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Guided by Voices

From Academic Kids

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Bobpollard.jpg
Bob Pollard, lead singer and songwriter for Guided By Voices, drinking next to the sign that inspired the popular line from "A Salty Salute," a song about drinking.

Guided by Voices (or GbV) was a lo-fi/indie-rock band from Dayton, Ohio. Drawing from pop, prog rock, punk and British Invasion music, and with lyrics tackling hard-hitting issues such as alien abductions, cinnamon-flavored skulls, latter day saints and twilight camp fighters, Guided by Voices were a part of the American alternative rock scene from 1986 until 2004.

Over the years the band saw many personnel changes, but always maintained the presence of principal singer/songwriter Robert Pollard, a former schoolteacher.

Guided By Voices also garnered much attention for its prolificacy, with a seemingly endless stream of releases. Many songs are 30 seconds long; often they end abruptly or are intertwined with odd and homemade sound effects.

Contents

1 Guided by Voices Days
2 Selected discography
3 External links

History

Formed in Dayton, Ohio in the early 1980s, GbV released several albums on several independent record labels, and in 1994 they had a major release of Bee Thousand with Scat Records; distributed by Matador Records. The band soon signed with Matador. The next few years saw the release of Alien Lanes and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars, which, while still maintaining the lo-fi aesthetic (Alien Lanes was mostly recorded on a 4-track), saw their songwriting and performing gradually become more accessible.

Tobin Sprout was a major contributor during this period, penning a handful of songs on all the albums through 1996. Shortly after the '96 release of UTBUTS, Pollard and Sprout had a falling out that resulted in Pollard firing most of the band and starting to work with Cleveland glam rockers Cobra Verde as the new Guided by Voices backing band. The following album, 1997's Mag Earwhig, continued with the band's trademark sound, but in 1999 Pollard left Matador Records, joined TVT Records, and released Do the Collapse, a Ric Ocasek-produced album that attempted a more radio-friendly sound for Guided by Voices, yet one which did not garner significant radio airplay. Critics were kinder to 2001's Isolation Drills, due in part to producer Rob Schnapf, who was able to help the band capture their live intensity. In 2002 Guided by Voices returned to Matador and released Universal Truths and Cycles, something of a return to their lo-fi roots. 2003 saw the release of Earthquake Glue, followed by the box set Hardcore UFOs and the greatest hits compilation Human Amusements at Hourly Rates.

In 2004, Pollard announced he was discontinuing Guided By Voices [1] (http://gbv.com/2004gbvannouncement.htm) following the release of the Half-Smiles of the Decomposed LP. According to Pollard:

This feels like the last album for Guided By Voices. I've always said that when I make a record that I'm totally satisfied with as befitting a final album, then that will be it. And this is it.

Their last television appearance was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on December 2 2004. They played the single, "Everybody Thinks I'm a Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)" from the 2004 release, Half Smiles of the Decomposed. Guided By Voices played their final show at the Metro in Chicago on December 31 2004.

Though the (current incarnation of the) band has separated, Pollard continues to produce solo material. His website, www.robertpollard.net offers updates and tentative future releases. Several GbV works have future plans to be (re)-released, largely on vinyl. A 2nd box set of unreleased songs, with the working title of Suitcase II , is planned for December of 2005.

Guided by Voices Days

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Guided_By_Voices_Day_Los_Angeles.jpg
The official proclamation declaring November 12, 2004 to be Guided by Voices Day in the city of Los Angeles, CA

In 2004, during the band's final tour, many cities around the United States proclaimed a certain day to be "Guided by Voices Day" in that city. Some of them include:

Selected discography

A fairly complete Guided By Voices discography is available.

External links

Listening

Seeing

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