Hitchcock's Guide to The Galaxy

Robyn Hitchcock came to Exeter Phoenix on Wednesday 6th March, I interviewed him for the student newspaper 'Exepose'- in case you missed it in print, here's the article with bonus embedded music and pictures.

Read on for Robyn's take on songwriting, psychedelia and the human condition...


Saving Private Jukebox

As we jive into 2013, we have broader musical horizons than ever before. The wonderful Internet gives us access to more music than we know what to do with, all genres from all corners of the world and from as long as sound recording has been invented. On top of that, we're getting ever closer to the dream of the Celestial Jukebox – any piece of music, any time, anywhere. We can all agree that we're damn lucky in that respect. And we should be careful not to neglect our near-magical powers. 


The New Folk Revival

No, I don't mean the current crop of earnest young beards singing the songs of the harvest. The digital folk revival can look and sound however it wants, because it's the revival of a tradition.

As mashup man Girl Talk mentions excitedly at the end of Good Copy, Bad Copy, the music industry is getting back to the old way of doing things. He remixes a Brazilian remix of Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy' and marvels at how far the song has traveled, changing along the way, until the documentary ends on his unrecognizable loop of about a second of the chorus. Despite all the attempts at corporate control of the digital music industry, there seems only one way that the music industry will survive in the age of networked abundance, and that is by going back to how it was done before the big money balls took over.


List(en): to Psych-Jazz

Have a playlist, friends. A brief 10 tracks from that cosmic plain between psych and jazz. Watch out for Buckley being sublimely nuts.


The Art Of Buying Music You Ent Ever Even Heard

In the digital musicscape we all seem to have stumbled into, the norm for album consumption is online streaming, where we judge an album over 1-5 listens (spotify limits grr), then maybe torrenting it, buying it, putting it on the ever-growing wish list or just ditching it altogether. This has its pitfalls: the growers slip through the net, stuff on the wish list stays there for so long you miss the window of when you'll really dig it, we get a bit too cosy in our comfort zones and miss out the excitement of the unusual and unexpected. I've been wondering lately whether it's possible for anybody to get into any music, and while I'm not sure on that one I do know that there's endless horizons of sound out there just waiting to bring me joy in return for a little adventuring. So to the topic - record shopping where I follow my nose to the future of my ears!


The Korgis - The Korgis

The Korgis sprang from the remnants of their rather wonderful first band, Stackridge - an eccentric '70s group somewhere between spaceships, folk reels, dragons, and them Beatles. As a duo (James Warren and Andy Davis, looking dapper on the cover), they achieved moderate pop success - you'd recognise their much covered classic Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime (forgive the link orgy, they are all great though). This is their debut, released 1980, which I can't stop listening to.


Billy Bennington - The Barford Angel

Sometimes, music does this funny thing to me where it makes me feel suspended - out of time, outside my own head, halfway between laughter and tears. I suppose you'd call it being moved, but I don't think it's as simple as that. It especially seems to happen with music with a real sense of past and place. If that sounds like nonsense, allow me to introduce Billy Bennington...


Charity Shop Favourites #1 - The Regulars

Being as I am a tight-fisted music obsessive, as well as a seeker of curiosities, a charity shop vinyl trawl is my idea of a grand way to spend an afternoon. Through much squatting and hunching, a hoard of the bland and bizarre is made to yield its gems – the intriguing, the ridiculous, the unexpected, and even the odd surefire winner. Part of the fun is that you never know what you're going to find.

But that's not quite true...there are some records which I come across over and over again, which I always pass by with scorn. “You again!”, I think, “I'll never buy you, even if you do only cost 50p.With my lack of interest there is mingled distain and the lurking knowledge that everything in the shop has been rejected by the original owner. And also, lately, I feel a little pity. So to this article, in which I will lend a few of these regulars my ears and best attempts at an open mind.


The Folk/Jazz/Blues Crossroads

Somewhere in the tortured souls of those poor dears we like to call singer-songwriters, there is a crossroads. A crossroads where all the elements of their craft join in a way that makes us believe in what they are singing, and that they believe in what they are singing. The music simmers and swells behind them, their voice soars and cracks, their words prickle with their emotion and resonate with our own personal experiences. Here we are at the place called Folk/Jazz/Blues.


Micachu & The Shapes - Never

All hail Micachu, with her drawling urchin voice and clattering percussion! Revel in her lack of regard for ordinary song structures! Swoon when she decides to plop a soaring chorus in amongst the mess of treated guitar and unfathomable noises! Bop to the warped grooves she crams onto her new record, Never!