Articles Tagged: Guided by Voices

Certain Songs #563: Guided by Voices – “How’s My Drinking?”

gbv isolation Album: Isolation Drills
Year: 2001

Of course, drinking is one of those things that is all bound up in the mythology of Guided by Voices, as anybody who has ever seen Robert Pollard on stage, chugging beer after beer in between (or during) his songs would know.

So figure “How’s My Drinking” to be Pollard’s version of “Here Comes a Regular,” a slow, sad ballad that takes a deep dark look at what he might be doing to himself.

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Certain Songs #562: Guided by Voices – “Run Wild”

gbv isolation Album: Isolation Drills
Year: 2001

Just wanna to get some perspective here. Isolation Drills was the 12th studio album from Guided by Voices, not counting all of the singles, EPs, collections of ephemera and Robert Pollard solo albums that had come out in the second half of the 1990s.

So by this time, the song count was deep into the 100s, and yet, like I said yesterday, Isolation Drills might just be the best album Pollard ever released, and the an “Run Wild” is a key reason why.

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Certain Songs #561: Guided by Voices – “Glad Girls”

gbv isolation Album: Isolation Drills
Year: 2001

While Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes are always going to be sentimental favorites, the Guided by Voices album that would probably be seen as their best by any normal person would be 2001’s stellar Isolation Drills.

Starting off with the ringing roaring “Fair Touching,” Isolation Drills is where the big guitars of Mag Earwhig! meets the production values of Do The Collapse meets the crazy ass pop smarts of Alien Lanes.

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Certain Songs #560: Guided by Voices – “Things I Will Keep”

GBV Do The Collapse Album: Do The Collapse
Year: 1999

So on one hand, having abandoned the indie confines of Matador for the major-ish TVT and bringing a certified name producer whose name happened to be Ric Ocasek, Do The Collapse was clearly the Guided by Voices sellout album.

Especially since there was a whole two years between Mag Earwhig! and Do The Collapse. Gasp!

On the other hand, are you fucking kidding me? Despite the snoozy ballad “Hold On Hope,” Robert Pollard remained too idiosyncratic of a voice, his music too rooted in the past, his worldview too skewed sideways for any amount of spit and polish to breakthrough in the TRL era.

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Certain Songs #559: Guided by Voices – “Jane of the Waking Universe”

GBV mag earwhig Album: Mag Earwhig!
Year: 1997

Of course, as a transition album, Mag Earwhig! wasn’t all immaculately-recorded songs featuring razor-sharp guitar lines and multiple-part song structures.

So for every Who-like “Portable Men’s Society,” there was a short & simple “I Am Produced;” for every shiny “I Am a Tree,” there was a fuzz-pop “Jane of the Waking Universe.”

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