Robyn Hitchcock/Soft Boys: Classic or Dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Just picked up the Matador Records re-release of the Soft Boys' celebrated UNDERWATER MOONLIGHT album, appended with outtakes and deleted tracks. I started backwards with this band, becoming a fan of Robyn Hitchcock's solo career of skewed psychedelic pop back in college, only later discovering his earlier, "punkier" band, The Soft Boys. To my ears, the hybrid of Hitchcock's decidedly off-kilter lyrical fixation with all things surreal and his knack for soaring pop harmonies and melody is absolutely the stuff of legend, but I have friends who consider him a unbearable Syd Barrett clone and/or too clever-clever for anyone's aural benefit. What say you?

Alex in NYC, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Underwater moonlight" is a classic indeed. It's an album that doesent fit in anywhere, its a bit punk, bit power-pop and a bit psychedelic. I havent heard any of his solo stuff so I cant pass any comment on it.

Michael, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I love both the Soft Boys and Hitchcock, for slightly different reasons, and have favourites amongst the discographies of both. With the Soft Boys, it's easier to just like it all because there was precious little material, though Underwater Moonlight certainly towers head and shoulder over everything else. With Hitchcock, I find that it's a bit hit and miss. I'm unabashedly a fan of Globe of Frogs, because that was my entry point and has some truly killer songs in "Balloon Man", "Vibrating", Tropical Flesh Mandala" and "Beatle Dennis". That said, I think I almost prefer some of the earlier albums, including I Often Dream of Trains, Fegmania, Element of Light and esp. Gotta Let This Hen Out. The first two I find a bit patchy and anything after Queen Elvis is also patchy. Certainly, Hitchcock's wonko lyrics are an acquired taste, but I'll take the clever surrealism of his lyrics over the stupid cliches that comprise a good chunk of popular music any day.

Short answer: both classic.

Sean Carruthers, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Like Alex, I was a fan of Robyn' solo work and then went backwards to the Soft Boys. The Soft Boys are complete CLASSIC. I first picked up A CAN OF BEES and UNDERWATER MOONLIGHT in the early 90s and they totally blew my mind. I couldn't believe that they were so unappreciated in music "history". Even today, people still give you cross looks when you mention the Soft Boys. Not many people know them at all. Hopefully the Matador attention will change that a bit. Their show a few weeks back in Baltimore was attended by about 200 or so folks, which was pretty respectable. Great show. They played "I Wanna Destroy You" so I was satisfied.

As for Robyn's solo stuff, I'd have to say its a mixed bad. In fact, I can't even point to one album that's all classic. But there's so much great stuff scrambled in there that its hard to dismiss any of them totally. Probablly my favorites would be GLOBE OF FROGS, EYE, ELEMENT OF LIGHT, and QUEEN ELVIS. That looks like mostly mid-period Hitchcock to me.

But for a career, I'd give Robyn in his various guises a CLASSIC.

Tim Baier, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ooops, I meant Robyn's solo career is a mixed "bag". Its not "bad", its a "bag" dammit!

Tim Baier, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Underwater Moonlight is absolutely wonderful. There seems to be a perfect balance between Robin's unsettling wierdness and killer psych- pop tunes, which all to often tips towards 'being a loony'later on. A Can of Bees is worth having too. The best of Hitchcock's solo career is probably "Gotta Let this Hen Out", but unfortunately IMHO the whimsy overwhelms all else after "Fegmania". The later albums are all but unbearable, although I haven't heard them all. I'd say his best before date was around 1985.

Dr. C, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Classic: the title "The Lonesome Death of Ian Penman" (in response to IP's sarky review of _A Can of Bees_)

Dud: Never heard a single solitary note, so I wdn't know. Naturally I hate him.

mark s, Monday, 7 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I saw the re-united soft boys out here in san francisco a few weeks back, and they were quite good...played my favourites, Queen of Eyes and I Wanna Destroy You. Plus they were backed up by the mighty Young Fresh Fellows, so that added lots. I've always liked Underwater Moonlight, especially the Rykodisc Cd reissue of 5 or so years back, which had 5 or so extra tracks, including a good one called Nobody Like You. My favourite Soft Boys, though, would be the very silly Live at the Portland Arms. Mostly sort of acoustic, filled with ad- libs, wit and oddball cover songs. Hitchcock solo I haven't enjoyed as much, as I guess I like the rockier / poppier side of the Soft Boys, albeit partly because of the somewhat odd lyrics...I like some of his LP I Often Dream of Trains. I certainly know some people who can't stand his lyrics, though.

paulsheridan, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Has made a career flogging a particular brand of stereotypical English weirdness (cf Glen Baxter) - some good tunes on Underwater Moonlight but he leaves a bad taste in the mouth. No connection at all. Dud.

Tom, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm of much the same opinion as Tom...But oddly today I kept finding myself singing to myself a typically anoying solo-career-era song of his. Now I've started fuckin' doing it again. Thanks guys.

duane zarakov, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
classic - twisted dark humour, a touch of verbosity, snarling and prowling guitars and a dark dark heart. i had very low expectations of "nextdoorland" the new album but it's entirely fantastic. have not heard anything as thrilling as "strings" all year...

commonswings, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

He's sooooooooo weird.

DeRayMi, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Soft Boys are on point rather like a steeple but I just can't get on with Hitchcock's solo stuff. I have a friend who has a catalogue of it but it just doesn't seem to have... the edginess of the Soft Boys. When he's on his own, it's like Rob tries too hard to be a Barrett but he's too sane to make it work. I can't listen to it.

But Underwater Moonlight is somethig else. I Wanna Destroy You is an alltime winner. I also really like He's A Reptile.

Roger Fascist (Roger Fascist), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

hehe...once i saw the title of the thread i knew Sean would be all over this as when we met he had a soft boys t-shirt.

haven't heard soft boys myself but will pick it up if i see it.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Soft Boys are definitely classic to me, Hitch more of a mixed bag. I am a bit wary that the Soft Boys new record (out now, as they say in the papers) will do damage to the band's rep; I haven't heard the record yet, but I did hear some of the songs on the reunion tour and they definitely skewed toward the diminishing returns side of Hitch's more recent works.

The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

TMFTML (TMFTML), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 14:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Underwater Moonlight" is a great record.

The rest of The Soft Boys and Hitchcock's output is very hit and miss.

The only Hitchcock album that I have heard that is consistent front to back is "Globe of Frogs". I used to have a few others from that time period, but there would generally only be a song or two worth hearing and the rest pretty dull. It has been a long time since I have heard any of this music.

Hitchcock seemed to put out a record every six months for a few years back in the day, which is probably a primary reason why they are kind of spotty.

earlnash, Tuesday, 24 September 2002 17:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I gotta pay closer attention to what's going on in the world. I had no clue that Nextdoorland was even on the way. I just picked it up now. It's weird, because I was actually wearing my Soft Boys shirt again the other day, Julio, and I don't think I've put it on since that last time when you saw it. Huh.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Friday, 27 September 2002 22:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
"...I don't KNOW WHY
She never gets anywhere

(Wonder why I never posted on this thread before? Been listening to the Rykodisc reissues and the 2-disc overview of Soft Boys stuffage all week.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

As I get older, Robyn is becoming my favorite musician. I bought Can of Bees a long time ago and thought it was good... then I finally heard Underwater Moonlight a few years before the Matador reissue came out... and since then, I've become a bit obsessed. He's one of those artists who never seems to put out anything that I don't like, including individual songs. His songwriting is remarkably consistent, but not samey because his lyrics are usually very good if not terrific.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I love A Can of Bees. I couldn't stop listening to it last fall.

Trip Maker (Sean Witzman), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Totally classic (with longueurs, of course). How Demme managed to film a dull RH gig...?

Anyone knocked out by the new Gillian Welch collab?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

He's the best. I've loved pretty much all of his records at one time or another. A couple of interesting ones that don't get mentioned too much are that Rykodisc set, Invisible Hitchcock, and the last few, especially Jewls for Sophia and Moss Elixer. Also You and Oblivion which has some of my favorites.

danh (danh), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

As I think is almost required among fans, I have a bootleg of one of his solo acoustic performances, in this case one I taped myself back in 1995 at McCabe's in LA. He previewed a fair amount of Moss Elixir material along with digging up various old faves and random numbers, and of course was his usual dry self on stage. I'm trying to remember if I ever got it converted to digital or not...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Any thoughts on Nextdoorland by the Soft Boys?'s a bit spotty but I def. think "Mr. Kennedy" is one of my fav SB songs ever....It's totally like onOFFon my Mission of Burma, not disappointing but not a classic, held up by a few genuinely great songs....

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Nextdoorland was my third favorite record of 2002, if memory serves. By contrast, onOFFon did nothing for me.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Those Nextdoorland songs didn't hold up live when they did that Underwater Moonlight show. I actually never bought it because of that show. They were totally lifeless next to the classics. Pretty, but lifeless.

danh (danh), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think "Underwater Moonlight" is about half-classic. The title track is great, "Kingdom of Love" is the all-time best rip of the Hollies' "Long Cool Woman." I give Kimberley Rew credit for it, though--great guitar work, really distinctive. I also like the earlier Soft Boys stuff OK, but I don't think it's all that great.

I guess I like "Element of Light" all right, and there are times I put on "Mossy Liquor" or "Moss Elixor" or whatever that's called depending on whether you have the LP or CD. RH is good, kind of a one-trick drugged pony ride though. I probably still prefer Syd Barrett or John Lennon, though.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I found Nextdoorland to be kind've a let down.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 21 January 2005 19:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Anyone knocked out by the new Gillian Welch collab?

It's kinda strange. I do like it - not necessarily knocked out though. It had this implicit "this is Robyn's grown-up serious record" feeling to it. Almost if it's in reaction to the relatively freewheeling Luxor album.

Gator Magoon (Chris Barrus), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

To clarify, I don't want him to make another crustacean album either.

Gator Magoon (Chris Barrus), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The new one's excellent; the first and last tracks steal it, but so much else is great; "English Girl", who else would reference Merle Haggard and Ronald Searle? Even better was seeing him live a few months ago, in a nicely small (if difficult to find) venue in Newcastle, the Cluny...

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
Classic. Underwater Moonlight will be all over my Top 100 80's lists whenever we do it.

Cunga (Cunga), Wednesday, 6 July 2005 23:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm very fond of I Often Dream of Trains.

Ian Riese-Moraine has been xeroxed into a conduit! (Eastern Mantra), Thursday, 7 July 2005 00:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I still defend Perspex Island.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 7 July 2005 00:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

soft boys--classic
robyn hitchcock--classic

i'd say that the best way to experience robyn these days is to see him live--he's got such a wealth of great songs at this stage in his career. And usually, the more recent songs sound better in person than they do on record. there are a few live shows on's live music database if you're curious.

also worth seeking out is the soft boys' live at portland arms LP (some of which is on the ryko overview). hilarious and unplugged.

and ned, it sounds as though we were probably at the same mccabes show in 1995--i think my friend and i were the only teenagers in the house. if you ever digitize your tape, i'd love to relive it.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 July 2005 01:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

also, in the middle of one of those 1995 mccabes shows, i realized that i was sitting next to none other than adam duritz. true story.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 July 2005 01:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No mention of Old Pervert or Insanely Jealous?

Jamey Lewis (Jameys Burning), Thursday, 7 July 2005 02:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

insanely jealous old pervert?

chief of chaff (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 7 July 2005 02:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Robyn was a streak of genuine weirdness on the alt pop charts in the eighties, his records definitely helped get through high school back then. The live shows were incredible, the improvised stories he'd spin between songs always made sense.

He's one of two people I ever asked for an autograph. Philip Glass was not in a good mood when I walked up, 15 years old & nervous, having spotted him in the lobby during the intermission to the Knee Plays... can't blame him for scowling at me. Robyn on the other hand was impossibly cool about the awkward situation, saying while signing my copy of Trains "well y'know it's no good having heroes, especially once you get to know them and realize they have all the same problems..." I assured him that was the point.

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 7 July 2005 06:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I noticed the similarities between the Left Banke's I Haven't Got the Nerve tune and I Wanna Destroy You a few weeks ago. Who knows? It's a good tune either way but thought someone might appreciate it.

Cunga (Cunga), Tuesday, 30 August 2005 08:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Underwater Moonlight is one of the best records ever made.

zeus, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 08:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
The Soft Boys (esp. Can of Bees, Underwater Moonlight and Invisible Hits, the cream of the crop) are absolute classic. No doubt about it. Nextdoorland is really good as well, esp. Mrs. Kennedy.

As for Robyn Hitchcock, his first album, Black Snake Diamond Role continued the Soft Boys course honorably - "Acid Bird" especially is classic. Also, his third, I Often Dreamt of Trains is excellent too. Hilarious (and very British) songs like "Uncorrected Personality Traits" and "Sometimes I Wish I Were a Pretty Girl" ( I could ---- myself in the shower..) sit next to absolutely gorgeous quiet and sad songs. His 80s and 90s stuff gets a bit too slick for my tastes, losing its classic edge - some good moments though. Haven't heard his most recent stuff...mixed bag, as other said.

Nick Wilson, Friday, 2 June 2006 05:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

I absolutely like his later stuff too. He does pop after all, and pop may well benefit from a slick production (that being said, the rawer sound of "Underwater Moonlight" doesn't make that album any less excellent, partly because the songs he wrote for that album are better than any songs he has been able to write since)

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 2 June 2006 09:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
i was overcome with the need to listen to robyn hitchcock's "i often dream of trains" this evening, but alas, i am unable to find my copy of it anywhere. i'm feeling rather distraught about all this. i haven't ripped and ipodified that one yet and now i'm terrifically disappointed that i didn't.

anyway: classic. i heard solo hitchcock first, and have always had a preference for the early stuff, though i did snag a copy of "spooked" and found it quite entertaining. the 90's stuff often bores me, though certainly "moss elixir" has it moments. but "trains" and "fegmania!" are my favorites.

soft boys, also classic. picked up the matador rerelease of "underwater moonlight" when it came out and loved it. played that this evening in lieu of "i often dream of trains".

Emily B (Emily B), Friday, 15 September 2006 05:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

Listened to "Fegmania" the other day and it is absolutely ace. Particularly "The Man With The Lightbulb Head" and "My Wife And My Dead Wife".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 15 September 2006 18:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

New Robyn Hitchcock w/band album coming out soon on Yep Rock. The track I've heard (something about a Rocketship) sounded promising.

dlp9001 (dlp9001), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

i've always had mixed feelings, I loved it all but kinda grew out of some of the wackier stuff. Now I look at something like Trains and the stuff that's a bit "silly" I have to skip over, but the other stuff is some of the most beautiful music ever.

He played at Oberlin when I was there to a small crowd and encored with Autumn is Your Last Chance.

I also have a severe soft-spot for Queen Elvis.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 15 September 2006 20:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

A Can of Bees and the comp "76-81" is all you need in my opinion. Underwater Moonlight just doesn't do it for me really and Robyn's solo stuff has never been my cup of tea.

Randall Weeber (yoyoweb), Saturday, 16 September 2006 01:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've heard that Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 on Yep Yoc -- it's the guys from the Minus 5 backing him up. Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey and the other guy (forget his name). It's pretty good, very power pop.

mcd (mcd), Saturday, 16 September 2006 03:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

A Can of Bees is a much more uneven affair than Underater Moonlight. 'Anglepoise Lamp' is one of Hitchcocks's best song though, strange, that nobody mentioned that in the thread.

zeus (zeus), Saturday, 16 September 2006 10:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

yeah, kind of agree -- the song itself doesn't seem amazing, but I like the overall sound. weirdly it's grunge-man brendan o'brien producing

tylerw, Friday, 3 February 2017 15:03 (one month ago) Permalink

this is odd to say but it sounds like one of the lame songs from an otherwise good Robyn album? Hence I am psyched

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Friday, 3 February 2017 15:12 (one month ago) Permalink

haha, that sounds about right. i like the line about the cat dynasty.

tylerw, Friday, 3 February 2017 15:18 (one month ago) Permalink

there's definitely bits i like but i had to take a break when he exclaimed 'if ya got no heart!'

chorus seemed to scan so awkwardly at first but by its third appearance i kind of liked it

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Friday, 3 February 2017 16:23 (one month ago) Permalink

I'd add:

I saw Nick Drake
Sometimes a Blonde
We're Gonna Live in the Trees

Brendan Benson producing right?

JoeStork, Friday, 3 February 2017 17:14 (one month ago) Permalink

oh ha, you're right! brendans!

tylerw, Friday, 3 February 2017 17:16 (one month ago) Permalink

1974 is my favorite Star for Bram song. Star for Bram is really strong though, I consider it the equal of Jewels for Sophia barring a couple of throwaways

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Friday, 3 February 2017 17:59 (one month ago) Permalink

Daisy Bomb is my Star For Bram tune. The studio version of 1974 irks me.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 3 February 2017 20:01 (one month ago) Permalink

nietzsche's way is great, too ... was always a little let down by the studio "nick drake" -- i saw him do it at one point w/ Jon Brion on keys and it was incredible.

tylerw, Friday, 3 February 2017 20:03 (one month ago) Permalink

Yes I liked I saw nick drake better live, especially a very slow solo acoustic one

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Friday, 3 February 2017 21:37 (one month ago) Permalink

Not my favorite era for Hitch but where's "Cheese Alarm"?

kwhitehead, Saturday, 4 February 2017 01:54 (one month ago) Permalink

Part of the challenge and fun of making best of's is setting a limit. I mean, I usually listen to full albums but artists with huge catalogs often benefit from a less-is-more approach. So 20 tracks or 80 minutes works well and forces me to really pick the cream of the crop. I've really enjoyed listening to Robyn's best work and bypassing the bad, merely good and failed experiments.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 4 February 2017 17:33 (one month ago) Permalink

at one point I made a hitchcock playlist and it had like hundreds of songs on it and was 4 hours long at least. his catalogue is just so vast at this point.

akm, Sunday, 5 February 2017 16:53 (one month ago) Permalink

I have two Robyn best of playlists on Spotify, one super concise one where each album gets only one or two tracks, and one big baggy one where you get several tracks per album (both are titled Verities & Verdigris). The shitty thing there was that the A&M era is not on Spotify except for the Greatest Hits cd, so a bunch of my favorite globe/queen/Perspex/respect tracks couldn't be included.

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 5 February 2017 18:43 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

second single from this new record is a damp squib, too. Kinda bummed.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 27 February 2017 21:34 (one month ago) Permalink

oh nooooo really?

seeing the Black Snake show with Yo La Tengo tomorrow night

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Monday, 27 February 2017 21:46 (one month ago) Permalink

i dunno, gotta listen to it a bit more, but it sounded good

tylerw, Monday, 27 February 2017 21:49 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm jealous Jon! Couldn't justify the trip, no matter how much I wanted it. If there's some goofy march thing you could pick one up for me. :)

Here's the new tune. The nicest thing I can say is it's overly familiar.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 27 February 2017 21:50 (one month ago) Permalink

dang yeah that Black Snake show is going to be funnnnnnn

tylerw, Monday, 27 February 2017 21:52 (one month ago) Permalink

i actually blew it when they announced the second show because i was in minnesota at my mom's and by the time i got home and remembered to buy a ticket it'd sold out too. But I asked my buddy if he had any juice at rough trade store and to my relief he had juice at rough trade store and got our names on the list.

i hope this isn't the last time seeing him in front of an electric band.


Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Monday, 27 February 2017 21:54 (one month ago) Permalink

Those Rock Armada shows were the best.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 27 February 2017 21:59 (one month ago) Permalink

So EZ they just have cd and 7" versions of the Robyn & Emma single and some black snake diamond role shirts and posters
Not the esoterica you would want I assume
(Show has not started yet)

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 01:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Wow that second set!
Can I just--
Wey wey hep uh hole
It's a mystic trip (w pedal-enabled backward guitar from ira)
All I want to do is fall in love
I got a message for you
A skull a suitcase and a long red bottle of wine
Going down to Liverpool (!)
Run run run (ira ostrich solo)
Sleeping knights of Jesus (4 part harmonies!)
Kingdom of love
He's a reptile (hard and tight as fuck)
Rock n roll toilet (w YLT playing the wrong instruments)
Lucifer Sam
Airscape (w backward ira guitar and Georgia singing the harmonies -- omg)

I may have gotten the exact sequence wrong and or left something out

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 14:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yow that looks amazing -- hoping someone was on hand to tape it all...

tylerw, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 14:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

He indicated that the second set was selected by YLT to his surprise and or chagrin on certain items, ha. And that the second set tonight at Bowery would be different.

First set (black snake lp):

Man who invented himself -- rhythm guitar takes piano part, a guy plays the redacted sax melody on trumpet

Do policemen sing was SO GOOD, super hard and brusque with mcnew and Kaplan doing the high backing vocals

I watch the cars was really fast and charging w the muted rhythm chords super brutal

The lizard was perfect

Love was so beautiful and I gotta think this is the first time he's every played it live? (Likewise policemen)

I forgot to say he's playing a strat now wtf when did that start???? And switched to playing with his fingers on a bunch of tracks, notably skull/suitcase and run run run

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 14:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

sweet, thank you for the report! "Airscape" with Georgia is definitely a dream come true ...

tylerw, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 15:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I've never heard him with a female singer doing the Morris harmonies. God damn it was good.

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 15:28 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That sounds amazing Jon. So glad you got to see it.

And yeah, that merch is BORING.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 17:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

wish i was going to tonight's show too!

BTW merch table was run by small blonde with Aus accent, I assume this is Emma Swift. Thought that would mean she would sing on something but didn't happen. RH did dedicate Airscape to her.

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 17:27 (three weeks ago) Permalink

That's sweet.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 17:46 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Robyn's catalog is littered with songs to his ex's. I wonder what happened to Michelle.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 18:03 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Ahem one L

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 18:30 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Wow that second set!
Can I just--

― Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, March 1, 2017 6:23 AM (five hours ago)

damn, that sounds more than slightly incredible. where is the skulking bootlegger when you need him?

“Remember,” he says, “Noddy Holder is a gangster.” (contenderizer), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 19:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

think that nyc taper was hoping to record at least one of these shows ...

tylerw, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 19:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ha, was hoping to hear from you, tyler

“Remember,” he says, “Noddy Holder is a gangster.” (contenderizer), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 20:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i assume these will turn up on if anyone tapes them (though... does YLT have the same laissez-faire as robyn to live recording sharing...?)

hi contendo!

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 20:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ylt is generally taper friendly, but sometimes it seems like they're not into "special" shows being shared ... but i imagine they'd defer to robyn in this case.

tylerw, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 20:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

howdy, jon!

“Remember,” he says, “Noddy Holder is a gangster.” (contenderizer), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 20:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

...well it's up on dime now.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 22:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

is dime still a private club?

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 22:56 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i think they have open registrations. anyway probably not long before it shows up on archive or whatever for anyone who doesn't want to register for an account.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 23:03 (three weeks ago) Permalink


tylerw, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 23:05 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'll bet tonight's show will be even better, there were some minor spills last night

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 23:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Though rough trade strikes me as a better room to record from the audience in than Bowery

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 23:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

any intel on last night's show?

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 2 March 2017 16:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I was at the show. Tremendous. I was struck how Ira ended up being Hitch's perfect foil on guitar. He really brought home the noisey bits. The entire band was completely up for the task. Highlights included a triplpy version of Lizard, great falsetto vocals and heavy groove on Do Policemen Sing? and a jaw-dropping version late in the second set of Let There Be More Darkness with Hitch nailing the creepy "Kevin, Supper's Ready!" bit. No Lucifer Sam encore but we also got "I often Dream of Trains, which is always a treat. I'd love to hear a recording of the show. It was a special night.

kwhitehead, Thursday, 2 March 2017 23:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Noooooo they did let there be more darkness??? Fuuuuuuuuck

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 2 March 2017 23:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ha, that must be a first? man, Invisible Hitchcock is such a good collection.

tylerw, Thursday, 2 March 2017 23:10 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This might be hyperbole on my part but I think I'd give Tuesday's whole show for that

Cognition (Remix) (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 2 March 2017 23:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Many years ago I saw Hitch play it solo. But this was a different beast altogether.

kwhitehead, Thursday, 2 March 2017 23:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.