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. If you are new to the Pollard saga, know that he is hands-down the most gifted, beguiling and, by a wide margin, prolific songwriter of the indie-rock era. By his own count he has released upwards of 80 records, including 20+ Guided By Voices albums, 19 solo albums and countless LPs, EPs and seven-inch singles from his endless string of one-off collaborations and side projects, among them Boston Space Ships, Airport 5, Circus Devils, Acid Ranch, Lifeguards, The Moping Swans, Lexo & The Leapers, Hazzard Hot Rods and Howling Wolf Orchestra.
Pollard is a lifer. He shoots himself with rock n’ roll. The hole he digs is bottomless, but nothing else can set him free. Philadelphia has smiled on Guided By Voices ever since the band broke from the twilight obscurity of Dayton some 25 years ago, packing the Khyber time and again to watch Pollard baptize himself with Budweiser and belch out the greatest songs never heard — and for one beery moment everything still seemed possible. Which is why their marathon, three-hour, no-opener set at Union Transfer on Tuesday will invariably remind us why we fell in love with the mythology of scissor-kicking, wind-milling, power-chording, beer-pounding, ex-teacher old schoolers building four-track masterpieces in the basements of the Midwest all those years ago.
We have a pair of tix to see GBV at Union Transfer on Tuesday April 17th to give away to some lucky Phawker reader. To qualify, all you have to do is sign up for our mailing list (see right, below the masthead). Trust us, this is something you want to do. In addition to breaking news alerts and Phawker updates, you also get advanced warning about groovy concert ticket giveaways and other free swag opportunities like this one! After signing up, send us an email at PHAWKER66@GMAIL.COM telling us a much, with the words IN BOB WE TRUST in the subject line. If you are already on our mailing list, just send us an email saying as much. Either way, please include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. Along with — and this is important, could mean the difference between you going to the show or staying home and doing laundry and watching Wild Wild Country, so choose wisely — your all-time favorite Guided By Voices song. Good luck and godspeed!