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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Miss GBV

Since I didn't really care when they were on their farewell tour, it's a little weird that last night I realized something - I miss GBV! For those unfamiliar, I'm referring to Dayton, OH's second best band*, Guided By Voices. And I'm aware that there probably isn't much difference between GBV and Robert Pollard, but to me, it makes all the difference in the world. It's like when I saw Frank Black in concert - just not the same as when I saw The Pixies.

Anyway, "Bee Thousand" is the bee's knees and I highly recommend picking it up. I would say the songs are closer to sketches than songs. Each one is a little bit of pop perfection that ends almost as quickly as it begins. But what poppiness that is contained in that minute or two. There is rarely a misstep on "Bee Thousand", though some highs are higher than others. My faves are "Hot Freaks", "Tractor Rape Chain", "Gold Star For Robot Boy", and "Queen of Cans and Jars". Then again, there are 10 other songs I would recommend on another day.

Maybe it was the proliferation from GBV that ultimately turned me off. It seemed Robert Pollard released some new music every week. There was always some true genius contained but there were also some missteps. So when GBV decided to end it that sounded right to me. I didn't even bother going to see their farewell show, though if I remember correctly it was on New Year's Eve in Chicago so I had a good excuse. And I had already attended shows at much smaller venues - the 3 hour drunken shows where at least 50 songs were played and Pollard would consume close to a case and still be twirling the mic and doing leg kicks during the 4th encore.

So last night as I was driving home listening to "Bee Thousand" I remembered why I loved GBV. And I fell in love with "Bee Thousand" all over again. And I realized I miss GBV.

* For me, Dayton's #1 band will always be the tragically interrupted band Brainiac. If only Timmy Taylor were not killed in an auto accident. I wear my Brainiac t-shirt proudly, even if it is ripped and full of holes and should be put to sleep.

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