Robyn Hitchcock Plays “Glass Hotel” From The Film ‘Storefront Hitchcock’

Robyn HitchcockListen to this track by surrealist pop musician, singer-songwriter and pretty handy guitarist too, Robyn Hitchcock. It’s his 1998 rendition of his song “Glass Hotel”, one of the many he performed for the Jonathan Demme film Storefront Hitchcock. Where another of Demme’s high-profile concert films, Stop Making Sense, portrays his subject matter on a large, exaggerated scale (big suit and all!), Storefront Hitchcock is all about understatement, and space.

And this is one of the most understated in the set, a song of delicacy and dreamlike lyrical landscapes, all the while being observed by the off-camera audience in front of him, and those who walk by the window of the titular storefront in which the concert is occurring.

The song originally appears on 1990’s Eye, where it’s something of a deep-cut. Here, it’s a moment of quiet, taking on  an almost liturgical sheen, with a bit of Salvador Dali thrown in. After all, this is Robyn Hitchcock, an artist not generally known for his straight-forward material. And the filming of this show had this as its basis; to showcase the songwriter as a singular performer.

But in some ways, this film is also about the viewer.

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Talking Heads Play “Once in a Lifetime” from Stop Making Sense

Here’s a clip of art-rock foursome, and post-punk pop innovators Talking Heads. It’s their 1980 track “Once In A Lifetime”, a key element to the high-pinnacle album Remain in Light, and also a bright point in the excellent landmark 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme.

The film was shot in at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, December 1983. It captures the band during a point in their history when they’d expanded their live sound from being a tightly-wound and appropriately claustrophobic post-punk four-piece into something of an Africanized pop-funk collective.

Several side musicians from the funk world (members of Parliament Funkadelic and The Brothers Johnson are represented) were installed on these dates to fill out their sound, and effectively reposition their material into a more dance-oriented style, while losing nothing of its spiky, psychologically angular rock impact.  Read more