WPKN Playlist, 1/10/13: Leading off the year …

The Suzan -- here to destroy your conceptions of Japanese girl groups.

The Suzan — here to destroy your conceptions of Japanese girl groups once and for all.

Feb. 7, 2013

Well, I’ve had a couple of previous WPKN playlists swimming around in my purse over the past month, and as you girls know, a purse is a dangerous place to place something, as most things that enter never leave. (Cue up the “BWAhahahaaaaaaaa!” and the ensuing shriek here …)

So after doing another fill-in this morning, I realized it was time to fishing for pieces of paper with journalist’s scrawl on them.

Ten days into the new year, I did my first fill-in of 2013, a two-hour drag race (10 a.m.-noon), filling in for Binnie Klein. (She said “drag” …) It was a short and sweet and fun two hours, that’s for sure. After my previous show, two days following the Newtown massacre, anything would’ve been a step up. But it was a few steps up from that.

Let’s see … Three things stick out from this show:

  • My Fresno pal Jes Farnsworth, the frontman for The Backstabbers and nephew of late Reducers bassist Steve Kaika, has a bigger job at the moment: playing guitar for Newsted, the new trio fronted by ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. The debut four-song EP, Metal, came out two days before. And since it was Jes (who also has a tour as a gun for hire with Jetboy on his resume), I placed them in a Reducers sandwich — Frigate’s track from the tribute album on top, my track with The Backstabbers and one by The Reducers themselves on the bottom …
  • New David Bowie, who turned 66 two days before the show. We managed to get a hold of “Where Are We Now,” the first song from his first album in 10 years, The Next Day, due out in March. It’s kind of a dirgy, gloomy song, but we hear the album as a whole (as produced by his old collaborator, Tony Visconti) is a bit more spirited. His health has been rumoured to have been bad for some time (think about the non-cancerous illnesses one encounters after years of smoking), but ill or not, here he is.
  • The Suzan. I saw them the previous Saturday night at Cafe Nine. Four girls who moved from Tokyo to Harlem two years ago. Talk about shattering concepts … I thought they’d be this cutesy group playing tinny-sounding songs with phonetically sung words and saying things like “Thank you! Buy our CDs!” after every songs, such as The 5.6.7.8’s (who actually did that when they opened for Dick Dale at Maxwell’s in Hoboken in October ’93) and Shonen Knife. The Suzan led off with two songs that reminded me of Talking Heads — in fact, “Come Come” sounded like a hybrid of “(Nothing but) Flowers” and “Iko Iko.” And along the way, they channeled Blondie as well. (And oddly enough, their manager, Greg Vegas, an old friend from his days in the Danbury scene in the late ’80s/early ’90s, told me they had never heard Talking Heads …) A lot of osmosis going on and pleasant surprise.

Anyway, enough yapping. It was fun. Here you go — two more to come in the coming days:

*****

American Beat ’84 — The Fleshtones

I’m Alive — Garland Jeffreys

Stop Beating Around the Bush — The Velvelettes

Soul Time — Shirley Ellis

Rockin’ Around in NYC — Marshall Crenshaw

From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) — Bruce Springsteen

Boys Will Be Boys — Frigate

*****

Soldierhead — Newsted

Out of Step — Fran Fried w/The Backstabbers

Small Talk From a Big Mouth — The Reducers

Same All Over the World — The Swingin’ Neckbreakers

I’m Not an Animal — The Blind Shake

Don’t Press Your Luck — The Shags

A Someday Girl — MG & the Escorts

Pretty Girl — The Bugs

Ecstasy — The Raspberries

*****

Where Are We Now — David Bowie

*****

Ting-a-Ling — Buddy Holly

Hong Kong Garden — Siouxsie & the Banshees

Come Come — The Suzan

(Nothing but) Flowers — Talking Heads

Iko Iko — The Dixie Cups

Ha Ha Ha — The Suzan

Accidents Never Happen — Blondie

Slow Motion — Blondie

Getting Mighty Crowded — Elvis Costello & the Attractions

*****

Lighten Up Baby — Ty Karim

Five Years Ahead of My Time — The Third Bardo

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