Tuesday, February 28, 2006

we're going through a hole in the sky

no matter how many times i see robyn hitchcock play, i always feel like i've seen a show made for that night, not a repeat of the same show he played the night before in the next city over. and i know this to be true because when i worked for a&m records a while back, and worked the "globe of frogs" record to retail and college radio, i saw him play a 4 times over 6 nights in nyc, boston, trenton and philadelphia. what struck me then was that each night's between-song patter was different, extemporaneous riffs on the absurd that only robyn can pull off. the set lists changed enough each night, anchored around selling the record (they were on their first major-label tour, so were playing it somewhat safe).

so seeing him at slim's tonight was yet again a new experience. his backing band this time were the minus 5, led by young fresh fellow and part-time r.e.m.-er scott mccaughey, and including peter buck on bass (during the minus 5 set) and guitar (for robyn).

i'll have to admit that i've never been a young fresh fellow fan, and the minus 5 don't really do it for me. that said, mccaughey's a good singer and a fine instrumentalist. for whatever reason his songs have never been my thing.

but robyn has always been my thing and tonight was no different. he bounded on stage with a big smile, a drink and greeted us with a hearty "hello groovers", then began an acoustic set led off by syd barrett's "gigiolo aunt" and including "one long pair of eyes" and "beautiful girl". buck, mccaughey and the minus 5 drummer then joined robyn for the remainder of the set, featuring a smattering of new and old, including "madonna of the wasps" and "if you were a priest". the between-song highlight was a 5-minute run through the plot for magnum force, the movie that inspired the song "a man's gotta know his limitations, briggs". a wonderful set, proof that i can see robyn countless times and he'll never disappoint. all that and i made a new fan for robyn.

"i wanna destroy you" was the crescendo piece of the night and though it's, what, 20 years old (?), robyn's dedicating it to george, condi, donnie et al, made it as relevant as ever.

so, a reminder...

I wanna destroy you (4x)

I feel it coming on again
Just like it did before
They fill your mind with boredom
And they lead you off to war
The way we treat each other
Really makes me feel ill
And if you're gonna fight
Then you're just dying to get killed

I wanna destroy you (4x)

A pox upon the media
And everything you read
They tell you your opinions
And they're very good indeed

I wanna destroy you

And when I have destroyed you
I'll come pickin' at your bones
And you won't have a single atom
Left to call your own

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