Tag Archives: Guided by Voices

New Guided by Voices video: Dance Of Gurus

Video: Guided By Voices – “Dance Of Gurus”

Guided By Voices - Dance Of Gurus

Video by Aaron Dunkel. From It’s Not Them. It Can’t Be Them. It Is Them!, out October 22.

Guided By Voices is one of those bands that’s been so prolific it’s hard for a newb to figure out where to dive in. I don’t know the answer but I like everything I stumble upon, so maybe it doesn’t really matter. Available evidence suggests it’s all good.

Wikipedia says this new one will be the band’s 34th full-length studio album, which is isn’t even counting all the standalone singles, EPs, live albums, box sets, and compilations. What have you been doing for the past 25 years? Compared to Robert Pollard, not much.

We caught them live at Riot Fest in 2019 and Pollard is a charming front man with fine dance moves. You can see a bit of that in this new video.

“Raise a drink to a planet rich in symbols.”

Guided By Voices: web, insta, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Guided by Voices video: Dance Of Gurus

GBV Bassist Wipes Out on Letterman

Jake and I were just talking yesterday about how lame and sterile live TV appearances have become (compared to this). From lip-synching to flawless choreography to note-for-note playback of their latest singles, artists hawking their wares on TV have become a bore. Except for Guided By Voices. Watch Pollard and crew jumble through their perfectly messy power pop as their bassist takes a spill right there on national TV. Watch to the end and hear him tell Dave “I fell on my ass!” Perfect from now on.


VIA My Old Kentucky Blog

Guided By Voices – Half Smiles Of The Decomposed

Guided By VoicesHalf Smiles Of The Decomposed (Matador)

Well, so long and thanks for all the fish. Bob Pollard closes the books with this album on Guided By Voices, and this is either a bitter-sweet farewell or long overdue exit depending on which camp you fall into. If you’re an indie snob purist, you’ll write this album off like every other one since Under The Bushes Under The Stars (or if you’re kind, Mag Earwhig). Slavish fan-boys (like me) will shrilly impose this album on all their long-suffering friends. But to the point: has Uncle Bob and his boys over-stayed their welcome? Well, ahem – maybe.

Like most of GBV’s post-lo-fi days, Half Smiles Of The Decomposed has its ups and downs. Yes, there’s filler; yes, there’s goodness. However, unlike recent albums like Earthquake Glue or Isolation Drills, there doesn’t seem to be any fruitless search for a hit. Their own early critical success has hemmed them into an indie circle-jerk; the mainstream can’t hear them, the critics are still pissed at them for Do The Collapse. Pollard realizes this, I think. Thus the reason for the breakup.

So how’s the album? Like I always say about recent GBV albums (Earthquake Glue is the exception—excellent for anybody): pick it up if you’re a fan. If you’re not, this won’t sway you. And wait for Pollard’s solo ouput. I have a feelng he’s saved some of the best stuff for Act 2.

MP3s available from Matador and gbv.com.

Guided By Voices – Earthquake Glue

Guided By Voices – Earthquake Glue (Matador)

If you’re a die-hard skeptic of Guided By Voices, and wish that they’d make another Bee Thousand and quit riding the ‘wish we were popular’ horse they’ve been on for years, quit reading. And skip Earthquake Glue. The old lo-fi, frustrated-math-teacher days of GBV are long behind them and aren’t coming back. For their past few albums Bob Pollard and his boys have tried to point themselves in the direction of a hit, and it looks like this time they might have one.

Earthquake Glue is good solid rock, coated with that faux-Dada patina that Pollard has refined over the years. And it features some of Pollard’s best songwriting. At times it sounds like GBV is channeling some lost Who rock opera, as written by Marcel DuChamp. And that’s good.

And gone is the filler – this one is tight. Standout tracks include “My Kind Of Soldier,” a buoyant rocker that sounds amazing live, “Useless Inventions,” a brilliant take on the technology of modern life (and a seriously rocking tune), “The Best Of Jill Hives,” very close in spirit to “I Am A Scientist,” and “I’ll Replace You With Machines,” a warp-drive anthem with a catchy guitar core. This is great stuff – “Useless Inventions” is one of the best recent GBV songs I’ve heard, and deserves to be heard by everyone.

The rest of Earthquake Glue is almost as good. That GBV album you’ve been meaning to pick up for the last few years but never got around to buying? Make it this one.

You can stream the entire album, watch the “My Kind Of Soldier” video, and download the “I’ll Replace You With Machines” mp3 and the “My Kind Of Soldier” mp3.

Wasted: Guided By Voices Keep Playing

Pollard and friendGuided By Voices

The Intersection, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 26, 2003

We took our seats as the opening act was setting up. The Intersection is a nice little venue with a well-stocked bar and a relaxed atmosphere. Not the cozy old shithole it was before relocating, but still a good place to see a show. My pal Ivan ordered a well-deserved Guinness, while I, recovering old drunk that I am, made do with Diet Coke. We settled in among the placid crowd of a couple hundred Grand Rapids hipsters and indie kids and waited. (Ah, those perky little indie girls in their tight jeans, almost half my age…)

Continue reading Wasted: Guided By Voices Keep Playing

Guided By Voices – The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet

Guided By VoicesThe Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet [EP] (Recordhead Records)

Besides a uber-catchy title, what does this release have to offer you? Well, it depends. If you’ve been referred to as a Guided By Voices bitch (like me), you have another little nugget to throw into your massive GBV iTunes playlist. If you’re not a fan, this collection of rarities won’t win you over. If you like GBV but haven’t listened to much of their prolific output, you’re better off skipping this and picking any number of “classic” GBV albums (Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, Mag Earwhig, Vampire On Titus, etc.) or more recent ones like Isolation Drills, or Universal Truths & Cycles. There are a few gems (including the title track) on this release, but mostly this EP is for the fanboys. Like me.

Forever Since Breakfast: The Rolling Stones vs. Guided By Voices

Which bunch of aging rockers is worth it?

This summer, prepare yourself for a man older than most wearing clothing he probably shouldn’t. That’s right. In honor of his band’s upcoming 40th anniversary club jaunt, Mick Jagger moved a chair into his upstairs hallway, pried open that tiny door in the ceiling, unfolded the ladder, and crawled around amongst the asbestos in the attic until he found that rusty old chest labeled “Foppish Stage Wear.” This summer, in venues across America, a man older than all of the Strokes combined will don his silky red cape, spangled shoes, and an enormous Uncle Sam top hat, and prove it all night to ladies, gentlemen, boys, and girls that the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band is still exactly that.

Only now, they can’t remember to put roses on your grave.

The Stones have aged into elegantly wasted English gentlemen teetering good-naturedly on the edge of self-parody. Mick still has the voice, and Keith still has the grooves. But despite the comparatively economical ticket price for the small-venue portion of the Rolling Stones’ impending tour, chances are you’ll still get ripped off. Because the Glimmer Twins haven’t rocked like their youthful selves since, well, their youth. Onstage, Jagger ’02 jerks around in his re-tooled body like a coked-out chicken, name-checking his own trademark stage moves. Keith fares better. Transfused with the blood of comely virgins, he hangs back and fakes it for just one more show. Given, even if they’re old and faking it, the Rolling Stones are probably better than many other groups. But what if Mick wants to play his solo material? That’s some Primitive Cool, man.

Taking the above into account, why not save the over $200 you’ll spend (two tickets, plus presale and Ticketmaster service charges), and put it towards Guided By Voices? While Bob Pollard isn’t as old as Mick Jagger, he’s getting there. Plus, if you’re an older guy yourself, a GBV gig is one of the only shows you can attend anymore without getting that distinct, slightly threatening “Old Guy At The Show” vibe. At last night’s Guided By Voices show at Chicago’s Metro, the middle aged guys with complicated hair quotient was fairly equal to that of young, dorkwad eyeglass’d Indie Rocker.

Guided By Voices is the perfect solution to the Rolling Stones dilemma. In its current configuration, GBV features Nate Farley on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Nate has a beer belly. This, coupled with Pollard’s famously Dad-like stage presence (“Thank you, kids!”), makes seeing GBV similar to a backyard reunion of a long-gone rock band.

The coolest thing about Guided By Voices? They’re still here.

Basement 4-tracking and a furious release schedule helped Pollard and company achieve a cult-like status amidst the Lo-Fi fervor of the 1990s Indie Rock scene. And, in another similarity to Jagger and his crew, Pollard and GBV have made a name on out-rocking and out-drinking their audiences. This contines. In addition to the kicks and microphone twirls copped from Townshend and Daltrey, Pollard has incorporated beer-juggling into his arsenal of lead-singer-without-guitar stage moves. (And for the sake of this article, I’ll assume that Bob does a mean Jagger impersonation, too.) Ohio’s favorite sons don’t have the deep well of sex appeal that Jagger and Richards possess. After all, in their stained khakis and saddlebags, Guided By Voices look more like a collection of Little League coaches wearing their clothes from college. But they can rock it. Anthems like “The Official Ironmen Rally Song” or “Teenage FBI” infuse power-pop sensibility into the arena rock riffing of The Who, and Pollard’s fake British accent is as memorably cheeky as the Stones’ guilty pleasure flirtation with disco.

With the $200+ you didn’t spend on the E*TRADE Financial Rolling Stones World Tour 2002, you can buy two tickets to Guided By Voices for $20, and spend the rest trying to drink as much as beer as the old guys up on stage. The best thing about GBV? They’ll never hire personal trainers.