The READIN Family Album
Greetings! (July 15, 2007)


Jeremy's journal

Language speaks, because speaking is its pleasure and it can do nothing else.

Penelope Fitzgerald

(This is a subset of my posts)
Front page
Most recent posts about Luminous Groove
More posts about Music

Archives index
Subscribe to RSS

This page renders best in Firefox (or Safari, or Chrome)

Wednesday, July second, 2008

🦋 Luminous Groove

The new box set is now available for pre-order! Robyn Hitchcock, the Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians years. (That is to say, the non-A & M Egyptians years -- the tracks on A & M, which include two of my favorite Hichcock records, are not available for the production of box sets on YepRoc.) Gotta Let This Hen Out!, Fegmania!, Element of Light (which I think more fegmaniax list as their favorite record than any other), and loads of bonus tracks too. The three records are also available for separate purchase, I don't think the double-record of unreleased tracks is though.

posted afternoon of July second, 2008: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

🦋 Element of Light

I spent a lot of time on this, to be with you
So please don't lock away your eyes
My main thought listening to Element of Light last night was, I've listened to these songs often enough that they are part of the fabric of my consciousness; and yet I am still surprised listening to them, by the pure lushness of Robyn's voice.

posted evening of August 21st, 2008: Respond

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

🦋 The Sad Bells of Rhymney

I've been been listening to Fegmania! a lot over the past week (in its reissue in the Luminous Groove box set), and finding some things I really like about this record, which I had previously considered one of Robyn's weakest efforts. Today I've been getting very interested in the song "The Bells of Rhymney," which I'm embarrassed not to have already known is a classic of the 60's folk revival, written by Pete Seeger and performed variously by The Byrds, Judy Collins, The Alarm, and others.

I think Pete Seeger's is my favorite performance that I've heard so far:

(I think, but not quite sure, that this recording is from the Newport Folk Festival of 1959.)

And The Byrds are lovely and silly, standing gaily on the beach singing about mining disasters. I believe it is their version that Robyn is covering, as he sounds very similar to this:

The song is based on a poem from the book Gwalia Deserta, by miner-turned-teacher and poet Idris Davies, which Seeger found in a book of Welsh poetry compiled by Dylan Thomas. The poem (as near as I can understand) deals with the failure of a mine-workers' strike in 1926. Two other of Davies' poems can be seen in manuscript form at Welsh cultural history site Gathering the Jewels: "Rhymney", and "Rhymney Hill". David Librik gives more detail about the origins of the poem at this link (midway down), including this tantalizing couplet from Gwalia Deserta:

O what is man that coal should be so unmindful of him?
And what is coal that it should have so much blood on it?

posted evening of August 26th, 2008: 3 responses
➳ More posts about Cover Versions

🦋 Fegmania!

Two things I like very much from the re-issue of Fegmania!: the final track "Lady Obvious," which appears never to have been released before (and which I spent a few minutes wishing could be called "Lady Octopus"); and the live version of "Heaven." I transcribed the lyrics to the former, and the intro to latter. If anybody knows the provenance of this recording of "Heaven," please let me know. (According to Miles Goosens, it is likely from the 1992 Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians tour.)

posted evening of August 26th, 2008: Respond
➳ More posts about Robyn Hitchcock's patter

Wednesday, September third, 2008

🦋 Ivy Alone

One of the best things about the Luminous Groove box set is this track, on disk 1 of "Bad Case of History." It is a previously unreleased demo recording (recorded in Yarmouth in 1992), which means The Asking Tree has never heard of it.

This song just seems like a very pure, beautiful melody to me. I'm not sure what else to say about it -- I find the descending run on the fourth and eight lines of the verse rivetting. I lean back and forth between thinking the lyrics are lovely poetry, and thinking they are tritely emotional. The best thing about the lyrics is definitely the ways that the eighth line of each verse leads into the refrain. Possibly what I want to say about this song is, it combines perfectly the style of Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians with the style of Robyn Hitchcock's solo work from later in the '90s -- this is what you might get if you crossed "Raymond Chandler Evening" with "Heliotrope."

Lyrics below the fold.

posted evening of September third, 2008: Respond

Drop me a line! or, sign my Guestbook.
Check out Ellen's writing at

What do you think?

Jeremy Osner on Fragments

Where to go from here...

South Orange
Friends and Family