Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #628 – 2/22/2014: Interview/Performance with Andrew Griffin of Felsen!

Faraway Brothers – Semi-Hollow
Terry Radigan – Blink
Michael Lee – Blown Away
Maxi Dunn – Tuxedo Cat
The Spampinato Brothers – Let Him Think On That
Laura Stahl – Fools Leap
Sue Leonard – Bye Baby
The JAC – Love Dumb
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – Bad Bad Ronald
The Tuesday Club – New Glamour
Eric Peter Schwartz – I Never Leaned In
Jason How – Don’t You Ever Run Away
Agony Aunts – You’re So Vague
The Cherry Bluestorms – Her Mirror Cracked
The Catbirds – The Crutch Of Music
Andrew Griffin Interview
Felsen – Self Medicate
Andrew Griffin – All You Gotta Do Is Smile (live)
Andrew Griffin – Gunfighting At Dawn (live)
Felsen – Generals And Majors
Andrew Griffin – Like Water Fit For Babies (live)

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Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #627 – 2/15/2014: Interview with John Baumgartner of Speed The Plough

Eric Peter Schwartz – Tangerines
David Brookings – If I Don’t Make It Back
Dreadnaught – Corrupticus 5
Bud Rogers – Santa Monica Sunshine
Maxi Dunn – I’m Only Here Because Of You
The Cherry Bluestorms – Daisy Chain
John Baumgartner Interview
Speed The Plough – The Roof Is Off
Speed The Plough – Late Birds
Speed The Plough – Written Each Day
The Spampinato Brothers – My Baby’s All Smiles
The JAC – Persistent Man
Vegas With Randolph – Snow Day
The Bottle Kids – Guitars In The Sky
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop with Tom Magill – Life Turns On A Dime
Lannie Flowers – Another Weekend
Richard X. Heyman – Hangman Smiles
Laurie Biagini – Sunburn
Marshall Holland – At 65
Lisa Mychols – Summertime Dream
Felsen – Dr. Fujimoto Speaks
The Corner Laughers – (Now That I Have You I’m) Bored
The Judybats – Jive Talkin’
Duncan Faure – Where Is The Music
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic – Nature Boy

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #626 – 2/8/2014: Interview with Andria Degens of Pantaleimon

The Cherry Bluestorms – Baby, You’re A Rich Man
The Incredible Casuals – I’ll Do Anything
Drivin N Cryin – Out Here In The Middle Of Nowhere
Chuck Prophet – He Came From So Far Away (Red Man Speaks)
Agony Aunts – Back To Back Bill
Maxi Dunn – Everything
Swidenbank – It’s Different For Girls
Marshall Holland – The Key Of Sea
Andria Degens Interview –
Pantaleimon – Ember
Pantaleimon – Morning Star
Felsen – Greetings From The Ghost Of Heavy Metal Rock And Roll
Duncan Faure – Nightfall
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – Sun Up
The Handcuffs – This Is A Test
The Tuesday Club – Dolly Dynamite
Allyson Seconds – Bag Of Kittens
Jeff Powers – Bad Bad Luck (Bad Luck Boogie)
Speed The Plough – Lock And Key
Laurie Biagini – Gold Plated Girl
Poplord – Flower Bomb
Deborah Crooks – Looking Down The Road
The JAC – Record Store
Vegas With Randolph – Julianne
Sparklejet – The Lost Place
Ruby Free – Bongos And Beards

About the Top 20 Albums of 2013

The 2014 Twirlie Awards show has come and gone. While we gave away many different categories of awards, the category most near and dear to my heart has always been that of top albums. Anybody who listens to my show will quickly realize that I really am an album-oriented radio programmer. I love the deep cuts. I love the art form.

To me, a non-musician, I’m always amazed that people can create music that sounds good, fit the appropriate words to it, then sing and play instruments to bring it all to life. To take this art to the next level, repeat this magic several times. Make each song different, yet related to one another. Sequence them to make the most sense, and an album emerges. What an achievement!

So I’d like to walk you through the Top 20 albums of 2013, as announced on my show this past Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. 2013 was a great year for indie music, and here’s why you should check out these albums.

1. Felsen – I Don’t Know How To Talk Anymore–ALBUM OF THE YEAR
This album is flawless, yet human. Andrew Griffin, Cristian Hernandez, Dylan Brock, and Art McConnell, from the San Francisco Bay area, play as if their lives depend on it. The songs speak to 21st century isolation at many levels, but there is still a positive undercurrent. Bookended by opening track Rock and Roll’s Not Dead and the penultimate Greetings from the Ghost of Heavy Metal Rock and Roll, Felsen is here to tell you that the artform lives, and is kept alive by true believers. This is Felsen’s defining moment, and the Album of the Year for 2013 will stick around for a very long time.

2. Richard X. Heyman – X–RUNNER UP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The legendary DIY artist Richard X. Heyman put out his tenth album (hence, “X”), and has been doing the indie-play-all-the-instruments thing for over 25 years–well before the digital tools came along that democratized the art of music making. This album is also flawless, and hits all the right notes, both musically and lyrically. To my ears, X sounds like my favorite time in music: the post-New Wave, pre-Nirvana alternative era, that short window when zoomy, atmospheric guitars and melodies ruled the airwaves. And once you get past all the great sounds and start listening to the lyrics, you realize that Richard is a master lyricist as well, going from cautionary tales (Firing Line) to breathless love songs (Somebody Has Finally Found Me). A worthy #2 Album of the Year.

3. Maxi Dunn – Edmund & Leo
Maxi Dunn is a model of consistency. Every one of her albums has landed in my year end top 5, including a previous #1. Edmund & Leo continues the theme of heartache, but with some serious glimmers of hope–the future looks better. Maxi’s voice and attitude are incomparable. She ranges between alto and soprano, and uses these tools to evoke whatever mood she wants you to feel. Her word choices paint pictures, and the melodies are often dramatic and always memorable. Peter Hackett returns as producer, and he masterfully assembles this album from Maxi’s blueprint. Check out his stellar guitar work and Damon Roots’ percussion on the larger than life closing track Meteor Shower.

4. Chuck Prophet – Temple Beautiful
Chuck Prophet is one of those artists that I’d heard OF for a long time, but never heard his music until a friend of mine, James DePrato, handed me this disc. Turns out that James is Chuck’s guitarist! And what an album–it’s pretty much an alternative history of the modern era of San Francisco–warts and all. It’s got crazy characters (Emperor Norton and others), heroes (Willie Mays, Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk), and even Carol Doda! The lyrics are inventive and do indeed tell the story of this tumultuous town, while the music and playing are stellar. This is the definitive tour of The City. This album also won Best Songwriting for Chuck.

5. The Catbirds – Catbirds Say Yeah
Chandler Travis leads this ragtag band of musical geniuses/misfits, and Catbirds Say Yeah is pure, unabashed, 100% fun! The Catbirds are not hard rock, but they rock hard. They do quirky and rootsy in the same way that NRBQ does–they know all the musical rules and break them. Most albums start to peter out by the end, but not Catbirds Say Yeah. The last four tracks kick into turbodrive. Check out the next to last track, the raucous Pajama Pants Baby, with its raw, circuits-fried loud guitars, and the album closer, the frantic cover of Leaving Here.

6. Sparklejet – Phonovella
Victor Sotelo and Wade Krause, after more than half a decade, return with what is the finest album of their career, Phonovella. Loud, intellectual, but not afraid to breathe where necessary. This album just sounds important.

7. The Orange Peels – Sun Moon
Allen Clapp and company with some wonderfully atmospheric songs. They jokingly refer to their genre as “coastal pop”, but it actually describes their sound nicely. Put this one on while driving on a glorious summer or fall day, and you’ll see what I mean.

8. Agony Aunts – Big Cinnamon
KC Bowman, Karla Kane, Khoi Huynh, and Charlie Crabtree, also known as The Corner Laughers, go undercover and get more psychedelic, mysterious, and sometimes even silly. Great pop tunes here for all. Wonderful guest appearances by Mystery Lawn stablemates William Cleere and Allen Clapp, and legendary quirkmeister Anton Barbeau pops in and says hello.

9. Lisa Mychols – Above, Beyond, and In Between
Lisa Mychols, fresh out of Nushu, comes back with one of the sweetest albums of 2013. The songs are shimmery, effervescent hugs, some sounding like the Go-Go’s, and some veering more into Juliana Hatfield territory.

10. Vegas With Randolph – Rings Around The Sun
Eric Kern, John Ratts and the guys from DC roar back with another masterful pop album. The lyrics are thoughtful, and the sounds range from power pop to some slightly melancholy tunes. Listen for great hooks and harmonies.

11. Willie Wisely Trio – True
One of the wittiest and most spontaneous performers you’ll find, Willie Wisely and his (4 man) Trio are charming, amusing, clever, and rocking. Listen for the inspired trombone parts!

12. The Bye Bye Blackbirds – We Need The Rain
Led by Bradley Skaught, this album fuses power pop and Americana seamlessly. Great songwriting, melodies, and playing have earned the BBBs rave reviews in their hometown of the Bay Area.

13. The Taters – Taters Party
Sometimes known as the “Unofficial House Band of Twirl Radio”, Craig Evans, Brad Tucker, Greg Marrs, and Chris Mendez are known for their live sets–a mix of fun originals and inspired covers. They recorded this one at a party–and some of that party went out live on Twirl Radio! This fun album won our Ear Candy Award.

14. Sam Phillips – Push Any Button
Legendary singer-songwriter Sam Phillips is known for social commentary and eminently listenable tunes. Lots of quirky textures on this short but great album. It was an honor to have interviewed her on our 600th episode back in June, 2013.

15. The Cherry Bluestorms – Bad Penny Opera
Deborah Gee and Glen Laughlin’s sophomore album is psychedelic, rockin’, and has its intense moments. Big time guitars abound–Glen easily ranges from acoustic to jangly 12 string electric, while Deborah’s Chrissie Hynde vibe gives this concept album an edge that separates it from its power pop peers.

16. Laurie Biagini – Sanctuary Of Sound
Vancouver’s Laurie Biagini returns with her fourth album of sunshiny, summery pop. Think Karen Carpenter meets the Beach Boys, and you’ve got her sound. Her warm alto voice sits atop great piano playing, and a couple of the songs feature guitar work by guests Fabrizio Serrecchia and Vinnie Zummo.

17. Joe Symes and the Loving Kind – Joe Symes and the Loving Kind
Liverpool band Joe Symes and the Loving Kind started out as a hard working, hard rocking band, but for this, their debut, have added some nice subtleties to their sound that give their brand of pop music a nice bit of refinement. This album is our Best Debut Album–the band emerges, out of nowhere, fully formed.

18. Jimmy Catlett – Parlour Songs
Richmond, Virginia’s Jimmy Catlett got together with friends in a living room, and knocked out this batch of songs in one long, relaxed day, followed by good food and a bonfire. This sublime Americana album features superb vocals and guitars. It’s mellow, but don’t let that fool you. There’s some dramatic overtones in here that stick with you long after you’re done listening.

19. The Undecided By Default – Totally Undecided
This punky, power poppy trio from Melbourne, Australia, led by Maria Sokratis, makes punk fun, and fun punky! A whole lot of attitude and fun, blast this one through your open car windows, and watch your neighbors smile.

20. Chandler Travis Three-O – This Is What Bears Sound Like Underwater
An unprecedented second Top 20 album for Chandler Travis and company, this is another four member “Three-O”. This would be the quieter companion to The Catbirds, featuring jazz, folk, and Americana sounds, and some quirky chamber pieces. A nice mix of beauty and fun, and really great vocals by Fred Jodsworth Boak.

See the full list of Twirlie Awards.

2014 Twirlie Award Winners (Show #625 – February 1, 2014)

Here is the complete list of 2014 Twirlie Award Winners, presented live on Twirl Radio, Saturday, February 1, 2014, in Sacramento, California. 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 2014 Twirlie Awards Show (2/1/2014) (length 1:58:28)

Album of the Year
Felsen, for their album I Don’t Know How To Talk Anymore

Album of the Year Runner up
Richard X. Heyman, for his album X

Song of the Year
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, for their song The Girl In The Camera Obscura

Song of the Year Runner up
The Orange Peels, for their song Grey Holiday

Female Vocalist of the Year
Lisa Mychols

Male Vocalist of the Year
Victor Sotelo of Sparklejet

EP of the Year
honeychain, for their EP Futura

Ear Candy
The Taters, for their album Taters Party
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.

Best Debut Album
Joe Symes and the Loving Kind, for their album Joe Symes and the Loving Kind

Best Songwriting
Chuck Prophet, for his album Temple Beautiful

Best Interview, phone
Chandler Travis, 6/8/2013

Best Interview, in-person
Joe Algeri, 8/3/2013

Best Live Session
Two way tie:
Melissa Phillips and James DePrato, 7/27/2013
Craig Daniel (Poplord/Jet Electro), Fresno, CA 9/7/2013

Live Show of the Year
1. The Orange Peels, Twirl Radio Presents: Berkeley, 11/16/2013
2. The Cherry Bluestorms, Rock On The Road: Orange County, 8/9/2013
3. Maple Mars, Rock On The Road: Orange County, 8/11/2013
4. Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, Twirl Radio Presents: San Francisco, 4/17/2013
5. Debora Iyall Group, Twirl Radio Presents: San Francisco, 4/17/2013
6. David Houston and String Theory, Luna’s Cafe, Sacramento, 7/27/2013

Best Rock And Roll Moment
1. Twirl Radio Presents: Launching the live series of shows throughout California.
2. Broadcasting live from Whispermaphone Studios in Fresno, CA with Blake Jones, Chelsea Jones, and Craig Daniel
3. Reaching 600th episode in June
4. 50/50 bacon burgers at Slater’s 50/50, Orange County, with Adam Waltemire, John Borack, Cathy Gale, and others

Wayback Award (aka “Please come out of Retirement Award”)
Go National
Go National was a great Sacramento band featuring Kevin and Allyson Seconds. We played their 1998 album Got My One Good Eye on you a lot on the show. Good news: they ARE reforming and will be doing a show in Sacramento this year!

Cover Song of the Year
1. KC Bowman – The Devil Went Down To Kevin
This song combines the lyrics of Charlie Daniels’ “Devil Went Down To Georgia” with the sound of Devo’s Jocko Homo
2. The Taters – Smoke On Rt 66
3. The JAC – Sin City
4. Lannie Flowers – Up All Night
5. Zombie Western Baby – Affection Rejected
6. The Bottle Kids – Guitars In The Sky
7. The Cherry Bluestorms – Wear Your Love Like Heaven
8. Popdudes – Magnet And Steel
9. La Fleur Fatale – How Long Is Too Long
10. Eytan Mirsky – Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

Best Hollywood-style campaigning for a Twirlie Award
Matty Stone, The Bay Area Brit, Twirl Radio Presents performance

Most Loyal Listener
Octavia Kane
Octavia was born in November, 2013, and has listened to every new episode of Twirl Radio that has aired during her entire life, so far. Now that’s what I call good parenting, on the part of her parents Karla and Khoi!

6th Man (or whatever they call it in sports) Award
Howard Wuelfing, Howlin’ Wuelf Media
In 2013, Howard introduced a wide variety of amazing music to Twirl Radio and therefore, an appreciative audience.

Producer of the Year
Peter Hackett, for Maxi Dunn’s Edmund & Leo album

Guitar Solo of the Year
1. Peter Hackett, Meteor Shower, closing track from Edmund & Leo by Maxi Dunn
2. Jeremy, Love Explosion
3. The Bottle Kids, Guitars In The Sky


Top Albums of 2013:
1. Felsen – I Don’t Know How To Talk Anymore
2. Richard X. Heyman – X
3. Maxi Dunn – Edmund & Leo
4. Chuck Prophet – Temple Beautiful
5. The Catbirds – Catbirds Say Yeah
6. Sparklejet – Phonovella
7. The Orange Peels – Sun Moon
8. Agony Aunts – Big Cinnamon
9. Lisa Mychols – Above, Beyond, and In Between
10. Vegas With Randolph – Rings Around The Sun
11. Willie Wisely Trio – True
12. The Bye Bye Blackbirds – We Need The Rain
13. The Taters – Taters Party
14. Sam Phillips – Push Any Button
15. The Cherry Bluestorms – Bad Penny Opera
16. Laurie Biagini – Sanctuary Of Sound
17. Joe Symes and the Loving Kind – Joe Symes and the Loving Kind
18. Jimmy Catlett – Parlour Songs
19. The Undecided By Default – Totally Undecided
20. Chandler Travis Three-O – This Is What Bears Sound Like Underwater

Top Songs of 2013:
1. Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – The Girl In The Camera Obscura
2. The Orange Peels – Grey Holiday
3. Maxi Dunn – Change The Record
4. Sparklejet – Somewhere Along The Way
5. Felsen – Rock And Roll’s Not Dead
6. Agony Aunts – Cool Fresh Nights
7. Vegas With Randolph – You Set The World On Fire
8. Chuck Prophet – Willie Mays Is Up At Bat
9. Richard X. Heyman – Firing Line
10. Sam Phillips – Things I Shouldn’t Have Told You
11. Jeremy – Love Explosion
12. The Bye Bye Blackbirds – All In Light
13. Lisa Mychols – Better Than Nothing
14. Cherry Bluestorms – As Above So Below
15. Willie Wisely Trio – Kiss Her And Make It Right
16. Olivia Mancini – The Strangest Things
17. Laurie Biagini – Two Of A Kind
18. The Taters – New Girlfriend
19. The Catbirds – Pajama Pants Baby
20. Deborah Crooks – Looking Down The Road
21. The Undecided By Default – Object Of My Desire
22. honeychain – Easy To Forget
23. The Bottle Kids – Yes You Can
24. Drivin N Cryin – Clean Up
25. The Popdogs – High Time

Top EPs of 2013
1. honeychain – Futura
2. Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – Teasers From The Whispermaphone
3. Drivin N Cryin – Songs From The Laundromat
4. Bud Rogers – Setting Sun
5. The JAC – Record Store

Top Debut Albums of 2013
1. Joe Symes and the Loving Kind – Joe Symes and the Loving Kind
2. Red Union Blue – Learning To Fall
3. The Undecided By Default – Totally Undecided
4. The Tuesday Club – See You Next Tuesday

Top Compilation Albums of the Year
1. Zero Hour Records – Starry Eyed: The Records Tribute
2. Pop Garden Radio – Rock On The Road, Vol. 4
3. Andrew Curry – Drink A Toast To Innocence: A Tribute To Lite Rock
4. Pop Garden Radio – Legacy: A Tribute To Rick Nelson

The 2014 Twirlies are here!

An annual tradition–the Twirl Radio Awards, also known as the Twirlies–is on the way! This two hour special will happen on Saturday, February 1, 2014, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Pacific time, at http://www.twirlradio.com (right here!). It will be hosted by me, Mike Lidskin, and the legendary Marty Anaya.

The Twirlies are a celebration of all that is good and right in the world–namely good indie music. We will be honoring those who made the great music that I got to feature on Twirl in 2013. Albums and songs that came my way and received airplay in 2013, qualify for a Twirlie.

Many bands, musicians, and Twirl Radio participants will be competing for this coveted award. So what is a Twirlie? It’s a beautiful, yet imaginary award. It’s handed out live on the air, to fake applause when fake envelopes containing winners names are ripped open. The show may be a simulation, but the honors are real! We’ll also be revealing our Top Albums and Top Songs lists for 2013 on this show.

You won’t want to miss any of this action, or the chance to hear me wearing my elegantly appointed fake tuxedo t-shirt. Remember–the Twirlie Awards are only on Twirl Radio, February 1, 2014! See you there.

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