So it’s pretty obvious at this point that I’ve been unable to keep this up on a daily or even weekly basis. We play records almost every day, but with both of us working and trying to fumble our way into competent parenthood, it’s been hard to find time consistently to reflect and to write. So I’m going to mess with the format a little bit. I’d prefer to write more consistently and sacrifice some depth, at least for some of the entries. Time is passing by quickly, and our daughter is changing a little bit every day, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to document experiences that will then be gone forever.
Hitchcock is a prolific singer/songwriter who first released records with the Soft Boys in the late 70’s, and followed up with a couple of solo records before teaming up with two ex-Soft Boys to form Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians. “Fegmania,” their first album, is a psychedelic alt-pop masterpiece. Aside from the fact that this record is full of truly strange and idiosyncratic pop gems, it’s worth noting that Hitchcock seems preoccupied with the primitive and age-old themes of love and death. Of course, 90% of our record collection probably consists of various songwriters’ attempts to make sense of these universal experiences, but Hitchcock’s decision to take the psychedelic approach frees this collection of songs from the shackles of the grim or overly earnest tone of most musical musings on love and death, and transforms them into something more playful and absurd. People who take themselves, or their music, too seriously sometimes balk at this approach, and I’ve certainly been guilty of this myself at times. But we too easily forget that engaging our imagination and our sense of play is one of the most human things we can do, and can liberate us in so many ways. Imagination is an incredibly powerful tool, too often left to children and scoffed at by so-called “realists.” But it’s what allows us as children to build on our sense of wonder at the world and to engage in play, that most important of childhood activities. It’s what allows us first as teenagers, and then as young adults, to consider a world better then the one in which we live, and to consider that we might play a part in bringing that world into being. Its what can make idealists out of largely helpless, alienated, and bored suburban kids, and possibly help transform them into people that make things happen instead of passively watch them happen, people that dream of a better world and then fight for it, on a personal, local, or global scale. I think that imagination is what helps transform us into activists, artists, musicians and advocates. I often find it odd then, that so many of the leftists/activists/punks I know are skeptical of parenthood. “How could you bring new life into such a fucked-up world,” is the typical question that’s posed to us. But I’ve found that having a baby and experiencing secondhand her wide-eyed wonder at the world has re-awakened my tired idealism. I can’t imagine a better way to fight for a better future than to raise a child in opposition to a world that values pursuit of capital over pursuit of joy or pursuit of justice. So here’s to play, here’s to imagination. Raise your glass.
Hot Track: “Egyptian Cream”