DJ Mike Show #147 9/12/2020: Interviews with Brian Cullman and Jason Berk

DJ Mike Lidskin spent ten years at a National Public Radio station in Chicago, returned to California in 1997 and created Twirl Radio, and now hosts 30 hours of programming a month at Woody Radio. His two shows, “The Show With No Name” and “The Saturday Thing”, feature 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 the DJ Mike Shows live on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. PST and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. PST at Woody Radio,

Artist | Track | Album
Artist | Title | Album
John Entwistle | Heaven And Hell | Smash Your Head Against The Wall
The Cleaning Ladys | Beer For Breakfast | Whaduya Want Fer Free?
Felsen | Vultures On Your Bones | Blood Orange Moon
Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue | Pain Killer | The Collection
Marshall Holland | I’m Checkin’ Out | Paper Airplane
Kat Jones | Losing | We Are Warm, Young, Blood
Girls On Grass | Down At The Bottom | Dirty Power
Dennis Holseybrook | Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh! | Merry-Go-Round

Brian Cullman interview
Brian Cullman | Sleep It Off | Winter Clothes
Brian Cullman | Killing The Dead | Winter Clothes
Brian Cullman | Building | Winter Clothes

The Mike Brown Band | What Would You Know | Single release
Sunshine Boys | The World Turning Round | Work and Love
Nick Eng | It’s Alright | Long Shot
The Apples in Stereo | Tidal Wave | Fun Trick Noisemaker
The Bobbleheads | Prove Yourself | Make Yourself Happy
The Taters | Never Call Me Here | Taters Party
Natalie Cortez | I Wanna Ride | Backyard

Jason Berk interview
Jason Berk | Strangers | Strangers
Jason Berk | Mirror | Strangers
Jason Berk | So Long | Strangers

Alpha Cat | Mona Lisa In A Comic Book | Thatched Roof Glass House
Lannie Flowers | He’s Got Himself | Home
June & The Exit Wounds | Idly By | “a little more Haven Hamilton, please”
Two Dollar Pistols | All I Can Think of Is You | You Ruined Everything
Anton Barbeau | Birds Of North America | Manbird Disk 2
R. Stevie Moore & Jason Falkner | I Hate People | Make It Be
NRBQ | Ain’t No Free | At Yankee Stadium
Krista D | Penny for your Thoughts | Look at me… I’m Krista D
The Living Dolls | Everything That Happened | Everything That Happened (Big Stir Digital Single No. 18)
Wade Johnson | When Will It End | When Will It End
Piramid Scheme | Modern World | Seen This Before
Steve Barton | How Can I Believe | Tall Tales And Alibis – album 1
Brandi Ediss | Robot Heart | Bees and Bees and Bees
The Armoires | Not a Good Man | Side Three
JonEmery and the Unconventionals | El Camino / Ranchero | Wrecked
Trip Wire | Had Enough | Once & Always
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Peaceful | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Sex 66 | Double Agent | Grew Up Down
Jet Electro | If I Live Again | Tall Dark And Lonesome: The Story Of Slim Grinder

On the most recent Saturday Thing (yes, the Thing is apparently a thing), we had another interview doubleheader! No, interview doubleheaders never get old. And this one was one I’d been looking forward to quite a bit–a pair of singer/songwriters who I’ve been a fan of for a number of years. I’ve had both Brian Cullman and Jason Berk on my Twirl Radio show in the past, but on this episode, they make their “DJ Mike on Woody Radio” debuts. (You’ll probably be hearing this a lot in the near future, as I keep reaching out to former interviewees, to see if they’d be willing to go through that again!)

Brian Cullman is both a music writer who became a musician, and a musician who became a music writer. What’s that actually mean? Well, we go into it a bit more deeply in the interview, but he’s written for all the major rock publications of the past 4 or 5 decades. He’s had a knack of putting himself in the right place at the right time. And being a songwriter himself, he’s uniquely positioned to write reviews and feature articles with an understanding of the processes which artists go through. He’s had a voracious appetite for music discovery, which has taken him around the world, both literally and figuratively, in search of interesting sounds.

His brand new album, “Winter Songs”, is terrific. I’ve been saying that certain albums are a big part of my summer soundtrack, because they have a certain, for lack of a better term, “summery feel”. Well this one is aptly named. It’s going to be my fall and winter soundtrack. It fits more for this time of year, when the sunlight and air just feel a little bit softer, the trees start changing colors, and everything gets a bit more comfortable. These are the songs I want to listen to now. Clever, thoughtful lyrics, and melodies that stay with you. It does some serious rockin’ at times as well. You’re going to want this one.

Jason Berk has been on my radio shows a number of times during the past decade, and fun things have usually transpired. Anything from a virtual online performance, to squeezing five musicians into a tiny radio studio to perform live, to bringing legendary musicians Adam Marsland and Teresa Cowles to my show, performing as a trio. This time, we went a little bit low key–a phone call was all it took to celebrate the release of his great new album “Strangers”. This is another career high point for Jason–it’s my favorite album of his so far. 12 really well-crafted pop songs, many of which have that timeless sound. You know, where they just sound like they’ve always been here, yet they’re not derivative. Once you hear “Addicted To You” or “Strangers”, you’ll be hard pressed to shake off these catchy earworms.

Jason is a young man who’s an old musical soul. He got his classic rock education first, growing up and learning from The Beatles and their contemporaries, and then later on discovering the more current music of his peer group. He loves the challenges and puzzles that songwriting presents–how to take that inspiration the comes your way, then work it over, polish it, and solve that musical equation. He’s had some really interesting and fruitful collaborations with other artists as well, and is always expanding and improving on his craft. You’ll need your own copy of Strangers.

Enjoy the show!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *