Archive for the ‘Pre-Franorama World archives’ Category

ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist — 1/4/10: Ciao for now

June 1, 2010

This is the last of my pre-Franorama World posts, from my MySpace blog Jan. 4, 2010, 2:34 p.m. EST, at the tail end of my holiday visit to Connecticut, my last fill-in on WPKN (89.5 FM, By the end of the month, I started this current WordPress blog:

My mind forgot how strenuous doing morning drive radio could be. My body didn’t.

Chris Teskey, a fellow longtime PKNer, was kind enough to offer me his 6-9 a.m. shift today, and I was too busy burning more mix CDs for the show to think about getting some sleep. Got to bed about 12:30 to be up at 3:20 to get down to the station in plenty of time to put together the news and rip some music, etc.

And I’m hurting for sleep right about now. Just like the old days.

Very early on this morning, I got a cosmic reminder of why I do these shows on my visits back — six years removed from full-time life in Connecticut and a regular show — and why WPKN and stations like it are so important. Even if it is just music.


ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist — 12/31/09: Good way to end a bad decade

June 1, 2010

This pre-Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog Jan. 3, 2010, 1:50 p.m. EST:

The final day of one of the worst decades in our country’s history — and easily the wildest, weirdest and most anxiety-ridden year of my life — started out with one last bit of badness and anxiety: a morning snowstorm that quickly hit us with wet and sticking flakes. Not good for driving. Left home at 9:30 a.m., as the storm started to hit its stride. A 35-minute drive took me over an hour and a half (including a stop at Dunky D’s for coffee), but there was radio to be done, a 1-4 p.m. shift. (And thanks again to Peter Bochan for giving up his shift.)

(And I’m seriously considering moving back to this place? Am I fucking nuts? I always did hate snow, and I want move back into the thick of it?)


ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist — 12/27/09: Post-holiday letting loose

June 1, 2010

This pre-Franorama World post is from my MySpace blog Dec. 28, 2009, 3:56 p.m. EST:

Well, I had to pull myself away from a great party last night to do radio — one of my old pub trivia pals in New Haven, Tommy, called me during my Christmas-night show to invite me, and I saw a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years — but it turned out rather well.

It was the “Making Something out of Nothing” fill-in edition of Franorama — i filled in for my friend Rod Richardson, the host of “Radio Nothing” — and got to do one of the few remaining four-hour shifts on WPKN. And while it was fun to share my Christmas tunes the previous two shows, it was great to be able to let loose on the rest of my stack o’tunes. (Before I came home last month, I ripped over 50 mixdiscs, including seven of my Christmas discs, to my laptop and reconstituted them back here in Prospect. Ripped 10 more CDs of soul mixdiscs back in Fresno and brought them back to disc form here this time.)

Time flies when you’re having fun.


ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist — 12/25/09: Dashing through the (freezing) rain

June 1, 2010

This pre-Franorama World post was from my Myspace blog Dec. 26, 2009, 9:01 p.m. EST:

As fate would have it, I got to fill in at WPKN not only on Christmas Eve, but Christmas night as well, subbing for Kathy DeMino. It was a more subdued show that I usually do, probably because I was exhausted. (My fault. I got wrapped up in Spike’s “Star Wars” marathon and was watching the end of “The Empire Strikes Back” and all of “Return of the Jedi,” accompanied by the warm glow of the Christmas tree, til 4 a.m. — which was about the time my niecie dudes got my brother out of bed at his place …) But I got up in time to have Christmas dinner at Ken’s house, my first meal with the full family in years, and then headed to Bridgeport before the rain, which was to turn into freezing rain by late night.

The show itself wasn’t smooth (I had a lot of blonde moments, none of which I could blame on egg nog), and it turned out to be a good thing. I was supposed to have been on from 7-10. But the Mac on which we get our news programs was malfunctioning — actually, there was something wrong with the connection to the control board, and I’m no computer genius — so instead of Amy Goodman from 10-11 and Free Speech Radio News from 11-11:30, I got an extra hour to play, followed by my old New Haven pal Bill O’Grady at 11. (And you weren’t missing much — both the news shows were reruns …)

Stayed through Bill’s fab show (he’s another unrepentant rock’n’roller), ripped a couple of the station’s box sets (four-CD rockabilly and ska comps from England) to my computer, watched one short from the Three Stooges box set my nieces bought me (“The Three Stooges Collection Vol. 7: 1952-1954 — Shemp gives me the heebee beebees), then drove him back to New Haven and crawled slowly up into the hills, where the roads got a little treacherous. But I was safe and in bed by 4:30.

So here’s what you missed Christmas night. It was quite a mixed bag:

ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist — 12/24/09: Gee whiz, it’s Christmas!

June 1, 2010

This pre-Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog Dec. 26, 2009, 5:45 p.m. EST, back in Connecticut for the holidays:

Last Saturday (12/19) was to have been our 15th annual radio run-through of “Rudolph,” a now-traditional part of Jeff Day’s Christmas show on WPKN. Well, the impending snowstorm made us do something that even Santa couldn’t do: We had to cancel Christmas. Or at least the show.

My consolation prize, I figured, was that I could hang out at home and watch my Saints beat the Cowboys and go 14-0. Riiiiiight … Well, I’m glad the game was over at 11:30, too late for a three-on-a-match, a trifecta of suckdom.

But I did get to do a Christmas Eve radio show, filling in for the station manager, Peter Bochan, who trusted his shift to a near-total stranger. And it was a fun way to start the two days of Christmas, a way to at least kinda make up for a lack of Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon this year. And I was home in time for Mom’s traditional Christmas Eve fish dinner.

Here’s what you missed (or not):

ARCHIVES: WPKN playlist, 11/27/09: The power of the Web

June 1, 2010

Vance Brescia with me before the Herman's Hermits show at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, June 2008.

This pre-Franorama World post is from my MySpace blog Dec. 1, 2009, 11:45 p.m. EST:

While I was home this time, I got to do two fill-in shows at WPKN (89.5 FM,, the community radio station in Bridgeport that’s near and dear to my heart. One of the reasons I’d come back to Connecticut if I had a job — family and friends and proximity to NYC aside — is that the station is in some serious financial trouble, and I’d love to help find a way to rescue it before it’s too late. (What’s the Megamillions jackpot up to? Or Powerball?)

Anyway, I lost the playlist from my Sunday morning (11/22) Franorama fill-in, but here’s the playlist from my Black Friday show (11/27), 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. EST (8:30-midnight PST).

In addition to calls from friends and longtime listeners — plus a couple of asshole crank calls — I had something cool happen, thanks to the power of the Web in general, and eBay and email in particular.

ARCHIVES: The perils of living a double life (NFL style)

June 1, 2010

Roman Harper makes sure native son Eli Manning's first Dome game is memorable for all the wrong reasons. Photo: UPI.

This Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog Oct. 16, 2009, 6:44 p.m. PDT, two days before my New Orleans Saints hosted my New York Giants, both undefeated at the time. I thought it was a 1 p.m. game, only to wake up at 10:30 and find that the Saints were already up 28-10 en route to a 48-27 rout:

I’m a full-fledged, hardcore, middle-of-the-period Gemini, so living a double life is no big thing to me. Two jobs at once (I was a sportswriter and music writer at the same time at my first job, and both entertainment editor and music writer at my second), two genders at once (ask me how), two major life changes at once … and two favorite football teams at the same time.

And it’s inevitable that once in a while, they’ll meet — and one will win and one will lose.

But never have they met when both have been unbeaten.

Let’s just say come 1 p.m. Sunday, I will be planted in front of a set somewhere watching my 4-0 New Orleans Saints host my 5-0 East Rutherford Giants at the Dome. I plan to wear my road Eli jersey one half, my home Deuce McAllister jersey the other. (A coin flip will determine who gets to receive.)

And it’s gonna be great.

And it’s gonna suck.

But hey, there are worse things. Like when both teams suck at the same time, like in the mid-to-late ’90s.


ARCHIVES: Jimmy died at his desk in upper Manhattan (Jim Carroll, 1949-2009)

May 31, 2010

Jim Carroll put on a lot of mileage in his 60 years.

This pre-Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog Sept. 30, 2009, 6:44 p.m. PDT:

It was just an intersection of one time, one show, one night and one morning after. I wish to hell I could remember any of our conversations, aside from the one I printed. But I was living in the moment — I wasn’t thinking that one day the guy would be dead and I’d be in a coffee shop 2,500 miles away, looking back on him and thinking jeez, I wish I could remember some pearl that the guy imparted. At the time, it was just the intersection of two regular guys — except that one of the guys was a famous poet who had a lot to say at one time and whose work intersected with my formative musical and adult years.

You probably know by now that Jim Carroll, that legendary New York poet whose teenage journal about his mid-’60s descent from high school sports stardom to heroin addiction became “The Basketball Diaries,” died Sept. 11 of a heart attack at his home in Inwood, the section of upper Manhattan where he grew up. He was 60, but seemed much older when he collapsed at his desk. My meeting with him was a collision of past image and present reality.


ARCHIVES: Ellie Greenwich (1940-2009)

May 31, 2010

Ellie Greenwich: the true leader of the pack.

This pre-Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog Aug. 27, 2009, 12:30 p.m. PDT:

Lost among the platitudes for Ted Kennedy and the news of Dominick Dunne and ignored by the broadcast media was the death of one of our generation’s all-time greatest songwriters. Ellie Greenwich, 68, passed away of a heart attack yesterday in New York.

I believe the quote about Sir Christopher Wren, the architect who rebuilt London after the Great Fire, was “If you seek his monument, look around you.” If you seek Ellie’s monument, turn on an oldies station. No, wait — they’re playing all that sappy ’70s and ’80s wine-and-cheese shit now. If you seek Ellie’s monument, dig into your record collection, or iTunes, or MySpace (well maybe not so MySpace — a couple of my favorites couldn’t be found here) … You’ll mourn with a smile.

ARCHIVES: Hardly strictly anything but cool

May 31, 2010

This pre-Franorama World post was from my MySpace blog July 5, 2009, 12:24 p.m. PDT. For the record: I went on the final day for the first time and saw bits of Booker T. & the Drive-By Truckers, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Aimee Mann, The Knitters and traditional festival-closer Emmylou Harris, and all of Marianne Faithfull’s set.

Just a heads-up, kids, even though it’s only three months away … and hopefully I’ll be living up in San Francisco — or a lot closer to there — by then …

Just went to the website for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the big bash that billionaire investor and bluegrass fanatic Warren Hellman puts on every year at Golden Gate Park. Five stages in the Speedway Meadow, a gazillion great artists over three days — and free admission. (Food and merch extra, of course). Of course, you have to work your way through three gazillion yuppies and their dogs and their high-end baby haulers to see what you want, but if you can hold your nose long enough, you’ll dig it.