DJ Mike Show #166 – 11/21/2020: Interviews with Don Rauf of Life in a Blender, and Jeff Shelton of The Well Wishers!

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
Poplord | Flower Bomb | Poplord vs The Universe
Gene Loves Jezebel | Summertime | Dance Underwater
Allyson Seconds | Dig My Pig | Bag of Kittens
The Cleaning Ladys | Beer For Breakfast | Whaduya Want Fer Free?
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Trip & Ellie’s Music Factory | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Drunken Prayer | It Happens All The Time | Cordelia Elsewhere
Johnny Cash | I Want to Go Home | Songs of Our Soil
The Brothers Steve | She | #1
Jimmy Catlett | The Stupid Things | Waiting To Fall Off The Earth

Don Rauf interview
Life in a Blender | Vacancy for a Bluebird | Satsuma
Life in a Blender | Soul Deliverer | Satsuma
Life in a Blender | The Ocean Is a Black and Rolling Tongue | Satsuma

Luscious Jackson | Naked Eye | Fever in Fever Out
Wade Johnson | When Will It End | When Will It End
Don Dixon | Praying Mantis | Single release
The Flat Five | Butterflies Don’t Bite | Another World
Lannie Flowers | Running | Home
The Armoires | The Laws Have Changed | Side Three
Frank Black | Calistan | Teenager of the Year
Brandi Ediss | Linoleum | Bees and Bees and Bees
Ultra Vivid Scene | Candida | Rev
Sunshine Boys | The Serpent in Spring | Work and Love
The Smiths | Bigmouth Strikes Again | The Queen Is Dead
Rachel Taylor Brown | Little Gyre | Run Tiny Human

Jeff Shelton interview
The Well Wishers | We Grow Up | Shelf Life
The Well Wishers | My Desire | Shelf Life
The Well Wishers | Father Of The Bride | Shelf Life

Sparklejet | Let’s Behind That Place | Beyond the Beyond
Irene Peña | Shut It Down | Single release
Lou Reed | Busload Of Faith | New York
Natalie Cortez & the Ultra Violets | She’s Better | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Master Of The Slow Burn | My Colors Dark
Nolan Voide and His Own Bad Self | Accustomed To My Fate | Single release
Juliana Hatfield | Don’t Rush Me | Beautiful Creature
Blake Jones | Three Jerks In A Jeep | The Homebound Tapes
Dolph Chaney | If I Write It Down | Rebuilding Permit
Bill Lloyd | I’ll Take It From Here | Don’t Kill The Messenger
Nelson Bragg | I Want Love | Single release
Anton Barbeau | MTV Song | Empire of Potential
Wire Train | Spin | Wire Train
Krista D | Crazy Bitch | Single release
NRBQ | Everybody Thinks I’m Crazy | Message For The Mess Age
The Smithereens | Crazy Mixed Up Kid | Especially For You
Don Hawkins | Observation Blind | Observation Blind
Alpha Cat | Thatched Roof Glass House | Thatched Roof Glass House
Marshall Holland | When The Rain Comes | Paper Airplane
Felsen | Self Medicate | Accidental Drowning
The Clash | The Street Parade | Sandinista!

On this show, I got to make a new friend, and chat with an old friend, both with great new albums out. Both artists have been making music for some time, and in each case, this is about their 10th or 11th record.

First up: Don Rauf of Life in a Blender. Don was chatting to me from Seattle, but he makes his music back home in New York, where the idea for his new EP, Satsuma, came from the Bushwick Book Club in Brooklyn. I don’t want to spoil Don’s story too much, because he explains it in the interview way better than I can here. Basically, each song is inspired by a different novel, and in the accompanying booklet is a cocktail recipe for each song. Talk about life meeting art! The music is quirky, the lyrics are witty and cutting, and the band is big and fun to listen to. Lots of laughter in this conversation.

After that, I chatted with an old friend, Jeff Shelton of The Well Wishers, based in San Francisco. He’s kind of a jack of all trades–musician, novelist, radio host, and–help me out here–what else am I missing? I’ve met him a couple of times–one of those when he played a show here in Sacramento with the (recently) late great band Trip Wire. The Well Wishers is more of a solo project, and every album I’ve heard has been consistently strong from start to finish. They rock, they jangle–picture some of the R.E.M. songs where Mike Mills takes the lead vocals, and you’ve got a bit of the flavor of The Well Wishers. They’ve been a fixture on the power pop scene for the past 15 years. The latest album Shelf Life, was completely written and recorded during this pandemic year of 2020, and as Jeff mentions, highly influenced by these times. A couple of guest lead guitar spots by Bay Area stalwarts Bradley Skaught and KC Bowman really make this a sort of all star outing. Listen to the interview–some interesting things are revealed.


Leave a Comment

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