Twirl Radio #904 – Twirlie Awards 2020

After ten years at a National Public Radio station in Chicago, Mike Lidskin returned to California in 1997 and created Twirl Radio, a weekly three 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 3:00 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!

Twirlie Awards show, 2/1/2020:

Twirlie Awards top songs countdown show, 2/4/2020:

Here is the complete list of 2020 Twirlie Award winners, presented live on Twirl Radio, Saturday, February 1, 2020, 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.

In 2019, Twirl Radio expanded to a full three hours. This enabled us to really do the Twirlies right–we started things off with a half hour “pregame show”. My colleague at KUBU radio, Bill Fuller, was my special co-host and color commentator. We used the time to discuss the colorful history and culture of the Twirlie Awards.

At 3:30, the official awards presentation began. My longtime co-host Marty Anaya joined the fray, and we immediately started opening envelopes and giving out awards left and right. Scroll to the bottom to see more photos of the festivities.

One of our top two categories, Song of the Year was announced at the Twirlies on Saturday, but we held back on the rest of the Top Songs list until the following Tuesday. The entire list was revealed and played in its entirety on Woody Radio on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. It’s what we in the biz refer to as “the best of both worlds”. Additionally, the podcasts for both of these shows will be placed here as soon as they are made available.

I give you…The 2020 Twirlie Awards:

Album of the Year
Lannie Flowers, for his album Home

Album of the Year Runner up
Lost Leaders, for their album Promises Promises

Song of the Year
Kai Danzberg, for his song Not Only Sunshine (Reprise)

Song of the Year Runner up
Wade Johnson, for his song When Will It End

Female Vocalist of the Year
Michal Towber, for her album No Resolution

Male Vocalist of the Year
R. Stevie Moore, for his album Afterlife

EP of the Year
Project: Ghost Outfit, for their EP Project: Ghost Outfit

EP of the Year Runner up
Elk City, for their EP Souls In Space

Ear Candy (tie)
The Bobbleheads, for their album Myths And Fables

Ear Candy (tie)
Matt Langlois, for his album Merde!
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.

Ear Worm Song
The Kariannes, for their song “This Song Is A Cure”.
The Ear Worm Award is given to a song that sticks in your head for hours after you’ve heard it–and you don’t mind at all. In fact, you invite it back into your head often!

Debut Album of the Year
Johnathan Pushkar, for his album Straighten Up

Best Songwriting
Lannie Flowers, for his album Home

Best Line in a Song
Michal Towber. The album: “No Resolution”. The song: “Old”. The line: “I’ll be 17 until the day I die…but secretly, both you and me, know I’m old…” Alternative choice–the song Rockstar. Can’t say it on the air, but do look up this song and its lyrics.

Best Interview
Victor Erwin of Spyderpop Records and John Ashfield/Rob Harford of The Bobbleheads, 5/18/2019 (There were 64 interviews on Twirl Radio in 2019.)

Best Live, in-studio Session
The Armoires w/Blake Jones, 8/17/2019

Best Concert Performance
Bellygunner, Twirl Radio Popfest, 5/26/2019, Blue Note Brewing Co., Woodland, CA

Music Scene of the Year
Woodland, CA, as curated and promoted by Chuck Dodds.
Chuck created the Sunday concert series at Blue Note Brewing Company, and First Friday concerts in a historic former bank building. He works with other local venues–coordinates schedules, so as not to compete with their music nights.

Record Label of the Year
Big Stir Records

Spirit of Twirl Award
Craig Carlstrom, for posting and reposting about Twirl Radio shows and events

Best Rock And Roll Moment
1. Broadcasting live from Texas (John Borack, Stephen “Spaz” Schnee, Dave “Boogieman” Kaufman. Guests included Alan Petsche, Victor Erwin, Lannie Flowers, Wade Johnson, Danny Wilkerson.
2. Twirl Radio expands to 3 hours.
3. Fres-cast: 10/5/2019, live broadcast from Blake Jones’ Whispermaphone Studios, featuring Sparklejet, Poplord, Blake Jones, Chelsea Jones.
4. Meeting the following musicians in person: Bill Lloyd, Craig Carlstrom, Dean Seavers, Brent Seavers, Brian Machado (The Decibels), James Bourbeau (Sex 66), Larysa Bulbenko (The Armoires).
5. Spyderpop Tour comes to Sacramento.

Wayback Award
Harvey Danger, for their 1999 album “Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?” Just discovered the rest of this 20 year old album beyond “Flagpole Sitta” in 2019, and it is an alternative-era classic.

Cover Song of the Year
Popdudes, for their cover of the Walter Egan classic “Magnet And Steel”. This came from their album Maximum Rock Stupidity.

Best Compilation Album
Big Stir Singles: The First Wave.
Big Stir Singles: The Second Wave.
Big Stir Singles: The Third Wave.
Big Stir Singles: The Fourth Wave.
Four waves so far, a fifth is on the way.

Reason To Live Award
New albums coming in 2020 from Sunshine Boys, The Handcuffs, Anton Barbeau, The Corner Laughers, Chris Church, The Seven and Six, Forrest, Sparklejet, and more.

Best Album Title
Matt Langlois, for his album titled “Merde!”. It’s a French word; look up the translation, and look up its use in theatrical productions in France.

Best Band Name
Sally’s Six-Gun Sorrow (Krista Acheson)

Beverage of the Year
Top beverages consumed during production of Twirl Radio.
1. Water, refillable bottle
2. Water, paper cup with ice
3. Water, military canteen/flask (tie)
4. Water, fountain down the hall
5. Water, single use bottle

Top Albums of 2019:
1. Lannie Flowers – Home
2. Lost Leaders – Promises Promises
3. Don Hawkins – Stutter Step
4. Drunken Prayer – Cordelia Elsewhere
5. The Bobbleheads – Myths And Fables
6. R. Stevie Moore – Afterlife
7. Richard X. Heyman – Pop Circles
8. The Armoires – Zibaldone
9. In Deed – Everest
10. Matt Langlois – Merde!
11. Trip Wire – Once & Always
12. Anton Barbeau/Salt – Berliner Grotesk/The Loneliness Of Clouds
13. The Rubinoos – From Home
14. Anny Celsi – Kaleidoscope Heart: 12 Golden Hits
15. The Decibels – Scene, Not Herd/Big Hits! (Plus Twelve More)
16. Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands – My Colors Dark
17. Popdudes – Maximum Rock Stupidity
18. Nick Eng – Long Shot
19. JonEmery and the Unconventionals – Wrecked
20. The Morning Line – North
21. Girls On Grass – Dirty Power
22. The Gold Needles – Through A Window
23. Karen Haglof – Tobiano
24. Johnathan Pushkar – Straighten Up
25. The Well Wishers – The Lost Soundtrack
26. Steven Bradley – Summer Bliss And Autumn Tears
27. Heiskell – Songs In The Key Of H
28. Identical Suns – Week Minded
29. Jeremy – Pop Overflow
30. David Brookings & The Average Lookings – Scorpio Monologue

Top Songs of 2019:
The full list was revealed and played on Woody Radio on February 4, 2019.
1. Kai Danzberg – Not Only Sunshine (Reprise)
2. Wade Johnson – When Will It End
3. Girls On Grass – Down At The Bottom
4. Don Hawkins – So Much To Learn
5. In Deed – Heart Attack
6. Identical Suns – Miss Her Reminiscing
7. Heiskell – The Great Opaque
8. Drunken Prayer – Cordelia
9. Lannie Flowers – Free To Dream
10. The Kariannes – This Song Is A Cure
11. The Morning Line – Nostradamus/Synthadamus
12. Lost Leaders – All That I Want
13. Diplomats Of Solid Sound – Already Gone
14. The Armoires – Responsible (Reuptake)
15. The Decibels – Big Hits
16. Salt – A Song For Jerome
17. Blake Jones and the Trike Shop – Disentangled
18. Nick Eng – Too Good For Anyone
19. Elk City – Luncheonette
20. Richard X. Heyman – Upside And Down
21. Amoeba Teen – Like A Hit To The Head
22. The Bobbleheads – I Really See You
23. Trip Wire – Easy Exit
24. JonEmery And The Unconventionals – If You Think You’re Heartbroken Now
25. The Amplifier Heads – Who’s That Girl?
26. 50 Watt Heavy – Absolutely Fading (Nasty)
27. Michal Towber – Rockstar
28. Chancellorpink – A Rainbow’s Knocking
29. R. Stevie Moore – Another Day Slips Away
30. Bill Mumy – You’re My Inspiration
31. Project: Ghost Outfit – Mess My Mind
32. Steven Bradley – Capitol Hill
33. Matt Langlois – You Are My Weekend
34. Librarians With Hickeys – Until There Was You
35. Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands – My Colors Dark
36. Johnathan Pushkar – We Could Be Together
37. Sally’s Six-Gun Sorrow – 5 Miles From Home
38. My Little Hum – Don’t Build It Alone
39. The Lilacs – Shadow Of Doubt
40. Karen Haglof – Tobiano Twirl

Top EPs of 2019:
1. Project: Ghost Outfit – Project: Ghost Outfit
2. Elk City – Souls In Space
3. The Armoires – Side Three
4. Rogers & Butler – Diana Dors
5. The Seven And Six – EP#1
6. The Lilacs – The Lilacs Endure
7. Disturbed Furniture – Continuous Pleasures
8. The New Duncan Imperials – Hunny Bunny
9. Janet LaBelle – I Only See You
10. Heazza – Heazza


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