The career of Robyn Hitchcock–authentic Brit eccentric, ace songwriter, blah blah blah–has been erratic as hell. In the last couple of years, however, he’s succeeded in magicking himself into a radio-friendly rocker of the first magnitude. (The fact that few radio stations have bothered to notice is beside the point.) On last year’s Perspex Island, he mixes love (“I vibrate internally”) and his usual menagerie of mysterious fauna (“Birds in perspex come alive”) with a scintillating array of big guitars and Sgt. Peppery instrumentation to produce a landmark of idiosyncratic but still powerful rock ‘n’ roll. The shows next week are a rare chance to see him and his rhythm section do an acoustic set in the comfortable confines of the Park West. Opening is Uncle Green, an uncomplicated Amer-rock outfit with a penchant for crackling guitar lines and a knack for smart, if sometimes labored, expository songwriting. Standout: “I Always Knew You’d Come to Me,” a very funny song about male sexual dysfunction. Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 929-5959.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Chris Carroll.