dog dies, it’s just happy little ditties about cowboys with a lot of slide guitar. But, it’s in German. Can you picture Herman Goering riding the range? Helmut Kohl rustling cattle? Well, neither can I, which is why I love this album.

The best track on the record is undoubtedly “Jonny Galaxis,” which is a space anthem set far in the future. It is the tale of Jonny Galaxis, the the 3-eyed futuristic space cowboy and seasoned sheriff, who threatens the narrator with a parking violation.

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