I have an ongoing discussion with mikey about music economics, (NOT AN ARGUMENT DAMMIT!) mostly on FaceHell but that must wait, let it be, let it be

Also, there is much to be said and shouted about TurdWaffle and his misbegotten imaginary Presidential ambitions, not to mention the depredations he is inflicting upon Wisconsin, a once beautiful and progressive state.  I am thinking I may need to bring back more frequent blogging just to drain the pus he is creating within my psyche.  Expect some Fuck You Fridays, o my yes…

But all of that must be put aside Because there is MUSIC.

Many people came to Robyn Hitchcock during a brief mid-80s dalliance with MTV stardom; although he ultimately proved too weird, and the channel moved into hair metal and rap and then into reality television, so he was likely better off; who wants to see Robyn drinking the blood of Hall & Oates in an abandoned warehouse building?  I mean, besides me?

I digress.

I was introduced by a comp tape produced by an architectural student friend, Ken, who had a running competition with one of his friends who was a jock on a campus station out east.  This tape was stellar; it opening with “Pink Frost” by the Chills, then went into “Shadow Of A Doubt” by Sonic Youth.  anyway, it had three songs from the man One Particular Bastard calls Uncle Robyn:

It says something that unlike most songs, you don’t have to put the band name in the search to come up with a relevant link.  Also, I am currently all on the iTunes Radio algorithm, and it just served up a Mekons song (one that features Neko Case vox, no less!) between some Yo La Tengo.  O well played, Apple robots!

I mostly always prefer the Egyptians period of his work, but I have seen him play several times in both incarnations (he asked about the gas station visible across the street, saying he didn’t recall it from the first time he played Shank in 1991).  Saw him with the Egyptians at Summerfest once, natch…

But he is an endearingly weird and engaging performer in any format.  He is obsessed with sex, fish and death, although he also played a song more-or-less tailored for Wisconsin:

I almost passed on this show.  I am swamped with Klark Kent duties, robotics is eating my branes, and winter is consuming our souls.  But Wife Sublime questioned that decision, so I pulled the trigger and SO GLAD she made me change my mind.

He is touring with an Aussie named Emma, and although she is diminutive, she has amazing pipes and she joined him for several songs.  Their voices blended wonderfully; but the real payoff was when they brought out Yvonne, ostensibly their driver, for the final song.  Their encores were all covers, and while one might expect them to be the covers on his recent album (The Crystal Ship and The ghost In You, for the record) ONE WOULD BE WRONG.  One of them was Love Hurts, and actually my favorite cover of that is by Milwaukee expatriate Kevn Kinney (yes I spelled that right, dammit)….

…umm, where was I?  O yeah, the final song.  The three of them, Robyn, Emma and Yvonne did an AMAZING version of Brother Lou’s song “Pale Blue Eyes”, trading verses and join on the choruses and was it sweet?  You tell me, but if you don’t think so, we might as well fight right now.  As I told Wife Sublime, I could sit there drinking beer and listening to the three of them sing songs all damn night…

plus, I need to have my hairdresser work my melon into this hairstyle.  Dammit, my hair is almost PERFECT.  maybe a bit more wavy.  But we can make it happen:


I have mentioned that I had been on the periphery of the Milwaukee music scene in the 80s and 90s.  The owner of Shank Hall is an acquaintance of mine from college days – I did load-ins and load-outs for the gigs he booked on campus, and once spent a drunken afternoon setting up his expansive entertainment system in his apartment (he is legendarily fumble-thumbs).  I knew the sound guy working tonight, and later this week we are seeing one of my favorite local artists, Scott Wooldridge at the same damn place we were tonight.

I have seen Scott and his bands since they moved up here from Indiana, and helped them finance both his solo album and the upcoming Wooldridge Brothers album…I have requested a long-dormant song (named after a street we lived on at the time) and Scott has said he will see if he can dredge up the chords.  But hell, since I am credited as a “Contributing Producer” on his album, maybe it will happen!

I have had a not-wonderful early 2015, but as anyone who reads this bloggo knows, nothing evens my keel like music, especially live music.  I have like 8 shows in the next 4 weeks, several with one of my best friends; one of them is Wussy in Chicago, for which both of us are so stoked that we are willing to STAY SOBER ENOUGH TO DRIVE HOME!

Wife Sublime and I are in love with live performances; she leans toward theater, and I lean toward music.  Both of us, however, are completely captivated by the efforts of artists on some kind of stage, blowing their best out at you; the electricity of performer connecting with an audience is one of the best things humans do.  It connects us; it grounds us.  It reminds us that we are social, it reminds us that we are all artists.  In certain cases, it inspires some of us to stand up, to pick up a guitar or a script or a paintbrush or a camera or….whatever.  It reminds us that humans, despite all evidence to the contrary, are still a Creative bunch.

OK, that creativity includes the Romantics.  Shit.

  1. mikey says:

    In certain cases, it inspires some of us to stand up, to pick up a guitar or a script or a paintbrush or a camera or…. perhaps a keyboard and monitor?

  2. That Hitchcock dude’s OK — I liked his movies.

    I’m listening to this album right now:

    On a musically-somewhat-related note, new house has a great man-cave spot. Got my vintage Pioneer stereo and turntable and speakers all setup in one half of the room with the signed Monterey Jazz Festival posters framed and hun on the wall, perfect little sitting spot, etc. Other side of the room has the modern Sony surround sound TV/DVR/vidya-game setup with the big subwoofer and all the speakers. Music still sounds best on the old Pioneer, but maybe my ears are just biased. Alas, I still have to go to the garage to get beer out of the beer fridge — there wasn’t a good spot for that inside. I’ll live.

  3. mikey says:

    No, no, OBS. Something Tony Carey. If not Some Tough City, go with one of the Planet P Project records…

  4. mikey says:

    Although, to be fair, Some Tough City is a nearly perfect album, in the same way that “Excitable Boy” is a nearly perfect album. Whenever I want to remember all the adrenaline and laughter without all the pain and misery, I play “Eddie Goes Underground”.

    You should be winding up your bidness
    While you’re gassing up your car…

  5. Say, mikey, gotta question for ya. Whats-his-name, that Refreshements guy (whose best work is behind him, cuz that was the most popular and on a major label, right, Heh) Clyne and his band the Shit makers or something like that, are playing at the inestimable Shank Hall (where I was last night, and will be again on Friday). I have ignored your recommendations like you have ignored mine and not seen him the last few times he’s swung through This Golden City. But maybe this time, Yanno? It’s not un-imaginable.

    So here’s the thing. If I hang out afterwonk, and talk to the dude, and if I drop your name will he decide to sit and drink with me, or punch me in the face?

  6. mikey says:

    I have spoken with him briefly at a number of shows, particularly the ones in San Francisco, which is a place he seems to really like, and has (had?) a loyal following back in the aughts. But he’s usually kind of loaded by the end of the show (there are a number of songs, particularly Jack vs. Jose, that require shots of tequila by the band, and they are more than willing to comply with the tradition. In short, while it’s at least possible he’d recognize me (people seem to remember big fat guys with long grey pony tails), he wouldn’t know my name (either of ’em) from adam…

  7. mikey says:

    If you haven’t heard the newer stuff – say, Unida Cantina and The Independent, it’s a lot more rock, even sort of psycadelic, than the earlier Peacemakers stuff. Frankly, I like it less than the classic stuff represented by “Fizzy Fuzzy” and “Honkey Tonk Union”, but you might actually dig it. One thing you can always count on – they’ll work their asses off putting on a fantastic show…

  8. herr doktor bimler says:

    Did you remember to point out the Australian origins of the Chills?

  9. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Why don’t you tell me when you post? Robyn has long been one of my favorites. He never fails to put on a great show. I really love his “pretty songs about unsettling subject matter” schtick.

  10. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Also, the Egyptians were pretty much the Soft Boys, minus Kimberley Rew, who went on to co-found Katrina and the Waves. I love their roots rock from another planet aesthetic.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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