Twirl Radio #848 – Rachel Taylor Brown

After ten years at a National Public Radio station in Chicago, Mike Lidskin returned to California in 1997 and created Twirl Radio, a weekly two hour radio program which features the finest independent music and artists from the rock era. Mike’s on a mission to not “just spin rock music, but to educate listeners about this vital art form.” Indeed, he doesn’t just announce the songs, but gives histories about some of the artists, the albums, and the songs themselves.

You can catch Twirl live each Saturday afternoon, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM PST on Sacramento’s Voice, KUBU 96.5 FM, and archived right here, as well as at If you haven’t headed into your Saturday night with an earful of Twirl, you’re doing it wrong!

Artist | Track | Album
Van Go | I Wish I Could Be Grateful | Everyone Loves You When You’re Gone
Pat Buchanan | Sandbox | Single release
Gail George | Crazy | It’s Personal
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Maxi Dunn | How Was I To Know? | Welcome To Soonville
The Imperial Sound | A Man Like You | The New AM
Michot’s Melody Makers | La Danse Carree | Blood Moon
R. Stevie Moore/Jason Falkner | Stamps | Make It Be
The Loud Family And Anton Barbeau | Song About “Rocks Off” | What If It Works?
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | Take A Look At The Stars | MAKE
Krista D | Land Mine | Look At Me I’m Krista D
Duncan Faure | Man Of A Thousand Dreams | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Sunshine Boys | John Cage | Blue Music
Lannie Flowers | Good | Single release
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
Banjo Bones | Dangerous Game | Ghostly Musings From The Delta
The Cherry Bluestorms | Out | Whirligig!
Wilkerson | How She Lost My Heart | Wilkerson
Fun Of The Pier | Cavern Song | 14:42
Karen Haglof | Palomino Steady Rocking | Palomino Steady Rocking
The Welcome Matt | My Town | More Empire Days

Rachel Taylor Brown interview
Rachel Taylor Brown | Up You | Run Tiny Human
Rachel Taylor Brown | Glitcher | Run Tiny Human

On today’s show, we got to meet Portland’s Rachel Taylor Brown. She just released her tenth album, “Run Tiny Human”, and it’s really good, but hard to classify. My Windows Media Player software helpfully describes it as “Contemporary Pop”. Well, I don’t know about all that. She doesn’t sound anything like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, or Ed Sheeran (that I’m aware of). So how can I describe “Run Tiny Human” to you? Well, imagine Danielle Dax driving a getaway car with Tori Amos riding shotgun, and they accidentally collide into another getaway car, this one being driven by Ben Folds. And then Lou Reed rides up on a motorcycle and takes down the police report.

Did that help? No? Well how about this: Rachel’s music is mostly piano based, somewhat quirky and experimental. Some of it is gritty and in your face, some of the messages lurk below the surface, sometimes it just plain rocks, and some of it is lovely and melodic. She captures all kinds of emotions and feelings. As far as subject matter goes, one of the themes of this album is an examination of her hometown of Portland, and how it’s been taken over by people moving there from other places, and making it into a sort of big city hipster haven–more “cool” than it used to be, but also, unrecognizable. That’s a bit of a cautionary tale for a lot of American cities these days. She takes a hard look at the world around us. It’s a very artistic album. Accept the challenge and listen to this record–you’ll grow a bit in the process. We had an engaging and spirited conversation, and it was really fun to talk through all of this with Rachel.

While you’re at it–check out the new music from Van Go, Pat Buchanan, and Gail George. I put it right at the beginning of the show, just for you!


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