Cygnus Radio playlist 5/10/13: Mr. Jones, smooth sailing and ‘Stormy Weather’

Blake Jones was on top of the world this week.

Blake Jones, on top in this photo and on top of the world this week.

For the archive links for this and all my Franorama 2.0 shows on Cygnus Radio, click here. The show airs live from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT (7-10 a.m. PDT, 2-5 p.m. GMT) Fridays.

With each week, I’m more psyched about this online radio thing.

In terms of technical matters, this latest edition of Franorama 2.0 on Cygnus Radio was the best and smoothest yet in my nearly three short months there. No glitches — the software and the mic/headset were both on their best behavior, and the voice levels were perfect. (Laptop radio is, indeed, a different world than terrestrial radio, with its higher-end equipment …)

Musically, it was smooth sailing, too. I finally started, after nine months home, plowing into my storage bin and pulling CDs to rip into this here laptop/station. The little things mean a lot. In this case: getting comfortable with processing the thousands of songs through my computer music files instead of manually rifling through records and CD cases, as in days of old. I think I’m finally there. Like everything, it takes a little time, and the more I do it, and the more I access my files, the more I remember what I have … and the more angles I can bounce into my shows. Garage meets soul meets rockabilly/roots meets country meets punk meets … the Great American Songbook.

To start the final hour, I featured a set to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of my favorite people — and one of the best pop songwriters you might never have heard — the first non-Fresno Bee person I met in Fresno in 2004, Blake Jones. This comes in advance of his new EP, Teasers from the Whispermaphone, which should be out any day now.

The only thing that came close to a glitch, but ended up being a happy accident, came right at the end of the show. Curse that social media …

Still dead, unfortunately.

Still dead, unfortunately.

I usually keep up with things on my Facebook page as I do the show just in case some news breaks (like the death of George Jones two weeks prior). In this case, a few minutes before the end, someone, or someones, posted links to Lena Horne’s obituary. I read it, saw that she had died May 9 — which would have been the day before the show — and quickly shared the post and subbed out my final song, Dave Edmunds’ version of John Fogerty’s “Almost Saturday Night,” for “Stormy Weather.”

Not realizing that she died May 9 three years ago. Something that somehow slipped past me at the time. Since she’s ageless, it wasn’t a bad choice to close the show, but still … Damn that social media!

Anyway, what is encouraging is that musicians are starting to respond to the show and send their latest recordings for airplay — just like old times. This week, Ed Valauskas, onetime New Haven scenester (with The Gravel Pit) and longtime Boston fixture, sent two new offerings from his Q Division studio — The new album by Christian McNeill & Sea Monsters, Everything’s Up for Grabs, and the new country EP by Ed’s wife, Jen D’Angora (of Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents fame), under the name Jenny Dee & Several Men of Mystery.

Anyway, if you’re a musician who wants to get some airplay here — if I like it, I’ll play it. Message me here or on my Facebook page — and I’ll send you my address. And come back and join me next week — there’s always room for you here in the studio!


American Beat ’84 – The Fleshtones

American Music – The Blasters

Let’s Take a Trip – Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers

Can I Get a Witness – Marvin Gaye

One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces – Ben Folds Five

Right Track – Billy Butler

Zero – Christian McNeill & Sea Monsters

Boys Will Be Boys – Frigate

Writing on the Wall – The Five Canadians


She Is So – A Craze

David Watts – The Jam

Far From the Hurting Kind – Tracie Young

The Last Time – The Rolling Stones

Action Woman (live) – Echo & the Bunnymen

A Promise – Echo & the Bunnymen

Edie (Will You Marry Me?) – Chopper

Radio Free Europe (Hib-Tone Records single) – R.E.M.


Never – Jenny Dee & Several Men of Mystery

Dallas – Steely Dan

False Eyelashes – Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles

Baby Don’t Go – Dwight Yoakam & Sheryl Crow

One Piece at a Time – Johnny Cash

Angel 10/11 – The Flying Pigs

Ghost – The Ninas

Shangri-La’s – Stark Raving Lulu


I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders

If You Can Want – The Miracles

We’re Acting Like Lovers – The Spellbinders

More More More – The Andrea True Connection

It’s Wonderful – The Rascals

Sky High – Jigsaw

Janelle, Janelle – The Queers


All I Want for My Birthday – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

The Five Fingers of Dr. Theremin  – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

Sun Up  – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

Fighting the Big Dumb Noise  – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

Forestiere Garden  – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

Me, Waiting for the Rebirth of Wonder  – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

Everybody’s Got an Andy Story  – Blake Jones & the Trike Shop

Living in Hope – The Rutles

Blue Suede Schubert – The Rutles

Any Time at All – The Beatles


Confusion – New Order

I.O.U. – Freez

Omaha – The Golden Palominos

If I Only Had Time – The Godfathers

Smoke Rings (You Can’t Blow) – The Gants

Happy Hour – The Housemartins


Stormy Weather – Lena Horne


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