Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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chuckrh
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Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by chuckrh »

The new ltd edition live record "Ogre's Trumpet" is worth hunting down. The current GBV lineup is mighty & in fine form. & they do the Monkees "Saturday's Child"!

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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That's one body of work that I'm almost completely unfamiliar with. I wanna take the plunge but it's pretty damn intimidating.
E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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The Best of Guided by Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates is a good place to start.

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by chuckrh »

I've heard the new studio record that is coming later this month "Space Gun". A very strong addition to the canon of Bob!

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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A pair of tremendous remastered Pollard solo records were just reissued Friday:
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This also got reissued on vinyl:
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Matador Records just put this up on YouTube. It's excellent.

I might just turn this into an impromptu Artist of the Week thread.
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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cortez the killer wrote:
Matador Records just put this up on YouTube. It's excellent.

I might just turn this into an impromptu Artist of the Week thread.
Please do. I saw them live a few years back and loved it tremendously, but I am intimidated by the catalogue. What's a good starting point?
Now it's dark.

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by chuckrh »

Flea wrote:
cortez the killer wrote:
Matador Records just put this up on YouTube. It's excellent.

I might just turn this into an impromptu Artist of the Week thread.
Please do. I saw them live a few years back and loved it tremendously, but I am intimidated by the catalogue. What's a good starting point?
Image

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by cortez the killer »

Flea wrote:
cortez the killer wrote:
Matador Records just put this up on YouTube. It's excellent.

I might just turn this into an impromptu Artist of the Week thread.
Please do. I saw them live a few years back and loved it tremendously, but I am intimidated by the catalogue. What's a good starting point?
Massive undertaking, but for you, Flea, I'll give it my best attempt. I'll start cookin' something up in a bit.
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Prolific is a term that is thrown around fairly liberally when it comes to artists. Robert Ellsworth Pollard Jr. epitomizes the word. Over the course of four decades, Pollard has released over 100 albums and has well over 2000 songs registered to his name with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). While he is best known as the founding frontman for the indie rock band Guided By Voices, he has also recorded and released albums with/under the following bands and aliases:

Robert Pollard
Acid Ranch
Airport 5
Boston Spaceships
Carbon Whales
Cash Rivers and the Sinners
Circus Devils
Cosmos
ESP Ohio
Go Back Snowball
Hazzard Hotrods
Howling Wolf Orchestra
Keene Brothers
Lexo and the Leapers
Lifeguards
Mars Classroom
The Moping Swans
Nightwalker
Phantom Tollboth
Psycho and the Birds
Ricked Wicky
The Sunflower Logic
The Takeovers
Teenage Guitar

It is with Guided By Voices, that we will begin to explore the deep, deep musical universe of Dayton, Ohio's Robert Ellsworth Pollard Jr.



to be continued...
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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In the Beginning (Act I)

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Robert Pollard, a talented football & baseball player at Northridge High School (Hall of Fame inductee 2010) in Dayton, Ohio, was not your typical “jock”. Pollard, enamored with 60s British Invasion bands, would spend hours creating pretend album covers and sleeves, pasting together images he cut out of newspapers and magazines. As time wore on, he began to write songs to put on the album sleeves. Fellow Northbridge classmates, Kevin Fennell and Mitch Mitchell, had been playing in different bands since middle school and were surprised to find the school’s star quarterback and starting pitcher had such musical aspirations. An unlikely connection formed and, upon graduation, Pollard and Mitchell formed a band called Anacrusis which played metal and prog covers in the late 70s Dayton bar scene. With the addition of classmate Fennell on drums and newcomer Tobin Sprout, Anacrusis started writing original songs and morphed into what eventually became Guided By Voices. Reflecting back, Sprout recounts, “"He would use those fantasy sleeves as a creative tool, taking a photo he'd clipped out of a newspaper, like three guys with long hair, and wondering, what sort of song would these guys write? And then he'd write that song. I thought he was amazing."

Now that the band was more focused on writing their own original material, the Dayton bars were no longer booking them. Largely a blue-collar community, cover bands were what the people of Dayton wanted. Additionally, the band couldn’t tour outside of Dayton due to real-life commitments – Pollard was a school teacher, married with two children; Fennel was a substance abuse counselor; Sprout was an illustrator; Mitchell worked at a sandpaper factory. Instead, they would get together on weekends, drink beer, listen to records and record their songs on four-track recorders and cheap tape decks. Stuck in Dayton, Ohio with no prospects of touring elsewhere, the band decided the next best step would be to start recording actual albums. After securing a loan from the Dayton Public Schools credit union, Pollard and his bandmates self-released five lo-fi, psych-rock albums heavily influenced by Pollard's love for 60s pop, 70s prog, post-punk and and the burgeoning new wave sound. Those five albums were Forever Since Breakfast, Devil Between My Toes, Sandbox, Self Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia and Same Place the Fly Got Smashed. It is with the 1986 R.E.M.-influenced EP, Forever Since Breakfast, where we will begin this musical ride.



to be continued...
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Forever Since Breakfast (1986)

The first official Guided By Voices recording is this 7-song EP recorded at Group Effort Studios in Crescent Springs, KY. Sonically, Forever Since Breakfast draws from the same well what many college rock bands at the time like R.E.M., Guadalcanal Diary, The dBs and The Feelies were finding inspiration from. GBV brings more of a Rust Belt perspective to the genre, but it would be disingenuous to call this an innovative or groundbreaking album. What it is is a well-crafted 80s indie jangle pop record that provides a glimpse into some of the directions the band was going to take. Not surprising, the record did not sell well. As legend has it, a frustrated and inebriated Pollard smashed 100 vinyl copies of the record against a wall during a drunken night a few years after it was released. A couple decades later it re-entered the GBV universe on CD as a part of the Hardcore UFOS: Revelations, Epiphanies, and Fast Food In the Western Hemisphere box set on Matador Records in 2003. Two years later it received a limited (500 copies), vinyl-only reissue.

1. Land of Danger – If it is lo-fi you are expecting, then you will be disappointed. Instead you get a produced, jangly, R.E.M.-sounding song to introduce the world to Guided By Voices. (7)
2. Let’s Ride – A light, breezy track that still maintains the jangle. Really strong vocal performance from Pollard here. (7)
3. Like I Do – This is more what to expect. Lo-fi, echo-y vocals and an acoustic guitar recorded over some radio or television show in the background. Roots of the GBV formula in its infant stages. (6)
4. Sometimes I Cry – We have an anthemic, fist-pumper coming on the heels of a quiet, lo-fi collage. Classic GBV sequencing maneuver happening for the first time. This is an excellent Pollard power pop creation. (8)
5. She Wants to Know – More early R.E.M. influence. This straightforward slice of jangle pop sounds like a Chronic Town demo/outtake. (7)
6. Fountain of Youth – We get our first glimpse of Pollard’s undying love for all things Daltrey & Townshend. Comes out of the gate roaring like The Who and then meanders off into some pseudo-prog tributaries. The most ambitious song on the EP. (8)
7. The Other Place – Pollard retreats back into his ultimate head space at the time, R.E.M. This is a great fucking song. If you love the jangle, “The Other Place” is for you. Another excellent vocal performance from Pollard here. (9)



to be continued...
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Thank you, kind sir.
Now it's dark.

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Devil Between My Toes (1987)

The first GBV record featuring Tobin Sprout. Cover art also introduces us to the proud cock who we will later find out about on the signature song off 1996’s Under the Bushes, Under the Stars, “Don’t Stop Now”. We are also posed with the question, “What makes Big Daddy happy?” This is an uneven record, with Pollard and the band still trying to find their footing. There are some really good to great songs on here, but this would not be an album I would recommend to someone who was looking to get into the band.

1. Old Battery – Carryover in style from Forever Since Breakfast which is another way of saying it sounds a lot like an early R.E.M. demo. Catchy chorus and some hooks buried in the mix. Solid opener. (6)
2. Discussing Wallace Chambers – Similar college rock vibe as the previous track. Signature sound of the song are those up-tempo, dramatic drums. (5)
3. Cyclops – Massive reverb. Bob’s got some psych-jangle hybrid thing going on. Super slowed down tempo. Very unlike anything previously committed to tape. Pollard starting to spread his creative wings. (5)
4. Crux – Moving deeper into lo-fi territory. Sounds like it was recorded in the bottom of a well. Could call it an instrumental, but there is some detectable mumbling/humming in there. (4)
5. A Portrait Destroyed by Fire – Longest track on the album. With the benefit of hindsight, this might be considered the official birth of Pollard’s Circus Devils side project. Points for being different and experimental. Can’t say this is a great song. (3)
6. 3 Year Old Man – Another oddball, lo-fi instrumental. Again, credit for originality, but this one also falls flat for me. (1)
7. Dog’s Out – Things pick up again with this one. Sounds like an early Beatles/Who mash up, but, decidedly, with much less fidelity. (4)
8. A Proud and Booming Industry – Back to the same recording well (pun intended) as “Crux”. Shortest song on the record, clocking in at 1:03. (1)
9. Hank’s Little Fingers – Back to something that resembles a traditional song. This song drips with Brit pop catchiness. Hooks abound. Sounds very similar to the types of snippets that would resurface years later on such classics as Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes. (8)
10. Artboat – Another muddy, dirgey instrumental. (1)
11. Hey Hey, Spaceman – Back to the Stipe/Buck factory. If you ever wondered how R.E.M. would sound if they recorded a song in your buddy’s finished basement on a cheap tape deck, you now have your answer. (5)
12. The Tumblers – This is a catchy little number. Certainly a preview to what was coming down the pike years later. A mini prog-jangle hybrid. (7)
13. Bread Alone – The fourth instrumental of the album. This one is a little more straightforward than the previous ones. It’s not terribly interesting either. (2)
14. Captain’s Dead – Here we go! Got what sounds like an alphorn announcing this song’s presence. From there, Pollard and company tear into the type of short, tight psych-garage rocker that would become one of the more recognizable arrows in that massive quiver. (9)



to be continued...
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Sandbox (1987)

Another early album that is a bit of a mixed bag with the band still trying to carve out its identity. Pollard is not a fan of this record. In a 1997 interview on gbv.com he proclaimed, "It's my least favorite. We attempted a power pop, Cheap Trick thing with it, and the experiment failed." The production on this album is better than the previous one, but still a work in progress. More flashes of where the band was going and what it was capable of becoming scattered throughout Sandbox. Again, not a record I would recommend to someone just looking to get into GBV.

1. Lips of Steel – Much more in common with the songs on Forever Since Breakfast than Devil Between My Toes with Pollard leaning back into his 80s college rock heroes. Noticeable improvement in production/fidelity than the previous album right out of the gate. (7)
2. A Visit to the Creep Doctor – More up-tempo college rock on display. Not as memorable as the previous track, but pretty not bad either. (5)
3. Everyday – Shimmery, lazy summertime vibes on this track. Great outdoor drinking tune. Then again, you could say that about much of GBV’s catalog. (6)
4. Barricade – An early “epic” song in the GBV catalog in that it last longer than four minutes and features several tempo changes. Lifts lyrics from The Beatles “Little Child” – “Little child. Little child. Little child won’t you dance with me.” Pretty ambitious for the band at this stage in their development. Would love to hear a more seasoned version of the band’s take on this one. (6)
5. Get to Know the Ropes – A sludgy, psychedelic brooding song. Very different than the more jangly material that makes up the bulk of the album. (5)
6. Can’t Stop – Ringmaster Bob making an announcement to kick this one off. A tactic that would resurface over the years on various other Pollard-penned songs. Like the churning guitars on this one. (5)
7. The Drinking Jim Crow – Hard-charging song that culminates with some swirling guitars at the end. Quick, short Pollard blast of a song. (5)
8. Trap Soul Door – Another sneak peek at things to come on those classic, mid-90s Matador albums. My only complaint is that it’s too short. (8.5)
9. Common Rebels – Stop and start dynamics at play. Ghost of Keith Moon hammering the skins to finish this slice of garage punk. (6)
10. Long Distance Man – Gushing tribute to the Fab Four. Major “Nowhere Man” vibe going on here. (6)
11. I Certainly Hope Not – Stop and start mechanics with a variety of tempo shifts on this one. Song never really takes off for me. (4)
12. Adverse Wind – Love the guitar tone on this track. Comes complete with trademark fist-pumping chorus. Pollard pulling those hooks out of his bag. (6.5)



to be continued...
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Oh goodie! "Blatant Doom Trip" coming soon! Bottomless hole, rock n roll.....

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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I should probably be contributing more to this but I'm more than a little scatter brain right now with some health stuff, pain & meds. I got into GBV when Bee Thousand came out. Was supposed to see them that tour but after an especially ugly day at work wound up falling asleep on the couch & missing the show. Made up for it in a big way. Saw them in a tent at the Reading Festival circa Alien Lanes with Matt Sweeney on bass in the afternoon. The band, not used to playing during the day had gotten smashed on Redbull & Vodka (when that was a new thing) & Bob was speaking in a fake German accent for most of the set. The first of many memorable GBV (& Robert Pollard with Tommy Keene in the band) shows. Have seen many of the lineups & while I"m pretty big on the Tobin Sprout/Mitch Mitchell era I think the current line up may be the best all around. Doug Gillard is an excellent guitar player & Bobby Bare Jr has been a good add. A few other memorable shows: Under the Bushes tour about a week before the Whisky a Go Go show the drummer literally OD'd on something the day of the show. Jason Finn of Presidents of USA owned the bar across the street & offered to fill in & Bob said he's rather cancel the show than play with someone from such a crappy band. The GBV drummer recovered & it was a fine show. Finally, a show at the Croc in Seattle Bob got really really smashed. Not entirely unusual but he was way over the top. Some great drunken rants like "fuck Bob Dylan!" with slurred explanation & that's where I got the band name "The Hateful Fred" for a certain 60s SF band that was popular in Portland where his son was living, haha. Bar time in Seattle is 2:00 AM. Somewhere after 1:00 AM Bob slurred "Alright, fuck it! We're going to play Bee Thousand, the whole fucking thing!". & they did play most of it. Notably absent was 1 of my early faves "Kicker of Elves". 1 of my favorite bands. I liked the shows more though before the drunken frat boy contingent kind of took over. More on the Jack Daniels incident later.... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnyEJ36rmDc&t=3290s

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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Monitoring this thread, thanks for the reviews Cortez. I’ve enjoyed the GBV albums I’ve heard these last few years, but had no idea where to dive into the older stuff.

Also I had no idea Bobby Bare Jr. was part of the band??? Not sure how I missed that.
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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chuckrh wrote:I should probably be contributing more to this but I'm more than a little scatter brain right now with some health stuff, pain & meds. I got into GBV when Bee Thousand came out. Was supposed to see them that tour but after an especially ugly day at work wound up falling asleep on the couch & missing the show. Made up for it in a big way. Saw them in a tent at the Reading Festival circa Alien Lanes with Matt Sweeney on bass in the afternoon. The band, not used to playing during the day had gotten smashed on Redbull & Vodka (when that was a new thing) & Bob was speaking in a fake German accent for most of the set. The first of many memorable GBV (& Robert Pollard with Tommy Keene in the band) shows. Have seen many of the lineups & while I"m pretty big on the Tobin Sprout/Mitch Mitchell era I think the current line up may be the best all around. Doug Gillard is an excellent guitar player & Bobby Bare Jr has been a good add. A few other memorable shows: Under the Bushes tour about a week before the Whisky a Go Go show the drummer literally OD'd on something the day of the show. Jason Finn of Presidents of USA owned the bar across the street & offered to fill in & Bob said he's rather cancel the show than play with someone from such a crappy band. The GBV drummer recovered & it was a fine show. Finally, a show at the Croc in Seattle Bob got really really smashed. Not entirely unusual but he was way over the top. Some great drunken rants like "fuck Bob Dylan!" with slurred explanation & that's where I got the band name "The Hateful Fred" for a certain 60s SF band that was popular in Portland where his son was living, haha. Bar time in Seattle is 2:00 AM. Somewhere after 1:00 AM Bob slurred "Alright, fuck it! We're going to play Bee Thousand, the whole fucking thing!". & they did play most of it. Notably absent was 1 of my early faves "Kicker of Elves". 1 of my favorite bands. I liked the shows more though before the drunken frat boy contingent kind of took over. More on the Jack Daniels incident later.... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnyEJ36rmDc&t=3290s
Love the O.G. stories, chuck! Keep 'em comin'!
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Sterling Bigmouth wrote:Monitoring this thread, thanks for the reviews Cortez. I’ve enjoyed the GBV albums I’ve heard these last few years, but had no idea where to dive into the older stuff.

Also I had no idea Bobby Bare Jr. was part of the band??? Not sure how I missed that.
Yeah, the band has seen numerous personnel/lineup changes over the years. Bobby Bare Jr. came on board in 2016 as a touring member of the band and is still a member four years later. As Chuck pointed out above, this new lineup of GBV is very strong. As dime would say, Doug Gillard (the current lead guitarist) is a witch.
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia (1989)

Recorded at bassist Steve Wilbur’s 8-track garage, Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia is the first album where the band really started to hone in on who and what they are. Obvious influences can be obvious, but the trademark GBV sound starts to take hold on this record. The lo-fi production is certainly a signature of the album. Some folks love it. Some cannot get past it. Again, not a record I would recommend for the newly-initiated GBV crowd, but it is a significant artifact and marks a real turning point for the band as they begin to craft their own identity as a rock outfit.

1. The Future is in Eggs – Got a bit of a Joy Division thing going on here. Love when those guitars kick in at the 2:42 mark and usher this one out. Lo-fi and sludgy as fuck. (7)
2. The Great Blake Street Canoe Race – Traces of that R.E.M. still exist on this track. Another lo-fi gem that sounds as if it was recorded in an empty pool. (7)
3. Slopes of Big Ugly – Primitive song with a slightly out of tune reverb guitar wailing in the background. Starts to pick up some steam and then abruptly cuts out. (3)
4. Paper Girl - Echo-y, sludgy guitars give way to a pretty acoustic song with Pollard singing what sounds like a double-tracked vocal from an abandoned well. Has that patchwork stitching song feel that would come to characterize a lot of Pollard’s future recordings. (7)
5. Navigating Flood Regions – This one gets the head bobbing. Really like the looping guitar riff on this one. Builds nicely, too. Offers a good glimpse as to where GBV was headed. (7.5)
6. An Earful O’ Wax – Ambitious song with several dramatic tempo shifts. Feels like different songs sketches pulled together to create one GBV-styled epic. I hear shades of The Who’s Tommy in there. Might be the first instance of underwater vocals, too. Some serious guitar shredding during the outro. This is a stylistic mess, but I kinda dig it. (7.5)
7. White Whale – Thundering drums with Pollard crooning like a late 50s/early 60s teeny bopper. Sounds like an outtake from the classic Bee Thousand that was a few years down the road. (6)
8. Trampoline – This is a pleasant little song that just hums along, starts to get going and then just fades out. Can really hone in on Pollard’s fake British accent here. Jason Isbell’s dad would not approve. (6)
9. Short on Posters – This is a peppy track. You can really hear Pollard’s confidence growing as a vocalist. Got some “la-la-la-la’s” to usher this one out. (6)
10. Chief Barrel Belly – Loud, sloppy song with a drunk-sounding Pollard belting out the lyrics. Not a lot of hooks here, but the band is bringing the thump. (5)
11. Dying to Try This – Slowing things down significantly. Shades of Deliverance with the guitar picking and Pollard laying down some falsetto vocals. (4)
12. The Qualifying Reminder – Roots of Circus Devils on this menacing lo-fi creeper. Got some of that post-punk energy going on. Another slow builder with some thunderous drums bringing it to its conclusion. (5)
13. Liar’s Tale – One of Pollard's more vulnerable songs. Vocals are reverbed as all hell. Love the guitar that meanders in in the second half of the song. Has that audio effect that you get when someone puts down their window in the back seat of the car. Most memorable song on the album. (8)
14. Radio Show (Trust the Wizard) – An ambitious psych-prog epic of a GBV track. Gorgeous acoustic guitar on the outro. Provides another Easter Egg for what was coming down the pike, especially on the upcoming Propeller. (7)



to be continued...
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

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Same Place the Fly Got Smashed (1990)

It’s no secret that Robert Pollard loves him some Who. It was only a matter of time before he channeled his inner-Townshend and took a crack at a thematic rock opera type of record. Same Place the Fly Got Smashed is a concept album based upon an alcoholic who commits a murder and is eventually executed for his crime. The production here is a mix between low and mid fidelity. Having a theme to focus on allows Pollard to step up his songwriting here. This album represents a big leap forward for Pollard and the band. I sound like a broken record at this stage, but this is not where I would begin if I were just getting into the band. However, it is one of the first albums I would reach for once I had digested and developed an appreciation for the “classics”.

1. Airshow ’88 – Starts off with dialogue from the Lindsay Wagner movie 'Shattered Dreams' based on the life of Charlotte Fedders who was married to John Fedders, the head of the SEC during the Reagan years. Menacing guitar riff repeats itself throughout the song. Bob foregoes singing and opts for shouting instead. The lowest of fi on this track. (6)
2. Order for the New Slave Trade – The album moves from menacing to ominous. Fidelity also picks up into the mid-range. Love the swirling guitars on this one. Bob brings a sense of melody to the doomy proceedings here. (6)
3. The Hard Way – Shades of the Alien Lanes classic, “Game of Pricks”, emanate from this one. Hurried, jittery drums, a classic Who-styled bassline and a great sense of melody are the signatures of this song. (8)
4. Drinker’s Peace – Things come to a halt with this lo-fi, acoustic track. Has that weary, late-night, lonely vibe. Sounds like it was recorded in a dank, poorly-lit basement. The flubbed note at the 1:41 mark of the song is pure GBV brilliance. (8)
5. Mammoth Cave – Plodding, grinding, mid-fidelity GBV song. Cruises along and then just falls apart. (5)
6. When She Turns 50 – Back to solo, acoustic Pollard. A pleasant-sounding song, but nothing too special. (5)
7. Club Molluska – A precursor to Pollard’s future side project, Circus Devils. Another “sung from the bottom of a well” song. From here on out, I will simply refer to them as “well songs”. Fits the mood and theme of the record, but doesn’t do much more than that. (4)
8. Pendulum – According to Pollard, "My favorite lyrics I've ever written.” Short and sweet, it is definitely the most upbeat song on the album. Hooks out the wazoo. (9)
9. Ambergris – Another “well song”. This one misses the mark. (1)
10. Local Mix Up/Murder Charge – We have our first “slash song”. Pollard has quilted together mini songs to create a bigger one, but he hasn’t done it with the '/' until now. Several abrupt tempo shifts on this massive track. Multiple music styles and influences converge here. Not sure how, but it all works. An early, signature GBV classic. (8.5)
11. Starboy – Starts out as a sort of a capella before it drifts off into a gently-plucked, acoustic bizarre world. (3)
12. Blatant Doom Trick – Mid-tempo, mid-fidelity tour de force. This song takes big shits. Got a good amount of live play during the mid-2000 tours and was a huge fan favorite. First masterpiece the band ever committed to tape. “Bottomless hole. Rock and roll. Take me on a blatant doom trip, yeah!” (10)
13. How Loft Am I? – Clocking in at just over a minute, this sugary-sweet acoustic song sounds like a long lost 60s pop classic. (8)



to be continued...
I am a lost soul
I shoot myself with rock & roll

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cortez the killer
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by cortez the killer »

So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (Act II)

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The gig was almost up. As Mick Jagger famously sang, “Time waits for no one and it won’t wait for me.” Pollard and his bandmates weren’t getting any younger. Rock and roll knows well, but it can’t help tellin’ young boys lies. Where does that leave a bunch of dudes in their mid-thirties, with families and commitments in Dayton, Ohio? The prospects for moving this thing forward were bleak and Pollard seemed resigned to folding the tent and calling it quits. They were essentially a studio band that had never ventured outside the cozy, but confining, limits of Dayton. Family members of the band, growing weary, were now openly questioning why they were continuing on with this adolescent fantasy. The plan was to empty the chamber and do one last album, Propeller. Reflecting back, Tobin Sprout recollects, "As we headed out to our cars after a night spent recording [Propeller], Bob said: 'This is it, I'm done, it's not worth it.'"

The band cranked out Propeller and were prepared to walk away from the dream. Then, something out of the ordinary happened. Copies of Propeller found their way out of Dayton to Cleveland, where Scat Records offered the group a record deal. And then the album made its way to New York City, where it was thoroughly embraced by the indie rock hipster crowd who were equally enthralled and perplexed by this oddball, middle-aged rock band emerging from Dayton, Ohio. It was, after all, the pre-internet age. Against all odds, this ragtag bunch of reclusive, insular, Rust Belt neophytes were now in demand and primed to take a bite out of the Big Apple. Guided By Voices were now a touring band, primed to unleash a series of lo-fi classics that would significantly shape the indie rock scene for years to come. In the words of 3DD’s own Rev Matt, they were on the cusp of a watershed moment in indie rock history. Over the coming years, the band would delight fans with high-energy, stadium-worthy rock shows that stood in stark contrast to the lo-fi classic studio albums they seemed to pump out with great ease. From 1992 to 1996, Guided By Voices unleashed an incredible string of records – Propeller, Vampire on Titus, Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, Under the Bushes Under the Stars and Tonics and Twisted Chasers. With the release of Propeller, GBV had managed to beat all odds and waltzed into an incredible, purple patch phase of their career.



to be continued...
I am a lost soul
I shoot myself with rock & roll

chuckrh
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by chuckrh »

I've got the Propeller/Vampire on Titus cd. Can't wait to hear what you think of those 2. So many unreal great songs! The Jack Daniels incident: Somewhere around "Do the Collapse" era I think, GBV played the venerable Showbox (DBT love this venue) in Seattle. The band at the time had the former guitar roadie & the bass player was the brother of the other "Circus Devil". Anyway, the band was passing around a big bottle of Jack Daniels during the set. Sadly, at this point we are into the frat boy days. Apparently, some of them were antagonizing the 2 band members above (I couldn't see the specifics from my spot) but somehow the bottle got thrown at & hit 1 of the frat types. Who just happened to be at the show with his lawyer. Cough cough. The band got sued & lost. I don't know how much (if any) cash was involved but there was a judicial decree banning the band from drinking out of glass on stage in Seattle for years. It may still be going on but I think it ended. So, after that everything was in red go cups, including the "farewell" tour....more on that later.

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bovine knievel
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by bovine knievel »

cortez the killer wrote:Against all odds, this ragtag bunch of reclusive, insular, Rust Belt neophytes were now in demand and primed to take a bite out of the Big Apple
Interested is piqued. Excellent job as always. You could quit-your-day-job-worthy.
“Excited people get on daddy’s nerves.” - M. Cooley

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cortez the killer
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by cortez the killer »

bovine knievel wrote:
cortez the killer wrote:Against all odds, this ragtag bunch of reclusive, insular, Rust Belt neophytes were now in demand and primed to take a bite out of the Big Apple
Interested is piqued. Excellent job as always. You could quit-your-day-job-worthy.
And here I thought I'd reel you in with the Rev Matt/watershed line. :lol:

Thanks, BK. :geek:
I am a lost soul
I shoot myself with rock & roll

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cortez the killer
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Re: Guided by Voices/Robert Pollard

Post by cortez the killer »

chuckrh wrote:I've got the Propeller/Vampire on Titus cd. Can't wait to hear what you think of those 2. So many unreal great songs! The Jack Daniels incident: Somewhere around "Do the Collapse" era I think, GBV played the venerable Showbox (DBT love this venue) in Seattle. The band at the time had the former guitar roadie & the bass player was the brother of the other "Circus Devil". Anyway, the band was passing around a big bottle of Jack Daniels during the set. Sadly, at this point we are into the frat boy days. Apparently, some of them were antagonizing the 2 band members above (I couldn't see the specifics from my spot) but somehow the bottle got thrown at & hit 1 of the frat types. Who just happened to be at the show with his lawyer. Cough cough. The band got sued & lost. I don't know how much (if any) cash was involved but there was a judicial decree banning the band from drinking out of glass on stage in Seattle for years. It may still be going on but I think it ended. So, after that everything was in red go cups, including the "farewell" tour....more on that later.
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Don't fuck with Bob.
I am a lost soul
I shoot myself with rock & roll

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