WAY BACK IN THE 1960s

WAY BACK IN THE 1960s

Mixed-media performance doesn't have to be a snaggle of digitally triggered video art, programmed spastic beats, seizure-inducing strobes, and a tragically hirsute fella channeling his inner satyr. Sometimes spoken word interpolated with sensitively voiced songs backed by a well-strummed acoustic guitar will do just fine. That's what's in store when born raconteur Joe Boyd, reading from his well-remembered White Bicycles memoir about his days as a young man in the music business way back in the 1960s, teams with folkadelic iconoclast Robyn Hitchcock, playing tunes by musicians whom Boyd worked with and wrote about in the book for Chinese White Bicycles: An Evening With Joe Boyd and Robyn Hitchcock. "Robyn's style is deeply evocative of the '60s, and he is able to sing material by Nick Drake, Dylan, the Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, et al., while still sounding like the eccentric and wonderful musician he is, yet full of the spirit of that time," Boyd wrote in an e-mail. "So I choose pieces of the book and other writings about the '60s, and he sings the song that is most relevant to my words. It's a lot more lively than just a reading and very different from one of his gigs — at least that's the intention. We've done it about four times so far, and it's been fun for us, and seemingly, for the audience." The night's extemporaneous potential, including the possibility of a surprise guest or two, might add a twist to one of Boyd's reasons for writing the book in the first place: his realization that "for some of the stories I told so often, I was in danger of remembering the telling more than the original incident."
Thu., Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m., 2010