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Listen, this process called poetry is an exercise in imagining memory, and then having that memory snare and cherish imagination.

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Friday, September 7th, 2007

🦋 Elixirs and Remedies

A new DVD came in the mail today, for me to watch this evening. It is Robyn Hitchcock and Grant Lee Phillips' Elixirs & Remedies, concert footage from their "Grand Campaign" 2000 tour.

Here is a video of Hitchcock and Phillips performing Satellite of Love, which is not included in the DVD.

Do any of you have exposure to the music of Grant Lee Phillips, solo or in combination with Grant Lee Buffalo? I would appreciate recommendations of albums to listen to.

My expectation with covers sung by Robyn is, if they are of Syd Barrett tunes they will be fantastic, and otherwise the odds are about even for fantastic or awful. An interesting thing about this concert is that the two of them play many covers of songs by a wide variety of artists, and every one of them is successful. Maybe this is a product of their collaboration? "(All I have to do is) Dream" takes on many new dimensions with Robyn singing it.

Another concert from the same tour is available at

posted evening of September 7th, 2007: Respond
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🦋 Backup Vocals

It is lovely to watch Robyn Hitchcock's interactions with his backup singers and musicians I am watching him sing "Cynthia Mask" with Grant Lee Phillips right now and see a similar vibe to what I have caught going on watching him with the Egyptians and with Captain Keegan. (A different species of interaction between him and Deni Bonet, a less overtly sexual one I think.)

If you count yourself among the few readers of this blog and I have not yet raved at/to you about Robyn and the Egyptians performing an acoustic version of "Birds In Perspex (Come Alive)", well, I am doing so now by implication. Go watch it, really I can't imagine your thinking the time poorly spent unless you are Sifu Tweety Fish, whose musical tastes are a cipher to me. (And talk to me about it -- regardless of what I said above I would really like to know what reactions people have to that song, including those reactions that are less wholly enthusiastic than my own.)

posted evening of September 7th, 2007: Respond
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Sunday, August 16th, 2009

🦋 Random 10 while reading

Another difference between Inherent Vice and my standard category of novel-reading experience is, I like the reading a lot better if there is music playing in the background. Normally I have a hard time reading when I'm listening to music, here they seem to enhance one another. From my iTunes shuffle today:

  1. It ain't nobody's business, Mississippi John Hurt
  2. La-Do-Dada, Dale Hawkins
  3. What Goes On, Robyn Hitchcock and Grant Lee Phillips -- this was a very nice coincidence because it came on just as I was starting to read the lyrics to the Spotted Dicks' new single "Long Trip Out" (which is on the radio in Doc's car), and suddenly I am singing them to the tune of "What Goes On", and they are fitting pretty well. Here is a verse of it:
    Long trip out, from the Mekong Delta...
    It's a last lost chance, when you need a friend,
    And you're flyin on out of
    Cam Ranh Bay at midnight,
    And you won't know how, to
    Get back home again.
    Then I spent a little while distracted, trying to find out more about "What Goes On" -- turns out it is a Velvet Underground song.
  4. The Birds Were Singing, Carter Family
  5. There'll be Joy, Joy, Joy, Carter Family -- the Carter Family threatening to distract from the novel, they do not quite work together.
  6. Floater, Bob Dylan -- now this is more like it --
  7. Till the End of the World, Ernie Tubb
  8. Salty Dog Blues, John Hurt
  9. Knockin on Heaven's Door, Dylan and the Band -- I was not actually participating in the music-listening/reading activity here, "Salty Dog" had reminded me that Lola needed to go out --
  10. I Something You, Robyn Hitchcock.
The book? I'm dying to recommend it to you but having trouble with what to say about it... I am bursting out laughing about once per page.

...and later on in the shuffle, Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra plays the "What-cha-call-'em Blues" which go very nicely with the lyrics I am reading at this moment, to Carmine and the Cal-Zones' "Just the Lasagna". Conclusion, when there's music playing it's much easier to imagine Pynchon's lyrics being sung.

posted afternoon of August 16th, 2009: Respond
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