Cygnus Radio Playlist 5/24/13: So many directions, so little time

The man, the myth, the legend, the Tiur de Force. With Brute Force after his show at Two Boots in Bridgeport, 5/23/13.

The man, the myth, the legend, the Tour de Force. With Brute Force after his show at Two Boots in Bridgeport, 5/23/13. Bethany Appleby photo.

Franorama 2.0 airs live Fridays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT (7-10 a.m. PDT, 2-5 p.m. GMT) on Cygnus Radio, and in the archives in perpetuity. For the archived links to this and all other shows, click here.

I came into this latest episode of Franorama 2.0 with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of territory to cover in three hours.

I was coming off a show where my audience quadrupled, thanks to a mention on iTunes as a must-listen. I was also coming off a very active week musically:

The death of Ray Manzarek that Monday. It’s one thing to play The Doors everyone does it. (And rightfully so; Ray’s keyboard playing stands up there along with Felix Cavaliere and Al Kooper as the best of the ’60s.) But there was more. In addition to the three obligatory Doors songs (my favorite, “Soul Kitchen”; “Peace Frog,” because you can’t live in or near New Haven without a little blood in the streets in the town of New Haven; and “Light My Fire,” a classic use or organ in a rock song), I played two 1965 songs from his pre-Doors band, Rick & the Ravens, and two songs from X’s first album, Los Angeles, which he produced.

Brute Force the night before in Bridgeport. Back in the late ’80s, an old friend let me borrow his copy of the damndest album in the history of Columbia Records: the 1967 release I, Brute Force: Confections of Love. Well-measured abdurdity of a time and place. Anyway, Mr, Force — who later recorded for Apple, having been championed by George Harrison and John Lennon, no strangers to absurd humor — is still plying his musical trade, and in an I-never-thought-I’d-see-the-day moment, he and his eyebrows and his band (including his daughter, Lilah, on backing vocals) came to Two Boots Pizza in downtown Bridgeport the night before the show. the audience was way too small (about 15) but enthusiastic. And rightfully so.

Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday. I was kinda Bobbed out, having played three hours of him the previous day as part of a WPKN fundraiser. But since it was his actual birthday, I couldn’t let it slide. So I didn’t. Bob got a set of tunes from you actually could understand what he was singing.

She & Him. The new third album by She & Him, cleverly titled Volume 3, is out, and Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward raised the bar here, a difficult task since Volume Two was such a gem. Played three killer originals, plus a mini-battle of the bands: three songs remade by Zooey and M., alongside the original versions. The real revelation was “Baby,” a rare side of vinyl from 1965 by someone much better known for her songwriting, Ellie Greenwich. She wrote the song with her then-husband/songwriting partner, Jeff Barry, and the recently deceased Shadow Morton, the man who shaped The Shangri-Las’ sound. Both versions here were excellent, but Ellie’s was a revelation.

New sounds: I’ve been soliciting new sounds from musicians all across my Facebook spectrum. And musicians have been responding, and I played two new-to-me performers on the show for the first time last Friday. From Albany, N.Y., came The Mysteios, latter-day garage featuring Johnny Mystery on guitar and his daughter, Tambourine Girl, on vocals. They’ve been getting play on the Underground Garage channel on Sirius XM, and I’m glad to have them aboard this show as well. From Austin, Texas, came the reflective sounds of singer/songwriter Eric Hisaw, who’ll be coming this way for the first time, playing at Cane Nine in New Haven June 5.

Anyway, the only downer was that the audience was back to its original numbers last week; the bounce the week before didn’t hold. Hoping the algorithms line up again at some point and that I end up on iTunes’ radar again and get a huge chunk of new listeners, and that they’ll stick around.

Anyway, if you like what you hear, listen on Fridays or click on the archives and tune in at your leisure. Also, please like my Facebook page and get your friends to do the same. And if you’re a musician who wants to get played on my show, go to my Facebook page and message me, and I’ll send you my snail and email addresses. Anyway, let’s do this again this Friday:

*****

American Beat ’84 – The Fleshtones

Roadrunner – The Modern Lovers

Big Man – Stark Raving Lulu

Go Get It Somewhere Else – The Mysteios

Do It Clean – Echo & the Bunnymen

What? – Soft Cell

Chicks Dig It – The Big Fat Combo

One Track Mind – The Outta Sites

Hot Generation – The Pandoras

*****

To Sit on a Sandwich – Brute Force

’62 Hawk – The Down-Fi

Buick ’59 – The Medallions

’64 Ford – Phranc

Race With the Devil – Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps

SS 396 – Paul Revere & the Raiders

Fun Fun Fun – The Beach Boys

*****

Geraldine – Rick & the Ravens

Soul Train – Rick & the Ravens

Your Phone’s off the Hook but You’re Not – X

Johnny Hit and Run Pauline – X

Soul Kitchen – The Doors

Peace Frog – The Doors

Light My Fire – The Doors

*****

Positively 4th Street – Bob Dylan

I Want You – Bob Dylan

Absolutely Sweet Marie – Bob Dylan

All I Really Want to Do – Bob Dylan

Maggie’s Farm (live) – Bob Dylan

The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar – Bob Dylan

*****

I’ve Got Your Number, Son – She & Him

Never Wanted Your Love – She & Him

Somebody Sweet to Talk To – She & Him

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me – She & Him

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me – Mel Carter

Sunday Girl – She & Him

Sunday Girl – Blondie

Baby – She & Him

Baby – Ellie Greenwich

*****

Take Care of Yourself – Eric Hisaw

I’ll Be Your Mirror – Eric Hisaw

You’re Gonna Miss a Good Thing – John Bowie

I Live for Cars and Girls – The Dictators

Jump, Jive and Harmonize – Thee Midniters

Ever Fallen in Love? – The Buzzcocks

Love Is All Around – Husker Du

*****

It’s a Wild Weekend — NRBQ

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