Saturday, December 7th, 2013
Lots of fun at the Mountain Station practice session today! Our practice set list:
Let's listen to "Birds in Perspex"! It is my favorite Robyn Hitchcock song; this is the first time we've ever played it and I think we did a pretty good job.
- Bethlehem Half-step
- Lonesome Nickel
- Talking Heads weirdness
- Meet Me in the Morning
- Birds in Perspex
- Been all around this world
- Cole Durhew
- I Can See Clearly Now/ Here Comes the Sun medley
- Why Don't We Do It in the Road jam
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
From Ken Ostrander comes today's Super Groovy Delicious Bite: everybody's favorite, Perspex Island.
Saturday, December 13th, 2008
Listen to the song available on this page, while looking at the image on this page. Fun, right?
(Thanks to a couple of people on the Fegmaniax list...)
Friday, December 28th, 2007
- "Oceanside", Robyn Hitchcock, Live at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Not produced as well as the version on Perspex Island and I think they are playing at a faster tempo.
- "Keep on the Sunny Side", Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle be Unbroken. Can't say much about this. It is totally unironic and is Maybelle Carter's signature piece; I love it but it brings back unpleasant childhood sing-along memories.
- "Penny Lane", Robyn Hitchcock. Lousy. I ought to take this concert off my iPod, there is no reason to keep it. The banter following the song -- "One of the things that really distinguished the '60s from the present was that they didn't have these things that say 'if you like that, try this!'" -- struck me as kind of humorous but not really up to RH banter standards.
- "Rukus Juice Blues", Big Bill Broonzy. Awesome. Broonzy says "rookus", not "ruckus"; at first I thought he was talking about "ruby juice".
- "Birds in Perspex", Robyn Hitchcock LCFF. Maybe my favorite RH song ever. But again, not up to the level of the album version -- this record could probably come off the iPod as well. It is impossible not to sing along with "come alive" even though I'm in public, sitting on a bench on the street.
- "Pretty Little Dog", Critton Hollow String Band. Instrumental. Just right after #5. (from the "String Theory" compilation)
- "This is the Last Time I'll Say Goodbye", The Sirens -- from the Apostropher's Don't Bogart That Groove compilation. I hadn't noticed before what a remarkable song this instrumental piece is. The music has a really structural feeling to it like it's building a walled passageway that you travel through -- the notes are textural elements in the structure. This has to maybe have something to do with percussion -- I've gotten the same feeling from some tracks on Perspex Island that have really strong drums.
- "Johnny B. Goode", The Dead 2/27/77 -- this random set is trending toward songs that are totally characteristic of their performers.
- "Mambo Dominica", David Murray Latin Big Band, from Don't Bogart That Groove. "Cute but corny" is my initial reaction. As I listen to it for a while (it is a very long song), I start to hear the horns more individually, less as part of a mass of sound, which is pleasant. This would be good music for walking.
- "Each of her Silver Wands", Robyn Hitchcock 3/14/97 Knitting Factory. I don't know this song. It sounds like it could be pretty good but like he hasn't really written it yet at this performance. Very short.
The combination of numbers 1, 5, and 7 inspired me to listen to Perspex Island, which I had not in a while. It sure gets to me -- this is my favorite record of the year. When "Birds in Perspex" came on I had to run outside to avoid embarrassing myself by singing "come alive" in the Avery Fischer Hall lobby.
...Can I analyse the structure of "Birds in Perspex"? That is sort of what I wanted to do during my Song by Song project but I don't think it really came across. Every line of that song just really touches my heart -- the lyrics to be sure and the way they fall across the canvas of music. When Andy Metcalfe came in at the end singing "birds in perspex, come alive" it actually startled me that the person singing on the recording was not myself.
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
There's something in music I like, a quality I can't identify, that gives me this rush of pleasure that is strongly associated with wanting to sing along. I've talked about this before in relation to Perspex Island, and this afternoon when I was mowing the lawn and listening to Nextdoorland it hit me -- Robyn sings "Can you make it rain,/ Can you make it rain tonight" and I can't help it, singing along is just an instinctual reaction to the pleasure I feel. And then, just now I was sitting and listening to the Band playing "Up on Cripple Creek" and the same thing happened to me when Levon sang "If there's anything she can do --"... (A few nights ago Ellen and I were watching The Last Waltz and together we sang along with the whole song when they were playing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and that was a beautiful thing.) I want to know what this quality is.
Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
A bunch of records that I had ordered from various places showed up in the mail yesterday, which I'm happy about. They include Mossy Liquor, an alternate cut of Moss Elixir, which I am meaning to give the same treatment I gave Perpex Island -- it is equally great an album. Also two records by Deni Bonet, who playes violin on Moss Elixir and who toured with Hitchcock for a while in the late 90's. And Volume 4 of the Suzuki method -- I have decided to try re-learning the Seitz concertos therein.
Deni Bonet has put up some videos of herself with other musicians on YouTube. Audio and video quality is a little spotty; but I particularly liked Driving Aloud and Arms of Love, with Robyn Hitchcock, and Phillip Larkin, with Kimberly Rew. And if her web site is up to date, she is broadcasting a "Duets with Deni" show every Sunday at 10 pm, at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (Channel 56).
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
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.
Monday, April 16th, 2007
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".
So here are some of the albums that I have been listening to and am meaning to write about:
- Olé! Tarantula (2006) -- this is the record that re-alerted me to the existence of Robyn Hitchcock. Bought a copy at the Knitting Factory show.
- Spooked (2004) -- I learned about this record when I was watching the documentary, the night before the show; and bought it at the show.
- Perspex Island (1991)
- Moss Elixir and Mossy Liquor (both 1996) -- when I was listening to this show I heard Deni Bonet playing fiddle on some of the songs -- immediately took a look at her web site and found that she is on one of his records; this be it. Also her two solo cd's, Acoustic, OK? and Bigger is Always Better are on my list.
- Robyn Sings (2002) -- a double album of Dylan covers by Hitchcock. And look at the track listing!
- I Often Dream of Trains (1984) -- classic Hitchcock. I bought the cd at the KF show.
Sunday, April 15th, 2007
Boy oh boy, this is post #700 on my humble blog!Here is a link to the whole Perspex Island song by song series of posts, in the proper order.
Previous posts about Perspex Island
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