Saturday, September 15, 2007

Guided By Voices: Earthquake Glue (2003)

Earthquake Glue is likely the new-era GBV disc that I listen to the least. After the rock-fest that was Universal Truths & Cycles, Earthquake Glue has a slightly more pop-mellow vibe, and reminds me of Kid Marine in its okay-ness. That is, there is not a bad track on the album, nor does it really ever shine through as spectacular. It has its fair share of hits (My Kind of Soldier, The Best of Jill Hives, and Useless Inventions are up there with GBV's best), but the album overall may take more listens than usual before other tracks begin standing out. That being said, the whole album is pretty much making the playlist...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Guided By Voices: Hardcore UFOs - Revelations, Epiphanies and Fast Food in the Western Hemisphere (2003)

Boxsets are the collector's dream. Guided By Voices boxsets are not so rare. With two editions of Suitcase, a collection of early out-of-print albums, and Hardcore UFOs, GBV has four boxsets collecting about a hundred songs each. Where the two Suitcase boxsets showcase only unreleased tracks, the Box boxset having four out-of-print albums and one album of unreleased material...Hardcore UFOs has six distinct discs; 1) a greatest hits package, 2) a documentary DVD, 3) A live album, 4) an out-of-print singles/EP collection, 5) an unreleased collection, and 6) an out-of-print EP...

Guided By Voices: Hardcore UFOs: Human Amusements At Hourly Rates - The Best of Guided By Voices (2003)

A Guided By Voices greatest hits package? How can a band with as many rocking songs as GBV have a single disc greatest hits? I think this needs to be put into some context before continuing. First off, this album is virtually meaningless for someone already a big fan. Because of this, its inclusion in Hardcore UFOs is an odd choice. Who other than those already owning every GBV album would buy Hardcore UFOs in the first place? Therefore, I must review this disc in its non-Hardcore UFOs stand-alone version aimed at the person who has not yet discovered Robert Pollard and GBV. This was the very first GBV album I ever purchased, and in the context of a primer for newcomers, this greatest hits package is perfect...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Guided By Voices: Hardcore UFOs: Live At The Wheelchair Races (2003)

Live At the Wheelchair Races is a stellar live album. It has a great mix of tracks, from the classics (A Salty Salute, Weed King, Game Of Pricks, Tractor Rape Chain), live staples (My Impression Now, Drinker's Peace, Johnny Appleseed, Over The Neptune), Robert Pollard solo album tracks (Quicksilver, Make Use, Town Of Mirrors, Far Out Crops), and some rare live tracks (Key Losers, How Loft Am I?, Look At Them, Shrine To The Dynamic Years, James Riot). I did not plan on actually putting any live tracks on the playlist, however, one particular cut is just too cool to ignore...

Guided By Voices: Hardcore UFOs : Delicious Pie & Thank You For Calling (2003)

I was listening to the new Fading Captain Series greatest hits collection Crickets in my car to and from work today, and it definitely got me in the mood to write a post today (and of course one is due). Continuing on with Hardcore UFOs, I am going to tackle the unreleased collection Delicious Pie & Thank You For Calling. Unlike the Suitcase collections, this particular unreleased collection has some order to it. Tracks 1-6 are early 8-track/boombox recordings (recorded late 80's), 7-11 are outtakes from Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia (1989), 15-18 are Do The Collapse demos, and 19-22 are Mag Earwhig! demos. How does this compilation stack up against, say, a Suitcase disc? Generally, I would have to say it is not quite up to par...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Guided By Voices: Hardcore UFOs : Demons & Painkillers (2003)

I thought I'd start my 2003-era GBV coverage with the Hardcore UFOs boxset. More specifically, with Demons & Painkillers; a collection of Matador out-of-print singles, B-sides, and tunes from compilations. Albums like this are so important to fans like me who get into a band late in the game (or who do not have a record player), and missed out on grabbing some of these singles when they originally came out. This may be the best reason to pick up Hardcore UFOs, since Demons & Painkillers is a fairly decent album all on its own...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Site News, or Boring Post Title

Hi everyone!

I supposed most of you have been as excited as I to find out about all the upcoming releases (new Pollard albums - two of 'em!, new Circus Devils, Crickets, Austin City Limits, The Takeovers...), and you also likely noticed a great distance of time passing between my latest posts.

I have been extremely busy lately, but I do not have any plans other than keeping up with this project and going through every Pollard release! I posted Go Back Snowball earlier today, and look forward to writing about 2003 releases (Earthquake Glue, Pinball Mars, Hardcore UFOs, Lifeguards, & Phantom Tollbooth) in the very near future.

I also updated my links recently (and was excited to see a blog with the goal of writing about every Pollard song -> see links on sidebar). I also listed some more non-GBV related links (thank you to those nice people who linked this site).

Anyway, I just wanted to provide an update, and make sure you all know that I am still 100% dedicated to this site. I also plan to update its look and feel sometime in the future (did you know that you can reach this site through

Lastly, please do not click on the 'click here to read the rest of this article...' link on the bottom of this post. This is the whole post. I don't know how to NOT have it on every hopefully I saved you a mouse-click.

Dave (The Rock Robot)

Go Back Snowball: Calling Zero (2002)

Go Back Snowball is made up of two indie-rock giants: Robert Pollard, and Superchunk's Mac McCaughan. McCaughan lays down all the music and Pollard adds vocals. I should start off by saying that I have been growing into quite the Superchunk fan (after finding all their tunes on eMusic), especially Foolish, that is a good album. Therefore, the expectations are high. Does Go Back Snowball reach the great heights expected by this dynamic duo? Maybe not. Is it a good album? Sure. Will it grow on you after repeated listens? Oh, definately! The music is interesting (a mix of fuzzed-out guitar, piano, and acoustic rhythm), and did I mention one of Pollard's best vocal performances...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Circus Devils: The Harold Pig Memorial (2002)

When reviewing the first Circus Devils release (Ringworm Interiors), I found it hard to convey how much I enjoyed the album while only selecting 8 out of 28 of the tracks for my ultimate GBV-related playlist. The problem was that the disc was great as a cohesive album, yet individual tracks were just too "out there" to sound in place on a GBV/Pollard mix. Well, the dynamic trio of Robert Pollard (vocals) and the Tobias' (Tim and Todd - all the guitar licks and weird noises) are back with The Harold Pig Memorial. This album is toned down quite a bit compared to Ringworm Interiors, and is generally a rather fine rock album...

Richard Meltzer, Robert Pollard, Smegma, Antler & Vom: The Completed Soundtrack For The Tropic Of Nipples (2002)

In 2002 Robert Pollard teamed up with Richard Meltzer (former music critic), and noise bands Smegma and Antler to create a truly psychedelic vinyl only EP release. This CD version was expanded to include nine more tracks, as well as the addition of Vom (6 tracks). I am hard pressed to write a full entry for this disc, which I would have to say is one of the least important albums in the GBV catalog (or is it one of the most important ones, considering that only die-hard fans are going to bother to pick it up?) That being said, The Complete Soundtrack for the Tropic of Nipples is interesting with its mix of spoken word over noise, instrumentals, and some old school punk...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Robert Pollard Album...

This is probably old news for most fans, but Robert Pollard is releasing a new mini-LP called Silverfish Trivia on April 17th! On another note, I was hoping to do another post this weekend (Circus Devils) and did not get a chance. Please be patient as I'm finding less and less time to write these posts...However, I am still dedicated to this site and will get a new post up soon.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Guided By Voices: The Pipe Dreams Of Instant Prince Whippet (2002)

Two months later and I'm back with a new entry into what has now been a year-long project; creating the ultimate Robert Pollard/GBV guide. My absence has been quite necessary as I have been a) doing the whole Christmas /New Year thing, and b) I moved into a new house. With the new house I have picked up a killer sound system to enjoy my GBV-related tunes on, so I'm pretty excited about that. So the first post of the new year, in the new house, and on the new sound system is Universal Truth's and Cycle's companion EP, The Pipe Dreams of Instant Prince Whippet. Whereas the Hold On Hope EP was generally better than its companion album (Do The Collapse), Prince Whippet is definitely more of an extension of Universal Truths and Cycles...