TONITE: The Gold Heart Mountaintop Queen Directory


Employing the same Buckeye ingenuity that keeps the Goodyear blimp afloat, Robert Pollard can polish a turd with Budweiser until it shines with 24-carat radiance, transmuting a tossed-off, six-pack idea into a classic rock artifact or at the very least a beguiling no-fi curio. As captain of the drunken boat that is Guided By Voices, Pollard built a cottage industry by churning out cheap, miniature melodic masterpieces with all the fidelity of a ham radio broadcast. He does it with volume  — by which I mean quantity not loudness. As such, the discography remains daunting if only for its sheer scope  — upwards of 40 albums when you include solo albums and one-off side projects — but GBV beginners are well advised to begin with Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes and work forward. Philadelphia has smiled on Guided By Voices ever since the band broke from the twilight obscurity of Dayton some 17 years ago, packing the Khyber time and again to watch Pollard baptize himself with Bud and belch out the greatest songs never heard — and for one beery moment everything still seemed possible. Which is why tonight will invariably remind us why we fell in love with the mythology of scissor-kicking, beer-pounding, ex-teacher old dudes building four-track masterpieces in the basements of the Midwest all those years ago. — JONATHAN VALANIA


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