Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #859 – 1/26/2019: Louis Michot interview!

Michot’s Melody Makers

Louis Michot is a busy guy. The Louisiana-based Cajun musician has been a bit hard to get ahold of lately, because he’s constantly touring and gigging with several bands, including the Lost Bayou Ramblers, which he co-founded, and the spinoff Michot’s Melody Makers. But we finally pinned him down for a bit, and I had a nice chat with him about the new music.

Michot’s Melody Makers recently released their debut record, “Blood Moon”. The songs are mostly very old Cajun songs, but given a modern treatment. They date back to the days before accordion became a commmon instrument in the genre, and the fiddle was king (incidentally, Louis is a fiddle player). The rock and roll equivalent would be the era before the guitar took over as lead instrument–and saxophones ruled the world.

In the interview, we also find out that there’s going to be a documentary film about the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Louis has yet another band called Soul Creole, and he recently released the first of 12(!) albums from his recent residency at The Stone, John Zorn’s legendary performance space, in New York City. Busy much?

All in all, it was a fun conversation. We heard a couple of his new songs, and then returned to the rock ‘n’ roll right after that. More info at https://michotsmelodymakers.bandcamp.com/.

Artist | Track | Album
Jim Basnight | Avenue Of The Star | Not Changing
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Final Say | Risk Profile
William Duke | Hotels And Meetings | Quatro
Pretenders | Bad Boys Get Spanked | Pretenders II
Maxi Dunn | Everything | Edmund & Leo
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | RedWhite&BlueSoBlue | Pop Songs & Kyries
Los Lobos | Mas Y Mas | Colossal Head

Louis Michot interview
Michot’s Melody Makers | Two-Step De Ste. Marie | Blood Moon
Michot’s Melody Makers | La Lune Est Croche | Blood Moon

Lisa Said | Some Dudes | Estranged
Spygenius | Godfearing | Pacéphale
The Rubinoos | Countdown To Love | 45
Byron Isaacs | Disappearing Man | Disappearing Man
Lannie Flowers | Everything A Man Could Want | Single release
The Cherry Bluestorms | Brighter Days | Whirligig!
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
Duncan Faure | Machine From The Other Side | Machine From The Other Side
Anton Barbeau | Disambiguation | Natural Causes
The Sleep Junkies | The First Time Is Never The Last Time | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Sunshine Boys | Glider Pilot | Blue Music
Vegas With Randolph | Three Red Hooks | Legs And Luggage
Karen Haglof | Palomino Steady Rocking | Palomino Steady Rocking
Steve Barton | Gimme Your Hand | Tall Tales & Alibis 3

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Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #858 – 1/19/2019: Dara Ackerman interview!

Dara Ackerman

Dara Ackerman’s been a good friend of Twirl Radio for the past 5 years, ever since I met her when she joined Bay Area powerhouse band Felsen. At that point, I thought Felsen was the perfect band, strong in the studio and incredibly powerful and dynamic in the live setting. They lacked nothing. Then Dara came along and joined as a vocalist and percussionist. I was wrong–the perfect band got a little better–she’s joyous and full of life on stage.

At a Felsen show in 2014, Dara handed me her first album, Skyland. That’s when I first noticed her amazing vocal talents, on the album which concerned itself with her 7 years in India. There was a spiritual aspect to the album.

So the past fall, Dara sent me an advance digital copy of her forthcoming release, Partially True Stories, and it is a more than worthy successor to her debut. It’s a little more rockin’ and upbeat–and she lets the fun flag fly on this one! Terrific vocals abound, but it completely matches the joy you see when she performs on a stage. We had a great chat about all of this, and heard a few tracks on the show. More info at http://www.daraackerman.com/.

Artist | Track | Album
Freedy Johnston | On The Way Out | Never Home
Steve Barton | When She’s Lost Your Mind | Tall Tales & Alibis 1
Bud Rogers | Pictures Of A Modern World (Acoustic) | Single release
The Cherry Bluestorms | Roy Wood | Whirligig!
The Imperial Sound | Daylight | The New AM
Maxi Dunn | Change The Record | Edmund & Leo
HUGElarge | Have Love Will Travel | HUGElarge

Dara Ackerman interview
Dara Ackerman | Party Bus To Vallejo | Partially True Stories
Dara Ackerman | A Million Flowers | Partially True Stories
Dara Ackerman | Oil & Honey | Partially True Stories

Lannie Flowers | Let It Go | Single release
Tawny Thiele | Happy Together | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Sunshine Boys | There Goes Another One | Blue Music
Duncan Faure | Nightfall | Anthology
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | Make A New Day | Make
Rachel Taylor Brown | Up You | Run Tiny Human
The Judybats | Incredible Bittersweet | Pain Makes You Beautiful
Roger Joseph Manning Jr. | Operator | Glamping
Bill Lloyd | Til The Day That I Break Down | Working The Long Game
Victor Sotelo | Desperately Tired Of White Noise | Homeland Insecurities

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #857 – 1/12/2019: Interview doubleheader: Elizabeth Le Fey of Globelamp and Michal Towber!

Elizabeth Le Fey of Globelamp

Today was “edgy day” on Twirl Radio. What do I mean by that? I was fortunate enough to interview two different singer-songwriters on the show, who both have an adventurous edge to their music and songwriting. Both released albums this past fall.

In the first hour, we met Elizabeth Le Fey of Globelamp. Her new album, Romantic Cancer, is a stripped-down affair, whose songs deal with the turbulence of relationships, and how you come back from a rough one. One writer referred to her vocals as having “outlandish phrasing”. That’s true at times–Elizabeth uses her voice as a tool to express emotions and feelings, to more powerfully serve the song. She listens to a lot of music, and has many influences, but rarely sounds like any of them. This record sounds a lot like her live shows, which are often solo gigs, just voice and guitar or keyboard. It’s the melodies and intimate, yet powerful vocals which stand out here. More info can be found at https://globelamp.bandcamp.com/album/romantic-cancer-2.

Michal Towber

After that, we got to chat with Mychal Towber. She’s a force of nature. Signed to Columbia/Sony Records at the age of 17, she put out several albums. Then went to Yale, and Columbia Law School, and practiced law for several years. She also won an Emmy Award as part of the music team for One Life To Live. But most recently, she released her 10th album, No Resolution. (Sharp-eyed viewers note that the “re” in “resolution” is grayed out, as a visual play on words.) It’s gritty at times, hard-rockin’ at times, and beautiful at times. A lot of it is loosely based on different phases of Michal’s life. She’s classically trained, yet counts the 90s alternative rock era as an equally strong influence (think Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails). Her voice is powerful and evocative, and if you listen to her performance on the song “Rockstar”, you’ll realize that’s exactly what she is. Get your copy at https://www.amazon.com/No-Resolution-Explicit-Michal-Towber/dp/B07J2VTJF8.

Artist | Track | Album
The Imperial Sound | Six To A Room | The New AM
Jordan Thomas | In The Evening | Single release
Victor Sotelo | Hey Paul! | Homeland Insecurities
Juliana Hatfield | The Edge Of Nowhere | Please Do Not Disturb
Anton Barbeau | Mumble Something | Natural Causes
Bill Lloyd | Merch Table | Working The Long Game
Maxi Dunn | Messed Up | The Neglected Gambit

Elizabeth Le Fey interview
Globelamp | Everything’s A Spiral | Romantic Cancer
Globelamp | Sorceress Of Your Soul | Romantic Cancer

Duncan Faure | Wouldn’t It Be Good | Anthology
Byron Isaacs | Daddy’s Farm | Disappearing Man
Lisa Mychols | Goodby To All Carousels | Sugar
Mark’s Men | Where Were You Last Night | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Astral Drive | No One Escapes | Astral Drive
Lannie Flowers | Good | Single release
Sunshine Boys | Caroline Yes | Blue Music

Michal Towber interview
Michal Towber | Rockstar | No Resolution
Michal Towber | Old | No Resolution

Steve Barton | The Day My Baby Went Blind | Tall Tales & Alibis

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #856 – 1/5/2019: John Borack in-studio interview!

John Borack and Mike Lidskin in the Twirl studios.

2019 started off with a bang. I had planned to interview music author John Borack via Skype or telephone, from his home in Southern California, for the first Twirl Radio episode of the year. But then he dropped me a little note, and asked how I’d feel if the interview were an in-person one instead. Sign me up! He decided to combine the interview with a visit to family here in NorCal, and Sacramento was the perfect jumping off point.

John’s got quite a few irons in the fire. He recently finished his book “Shake Some Action 2.0: An updated guide to the 200 greatest power pop albums 1970-2017”. I didn’t know him last decade, when his first book was published, so we had a lot to catch up on with just that topic alone.

But wait–there’s more. If you purchased the book, you also got the long awaited CD from his band Popdudes, “Maximum Rock Stupidity”. Popdudes is a loose musical collective, featuring Michael Simmons, and a rotating cast of other musical characters, including Robbie Rist–but the one constant is John, holding forth behind the drum kit. They’ve released several singles over the years, a perfect blend of originals and creative covers, but never released a proper album. Until now. It’s a really fun listen.

John also writes reviews for Goldmine Magazine, and is quite the collector himself. We went music shopping earlier in the day here in Sacramento with our mutual music friend Stephen “Spaz” Schnee, and just wait until you hear what John unearthed on vinyl. Yes, he really did “go there”, and you’ll hear the results on the show.

All in all, a fun visit. Here’s some more info about John: https://www.facebook.com/JohnBorackAuthor/

Artist | Track | Album
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Heiskell | Still Life With Broken Heart | Emotional Terrorism
The Cherry Bluestorms | Purple Heart Magic | Whirligig!
Maxi Dunn | Make It Better | The Neglected Gambit
Bill Lloyd | Satellite | Working The Long Game
Sunshine Boys | Only A Million Miles | Blue Music
Steve Barton | Before I Get Too Young | Tall Tales & Alibis 3

John Borack interview
Popdudes | Ding Dong, Ding Dong | Maximum Rock Stupidity
The Greenberry Woods | I’ll Send A Message | Rapple Dapple
Popdudes | The Logical Song | Maximum Rock Stupidity
The Test Pressings | The Love Boat | White Lace And Promises
Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | Single release
Dara Ackerman | A Million Flowers | Partially True Stories
Elk City | Ride The Slide | Everybody’s Insecure
David Geddes | Run Joey Run | Run Joey Run
Irene Pena | Pieces Of You | IPO Volume 21
Popdudes | Beautiful Sunday | Maximum Rock Stupidity

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #855 – 12/15/2018: Melissa Phillips interview!

Melissa Phillips

This week’s show was the final live Twirl Radio episode of 2018. Just like that…poof! And that’s another year of great music in the books. So how do we wrap up a year like this? Well, fortunately, my friend Melissa Phillips, a wonderful Bay Area singer-songwriter, just released her brand new EP “Both Ways”, a few days ago. She’s perennially been one of my favorite people to chat with on the radio, so it was a no-brainer to ask her on. And it was a comfortable, fun conversation. We covered everything…her songwriting inspirations, the process of making Both Ways, and her take on how we discover and acquire new music in the 21st century, vs. during our formative years.

Both Ways is an intimate album, mostly in the Americana vein. It’s a fitting showcase for Melissa’s songs, which as she revealed, were crafted individually and separately from one another. She and her husband, James DePrato, who produced and played all the guitars on the album, really did take each song one at a time, and didn’t start another one until the current song was finished. Each of these stories gets you thinking and feeling some powerful emotions about life and its changes. It’s a sad album, with notes of loss, but it’s buoyed by Melissa’s hopeful soprano voice and attitude. Her voice has really strengthened and matured since her last album. As good as it was back then, there’s a certain depth to it now that makes these songs really stick to you. And as a rock guitarist, James adds some touches of electric guitar that beef up the overall sound. Much care went into this record–from the sequencing of the songs, to the lovely artwork and packaging. It’s not every day that Melissa Phillips releases an album, so when she does, it’s an occasion. Learn more, and pick up your copy at http://www.melissaphillipsmusic.com.

This show also featured some great music from 2018–and even a song by The Who’s John Entwistle, which could reluctantly be called a “Christmas song”! Give a listen to all of it, and enjoy. Happy holidays from Twirl Radio!

Artist | Track | Album
John Entwistle | I Believe In Everything | Thunderfingers: The Best Of John Entwistle
Dara Ackerman | Golden Circle | Partially True Stories
The Re-Used Electrics | You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory | For Johnny
Blake Jones Holiday Greeting
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | String Lights And Hold On | Single release
Byron Isaacs | Daddy’s Farm | Disappearing Man
Maxi Dunn | How Was I To Know? | Welcome To Soonville

Melissa Phillips interview
Melissa Phillips | The Flame | Both Ways
Melissa Phillips | So Young | Fits & Starts
Melissa Phillips | Better Now | Both Ways

Wilkerson | Let It Go Tonight | Wilkerson
Sunshine Boys | Glider Pilot | Blue Music
Lannie Flowers | Day Glow | Single release
Duncan Faure | Nightfall | Anthology
The Sleep Junkies | The First Time Is Never The Last Time | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Roger Joseph Manning Jr. | Funhouse | Glamping
Sensations | Incredible Man | Listen To My Shapes
Bill Lloyd | Til The Day That I Break Down | Working The Long Game
Vegas With Randolph | Three Red Hooks | Legs And Luggage
Elk City | 25 Lines | Everybody’s Insecure

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #854 – 12/8/2018: Nelson Bragg interview!

Nelson Bragg

This week’s show was a real treat. It had been a good while since I’d had Nelson Bragg on the show. A quick check of the Twirl archives showed that it was exactly 6 years ago–to the day–when he was last on! So it seems that we probably had a lot to catch up on since that show of December 8, 2012. And boy, did we ever. We had a wide ranging, freewheeling conversation for the better part of an hour, punctuated with a few of his perfect, melodic pop songs.

Nelson had been the percussionist in Brian Wilson’s band for a lot of years, while at the same time, pursuing his own music career. But leaving the Beach Boys mastermind’s band has not left him without opportunities to travel and make music. He recently toured the UK with Anny Celsi and Duncan Maitland, and has been constantly gigging around Los Angeles. He dropped a massive hint that he’s working on his next record, as well as promoting music by others on his own Steel Derrick Music label. My favorite part of the conversation was Nelson emphatically reminding us how easy and wonderful music discovery is these days–and how easy and important it is to support the artists you like. Both I and several listeners were inspired and moved to action by this. Nelson is truly a music fan first, before anything else. For more info, check out http://nelsonbragg.com/

We also dug into some of the indie rock ‘n’ roll that’s made 2018 such a banner year, and we even threw in a few of the cooler holiday songs I’ve got in my collection. Enjoy the show!

Artist | Track | Album
The Orange Peels | Grey Holiday | Sun Moon
Dana Countryman | Cabaret Of Love | Cabaret Of Love
Little Tin Frog | I’m In Pain | The Pain And Pleasure Machine
Edward Rogers | She’s The One | TV Generation
Maxi Dunn | Don’t Look Back | Welcome To Soonville
Michael Simmons | No More Girls | First Days Of Summer
Karen Haglof | Palomino Steady Rocking | Palomino Steady Rocking

Nelson Bragg interview
Nelson Bragg | Forever Days | Day Into Night
Nelson Bragg | She Used To Love Me | We Get What We Want
Nelson Bragg | Baby Let Your Hair Grow Long | We Get What We Want

The Cherry Bluestorms | Make Every Day A Holiday | Single release
Melissa Phillips | Little Pieces | Both Ways
Sunshine Boys | Only A Million Miles | Blue Music
Dara Ackerman | A Million Flowers | Partially True Stories
Tawny Thiele | Happy Together | The Fowl Tone Sampler
The JAC (Featuring The Christmas Crew) | December | Single release
Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | Single release
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Sleeping With Me | Mistakes

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #853 – 12/1/2018

Here it is–the first of December already. The holidays are upon us, and the end of the year looms large. It looms especially large here at Twirl Radio, because there are only a couple more live shows to go, and then our Access Sacramento studios close down for the annual year end inventory and maintenance. So we need to make these last few shows pretty memorable, and close down 2018 with a bang. But not to worry–I’ll be doing some additional shows over at Woody Radio, so there’s still a lot of music discovery to come, before the month and year are over.

The musical guest we had scheduled for this show had a small family emergency, so we have rescheduled him for late January. That turned the episode into an all music show, and we were able to sneak in even more of the stellar releases from 2018 that keep coming in. Folks who are preparing and releasing their year end lists of top songs and albums need to hold off for another month. 2018 isn’t even close to over, musically speaking. My list isn’t even a glimmer until 11:59 p.m. on December 31st.

So let’s celebrate the holiday season by listening to the great music gifted to us by the year 2018. Enjoy the show!

Artist | Track | Album
Heiskell | Still Life With Broken Heart | Emotional Terrorism
The Click Beetles | I Never Said Goodbye | Wake Up To Music!
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | RedWhite&BlueSoBlue | Pop Songs & Kyries
Wilkerson | How She Lost My Heart | Wilkerson
Melissa Phillips | The Flame | Both Ways
Maxi Dunn | Always Be My Friend | Welcome To Soonville
Michot’s Melody Makers | Two-Step de Ste. Marie | Blood Moon
The Cherry Bluestorms | She Said She Said | Whirligig!
Steve Barton | Gimme Your Hand | Tall Tales & Alibis 3
The Imperial Sound | Yesterday | The New AM
The Ex Teens | I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better | Single release
Byron Isaacs | Disappearing Man | Disappearing Man
R. Stevie Moore/Jason Falkner | I Hate People | Make It Be
Dara Ackerman | Woodshed | Partially True Stories
The Bottle Kids | Her Heart Is Much Worse Than Her Bite | Let Me In On This Action
Gretchen’s Wheel | Imp | Black Box Theory
Sunshine Boys | Caroline Yes | Blue Music
Krista D. | Crazy Bitch | Single release
Addison Love | Anything’s Right | Thoughts On Lunch?
Lannie Flowers | Good | Single release
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Duncan Faure | In The Right Place | Anthology
Victor Sotelo | Hey Paul! | Homeland Insecurities
Elk City | My Manual | Everybody’s Insecure
Bill Lloyd | Merch Table | Working The Long Game
Rachel Taylor Brown | Little Gyre | Run Tiny Human
Gene Loves Jezebel | Charmed Life (Never Give In) | Dance Underwater

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