Guided by Voices prep 25th Anniversary edition of ‘Alien Lanes,’ share ‘Watch Me Jumpstart’ documentary
Guided by Voices are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their classic Alien Lanes with a special edition of the album. "We were fearless at the time we recorded Alien Lanes," writes Robert Pollard in a new essay on album. "That's why it bristles with insane energy and confidence. We were still riding the high accolades of Bee Thousand and probably should have succumbed to the critical pressure of a worthy follow-up. Instead we had, in our megalomaniacal view, mastered the instant gratification machine known as the 4-track and began recording song after song." You can read the whole thing below. This new edition is pressed on blue, green and red multicolored vinyl, in a nod to the drumhead featured on the album cover, and if you pre-order it via Matador, it comes with a GBV keyring / bottle opener, based on an original 1995 design. A picture of that very cool and handy bottle opener, and a stream of the album, is below.
Along with the announcement, Guided by Voices have shared a newly remastered print of Banks Tarver's 1996 documentary Watch Me Jumpstart, and you can watch that below as well.
Alien Lanes is the first release in Matador Records' "Revisionist History" reissue series that will see a couple other 1995 records get special editions: Pavement's Wowee Zowee, Yo La Tengo's Electro-Pura, Chavez's Gone Glimmering, Mary Timony's Mountains, and Bailter Space's Wammo. Stay tuned for details on those.
Guided by Voices' most recent album is Surrender Your Poppy Field, which came out in February, and will surely not be their last for 2020.
We were fearless at the time we recorded Alien Lanes. That's why it bristles with insane energy and confidence. We were still riding the high accolades of Bee Thousand and probably should have succumbed to the critical pressure of a worthy follow-up. Instead we had, in our megalomaniacal view, mastered the instant gratification machine known as the 4-track and began recording song after song with titles like "Cuddling Bozo's Octopus", "My Valuable Hunting Knife", "Pimple Zoo" and "After the Quake (Let's Bake a Cake)".
The door had been opened for us to throw out as many weird ass ideas as we were capable of and we did. We even thought we were starting to look cooler and decided cool enough to have the entire back cover be a photograph of us in the basement looking pseudo intellectually laid back and stoned with long hair, stars and stripe gym shoes and a box of Tide in the background.
Our friend Kim thought the album was too bombastic. Too frenetic and difficult to digest. I agreed. We were proud to be putting out our first album on Matador and cock strutted accordingly. It cost us $10 to make. It's worth a million. I personally think it's better than B-1000 (but not by much). There are two different camps of GBV fans to argue and debate.
God bless 1995 and open hearted record labels like Matador (and Scat before them) for allowing bands like us, with the preferred limited resources, to remove the constraints and pre-conceived notions of the more industry-minded constituents who would have much preferred we destroy the cassette master of Alien Lanes in the better interest of sound manufacturing and what's more agriculturally consumable. It's better to leave the farm than to continue plodding through the cow shit.”