- Half Smiles Of The Decomposed - ole-612 - 2004-08-24
- Earthquake Glue - - 2003-08-19
- Universal Truths and Cycles - - 2002-06-18
- Watch Me Jumpstart - - 1998-07-21
- Mag Earwig! - - 1997-05-20
- Under the Bushes, Under the Stars - - 1996-03-26
- Alien Lanes - - 1995-04-04
- The Official Ironman Rally Song - - 1996-02-27
- Tigerbomb - - 1995-11-14
- Motor Away b/w The Color of My Blade - - 1995-03-30
|Half Smiles Of The Decomposed
August 24, 2004
Here is the last Guided By Voices album. Not in the sense of "Here is the previous Guided By Voices album," but in the sense of "final." If it’s true in movies where the voice-over says "You never really appreciate something until it’s gone," and the credits roll, and you leave the theater with little bits of popcorn stuck to your shoes, then you will soon appreciate Guided By Voices. Because following this album and its ensuing tour, the band will be gone. After twenty-odd years, twenty-odd lineups, and twenty-odd albums, EPs, singles, triples, stolen bases, misdemeanor convictions, and broken hearts, Dayton, OH’s fortunate sons are taking leave of your senses.
"This feels like the last album for Guided By Voices," explains Robert Pollard, known to his friends as "Robert Pollard," GBV’s lone constant member, lead singer, and famously prolific songwriter. "I’ve always said that when I make a record that I’m totally satisfied with as befitting a final album, then that will be it. And this is it."
This, entitled 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed' (a line from the album’s terrific second song, "Sleepover Jack"), may well be the strongest set of music the band has ever released for public consumption, but to be honest, we’re a little tired of saying that every time GBV puts out a new record. The truth loses its power of affect with repetition, apparently. There’s only so many times you can play people a song like "Girls Of Wild Strawberries," for instance, drawing attention to its deceptively simple structure, influenced at the same time by both American and British veins of mid-60s chime-pop, pointing out the intricate interweaving guitar lines, the stunning word-play, the vastly melancholic and somehow still uplifting tone, the impeccably tossed-off phrasing, hell, even the stately, plump rhythm section, only to have these same (ordinarily intelligent and open-minded) people whine "I liked their earlier, funnier stuff," before you want to beat your head against the side of Dayton’s Canal Street Tavern. Which is made of brick.
"Some people have said our albums have gotten progressively weaker since, say, 'Under The Bushes, Under The Stars' [Matador, 1995]," says Pollard. "But actually they’re misinterpreting a common human tendency to grow tired of something if it hangs around too long." Now, we’d debate his notion that GBV has hung around too long, especially when there’s so many other, better examples of bands hanging around too long on current display, but we’d rather spend our time explaining, quickly, that Pollard himself is not going to stop writing or recording or touring. Well, maybe touring. He intends to continue as a solo artist: some of you in the audience may be asking how that’s any different from continuing as Guided By Voices, since "we all know" that GBV’s more or less Pollard’s show anyway. If he’s sick of the band, why doesn’t he do what he always does and fire the band, then reconstitute with former members of Skunk and Warthog and The Sweaty Three?
Thing is, he’s not sick of the band, he’s sick of the baggage. "I love the guys in the band, but I’m getting too old to be a gang leader," he explains. "There’s a sense of maturity, and even integrity, I think, in continuing as one’s own self, instead of as a gang — albeit a positive and productive one."
You can hear that maturity, and we’re pretty sure integrity, on 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed,' whose experiments with textures and effects expand on similar moves made by 2003’s 'Earthquake Glue,' possibly due to being recorded with the same producer (Todd Tobias, once again turning in a strong effort. Good job, Todd!). 'HSOTD' occupies a happy mid-point on the recording fidelity spectrum, or would if such a thing existed, and has an easy-going feel that belies its twisty maze of puns and alliterative allusions, nimble guitar lines, and genre-melding song structures. In other words, it’s another dazzling jewel in a catalog studded with equally shiny gems (Did you know Dayton’s nickname is the Gem City? Maybe it’s just a coincidence).
But in Pollard’s view the Guided By Voices experience has become overly-received, in the sense that he feels constricted by the need to deliver an album that sounds like what he thinks we mean when we say, "Here’s the new Guided By Voices album."
Or like he says: "I need to get back to a lack of professionalism where there’s a certain degree of awkwardness. In order for that to happen, I need to become much more actively involved in the studio." Meaning not that he wants to play all the instruments himself, though he could, but that he wants to play with anyone he wants, a whole bunch of different people even, over the course of a particular album, without having to worry about leaving space for a certain number or type of guitar parts or bass lines or what-have-yous. Also: leaving GBV behind, he feels, will allow him to concentrate more on the creative side of things and not concern himself with business aspects like promotion and sticking to a heavy touring schedule.
And we wish him the best of luck. And we can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next. And so on. But in the meantime, you actually can hear what he’s come up with next, in the form of 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed,' the last best shot from a band that has given us nothing but bull’s-eyes for longer than we have deserved. Listen to this: it will never happen again.
Robert Pollard – vocals
Doug Gillard – guitar
Nate Farley – guitar
Chris Slusarenko – bass
Kevin March – drums
August 19, 2003
Wow. Guided By Voices have created a goddamn monster of platonic-form-telepathy. The latest combination of GBV musicians seems to have fully internalized the unmedicated riff-genius of Robert Pollard's song writing, and they meet this material on the field of battle in full blues-wailing flight.
As with 'Universal Truths & Cycles', the songs on 'Earthquake Glue' have the shine of instant classics. In Pollard's songwriting the cunning listener will hear strains and echoes of Ray Davies, John Entwistle, Syd Barrett, Roy Wood, and countless other craftsmen of the first psychedelic pop era. Pollard has consumed their work like oysters, and the stuff he spews as a result is a very special kind of sonic gas.
Listening to the gorgeous freakbeat dynamics of a song like "I'll Replace You With Machines" makes you imagine it's something Yo La Tengo will be doing as an acoustic set closer in 2012, or that Paul Thomas Anderson will slipping into a soundtrack later that year. I mean, this stuff is timeless, in the sense that its essence is stripped of all temporal contexts except those defined by electricity and rock & roll.
Then there's something like "A Trophy Mule in Particular" that churns like some impossible collaboration between the Idle Race and Sonic Youth, with lyrics by Dennis Wilson. Where the hell does something like that originate? It represents a mock syncretic fusion that is nothing if not the spume of incredulity.
Pollard and GBV are now about twenty years into their game. I can honestly say that I've been following it almost that whole time, and the sputtering-linear evolution and the profligate quality of the songcraft of which he is capable never fails to bugger my imagination.
'Earthquake Glue' is a fine bitch of an achievement. The songs are of the highest caliber, the band's playing has a holistic grasp of rock dynamism that swings like a horse's testicles, and the whole thing flows like a tureen full of the sweetest, softest butter imaginable.
As Pollard sings in "Secret Star" (a pseudo-prog Who epic), "[You] have to know your conjurer." Well, Pollard is a goddamn magician again on 'Earthquake Glue', and the spiral of insanely good GBV albums looks like it'll be continuing for a good long while.
Which is cool by me. You?
--Byron Coley, Deerfield MA 2003
|Universal Truths and Cycles
June 18, 2002
The new Guided By Voices record, Universal Truths And Cycles, is being trumpeted by the band and assorted hangers-on as a “return to autonomy” but we have reason to believe that no one in the band can spell autonomy, even when drunk. There’s a few reasons it has been thus tagged: 1) because it’s self-produced, marking a return to old-school GbV ways (see Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, Under The Bushes, Under The Stars) and 2) like those earlier albums, there’s a fine mix of sandpapery snippets and semi-gloss punk/prog/pop. But the third and maybe the biggest reason large-syllabled words are being hurled like eggs with regard to the new album is who’s putting it out. Matador Records, New York City. Hi.
The thing about that, though, is we never realized Guided By Voices left the label. “Visionary leader/songwriter” Robert Pollard (as Gerard likes to call him, eyes upturned to heaven) releases so many damn side projects/solo albums/compilations/collaborations with people we thought were dead, that we long ago gave up trying to keep track. We figured the last two GbV albums — Do The Collapse and Isolation Drills, both fantastic records produced by pedigreed Rock People Ric Ocasek and Rob Schnapf, respectively — were side projects or experiments similar to Pollard’s own self-released Fading Captain series, and have been waiting patiently for him to deliver another album to us. His label. Matador Records, New York City.
Well, the wait is over, and the wait was worth the wait. Universal Truths And Cycles, described by Pollard “Alien Lanes meets Isolation Drills,” and by us as “the new Guided By Voices album,” may be the best thing the band has ever produced. Studio savvy when it needs to be — see big rock numbers like “Back To The Lake” and “Cheyenne” — and intimate, even tossed-off where appropriate — see “Father Sgt. Christmas Card” and “The Weeping Bogeyman” — Univeral Truths And Cycles arc-welds the lessons learned working in professional recording studios to the spontaneous approach of earlier, wild-haired Guided By Voices albums. The result: delicious pie! UTAC should please lo-fi nostalgia freaks and studio sheen addicts alike, and those few not yet convinced of Pollard’s songwriting genius will be left slack-jawed and drooling at the quantity and quality of musical ideas compressed into three-minute gems like “Everywhere With Helicopter,” “Eureka Signs,” and “Pretty Bombs,” featuring the string quartet Invert.
Pollard’s singing, whether double-tracked on an expensive German microphone or murmured into a Radio Shack cassette player, sounds more assured and more elastic than ever. Doug Gillard’s guitar playing has evolved to the point where you can’t imagine Guided By Voices without his soaring, incandescent leads and unexpected juxtapositions of texture and tone. And the rest of the band — well, they’re great, too. Word is GbV has acquired a new drummer, different from the one who plays on UTAC, but that, too, represents a kind of band tradition, and early reports from recent live shows have been uniformly happy.
What else? Pollard’s lyrics seem to get better and darker with age, and you can spin yourself silly trying to figure out whether the two jets streaking over the end of “Storm Vibrations,” a sound effect added long before the events of 9/11, are a weird psychic portent or just a continuation of Pollard’s longtime Dayton, OH (The Birthplace of Aviation, and the Hometown of Guided By Voices) aeronautical obsession. We could list the High Profile devotees (including leading lights of both cinema and music) and the string of Well Known bands inspired by Guided By Voices, but that would sound like an argument for relevance when the fact is UTAC makes its own argument, and far more eloquently than we could. We don’t know if GbV, or any band, are capable of saving rock, but we do that if rock is worth saving, it’s in no small part because of Guided By Voices.
INTENSE detailed discography at www.gbv.com
|Watch Me Jumpstart
July 21, 1998
An entertaining, warts-and-all look at the Dayton, Ohio, rock legends, as filmed by documentarian Banks Tarver. Includes live performance footage, many interviews, celebrity cameos and a very angry doorman from Emo’s. At the end of the film, the viewer is treated to a short compilation of GBV promotional videos (we can’t mention the titles yet, but many of your favorites will be included).
May 20, 1997
On September 14, 1996 the following anonymous post appeared on the Internet: "No G-B-V! No G-B-V! It can’t be! Does anyone know why Guided by Voices is breaking up — I heard Bob wants to go back to teaching. Is this true?"
This desperate post started a landslide of speculation among Guided by Voices fans all over the world. And when the band released the Sunfish Holy Breakfast EP last November, the rumors got worse: Who are those naked guys on the cover? Why did Bob and Mitch and Toby grow those beards and take their clothes off — is this like GBV’s Let It Be album? Is that Cobra Verde?
Bob Pollard has not joined a nudist colony and he isn’t going back to teaching. He has just released the "most diverse, fucked up, rocking, kick-ass crazy-ass saddest, get wild, sophisticated pop sounding" (Bob’s words) Guided By Voices record to date, Mag Earwhig, a 21-song LP recorded in Cleveland with Cobra Verde and in Dayton with brother Jim Pollard and Tobin Sprout.
Since forming Guided By Voices in 1983, with the help of brother Jimmy and "manager for life" Pete Jamison (they both went in on a loan with Bob from the Dayton Public Schools Credit Union to finance their early records), Bob Pollard has recorded 10 GBV albums with 51 different lineups (see GBV family tree). Every time the vampire on Titus has needed some new blood to stay young, he’s stirred things up. So last fall, after writing some new songs--and after Toby, Mitch and Kevin went solo--Bob called on Cleveland neo-glamsters Cobra Verde (who also record for Scat Records, GBV’s previous label). Though Bob had first met the band in 1994, while GBV and CV were touring together on the Scat Records Insects of Rock Tour, he had been a longtime fan of their previous band, Death of Samantha. Other than mutual admiration, Bob and CV were also united in their addiction to Rock. After talking about doing it for two years, Bob picked up the phone and called CV singer-guitarist John Petkovic; by November he was in Cleveland recording the new GBV record with CVers Doug Gillard (lead guitar), Dave Swanson (drums), Don Depew (bass) and Petkovic (guitar). The band recorded at 609 Recording, a studio owned by Depew--who also engineered and mixed the record. Everyone took turns playing rock-guitar, twirling synth knobs and producing.
After recording 15 songs, Bob went back to Dayton, locked himself in the Monument Club, a customized garage in his backyard used for partying, and started sequencing and resequencing the record--36 different ways. But he couldn’t fight the urge to record more songs--first, with an actual producer, John Croslin (Spoon, Dumptruck), and then some spontaneous, basement-sounding stuff--both sessions with Jim Pollard and Tobin Sprout. Now the title. Back to the Monument Club to strategize (and party with his friends). After numerous suggestions (Honey Locust Honkytonk,Phantasmagoric Upstart, Do the Collapse, The Collossus Crawls West, Dear Multiples of Christ, A Cracking Coat Wear I Dig That, Black Ghost Pie), the concept was realized: Mag Earwhig, a 21-song epic rock fairy tale. Bob then returned to the Monument Club to resume partying with his buddies.
Under the Bushes, Under the Stars
March 26, 1996
It’s been a long three years since Dayton, Ohio’s Guided By Voices were yanked out of obscurity by Scat Records. In that time the band signed a massive contract with Matador Records (strapping the label and forcing them to drop 37 bands), quit their day jobs (schoolteacher, sandpaper factory worker, psychological counselor; Tobin still paints), collected Britannica-sized volumes of press, were proffered big-time management, recorded with various big-name indie rock producers, got their songs covered by Earth’s worst bands (don’t ask who, it’ll bum you out), contracted gout, headlined tours overseas and in the Americas (the live in Rio bootleg, Millions Of Brazilians, is testament to their Queen-sized hugeness), participated in epic street battles, insulted Canadians, went through three bass players (quit/fired, became a lawyer, quit/fired), reached coveted backlash status, and got limited play on commercial radio stations.
In November 1995, chief Robert Pollard, loving husband of Kim and father of Brian (15) and Erica (12), handed in Guided By Voices’ darkest and most obscure record to date. The 60-odd songs the band had recorded in 24-track studios had all been scrapped. Pollard was adamant about releasing a home-taped album "as is, no compromises, man," citing his dissatisfaction with the hi-fi material.
Then he changed his mind and went into a 24-track studio along with Fennell and Sprout and banged out the majority of songs on Under The Bushes in two days. The results are Guided By Voices’ clearest and most ecstatic album to date. "It took a while to get comfortable recording outside of Tobe’s house. Recording and playing live were always two separate entities. We felt kind of uptight on some of the 24-track stuff we’d done before. We figured out a way to make the two meet, which is to keep the formula of not overrehearsing. But now we can go in and treat it like Tobe’s place."
Note how MVP Tobin Sprout, photo-realist painter, loving husband of Laura and brand-new father of Hunter, steps out of his Harrison/Entwistle role with four big songs ("To Remake The Young Flyer," "Atom Eyes," "It’s Like...," "The Perfect Life"), his biggest contribution to a GBV album so far.
At the end, about 35 songs from the earlier version of Under The Bushes were cut; some were kept after much begging and pleading by their friends.
Rock writers might want to bear in mind that GBV are talked about more than heard. Their Cinderella story is a good one but it is not a good reason to listen to them; all the inevitable and annoying hype happens because their songs trigger synapses. Enjoy the rock -- if a song is good, nobody can own it.
Guided By Voices is:
Robert Pollard (vocal)
Tobin Sprout (guitar)
Mitch Mitchell (guitar)
Kevin Fennell (drums)
|The Official Ironman Rally Song 7"/CD5
February 27, 1996
The lead-off single from the upcoming 11th album by Dayton’s Guided By Voices (Under the Bushes Under the Stars). Since 1995’s Alien Lanes Guided By Voices have been touring America and Europe, quitting their day jobs, drinking beer and writing songs... more and more songs.
Both formats include the title track and 3 bonus non-LP songs: "Deaf Ears," "Why Did You Land?" and "June Salutes You!"
Produced by Kim Deal, who sings backup on "June Salutes You"; guitar lead by Trip Lampkin of the Grifters.
November 14, 1995
The new single from Dayton, Ohio’s masterminds of the garage hook and the middle-aged teen anthem features a new version of "My Valuable Hunting Knife" replete with handclaps and Casiotone effects, and a new version of "Game of Pricks" from the same record. Also included are four brand-new songs: "Mice Feel Nice (In My Room)," "Not Good For The Mechanism," "Kiss Only The Important Ones" and "Dodging Invisible Rays."
|Motor Away b/w The Color of My Blade 7"
March 30, 1995
The A-side of this single is "Motor Away," from Guided By Voices’ eleventh album, Alien Lanes, in a new unusual hi-fi 24-track version (not on the LP). The B-side, "The Color of My Blade," is a non-LP song in ultra lo-fi cassette-deck sound.
April 4, 1995
This record, the eighth full-length LP from America’s finest exponents of rock’n’roll songwriting and from-the-heartland warmth, contains 28 songs. We like to call it GBV’s White Album . Genuine and insincere fans alike will recognize classics like "Watch Me Jumpstart," "My Valuable Hunting Knife" and "Motor Away." This extended excavation of American childhood, memory and the niceties of human contact tosses away the jaggeder edges of Bee Thousand for an occasional documentary of the more distorted margins of pop/rock history: the last songs on side 2 of early Kinks albums, the song-structures of mid-period Wire and one-offs by Deram bands from Colchester and Canterbury. In their transfer from lo-fi to lo-mid-fi, Guided By Voices have scraped off only a little piece of the browning acetate that covers their conceptual picture sleeve.
Rock band from Northridge, Ohio.
Genesis post Anacrusis circa 1983 C.R.E.
(Common Rock Era)
Captain Bizarre pushes his amp down Needmore in the snow: 1984
First publicly available recorded output:1986
First Scat LP, Vampire On Titus, 1992
Greg Demos buys his first pair of striped pants: 1993
First Matador LP:Alien Lanes, 1995
Recorded on 4 & 8-track devices in various basement and living room locations throughout the Dayton, Ohio, metroplex.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING
"You wouldn’t like it either if it wasn’t worth a shit."
- Carol Pollard
"Terrible lyrics." - D. Wolk, College Medical Journal (CMJ)
"For a musician, you’re an asshole." - M. Montgomery
"You guys are great! Can I join your band if I write lots of flattering stuff about you?"
- J. Greer, Spin
For more information on the infinite fractions of GBV, including a rousing account of R. Pollard’s athletic triumphs (as well as those of his brother, J. Pollard), please see theGuiness Book of Guided By Voices Records, edited by M. Sweeney and M. Ibold.
News From The Matablog
Today marks 10 years since the passing of John Peel, a man who opened the BBC radio airwaves for bands and artists outside the remit of the stations "regular" programming and opened the minds of thousands listening at home to sounds they otherwise may have never heard. One of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, throughout his 5-decade spanning career he never showed no signs of slowing down and his influence on (the good part) of modern music is immeasurable. As a small tribute to the many Matador bands who recorded a Peel Session over the years, we've compiled a selection of some of the session that made it on to YouTube, (many - including The Fall, Wisdom Of Harry and Pretty Girls Make Graves - haven't) and there's a full archive of all the Peel sessions over at the BBC Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/sessions/. Featuring: Cat Power, Interpol, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Belle and Sebastian, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Solex, Unsane, Arab Strab, Unwound, Guided By Voices, Superchunk, Techno Animal and Boards Of Canada. Enjoy.
The first recordings from the classic Guided By Voices lineup of Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos and Kevin Fennell hit the stores on November 22 with the Matador single from their upcoming self-released album "Let's go Eat The Factory." The single is called "The Unsinkable Fats Domino" b/w "We Won't Apologize," and you can download an MP3 of the A-side here: The Unsinkable Fats Domino (192k MP3) The single will be out on 7" vinyl and digital single formats NOVEMBER 22. Preorder the 7" robertpollard.net
We're excited to announce that a number of our favorite catalogue releases have been reissued on 120g vinyl and are now in stock. The following titles are now available in the Matador Store, and will be on shelves at your favorite record shops on August 9.OLE-295-0 Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister* OLE-311-0 Belle and Sebastian - Boy With The Arab Strap* OLE-361-0 Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk *OLE-202-0 Cat Power - What Would The Community Think* OLE-426-0 Cat Power - The Covers Record OLE-754-0 Cat Power - JukeboxOLE-069-0 Yo La Tengo - Painful* OLE-371-0 Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out* dbl LP
*includes free download of the entire albumFind these, and many other new and classic Matador, True Panther and distributed releases here. Spend over $50, and get free shipping AND while you're at it, pick up a new Matador tote bag (cuz let's be honest, who doesn't love a tote? )
First off, if these changes have left anyone disappointed or inconvenienced, we're truly sorry. I've been watching videos of the guys in the BP commercials all week trying to strike the right tone for this post, and wouldn't you know it, MY VIDEO CAMERA IS BROKEN. Bullet dodged. On the bright side, hey, DEAD MEADOW are playing. The opening VIP gala is still happening at 4pm Friday in the Hardwood Suite with dj sets by Ted Leo and myself. Same room becomes a VIP lounge Friday and Saturday nights, plus late night dj action on Friday (James McNew, Dean Bein) and Saturday (Dave Martin, Robby Morris). Here's the live entertainment schedule of events. Much like real life, everything is subject to change. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1st THE PEARL Pavement: 12:00am – 1:00am Sonic Youth: 10:40pm – 11:30am Fucked Up: 9:35pm – 10:15pm Chavez: 8:30pm – 9:10pm Guitar Wolf: 7:30pm – 8:10pm Doors: 7:00pm MC : Jeff Jensen LATE NIGHT PARTY IN PALMS BALLROOM (LIMITED CAPACITY) Fucked Up Vs. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists: 1:30am – 2:30am (One stage. Two bands. At once. They're supposed to take turns, song by song...but who knows?) Doors: 1:00am SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2nd THE PEARL Belle & Sebastian: 11:45pm – 1:00am Spoon: 10:25pm – 11:15pm Superchunk: 9:20pm – 10:00pm Cat Power: 8:15pm – 8:55pm Perfume Genius: 7:55pm – 8:15pm Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: 6:50pm – 7:30pm Come: 5:45pm – 6:25pm Girls: 4:40pm – 5:20pm Doors 4:00pm MC : Bob Nastanovich MATINEE IN THE PALMS BALLROOM (LIMITED CAPACITY) Dead Meadow: 2:30pm – 3:15pm Harlem: 1:30pm – 2:05pm Doors: 1:00pm LATE NIGHT PARTY IN PALMS BALLROOM (LIMITED CAPACITY) Cold Cave: 2:25am - 3:15am Esben and The Witch: 1:30am – 2:00am Doors: 1:00am KARAOKE UNDERGROUND AT LITTLE BUDDHA: STARTS AT 1:30am SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3rd THE PEARL Guided By Voices: 11:30pm – 1:00am Yo La Tengo: 10:10pm – 11:05pm Liz Phair: 9:50pm – 10:10pm The New Pornographers: 8:40pm – 9:25pm Ted Leo and The Pharmacists: 7:35pm – 8:15pm Shearwater: 6:30pm – 7:10pm Doors: 6:00pm MC's : Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster MATINEE IN THE PALMS BALLROOM The Clean: 4:30pm – 5:15pm Times New Viking: 3:30pm – 4:05pm Kurt Vile: 2:30pm – 3:05pm Doors: 2:00pm General questions : firstname.lastname@example.org This event is sponsored by MySpace Music, Altamont, Incase, Sailor Jerry and Yowie.
2 of the first documentaries ever made about music* are set to grace Austin's silver screen later this month when Alamo Drafthouse teams up with End Of An Ear and Matador to bring you Watch Me Jumpstart and Slow Century -- two films about esteemed Matador alums Guided By Voices and Pavement -- as part of the Alamo's Music Monday Series. $2 gets you admission along with some killer food and drink specials. And be sure to catch the bands when they come to the Casual Victi.... er.... Live Music Capital. Guided By Voices Thursday September 30 @ East Side Drive w/ Times New Viking Pavement Tuesday September 28 @ Stubb's Waller Creek w/ Woven Bones *well, not really.
01/26/05 — Report on the final show
Travelers from all over the globe (and Illinois) rang in 2005 and rang out the career of Guided By Voices, this past New Year's Eve at Chicago's Metro. For those of us who weren't there, the tears flowed fast and furious, though perhaps that had something to do with being maced by one of the neighbors.
Life goes on, however, and GBV's recent appearance on PBS's "Austin City Limits" (which aired last weekend) was even more documentary evidence that the rock universe is a poorer place without this great band.
GBV guitarist extraordinaire Doug Gillard has a solo appearance planned for SXSW on March 19 at the lovely Friends nightclub, playing alongside Chris Brokaw, fellow Ohioans Moviola and Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves.
11/08/04 — Many new GBV Days proclaimed across America
The joingbv.com campaign is now at 3000 signatures and has successfully persuaded many of America's mayors to honor the band on their final tour across the country with a GBV Day in each of their towns.
The complete list is as follows (note that there were changes in Texas due to the rescheduled tour dates):
October 1 - Houston, TX GBV DAY
October 22 - Newport, KY GBV DAY
October 23 - Cleveland, OH GBV DAY
October 25 - Bloomington, IN GBV DAY
November 5 - Austin, TX GBV DAY
November 6 - Dallas, TX GBV DAY
November 11 - San Diego, CA GBV DAY
November 12 - Los Angeles, CA GBV DAY
December 30 - Chicago, IL GBV DAY
Scans of many of the official proclamations may be found here. More will be posted as they come in.
10/01/04 — GBV DAY declared in Houston, Austin and Dallas!
The petition is working — the mayors of Houston, Austin and Dallas have each proclaimed GBV DAY in their cities, as follows:
October 1 - Austin, TX GBV DAY
October 2 - Houston, TX GBV DAY
November 6 - Dallas, TX GBV DAY
Keep those signatures flowing so we can get more cities on board. Stay tuned for pictures of the proclamations, and other cities as they get announced.
In other news, the four canceled shows have been rescheduled for November. All tickets will be honored at the new shows, or refunded at point of purchase. See the tours page for details.
09/03/04 — New album out — GBV karaoke pics — and sign the petition!
GBV's triumphant CD/LP, 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed' was released the monday before last, and we hope it is currently decomposing in your CD player at this very moment (courtesy of DisintegratingDisc technology). We're currently spearheading an effort to have an official GBV Day declared in each city the band are hitting on their farewell tour and you can take part in this noble endeavor at joingbv.com.
Our man on the scene Euvin Weeber reports on the post-show insanity following GBV's recent free concert at New York's Chelsea Piers:
"The 'Half Smiles' karaoke release party at Tonic was a resounding success, sold out within the first hour. In addition to traditional GBV fans, and die hard postal blowfish members being able to croon their favorite GBV tunes with a live band, other appearances included:
Mark Ohe doing "Over The Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox":
Yuka Honda doing "Watch Me Jumpstart"
Elizabeth Sharp (Ill Ease) doing "Motor Away"
Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) doing "Teenage FBI"
Chris Lombardi doing "A Salty Salute"
Chris Lombardi and Bob Pollard doing "The Official Ironmen Rally Song"
The following sequence shows the audience's excited reaction to Chris's assistance in this interpretation
Miwa Okumura doing "Surgical Focus":
Jenn Lanchart, Sonya Kolowrat, and Lucy Hurst doing "Glad Girls"
Sujan Hong doing "Echos Myron"
"Matt Sweeney came out, but I didn't see him do a song, James Iha came out too. Chan didn't show up unfortunately.
"MC Rick Shapiro was highly successful in pissing the whole crowd off, with people yelling 'go back to drugs!'"
08/30/04 — Sign the petition for GBV Day in your city
Go to joingbv.com to sign the petition to get your city to declare a GBV Day in evvery city on the Electrifying Conclusion tour. Better yet, spread the word and win a trip to see GBV play their final show on New Year's Eve in Chicago.
07/19/04 — The Electrifying Conclusion Tour
As we count down the hours and minutes prior to the August 24 release of the final-ever Guided By Voices album, 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed', we're happy to be the 7th or 8th media outlet to announce the dates for The Electrifying Conclusion - Guided By Voices' Farewell Tour.
Aug. 19 - Hudson River Rocks, New York (free admission)
Sept. 9 - Paradise, Boston
Sept. 10 - Theater of the Living Arts, Philadelphia
Sept. 11 - 9:30 Club, Washington D.C.
Sept. 28 - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, N.C.
Sept. 29 - 40 Watt Club, Athens, Ga.
Oct. 1 - Engine Room, Houston
Oct. 2 - Stubb's BBQ, Austin
Oct. 3 - Gypsy Ballroom, Dallas
Oct. 21 - Al Rosa, Columbus, Ohio
Oct. 22 - Southgate House, Newport, Ky.
Oct. 23 - Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland
Oct. 25 - Bluebird, Bloomington, Ind.
Oct. 26 - Majestic Theatre, Detroit
Nov. 11 - Canes, San Diego
Nov. 12 - Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles
Nov. 13 - The Fillmore, San Francisco
Nov. 15, 16 - Berbati's Pan, Portland
Nov. 17 - Neumos, Seattle
Dec. 3, 4 - Irving Plaza, New York
Dec. 12 - Beacham Theatre, Orlando, Fla.
Dec. 30, 31 - Metro, Chicago
06/09/04 — New bio, MP3
We've posted the new bio, which also starts directly above this paragraph and continues when you click the ellipse. In addition, both we and gbv.com have posted MP3s from the new album, which you can reach from the music page.
06/01/04 — Summer dates
As we continue to gear up for the release of the last-ever Guided By Voices album, 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed' (August 23 in Europe, August 24 in North America), the band prepare to hit the road for the following summer dates:
Thu, June 17 - Champaign, IL - The High Dive with The Waxwings
Fri, June 18 - Iowa City, IA - Gabe's Oasis with The Waxwings
Sat, June 19 - Lawrence, KS - Wakarusa Festival with The Donnas & others
GBV will also be playing a free outdoor concert just days prior to the release of 'Half Smiles', Thursday August 19 at Hudson River Rocks (Pier 54, Hudson River Park, Public Pier 54, 13th St. & West Side Highway). All ages are admitted, so whether you're foetal or close to decomposing, you won't be thrown into the Hudson by overzealous security. We hope.
04/26/04 — GBV call it quits
After almost 20 years, assorted lineups, and countless albums, EPs, singles, triples, stolen bases, misdemeanor convictions, and broken hearts, Dayton, OH's fortunate sons are taking leave of your senses. 'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed,' to be released August 24 on Matador Records, will be the final album from Guided By Voices, one of the most acclaimed independent rock bands of all time.
"This feels like the last album for Guided By Voices," explains Robert Pollard, GBV's lone constant member, lead singer, and famously prolific songwriter. "I've always said that when I make a record that I'm totally satisfied with as befitting a final album, then that will be it. And this is it."
'Half Smiles Of The Decomposed' is the band's 15th full-length studio release, following 2003's 'Earthquake Glue' and retrospective box set, greatest-hits, and DVD releases. Although its tour later this year will be the band's last, Robert Pollard will continue writing, recording, and (possibly) touring as a solo artist. "I love the guys in the band, but I'm getting too old to be a gang leader," he explains. "There's a sense of maturity, and even integrity, I think, in continuing as one's own self."
04/07/04 — New Robert Pollard solo album
We'll have some news shortly regarding the new GBV full-length, but until next time, you'll be more than stoked (stoked, psyched, it's all the same thing) to learn that Robert Pollard has a new solo album landing on Fading Captain this May 3. 'Fiction Man' was recorded in Kent, OH with compatriot Todd Tobias. You can check out an MP3 from the solo project here.
03/10/04 — Back on Mars
Apparently, GBV are in heavy rotation on Mars:
That's the good news. The bad news is that NASA's faves also include the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Now might be a good time to petition your legislators to cut the space program's funding.
02/02/04 — Back in the studio
Guided By Voices recently returned to Waterloo Studios (parts of Universal Truths and Cycles was recorded there) in Kent, Ohio to record songs for their next full length release. The band recorded 15 songs with Todd Tobias once again in the producer's chair. The album should be out on Matador in the second half of 2004.
Never one to wait until the next GBV release, Bob was in Kent this past weekend working on his next solo album, Fiction Man. The album is due out onFading Captain in March. In the same vein as Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department, Bob wrote all the songs, while Todd Tobias plays all the instruments.
01/28/04 — Rescheduled dates
Several of the January dates had to be cancelled due to injury: these have now been rescheduled for March, as follows:
Fri-Mar-05 Dallas, TX Trees
Sat-Mar-06 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
Mon-Mar-08 Columbia, MO Blue Note
Tue-Mar-09- St Louis, MO Mississippi Nights
Thu-Mar11 Columbus, OH Little Brother's
Fri-Mar-12 Louisville, KY Headliners
Sat-Mar-13 Bloomington, IN Bluebird
12/16/03 — if their van could talk...
...it would say, "I prefer Shell Optimax, thanks." As the world gets hip to the splendor of GBV recordings old and new, the band hit the road this January for the following dates:
Thu-Jan-08 Nashville, TN Exit In
Fri-Jan-09 Athens, GA 40 Watt Club
Sat-Jan-10 Gainesville, FL Market Street Pub
Mon-Jan-12 Orlando, FL The Social
Tue-Jan-13 Jacksonville, FL Jackrabbits
Wed-Jan-14 Tallahassee, FL Beta Bar
Fri-Jan-16 Houston, TX Engine Room
Sat-Jan-17 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
Sun-Jan-18 Dallas, TX Trees
Tue-Jan-20 Columbia, MO Blue Note
Wed-Jan-21 St. Louis, MO Mississippi Nights
Fri-Jan-23 Louisville, KY Headliners
Sat-Jan-24 Columbus, OH Little Bros
12/15/03 — Two new MP3s
Mosey on over to the music page to check out two new MP3s: "The Best Of Jill Hives", included on both the current 'Earthquake Glue' album and the new "Best of Guided By Voices" album; and an alternate version of "Of Mites and Men" recorded this past July; the original song is also on 'Earthquake Glue'.
12/01/03 — Can't find "My Kind of Soldier" on the DVD?
Struggling to find the "My Kind of Soldier" video on the 'Watch Me Jumpstart' DVD? Due to a manufacturing error, "My Kind of Soldier" is not listed in the menu in the "Music Videos" section, but it actually is there as an "easter egg". In order to play it, follow these instructions:
1) Go the "Music Videos" section of the DVD
2) Scroll down to the "Bulldog Skin Video" and then hit the "left" cursor on your remote
3) You should see a small red dog highlighted in the left-hand corner of your TV screen
4) Click "Enter" on your remote and the "My Kind of Solider" video will start playing.
11/05/03 — First MP3 from box set
If Ted Turner were still in charge, this wouldn't have happened: CNN recently made history by putting GBV and Obie Trice in the same sentence. See for yourself:
After watching Willy Wonka on cable while recovering from a cold, the idea resurfaced and there we have it. Now, we may not be giving away a fly-in to Detroit or a diamond chain necklace but what we do offer is something that will expand your mind - the Hardcore UFO's box set.
As comprehensive as Bobbito's recent book, Where'd You Get Those?: New York City's Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987, the GBV box set is thoroughly fascinating, factual, and worth every hard earned penny. Why expect anything less from a band who The Wire's John Mulvey wrote: "The recorded work of Dayton, Ohio's Guided By Voices ranks as one of the most daunting in contemporary rock; seemingly infinite library of semi fi anthems, one minute epics and rockist pranks, where every fleeting idea is memorialized as a song." He said some less than complementary things, too, but that's why we're not giving him a free box. How's that for a rockist prank? But seriously, not only is this box a wonderful testament to Bob Pollard's past, present and future status as one of modern rock's most powerful minds, the packaging (an 84 page book with tons of great photos, super liner notes from Matt Sweeney, TJ Lax and Byron Coley) is the kind of thing you just can't get from Kazaa. (and if turns out you can, please think about what you're doing to our Christmas).
And because we value our customers, we're offering an 15 month Guided By Voices calendar free with purchase at the Matador Store. Bob's so prolific, he needs another 3 months in the year to cram everything in.
09/26/03 — First MP3 from box set
From the unreleased studio songs disc in the box set, 'Delicious Pie and Thank You For Calling', check out the first MP3 to be posted from the set. Posted simultaneously with gbv.com.
09/05/03 — 'Hardcore UFOs' Box Set, Best of GBV, DVD
On November 4th, Matador will be releasing "Hardcore UFOs", the definitive Guided By Voices box set of 5 CDs plus 1 DVD in deluxe slipcase with 48-page perfect-bound booklet. Over 142 songs.
Hardcore UFOs: Revelations, Epiphanies and Fast Food in the Western Hemisphere 5 CD + DVD BOX SET
• The Best of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates, a CD consisting of the band's greatest songs from 1987 through 2003, selected and sequenced by GBV's Robert Pollard
• Watch Me Jumpstart, a DVD including an expanded version of the 1996 documentary of the same name directed by Banks Tarver, now also containing extra footage, plus multi-angle live material and all of the band's promotional video clips
• Live at the Wheelchair Races, a CD of unreleased live material from throughout the GBV career, selected by Rich Turiel and Robert Pollard from hundreds of tapes of unreleased live material
• Delicious Pie and Thank You For Calling, a CD of unreleased studio material selected by Robert Pollard
• Demons and Painkillers, a CD compiling all the band's Matador Records out-of-print singles, b-sides and compilation tracks
• Forever Since Breakfast, the first ever CD release of GBV's incredibly rare debut EP, originally released in 1986
In addition, 'The Best of Guided By Voices' CD and the 'Watch Me Jumpstart' DVD will be available separately. The 'Best of Guided By Voices CD" will be at a special low price, with a different sequence from the version contained in the box set.
08/22/03 — Winner of "Family Feud" sign contest
We are pleased to announce that of everyone who preordered the record, Michael Garvis is the lucky winner of the GBV "Family Feud" sign.
08/18/03 — Full album stream available now!
Stream the entire 'Earthquake Glue' album courtesy of our friends at Appleand QuickTime:
08/08/03 — "My Kind Of Soldier" video posted
Check out the "My Kind Of Soldier" video posted today on the GBV musicpage. Directed by Adam Levite and featuring legendary St. Louis personality "Beatle Bob".
07/30/03 — GBV gives you TWO chances to win
As most of you know already, 25 lucky purchasers of the first edition of 'Earthquake Glue' will find a "golden ticket" inside entitling them to a free copy of the upcoming GBV Box Set. NOW we've added a second prize. Everyone who preorders 'Earthquake Glue' from the Matador Store or Insound will automatically be entered into a competition on GBV.com to win the GBV sign from the Strokes video 'Someday', filmed on the set of 'Family Feud'. This applies to those of you who have already preordered. And please note, there's a nice preorder discount off our already-low prices.
|This golden ticket, available to 25 lucky purchasers of the first edition of 'Earthquake Glue', entitles the bearer to a free copy of the 'Hardcore UFOs' box set when it comes out.|
|This handsome piece of furniture from the 'Family Feud' set was featured in the Strokes' "Someday" video and will go to a lucky random person who preorders 'Earthquake Glue' from Matador orInsound.|
07/09/03 — GBV to headline Magnet 10th Anniversary Show
MAGNET's 10th ANNIVERSARY SHOW:
Guided By Voices/Shins/My Morning Jacket
Friday, September 5
Ages 18 and over
Tickets available via www.musictoday.com, www.ticketmaster.com and the
Trocadero box office (12-5, Tuesday-Saturday)
05/19/03 — Simultaneous new MP3s with gbv.com
Two brand-new songs from the upcoming 'Earthquake Glue' album, available today from Matador and gbv.com. Download "My Kind of Soldier" from us, and then go to gbv.com to get "I'll Replace You With Machines".
02/03/03 — A virtual plethora of Bob Pollard projex
A virtual plethora of Bob Pollard projex this time around. Let's recap everything we should've told you about at Xmas time :
1) Circus Devils - The Harold Pig Memorial (Fading Captain #25). Robert Pollard + Todd & Tim Tobias. A concept album (surprise!) about a late, lamented biker.
2) Robert Pollard - Motel Of Fools (Fading Captain #26). Another mind-blowing solo effort from Pollard + past/present GBV associates.
3) Phantom Tollbooth - Beard Of Lightning (Off Records). Phantom Tollbooth's finest album, 1988's 'Power Toy', by the original PT trio of Dave Rick, Gerard Smith and Jon Cotes is reimagined by Robert Pollard adding new vocals and lyrics. Who amongst us has not wondered what that album would've sounded like if Bob had travelled back in time and forced his way into the studio?
Phew. Exhausted yet? We hope not, because later this year we'll be unveiling a brand new Guided By Voices studio album, 'Live Like Kings Forever'. When we inevitably call it the best GBV album since whichever GBV album-is-your-favorite, we'll mean it more than ever.
10/11/02 — Contest winners, pictures and memoir
Check out the pictures and read a brief memoir of the "Guided By Bob" Contest from the lucky five winners. Click here.
08/01/02 — brewery tour rescheduled ... ...to august 9.
Shout Magazine's "Guided By Bob" tour of the Brooklyn Brewery, that is. A UK single of "Back To The Lake" is out later this month to coincide with GBV's UK tour which also features dates at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The new Strokes video for "Someday" (note to those with good taste: this is a Strokes song, apparently) prominently features the members of GBV in some sort of "Family Feud" type face-off with the members of the Strokes. At least that's what it says here. None of this ever would've happened if Richard Dawson was still alive.
05/24/02 — Universal Truths Preview!
Listen to the upcoming GBV album, Universal Truths and Cycles, in its entiretyand then send the link on to your friend. They’ll love you for it. All you need is Flash.
05/03/02 — GBV Limited Edition Singles
In celebration of Guided By Voices upcoming release, Universal Truths and Cycles, on Matador Records, the Fading Captain Series announces a very special set of 7" singles...
The Universal Truths and Cycles Singles Set: 4 limited edition 7" singles from Guided By Voices (2,500 copies of each). Each single will feature a different A-side from the album and a different B-side otherwise unreleased. Starting May 21, one single will be released every week to retail outlets leading up to the release of Universal Truths and Cycles on June 18.
And the fine folks at gbv.com are offering a special deal. If you mail order a set of all four singles, they'll ship all four to you at once on May 21. They’ll fill you in on the details.
04/26/02 — Pollard and Co. will be making the scene with former SportsCenter anchor Craig Kilborn’s late nite program on June 17 (CBS). We tried to get them booked on Keith Olbermann’s show, but apparently it was taken off the air a long time ago and no one bothered to tell us about it (thanks). The following day, June 18, Guided By Voices will be performing at the Los Angeles branch of the sprawling Amoeba Records superstore. A similar appearance at the SST superstore was cancelled on account of my busting out of a weird 1980’s time warp. Boy were the haircuts severe in those days. Look out for an import CD5 of “Everywhere With Helicopter” and way too many live dates all throughout the summer.
03/26/02 — Guided By Voices signs to Matador
Didn’t we already run this story in 1995?
Guided By Voices have announced that the group’s next album ‘Universal Truths And Cycles’ will be released on Matador Records, worldwide, on June 18.
The album, recorded November through January at Cro-Magnon Studio (Dayton,OH) and Waterloo Studio (Kent, OH), features 19 songs (clocking in at 46 minutes).
A preview track, “Everywhere With Helicopter” is currently available on the Noisepop Festival benefit compilation ‘Ten Years of Noise Pop’ on Amazing Grease Records.
Guided By Voices rang in New Years 2002 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, co-headlining with the Strokes in a event that could’ve been billed “Soul Returns To Harlem,” had the posters shown up in time. The band’s 2001 album ‘Isolation Drills’ made the year end top 10 list of numerous journalists, respected and otherwise. and was picked by CDNOW as #1 ‘best record you didn’t hear in 2001.’ Which doesn’t really make sense as we heard it, you heard it, and CDNow heard it (this category should be resevered for very very quiet recordings).
Earlier in 2001, GBV singer/leader/songwriter Robert Pollard (a former Ohio school teacher who began his rock career in his late 30’s) turned down a lifetime achievement award from the Dayton Music Hall of Fame, stating that “the award was premature as he hasn’t peaked yet and his best work was yet to come.”
Pollard released three GBV albums and two solo albums on Matador between 1995-98, before parting in 1999 for TVT Records.
States Pollard: “TVT gave us great enthusiasm and support, and the opportunity to make albums with producers Rob Schnapf and Ric Ocasek, and it was an immeasurable experience. TVT was also kind enough to keep the door open for us this past month when we spoke with other labels.”
“It’s great to be reunited with our good friends at Matador, fellow rock geeks with the same basic philosophy on record artistry. We are very happy getting back to autonomously making records ourselves and have the ball back in our court,” says Pollard.
“We’re looking forward to getting the record out worldwide on June 18.” The band hasn’t had a simultaneous worldwide release in all the territories since GBV’s UK label Creation shut down in 2000, shortly following the band’s ‘Do The Collapse’ album.
Said a Matador spokesperson “our excitement about this new deal is only slightly dampened by Bob calling us ‘geeks.’”
The big story with ‘Universal Truths And Cycles’ is that it melds old and new GBV approaches to spectacular effect. The album combines the spontaneous feel of early GBV classics with lessons learned in the big studios with Ocasek and Schnapf. The album includes both lo-fi and ‘mid-fi’ tracks recorded by the band and by Pollard with an acoustic guitar, as well as full-blown ‘big rock’ recorded in a 24-track studio, including complex and creative arrangements with the string quartet Invert. Most importantly, ‘Universal Truths And Cycles,’ the group’s 13th record, is GBV’s catchiest album yet.