About the Top 15 Albums of 2016

twirlie2017albumThe 2017 Twirlie Awards show has come and gone. We had fun making the lists and giving out the awards, but I feel like I’ve done you a bit of an injustice.

You see, my favorite art form is the album. When done right, it’s a collection of songs, perfectly put together by theme and sound, and sequenced according to the artist’s vision. An album can be to the song what a book is to a chapter. It can make a statement. It can BE a statement. At first, it strikes on two levels–lyrics and music. But the really good ones fuse into your heart and mind, and stay there, sometimes permanently.

I put together a list of what I considered to be my favorite albums that were released in (or close to) 2016, which were played on Twirl Radio last year. But all I gave you was a list. I didn’t give you any reason to go further than reading the list. So right now, I’d like to walk you through the Top 15 Albums of 2016, as announced on my show on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. 2016, although demoralizing in some ways, was a banner year for indie music. Here’s why I think you should check out these albums and support these fine artists.

1. Edward Rogers – Glass Marbles – ALBUM OF THE YEAR
This is an expansive album, 19 or 20 tracks deep (I’m not supposed to spill the beans about the playful bonus track at the end, am I?). Glass Marbles is a career highlight for UK-born, NYC resident Edward Rogers. It starts out guns blazing, with a couple of dramatic rockers (The World of Mystery, Denmark Street Forgotten). Now that Edward’s got your attention, the album then gets inside of his head with the brilliant Welcome to my Monday Morning!, to which every working stiff should be able to relate. The common theme of this record is that of the common man: more songs about working hard just to barely stay afloat, yearning songs about love, and flat out barnburners like Burn N Play, Glass Marbles, the sassy Olde House On The Hill, and my favorite, Bright Star–which features a Stones-like guitar bridge. The lyrics are elegantly written and eloquent. This album is very real and organic–it mirrors life itself. Producer Don Piper helped Edward orchestrate this masterpiece. Listen to the whole thing, in order. It’s paced perfectly–the tender moments are where they need to be, and the anthems propel the ship forward. This vital album is worth the journey, and you’ll learn more about Edward–and yourself–along the way.

2. Cult Of Wedge – Loch Ness Monsters and Motherships – RUNNER UP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The latest album from UK-based Peter Hackett’s project, Cult Of Wedge, really cements his reputation as a purveyor of quirky, yet insightful and topical lyrics, which earned him Best Songwriting honors at this year’s Twirlies. His wry sense of humor, vocals, and musical mastery remind me of the solo career of the Who’s John Entwistle, a great cult hero in his own right. (Listen to “She’s A Witch”, and if you’re American, look up some of the British and Spanish historical references to decode this description of a rather scary woman, then listen to Entwistle’s “My Wife” to understand how Peter is his worthy successor.) But make no mistake–there is only one Peter Hackett. These songs are completely original, even as they pay homage to, or poke fun at, elements of British and American culture. Musical goodies and references abound–the sly bit of marimba on Wish Ourselves Away to accompany the words “before we’re out of touch, we’re out of time”, the references to Dukes of Hazzard, the Indy 500, the Eagles, and the line “she’s got a bible in the glovebox and a 45” in Miss America. The crowning lyrical achievement has got to be the plethora of tin foil hat references in Conspiracy Girl–which serves as the de facto title song, since there isn’t a song called Loch Ness Monsters and Motherships. Peter is a an accomplished multi instrumentalist, playing guitars, bass, keyboards, and drums–and self-producing it all. This is a smart little album that’s a big deal. Get it, and see what all the fuss is about.

3. Pacific Soul Ltd. – The Dance Divine
Ladies and gentlemen: soul is back! This incredibly fun, intelligent, and danceable album is the debut from Adam Marsland, Teresa Cowles, and Norman Kelsey, and also garnered our Ear Candy award. The vocals are stellar, and every song rings true. This original album starts off with a brief gospel-like vocal piece, then the fiery Pacific Soul Time races in, sounding like top-form Sly and the Family Stone. Tomorrow Brings Tonight is next, reminiscent of the Spinners. The title track conjures up thoughts of Rick James, and you should be up and moving by this point. Crazy kicks in, taking the tempo up even higher–the album is downright aerobic by this point! We need to take a breather after this, and Adam seems to understand this, so he gifts us with a slow, incredibly soulful version of God Only Knows. I think you can see my point–this album is a real tour de force. Pacific Soul Ltd. lovingly resuscitates an entire genre, painting with a palette of beloved American musical styles. All three vocalists are amazing, individually and together. Every song works well. My favorite track is the infectious Cowles-Marsland composition We Go High (#3 Song of the Year). But really, most of the songs on this album could have made it onto my Top 30 list, were it not for my self-imposed restriction of one song per artist on this list (damn rules!). Just get this one, and start dancing.

4. Gretchen’s Wheel – Fragile State and Behind The Curtain
I was a little bit late to the party on Gretchen’s Wheel, Nashville-based Lindsay Murray’s project, so I received two albums from her in the space of a couple of months. As a result, I got a crash course in excellent songwriting, top notch electric guitar work, and of course, beautifully haunting alto vocals, which earned Lindsay the Female Vocalist of the Year award. I couldn’t decide what to do here, so the only answer was to honor both albums at #4. Fragile State came first, and it reminds me of some of the early 90’s alternative rock that I love so well–zoomy, atmospheric, echoey guitars, and slightly offbeat melodic twists and turns. The tempo is slow, and the songs smolder intensely. Second To Last, The Fourth Wall, and Why Try are standout tracks which are representative of the overall sound. Most of the second album, Behind The Curtain, is more uptempo, which more closely mirrors one of Lindsay’s influences, power pop. But I wouldn’t describe most of the music here as being in that vein–it’s more elaborate than the prototypical examples of the genre. It rocks harder than the first album, but is still just as thoughtful and intense. Standouts on this one are Invisible Thief, Live Through You, This Petrified Heart, and the delightful Sloan cover Try To Make It, which also showed up on a Futureman Records compilation album. This is where Gretchen’s Wheel runs headlong into power pop, and shines magnificently. To me, these two records feel like a really great double album–two sides of a similar coin. Get them both–like me, you won’t be able to pick a favorite–they’re both excellent.

5. Identical Suns – Identical Suns
Transcontinental rock band? Songs with harmonies that shimmer as brightly as the Beach Boys, while other songs are as audacious as Urge Overkill? Who are these Identical Suns? None other than Todd Stanton from Ohio, and Rene Rodriguez from Southern California. These two met the old fashioned way–online, in a music chat room–and were match-made into forming a band by my radio brother Adam Waltemire (Pop Garden Radio), and the rest is history. These two have an almost psychic way of writing songs together–sending them back and forth, polishing them, until they are no longer “a Todd song” or “a Rene song”–but a true Identical Suns mind meld. Baby I’m Down is the perfect way to announce the band’s arrival, with its Raspberries-like vocals and lyrics, and roaring, yet sinewy guitar solos. The next four songs are magnificently informed by 70s pop, then E.M.I.L.Y. thunders in, and reminds you that the 90s existed. But that just sets the table for the Twirlie Award winning Song of the Year, “Common Ground”. This song is a transcendent summer anthem–driving down the road with your love, enjoying the journey. Soaring harmonies, chiming guitars. Completely uplifting, and I’ll stack it up against every other Song of the Year we’ve ever awarded. The Turn plays a bit like a rock opera, leading to another favorite, Unraveled–a quirky rocker concerned with a female romantic partner, who is, shall we say, a bit less than stable. I haven’t dared play this one in the same set as the aforementioned Cult of Wedge track “She’s A Witch”–but it’s in a similar, tongue-in-cheek vein. This record is a must have.

6. Lisa Said – No Turn Left Behind
Lisa Said (pronounced “Sa’yeed”) grew up in Tennessee, as part of a large Egyptian-American family. She’s based in the Washington, D.C. area now, and her debut album came as a welcome addition to our show. Crisp songwriting and infectious melodies, with an Americana bent, permeate the album. You can hear Middle Eastern textures in a couple of the songs. Lisa’s vocals are reminiscent of Allyson Seconds, also honored in our year-end lists. A lot of the songs are about being on the move, whether on the way out of a relationship, or out of town. Indeed, the most compelling photo in the album artwork is of Lisa driving a classic 60s car, with a cooly determined facial expression. Lisa Said is one of the new powerhouse voices on the music scene; you’d be wise to give a listen.

7. The Armoires – Incidental Light Show
Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko form the nucleus of Los Angeles-based The Armoires, and arrived in 2016, seemingly fully formed–yes, there is an “Armoires Sound”! A big band, six pieces strong, they go beyond the usual rock instrumentation by featuring well-placed strings, harmonicas, and keyboards alongside the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Male/female vocals highlight the sound, which swings between ethereal, jangly, anthemic, and even punky. Their lyrics can be haunting, playful, and even a bit political–but always with heart and kindness. If you like your rock and roll to be sophisticated and layered, but accessible, get a copy of Incidental Light Show.

8. Brian Cullman – The Opposite Of Time
Veteran rock journalist Brian Cullman clearly knows his way around the English language. His music might be described as singer-songwriter, which usually signals folk–but in his case, he’s clearly steeped in the rock idiom. His voice and style remind me of another well-loved NYC artist, Don Piper. The Opposite Of Time contains great stories, and perfect, lively arrangements to bring them to life–and I’m always a sucker for the occasional slide guitar. This album would have easily found a home in the late 80s-early 90s sweet spot that I love so well, when guitars and melodies were king. Instead, this witty record finds a home in our Top 10. You’ll need this album, so what are you waiting for?

9. Allyson Seconds – Little World
Two words: Sacramento proud. Allyson Seconds’ sophomore effort is a fine one. She’s a longtime rocker from right here in California’s capital city–known for singing harmony and playing electric guitar in various bands. This is her second collaboration with Sacramento native Anton Barbeau, who persuaded her to step out in front. His songwriting was perfectly crafted to fit Allyson’s voice and attitude. The feel is equal parts sunny California hippie, moody alternative rock, and edgy art-rock. Anton’s quirk factor is felt throughout, and other contributors include Karla Kane (Corner Laughers), my favorite west coast cellist Alison Sharkey, and even Colin Moulding(!) of XTC. This album is rightfully getting Allyson some rave reviews outside of our region–including a nice review on NPR! The spectacular title track is our #2 Song of the Year. Do yourself a favor, and give this record a good home.

10. Girls On Grass – Girls On Grass
Barbara Endes is the mastermind behind Girls On Grass, a leading light in the…wait for it…Brooklyn, NY Americana scene! If the Blasters, Jayhawks, and Lucinda Williams got into a cab driven by Joe Strummer–well, it would be pretty crowded in there, but this record might appear. There’s a definitive rock influence here, but cowpunk emerges as the dominant sound. Barbara is a fine songwriter, and the music really does hit that perfect balance between rock and country–not too far in either direction, but this is certainly no middle of the road affair. Catchy melodies abound, and several of these songs linger in your mind long after you’ve turned off your record player. What are you waiting for–do you need me to give you a ride to the store to pick up a copy?

11. Anton Barbeau – Magic Act
Another Sacramento legend made good: Anton Barbeau turns in one of the finest recorded performances of his career with Magic Act. There is nobody else like Anton on this top albums list–really, this quirky, inventive singer-songwriter pretty much has only two musical peers in the last 30 or so years: Robyn Hitchcock and Julian Cope. It only makes sense that he relocated first to the UK, then to Berlin–our small city simply could not contain all this talent. Thankfully, he comes back and visits often–his live shows are not to be missed. On Magic Act, the melodies are wonderfully catchy, the song titles are funny and odd, and the lyrics are often both inscrutable AND accessible–in the same song! (Remember–this is the same gifted lyricist who changed up his usual style to write for Allyson Seconds.) He’s one of my favorite radio guests–we always have a good chat about music–and he turns out to be a really nice guy as well. Run, don’t walk, and get a copy of Magic Act!

12. Bill Lloyd – Lloyd-ering
Bill Lloyd, the power pop half of legendary country duo Foster & Lloyd, has made a career out of doing–well, everything! He’s produced records, been a session player for the likes of Buck Owens, Ray Davies, and Glenn Tilbrook, and written songs for artists like Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and many others. But what got him on our list this year was his wonderful collection of power pop covers–hits from the DBs, Raspberries, Byrds, Hollies, and more. He’s made these songs his own. In many cases, I’ve not heard the originals, so when I do–I’ll be comparing those to these Lloyd versions. I’m not a big fan of covers–so it’s a tribute to how high he’s set the bar with this album. I love all these songs! They were mostly recorded over the past couple of decades on various small labels. My friends at SpyderPop Records had the foresight to compile these tracks onto one album, so the world could hear, all in one place, Bill’s artistry and commitment to pretty much the entire history of power pop. This is one you should add to your collection.

13. The Well Wishers – Comes And Goes
The Well Wishers are San Franciscan Jeff Shelton’s long time project. Where Bill Lloyd brings the power pop jangle, Jeff brings more of the crunch and roar of the genre to the fine Comes And Goes record. I’ve been on board the Well Wishers bandwagon for about 3 albums now; this one is my favorite. It’s a solid, tight collection of driving, high energy songs that feature great melodies and instrumentation that wouldn’t be out of place on a mid-1990s Matthew Sweet album. This rousing album does more for me than caffeine–I want to drive fast, run fast, and bike fast, while listening to these songs. Give it a try, and you’ll see what I mean–get some Well Wishers into your life.

14. Jason Berk – Everything Old Is New Again
It’s kind of ironic–the first time I ever heard of Jason Berk was at an IPO show in San Francisco a couple of years ago. The young singer-songwriter played a fiery, but cordial solo set on the Hotel Utah stage. I immediately knew this guy would be a Twirl Radio favorite, so I bought a copy of his Coming Home album–from the aforementioned Jeff Shelton, who was working the merch table that night! So ever since then, Jason’s kept me in the inner circle of media outlets whenever he’s had new music. Everything Old Is New Again is a very personal album that chronicles a devastating breakup. But Jason (our Male Vocalist of the Year) didn’t just sit on the couch and sulk, like I would have. Instead, he created some art–11 well-crafted songs that feature his soulful vocals, intelligent lyrics, and tasteful guitar work. Some of the songs are more acoustic, some more full-band rockin’, but they all fit together. This pop is classic and timeless, and I’m sure you’ll need it to be part of your collection.

15. SLD (Sounds Like Digging) – Indigo Gray
Brooklyn, NY cousins Tom Parisi and Paul Costanza form SLD, and Indigo Gray, their debut album, materializes from out of nowhere. Infectious power pop tunes ring true at every listen. Tom and Paul’s pop sensibilities always lead them to making the right musical choices. You can tell they made the record they wanted to listen to. Soaring vocal harmonies and layers of guitars make this gem of an album a sonic pleasure to listen to. These songs could have been at home in the melodic heydays of the 1970s or 1990s, but instead, belong to 2016, a banner year for indie rock and roll. Get Indigo Gray immediately!

And that wraps up our Top 15 Albums of 2016. Let’s go out now and listen to 2017!

See the full list of Twirlie Awards.

2017 Twirlie Award Winners and podcast (Show #766 – February 4, 2017)

twirlie2017musicalexcellenceHere is the complete list of 2017 Twirlie Award winners, presented live on Twirl Radio, Saturday, February 4, 2017, in Sacramento, California, at Access Sacramento’s KUBU 96.5 FM. Congratulations to all, and more importantly, a big thank you to all the great independent musicians who make it possible for me to do this radio show.

The award presenters: Sydney Butler, Martin Anaya, Dennis Willis, Anthony Snow, Josh Mihal, and Mike Lidskin.

At the beginning of the podcast, you’ll hear a snippet of Robin Scott’s “The Next Wave”–where he let me visit and chat about the Twirlies, right before my show started.

The 2017 Twirlie Awards Show (2/4/2017) (length 1:56:14)

Album of the Year
Edward Rogers, for his album Glass Marbles

Album of the Year Runner up
Cult of Wedge, for their album Loch Ness Monsters and Motherships

Song of the Year
Identical Suns, for their song Common Ground

Song of the Year Runner up
Allyson Seconds, for her song Little World

Female Vocalist of the Year
Lindsay Murray of Gretchen’s Wheel

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Berk

EP of the Year
The Mysteries of Life, for their EP Bad Advice

Ear Candy
Pacific Soul Ltd., for their album The Dance Devine
The Ear Candy Award is given to an album that is a “go-to” album. You can pick any song, and it sounds great in any set of music, at any time.

Debut Album of the Year
Gretchen’s Wheel, for their album Fragile State

Best Seasonal Music
Brian Cullman, for his EP New Year’s Eve

Best Songwriting
Peter Hackett of Cult of Wedge, for the album Loch Ness Monsters and Motherships

Best Line in a Song
Lindsay Murray, Gretchen’s Wheel. The song: “Second To Last”. The line: “She was reaching past the borders of a comfortable life, to something far beyond her, that’s impossibly high, so high.”

Best Interview
The Bobbleheads, 2/27/2016

Best Live Session
Andrew Griffin and Dara Ackerman (Felsen) & Gabe Nelson (Bellygunner), 4/30/2016

Best Concert Performance
The Lannie Flowers Band, Fort Worth, TX, 7/30/2016

Best Rock And Roll Moment
1. Announcing The Pengwins show, Live Oak Music Hall, Fort Worth, TX, 7/30/2016.
2. Post-Christmas “Power Pop Summit”, Canter’s Deli, Los Angeles, CA, 12/26/2016, with The Armoires, The Cherry Bluestorms, Butch Young, and John Borack.
3. Finally met several online musical friends in person this year: DJ’s Gidget Marusak (Woody Radio) and Dave “Boogieman” Kaufman (Radio NY International). Musicians Maria Sokratis, Delbert Raines, Rex Broome, Christina Bulbenko, Butch Young, Jack Watkins. Writer/choreographer/famed go-go dancer Elaine McAfee Bender.
4. Natalie Cortez & the Ultraviolets reunion show, Fox and Goose, Sacramento, CA, 10/30/2016.
5. Big Day of Giving, to benefit Access Sacramento. 7 hours of radio with Cindy Baker, 5/3/2016.

Wayback Award (aka “Whoa! A re-release of a great 1988 album!”)
Blake Babies, for their 1988 album Earwig

Cover Song of the Year
Bud Rogers – Starman (David Bowie cover)

Best Compilation Album
Big Stir, a compilation of artists who have played at the monthly L.A. power pop showcase of the same name, curated by The Armoires

Reason To Live Award
New releases expected by the following artists in 2017: Maxi Dunn, Gretchen’s Wheel, Edward Rogers, Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, and more!

Best Dressed
Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko, The Armoires

Best Album Title
Waving Kissyhead, Vol. 1, by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic

Best Band Name
David Brookings and the Average Lookings

Beverage of the Year
Top beverages consumed during production of Twirl Radio.
1. Coffee
2. Water
3. Tea


Top Albums of 2016:
1. Edward Rogers – Glass Marbles
2. Cult Of Wedge – Loch Ness Monsters and Motherships
3. Pacific Soul Ltd. – The Dance Divine
4. Gretchen’s Wheel – Fragile State/Behind The Curtain
5. Identical Suns – Identical Suns
6. Lisa Said – No Turn Left Behind
7. The Armoires – Incidental Light Show
8. Brian Cullman – The Opposite Of Time
9. Allyson Seconds – Little World
10. Girls On Grass – Girls On Grass
11. Anton Barbeau – Magic Act
12. Bill Lloyd – Lloyd-ering
13. The Well Wishers – Comes And Goes
14. Jason Berk – Everything Old Is New Again
15. SLD – Indigo Gray

Top Songs of 2016:
1. Identical Suns – Common Ground
2. Allyson Seconds – Little World
3. Pacific Soul Ltd. – We Go High
4. Bay Station – Be Kind
5. Cartorson – Hearts On The Highway
6. Heroes Of Toolik – Perfect
7. Bud Rogers – Intercity Mars
8. The Mysteries Of Life – Coat Of Arms
9. Edward Rogers – Burn N Play
10. Cult Of Wedge – Oh Lindsay
11. Gretchen’s Wheel – Younger Every Year
12. Anton Barbeau – High Noon
13. Eric Friedmann And The Lucky Rubes – Nice!
14. Jason Berk – Changes By The Day
15. Sam Phillips – World On Sticks
16. Mimi Betinis – Pontiac
17. The Armoires – Fort Ashby
18. Girls On Grass – Father Says Why
19. Lisa Said – Been Around
20. The Alan Fox Band – If You’re Scared
21. SLD – Do Or Say
22. Duggy Degs – Meltdown
23. Desario – Down Among Them
24. The Jangle Band – Perth
25. Gail George – Amaranthine
26. David Brookings And The Average Lookings – You’re Right, It Went So Wrong
27. Rob Martinez – Love Life
28. Blake Jones And The Trike Shop – My Girl (She Brings Me)
29. Allen Clapp – Moss Falls Like Rain
30. Butch Young – Mercury Man

Top EPs of 2016
1. The Mysteries Of Life – Bad Advice
2. Bud Rogers – Starman
3. Sam Phillips – Human Contact Is Never Easy
4. Desario – Red Returns
5. Brian Cullman – New Year’s Eve

The 2017 Twirlies are coming!

Mike wearing the legendary tuxedo T-shirt--worn only once a year, at the Twirlie Awards!

Mike wearing the legendary tuxedo T-shirt–worn only once a year, at the Twirlie Awards!

We are in what the entertainment press refers to as “the run up to the Twirlies”! That is, if the entertainment press were to cover this fine independent music awards presentation.

As it turns out, the ninth annual Twirlie Awards happens this weekend. Save the date–it’s Saturday, February 4th, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Pacific time, at KUBU 96.5 FM, Sacramento’s voice, and http://www.twirlradio.com. We’ll be broadcasting live from the red carpet. Or at least from a room that has carpet in it.

Hosts Marty Anaya and Mike Lidskin will be presenting such coveted awards as Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Male and Female Vocalists of the Year, and many others. We will be ripping open hermetically-sealed awards envelopes, and revealing the top albums and songs lists, for work released in 2016 and played on Twirl Radio. We’ll have the well-loved red carpet interviews that Marty is known for. And finally–there will be interviews with some of the top winners. You simply cannot afford to miss this epic show. In fact, we will be taking attendance, so you’ll want to listen to every minute of it!

In all seriousness, we are glad to honor the great musicians who give Twirl Radio its reason for being. Hope to see you there!

More information: The 2017 Twirlie Awards event on Facebook

Live webcast today at 3:00 p.m. Pacific: The Natalie Cortez Band

Natalie Cortez Band

Natalie Cortez Band

Twirl Radio hits the road today! We’re going out to Woodland, California, for a live show with The Natalie Cortez Band! The venue is the Blue Note Brewing Company, located at 750 Dead Cat Alley, Woodland, California 95695. I hope you can make it out there, to see some of Sacramento’s finest musicians. However, to sweeten the deal, we’ll be webcasting the entire show live!

Here’s the map to the venue. If you come out, be sure to say hi!

2016 Twirlie Award Winners (Show #716 – January 30, 2016)

Here is the complete list of 2016 Twirlie Award Winners, presented live on Twirl Radio, Saturday, January 30, 2016, in Sacramento, California, at Access Sacramento’s KUBU 96.5 FM. Congratulations to all, and more importantly, a big thank you to all the great independent musicians who make it possible for me to do this radio show.

The 2016 Twirlie Awards Show (1/30/2016) (length 1:45:45)

Album of the Year
Heiskell, for his album Arriving

Album of the Year Runner up
Jet Electro, for their album Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder

Song of the Year
Crooked Flower, for their song Too Broke To Fix

Song of the Year Runner up
Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, for their song At Every Train Stop

Female Vocalist of the Year
Gail George

Male Vocalist of the Year
Clay Howard

EP of the Year
Duncan Faure, for his EP 4

Ear Candy
The Corner Laughers, for their album Matilda Effect
The Ear Candy Award is given to an album that is a “go-to” album. You can pick any song, and it sounds great in any set of music, at any time.

Debut Album of the Year
Pop 4, for their album Pop 4

Best Seasonal Music
The Taters, for their Halloween album Don’t Scream

Best Songwriting
Craig Daniel of Jet Electro, for the album Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder

Best Interview, phone
Arrica Rose, 2/14/2015

Best Interview, in-studio
Sean O’Brien, 3/21/2015

Best Live Session
Bellygunner, 4/4/2015

Best Concert Performance
Crooked Flower, Berkeley, CA, 9/26/2015

Best Concert Performance: legendary, but non-Twirl Radio band
Brian Wilson Band, San Francisco, CA, 9/11/2015

Best Rock And Roll Moment
1. Eating Tex-Mex food with members of The Pengwins in Fort Worth, TX at Joe T. Garcia’s. (Lannie Flowers, Alan Petsche, Danny Wilkerson).
2. “Interviewing” Elvis Costello (ask me sometime for more details about the “interview”!).
3. Meeting Brian Wilson and Blondie Chaplin.
4. Reaching show #700 10/3/2015.
5. KUBU reaching one year on the air, celebrating at Nationwide Freezer Meats with our first live broadcast, 11/13/2015.

Wayback Award (aka “Whoa! A re-release of a great 1990 album!”)
Vulgar Boatmen, for their 1990 album You And Your Sister

Cover Song of the Year
1. Bart Mendoza and True Stories – Blue Chair (Elvis Costello cover)
2. The Pengwins – Shake Some Action (Flamin’ Groovies cover)
3. The Handcuffs – All The Way From Memphis (Mott The Hoople cover)
4. Kelley Ryan – Monkey To Man (Elvis Costello cover)
5. Nelson Bragg & Ken Cleveland – Beyond Belief (Elvis Costello cover)

Best Compilation Album
Beyond Belief, A Tribute To Elvis Costello, Executive Producers John Borack and Olivia Frain (Elvis Costello songs performed by today’s artists, proceeds to benefit Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation)

6th Man (or whatever they call it in sports) Award
Adam Marsland, of Karma Frog studios, for recording, promoting, and sending new releases my way, thereby keeping the show sounding fresh.

Reason To Live Award
New releases expected by the following artists in 2016: Maxi Dunn, Vegas With Randolph, Blake Jones & the Trike Shop, Felsen.


Top Albums of 2015:
1. Heiskell – Arriving
2. Jet Electro – Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder
3. The Corner Laughers – Matilda Effect
4. Gail George – The Barrio Sessions with Early Times
5. Kip Boardman – Boardman
6. Gordon Weiss – It’s About Time
7. A Don Piper Situation – What It is
8. HUGElarge – HUGElarge
9. Pop 4 – Pop 4
10. The Orange Peels – Begin The Begone

Top Songs of 2015:
1. Crooked Flower – Too Broke To Fix
2. Blake Jones & the Trike Shop – At Every Train Stop
3. Dennis Holseybrook – Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh!
4. Phyllis Johnson – Looking Up (From Down Below)
5. Jet Electro – Love Rides Alone
6. Pop 4 – Einstein And Sunshine
7. The Corner Laughers – Queen Of The Meadow
8. Duncan Faure – Back To The Day
9. Gordon Weiss – I’m Your Fan
10. Heiskell – Carharts
11. Herb Eimerman – Just Wishful Thinking
12. Play Date – Stevie The Fox
13. Deborah Crooks – India Street
14. Kip Boardman – Running Right
15. A Don Piper Situation – Aged And Wise
16. The Cherry Bluestorms – See No Evil
17. Gail George – You Are There
18. Pacific Soul Ltd. – Blue Summertime
19. Jason Berk – That’s Not You
20. Eric Peter Schwartz – Hot Liquor
21. Chandler Travis Three-O – Air, Running Backwards
22. HUGElarge – Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White
23. Richmond – 1,2,3,4
24. The Orange Peels – Head Cleaner
25. Speed The Plough – Garden
26. Laurie Larson – Ha
27. Banjo Bones – It’s A Bomb
28. The Jangle Band – Kill The Lovers
29. Vanilla – Hai Karate Girls
30. Elliot Schneider – I’m Back In The USA

Top EPs of 2015
1. Duncan Faure – 4
2. Deborah Crooks – Something Special
3. Herb Eimerman – Five Dimensional Man
4. Kate Burkart – Save Me A Seat
5. Dennis Holseybrook – Merry Go Round

The 2016 Twirlie Awards are on the way!

We are in what the entertainment press refers to as “the run up to the Twirlies”! That is, if the entertainment press were to cover this fine independent music awards presentation.

As it turns out, the eighth annual Twirlie Awards happens next weekend. Save the date–it’s Saturday, January 30th, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Pacific time, at KUBU 96.5 FM, Sacramento’s voice, and http://www.twirlradio.com. We’ll be broadcasting live from the red carpet. Or at least from a room that has carpet in it.

Hosts Marty Anaya, Amber Alexander, and Mike Lidskin will be presenting such coveted awards as Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Male and Female Vocalists of the Year, and many others. We will be ripping open hermetically-sealed awards envelopes, and revealing the top albums and songs lists, for work released in 2015 and played on Twirl Radio. And finally–there will be interviews with some of the top winners. You simply cannot afford to miss this epic show. In fact, we will be taking attendance, so you’ll want to listen to every minute of it!

In all seriousness, we are glad to honor the great musicians who give Twirl Radio its reason for being. Hope to see you there!

More information: Twirlie Awards event information

Twirl Radio Playlist – Show #700 – 10/3/2015: Our 700th show, with Gail George and Craig Daniel!

Twirl Radio started in January, 1998, in Sacramento, California, at Access Sacramento’s “The Voice” radio station. The first song ever played on Twirl was “Everybody Loves Me But You”, by Juliana Hatfield. It’s been a fun road so far, and here we are in October, 2015, with 700 shows in the bag.

Today’s Twirl Radio is a home for excellent independent musicians and discerning music listeners. The majority of the music we play is by indie artists, with a sprinkling of well known music thrown in. The point is that there are many independent musicians who are every bit as good as the “majors”, and can stand right beside them on any playlist.

We now broadcast not only on the internet (www.twirlradio.com), but on terrestrial radio at KUBU 96.5 FM in Sacramento.

Show #700 expanded to three full hours for the special occasion. It featured New York City (former Sacramentan) singer-songwriter Gail George as our special co-host, live in studio. We also had a live phone interview with Craig Daniel of Fresno band Jet Electro. And to sweeten the deal, we had recorded greetings from many of the artists who we play on the show.

Here’s the playlist from Saturday, October 3, 2015, Show #700.

Juliana Hatfield – Everybody Loves Me But You
Maxi Dunn greeting
Maxi Dunn – How Was I To Know?
Paul Richmond greeting
Richmond Band – Breathe
Bud Rogers greeting
Bud Rogers – Hello
Anton Barbeau – Circuit Beaker
Peter Mayer greeting
Peter Mayer – The Marrying Kind

Gail George interview
Gail George – Mythomaniac
Gail George – More Than Me
Gail George – He’s An Exclamation

Felsen – Greetings From The Ghost Of Heavy Metal Rock And Roll
Taters greeting
The Taters – Such A Good Day
Blake Jones greeting
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop – At Every Train Stop
Heiskell – Arriving
Glen Laughlin and Deborah Gee greeting
The Cherry Bluestorms – As Above So Below

Craig Daniel interview
Jet Electro – I Blame You
Jet Electro – I’m Not Easy
Jet Electro – Why I Shot My Baby Down

The JAC – Persistent Man
Gabe Nelson/Bellygunner greeting
Bellygunner – Negative Kid
Pepe Espada greeting
Banjo Bones – It’s A Bomb
Laurie Biagini greeting
Laurie Biagini – You’re A Dangerous Thing
The Corner Laughers – Queen Of The Meadow
Eric Kern and John Ratts greeting
Vegas With Randolph – The Better Part
Duncan Faure greeting
Duncan Faure – Man Of A Thousand Dreams
Nelson Bragg – She Used To Love Me
Gordon Roberts/Nikky Billyeald of Bubble And Squeak greeting
Lannie Flowers – Give Me A Chance (live)
The Handcuffs – Wonderful Life
Maple Mars – Big Imagination
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic – Chandler Travis, King Of The World

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