Robyn Hitchcock is a gentleman, an artist and one hell of a prolific songwriter. From his work in the ’70s with The Soft Boys to his escape-minded recent effort Goodnight Oslo, he’s married the bizarre, the beautiful and the brave with top musical chops. I interviewed him for Wired recently, and also review his new release for Metromix. Tune in, turn on, trip out.
Robyn Hitchcock Dreams of Oslo, Synesthesia, Snow
[Scott Thill, Wired.com]
“How can we preserve anything permanently in a digital form? The technology to interpret it keeps changing,” the 56-year-old British singer-songwriter-guitarist told Wired.com in an e-mail interview. “This is the age when everything is stored, and nothing is remembered.”
Hitchcock’s music has taken him many places, including the films of Jonathan Demme (Storefront Hitchcock, The Manchurian Candidate, Rachel Getting Married) and the in-progress screen adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s posthumously published novel Radio Free Albemuth. In his spare time, when he can find some, Hitchcock is also a painter, writer, poet and a quick study on climate change, which he glimpsed firsthand after visiting the Arctic on a scientific and artistic expedition last year.
“Since the industrial revolution, we’ve been able to measure our lives in technology: ‘When I was young there was no color TV,’ or ‘When I was young there were no mobile phones,’ and so on,” he said. “Now we can also measure our lives in the weather: ‘When I was young, it snowed,’ or ‘When I was young, it didn’t flood.'”
Wired.com quizzed the pop lifer in a poetic back-and-forth about his recently released Goodnight Oslo, which he recorded with his backup band The Venus 3 (R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and drummer Bill Rieflin, as well as Young Fresh Fellows vocalist Scott McCaughey on bass). As they embark on a U.S. tour starting Friday in Texas, Hitchcock talked about synesthesia, Syd Barrett and the sad passing of the record store. MORE @ WIRED
Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3, Goodnight Oslo
[Scott Thill, Metromix]
Hitchcock fans will feel right at home with the bouncy throwback “Saturday Groovers” and the lilting “I’m Falling,” and so probably will new adopters after the slinky groove of “What You Is” sinks in its teeth. The doo-wop sway of “TLC” is equally addictive, as is the acoustic stomp of “Hurry for the Sky.” Indeed, “Goodnight Oslo” features Hitchcock at his best, but he could be an acquired taste for fans of derivative soundtracking with less gray matter. MORE @ METROMIX