R.E.M.'s Peter Buck & Robyn Hitchcock Jam & Record In Seattle

Renaissance rockers appear in 'Popsycle Shop Incident: Viva Sea Tac II.'

Given their restless Renaissance men reputations, it's inevitable that Robyn

Hitchcock, Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey would hook up and record together at

some point.

Former Soft Boy Hitchcock, forever sitting on a batch of new tunes, Buck, who,

while moonlighting from R.E.M., has found time to tour and record with Mark

Eitzel and his own side-band, Tuatara, and the Young Fresh Fellows' McCaughey,

who's toured with R.E.M. and released several all-star albums with his other

side-band, the Minus Five, got together in Seattle last Friday to put on a

three-hour jam called "Popsycle Shop Incident: Viva Sea Tac II."

The show, which featured sets from the Young Fresh Fellows, Hitchcock, Peter Buck

and various combinations of the above, took placeat Seattle's Crocodile Cafe,

owned, not coincidentally, by Buck's wife, Stephanie Dorgan. The mess of

musicians, which also included Tim Keegan of the English band Homer (a frequent

Hitchcock live band member), ended up crowding the stage near the endof the show

to toss off ragged covers of the Soft Boys' "Give It To the Soft Boys" and Bob

Dylan's "Tell Me Mama," as well as a song Hitchcock wrote expressly for the

second-annual event, "Viva Sea Tac," an homage to his gathering of good friends,

whose name is itself an homage to the Seattle/Tacoma Airport.

The inaugural Sea Tac show took place in 1994 and featured Hitchcock jamming with

the Young Fresh Fellows on an evening's-worth of Soft Boys covers.

Hitchcock wrapped-up his U.S. tour in Seattle on June 9 and spent the rest of the

week rehearsing for a recording session with Keegan, Buck, McCaughey, various

Young Fresh Fellows and the Fastbacks' Kurt Bloch. The collective laid down five

songs that Hitchcock's Warner Brothers publicist, Rick Gershon, said could end up

on "a couple of different albums."

Gershon speculated that a few were certain to crop up on Hitchcock's next studio

effort for Warner's (following the soundtrack to his upcoming Jonathan Demme

(Silence of the Lambs) -directed concert film, Storefront Hitchcock, due in

February '98), which the label doesn't expect before the end of 1998.

"Some of it was also recorded under the name Popsycle Shoppe Incident," said

Gershon, referring to the amalgamated group of musicians under the guise of yet

another McCaughey side project. Gershon hinted that Popsycle, named after a tune

on the most recent Minus Five album, The Lonesome Death of Buck McCoy, might make

their debut within the next year on an EP from McCaughey's label, Malt Records.

Gershon told ATN that Hitchcock has tentative plans to return to Seattle in

August and coordinate another "Sea Tac" show, with the working title, "Sea Tac 2

1/2," if the various band members can be corralled in time. Hitchcock unveiled a

number of new tunes at the Friday night show, including: "Jewels for Sophia,"

"Elizabeth Jade" and the intriguing-sounding "Don't Talk to Me about Gene

Hackman."