Psychic TV is the creation of one of the most formidable pop-culture conceptualists of the '80s, Genesis P-Orridge. The Londoner's cult status mostly comes from his days with sonic terrorists Throbbing Gristle, a group preoccupied with investigating social aberrations. Now P-Orridge has found new icons to fry: He's pulling up flower power by the roots.
The idea of an artist like P-Orridge reinterpreting an era he calls the "hyper-delic 6-6-60s" might sound a bit pretentious. But Psychic TV's Roxy show Sunday night was a colorful blend of intelligence and action.
"Itchycoo Park" percolations churned as a compelling array of subliminal and symbolic images were projected on three screens. The sextet's sound went from Cult-like lampoons to dreamy moments of controlled hysteria as P-Orridge embodied the essence of a fey, Edwardian-style pop idol, his electronically altered vocals whining, screeching, cajoling, preaching. Beyond simple irony, Psychic TV took a cultural myth, blew it up bigger than life and played through the fallout. Old Gristle fans may have been disappointed that that group's shock appeal was missing, but Psychic TV's tuned-in gambol was a turn-on.