WPKN playlist 12/26/10: Post-Christmas hangover, pre-blizzard Franorama fill-in

Hi. People who live in California — subjected to droughts and forest fires in the summer, then torrential rains in the winter, and ensuing mudslides of hills denuded of vegetation by the aforementioned forest fires — know that weather is God’s way of pulling a joke on those of us who try to control nature or schedule things too tightly.

A long-winded way of saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Case in point: Dave Golden asked me a couple times to fill in for him Sunday (Dec. 26) on his 10 a.m.-2 p.m. shift on WPKN (89.5 FM, www.wpkn.org). I put him off for a few days. I had heard there was snow in the forecast, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t coming. For one, my rental car is as economy as Enterprise economy cars get — a little Hyundai accent, slightly bigger than a Smartcar — and I had pictures of it sliding on the road the snow like Brian Boitano doing a routine. For another, when I filled in last holiday season, I had to drive in the shit three times.

Anyway, in the two weeks I’ve been back in Connecticut, the Channel 8 Weather Clowns, who are often wrong, have been wrong about snow three times already. We had both heard there would be snow the day after Christmas, but it would start in the evening and carry over into today. So Thursday I called him back and said yes, I’d do it. There would be a Post-Christmas Hangover fill-in edition of “Franorama.”

And somewhere, God, sounding a lot like Bart Simpson, said “HAA-haaa!” The Weather Clowns weren’t kidding about the blizzard.

When I left my folks’ home in the hills (about 900 feet up)  around 8:30, there was already the start of a mild powder coating — which concerned me because the Shoreline was supposed to get the brunt of this, and I’d be detouring to New Haven before getting on 95 to Bridgeport. But as I made my way down toward the coast, the snow had disappeared. It hadn’t started on the Shoreline — yet.

I did the show — it was fun, and I had some friends and familiar voices, call me. I did a show mostly of music I heard/bought/listened to in 2010, with a couple of well-placed cheats here and there. But through the camera trained on the station entrance, I saw the snow begin to fall and accumulate in the stairway outside. And some listeners called to give mini-reports — the wind was blowing the snow horizontally, the main roads were fine but the side roads were bad.

So I wasn’t looking forward to the drive home, in any case. I had brought a change of clothes just in case I was stuck at the station, and buying boots at Thanksgiving time was paying off. But come 2:00, when Edwin took over the board for “La Esquina Latina,” I was ready to fly. I packed up and went out and brushed the snow off my car. (Thanks to my father. Enterprise left me with a very economical snow scraper for my economical rental, but Albie had a spare scraper/brush.) I turned on the Jets-Bears game on 1050 and prepared for a long drive back to Prospect.

Well, it was white, the side streets hadn’t been touched, and I was pale-knuckled as I got on the Route 8 on-ramp downtown. The roads were really bad, but I planned — hoped — that if I headed north on 8 through the Naugatuck Valley, away from the Shoreline, instead of along the Shoreline on 95, the snowfall wouldn’t be as bad. I was right. I puttered along on 8 at a steady 30-35, making sure I had enough distance between cars. I was more concerned with other drivers. Some guy in a Dodge Charger with a Hemi kept fishtailing in front of me through Bridgeport. He didn’t know how to handle all that power. And then there were the two assholes in SUVs who blew past me on the right side. The snow had already turned the middle lane into the de facto right lane, and these two were going 60 in the snow and slop, and one just missed me. He was from Jersey. The other was from Massachusetts. Figures.

As I traveled farther up the Valley, the road became more manageable in increments — Trumbull, then Derby-Ansonia, then relatively smooth sailing in Beacon Falls into Naugatuck, where I got off to take Route 68 the four miles uphill into Prospect.

Well, 68 was a little sloppy but decent enough. At least until I got to the Prospect line. Then I was in another planet. So close to home, and so tightly gripping the wheel. It was slippery and the snow was back to horizontal by the time I made the left turn onto Route 69 at the center of town. Two minutes later, I was home.

My bad-weather plans were to watch the Giants-Packers game and to work on putting out a few resumes, so maybe someone will call me in for an interview in the two weeks I’m still home. I went to plug in the laptop and — Fuck! Where’s my cord? It’s gone. I know I didn’t leave it in the ….

Oh, fuck! I left it at the station! I let out an AAAAAAAGH! so loud my father came to the doorway to ask if I was alright. In the midst of rushing to get out of the station, I left the cord on the console. As I told my mom later, I’ve been blonde my whole life, but I’ve never had blonde moments the way I’ve had since I started wearing wigs.

Anyway, all’s well, except for the Giants’ second straight horrendous performance. The folks fired up their Dell, I wrote cover letters Sunday night and Monday, and four more future rejections job applications went out into the ether.

And you thought this was just a posting of a playlist … And the archived show in its entirety, should you care to listen:

  • American Beat ’84 — The Fleshtones
  • John Lawman — Roky Erickson w/Okkervil River
  • Your Hands Together — The New Pornographers
  • Keeping Time — Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents
  • The Train From Kansas City — Neko Case
  • Ain’t No Cure — Christine Ohlman w/Ian Hunter


  • Wake Up the Nation — Paul Weller
  • Soul’s on Fire (12″ version) — Tracie Young
  • Long Hot Summer Coming On — Black 47
  • Rendezvous — Bruce Springsteen
  • Wrong Side of the Street — Bruce Springsteen


  • Thieves — She & Him
  • Run the Heart — Sleigh Bells
  • Forestiere Gardens — Blake Jones & the Trike Shop
  • Have Some Respect — The Suppressors
  • 74 Years Young — Buddy Guy
  • Love and War — Neil Young


  • Please Judge — Roky Erickson w/Okkervil River
  • Cool Water — Johnny Cash
  • What Am I Going to Do? — The Dovers
  • Walkabout — Atlas Sound (w/Noah Lennox)


  • Crackin’ Up — Hoodoo Gurus
  • Legend of a Wheelman — The Fleshtones
  • The Spell That You Cast — Elvis Costello
  • The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
  • Modern Man — Arcade Fire
  • Christmas Sale — Blake Jones & the Trike Shop
  • Up in the Dark — The New Pornographers
  • Valkyrie at the Roller Disco — The New Pornographers


  • Byrds — P.J. O’Connell
  • 7 & 3 Is the Striker’s Name — Paul Weller
  • Up the Dosage — Paul Weller
  • Don’t Look Back — She & Him


  • I Learned the Hard Way — Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  • Monkey Ska — The Suppressors
  • Small Time Hustler — The Suppressors
  • New Scene — The Fleshtones
  • The Dreg — The Fleshtones
  • Shake Some Action — Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents
  • Over It Over Again — She & Him


  • Ain’t No Grave — Johnny Cash
  • Mykonos — Fleet Foxes
  • Because the Night — Bruce Springsteen
  • I Got Rhythm — Brian Wilson
  • Out & Free & Faraway — Blake Jones & the Trike Shop


  • Do It All Over Again — Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents


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