Cygnus Radio playlist 7/5/13: The Zombies were having fun …

Yes, it's the Zombies, but no no no, no, no, no, it's not from last Friday night's show in Hamden; this is from June 16 in Rockville, Md. From left: Rod Argent, Jim Rodford and Colin Blunstone. From YouTube.

Yes, it’s The Zombies, but no no no, no, no, no, it’s not from last Friday night’s show in Hamden; this is from June 16 in Rockville, Md. From left: Rod Argent, Jim Rodford and Colin Blunstone. From YouTube.

Franorama 2.0 airs live from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT (9-noon CDT, 7-10 a.m. PDT, 2-5 p.m. GMT) on Cygnus Radio, and in perpetuity in the archives. To go to the archives, click here.

Well, all the years I was writing about music at the New Haven Register, the Hamden Arts Commission would hold a free summer concert series at Meadowbrook Park, an old golf course in the center of town, but despite writing about it every year in the Weekend section, I never went to a show. (I think it was just not wanting to do anything on a Friday night after a 55-to 60-hour work week. Usually just exhaustion and/or decompression.)

Finally, in this, my first summer home from my eight-year exile in California, I went to a show. And it was, indeed, a show. This year, the commission opened its four-Fridays-in-July series with The Zombies.

I’d heard good things from discerning musical friends about the reconstituted Zombies — maybe the most understated and underappreciated act of the British Invasion — since singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent began touring under that name again in the early 2000s. But I’d never had the chance to see them.

My friend Theresa and her hubby, Fred, picked me up (thanks again!), and we made a night of it. And for such a skeevy, sticky summer day, it was a gorgeous evening. And The Zombies were well worth it. A packed hour and a half as it got dark — all the hits, five tunes from Odessey and Oracle, some newer stuff, Rod playing “Hold Your Head Up,” “She’s Not There” to end the set, then “Just out of Reach” and “Summertime” to end it.

And Blunstone — who, like Argent, just turned 68 — was in most excellent voice. All these years, I’ve seen so many performers cut corners to compensate for the vocal ranges they’ve lost. He still has his. The only other singer I can think of who kept his voice well into his 60s like that was Ronnie Dio (who lived to 67; his stomach may have failed him, but not his larynx).

Anyway, I celebrated in advance by playing a half-hour of Zombies on the show that morning, a 10-song set.

And some of the other tunes of note from the 5th:

  • Musicians, get played here! A wonderful thing happened in the midst of the opening set. The irrepressible Palmyra Delran — onetime guitarist and leader of The Friggs — messaged me on Facebook with links to her two most recent singles, “Shy Boy” and “You’re My Brian Jones.” My unofficial motto is “If I like it, I’ll play it” — so I processed both cuts and got them on before the set was over. The moral of the story: If you have an album (CD or files) you think is worthy of playing, well, as I said, if I like it, I’ll play it! message me here or on my Facebook page, and I’ll let you know where to send the album.
  • Musicians, get played here! Part two: The Lost Riots, from New Havenish. I’ve known the lead guitarist, Sean Beirne, since he was a young squirt playing with The Battlecats. Saw them for the first time Wednesday night at the Punk Rock BBQ at Cafe Nine. And ahead if the show, they posted their forthcoming cassette (yes, cassette), “Crown Street Stories,” as a free download on Bandcamp. I played “You Don’t Like Otis Redding.”
  • 50 years? Really? According to the FB page for the documentary The Wrecking Crew, Friday was the 50th anniversary of the day the famed group of L.A. studio musicians laid down the tracks for “By My Baby” at Gold Star Studios. Brian Wilson’s all-time favorite single and source of production inspiration. History.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. Coming up this Friday: A special rave-up with the band that’s headlining before and after the fireworks Saturday evening at the Sailfest in New London — my faves, The Fleshtones. Get ready for three hours of wildness.

*****

American Beat ’84 – The Fleshtones

Clampdown – The Clash

What a Girl Can’t Do – The Outta Sites

Paint It, Black (live) – Echo & the Bunnymen

Got to Have Your Lovin’ – Oscar & the Majestics

You’re My Brian Jones – Palmyra Delran

Shy Boy – Palmyra Delran

Bad Boy – Larry Williams

Geraldine – Rick & the Ravens

Because I Said So – Stark Raving Lulu

Surrender – The J. Geils Band

*****

Fireworks – Blue Oyster Cult

4th of July – X

American Squirm – Nick Lowe

Baby Say Goodbye – Wavves

Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub

Do Something to Me — ? and the Mysterians

*****

She’s Not There – The Zombies

Leave Me Be – The Zombies

Tell Her No – The Zombies

She’s Coming Home – The Zombies

Nothing’s Changed – The Zombies

I Love You – The Zombies

Whenever You’re Ready – The Zombies

Gotta Get a Hold of Myself – The Zombies

Just out of Reach – The Zombies

Time of the Season – The Zombies

*****

All About You – Matt Gouette

Be My Baby – The Ronettes

Is It Love – Gang of Four

North Side Gal – J.D. McPherson

I’m a Country Boy – Ivory Lee Jackson

Suspense – Johnny Brown & His Joy Boys

You Don’t Like Otis Redding – The Lost Riots

Dave Grohl – Wesley Willis

*****

This Land Is Your Land – Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

I Say a Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin

Street Singin’ – Lady Flash

You Can Do It – Kim Weston

I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down (slow version) – Elvis Costello & the Attractions

I’ll Do Anything He Wants Me To – Doris Troy

Tell Me What to Do – The Uniques

*****

Ms. Grace – The Tymes

Lover Boy – The Chairmen of the Board

Frederick – Patti Smith Group

Do Anything You Wanna Do – Eddie & the Hot Rods

Little Honda – Yo La Tengo

Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut – Thee Headcoats

Stop Beating Around the Bush – The Velvelettes

Shambala – Three Dog Night

Love and Loneliness – The Motors

*****

See You Later, Alligator – Bobby Charles

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