Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3

Ole! Tarantula, and Sex, Food, Death... and Tarantulas (Yep Roc)

SXSW Reviews

Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3

Olé! Tarantula (Yep Roc)

Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3

Sex, Food, Death ... and Tarantulas (Yep Roc)

There's something about working with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey – two-thirds of the Venus 3 – that brings out the Robynest aspects of Robyn Hitchcock. Going back to 1999's fine Jewels for Sophia, the same collaboration produced garage band rave up "Viva! Sea-Tac." For Olé! Tarantula, the quartet captures a harmonic pop mayhem they haven't approached individually with much consistency in the recent past. Both Buck and Hitchcock seem to cast back a good 20 years to the time that the former was still on I.R.S. and the latter was making Queen Elvis, only now Hitchcock is channeling John Lennon way, way more than Syd Barrett. It's in moments ebullient and in others simply unhurried, but is always mercilessly vibrant. The highlight is "N.Y. Doll," a stunning ode to that band's Arthur "Killer" Kane. If only Buck could be convinced to take this gig full time. The live and slightly rougher collection Sex, Food, Death … and Tarantulas pairs up a companion EP to the upcoming Sundance Channel documentary Sex, Food, Death … and Insects. It's brightest spot might be the Venus 3's tackling of the Soft Boys' suspended-chord-athon "Queen of Eyes." (Friday, March 16, Dirty Dog Bar, 10pm)

(Olé!) ***.5

(Sex, Food, Death) **.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Bertin
Margaret Moser Tribute: Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

June 30, 2017

SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
Little packages of just-so honesty

March 15, 2014

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle