Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #868 – 3/30/2019: Interview tripleheader: Sean O’Brien, Jon Fried of The Campfire Flies, & Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome of Big Stir Records!

The Campfire Flies

Amazing. I’m out of breath and speechless. I don’t think I’d ever done a show with three interviews–in a regulation-length, two hour format–until today. If I could pick one word to describe the experience, “exhilarating” seems to do it.

It all started innocently enough. I was scheduled to chat with Jon Fried, of New Jersey folk-pop outfit The Campfire Flies, about their great debut album, Sparks Like Little Stars. And we did have that chat, as scheduled. This is a group of longtime friends, who’ve been in different bands, including members of The Cucumbers and Speed The Plough (John and Toni Baumgartner have been on my show before). They came together on a dark and stormy night to form this band. Really, they did–it’s not just an overused cliche. They were hanging out, and the power went out, so they only thing they could do was play songs acoustically–and magic ensued. They’ve gigged acoustically as a six-piece for the past few years, and finally released their album this week. It rocks–but politely, and acoustically. These guys are known for their vocal harmonies, and for swapping instruments, and playing whatever is needed for a song. Brilliant, yet comfortable tunes abound.

Christina and Rex of The Armoires

So here’s where it gets even more interesting. The Armoires, a Burbank, CA based band led by Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome, have been working on their second album (Zibaldone). It’s taken a while–about 3 years–but there are good reasons. The main reason is that since their debut album, Christina and Rex founded the whole Big Stir scene. It started as a monthly series of concerts, but branched out into a record label, which has been feverishly releasing singles almost weekly, and albums quite freqently as well. In some cases, they’ve introduced me to great new music from all over the world. And in other cases, they’ve signed several artists whom I’ve loved for years, and now count themselves inside the Big Stir fold. Rex and Christina even did a Big Stir radio show on Woody Radio for a while. So Rex emailed me on Friday, asking if I’d like to debut a cool little thing. Turned out they had two cool little things to share–a digital single, and its B-side–by The Armoires! First new songs from them in what seems like a couple of years. And they are great songs, too. One is reminiscent of Motown–driving beat, and Christina takes a vocal turn, and is backed by Big Stir’s version of The Pips. The other is a great Rex/Christina duet. Once Rex offered this opportunity to me, I told him that it would be even better if the two of them could join me on the air, and introduce the songs themselves. So we did that, and this episode was the world premiere of these songs.

Sean O’Brien

And then it just became over the top fun. Sean O’Brien messaged me on Friday, to say that he’d be in Sacramento (visiting from the Bay Area) on business on Saturday, and had the completed tracks for his next album ready, and wanted to drop them off to me. I asked him if he’d be able to come down to the Twirl studio and introduce a couple of the songs on the air. He graciously agreed, and we started the show off that way–had a nice little chat about the forthcoming album, My Colors Dark. The two songs we heard were really great, and we are looking at a summer release date.

A couple of other program notes. Rene Rodriguez and Todd Stanton allowed me to debut the second track in as many weeks from their forthcoming album, Week Minded. This song, Miss Her Reminscing, may just be my favorite. And one other interesting factoid: every song that was played on today’s show was from 2019. If you have but one show to listen to this week, make it this one.

Artist | Track | Album
Sean O’Brien interview
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Master Of The Slow Burn | My Colors Dark
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Three Snakes Caught (Good Eye Finnegan) | My Colors Dark

Identical Suns | Miss Her Reminiscing | Week Minded
Lannie Flowers | Summer Blue | Single release
Trip Wire | Had Enough | Once & Always
Matt Langlois | Spending My Time With You | Merde!
Matt Langlois | Don’t Tuck Your Shirt Into Your Pants | Merde!

Jon Fried interview
The Campfire Flies | If Your Eyes Are Closed | Sparks Like Little Stars
The Campfire Flies | Your Lips Were Made For Me | Sparks Like Little Stars

Interview with Christina and Rex of Big Stir
Kenny (Anton Barbeau) | My Adelphi Twin | Single release
The Armoires | (How Did You Make) A Mistake Like Me? | Zibaldone
The Armoires | Not A Good Man | Zibaldone

R. Stevie Moore | Irony | Afterlife
The Bobbleheads | I Really See You | Myths And Fables
Girls On Grass | Friday Night | Dirty Power
Chancellorpink | Cracking Up | All Of Them Monsters
Gretchen’s Wheel | Amateur | Moth To Lamplight: A Nada Surf Tribute
Lost Leaders | Extra-Ordinary | Promises Promises
The Morning Line | South Carolina | North


Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #867 – 3/23/2019: Interview doubleheader: Kai Danzberg and Jesse Reaux of The Rayo Brothers!

Kai Danzberg

Another week, another interview doubleheader. No–I don’t take this for granted–it was pretty awesome to travel all over the country and world, musically speaking, to gather a couple of interviews with some really interesting musicians. And we had a whole bunch of other stuff going on as well.

First off–my friend Bill Fuller, who does The Longhair Detectorists Guild program before mine, took a well-deserved week off, and entrusted me with his time slot. That gave me four hours to work with, a double-length show. So it’s really important to me to use the extra time wisely, and hence, the interviews–and the tons of new 2019 music.

We got to meet Kai Danzberg, a 25-year-old musician from Germany, who joined forces with Big Stir Records to release his latest album, Not Only Sunshine. Much like his labelmate Addison Love, he’s a musical “old soul”. Many of his influences released their work before he was born, but no matter–a great talent like Kai was destined to discover influential bands like The Beatles and Jellyfish. You don’t hear about a lot of folks from his generation getting famous making melodic rock ‘n’ roll, but that’s exactly the kind of music Kai is doing, and people are starting to find out about him. And his music sounds great. It’s elaborate, melodic, and thoughtful. He also has some great collaborators aboard for the ride: Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Lisa Mychols, David Myhr, and Dana Countryman. Those music greats know something that you should too–Kai Danzberg is the voice of the future.

The Rayo Brothers

A little later on the show, I got to chat with Jesse Reaux of The Rayo Brothers. Their new album drops later this week (March 29th) and it was produced by former Twirl Radio guest Louis Michot. So before I even listened to the music, I put two and two together: Jesse’s from Lafayette, Louisiana, and Louis Michot worked on it, so it must be Cajun music, right? Well–that’s why it always pays to LISTEN to music. Although there might be a touch of Cajun in there, it’s really melodic country music, slightly informed by rock music. Heck–there’s even a straight up power pop tune on the album (Goodbye Jane). These guys are great in the studio–Jesse and his brother Daniel have led the band through three albums–but they are known as a force to be reckoned with on the road. They’re about to embark on a tour that should take them through the South and Midwest, all the way up to Chicago. They haven’t yet played the West Coast–but there are some videos on YouTube of the Rayo Brothers playing live, so we here can get a taste of what their shows are like.

A couple of other really great things happened on this extended Twirl episode: I got to premiere brand new tracks from the long-awaited Identical Suns and Girls on Grass albums. With Identical Suns, I’ve been slightly sworn to secrecy, but Todd Stanton and Rene Rodriguez let me sneak preview Saving It Up For Sunday for you, from their forthcoming release, Week Minded. It’s great–a natural progression from their fine debut record. And Barbara Endes just sent me the new Girls on Grass record, Dirty Power–and the opening track, Down At The Bottom, made me jump out of my seat when I first heard the opening bass, guitar, and drums. That was a bit of a problem, because I was driving at the time, but fortunately, I made a safe landing during this great, fiery, rockin’ Americana song.

I hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as I did making it.

Artist | Track | Album
Girls On Grass | Down At The Bottom | Dirty Power
Popdudes | Beautiful Sunday | Maximum Rock Stupidity
The Re-Used Electrics | Pills | For Johnny
Chris Isaak | Heart Shaped World | Heart Shaped World
The Imperial Sound | Get Along! | The New AM
Dara Ackerman | A Million Flowers | Partially True Stories
Vegas With Randolph | She’s An Intellectual | Legs And Luggage
Identical Suns | Saving It Up For Sunday | Week Minded
Felsen | Lay Kenneth Lay | Accidental Drowning
In Deed | Marry Myself | Single release
Sunshine Boys | Only A Million Miles | Blue Music
Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | Single release
Sensations | Incredible Man | Listen To My Shapes
Pugwash | Everyone Knows That You’re Mine | Silverlake

Kai Danzberg Interview
Kai Danzberg | Not Only Sunshine (reprise) | Not Only Sunshine
Kai Danzberg | Your Shiny Eyes | Not Only Sunshine

HUGElarge | D.O.G. | HUGElarge
The Kariannes | Every Word Means No | Single release
The Bobbleheads | Listen You Know | Myths And Fables
Bud Rogers | Pictures Of A Modern World (acoustic) | Single release
Right Said Fred | I’m Too Sexy | Up
Los Lobos | Mas Y Mas | Colossal Head
Two Dollar Pistols | That Someone Isn’t Me | You Ruined Everything
Elk City | 25 Lines | Everybody’s Insecure
The Decibels | Big Hits! | Big Hits! (Plus Twelve More!)
Jordan Thomas | In The Evening | Single release
Maxi Dunn | Welcome To Soonville | Welcome To Soonville
Frank Black | Two Reelers | Teenager Of The Year
William Duke | Hotels And Meetings | Quatro
Wilkerson | Too Much Of A Good Thing | Wilkerson

Jesse Reaux interview
The Rayo Brothers | Goodbye Jane | Victim & Villain
The Rayo Brothers | Victim & Villain | Victim & Villain

The Judybats | Jive Talkin’ | Full-Empty
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | RedWhite&BlueSoBlue | Pop Songs & Kyries
The Orange Peels | Aether Tide | Sun Moon
Michal Towber | Old | No Resolution
The Campfire Flies | If Your Eyes Are Closed | Sparks Like Little Stars
Trip Wire | Easy Exit | Once & Always
Matt Langlois | Let Your Sunshine Out | Merde!
Matt Langlois | You Are My Weekend | Merde!
Steve Barton | How Can I Believe | Tall Tales And Alibis 1
Duncan Faure | Lies And Promises | 4
Tawny Thiele | Happy Together | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Anton Barbeau | Mumble Something | Natural Causes
Lost Leaders | To The Top | Promises Promises
Chancellorpink | Angie Baby | All Of Them Monsters
Krista D | Penny For Your Thoughts | Look At Me I’m Krista D

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #866 – 3/16/2019: Interview doubleheader: Andrew Curry and Melissa Phillips!

Andrew Curry

I knew this week’s show would be fun and comfortable. It always is when you’re with friends, and this week, I had two of them on the show. We started with Andrew Curry, who over the past 5 years, has, through his Curry Cuts label, released a quartet of themed compilation tribute albums, all with wonderfully high quality cover tunes, reimagined by today’s indie artists.

White Lace and Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams

The most recent effort is entitled White Lace And Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams. Both Andrew and I marveled at how much of the soundtrack of the 1970s was written by Paul Williams. This compilation did for me what a good compilation does: introduces me to new artists singing familiar songs, and demonstrating the breadth of the original artist’s work. And–Andrew is just plain fun to chat with!

Melissa Phillips

Melissa Phillips has been a friend of mine for nearly this entire decade, and a good friend to the radio show in general. The Bay Area singer-songwriter recently released her second EP, Both Ways, in the fall, and I had her on the show in December, via Skype. But when she said that she would be coming through Sacramento on Saturday, and would be able to carve out some time for a visit, I knew that I wanted to have her come down to the Twirl studios and hang out. So we did an interview, and revisited Both Ways. I also put her to work–I had asked her if she could bring some music that she likes, and she could play it on the show. What I got was a nice little sampler of some great new music that should be heard.

One other item of note: the 2019 music is coming in fast and furious. This year is still fairly new, but it’s already shaping up as a great one for creative, new independent music. The first six songs of this show are all tracks that came in over the course of the last week! Enjoy the show.

Artist | Track | Album
Lannie Flowers | Anything But Love | Single release
Vanilla | Save Me | Mystik Knights Of Tacoma
Matt Langlois | Always Happening | Merde!
Trip Wire | Get Up Slow | Once & Always
Chancellorpink | Every Devil Dies Alone | All Of Them Monsters
The Bobbleheads | Do You | Myths And Fables

Andrew Curry interview
Sitcom Neighbor | Out In The Country | White Lace And Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams
Lisa Mychols | You And Me Against The World | White Lace And Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams

Melissa Phillips interview
Melissa Phillips | Centralia | Fits & Starts
Melissa Phillips | The Flame | Both Ways

The Sleep Junkies | The First Time Is Never The Last Time | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Maxi Dunn | Always Be My Friend | Welcome To Soonville
Rachel Taylor Brown | Little Gyre | Run Tiny Human

Melissa Phillips’ music picks
Emily King | The Animals | The Switch
Matt Jaffe | Reset Button | The Spirit Catches You
Yola | Far Away Look | Walk Through Fire

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #865 – 3/9/2019

In this still-young year of 2019, I’ve done about a dozen radio interviews. That’s a pretty breakneck pace, so I thought I’d take a bit of a breather this week and not schedule any interviews. Operative word being “schedule”. More on that in a bit.

This was a great chance to roll out some more new music to you. I played a great new Bobbleheads track–the San Francisco band is about to release their new album, and it is a good one. New vintage music (oxymoron time?) from Jeremy Morris and from Malory. Brand new music from the Big Stir Records label, in the form of The Living Dolls and In Deed. And finally, another track from the great new Lost Leaders album, a band which features Byron Isaacs, whose solo record was a highlight of my shows last year.

Radio colleague Dee McCoy

Toward the end of the show, my friend and radio colleague, Dee McCoy, finished up her show production in the studio next to mine, and popped in for a visit, which totally brightened up my day. Just as I thought I’d spend the entire two hours locked in a radio booth, talking to myself, Dee came in for a quick on air chat. Check out her show–she’s on Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Pacific time, on KUBU 96.5 FM in Sacramento. It’s a great way to brighten up your day as well.

But before that–give a listen to my show, and explore the new and recent musical offerings.

Artist | Track | Album
The Bobbleheads | I Really See You | Myths And Fables
Librarians With Hickeys | Until There Was You | Single release
Jeremy | I Am A Child | Emerald Vision
The Apples In Stereo | Tidal Wave | Fun Trick Noisemaker
Maxi Dunn | I Mean That | Welcome To Soonville
Plasticsoul | Therapy | Therapy
Rachel Taylor Brown | Up You | Run Tiny Human
Malory | Just Be | Just Like A Daydream
Cliff Hillis | Rainy Days And Mondays | White Lace And Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams
The Click Beetles | Tell Me How You Feel | Wake Up To Music!
Aimee Mann | I Can’t Help You Anymore | The Forgotten Arm
Sunshine Boys | John Cage | Blue Music
Hot Nun | Big Fat No | Born To Blaze
Emily Zuzik | The Biggest Mistake | Detours
Felsen | Self Medicate | Accidental Drowning
Duncan Faure | Man Of A Thousand Dreams | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
The Living Dolls | Everything That Happened | Single release
Lost Leaders | All That I Want | Promises Promises
Banjo Bones | Dangerous Game | Ghostly Musings From The Delta
Wilkerson | Carry The One | Wilkerson

Visit with Dee McCoy

Lisa Said | In Retrospect | No Turn Left Behind
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
In Deed | Marry Myself | Single release
Lannie Flowers | Day Glow | Single release
Lisa Mychols | Into Oblivion | Sugar
Daniel Trigger | Running Into The Wind | Right Turn
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Krista D | Land Mine | Look At Me I’m Krista D

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #864 – 3/2/2019: Interview with Marc Feldman of Level5!

Mark Feldman

On today’s show, we got to meet NYC-based drummer Mark Feldman, of Mark Feldman’s Level5. Their debut, The Sybil EP, gives you more for your money. It’s only 3 songs, but with each song clocking in between 6 and 7 minutes, it’s really like double that. They’re all instrumentals, and they feature funky and jazzy sounds. The leadoff track, Sybil, starts off funky, then gets a little space agey, then goes into a hard rock riff, then repeats, with meter changes along the way. It’s basically Memphis meets Bootsy meets Metallica! Marc said that the name Sybil is appropriate, because the song has multiple personalities, much like the old movie of the same name.

Mark, and the other highly-acclaimed musicians who put together these songs, are all in-demand session players. He had been playing on other people’s recordings and in their live gigs for years, and finally had the chance to put together his own project, using the songs of guitarist Oz Noy. In the interview, I ask the question that’s undoubtedly on your mind: “Where does the name ‘Level5’ come from?”. Listen, and you’ll find out the answer. More info at and at

Also, the new 2019 music continues to roll in, so I continue to roll it out to you. I hope you enjoy the show!

Artist | Track | Album
John Wesley Harding | Old Girlfriends | Confessions of St. Ace
Popdudes | Magnet And Steel | Maximum Rock Stupidity
Googen | Never Wanna Lose That Thing | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Anton Barbeau | Magazine Street | Natural Causes
Rogers & Butler | Witness Tree | Diana Dors
Maxi Dunn | Weather Warning | The Neglected Gambit
DEVO | It’s A Beautiful World | DEVO E-Z Listening Disc

Mark Feldman Interview
Mark Feldman’s Level5 | Sybil | The Sybil EP
Mark Feldman’s Level5 | Jabber Jaw | The Sybil EP

Banjo Bones | Letter To Myself | Single release
Lannie Flowers | Good | Single release
In Deed | Don’t Need, Don’t Care | Single release
Braam | Burlington Northern | Single release
Cartorson | Carolyn | Single release
Lost Leaders | Probably Why We’re Here | Promises Promises
Blake Babies | Out There | Sunburn
Grub Dog | Changing Time Around | Single release
Duncan Faure | Back To The Day | 4
The Kariannes | Every Word Means No | Single release
Elk City | Ride The Slide | Everybody’s Insecure
The Decibels | It’s Not Me | Scene, Not Herd
Wilkerson | Let It Go Tonight | Wilkerson
Steve Barton | Before I Get Too Young | Tall Tales & Alibis 3

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