Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #789 – 7/22/2017: Dennis Willis visit!

Dennis Willis of Soundwaves

As many of you now know, Twirl Radio has been podcasting on the venerable San Francisco website Soundwaves since this past winter. On today’s show, the proprietor of Soundwaves, Dennis Willis, came into the Sacramento studios and hung out. Since we are now a part of the Soundwaves network, you might say we had a “visit from the home office”!

Dennis is known for many things, among them, movie reviews on KGO radio, authoring “American Popcorn: Hollywood and the War on Common Sense”, and of course, the television program Soundwaves–which had 500 episodes in its initial run!

Soundwaves, the website, is a champion of all things music. When legendary San Francisco radio station KFOG changed formats, and let go of some of their legendary personalities and features, they found a new home on Soundwaves. The perennial favorite 10@10 is one example of a feature that Dennis revived, with help from the originator, Dave Morey. There’s so much more to Soundwaves, but I guess that’s why you’ll want to listen to today’s episode!

Artist | Track | Album
The Bye Bye Blackbirds | Duet | Take Out The Poison
Sitcom Neighbor | Tourist Attraction | Shag
Maxi Dunn | The Last To Know | Welcome To Soonville
Sparklejet | Somewhere Along The Way | Phonovella
Cirrone | All Right All Night | Kings For A Night
T. Rex | Jeepster | Single release
Edward Rogers | She’s The One | TV Generation
Death Of Samantha | Conviction | If Memory Serves Us Well
Richard Turgeon | Frostbites | In Between The Spaces
Karla Kane | Wishing Tree | King’s Daughters Home For Incurables
Plasticsoul | Keeping A Light On | Therapy
The Lightning Seeds | Pure | Cloudcuckooland
The Bookends | A Girl Like Me | Single release
The JAC | Lights On The Hill | Drugs Trucks & Jesus
Banjo Bones | Cowboy Dreams | Cowboy Dreams
Jody Porter | Valerie Sometimes | Pacifier
R. Stevie Moore & Jason Falkner | I Love Us, We Love Me | Make It Be
The Welcome Matt | Come Alive | More Empire Days
Duncan Faure | Man Of A Thousand Dreams | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | She’s Better | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
Lannie Flowers | All Dressed | LIVE in NYC
honeychain | Some Boys Lie | Crushed
Gretchen’s Wheel | Left Turn | Sad Scientist


Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #788 – 7/15/2017: A three-fer! Jimmy Horn of King James & The Special Men interview; new song introductions by Karla Kane & Sean O’Brien!

Jimmy Horn of Kings James & the Special Men

Today on Twirl Radio, we had a fun treat–a three-fer of visits with musicians! Yes–a full on interview with Jimmy Horn of King James & The Special Men, and then Karla Kane and Sean O’Brien introducing new prerelease songs.

Jimmy Horn has been making music in New Orleans, one of America’s finest cities for music (and food!), for a very long time. The latest incarnation of his band, King James & The Special Men, have been together for about 7 years. But only now have they finally committed some of their music to tape (or drive; I’m really not sure). New Orleans is a destination music city, and so the band had been mostly focused on playing live for crowds of tourists and locals alike. They’ve even played in front of such music royalty as Elvis Costello and Robert Plant! The new album, “Act Like You Know”, is a high-spirited romp through most of the musical genres native to America: boogie-woogie, blues, R&B, and old-timey rock and roll. And the band, naturally enough, features piano, a horn section and great rhythms. A delicious musical stew to be sure. The band is set to leave on their annual summer trip to Europe, where they entertain happy crowds in Denmark! Pick up this album and play it at your next party.

Karla Kane

Karla Kane, of the bands The Corner Laughers and Agony Aunts, has been an integral part of my radio shows for this entire decade. She’s one of the very few people who have visited both the Twirl Radio studios here in Sacramento, and the studios of the late great Recharged Radio in London–no small geographic feat! The opportunity arose to record her first solo album–but Karla is certainly not alone in this effort. All of her Corner Laughers colleagues appear on this record in one form or another, and her and Khoi Huynh’s UK friends (affectionately referred to as The Corner Laughers UK), Mark and Helen Luker play on this one as well. I’m honored that Karla gave me such an early listen to the new album, “King’s Daughters Home For Incurables”–its release date is not until October! It’s a delightful album–a little bit less electric than The Corner Laughers, but every bit as melodic. The songwriting is every bit as sharp as you’d expect from Karla Kane compositions. A couple of Corner Laughers songs are reimagined on this record–Karla covers Karla! We chatted for a few minutes, but Karla is going to come back to Sacramento for a full blown visit in September, with the aforementioned Khoi, and the Lukers, visiting from the UK! I’m looking forward to filling up the studio with all this musical greatness! Pre-order this one now for your convenience:

Sean O’Brien in the studio, working on his next album

It seems like the Bay Area’s Sean O’Brien had just visited us here in Sacramento (a look back reveals that it was on 4/15/2017), and we were lucky enough to get him back on today’s show! He had some business to attend to in the Capital City. He also had a new single he wanted to drop off to me. The ever-humble Sean didn’t want to “interrupt” my show. Well, when you’re as talented and well-liked as Sean, you’re pretty much obligated to join me on the air. I thought it might be fun to have a second Bay Area artist introduce a pre-release single on the show. And so he did. He’s currently working on the next album with his band, Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands, due out in 2018–so the song we heard today, “Trying To Stop”, in all its unmastered glory–was a peek into the future. And the future sounds very good indeed. More info at:

Artist | Track | Album
The Pengwins | What You Gonna Do? | Single release
Translator | Last Fields Of Summer | Single release
The Welcome Matt | My Town | More Empire Days
Maxi Dunn | How Was I To Know? | Welcome To Soonville
Vegas With Randolph | Women In Airports | Single release
Cirrone | It’s Gonna Be The Right Time | Kings For A Night

Jimmy Horn interview
King James & The Special Men | Special Man Boogie | Act Like You Know
King James & The Special Men | The End Is Near | Act Like You Know

R. Stevie Moore & Jason Falkner | I Hate People | Make It Be
Bill Lloyd | The World Turns All Around Her | Lloyd-ering
Pacific Soul Ltd. | We Go High | The Dance Divine
XTC | No Thugs In Our House | English Settlement

Karla Kane introduces new music
Karla Kane | King’s Daughters Home For Incurables | King’s Daughters Home For Incurables

Gretchen’s Wheel | Disintegrate | Sad Scientist
Duncan Faure | The Day That I Found Love | 4

Sean O’Brien introduces new music
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Trying To Stop | Unmastered prerelease

Gail George | He’s An Exclamation! | Follow Your Bliss!
Plasticsoul | Monkey On A Stick | Therapy
Richard X. Heyman | Miss Shenandoah Martin | Incognito

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #787 – 7/8/2017: Interview doubleheader: Slim Cessna & The Great Sadness!

Slim Cessna

On today’s show, we pulled off a rarity for Twirl Radio: a doubleheader of interviews! There is so much interesting music out there, that we had to cram both into the friendly confines of one episode.

We started off with Denver-based Slim Cessna, of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. This band has been around for a quarter-century, and kind of grew up in isolation in Denver–where folks who listened to country and also to harder rock sounds in the 1980s, out of necessity, created their own scene and sound. They recently released their 2008 double album “Cipher”. Cipher is by turns, mysterious, dramatic, bleak, and fun (yes, bleak AND fun!). Its re-release is rather timely–it’s kind of a strange world we live in, and the songs are left open to interpretation for the listener–who may interpret them differently now than they might have in 2008. They are about to embark on a big U.S. and European tour, winding up in Moscow. More info can be found at:

Cathy Cooper & Stephen McNeely of The Great Sadness

The Great Sadness is a Los Angeles-based duo, comprised of Cathy Cooper on guitars and vocals, and Stephen McNeely on drums. Their music sounds unlike anything else I currently play on Twirl Radio; it makes sense, because this band has no peers. Their current album, “Weep”, is jarring at first listen. It’s very heavy–it’s deep, rockin’, and has its roots in blues. It’s kind of how Led Zeppelin’s first album was pretty much a blues album, turned up to 11, and made larger than life. Well Weep is a blues album, turned up to 12, but made smaller, and more compressed. The songs tackle such topics as mortality and dead ends in life. You might say that this music is not for lightweights. It is cathartic, and their live shows feature a nearly telepathic musical communication between Cathy and Stephen. Learn more about the band at:

Artist | Track | Album
Jody Porter | In The Beginning… | Pacifier
The Bookends | Far Away, But Around | Single release
Sunshine Boys | Schoolyard Bully | Single release
Richard Turgeon | Bad Seed | In Between The Spaces
Bud Rogers | Intercity Mars | Starman
Maxi Dunn | Everything | Edmund & Leo
Plasticsoul | Therapy | Therapy

Slim Cessna interview
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club | This Land Is Our Land Redux | Cipher
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club | Children Of The Lord | Cipher

Felsen | Self Medicate | Accidental Drowning
Lannie Flowers | Everything A Man Could Want | Single release
Three Minute Tease | Coffee That Makes The Man Go Mad | Bite The Hand
Jason Falkner | My Lucky Day | Can You Still Feel?
Gail George | Fool’s Paradise | Follow Your Bliss!
Duncan Faure | Brother | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Crooked Flower | Too Broke To Fix | Between Two Stars
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Sleeping With Me | Mistakes

Cathy Cooper & Stephen McNeely of The Great Sadness interview
The Great Sadness | Never | Weep
The Great Sadness | Underground | Weep

The Welcome Matt | Feel Something | More Empire Days
The Cherry Bluestorms | Wear Your Love Like Heaven | Bad Penny Opera

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #786 – 7/1/2017: Richard X. Heyman interview!

Richard X. Heyman

Up until a few years ago, Richard X. Heyman was one of those artists whom I’d always heard OF, but never actually HEARD, his music. That changed with his album “X”–a magnificent record, and we talked about it on the radio back then. Fast forward to 2017, his new album “Incognito” is just as good. Lyrically, it’s very current and topical, with some subtle nuances that let you kind of “figure it out yourself”. Musically, it’s chock full of ear candy–the zoomy, atmospheric guitars that I love so well. Instead of jangly, his Rickenbacker tends to ring and soar. He’d taught himself to play slide guitar for “X” by using the cap from a lipstick tube! Now, there’s more slide guitar in the mix on this album, and surprisingly, acoustic plays a strong role on some of the songs as well. The sequencing and pacing of the songs are perfect.

In today’s episode, we explored some of the key tracks from Incognito, and we learned where that title came from. It was fascinating to learn about his recording process, where he builds each song starting from the ground up with the drums (his self-professed “main” instrument), and then paints each musical layer on top, one at a time. He’s the original DIY indie artist–he started working this way decades before it became common practice. For more information, and to purchase this great record, go to

Artist | Track | Album
The Bookends | A Girl Like Me | Single release
Plasticsoul | Keeping A Light On | Therapy
Chandler Travis Philharmonic | Going Back To Work Tomorrow | Waving Kissyhead Vol. 2 & 1
Cirrone | Everything’s Fine Now | Kings For A Night
The Feelies | Pass The Time | In Between
Maxi Dunn | Dragonfly | Edmund & Leo
Banjo Bones | Your Medicine Is Bad | Cowboy Dreams

Richard X. Heyman interview
Richard X. Heyman | Incognito | Incognito
Richard X. Heyman | Gleam | Incognito

Yolanda Cazessus | Colors | Single release
Ruby Free | Why Won’t You Sleep In Our Bed | Shades
The Welcome Matt | Come Alive | More Empire Days
Allyson Seconds | Ono Waltz | Little World
The JAC | Persistent Man | Faux Pas
The Taters | Goodbye Girl | Taters Party
R. Stevie Moore & Jason Falkner | Stamps | Make It Be
Hannah Judson | Here We Are | I Wanna Know
Edward Rogers | The Player | TV Generation
Gretchen’s Wheel | Better In The Dark | Sad Scientist
Matt North | Badgering The Witness | Above Ground Fools
Duncan Faure | All At Once | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Walker Brigade | DIsEASE | Therapy Animal
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | Forestiere Gardens | The Underground Garden

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