"Why did we even bother to crawl out of the swamps, is this it?"
March 8, 2013 7:58 AM   Subscribe

In between posting rare videos to his YouTube channel and promoting his latest album Love from London, Robyn Hitchcock discusses a baker's dozen of influences for the Quietus and eviscerates his least favorite song for the Onion AVClub's HateSong. Archive.org features 64 of his concerts spanning 25 years.
posted by carrienation (23 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Metafilter: It’s as if you found that you had just become incontinent and soiled your clothing, but you’ve just been given an enormous amount of painkillers so it doesn’t matter.
posted by thelonius at 8:12 AM on March 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

If I had to choose between making a mortgage payment or listening to Robyin Hitchcock muse about nothing for an hour...I'm never going to have to make that choice, right?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:19 AM on March 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

I don't know how I would explain to kids today the condition of being an American teenager with one major source for new music - commercial AM/FM radio - between the onset of the anti-disco movement in 1979-1980 and the time (1982?) I figured out how to tune in MTV without a cable converter box. (There were SCREWS YOU COULD TURN to get the TV to display cable signals between channels!) Voila: Romeo Void.

There was college radio, but that was hit or miss too - at that age I didn't cotton to hours of "community programming" on the weekends. There were also my friends' records - they got out more than I did.

I fully understand the fiery hate for "Arthur's Theme" and I think Hitchcock nailed it. Cross and his MOR, offensive-for-being-inoffensive ilk were ubiquitous on AM AND FM until, well, "Thriller." I also liked Hitchcock's comments on the movie itself.

And also, thank Christ for Michael Jackson.
posted by Currer Belfry at 8:23 AM on March 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

He also has a Tumblr.
posted by jeudi at 8:25 AM on March 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've had a passionate crush on Robyn's brain for decades. He's done nothing to help me recover from it. Nothing.
posted by mneekadon at 8:30 AM on March 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

Robyn Hitchcock's hate is better than my love.
posted by koeselitz at 8:31 AM on March 8, 2013 [6 favorites]

"I don’t know what’s a good song of my own… I guess that’s why I’m not really a very popular artist."
posted by jason_steakums at 8:33 AM on March 8, 2013

Oh yeah, if you've got Netflix or Amazon Prime video, Storefront Hitchcock is streaming there.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:36 AM on March 8, 2013

Robin's cool but...

"If it was some sort of badly put together, lame-ass wonk, then it wouldn’t matter, but the thing is, it’s lovingly, carefully plotted and signed off on by none other than Burt Bacharach. So it’s what they call an earworm. It sticks in the ear and you can’t get rid of it. Fortunately, my wife was actually in the shower—no, she was in the bath, because we’re English—while I was playing it, because I had to check it out, and it was every bit as good as I’d remembered."

Arthur's Theme deserves a lot of hate, but Cross's accomplishment as an earworm creator is unchallenged. Earworms (and eyeworms in the form of shitty addictive entertainment) aren't going away anytime soon.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:50 AM on March 8, 2013

I still suspect a certain music critic gave Storefront Hitchcock a lukewarm review just to piss me off. You know who you are.
posted by mneekadon at 8:52 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Weird to hear him say he doesn't like "I Wanna Destroy You." I think that's one of the most perfect songs ever recorded.
posted by COBRA! at 8:54 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Only the Stones Remain" is better.
posted by mneekadon at 8:56 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

His birthday was Sunday. I bought his entire Egyptians back catalog that day all because (besides having wanted to him to be my best friend since I was 14) I needed to hear "One Long Pair of Eyes."
posted by Kitteh at 9:18 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it was my friend in high school who introduced me to him at the same time he introduced me to punk music. And I loved both.

The psychedelic lyrics, the great guitar work. Love it to pieces. Greatest rainy day weather music, or bright sunny day music or JUST GREAT MUSIC. And I usually hate folk-style musicians. But Robyn Hitchcock is freaking amazing. He's also a caustic bastard who hates things properly, which helps.
posted by daq at 9:29 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've been an RH super fan for a very, very long time -- about when I first heard "I Often Dream of Trains," in 1984 or so. His new LP, "Love from London" is one of the strongest he's done in a very long time.

He's my go-to artist whenever I'm feeling particularly up or down, and that's no mean feat. Some of his songs are so good I'm pretty sure I disappear when I'm listening to them.

Once, after an appearance, he walked outside the club, stopped and looked at his adoring fans, and said, "Sleep well! Don't burst!" And then popped into a limousine and disappeared.

How can you not love that?
posted by the matching mole at 9:56 AM on March 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm listening the hell out of Robyn's youtube playlist now. I remember trying to learn the bass part to "I got the Hots" back in the mid-80s when I was in a high school basement band.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:08 AM on March 8, 2013

I had a chat with him in the neighborhood Marks And Spencer, where he stands out in purple cords. Oddly enough, we used to live near each other in DC in the 90s. He's a cool dude, and his work should be appreciated more widely. He's done a good job on carrying the torch for Syd Barrett, Dylan, and other picture-painting songwriters.
posted by C.A.S. at 10:32 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

His new album is truly great. I think I've seen Robyn play live more times than any other artist. Despite his (unofficial) mailing list being moribund, members and former members keep in touch around the world. Odd music happenings in Baltimore; a cream tea on a river boat in England; ill-advised culinary escapades near Toronto: all through the power of Robyn Hitchcock fans.

We are the fegmaniax. Very pleased to make your acquaintance.
posted by scruss at 11:09 AM on March 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

"Odd music happenings in Baltimore" Wait - what did I miss?

And God bless Hitchcock for keeping on. He and Richard Thompson are both showing that English folk guitar music is alive and well.
posted by jetsetsc at 11:44 AM on March 8, 2013

Oh, it was a long time ago, jetsetsc; 1997, I think. It all revolved around a No.9 Line gig in Fells Point and a surprise visit to the chapel that ms scruss was living in near Hollins Market.

(say hi to Skizz; he interviewed me for one of his documentaries a few years back ...)
posted by scruss at 12:33 PM on March 8, 2013

I still can't believe they don't play Viva Seatac! at the opening of Sounders games.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:06 PM on March 8, 2013

Oh, baby, you're incredible
I think that you're the most
I've searched around for everything
But you from coast to coast
Your name engraved in diamond
Is written in my heart
We're at our most together when
We're at our most apart

Coming to the 9:30 Club in DC on April 27th!
posted by Nomyte at 3:06 PM on March 8, 2013

20 years ago, I bought his "Respect" album just before I went to my next door neighbor's Super Bowl party. I don't like football or basement dens full of drunken, racist football fans, so I coped with it all by sitting there giddily knowing I'd get to listen to the new Robyn Hitchcock album as soon as the damn game ended.
posted by davebush at 4:32 PM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

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