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Hitchcock Happy To Live In His Past -- For The Moment

Of the Oakland Press

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Robyn Hitchcock is going backwards these days — and happily.

Next week, the British singer-songwriter releases “I Wanna Go Backwards,” a box set that accumulates three of his albums “Black Snake Diamond Role,” his solo debut from 1981, 1984’s “I Often Dream of Trains” and 1990’s “Eye,” all with bonus tracks, plus the two-disc B-sides and rarities collection “While Thatcher Mauled Britain Part 1 & 2.”

Another album, 1982’s out-of-print “Groovy Decay,” is being released as a digital download, and there are plans for yet another boxed set of his ’80s recordings with the Egyptians in 2008.

“Well, every dozen years or so it’s time to re-release the back catalog,” Hitchcock, 53, says. “Of course, in that time, the back catalog has swollen somewhat. When you dig it up it seems to pull up even more material out of the ground. All this stuff accumulates.

“It’s the opposite of a rolling stone which, of course, gathers no moss. This stuff gathers everything. It’s not as stimulating as making a new record, but it’s far better than them being out of print.”

Hitchcock is making new music, however. He’s been working on a second album with the Venus 3, his band with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and his touring sidekicks

Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, Minus 5) and Bill Rieflin (Ministry) that debuted with last year’s “Ole! Tarantula.” The group has already held sessions in England and Arizona and plans another one in Seattle later this month, with a release in the late summer or fall of 2008.

“I think we’ve already recording hundreds of songs for it,” he says. “It’s great for me; I’ve got this band of guys that, because of all their other (groups), play all the time. So they’re always just on and ready to go.”

Robyn Hitchcock performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 11) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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