Twirl Radio #788: Jimmy Horn, Karla Kane and Sean O’Brien

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
The Pengwins | What You Gonna Do? | Single release
Translator | Last Fields Of Summer | Single release
The Welcome Matt | My Town | More Empire Days
Maxi Dunn | How Was I To Know? | Welcome To Soonville
Vegas With Randolph | Women In Airports | Single release
Cirrone | It’s Gonna Be The Right Time | Kings For A Night

Jimmy Horn interview
King James & The Special Men | Special Man Boogie | Act Like You Know
King James & The Special Men | The End Is Near | Act Like You Know

R. Stevie Moore & Jason Falkner | I Hate People | Make It Be
Bill Lloyd | The World Turns All Around Her | Lloyd-ering
Pacific Soul Ltd. | We Go High | The Dance Divine
XTC | No Thugs In Our House | English Settlement

Karla Kane introduces new music
Karla Kane | King’s Daughters Home For Incurables | King’s Daughters Home For Incurables

Gretchen’s Wheel | Disintegrate | Sad Scientist
Duncan Faure | The Day That I Found Love | 4

Sean O’Brien introduces new music
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Trying To Stop | Unmastered prerelease

Gail George | He’s An Exclamation! | Follow Your Bliss!
Plasticsoul | Monkey On A Stick | Therapy
Richard X. Heyman | Miss Shenandoah Martin | Incognito


Today on Twirl Radio, we had a fun treat–a three-fer of visits with musicians! Yes–a full on interview with Jimmy Horn of King James & The Special Men, and then Karla Kane and Sean O’Brien introducing new prerelease songs.

Jimmy Horn has been making music in New Orleans, one of America’s finest cities for music (and food!), for a very long time. The latest incarnation of his band, King James & The Special Men, have been together for about 7 years. But only now have they finally committed some of their music to tape (or drive; I’m really not sure). New Orleans is a destination music city, and so the band had been mostly focused on playing live for crowds of tourists and locals alike. They’ve even played in front of such music royalty as Elvis Costello and Robert Plant! The new album, “Act Like You Know”, is a high-spirited romp through most of the musical genres native to America: boogie-woogie, blues, R&B, and old-timey rock and roll. And the band, naturally enough, features piano, a horn section and great rhythms. A delicious musical stew to be sure. The band is set to leave on their annual summer trip to Europe, where they entertain happy crowds in Denmark! Pick up this album and play it at your next party.

Karla Kane, of the bands The Corner Laughers and Agony Aunts, has been an integral part of my radio shows for this entire decade. She’s one of the very few people who have visited both the Twirl Radio studios here in Sacramento, and the studios of the late great Recharged Radio in London–no small geographic feat! The opportunity arose to record her first solo album–but Karla is certainly not alone in this effort. All of her Corner Laughers colleagues appear on this record in one form or another, and her and Khoi Huynh’s UK friends (affectionately referred to as The Corner Laughers UK), Mark and Helen Luker play on this one as well. I’m honored that Karla gave me such an early listen to the new album, “King’s Daughters Home For Incurables”–its release date is not until October! It’s a delightful album–a little bit less electric than The Corner Laughers, but every bit as melodic. The songwriting is every bit as sharp as you’d expect from Karla Kane compositions. A couple of Corner Laughers songs are reimagined on this record–Karla covers Karla! We chatted for a few minutes, but Karla is going to come back to Sacramento for a full blown visit in September, with the aforementioned Khoi, and the Lukers, visiting from the UK! I’m looking forward to filling up the studio with all this musical greatness! Pre-order this one now for your convenience:

It seems like the Bay Area’s Sean O’Brien had just visited us here in Sacramento (a look back reveals that it was on 4/15/2017), and we were lucky enough to get him back on today’s show! He had some business to attend to in the Capital City. He also had a new single he wanted to drop off to me. The ever-humble Sean didn’t want to “interrupt” my show. Well, when you’re as talented and well-liked as Sean, you’re pretty much obligated to join me on the air. I thought it might be fun to have a second Bay Area artist introduce a pre-release single on the show. And so he did. He’s currently working on the next album with his band, Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands, due out in 2018–so the song we heard today, “Trying To Stop”, in all its unmastered glory–was a peek into the future. And the future sounds very good indeed. More info at:


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