Tuesday Night Diner Show #9: Snow In The South and Stomach Flu Too

This is from a series of blogs I wrote when I was part of Recharged Radio, based in London, UK. I did the radio show called The Tuesday Night Diner. It later changed to The California Diner. I was known as “Chef Mike”. This article was originally posted 2/2/2010.


More than a foot of snow in Richmond, Virginia. Stomach flu. What do these (hopefully) unrelated conditions have in common? Well, they can both keep you at home.

What’s that crazy DJ from California talking about this time? Well, last Saturday, as I stayed home with the stomach flu, my friends in Virginia, decidedly in the southern part of the US, got socked in by 14” of snow. That’s the part of the country that’s not supposed to get winter weather. I was supposed to do an on air CD release party with my friends The Taters, but it got scrubbed due to both reasons, although the folks in Richmond are heartier than I am. They would have come out in the snow, but alas, I didn’t come to my radio studio here in California with my little flu thing.

How does that all affect you? Well, in this week’s Tuesday Night Diner, we’ll have a great track from The Taters. Picture ELO gone Americana, and you’ll get the idea. And I planned this playlist while in the throes of the flu. The ravings of a madman? Perhaps, but I think you’ll find some method here. A rockin’ new track from Chariots of Tuna—this keyboard-driven band breaks out the guitar, and goes berserk on my show. Karim Fanous with our Track of the Week—as announced on the Friday Forum. And a spooky, lush track from Kat Jones that will absolutely send shivers up your already chilled spine—but makes you want more. Now that’s a song! And finally—a listener request from Colorado.

One more thing—if you want to find out who were some of my favorite artists, songs, and albums for the year 2009, before I joined Recharged Radio, you might want to check out my other radio show, Twirl Radio. This coming Saturday, February 6th is the annual Twirlie Awards—4-6pm Pacific, at http://www.twirlradio.com. And lots of that great music is featured on my Tuesday Night Diner show, including this week’s episode. See you there-8-10pm Tuesday!

Tuesday Night Diner Show #8: Seven days makes one weak!

This is from a series of blogs I wrote when I was part of Recharged Radio, based in London, UK. I did the radio show called The Tuesday Night Diner. It later changed to The California Diner. I was known as “Chef Mike”. This article was originally posted 1/26/2010.


Sometimes, you put a playlist together, and the theme writes itself. Honest, I didn’t plan this, but as I got into the show, I found out that I had several songs which had days of the week as their titles, the band’s name, or hidden somewhere in the lyrics themselves. Weird, and kinda nerdy…but good.

But not to worry—this week’s show has much more going for it than just that. Jordan flew Isaac’s Aircraft all the way here to Sacramento for a great Bands in the Basement session. He speaks with Martin and Zak about their recent tour to Germany, and in true Tuesday Night Diner fashion, they mention food at German weddings—yum! And we’ll hear one of their recent tracks, as well.

Speaking of California—and even if we weren’t, we are now—another lucky person gets an honorary California citizenship bestowed on them. Not only that, but she requested her own version of climate change, and I happily complied. Huh? Well, you’ll just have to tune in to find out.

Finally—more musical goodness coming out of Northern California. When it rains, it pours—both literally and figuratively. A couple of legendary Sacramento musicians—Anton Barbeau and Allyson Seconds—are making their Tuesday Night Diner debuts with songs off of their new albums. We Sacramentans can’t keep Anton all to ourselves—so he makes his home in the UK most of the year. We just request to have visitation rights with him once a year, and I got to meet with him and Allyson a few days ago. If you like Robyn Hitchcock, you’ll probably feel a kinship with Anton. Allyson just completed a great pop project called Bag of Kittens, and the Go National guitarist and background vocalist steps up to the microphone and takes the lead for the first time in her career. All I can say is, “it’s about time!”

So that’s about it. Stop reading, and set your clocks for 8-10 p.m. GMT on Tuesday (noon-2 p.m. Pacific), at http://www.rechargedradio.com. I hope you can join the fun!

Tuesday Night Diner Show #7: Laughing in the Corner

This is from a series of blogs I wrote when I was part of Recharged Radio, based in London, UK. I did the radio show called The Tuesday Night Diner. It later changed to The California Diner. I was known as “Chef Mike”. This article was originally posted 1/19/2010.


So here it is. The first ever band interview here on Tuesday Night Diner. I went all the way out to beautiful California to meet the Corner Laughers. Oh wait—I live in California—so I guess the journey to the Golden State is not that impressive. But you want to talk impressive—let’s talk about the Corner Laughers.

I caught up with Karla, Angela, Khoi, Charlie, and the Fifth Laugher, KC Bowman, at a Starbucks in Midtown Sacramento on a recent Saturday night. I hadn’t met this upbeat pop-alternative band before, and where did I find them? In the corner, of course! We killed some time and some coffee in anticipation of their first ever Sacramento gig, opening for the legendary Sacramento/UK (sound familiar?) singer-songwriter Anton Barbeau.

We overcame such obstacles as loud baristas and their even louder coffee grinding machines, to bring you this one of a kind, hard-hitting, in the trenches look at life on the road for the Corner Laughers. Okay, truth be known, it’s only about a 90 minute drive from their hometown of San Francisco to Sacramento, and they all seemed to get along pretty well, so there’s really no controversy there. But it was really great to find out what makes them tick, and how they survived the transition from a shy studio recording act to a live, International Pop Overthrow sensation. We’ll also hear about how they signed to John Wesley Harding’s Popover Corps label. But don’t worry—the creamy filling of this conversation is held together by two crisp songs off of their recent release, Ultraviolet Garden.

This is also the show where we start bestowing honorary California citizenships on two lucky, or at least attentive, listeners. That’s right—you too can become an honorary California citizen. Just drop me a line at mike(at)rechargedradio.com, and I can make it happen. You’ll receive a beautifully handcrafted PDF file certificate, delivered via express email, right to the inbox of your choosing. You’ll hear these two get their awards on the show—and you should join them too!

There will be tons of other great music as well. Join us for all the fun on Tuesday night, 8-10pm GMT (12-2 pm Pacific) at http://www.rechargedradio.com. We’ll be waiting for you in the chatroom, so don’t be late!

Tuesday Night Diner Show #6: The Night of the Ukuleles

This is from a series of blogs I wrote when I was part of Recharged Radio, based in London, UK. I did the radio show called The Tuesday Night Diner. It later changed to The California Diner. I was known as “Chef Mike”. This article was originally posted 1/12/2010.


I’ve noticed that I live in California, and many of you don’t, for various reasons too numerous to explain here. You’ve also probably noticed that you listen to Tuesday Night Diner here on Recharged Radio, mainly because I haven’t been able to fly you all out to Sacramento each week, where we could just listen to all this great music together in the same room. (It’s not that I don’t want to—the finances just don’t permit it—yet!)

So what’s the next best thing? How about if I grant you an honorary California citizenship? That’s a new thing I’m starting up on the show. Just drop me an email at mike(at)rechargedradio.com, and let me know your name—I’ll say it on the air, and put it on the beautiful, hand-engraved PDF file that I’ll email back to you. This certificate may not be valid in most places, but you’ll be an honorary California citizen as far as Tuesday Night Diner is concerned!

Music. Ah yes, the reason why Recharged Radio exists. What a great show we have to start off 2010 with. It’s the Night of the Ukuleles—featuring songs by three different bands led by female ukulele players. We’ll hear my new favorite band the Corner Laughers, from San Francisco. There’s Mad Tea Party from North Carolina. And finally, Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen, from Oakland, California. Three different styles of music—but all very cool.

More about those Corner Laughers. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Karla, Angela, Khoi and Charlie, plus fifth Laugher KC, about a week ago when they came through Sacramento. These guys and gals are going to be big—and they’ll be regular fixtures on TND as long as they’ll let me play their music. What do they sound like? Picture alternative rock/pop (the good, early 90’s kind), with perfect female harmonies and zoomy guitars—throw in a tasteful, rockin’ ukulele for good measure, and you’ve got it! We’ll talk more about them next week, because that’s when you’ll get to hear our conversation!

Who else? Joseph Swidenbank, The Taters, Dom Veron, Field, Karim Fanous, Terese Taylor. Did I just give too much away? Naaah. I’m just giving you reasons to listen to the show Tuesday night, 8:00-10:00 p.m. See you there!

2016 Twirlie Award Winners (Show #716 – January 30, 2016)

Here is the complete list of 2016 Twirlie Award Winners, presented live on Twirl Radio, Saturday, January 30, 2016, in Sacramento, California, at Access Sacramento’s KUBU 96.5 FM. Congratulations to all, and more importantly, a big thank you to all the great independent musicians who make it possible for me to do this radio show.

The 2016 Twirlie Awards Show (1/30/2016) (length 1:45:45)

Album of the Year
Heiskell, for his album Arriving

Album of the Year Runner up
Jet Electro, for their album Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder

Song of the Year
Crooked Flower, for their song Too Broke To Fix

Song of the Year Runner up
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, for their song At Every Train Stop

Female Vocalist of the Year
Gail George

Male Vocalist of the Year
Clay Howard

EP of the Year
Duncan Faure, for his EP 4

Ear Candy
The Corner Laughers, for their album Matilda Effect
The Ear Candy Award is given to an album that is a “go-to” album. You can pick any song, and it sounds great in any set of music, at any time.

Debut Album of the Year
Pop 4, for their album Pop 4

Best Seasonal Music
The Taters, for their Halloween album Don’t Scream

Best Songwriting
Craig Daniel of Jet Electro, for the album Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder

Best Interview, phone
Arrica Rose, 2/14/2015

Best Interview, in-studio
Sean O’Brien, 3/21/2015

Best Live Session
Bellygunner, 4/4/2015

Best Concert Performance
Crooked Flower, Berkeley, CA, 9/26/2015

Best Concert Performance: legendary, but non-Twirl Radio band
Brian Wilson Band, San Francisco, CA, 9/11/2015

Best Rock And Roll Moment
1. Eating Tex-Mex food with members of The Pengwins in Fort Worth, TX at Joe T. Garcia’s. (Lannie Flowers, Alan Petsche, Danny Wilkerson).
2. “Interviewing” Elvis Costello (ask me sometime for more details about the “interview”!).
3. Meeting Brian Wilson and Blondie Chaplin.
4. Reaching show #700 10/3/2015.
5. KUBU reaching one year on the air, celebrating at Nationwide Freezer Meats with our first live broadcast, 11/13/2015.

Wayback Award (aka “Whoa! A re-release of a great 1990 album!”)
Vulgar Boatmen, for their 1990 album You And Your Sister

Cover Song of the Year
1. Bart Mendoza and True Stories – Blue Chair (Elvis Costello cover)
2. The Pengwins – Shake Some Action (Flamin’ Groovies cover)
3. The Handcuffs – All The Way From Memphis (Mott The Hoople cover)
4. Kelley Ryan – Monkey To Man (Elvis Costello cover)
5. Nelson Bragg & Ken Cleveland – Beyond Belief (Elvis Costello cover)

Best Compilation Album
Beyond Belief, A Tribute To Elvis Costello, Executive Producers John Borack and Olivia Frain (Elvis Costello songs performed by today’s artists, proceeds to benefit Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation)

6th Man (or whatever they call it in sports) Award
Adam Marsland, of Karma Frog studios, for recording, promoting, and sending new releases my way, thereby keeping the show sounding fresh.

Reason To Live Award
New releases expected by the following artists in 2016: Maxi Dunn, Vegas With Randolph, Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, Felsen.


Top Albums of 2015:
1. Heiskell – Arriving
2. Jet Electro – Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder
3. The Corner Laughers – Matilda Effect
4. Gail George – The Barrio Sessions with Early Times
5. Kip Boardman – Boardman
6. Gordon Weiss – It’s About Time
7. A Don Piper Situation – What It is
8. HUGElarge – HUGElarge
9. Pop 4 – Pop 4
10. The Orange Peels – Begin The Begone

Top Songs of 2015:
1. Crooked Flower – Too Broke To Fix
2. Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – At Every Train Stop
3. Dennis Holseybrook – Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh!
4. Phyllis Johnson – Looking Up (From Down Below)
5. Jet Electro – Love Rides Alone
6. Pop 4 – Einstein And Sunshine
7. The Corner Laughers – Queen Of The Meadow
8. Duncan Faure – Back To The Day
9. Gordon Weiss – I’m Your Fan
10. Heiskell – Carharts
11. Herb Eimerman – Just Wishful Thinking
12. Play Date – Stevie The Fox
13. Deborah Crooks – India Street
14. Kip Boardman – Running Right
15. A Don Piper Situation – Aged And Wise
16. The Cherry Bluestorms – See No Evil
17. Gail George – You Are There
18. Pacific Soul Ltd. – Blue Summertime
19. Jason Berk – That’s Not You
20. Eric Peter Schwartz – Hot Liquor
21. Chandler Travis Three-O – Air, Running Backwards
22. HUGElarge – Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White
23. Richmond – 1,2,3,4
24. The Orange Peels – Head Cleaner
25. Speed The Plough – Garden
26. Laurie Larson – Ha
27. Banjo Bones – It’s A Bomb
28. The Jangle Band – Kill The Lovers
29. Vanilla – Hai Karate Girls
30. Elliot Schneider – I’m Back In The USA

Top EPs of 2015
1. Duncan Faure – 4
2. Deborah Crooks – Something Special
3. Herb Eimerman – Five Dimensional Man
4. Kate Burkart – Save Me A Seat
5. Dennis Holseybrook – Merry Go Round

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #715 – 1/23/2016

The Golden Palominos – Wild River
The Handcuffs – I Just Wanna Be Free, Man
HUGElarge – Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)
Winzenried – Ohio
Maxi Dunn – Weather Warning
Captains And Calvaries – Missing You
Bud Rogers – Pictures Of A Modern World (acoustic)
Phyllis Johnson – Looking Up (From Down Below)
The Bye Bye Blackbirds – Let Your Hair Fall Down
Gail George – He’s An Exclamation!
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic – Nature Boy
Speed The Plough – Garden
Deborah Crooks – Room 223
Shot In The Dark – Over
Duncan Faure – In The Right Place
Johnny Monaco – My Little Blue Window
Felsen – Heroin
Laurie Biagini – My Little SUV
Sparklejet – Somewhere Along The Way
The Paul & John – Can’t Be Too Careful
Heiskell – Love Lost
Identical Suns – Baby I’m Down
The Corner Laughers – The Girl, America
Jet Electro – Gamble
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – Sun Up
The JAC – When You Find Out
Lannie Flowers – Another Weekend

The 2016 Twirlie Awards are on the way!

We are in what the entertainment press refers to as “the run up to the Twirlies”! That is, if the entertainment press were to cover this fine independent music awards presentation.

As it turns out, the eighth annual Twirlie Awards happens next weekend. Save the date–it’s Saturday, January 30th, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Pacific time, at KUBU 96.5 FM, Sacramento’s voice, and http://www.twirlradio.com. We’ll be broadcasting live from the red carpet. Or at least from a room that has carpet in it.

Hosts Marty Anaya, Amber Alexander, and Mike Lidskin will be presenting such coveted awards as Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Male and Female Vocalists of the Year, and many others. We will be ripping open hermetically-sealed awards envelopes, and revealing the top albums and songs lists, for work released in 2015 and played on Twirl Radio. And finally–there will be interviews with some of the top winners. You simply cannot afford to miss this epic show. In fact, we will be taking attendance, so you’ll want to listen to every minute of it!

In all seriousness, we are glad to honor the great musicians who give Twirl Radio its reason for being. Hope to see you there!

More information: Twirlie Awards event information

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