"In a way, pop music is very much a part of its time," says Robyn Hitchcock, "and in that respect I've never really produced pop music. Having said that, there was a time when we were on the radio a lot in the '80s." Indeed, Hitchcock has always managed to package his quirky and sometimes surreal outlook in some very catchy tunes. He split from his first group, the Soft Boys, in the late '70s, and then oscillated between solo work and group efforts with his band the Egyptians. Lately, he's been working with his newest group, the Venus 3, whose members have known each other for ages. Featuring Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows), and Bill Rieflin (Ministry), the group has recorded three albums but released only two. The second was featured in last year's Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death...and Insects documentary, but released only as a live EP. "The one in the film is the second one," he explains. "We released the third one (Goodnight Oslo) first because...it had a bit more of a rock sound, more upbeat." The studio version of the second album will be released at some point, he assures. The group ends its current tour in the Twin Cities. "We're very much looking forward to it," he adds. "It's a venue we haven't played before." 18+.
Sun., April 19, 7 p.m., 2009