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Just before the 2004 presidential election, Robyn Hitchcock addressed “Creeped Out” to an American female “creeped out by the blood you’re flowing.” But there’s always been a lot about Hitchcock that’s creeped out Americans in return: bad hair, innumerable songs about trees and insects, a history of choosing really ugly shirts for promo photos. Hitchcock’s studied quirkiness registers best in contrast to Americans’ veneer of uprightness and cheer—as long as all parties involved tacitly agree not to question what’s weirder: the guy conducting sing-alongs about tarantulas or the country that returned George W. Bush to the Oval Office because he seemed like a regular guy. Now that we’ve elected a completely boring replacement, it’ll be interesting how Hitchcock adapts. If nothing else, his choice of sidemen, including an English jazz saxophonist—three words that should never be found in the same sentence—signals that he has no intention to stop (as he also sings in “Creeped Out”) “Lookin’ for the animal behind your eyes.”
ROBYN HITCHCOCK PERFORMS AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE BIRCHMERE, 3701 MT. VERNON AVE., ALEXANDRIA. $25. (703) 549-7500.