ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist — 12/31/09: Good way to end a bad decade

This pre-Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog Jan. 3, 2010, 1:50 p.m. EST:

The final day of one of the worst decades in our country’s history — and easily the wildest, weirdest and most anxiety-ridden year of my life — started out with one last bit of badness and anxiety: a morning snowstorm that quickly hit us with wet and sticking flakes. Not good for driving. Left home at 9:30 a.m., as the storm started to hit its stride. A 35-minute drive took me over an hour and a half (including a stop at Dunky D’s for coffee), but there was radio to be done, a 1-4 p.m. shift. (And thanks again to Peter Bochan for giving up his shift.)

(And I’m seriously considering moving back to this place? Am I fucking nuts? I always did hate snow, and I want move back into the thick of it?)

Anyway, the highlight was perhaps the first radio play anywhere of a CD that should be out in the spring. Got a package just before Christmas from an old music friend of mine, P.J. O’Connell. Pat, who lives in Eastham, just north of the elbow of the Cape, is an old Connecticut boy; I first met him in the early ’90s at Brass City Records in Waterbury, when he was an attorney who worked in Waterbury and New Haven. After a career-ending car accident, he moved to Durham, N.C., and started a group called The Flying Pigs, who released an album in the late ’90s called “Desi,” with one of my all-time favorite tunes, “Angel 10/11.”

Pat eventually worked his way back up to the Northeast, landing on the Cape. He started playing with the likes of his all-time favorite band, NRBQ, and their kindred souls from the Cape, The Incredible Casuals. In 2002, he enlisted all the members of the Q plus Casuals founder Chandler Travis to help him on his first album under his own name, “Happy Go Lucky.”

(It was about that time I had a great moment that reminded me that little in life is by chance, really. I went to Provincetown for my annual week-before-Memorial Day trip, and it was raining horizontally my first afternoon there, and I had no umbrella. So I meandered down from P-Town and ended up at a Benny’s store in Dennisport, on the south shore of the Cape. It was while fishing out a $5 cheapie hidden in a box in the automotive section that I started making small talk with the guy standing next to me. And he said, “Is your name Fran?” I said, “Yeaaaaaaaahhh …” “Pat O’Connell.” Holy shit. What were the chances? We talked for almost an hour. And he gave me a copy of “Mr. Happy Go Lucky.”)

In 2007, he released his second album under his own name, “Careful,” with more of that wonderful sound. And now the rest of you can wait for his next album in a couple months or so — which, like his first two, includes members of the Q (Tommy Ardolino and Terry Adams), the Casuals and The Chandler Travis Philharmonic. Pat’ s voice is kinda lazy nasal with a little twang, along the lines of Alex Chilton, while his music is rock’n’roll with faint accents of country and a definite sloppy-yet-tight rock’n’roll foundation, in the fine tradition of the Q.

Anyway, I played four of the new songs. It’s nice to share. Thanks, Pat …

Also threw in a couple of Fleshtones and Roky Erickson/13th Floor Elevators/Spades tunes in anticipation of the New Year’s night show at Southpaw in Brooklyn. Also, in the opening set, a seg from “Stop and Think It Over” by Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles into “Give Him a Great Big Kiss” by The Shangri-La’s. The hook: Sarah recorded the song, a wonderful retro-girl-group gem, on her second album, “Diamonds in the Dark,” in 2008. The original version was recorded all the way back in 2007 by Mary Weiss. Mary was the lead singer of The Shangri-La’s; she recorded the tune (backed by The Reigning Sound) on “Dangerous Game,” the album she cut for Norton — her first recordings in 40 years.

And that’s all, folks. Good riddance, 2009. Good riddance, 2000s.

PS: I understand that all shows on WPKN are now archived on the station’s Web site ( and downloadable in mp3 form. Woo-hoo …

American Beat ’84 — The Fleshtones
Shake Some Action — The Flamin’ Groovies
If Sugar Was as Sweet as You — Rockpile
Stop and Think It Over — Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles
Give Him a Great Big Kiss — The Shangri-La’s
Soul Time — Shirley Ellis
She Lives in a World of Her Own — The 13th Floor Elevators
Swallow My Pride — Ramones

Blindsided — P.J. O’Connell
Shall We — P.J. O’Connell
Byrds — P.J. O’Connell
Inconsiderate — P.J. O’Connell
Captain Lou (live at the Windsor Court Hotel, Windsor Locks, 4/19/92) — NRBQ
You Never Can Tell — Chuck Berry
Georgy Girl — The Seekers

Love You Right — Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez (with Al Anderson)
He Who Picks a Rose — Jimmy Ruffin
Come on and Live — The Fabulous Jades
Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl? — The Barbarians
Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others — The Smiths
Crazy Grey — APB
Ghost of My Love — APB

Ain’t That Her — The Remains
All Good Things — The Remains
Bad Time — Grand Funk
Restless Nights — Bruce Springsteen
Do Something to Me — ? and the Mysterians
Not for Me — Marshall Crenshaw
Hang on to Your Ego — The Beach Boys

Ecstasy — The Raspberries
Tell Me — Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Stop! — Howard Tate
No Time Like the Right Time — The Blues Project
Angel Baby — Darrell Banks
Village of Love — Nathaniel Mayer
I Need You — The Kinks
I Can Only Give You Everything (Doc Cavalier dub) — Bram Rigg Set

Stay With Me — Lorraine Ellison
We Sell Soul — The Spades
Cry of the Wild Goose — Frankie Laine
Memphis Trax — Isaac Hayes
Going All the Way — The Squires
Think for Yourself — The Beatles
The Day We Met — Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles

Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow the Sun) — Del Shannon


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