DJ Mike Show #214 – 5/08/2021: Interviews with Benjamin Wright and Rachel Taylor Brown!

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
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
The Pretenders | The Phone Call | Pretenders
Tom Alford | Moving In To Love | Moving In To Love
Willie Wisely Trio | National Council Of Jewish Women’s Thrift Store | True
Natalie Cortez | Without You | Demo
Tamar Berk | socrates & me | the restless dreams of youth
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic | Sexy Ivan With Bongo | The Ivan Variations
U2 | In God’s Country | The Joshua Tree

Benjamin Wright interview
Benjamin Jayne | Talking Heads | Theater
Benjamin Jayne | Waiting For Life | Theater
Benjamin Jayne | Theater | Theater

Krista D | Penny for your Thoughts | Look at me… I’m Krista D
The Jayhawks | Real Light | Tomorrow The Green Grass
Agony Aunts | You’re So Vague | Big Cinnamon
AC/DC | It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) | High Voltage
Piramid Scheme | Funtime Friend | Seen This Before
Farrington | A Day At The Beach | Saturday In Nowhereland
The Replacements | I Don’t Know | Pleased To Meet Me
Anton Barbeau | Doctor Don’t Chop My Knee Mama, Ouch Is Another Word | Psychedelic Mynde of Moses
The Mysteries of Life | Pin Drop | Blue Jay
Star Collector | Green Eyes | Game Day
The Amplifier Heads | Ghost Song | Music For Abandoned Amusement Parks
Yung Wu | Shore Leave | Shore Leave

Rachel Taylor Brown interview
Rachel Taylor Brown | Up You | Run Tiny Human
Rachel Taylor Brown | stagg field | Half Hours With the Lower Creatures
Rachel Taylor Brown | We’ll Have A | Falimy

Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | March To Home
Nick Frater | Luna | Fast & Loose
B.J. Thomas | I Just Can’t Help Believing | The Complete Scepter Singles
Felsen | Self Medicate | Accidental Drowning
DC Cardwell | Friendly Fire | Crystal Set
Easy Love | Blue Eyes | Wander Feeler
Sex 66 | Skinny Girl | Grew Up Down

Quality. If I had to describe the musicians I got to chat with in this episode, using only one word, quality would be that word. I mean, I aim for that every week, but Benjamin Wright of Benjamin Jayne, and Rachel Taylor Brown, just epitomize that.

Benjamin Jayne is a brother-sister duo, consisting of Benjamin and Amanda (Jayne) Wright. “Duo” is short-selling them a little bit, as Drew Skinner, who handled mixing and production, is basically the third member of the duo. They’re actually a transatlantic group, as Benjamin is in Vermont, and Amanda has lived in Spain for many years. They’ve both worked on their own various projects, but decided to combine forces a few years ago, in an effort to reconnect and stay better connected.

Their new album, Theater, features Benjamin on lead vocals and playing most of the instruments, while Amanda provides backing vocals and keyboards. The sound, interestingly enough, is both haunting and breezy. You can see where these songs might have started as folk, but wound up being a lot more rock driven, with a few electronic elements in play. They’re cathartic, due to the nature of the year or so we’ve just experienced. And they’re hopeful, perhaps seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a compelling listen. More info at

A little later on, Rachel Taylor Brown returned to the show. She doesn’t actually have any new music to promote right now, her most recent effort being “Run Tiny Human”, her 2018 tour de force. But more often than not, when I play her music on my show, people will ask “who IS this?”. So I thought I’d use the opportunity to let Woody Radio listeners get to know her a little better. And they should.

Rachel is a brilliant songwriter and vocalist from Portland, OR. A classically trained soprano and a pianist, she uses these tools to create a wide variety of songs, ranging from melancholy to upbeat to jarring. And listen for the lyrics. Sometimes historic in nature, I’ve learned a lot just by Googling the titles of her songs. Some of her songs are incredulous reactions to what’s going on in the world. My favorite of her songs are those that are catchy on the surface, but a bit subversive if you dig a little deeper. Some of her older songs like Mt. Athos and Stagg Field, or from Run Tiny Human, try Little Gyre, Maker, or Up You. Exceptional.

I’ve taken to occasionally referring to her, on air, as “The Notorious RTB”. And we at Woody Radio have decided that she is definitely one of us. Check out her music, and you’ll see:


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