Twirl Radio #818 – Ben Vaughn and Elk City

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
Steve Barton | When She’s Lost Your Mind | Tall Tales And Alibis 1
The Incredible Casuals | That’s How Strong My Love Is | Nature Calls
Maxi Dunn | Don’t Look Back | Welcome To Soonville
Chris Church | Fall Into Me | Limitations Of Source Tape
Alison Hogan | This Time | Songs From The Third Act
Michael Simmons | Dirt Nap | First Days Of Summer
Daniel Trigger | Penitence | Single release

Ben Vaughn interview
Ben Vaughn | Toestubber | Instrumental Stylings
Ben Vaughn | Aqua Blue | Instrumental Stylings

The Paul & John | Everything Comes Together | Inner Sunset
Lannie Flowers | Where Does Love Go | LIVE in NYC
Wade Johnson | You Know It | Single release
Little Jimmy Giant | I Think You Think I Think So | Fowl Tone Sampler
Duncan Faure | Ball & Chain | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Felsen | Poor In A Wealthy City | Blood Orange Moon
Juliana Hatfield | Forever Baby | Hey Babe

Interview with Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem of Elk City
Elk City | 25 Lines | Everybody’s Insecure
Elk City | Ride The Slide | Everybody’s Insecure


Some days are really good ones on Twirl Radio. Today was one of those. We had two interviews, each with legendary musicians whom I’d heard of for a very long time: Ben Vaughn, and then Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem of Elk City!

Ben Vaughn is well known for many things, including the Ben Vaughn Combo, his work on the television shows “3rd Rock From The Sun” and “That 70’s Show”, his film scores, and his production work for such major artists as Los Straitjackets, Ween, and Mark Olson of the Jayhawks. Or perhaps you know him from his syndicated radio show The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn. Back in 1995, he released an album of mostly instrumentals called “Instrumental Stylings”. This became his calling card, and his entry into the world of music for television. This album was recorded on analog equipment, but released only on CD–until this year. It finally got the treatment Ben wanted–a vinyl release. It’s a really great, varied selection of tracks, each one painting a different sonic picture, some with whimsical titles. A great listen. More info on Ben Vaughn can be found at

Elk City has been around for a very long time, and although they have been described as “art pop”, a better description might be dream pop. The principals are Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem. Renée writes the songs, and the rest of the band adds their parts and turns them into finished Elk City songs. Their most recent album, Everbody’s Insecure, just released last week and it really hits a lot of my sweet spots. It’s got some 90’s indie pop/alternative sounds in it, some great guitars, and the most personal songwriting to date for the band. The song 25 Lines, my personal favorite on the album, has been a delicious earworm for me for a couple of days. Renée’s vocals can be both muscular and ethereal, and Ray’s production is top notch. This album was mostly recorded live, so there was a lot of immediacy in the band’s contributions. Get yourself acquainted with Elk City at


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