The READIN Family Album
(March 2005)


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Ce n'est pas avec des idées qu'on fait des vers, c'est avec des mots.

— Stéphane Mallarmé

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Sunday, April 29th, 2007

🦋 Welcome to Earth

The Asking Tree has not AOTW got any lyrics for this tune off of Spooked. In an attempt to remediate that situation:

(crackle crackle, pop.) repeated throughout song

Welcome to the earth, home of the great women and men. We are animals that have ideas. Maybe cats and ravens have ideas too, but they keep them to themselves. Travelers from the whole galaxy throng to our luscious planet with its evolution-friendly climate and nourishing minerals. Take time to locate the exit nearest you. Press 1 for famine, 2 for pestilence, 3 for condoleeza, and 4 for death. Please note that pestilence closes at 6.

(crackle crackle, pop. crackle crackle, pop.)

Okay that was it.
(Okay! giggle)

posted evening of April 29th, 2007: Respond

And God said "Oh, ignore him! I've got all your albums"
I said "Yes, but who's got all the tunes?"

I told a friend recently that a good Robyn Hitchcock record to start out with would be Spooked, if you are looking for folksy alternative music, or Perspex Island, if you are looking for rock and roll; or, classic, iconic eighties Hitchcock sound like I Often Dream of Trains or Invisible Hitchcock. I did not recommend Black Snake Dîamond Rôle in the latter category, not totally sure why. Now tonight I am thinking about logical next places to go: respectively depending on which first step you took, it would be Moss Elixir and then probably Eye, either Respect or Olé! Tarantula, or Globe of Frogs.

posted evening of April 29th, 2007: Respond

🦋 Brockengespenst

A Google search for "Brockengespenst" returns no results as of this writing.* But a search for "Brockengespenstphänomen" directs one to two very pretty photos, one of which is not of the phenomenon in question, but the other is. (Oops, actually the search for "Brockengespenstphänomen" returns a bunch of mostly Pynchon-oriented results. But without the umlaut you get those nice photos.)

*Hmmm... Not sure where my head was Sunday night. Blume points out that there are many thousands of Google results for "Brockengespenst", including some very pretty images. Here is one very nice page.

posted evening of April 29th, 2007: Respond

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

🦋 Ride

Thinking about music -- I am feeling right now like on the verge of some kind of personal breakthrough, one where I suddenly acquire a sense of purpose and a mode of personal expression -- and that listening to and playing music will somehow be the vehicle of this awakening. I keep coming back to the song Ride -- All I have to do in this world, is ride, All I gotta do is ride. That if I listen hard enough I will find a way of losing myself in the song, a way that will work consistently.

posted evening of April 23rd, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Perspex Island

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

🦋 The Texture of Music

I have been experiencing a synæsthetic perception of Robyn Hitchcock's music that is coming into sharper focus over the last few weeks -- I am understanding listening to the music and lyrics as as a kind of movement across a landscape and through tunnels and passageways. I'm wondering if I can expand this into a way to relate to music in general -- I believe I have experienced it before though I have never given voice to it or quite understood what was going on.

posted evening of April 22nd, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

🦋 Moss Elixir

The more I listen to this record, the more it is growing on me. I ordered it after I heard Deni Bonet playing with Robyn at the January 9, 2004 show -- looked in his catalog and this was the record she made an appearance on. Then on first listening I was a little disappointed to hear that the only song you hear a lot of violin on is the first. It took a couple of listenings to get past that to the point of hearing the record's greatness...

The order of the songs and transitions between songs seems less important on this record than it did on Perspex Island. The songs are all beautiful and there is a common thread linking them but less of a sense of overall narrative structure.

Bob and I are going to try learning to play "Alright Yeah" -- found tablature for it at The Asking Tree.

(Hitchcock says "All the songs on this album were there for a purpose, not just to create the right texture." And, here is another interview from when the record came out.)

posted evening of April 22nd, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Moss Elixir

Friday, April 20th, 2007

🦋 Moss Elixir song by song: Filthy Bird

This album is more political than I have thought of Robyn's work as being. The "before they bomb the children" line is really affecting -- the way he juxtaposes layers of meaning really draws you into his psyche. This reviewer I was reading described a Hitchcock show (negatively characterized it which did not really make sense) as taking a hour and a half vacation in his psyche. The characterization seems to me exactly correct but is strikes me as an appealing quality of listening to his music and chat. I want to figure out how to describe the physical sensation of listening to this music -- that would strike me as a sort of criticism that would be possibly worth reading. So I guess I will use this web page as a vehicle for that endeavor for a while.

If you'd like to check out the series of posts I did recently about the record Perspex Island, they are here. I'm starting a series of posts about Moss Elixir now. Unfortunately I do not have comments working but if you feel like communicating in this regard, drop me a line.

posted evening of April 20th, 2007: Respond

🦋 Moss Elixir song by song: Alright Yeah

"I gotta split/ -- It's a quaint old fashioned way to leave the room" what a fantastic line that is! This lyric is hilarious. Like it fits together but the logic is a little otherworldly. It stands out from the album rock and roll in the middle of a lot of choral and sweetly poetic songs.

posted evening of April 20th, 2007: Respond

🦋 Invisible Circus

I'm reading Jennifer Egan's first novel, The Invisible Circus, now, and liking it a lot. I really admired the scene in which Faith told her sister she had been at an invisible circus, and Phoebe was put out about not being invited along -- it sounded real when it could easily have been precious and forced.

I recently read most of Zadie Smith's latest novel On Beauty and found it enjoyable, but didn't really think it stood up to The Autograph Man and White Teeth.

posted evening of April 20th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about The Invisible Circus

Monday, April 16th, 2007

🦋 Motion and Stasis: Perspex Island

I was talking with Gerald tonight and he asked me to expand on my understanding of Perspex Island as a frozen moment of time. Rambling around some, I got around to calling it a "frozen moment" -- when "time" is added the static island vanishes. I'm flailing around a little because it seems to me like on the record, motion is clearly and repeatedly presented as a good thing -- but with motion there can be no Earthly Paradise. I mentioned how a lot of Hitchcock's songs (maybe none on this record?) are about decay, another way for Earthly Paradise to vanish and one that is unambiguously bad. Also talked about the "please don't let me get away" lyric in "Ride".

posted evening of April 16th, 2007: Respond

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