Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #819 – 3/31/2018: Interview and performance by Skip Heller, Spike Sikes, and Birdie Jones!

Birdie Jones in the Twirl Studio

On today’s show, we were treated to a live, in-studio performance by three great musicians: Skip Heller, Spike Sikes, and Birdie Jones. Skip and Birdie drove up from L.A., and Spike drove in from the Bay Area, and converged on our small but mighty radio studio. They treated us to some fun conversation, and three great live songs. About that studio–about the size of a large walk in closet. And we had a large 1968-era keyboard in one corner, and five of us in there. There was a lot of warmth and good vibes–and I think it comes across in the performances. Between the three of them, they have three new albums out right now, and you’d do well to get them all.

More info:

Artist | Track | Album
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
The Well Wishers | Gravity Waits | A View From Above
Maxi Dunn | Always Be My Friend | Welcome To Soonville
Right Said Fred | I’m Too Sexy (Spanish version) | I’m Too Sexy EP
Tawny Thiele | Happy Together | Fowl Tone Sampler
Bud Rogers | Intercity Mars | Starman

Skip Heller, Spike Sikes, & Birdie Jones interview and performance
Birdie Jones | Busted | Live in Twirl studios
Spike Sikes | Get Outta L.A. | Live in Twirl studios
Skip Heller | 6 O’Clock Train And A Girl With Green Eyes | Live in Twirl studios

Skip Heller and Spike Sikes in the Twirl Studio

The Grays | Very Best Years | Ro Sham Bo
Duncan Faure | Back To The Day | 4
Little Tin Frog | I’m In Pain | The Pain And Pleasure Machine
Spygenius | Shall I Show You In My Mirror? | Pacéphale
Felsen | Private Airline | Blood Orange Moon
Piramid Scheme | Bandwagon Jumping Machine | Get Rich Quick Too
Steve Barton | Gimme Your Hand | Tall Tales & Alibis 3
Anton Barbeau | Magazine Street | Natural Causes
Juliana Hatfield | Lost And Saved | Hey Babe
Lannie Flowers | Day Glow | Single release
The Bottle Kids | Her Heart Is Much Worse Than Her Bite | Let Me In On This Action
The Greenberry Woods | Trampoline | Rapple Dapple
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | She’s Better | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
The Welcome Matt | More Empire Days | More Empire Days


Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #818 – 3/24/2018: Interview doubleheader: Ben Vaughn and Elk City!

Ben Vaughn

Some days are really good ones on Twirl Radio. Today was one of those. We had two interviews, each with legendary musicians whom I’d heard of for a very long time: Ben Vaughn, and then Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem of Elk City!

Ben Vaughn is well known for many things, including the Ben Vaughn Combo, his work on the television shows “3rd Rock From The Sun” and “That 70’s Show”, his film scores, and his production work for such major artists as Los Straitjackets, Ween, and Mark Olson of the Jayhawks. Or perhaps you know him from his syndicated radio show The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn. Back in 1995, he released an album of mostly instrumentals called “Instrumental Stylings”. This became his calling card, and his entry into the world of music for television. This album was recorded on analog equipment, but released only on CD–until this year. It finally got the treatment Ben wanted–a vinyl release. It’s a really great, varied selection of tracks, each one painting a different sonic picture, some with whimsical titles. A great listen. More info on Ben Vaughn can be found at

Elk City

Elk City has been around for a very long time, and although they have been described as “art pop”, a better description might be dream pop. The principals are Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem. Renée writes the songs, and the rest of the band adds their parts and turns them into finished Elk City songs. Their most recent album, Everbody’s Insecure, just released last week and it really hits a lot of my sweet spots. It’s got some 90’s indie pop/alternative sounds in it, some great guitars, and the most personal songwriting to date for the band. The song 25 Lines, my personal favorite on the album, has been a delicious earworm for me for a couple of days. Renée’s vocals can be both muscular and ethereal, and Ray’s production is top notch. This album was mostly recorded live, so there was a lot of immediacy in the band’s contributions. Get yourself acquainted with Elk City at

Artist | Track | Album
Steve Barton | When She’s Lost Your Mind | Tall Tales And Alibis 1
The Incredible Casuals | That’s How Strong My Love Is | Nature Calls
Maxi Dunn | Don’t Look Back | Welcome To Soonville
Chris Church | Fall Into Me | Limitations Of Source Tape
Alison Hogan | This Time | Songs From The Third Act
Michael Simmons | Dirt Nap | First Days Of Summer
Daniel Trigger | Penitence | Single release

Ben Vaughn interview
Ben Vaughn | Toestubber | Instrumental Stylings
Ben Vaughn | Aqua Blue | Instrumental Stylings

The Paul & John | Everything Comes Together | Inner Sunset
Lannie Flowers | Where Does Love Go | LIVE in NYC
Wade Johnson | You Know It | Single release
Little Jimmy Giant | I Think You Think I Think So | Fowl Tone Sampler
Duncan Faure | Ball & Chain | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Felsen | Poor In A Wealthy City | Blood Orange Moon
Juliana Hatfield | Forever Baby | Hey Babe

Interview with Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem of Elk City
Elk City | 25 Lines | Everybody’s Insecure
Elk City | Ride The Slide | Everybody’s Insecure

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #817 – 3/17/2018: John Borack in-studio visit!

Author John Borack

John Borack is a man with many slashes–he’s an author/ music critic/ drummer/ songwriter–and probably others I’ve forgotten by now. I’ve had him on my show a few times in the past (via phone), and he’s been up here to Northern California a few times in the past. But–those two things have never collided before–where he was in Sacramento on a Saturday afternoon, with some time free–until this weekend! So we snagged him and roped him into the Twirl studios, where we talked about music, the books he’s penned, his Goldmine Magazine columns, the Elvis Costello tribute compilation album he and Olivia Frain put together, and his work with Popdudes and other rock bands. But most importantly, he brought along some music that he likes and wanted to introduce to the Twirl audience. He and I have a lot in common, but nothing more important than the ideal of music discovery. It all came together nicely on this week’s show. More information on John’s writing at

John Borack and part of his record collection

Artist | Track | Album
The Judybats | She’s Sad She Said | Down In The Shacks Where The Satellite Dishes Grow
Gretchen’s Wheel | Blank Slate | Sad Scientist
Fun Of The Pier | Possible | 14:42
Trevor And The Joneses | Well As Well | Take You To Stay
Maxi Dunn | Make It Better | The Neglected Gambit
Steve Barton | Shadow Of The Bride | Tall Tales And Alibis 1
Bud Rogers | Intercity Mars | Starman

Two Man Music Roundtable with John Borack
Jeffrey Foskett | It’s My Fault | Cool And Gone, [Gone, Gone]
Michael Simmons | No More Girls | First Days Of Summer
The Cowsills | Is It Any Wonder? | Global
Einstein’s Sister | Jealous Time | Learning Curves
Scott McCarl | In Love Without A Girl | Play On…
Irene Peña | Must’ve Been Good | Trying Not To Smile
Liverpool Echo | No Not Again | Liverpool Echo
The Wellingtons | Baby’s Got A Secret | In Transit
Clovis Roblaine | My Heart | The Clovis Roblaine Story
Popdudes | I Almost Forgot | Altered Sweet: A Tribute To Matthew Sweet

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #816 – 3/3/2018: Steve Barton of Translator interview!

Steve Barton in the studio

On today’s show, we meet the legendary Steve Barton, founder, singer, and songwriter of Translator! He just released not one, not two, but three albums! That’s no small feat in this age of short attention spans, downloaded singles, streaming, and EPs. This 37 song collection is called “Tall Tales and Alibis, Albums 1, 2 and 3”. Magnificent stuff. Each album has its own sound and personality, and if you are lucky enough as I was, to have time to listen to all three straight through, you’ll be treated to a sort of symphony in three movements. Acoustic and upbeat, slow and introspective, and then full band assault. The songwriting is terrific and the vocals are upfront. On Album 3, we are treated to two great drummers: Translator’s Dave Scheff, and Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello and the Attractions! As you might imagine, you’ll hear a variety of moods and sounds. Just go ahead and get all three, and thank me later. Better yet, thank Steve Barton for the great music!

Steve Barton

Artist | Track | Album
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Anton Barbeau | Magazine Street | Natural Causes
Piramid Scheme | Next Hero | Get Rich Quick Too
Daniel Trigger | Penitence | Single release
Maxi Dunn | Change The Record | Edmund & Leo

Steve Barton | How Can I Believe | Tall Tales & Alibis 1
Steve Barton interview
Steve Barton | Don’t Think It Over | Tall Tales & Alibis 2
Steve Barton | Where Did I Go Wrong | Tall Tales & Alibis 3
Steve Barton | Little Strange One | Tall Tales & Alibis 3

Trevor And The Joneses | Gotta Run | Take You To Stay
Poplord | Kill Me | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Gretchen’s Wheel | Walk Out | Altered Sweet: A Tribute To Matthew Sweet
The American Professionals | W.M.P.M.S. | Sympathetic Overdrive
Lannie Flowers | Day Glow | Single release
Richard X. Heyman | Incognito | Incognito
Matt North | I Sold It All | Above Ground Fools
Duncan Faure | The Day That I Found Love | 4
Spygenius | Shall I Show You In My Mirror? | Pacéphale
Carnival Of Soul | Let’s Start Tonight | Carnival Of Soul
Sparklejet | Somewhere Along The Way | Phonovella
Karla Kane | The Lilac Line | King’s Daughters Home For Incurables
The Incredible Casuals | I’ll Do Anything | Nature Calls
Chris Church | Bell The Cat | Limitations Of Source Tape

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