Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #881 – 7/13/2019: In-studio guests Natalie Cortez & Jay Knox of The Natalie Cortez Band!

Natalie Cortez Band

This week’s episode is one I’ve been long anticipating. A live, extended, in-studio visit with veteran NorCal musicians Natalie Cortez and Jay Knox. They’ve been a big part of the Sacramento music scene for longer than I’ve been living here (20+ years).

When I arrived in Sacramento in 1997, there was a thriving music scene here. A lot of straight up rock ‘n’ roll, and slightly tilting towards Americana. One of the premier bands on the scene was Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets. To say they were beloved would be pretty accurate. Natalie’s songs were great pop gems, and the live shows were casual affairs, with top-notch musicianship. Some of the finest local musicians did stints in the Ultraviolets (and now in the Natalie Cortez Band).

A few years later, the music scene changed. It seemingly fractured a bit, and the players changed. The Ultraviolets were no longer. About 15 years later, Natalie formed her self-named band, and started playing lots of gigs around the area again. It’s almost like the time hadn’t passed at all. For instance–I have a vivid memory of a cluster of a few women dancing joyfully at a couple of shows back in the 90’s, when the band played “Ghost Of You”. And crazy enough–I saw it again at recent shows–maybe it’s even the same women!

So I’ve been wanting to get Natalie and Jay back on the show. Jay wasn’t in the Ultraviolets, but he plays guitar in the new band, and they’ve been married for nearly two decades.

We played some of their songs, chatted about the “good old days”, and the even better “new days”, and they took over and played DJ for a set. Something cool came out of the conversation–that Natalie is working up a new batch of songs–so new music might be on the way sooner than not!

Then–we bid so long, as they needed to make their way over to a Second Saturday (Art Walk) gig at an Alfa Romeo repair shop. Seriously–this is the kind of quirky fun that Sacramento is known for. You should come visit Sacramento some time–it’s just that cool–and make sure you pick a weekend when the Natalie Cortez Band is playing. You’ll get a real feel for what this town is all about. www.facebook.com/NatalieCortezBand

One other program note: we debuted a brand new track from the Armoires second album, Zibaldone, and it’s really great. Mike, you may ask–what are you referring to as being really great–the song, or the album? BOTH! I can’t wait to play more on upcoming shows. You’re really going to like this album.

Enjoy the show!

Artist | Track | Album
Bellygunner | Kilobyte | Machine Gun Built For Two
The JAC | Persistent Man | Faux Pas
The Armoires | Appalachukrainia | Zibaldone
Rob Martinez | Let Me Tell You Why | Today My Mind…Tomorrow The World

Natalie Cortez & Jay Knox interview
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | Up All Night | Twitch!
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | She’s Better | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | Take You Home | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | Won’t Be Boring | Bonus track
The Brangs | The Velvet Rope | Seafoam Green
The Brangs | Golden Shoes | Seafoam Green
Kevin Seconds | This Cassette | Stoudamire
50 Watt Heavy | Natural Disaster | Better Days
The Teds | Ain’t That Too Much | Single release

Lisa Mychols | One Revolution | Sugar
Lannie Flowers | Don’t Make Me Wait | Single release
Sunshine Boys | Only A Million Miles | Blue Music
The Cherry Bluestorms | She Said She Said | Whirligig!
Heiskell | The Great Opaque | Songs In The Key Of H
Rachel Taylor Brown | Up You | Run Tiny Human
Matt Langlois | Don’t Tuck Your Shirt Into Your Pants | Merde!
Maxi Dunn | Perfect Sorrow | Operation Bubble
Amoeba Teen | Like A Hit To The Head | Medium Wave
Yung Wu | Shore Leave | Shore Leave
R. Stevie Moore | The Winner | Afterlife
JonEmery & The Unconventionals | If You Think You’re Heartbroken Now | Wrecked
Smoking Popes | Before I’m Gone | Destination Failure
Elk City | No Depth | Everybody’s Insecure
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Wilkerson | How She Lost My Heart | Wilkerson
The Imperial Sound | Yesterday | The New AM
The Morning Line | Nostradamus | North
Steve Barton | How Can I Believe | Tall Tales & Alibis 1
Krista D | Penny For Your Thoughts | Look At Me I’m Krista D
Bill Lloyd | Miracle Mile | Working The Long Game

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Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #880 – 7/6/2019: Interview doubleheader: In Deed and Richard X. Heyman!

In Deed

The radio gods smiled down on Twirl Radio again this week. We were blessed with two fun and interesting interviews with artists who have brand new albums out.

In the first hour, we chatted with Linda Karlsberg and Marcus Segersvärd from Swedish band In Deed. They were vacationing in Finland, one time zone east from their home country, so they were kind enough to be up at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, to talk to me at 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon here in Sacramento.

In Deed has a brand new album out: Everest! It’s been out on vinyl for a while in Europe, but Big Stir Records took one listen, and had to grab these guys and put it out–with three extra tracks–before everybody else started a bidding war. A perfect match between band and record label.

In Deed had put out an earlier album in 2001 called At 4000 Meters. Life happened, and it took a while to re-form and create the next album. Both album titles are mountaineering references, so they are climbing higher with the new album. And Everest is worthy of the name. It’s a glorious slab of alt-rock. Some of the songs jump right out of your speakers and make you stand at attention. Perfect example: “Heart Attack”. That’s my favorite one on the album. Zoomy, atmospheric guitars, big drums and bass–and Linda’s powerful vocals. It’s like 1990 barged in through my front door and grabbed me by the collar. (Those who know my tastes know that this is my sweet spot.) But there’s also a 1960s pop sensibility ruinning throughout the record too. Brit-pop is a huge influence–maybe we could refer to Everest as a modern example of Swede-pop.

Check out In Deed at https://bigstirrecords.com/in-deed.

Richard X. Heyman

In the second hour, the legendary DIY pioneer Richard X. Heyman returned for his third visit to Twirl Radio. He’s been on a cadence of a new album about every two years or so, and the latest offering is the magnificent Pop Circles.

As you probably know, Richard is one of the originators of the DIY ethic in rock ‘n’ roll. But he’s been doing this since the late 1980s–before all the home computer music production apps became widely available. His usual methodology is to rent a studio and lay down all the drum tracks, then take these back to his home studio, where he and his wife Nancy put the album together. The liner notes contain a paragraph devoted to all the instruments he played on the album. They read like a who’s who of all the great instruments that built the foundation of rock music: Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster, Rickenbacker, Danelectro, Yamaha, and Martin guitars (leaving some off this list), Wurlitzer electric piano, harpsichord, and various other keyboards, and all sorts of percussion instruments. And oh yeah–drums. Richard started as a drummer, but throughout the years, has crafted a sound that is uniquely his–straddling the line between power pop and again, those dramatic alt-rock guitar sounds.

There is a playful pun-based theme to the album–one look at the album cover–which is a crop circle, based on the classic vinyl 45 spindle insert–will tell you that. Many of the song titles started as innocent, everyday conversational phrases, then Richard built entire songs around them. Some of the songs are sweet and romantic, and some are more socially-conscious. A lot of it has to do with growing up in the 1960s, and the revolutionary changes that occurred on many fronts.

And there’s a special surprise for you at the end of the 12 song album–a 5 track EP entitled Richie’s Three-Chord Garage! These are tracks written for his other band, The Doughboys, but in this case, sung by Richard. And word on the street says that if you’re patient, after these 17 wonderful songs, there “might” be a hidden track that builds upon the opening track, and ties in nicely with the essay he wrote for the inside cover.

This album is excellent, and needs to be at the top of your “must buy” list. And get the CD–you’ll want the cool packaging. www.richardxheyman.com.

I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Linda, Marcus, and Richard on the show. And beyond that, we had tons of other great tuneage for you too. Stay tuned–next week, we’re going to have some very special, in-studio guests! And enjoy this episode.

Artist | Track | Album
Three Minute Tease | MTV Song | Bite The Hand
Graham Parker | Don’t Let It Break You Down | The Mona Lisa’s Sister
Two Dollar Pistols | All I Can Think Of Is You | You Ruined Everything
Juliana Hatfield | My Sister | Gold Stars 1992-2002: The Juliana Hatfield Collection
Emily Zuzik & Tim Lefebvre | E-Vill | Domestic Blitz
The Gold Needles | Goodnight Mr. Tom | Through A Window
Agony Aunts | You’re So Vague | Big Cinnamon

In Deed interview
In Deed | Heart Attack | Everest
In Deed | Another Start | Everest

Trip Wire | Long Days Gone | Cold Gas Giants
Cast | Alright | All Change
Lannie Flowers | About You | Single release
Tawny Thiele | Happy Together | The Fowl Tone Sampler
The Bobbleheads | Do You | Myths And Fables
Lisa Mychols | Goodbye To All Carousels | Sugar
The Cherry Bluestorms | Roy Wood | Whirligig!

Richard X. Heyman interview
Richard X. Heyman | Upside And Down | Pop Circles
Richard X. Heyman | Hope | Pop Circles

Maxi Dunn | Messed Up | The Neglected Gambit
Heiskell | For A Day | Songs In The Key Of H
Duncan Faure | All At Once | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Havana 3am | Joyride | Havana 3am
Astral Drive | Summer Of ’76 | Astral Drive
50 Watt Heavy | Absolutely Fading (Nasty) | Better Days
Bill Mumy | Having You Around | Lockford
Krista D | Land Mine | Look At Me I’m Krista D
Sunshine Boys | Caroline Yes | Blue Music
Felsen | Felsen’s Gonna Save You | Breaking Up With Loneliness
The Bangles | Walking Down Your Street | Different Light
Lost Leaders | All That I Want | Promises Promises
Kai Danzberg | Not Only Sunshine (Reprise) | Not Only Sunshine

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #879 – 6/29/2019: Interview doubleheader: Trip Wire & Dave Schramm of The Schramms and Yo La Tengo!

Trip Wire

On this week’s show, we got to celebrate recent releases from San Francisco band Trip Wire, and New Jersey’s The Schramms.

In the first hour, we dialed into San Francisco to talk with Marty Schneider, Stu Shader, and Jeff Shelton (lots of alliteration there) of Trip Wire. Jeff’s been on the show before for his Well Wishers work, but this is the first time Marty and Stu had been on Twirl. We had a great, spirited conference call, and we talked about the band, and their wonderful new album Once & Always. It brings the R.E.M.=style alternative jangle, plus the Americana and rock ‘n’ roll sounds. We also talked about their busy gig schedule–and if you time it just right, they might be playing a show near you, in which case, you should go and get yourself a fiery dose of Trip Wire live. More info at http://www.tripwiresf.com.

The Schramms

The second hour brought a Skype visit with Dave Schramm, of both The Schramms, and Yo La Tengo, all the way from Hoboken, New Jersey. Dave’s had an illustrious career as lead guitarist for Yo La Tengo, and as leader of his own band. The new album, Omnidirectional, is quietly intense. It’s electric, but listening closely will yield new ideas with repeated listens. It took about a decade or so to put together. Dave didn’t really have a deadline, and was able to get the album he really wanted. I think you’re going to like this one. Check it out at http://www.theschramms.com.

With this newly-expanded three hour format comes more opportunity. We can now fit two interviews into a show plus more new music–a bonus! I hope you’ll get a chance to listen. Enjoy the show!

Artist | Track | Album
Midnight Oil | Blue Sky Mine | Blue Sky Mining
Nick Eng | Too Good For Anyone | Long Shot
Chandler Travis Philharmonic | Chandler Travis, King Of The World | Let’s Have A Pancake
Bill Mumy | You’re My Inspiration | Lockford
Walker Brigade | DIsEASE | Therapy Animal
The Gold Needles | This Autumn Road | Through A Window
Juliana Hatfield | Running Out | Bed

Trip Wire interview
Trip Wire | Had Enough | Once & Always
Trip Wire | Clear | Once & Always

Adam Ant | 1969 Again | Wonderful
Diplomats Of Solid Sound | Good To Do | A Higher Place
Smoking Popes | Before I’m Gone | Destination Failure
Sean O’Brien & His Dirty Hands | Final Say | Risk Profile
Maxi Dunn | Make It Better | The Neglected Gambit
Heiskell | Knoxville Town | Songs In The Key Of H
Matt Langlois | Spending My Time With You | Merde!

Dave Schramm interview
The Schramms | Hearts And Diamonds | Omnidirectional
The Schramms | Faith Is A Dusty Word | Omnidirectional

Lannie Flowers | Let It Go | Single release
Lost Leaders | People Like Us | Promises Promises
Karla Kane | Sisters Of The Pollen | Big Stir Singles: The First Wave
Salt | Crime Spree | The Loneliness Of Clouds
Felsen | Heroin | Accidental Drowning
Girls On Grass | Street Fight | Dirty Power
R. Stevie Moore | What Do I Do With The Rest Of My Life? | Afterlife
Sunshine Boys | Questions | Blue Music
Bud Rogers | Pictures Of A Modern World (acoustic) | Single release
Steve Barton | Gimme Your Hand | Tall Tales & Alibis 3
Identical Suns | Miss Her Reminiscing | Week Minded
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
Richard X. Heyman | Hope | Pop Circles
Drunken Prayer | It Happens All The Time | Cordelia Elsewhere
Bill Lloyd | Interrupted | Working The Long Game

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