Gotta say here, July’s been a really fun month to do radio. This weekend was another lucky one for me. I got to chat with a couple of amazing artists with strong new albums out–or just about out.
In the first hour, I met Elizabeth McCullough, of Alpha Cat. She’s got a couple of new releases out, although not necessarily brand new material. We had a wide-ranging chat about her lengthy career, including the origins of the name Alpha Cat (one of the coolest band names ever), and the genesis of the albums she’s released recently. The studio album, “Thatched Roof Glass House”, is simply one of the finest I’ve heard this year. It turns out that she wrote it, and started recording it, her third studio album, about a decade and a half ago. But a big roadblock–depression–stopped everything in its tracks. We do talk about that in some detail in the interview.
Fast forward to 2020–and Elizabeth revisited those songs, and released them. And what a stunner. This album is a rocker, but it’s very lyric-forward. And it’s rare for me to hear or notice lyrics in my first few listens to an album. Usually, the music–the melody and arrangement–will grab me first. Upon repeated listens, a word or phrase might catch my ear, and then, I’ll do the deep dive into all the lyrics. Not this time. The lyrics, and Elizabeth’s powerful delivery–got me right away. Really strong and deep, and my favorite songs are the title track, Mona Lisa in a Comic Book, and a tasty cover of the wonderful Warren Zevon cry for reconciliation, Reconsider Me.
The other recording available now is a live set, from almost exactly 15 years ago, entitled Alpha Cat Live At Vox Pop. It’s a full 45 minute recording, all in one track, which puts you right there in the room with the audience. An intimate evening with a powerful performer.
You can find more info, and purchase these wonderful recordings, at https://aquamarinerecords.com.
A little later on, I got to hang out with an old friend, Lisa Mychols. Whenever I’ve had her on my radio shows in the past, it’s always been a fun, yet deep, personal conversation. This show was no exception–when you listen, you’ll hear two friends catching up on the latest. Seriously–as before, Lisa even interviews me too!
Lisa is fairly legendary in pop music circles, and she’s been known for her inspired collaborations. I met her a decade ago, when she was part of the amazing rock band NUSHU, in which she and Hillary Burton did just about everything. Both play guitar, bass, and drums. A few years later, I saw Lisa do a live solo set in Southern California–playing bass. You read that right–playing her songs on bass. That set was electric.
So her new project is called Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8, and this time, she teams up with Scottish musician Paul Ryan. He’s SUPER 8. Their album, due out in a couple of weeks, is also entitled Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8. In this summery album, track 2 introduces the duo as their alter egos Trip and Ellie, in “Trip & Ellie’s Music Factory”, a fun, whimsical visit to their candy store-styled “music factory”. It kind of sets the tone for the entire record.
As you might imagine, Trip and Ellie (ok, that’s just downright fun to say) collaborated long distance. He played all the instruments, and she provided vocals and sound effects, and tweaked lyrics here and there. But more importantly, the two of them have this undeniable musical chemistry. Together, they are greater than the sum of their parts. There are fun, summery tracks galore on this album. Some upbeat, some more mellow and beautiful. There are two choice covers on the album. One is “Witchi Tai To”, by Jim Pepper, and Lisa covers it beautifully. The other features Paul’s only lead vocal on the album, and it’s a pleasant surprise: a wonderful version of Helen Reddy’s “Peaceful”. Nicely done.
The Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 album is a big part of my summer soundtrack, and it’s made 2020 a little better than it otherwise would have been. More info and links to purchase can be found here: https://lisamychols.bandcamp.com.
Great conversations, great music. It’s all here. Enjoy the show.
Artist | Title | Album
Elvis Costello | Clubland | Trust
The Clutter Family | Artist In the Office | The Clutter Family
Gene Loves Jezebel | Summertime | Dance Underwater
The Orange Peels | Mystery Lawn | So Far
Ass Ponys | Astronaut | Some Stupid With A Flare Gun
Elizabeth McCullough of Alpha Cat interview
Alpha Cat | Thatched Roof Glass House | Thatched Roof Glass House
Alpha Cat | One Day The Sun Came Up | Thatched Roof Glass House
Alpha Cat | Mona Lisa In A Comic Book | Thatched Roof Glass House
The Who | Going Mobile | Who’s Next
Bellygunner | Medicine | Machine Gun Built For Two
The Well Wishers | April Is Only A Lie | A View From Above
Dolph Chaney | The Handling | Big Stir Singles: The Sixth Wave
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Mistakes | Mistakes
Natalie Cortez | I Wanna Ride | Backyard
Felsen | Lorazepam | I Don’t Know How to Talk Anymore
Curtis Mayfield | Superfly | The Very Best Of Curtis Mayfield
Lisa Mychols interview
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Trip & Ellie’s Music Factory | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Time Bomb | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | The Arms Of Water | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Honey Bee | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Lannie Flowers | Good | March To Home
Matt North | A Good Day In Nashville | Above Ground Fools
Maple Mars | Big Imagination | Galaxyland
Girls On Grass | Down At The Bottom | Dirty Power
Sparklejet | Northern Land | Phonovella
Gail George | Fool’s Paradise | Follow Your Bliss
R. Stevie Moore & Jason Falkner | I Am The Best For You | Make It Be
Sunshine Boys | Every Step | Work and Love
Easy Love | Forget About Love | Wander Feeler
The Judybats | Don’t Drop The Baby | Native Son
Love Alpha Cat!