Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Night Live Music: "I Wanna Destroy You" and "Gene Hackman"

Missed last week, so I'm back this Saturday with a double-does of SNLM, just to make up for it. These are a couple of tunes by the talented and prolific singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock, the first a typically whimsical mix of political anger and odd punk fatalism, played when Hitchcock was on a reunion tour with his old band The Soft Boys back in 2001; the second is another one of his patented bits of arch, stream-of-consciousness weirdness, this one capturing the reality of Hollywood's major studio releases in the 80s and 90s. I wish I could have found a live video of him playing "Mr. Kennedy," my favorite of his many songs (though here's "Viva Sea-Tac!", another off-beat favorite). In truth, my whole relationship with Hitchcock's music is complicated and shot through with regret; as I explained in this old post of mine, I actually saw the tour from which the first recording here is taken, but I just didn't appreciate it at the time. I have to put that aesthetic loss of mine up there with having seen the first New York City production of Les Misérables in the spring of 1987, as a callow and unappreciative almost-high school graduate, and falling asleep during it. Oh well; life goes on. Mr. Hitchcock certainly does.

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