Entries tagged with: Guided By Voices
photos by Greg Cristman
Guided by Voices @ The Paramount 8/22/2014
Guided by Voices' tour, which has already hit NYC proper a couple times this year, swung through the NY area again this past weekend, playing Huntington, NY's The Paramount on Friday (8/22) and Asbury Park's The Stone Pony on Saturday (8/23), both of which were with Brazil's Boogarins. We caught the Paramount show where GBV played upwards of 50 songs including three encores, and most of the big favorites. Setlist, video, and more pictures from the show below...
GBV at Bowery Ballroom in May (more by Gretchen Robinette)
The current Guided by Voices tour already landed in NYC a couple times, and this weekend it comes back to the area for two shows in nearby cities. TONIGHT (8/22), they're on Long Island for a show at Huntington's Paramount, and Saturday (8/23) they'll hit The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Both are with Brazilian psych rockers Boogarins (who also recently played NYC), and tickets for both are still available. If you're unable to make the NJ show, you can still watch it from the comfort of your own home when it streams live at 9:30 PM EST via Yahoo.
GBV have other dates too, including Fun Fun Fun Fest. All are listed below...
ARMS at MHOW in March (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Brooklyn band ARMS (the current project of former Harlem Shakes guitarist Todd Goldstein) will be paying tribute to some of their influences -- specifically Broadcast, Elliott Smith, Guided by Voices, They Might Be Giants, Matthew Dear, Thunder & Lightning, The Faces and Rufus Wainwright -- on a new covers album, Backwards Record, due out September 2 via Paper Garden Records. We've got the premiere of the video for their cover of GBV's lo-fi classic, "Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory." ARMS' take on the song is -- wait for it -- guided by voices. As in they've recorded the cover a capella. You can watch the video below.
ARMS also have two local shows coming up this weekend. First they play Mercury Lounge on Friday (8/15) with Conveyor (tickets), and then they play the Rooftop Films closing party on Saturday (8/16). Doors open at 8 for that, music at 8:30, and by 9 PM they'll be screening multiple short films. More details here.
GBV cover video, with LP artwork and tracklist, below...
Pabst Blue Ribbon, or PBR if you prefer, is throwing their first-ever music festival this year in various Portland, OR venues from September 26-28. The fest, dubbed Project Pabst, will feature Modest Mouse, Tears for Fears, Guided by Voices, Rocket from the Crypt, Violent Femmes, Constantines, GZA (performing Liquid Swords), High on Fire, Red Fang, Shabazz Palaces, Phosphorescent, Menomena, The Thermals, Speedy Ortiz and more, Tickets, including single-day passes, weekend passes, and individual show tickets, are on sale now. More info at the fest's site.
Full lineup below...
by Klaus Kinski
Guided by Voices @ Iriving Plaza (photo via @klaus_kinski)
On Friday (7/11), less than two months after playing Bowery Ballroom, Dayton OH senior rockers Guided By Voices roared into NYC once again, this time to lay a drunken lustre upon Irving Plaza. And, brother... it was a whopper.
This GBV experience ticked so many boxes on the Klaus Kinski Checklist of High-Maintenance Concert-Going Standards. I was pretty pooped from seeing Gorilla Biscuits the night before this show, so the first attribute of this phenomenal show had to be the timing; doors at 7pm, Crystal Stilts at 8, GBV from 9 - 11. Done. Anywho, I had seen opener Crystal Stilts somewhere before and I remember my previous feelings about them was that they were complete and total garbage. However, this time around they really really appealed to me. I am not sure what changed or what would cause my appraisal of them to do a complete 180, but I found their opening set on Friday night to be an incredible combination of filthy, reverberating guitars, driving beats and really tight, almost lethargic vocals. There was a certain level of gloom to their set, but it didn't reek of the melodramatic. Singer Brad Hargett's the epitome of anti-stage presence, but it doesn't come off as smug; it comes of more as "my voice in my instrument, so I am here to sing, not act like a numbskull for your entertainment." I thought from start to finish their set was a great representation of what works in their catalogue which has been growing in their 10+ years of existence.
After a brief intermission, GBV took the stage a hair after 9 PM to a not-sold-out crowd of about 1000 fans of all stripes. Remarkably, this was GBV's 18th Irving Plaza gig. Throughout their 2+ hour set, the entire band was in absolute top form. Even Greg Demos, who I admonished in my last post for being distractingly sloppy at their most recent Bowery gig, was in really great form. Drummer Kevin March, as usual, was the metronomic glue holding everything tightly together. And there were some moments when Pollard and guitarist Tobin Sprout unleashed some of the most wonderful two-part harmonies I've heard the band pull off in years.
GBV has put out 6 records since they reunited as the classic line-up and the setlist borrowed quite a bit from these newer releases. But with a catalogue as wide and as deep as the one Pollard has manufactured, there was no shortage of older classics and deep cuts. I mean, you really can't go wrong with a setlist featuring classics like "Cut Out Witch," "Motor Away," "Teenage FBI," "I Am A Scientist," "Game of Pricks," and "Tractor Rape Chain." And of course, peppered among their 50+ song setlist, was Bob's classic drunken stage banter. One moment he was telling the crowd that writing a catchy tune is the easiest thing in the world to do; "Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, coda. 50 seconds. Tops." At another point he said he had big news, stating, "We're going on a world tour opening for Weezer. After that, who cares... 2-3-4" to which the entire room whipped out their cellphones to immediately suss out if he was full of it or not (he was). Their song choices, the quality of their performance, and the high-energy crowd-atmosphere made this one of the most solid GBV shows I have seen in ages. Definitely looking forward to Irving Plaza show #19.
A few videos from the show are below...
Speedy Ortiz at BV-SXSW 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Speedy Ortiz, who have an Adult Swim Single coming in July, announced a tour surrounding their many festival appearances this summer. One of those festivals is NYC's free 4Knots Festival happening on July 12 at South Street Seaport from 1-8 PM with Dinosaur Jr, Mac DeMarco, Viet Cong, Nude Beach and more. Those in the NYC-area wanting a fix of Speedy in a club setting, who don't feel like staying in town the weekend of 4Knots, or who would like to see Speedy play with Guided by Voices, should head up to Toad's Place in CT where they and GBV play two days earlier. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All Speedy Ortiz dates are listed below.
That show is also part of GBV's tour which recently hit NYC's Bowery Ballroom and returns to NYC the day after the Toad's Place show for an Irving Plaza show (7/11) with Crystal Stilts. It also hits Huntington, NY's Paramount on 8/22 and Asbury Park, NJ's Stone Pony on 8/23, both with Boogarins. Tickets for those shows are still available.
All Speedy Ortiz dates are listed, with a video, below...
Guided by Voices @ Bowery Ballroom 5/23/2014
On Friday (5/23), garage rock legends and future liver transplant recipients Guided By Voices waltzed into the Bowery Ballroom for a sloppy and extremely sold out show with support from Doug Gillard and Atomic Forces. Pictures from the whole night are in this post.
I missed Atomic Forces but according to friends who were there since doors opened at 8 PM, AF's 9 PM set lasted about as long as an average bathroom break, if said bathroom break was spent making a brisk #2. Apparently their set barely clocked in at 20 minutes, but the consensus was that they were actually pretty good. Sad I missed them.
Doug Gillard and full band were scheduled to hit the stage at 10, but I think the awkwardly long intermission Atomic Force's mini-set created compelled them to hit the stage a little before . Which was fine with me because seeing Doug was just as important to me than seeing GBV. For the uninitiated, Doug Gillard is a guitar God and possesses the finest rock chops in the business. As a guitar player myself, Doug is a personal hero of mine. He's not the type of player who can whip out a shredding Nuno Bettencourt-esque rendition of Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee or anything. Rather, he is the master of the fundamentals who can navigate a fret-board better than anyone in the biz. His CV as a guitar player is staggering, having played in Death Of Samantha (who just reformed and are playing shows), Gem, Cobra Verde, Guided by Voices, Nada Surf, Bambi Kino, Richard Buckner's band, Children's Crusade, Starvation Army, Yuji Oniki, My Dad is Dead, The Mice, Bill Fox, Fence Lions, Zest Of Yore, Stewart Pack, The Oranges Band, and more. Doug's set consisted of a very thoughtful array of tunes old and new, all of which the crowd was going bonkers over. Doug ended his set with probably his most famous anthem, "I Am a Tree," which appeared on GBV's 1997 release Mag Earwhig! but is 100% the brainchild of Gillard and served as the perfect segue into the short intermission that would lead to GBV's set. Video of Gillard's "I Am a Tree" Bowery performance -- plus pics from his is below.
I've been seeing GBV live for over 15 years now and I can tell you that a GBV show is one of the most consistently satisfying show-going experiences out there. The crowd at Bowery was what a GBV crowd has always been because, well, over the years, the crowd make-up of a GBV show has remained largely unchanged. You've got your older indie dudes, tons of drunk bros, tons of older couples from out of town making a night of it, newbies who discovered GBV late in their career looking to enjoy the shows while GBV is still able to put them on for us... most everyone's drunk. Most everyone's singing along at the top of their lungs. Friday's GBV show was as boilerplate as it gets, and, goddamn, was it ever fun.
I am not going to lie; I did a great job of drinking my memories into oblivion Friday night. But several things stand out in what's left of my mind. First off, GBV front man Robert Pollard polished off his bottle of tequila before hitting the stage. Normally, he's got that bad boy with him for about the first half the set (or for as long as it lasts). I've seen Bob take the stage in various stages of inebriation over the years, but Friday he was well in the bag before they played a single note of their massive set list. Which brings me to memory number two of the evening; the setlist was massive. I mean, a GBV setlist is always a sight to behold, but Friday they played nearly 50 songs and the evening concluded with a whopping three encores. I guess a 50-song, three-encore set is sort of par for the course with GBV, but it blew my mind regardless. Let's face it; they ain't no spring chickens.
GBV w/ Doug Gillard
As kick-ass as GBV was on Friday, one of the more bummer memories that has been plaguing me is that the "original line-up" thing is really losing it's luster for me. I find myself pining for the days of guys like Nate Farley, Chris Slusarenko, Doug Gillard (who joined them for "Fair Touching" & "Teenage FBI" at Bowery) and Tim Tobias. After firing "original" drummer Kevin Fennell in 2013 GBV re-hired powerhouse drummer Kevin March which was a genius move because these days they really need someone as solid as him in their back-line. Tobin Sprout is a genius guitar player whose skills are irreproachable. Mitch Mitchell can hang still as well. But Greg Demos seems to get sloppier as the years go on. He spends so much time playing the roll of rock star, looking a lot like a cross between Davey Jones and Top Gear's Richard Hammond, that he was clamming left and right. Missing notes, playing the wrong notes, completely missing plucking an intended string. I became fixated on it. Distracted. If he would only stop swirling around, licking his lips, and falling on his knees and pay a little more attention to the 4-stringed apparatus in his hands everything would feel so much more cohesive. But what do I know.
Technical gaffes aside, it was as classic a GBV experience as it gets and I had a flipping' ball. Sure, my liver fell out somewhere on the J train at around 3am following the show, but it was so worth it. And if anyone has a recording of Bob's stage banter that night, press it and release it. It was pure comedic gold.
In other GBV related news, don't forget that they have an upcoming summer tour that lands at Toad's Place in CT on July 10, Irving Plaza on July 11, then The Paramount in Long Island on August 22 and finally Asbury Park, NJ's The Stone Pony on August 23. Tickets to Irving, The Paramount and Stone Pony are still available, as well as Toad's Place, are still available.
In other Doug Gillard News, his old band, Death of Samantha, will be playing their first NYC show in over 23 years THIS THURSDAY (MAY 29, 2014) at Baby's All Right. Tickets are still available and cost a measly 10 bucks. Also head over to Doug Gillard's website for details on his upcoming West Coast Tour.
Oh yeah, also, White House press secretary and confirmed Guided by Voices fan Jay Carney surprised attendees at a sold-out GBV show at Washington, D.C.'s Black Cat on Saturday May 24 when he appeared on stage to introduce the band. Gawker's got all the deets on that craziness.
Setlist and more pictures of GBV's Bowery Ballroom set, plus pics Atomic Forces and Doug Gillard's opening sets, below...
Ex Cult @ DbA, 2013 (more by Devan Council)
Memorial Day Weekend is coming up, and as usual there's no shortage of things to do. On the music front, if you'd like to get away (but not too far away) for the long weekend, there's a few good festivals. Headbangers may want to head to Maryland Deathfest for Agalloch, Crowbar, Gorguts, Ulcerate, and more. Or you can get your indie rock on at Boston Calling with The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, and more. Or maybe you're more the punk type and will head to Michigan for Bled Fest with Title Fight, The Menzingers, Self Defense Family, Frameworks, Little Big League and more.
If you're staying in NYC this weekend, there's plenty to do here as well. Head below to check our top 10 list of events going on this weekend...
The 2014 lineup of Austin festival Fun Fun Fun Fest, happening NOV 7 . 8 & 9 at Auditorium Shores, is here. In the poster above and listed below....
Like FYF Fest, they've got a Blood Brothers reunion show.
This is also Austin's show on the growing Failure reunion tour.
Ditto for emo vets Mineral
So much more greatness listed below....
Guided By Voices, who we found out are also playing Toad's Place in CT on July 10, will return to NYC to play Irving Plaza on July 11, then The Paramount in Long Island on August 22 and finally Asbury Park, NJ's The Stone Pony on August 23. A BrooklynVegan Presale for the last three is happening NOW (5/15). PASSWORD = coolplanet
(note: The Stone Pony presale didn't start on time, but is live now)
All tour dates HERE.
Read our new interview with Bob Pollard HERE.
UPDATE: BrooklynVegan Presale Password HERE.
Guided By Voices in Austin, 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Guided by Voices start their tour this weekend and will hit NYC for a sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom on May 23. That tour wraps up in June but, as Robert Pollard inferred in our interview with him, GBV will be back in the NY area for
three four shows after that: NYC's Irving Plaza on July 11, then Huntington, NY's The Paramount on August 22 and Asbury Park, NJ's The Stone Pony on August 23.
UPDATE: they're also playing Toad's Place in CT on 7/10.
Your first chance to get tickets to those three shows (not CT) will be with an exclusive BrooklynVegan presale beginning Thursday morning (5/15) at 9 AM. Check back first thing Thursday morning for the presale password.
UPDATE: BrooklynVegan Presale Password HERE.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday (5/16) at noon.
Guided by Voices new album, Cool Planet, came out this week. Updated tour dates are listed below...
"I've got better moves than Mick Jagger, or at least I used to," - Robert Pollard
jump shot @ Riot Fest Chicago (more by Kirstie Shanley)
Robert Pollard is a rock star. Instead of having his autobiography written by TMZ or wielding some messianic delusion over his fans however, the frontman for the indelibly influential Guided By Voices has simply continued to make the music he wants in the way he wants as much as he wants. With this month's Cool Planet, Pollard has released twenty-two full-lengths with Guided By Voices since 1987. Add in the multiple EPs, collaborations, solo records, and other projects, and it's immediately apparent that creative inspiration is not in short supply for the singer. Adding to the prolific nature of that creativity is Pollard's unadorned perspective on the fame and respect he's garnered over the years from fans, critics, and fellow musicians alike. There's nothing overly simplistic about it being "just about the music" for Pollard, and that's precisely what continues to compel the singer who, upon approaching sixty, is as creatively vibrant and productive as he ever was with no end in sight. Guided By Voices will be touring throughout May and June, with a sold out Bowery Ballroom show on 5/23 and more dates to be announced soon too.
UPDATE: Three more NY-Area shows in July and August.
Going back to the Forever Since Breakfast EP and fast forwarding to now with the myriad of releases, both solo and with Guided By Voices, that have come since then, what's your perspective on that journey so far, and how have you seen yourself evolve both personally and musically in that time?
Robert: Hopefully I continue to improve as a songwriter, a person and a musician or artist. If there's no improvement, and I guess that's a subjective thing, I don't see any reason to continue. Obviously, by the sheer output of releases, I'm still having a good time. That's also very important.
Just as well known as your music itself has been the sheer amount you've produced over the last three decades. What was the initial creative catalyst for you in the beginning, and do you see yourself still engaging that source of inspiration even now with every new song you write?
I'm always pushing myself to come up with new techniques for creating art and writing songs. In the last couple of years I've actually developed a formula for writing songs, that's a little too involved for me to elaborate on right now. The initial catalyst for me to write songs, I think, was to be an active participant instead of just a passive listener. To hear more of what I really like by writing them myself.
by Bill Pearis
cold work making a new LP
The indefatigable Guided by Voices will drop their second album of 2014, Cool Planet, next week (5/13) via their own Guided By Voices Inc. Made in a proper studio (something most of the post-2010-reformation GBV LPs weren't) during a very cold winter, Robert Pollard, Toubin Sprout and the rest of the gang sound in fine form. How does Pollard keep doing it? You can stream " "Table At Fool's Tooth" plus previously shared "Bad Love is Easy to Do" below.
Guided by Voices' upcoming, sold-out NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 23 with former bandmate Doug Gillard was, when we originally posted about it, one of only a couple of dates. There is now a full tour hitting both coasts and a few points in between. A couple of those shows are with GBV's Ohio pals, the reunited Death of Samantha (most of whom, as Cobra Verde, would end up in the band in the late '90s). All dates are listed, along with the track streams, below...
by Bill Pearis
Doug Gillard's CV is impeccable, having logged time in Guided by Voices, Nada Surf, My Dad is Dead, just to name three. With those groups he was more of a background player, but he's a more than capable frontman and songwriter on his own. His new solo album, Parade On, is a real class act -- sparkling, muscular powerpop, touched by a style and grace that never falls out of fashion. The album's out next week (4/8) but you can get a taste on the album's first single, the lightly Harrison-esque "Ready for Death." You can stream it below.
Gillard's got a couple shows this weekend to celebrate the new album. He plays Cake Shop on Saturday (4/5) with Georgia power pop band Casper & the Cookies and Lame Drivers. The official record release show happens on Tuesday (4/8) at Glasslands with White Lighters, Workout, and Dear Comrade. Tickets for Glasslands are on sale now.
Doug also opens for his old bandmates Guided by Voices at Bowery Ballroom on May 23 which is sold out.
Guided By Voices (more by Tim Griffin)
The legendarily prolific Guided By Voices have announced another album coming out this year, not to be confused with the 20 track Motivational Jumpsuit that was released on 2/18. "Recorded during the sub-freezing Polar Vortex of 2014, the next GbV record is titled Cool Planet" and it's out May 18/19 via Fire Records. Listen to the track "Bad Love Is Easy To Do" below where you'll also find the full 18 song tracklist.
To celebrate, the band (Robert Pollard - vocals, guitar; Tobin Sprout - guitar, vocals; Mitch Mitchell - guitar; Greg Demos - bass; Kevin March - drums) will head out on the road to play some intimate shows including NYC's Bowery Ballroom on 5/23. Tickets for that show which Doug Gillard (ex-GBV) and Atomic Forces are opening, go on sale Friday (3/7) at noon.
All known dates (three of them), the new song, and a 'Funny Or Die' video for "Planet Score" from their less new album, below...
by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
still from Kevin Drew's "Good Sex" video
It's been a while since we've done one of our video roundups, but there were just too many good videos this week to pass up the opportunity. (Plus, in honor of Valentine's Day, there's some v-day-themed ones worked in here.) We already posted a bunch this week, like Little Dragon, Thurston Moore, Metronomy, The Notwist, Thundercat, OFF!, Marissa Nadler, Arctic Monkeys covering The Beatles, Mission of Burma covering The Beatles, Polica, DTCV, La Femme, The Marked Men's return to NYC, and more, yet there were still plenty of cool ones we didn't get to. Check out recent videos from Kevin Drew, The National, Ariel Pink & Jorge Elbrecht, Phantogram, La Dispute, The Front Bottoms, Guided by Voices, Blouse, Chelsea Wolfe, S. Carey, Death Grips, Quilt, Shellshag and Twin Shadow & Samantha Urbani covering The Smiths, below.
photos by Cory Dewald
Blondie / Glassjaw / Public Enemy fans
With about 20 albums under their belt, it was interesting to see what songs Guided By Voices would pick for their Riot Fest set. Keeping in mind that most audience members might not be familiar with everything in their vast discography, frontman Robert Pollard announced each song's name with a short introduction throughout the whole set. The band opened with "Xeno Pariah" and followed up with songs like "Island," "Shocker in Gloomtown," and "The Challenge Is Much More," only stopping to take a quick swig from a small bottle to oil up his voice. [BV Chicago]Riot Fest Chicago (the second of three Riot Fests this year) continued on Saturday (9/14) for its second of three days. The second day had tons of multi-generational alternative music representation including punk's late '70s heyday (Blondie, X, FLAG -- the Keith Morris version of Black Flag), second wave ska (The Selecter), third wave ska (Rancid), classic indie rock (Dinosaur Jr., Violent Femmes, Guided by Voices), modern indie rock (Surfer Blood, Stars, The Sidekicks), classic hip hop (Public Enemy), and turn-of-the-millenium poppunk/emo/post-hardcore (blink-182, Taking Back Sunday, Glassjaw). Pictures from that day are in this post, and there's more pictures, plus a review, over at BV Chicago.
Iggy and the Stooges at SXSW 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
The Toronto one happens from August 24-25 in Fort York and features sets from The Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges, The Weakerthans, Rocket from the Crypt, Dinosaur Jr., Best Coast, The Flatliners, and Single Mothers (who all play day 2). Tickets for that day are on sale now. Flyer below.
The Denver one happens from September 21 to 22 at May Farms and features sets from The Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges, AFI, Brand New, Rocket From the Crypt, Guided by Voices, The Dismemberment Plan, Superchunk, Against Me!, Best Coast, Minus the Bear, Chuck Ragan, Bosnian Rainbows, This Will Destroy You, Touche Amore, Single Mothers and more on day 1; and blink-182, Rancid, Public Enemy, Matt & Kim, FLAG, Bad Religion, Yo La Tengo, Naked Raygun, Stars, Peelander-Z, Off With Their Heads, and more on day 2. Tickets (2-day passes and single day tickets) are on sale now. Full day-by-day lineup below.
Guided by Voices in Central Park in 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
This fall, Salinas Records (Swearin', Radiator Hospital) will be releasing a 4-track tribute 7" to lo-fi pioneers Guided by Voices by four bands who have taken influence from the genre GBV helped create. The 7" will feature Screaming Females, Waxahatchee, Swearin', and Upset (the new group from Vivian Girls/Best Coast's Ali Koehler, Kickball Katy, Jenn Prince, and Hole's Patty Schemel). The tracklist and album artwork (which appears to be the work of Screaming Females' Marissa Paternoster) are below.
Screaming Females' singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster (it's her birthday today, btw) also just filmed a BV Studio Sessions video with her solo project, Noun. Noun's tour with Modern Hut hits NYC on 8/9 at Death by Audio with Shellshag, Worriers, and Mal Blum.
Swearin' also have upcoming shows, including two in NYC. The first of those is a free House of Vans show (8/15) with Kid Dynamite, Joyce Manor, and Red Hare. RSVP (required) for that show is open. The second is on 9/3 at Bowery Ballroom with Kathleen Hanna's new band The Julie Ruin. That one is sold out.
GBV tribute artwork and tracklist below...
by Klaus Kinski
For those keeping score, your man Klaus has played drums in many many unpopular and unsignable bands since 1991. I've dragged my 1964 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl 4 piece kit (2nd rack tom not shown) with 1965 Gretsch snare (all of which were purchased in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts for $175) from one end of the earth (the Northeast) to the other (the Midwest mostly) hundreds of times. 'Tis a gorgeous kit, in phenomenal condition, and I have endured hundreds if not millions of compliments regarding it's eye-watering beauty. I am a man who appreciates a nice set of drums. And I'm a man who appreciates a man who appreciates a nice set of drums. Therefore, I am a man who appreciates this wonderful compilation video featuring the great David Letterman appreciating his various musical guest's gear, focusing primarily, but not exclusively, drums. The video, and a list of who is in it, including GBV, Feist, Beirut, James Blake, The Strokes, Mastodon, St. Vincent, and many many more, is below. Behold!
They're on a roll. The press release reads:
English Little League--the fourth album from the reunited "classic" line-up of Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos, Mitch Mitchell and Kevin Fennell--hums like angry birds along the full spectrum of rock's highways and byways (especially the byways), from rock to roll and back again. Pollard's rebus system of songwriting (sounds made visible, abstract concepts symbolized) strung like fairy lights from the opening song "Xeno Pariah" to the galvanic closer "With Glass In Foot," kettles along at full steam throughout, punctuated by the airier constructs of Tobin Sprout ("The Sudden Death of Epstein's Ways," with it's sweet/creepy emphatic refrain of "Jesus," is a particular standout). Deeper and less immediately accessible than last year's Class Clown Spots a UFO (for instance), but no less richly striated with layers of musical goo, this album is as much the work of a guild of master craftsmen as of a singular visionary genius. ELL (fookin' 'ell!) travels from hieroglyphic to hieratic smoother than a pharaoh's cartouche, and if the quadratic equation that runs through the middle of the record from "Crybaby Four Star Hotel" to "Birds" doesn't solve every problem in your life then you've got actual problems.Indeed. English Little League will be out via Fire Records on the 29th of April, 2013. Tracklist below...
The Guided By Voices project, as any fan knows, both requires and rewards effortful listening, and lazybones who dismiss the volume of Pollard's output as (basically) impossible misunderstand the care with which he assembles his dreamscapes. Whiny types will thus be dismayed to learn that Pollard has recently installed a studio in his house (first fruits can be found on "A Burning Glass," among others here), the better to transform his oneiric musings to immediate art, but converts to the clubhouse will be overcome--some will in fact faint--at the news. The plan at present is to release three Guided By Voices albums per year until the end of time, but in the world according to Robert Pollard, "plans" does not mean what it means to you and me. "Plans" to him are moving ideas caught momentarily in stasis, and subject as often to revision as to fruition. Which is to say only that you never know what the future will bring, only what the past has brought, and the past has now brought you the fourth Guided By Voices album in little more than a year. You should probably buy someone a drink to celebrate. You should definitely celebrate. Life is short. Guided By Voices is long.
by Bill Pearis
When Merge released a comprehensive retrospective CD set of Boston indie rock cult legends Big Dipper in 2008, the band reformed for a few shows. That sparked the old creative juices and four years late the band have released Crashes on the Platinum Planet, their first new album in 22 years. If you're a fan of the band's tongue-in-cheek janglepop, Big Dipper doesn't seem to be any worse for wear in 2012. You can stream the whole album below via Rdio and check out the video for album standout "Robert Pollard" below. And speaking of, the Guided by Voices frontman did the artwork to the album, which is above.
Big Dipper are playing a few shows early next year with Fountains of Wayne singer Chris Collingswood, and those dates include an NYC stop at Mercury Lounge on February 9. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (12/7) at noon.
All Big Dipper tour dates are listed below, along with the album stream and "Robert Pollard" video.
by Klaus Kinski (and Fred Armisen)
Fred meditates on his top ten...
In my tenure as BV's tallest and prettiest contributor, I've noticed that one of the most polarizing figures we mention on here is the great Fred Armisen. It's like, any time we mention this dude all the negative-Nancys crawl out of the wood work. Oh well... You know what they say ('they' being people who use terrible quips to express themselves); "Haters gonna hate." The reality is, Fred Armisen rules. He's one of my most favorite, funny, uber-talented oddballs in the biz. He's consistently funny on SNL, no matter how abysmal the sketch may be. His show Portlandia (which returns January 4th 2013 on IFC) is one of the funniest shows to hit the gogglebox in recent memory. And he keeps it real with small-venue residencies and club shows. Fred recently hipped us to the top 10 records of 2012 that floated his boat.
In addition to Portlandia's imminent return (many guest stars included), and the Portlandia book which is currently available, don't forget the Fred is hosting the Snow Ball Ball at the Bell (Ball) House on Sunday December 16. The show also features guest DJs Tunde Adebimpe (from TV On the Radio), Peter Hale (from Here We Go Magic) and more!
Check out Fred's 'Best of' list, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Pearl Jam at Deluna Fest 2012
Over the two hours and 15 minutes that followed, [Pearl Jam] would play 28 songs, which included two encore breaks, that spanned 21 years and nine studio albums. Two of the band's most popular cover versions, "Interstellar Overdrive" by Pink Floyd and "Baba O'Riley" by The Who, were included, while Mike McCready took the second encore's final song, the oft unintelligible "Yellow Ledbetter" into a "Star Bangled Banner" guitar solo, a la Jimi Hendrix. The crowd was, as expected, one of the two biggest of the weekend... The band played seven of the 11 tracks from its legendary debut Ten, including: "Once," "Even Flow," "Alive," "Why Go," "Black," "Oceans" and "Porch." Vedder boasted of the band's terrific relationship with one another, one that has kept it in tact for more than two decades.Of course, the third annual Deluna Festival in Pensacola, Florida wasn't just the Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam show. The first day of the festival (9/21) also featured performances from Fishbone, Band of Skulls, Ben Folds Five (who played NYC recently and play Comic Con soon), Guided By Voices (whose members have an art show next week) and more. More pictures from the first day of Deluna 2012, below...
...the festival's most memorable moment came during Gaslight Anthem's Friday set. Lead singer Brian Fallon invited Eddie Vedder onstage, suggesting that anyone that came was there to work and there would be no "phoning it in." Vedder proceeded to perform Pearl Jam's "State of Love and Trust" with Gaslight Anthem... The early festival collaboration was its most talked about and its defining moment. -[al.com]
by Bill Pearis
After busting up the gang in 2000, snarky mid-'90s piano trio Ben Folds Five reunited this year with a new album on the way and a tour, which they're on now. The tour stops at Central Park Summerstage tonight (9/14), their first NYC show in 12 years. Tickets for tonight's show are still available. BFF will also return to the NYC area for a show at Port Chester's Capitol Theatre on October 9 with Kate Miller Heidke (tickets) and a couple days later they will play opening night of New York Comic Con on October 11. Tckets for that are still available too.
Ben Folds Five, best known for their ballad "Brick" back when people still held up lighters at shows (1997), have a new album, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, which is their first since 1999 and is out next week (9/18). The record was funded via Pledgemusic and is a little mellower than the bouncy, fuzzy pop of their Clinton-era singles like "Underground" and "The Battle of Who Could Care Less" but his sense of humor seems intact. You can listen to tracks at SPIN, TeamCoco and Rolling Stone.
Ben Folds Five are also playing Florida's Deluna Fest which happens September 21 - 23 in Pensacola Beach, FL and also features Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Bob Mould doing Copper Blue, Diplo, Florence & the Machine, Band of Horses, and many more. Tickets for Deluna Fest are still available and full line-up is below.
A list of all Ben Folds Five dates, a few classic clips and that Deluna Fest lineup are below...