ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist, 11/27/09: The power of the Web

Vance Brescia with me before the Herman's Hermits show at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, June 2008.

This pre-Franorama World post is from my MySpace blog Dec. 1, 2009, 11:45 p.m. EST:

While I was home this time, I got to do two fill-in shows at WPKN (89.5 FM,, the community radio station in Bridgeport that’s near and dear to my heart. One of the reasons I’d come back to Connecticut if I had a job — family and friends and proximity to NYC aside — is that the station is in some serious financial trouble, and I’d love to help find a way to rescue it before it’s too late. (What’s the Megamillions jackpot up to? Or Powerball?)

Anyway, I lost the playlist from my Sunday morning (11/22) Franorama fill-in, but here’s the playlist from my Black Friday show (11/27), 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. EST (8:30-midnight PST).

In addition to calls from friends and longtime listeners — plus a couple of asshole crank calls — I had something cool happen, thanks to the power of the Web in general, and eBay and email in particular.
Early on in the show, I got a call from a woman I know, Dana, who lives near San Diego. Flash back to February of last year. I sold a bunch of my old rock T-shirts from the ’80s and ’90s on eBay. One shirt was of a damn good Long Island garage-pop band called The Mosquitos, fronted by a great guitarist/songwriter named Vance Brescia. The title tune of their 1985 EP, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” was chosen by The Monkees as their reunion single in ’86 (and became their last top-20 hit).

Anyway, I was selling off my Mosquitos shirt, which I outgrew in the late ’80s; it was still in very good shape. So this woman emailed me during the auction and asked what someone in central California was doing with a shirt from an obscure New York band. I explained to her that I was from New Haven and I saw them at Irving Plaza in ’85. It was the aforementioned Dana. She told me she was friends with Vance, who’s now the musical director for Peter Noone/Herman’s Hermits. She was helping him try to promote his music.

She bought the shirt to give him for his birthday that July. However, in April I got an email from her. She couldn’t wait till his birthday — she sent me a jpg of a grinning Vance holding up my old T-shirt of his old band, now his shirt. It was a how-cool-is-that moment. In June, Herman’s Hermits kicked off the 2008 summer concert series on the beach in Santa Cruz; I took the ride out, made a weekend of it, and met up with Dana. We eventually went over before the show to see Vance — who, like me, was wearing a groovy paisley shirt. (He also dug my Fleshtones T-shirt.) We didn’t get to talk for long — he was jetlagged after a flight from England on a zigzag tour apparently booked by Spinal Tap’s agent — but it was cool. We’ve emailed back and forth a couple times since.

So Dana called me during my show Friday night; Vance had forwarded my mass email about my show to her. She told me Vance was starting to release some of his recordings through the years on CD. She also told me she’d email me an mp3 of a Christmas song. He recorded “Christmas Dream” back in ’89 and it’s just seeing the light if day now. So she sent the email, I downloaded the song to iTunes on the station’s on-air Mac, and voila! The listeners got to hear a song I didn’t even know existed until I was on the air. A fun time, as my shows usually are.

So anyway, here’s the playlist:

American Beat ’84 (my national anthem) — The Fleshtones
Nothing for Christmas — The Reducers
Hong Kong Garden — Siouxsie & the Banshees
I Want an Alien for Christmas — Fountains of Wayne
Ecstasy — The Raspberries
Christmas Bop — Marc Bolan
Captain Lou (live at the Windsor Court Hotel, Windsor Locks, 4/19/92) — NRBQ
Electric Train — NRBQ

The Deep End — Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez (w/Al Anderson)
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree — Dion
I’m in Love With a Girl — Big Star
Unemployable — 8-Inch Betsy
Santa’s Gonna Shut ‘Em Down — The Untamed Youth
The Man With the Bag — Kay Starr
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand — Das Beatles
Joy to the World — The Butties

Sweet Sweet Baby
— The Honeybees
Papa Noel — Brenda Lee
Keeping Time — Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents
The Dum Dum Ditty — The Shangri-Las
Frosty the Snowman — The Ronettes
Tears Dry on Their Own — Amy Winehouse
Sleigh Ride — The Ronettes

Stop and Think It Over — Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles
Come Go With Me — Gloria Jones
He’s a Doll — The Honeys
Just Got Lucky — JoBoxers
The Bird on My Head — David Seville
The Creature With the Atom Brain — Roky Erickson
Psychotic Reaction — Brenton Wood
The Bells of St. Mary — Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans

Little Town Flirt — Del Shannon
What If Eminem Did Jingle Bells? — Bob Rivers & Twisted Radio
I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus — RuPaul
Go Back — Crabby Appleton
Timothy — The Buoys
Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag — Bob Seger
Richard & the Young Lions radio spot (Alexandria, Va., October 1966)
Open Up Your Door — Richard & the Young Lions
Mr. Santa Claus — Nathaniel Mayer
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap — Lesley Gore

Christmas Dream — Vance Brescia
Precious to Me — Phil Seymour
With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend — The Three O’Clock
Christmas Here (Could Never Be Like That) — Wednesday Week
New Toy — Lene Lovich
Good King Wenceslas — Mojo Nixon & the Toadliquors
Going Nowhere — Los Bravos

Do You Hear What I Hear?/You Really Got Me
— Bobby Lloyd Hicks & the Skeletons
Father Christmas — The Kinks
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love — Van Halen
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town — The 4 Seasons
Swingin’ Drummer Boy — Asleep at the Wheel
Feliz Navidad — El Vez
Snowflakes — The Ventures
She’s Coming Home — The Wailers

I’ll Never Say Goodbye — The Vontastics


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: