TONITE: In Bob We Trust

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. The recently re-activated ‘Classic Line-Up’ — Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos, Kevin Fennell and Pollard — has been cranking them out with Octomom-ish fecundity. The just-out Class Clown Spots A UFO, which brings them to the Troc tonight, comes on the heels of late last year’s Let’s Go Eat The Factory, and will be followed up with yet another GBV LP in the fall. Philadelphia has smiled on Guided By Voices ever since the band broke from the twilight obscurity of Dayton some 18 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


RELATED: Mr. Phawker Goes To Washington