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-   -   Guided By Voices (https://www.musicbanter.com/indie-alternative/36608-guided-voices.html)

Molecules 01-24-2009 02:23 PM

Guided By Voices
 

Think these guys deserve a thread as they are my top artist on Last.fm by quite a margin (mostly accrued over a one-month GBV binge).

For those who have no idea who they are, GBV were yet another great band from Ohio who put out sh*tloads of albums and played sh*tloads of gigs between 1983 and 2004; fronted by former schoolteacher and garage rocker Robert Pollard.
Their music is basically idiosyncratic indie rock, and they are credited with defining the lo-fi aesthetic with their cheaply-recorded but deeply affecting records whilst having a reputation as a formidable live presence comparable to the Who in their prime.


Their finest period of the classic line-up (where they first gained real press attention) is generally thought to be the mid-90's with the albums Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand being hallmarks of (real) American indie rock music.

They achieved only limited commercial success (specifically with their latter-day major label single 'Teenage FBI') and their later albums resorted to a 'proper' studio sound that, whilst yielding some great songs IMO, lacked the intimate resonance of their earlier work that had intrigued so many people.

I think they are particularly noteworthy for a totally unpretentious, binge-drinking, chain-smoking attitude to make enjoyable 60's-inflected rock music. :love:


Roygbiv 01-24-2009 03:06 PM

I love the **** out of Bee Thousand.
How's Alien Lanes? I keep hearing it's just as good if not better.

Molecules 01-24-2009 03:13 PM

the age old conundrum of Alien Lanes vs. Bee Thousand... Alien Lanes was the first one I got but I could never choose, they're like sister albums really. I am PM happy by the way people

Roygbiv 01-24-2009 03:29 PM

Please, grant me my wish - let me listen to Alien Lanes.

Rainard Jalen 01-24-2009 03:39 PM

um... why in blue hell was there not a thread on this band already?

bee thousand is full of all sorts of awesomeness and let there be no doubt regarding that!

Sneer 01-24-2009 03:49 PM

Could you pm both of those albums Molecules? I notice you mentioned them when talking about Pavement

Molecules 01-24-2009 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainard Jalen (Post 584289)
um... why in blue hell was there not a thread on this band already?

bee thousand is full of all sorts of awesomeness and let there be no doubt regarding that!

I know, it's a fresh kind of madness but we have a thread now.

Has anyone heard the pre-1993 stuff? particularly their 80's output which had a much cleaner, janglier and at times post-punky sound; the closest sound I can approximate them to at this stage is maybe early REM? (when they were cool).

Here are some of my faves from Devil Between My Toes ('87)
Old Battery
Hank's Little Fingers

and Sandbox ('87)
Long Distance Man
I Certainly Hope Not

sorry for the overload I am ever so slightly bored

Stamper 01-25-2009 01:17 AM

Bee Thousand is a pretty decent album, favorite would be Hardcore UFOs. I've always really liked Pollard's voice, I think that the low production sound somehow strangely compliments it, but I always thought it was funny that their sound quality was better live then on their records.

GravitySlips 01-25-2009 08:57 PM

For some reason I've still not heard anything by them except Bee Thousand, even though it's an utterly excellent album. I have loads more as well, waiting to be listened to. I'll do it tomorrow.

Molecules 01-25-2009 09:21 PM

Oh christ, how did I forget to mention Propeller? Not my favourite at first but it really grew on me. Easily up there with the Magic Two. If anybody needs kitting out with GBV's excellent selection of EP's from this era sling me a PM, innit.

http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/ross/Propeller.jpg

Roygbiv 01-25-2009 10:17 PM

I'm excited to listen to Propeller. Alien Lanes far exceeded my expectations.

28 song sin 40 minutes!

dirkmcquickley 01-27-2009 04:27 AM

I've got that best of that was out a few years ago. Really good stuff.

FireInCairo 01-27-2009 04:37 AM

Hey molecules, they sound great.
could you please pm a link?

Rubber 01-27-2009 11:57 PM


ngob 03-05-2009 06:11 PM

mho
 
I am forcing myself to listen to Bee Thousand at this very moment. I get the feeling that I am supposed to like Guided By Voices because I like "alternative rock". But their top tags are "indie rock" and lo-fi.
last.fm/tag/lo-fi/artists (I don't have enough posts to make links). Beck rocks. Ween too. I can listen to those Elephant 6 bands. Beat Happening is good. I just can't stand the top two lo-fi bands (Pavement is #1).
The other bands have more interesting influences, some folk, some blues, some twee. But what influenced Guided By Voices? Wikipedia says:
"Guided by Voices' work shows influence from post-British Invasion garage rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, punk rock and post-punk."
I actually like all of those genres and I don't see them in GBV.
I finished listening to the whole album as I wrote this. Not one song jumped out and grabbed me, except I Am a Scientist, because it was familiar.
Is this the kind of music that I have to listen to multiple times until it grows on me? Because I think I would rather spend my time exploring other music that hooks me right away, like some 70s prog or 60s psych. Or from the lo-fi genre: last.fm/music/bob%20log%20iii Bob Log III. That guy rocks.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo-fi_music Wikipedia again:
'Many artists associated with the lo-fi movement, such as Bill Callahan, or Bob Log III, have frequently rejected the use of finer recording equipment, trying to keep their sound raw instead, whereas others such as Guided by Voices and The Mountain Goats slowly moved to using professional studios.'
I guess it is just the "indie rock" that I don't like (top bands at last.fm: Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party).

ngob 03-05-2009 06:17 PM

my bad
 
I did not realize this was an Indie subforum. Now I feel like a dummy. Coming in here to hate on your music.
I didn't really know how the post was going to go until I finished writing it.

woodstockt67 03-06-2009 03:53 AM

I knew Robert pollards daughter my sister went to school with her. Can't say I ever met him though. I know they busted tale for years trying to make well on a music career. I don't think they ever made it to the mainstream, but I could be wrong about that. It depends I guess on what some call mainstream.

Rainard Jalen 03-06-2009 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ngob (Post 608167)
I am forcing myself to listen to Bee Thousand at this very moment. I get the feeling that I am supposed to like Guided By Voices because I like "alternative rock". But their top tags are "indie rock" and lo-fi.
last.fm/tag/lo-fi/artists (I don't have enough posts to make links). Beck rocks. Ween too. I can listen to those Elephant 6 bands. Beat Happening is good. I just can't stand the top two lo-fi bands (Pavement is #1).
The other bands have more interesting influences, some folk, some blues, some twee. But what influenced Guided By Voices? Wikipedia says:
"Guided by Voices' work shows influence from post-British Invasion garage rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, punk rock and post-punk."
I actually like all of those genres and I don't see them in GBV.
I finished listening to the whole album as I wrote this. Not one song jumped out and grabbed me, except I Am a Scientist, because it was familiar.
Is this the kind of music that I have to listen to multiple times until it grows on me? Because I think I would rather spend my time exploring other music that hooks me right away, like some 70s prog or 60s psych. Or from the lo-fi genre: last.fm/music/bob%20log%20iii Bob Log III. That guy rocks.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo-fi_music Wikipedia again:
'Many artists associated with the lo-fi movement, such as Bill Callahan, or Bob Log III, have frequently rejected the use of finer recording equipment, trying to keep their sound raw instead, whereas others such as Guided by Voices and The Mountain Goats slowly moved to using professional studios.'
I guess it is just the "indie rock" that I don't like (top bands at last.fm: Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party).

That you like "alternative rock" but not "indie rock" makes no sense at all. Indie rock IS "alternative" rock - hence, the usual tag "indie/alternative". Me thinks what you actually like is mainstream rock - particularly, the sort that has unfortunately been wrongly attributed with the adjective "alternative".

GBV is the quintessential lo-fi indie pop/rock. If you were expecting The Killers and Bloc Party, then you came to the wrong band. If you were looking for something a little more profound, unusual and interesting, then you found it. Doesn't mean you have to like it or anything. But it's cutting edge music, going way beyond the kind of mundanity exhibited by Incubus, the Foo Fighters and Nickelback.

Pornographie Nouveau 03-06-2009 11:02 AM

Only like Bee Thousand. IF I WAITED FOR YOU TO SIGNIFY THE MOVES THAT I SHOULD MAKE :tramp:

I've heard Propellor and Alien Lanes too. Meh.

ngob 03-06-2009 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainard Jalen (Post 608515)
That you like "alternative rock" but not "indie rock" makes no sense at all. Indie rock IS "alternative" rock - hence, the usual tag "indie/alternative". Me thinks what you actually like is mainstream rock - particularly, the sort that has unfortunately been wrongly attributed with the adjective "alternative".

GBV is the quintessential lo-fi indie pop/rock. If you were expecting The Killers and Bloc Party, then you came to the wrong band. If you were looking for something a little more profound, unusual and interesting, then you found it. Doesn't mean you have to like it or anything. But it's cutting edge music, going way beyond the kind of mundanity exhibited by Incubus, the Foo Fighters and Nickelback.

I guess I should have been more specific when I said 'alternative rock', since that label encompasses practically everything. I was thinking more in the vein of Pixies and Pavement. I like those bands. I do not like any band listed in your post.

Post-punk is probably under alternative rock too, and GBV was supposedly influenced by that movement. I am listening to bands like The Sound, The Chameleons and Wire. They all have a musical hook that I don't hear in GBV. I just find it boring and I don't think I can get over that.

Brad Stengel 05-10-2009 10:40 PM

I've been on a huge Alien Lanes kick lately. The melodies are delectible. Alien Lanes is like if Pavement packed their terrific melodies in 30 1 minute songs as opposed to somewhat normal length rock songs.

But yeah, Alien Lanes is quickly becoming one of my favorites I've discovered this year.

shoegazer 05-11-2009 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ngob (Post 608603)
I guess I should have been more specific when I said 'alternative rock', since that label encompasses practically everything. I was thinking more in the vein of Pixies and Pavement. I like those bands. I do not like any band listed in your post.

Post-punk is probably under alternative rock too, and GBV was supposedly influenced by that movement. I am listening to bands like The Sound, The Chameleons and Wire. They all have a musical hook that I don't hear in GBV. I just find it boring and I don't think I can get over that.

Guided By Voices make great music. It might be that you need another listen or two. Or you're looking for people who have a more poppy sound and have hooks that are more evident.

anticipation 07-01-2009 07:47 AM

BUMP:

I'm just getting into these guys, and Alien Lanes is already one of my favorite albums of all time. I'd been looking for something like this for a while, and everyone keeps telling me how great Bee Thousand is, but I prefer Alien Lanes.

siamesedream 07-03-2009 01:17 AM

I got into this band not too long ago and they've definitely become one of my favorite bands due to having a catalog of albums where nearly every one is really great - but I've discovered I'm very much in the minority of GBV fans, my personal favorite album is Do The Collapse, which alot of people seem to hate. Also it seems I'm one of the few fans who loves ANY of their albums other than the trilogy of Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under The Bushes Under the Stars

Bee Thousand is easily the most essential and best album they ever did though, and the one I would recommend. It's got a vibe about it that just screams "this is one of those life changing records I'm hearing right now"...to those new to it: the first time you hear it, the unprofessional (to put it lightly) recording quality can be somewhat off-putting, but then a day or two passes and so many hooks are floating around your head, it just takes over you. It's a grower, but it grows quickly and once it does you're hooked forever.

Brad Stengel 07-05-2009 02:17 AM

If anyone was wondering where I've been for all these weeks, I'm constantly listening to GBV until I waste away.

anticipation 07-05-2009 08:41 PM

can anyone hook me up with Propeller and Vampire on Titus, plz?


(mediafire/rapidshare preferred, but whatever works is fine :))

Spidersaretoads 07-08-2009 02:26 PM

I'm a big fan of Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes, and after that the albums are hit or miss for me....The best of Jill hives is an amazing song though

Roygbiv 07-13-2009 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by siamesedream (Post 697541)
I got into this band not too long ago and they've definitely become one of my favorite bands due to having a catalog of albums where nearly every one is really great - but I've discovered I'm very much in the minority of GBV fans, my personal favorite album is Do The Collapse, which alot of people seem to hate. Also it seems I'm one of the few fans who loves ANY of their albums other than the trilogy of Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under The Bushes Under the Stars

Bee Thousand is easily the most essential and best album they ever did though, and the one I would recommend. It's got a vibe about it that just screams "this is one of those life changing records I'm hearing right now"...to those new to it: the first time you hear it, the unprofessional (to put it lightly) recording quality can be somewhat off-putting, but then a day or two passes and so many hooks are floating around your head, it just takes over you. It's a grower, but it grows quickly and once it does you're hooked forever.

That's a fantastic summary of Bee Thousand.

Odyshape 11-22-2009 04:35 PM

Guided By Voices
 
What a wonderful band, my L.A teacher recomemnded them to me and I have been addicted to them since. I only have Bee Thousand however, it seems almost perfect to me, like a summary of 80s music I like with a bit of garage put into the mix. Anyone like them?

Urban Hat€monger ? 11-22-2009 04:38 PM

http://www.musicbanter.com/indie-alt...ed-voices.html

simplephysics 11-22-2009 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger (Post 771060)

ha! fast, but not fast enough.

Urban Hat€monger ? 11-22-2009 04:42 PM

:(

Odyshape 11-22-2009 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger (Post 771060)

thanks a bunch urban

Odyshape 11-22-2009 04:49 PM

so is Alien Lanes most like Bee Thousand?

Sneer 11-22-2009 04:53 PM

Yea they're similiar, though i think i'm in a minority who think Alien Lanes is actually better than Bee Thousand

Odyshape 11-22-2009 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stu (Post 771073)
Yea they're similiar, though i think i'm in a minority who think Alien Lanes is actually better than Bee Thousand

I sure am happy to find this band, I was just starting to get bored of crass and haven't had much to listen to lately.

loveissucide 11-22-2009 07:28 PM

Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes are outstanding
Real shame the rest of his discography is so hit-and-miss though.

Odyshape 11-23-2009 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loveissucide (Post 771167)
Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes are outstanding
Real shame the rest of his discography is so hit-and-miss though.

King **** and the golden Boys is pretty awesome too

music_phantom13 11-23-2009 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stu (Post 771073)
Yea they're similiar, though i think i'm in a minority who think Alien Lanes is actually better than Bee Thousand

Yes, you definitely are :laughing:

But those two aren't the only good ones (not directed at you Stu). Propeller, Vampire on Titus, ]Tonics & Twisted Chasers, and Mag Earwhig are definitely worth checking out if you like those two albums. Isolation Drills was pretty good too. I've never listened to any of their pre-Propeller or post Isolation Drills stuff, that's a situation I should probably remedy immediately. Because typing this up, I realize out of the 9 albums they released in those 10 years, I like 7 of them. In fact I'm going to go get the rest now. I'd recommend Propeller next though, if you're looking for more, and work your way forward in time from there. You could probably stick Isolation Drills in there second too.

TheCunningStunt 07-17-2010 06:36 AM

Bump. :D

I was just wondering what's the best GBV album to go for? I listened to Bee Thousand and thought it was okay, but I was wondering if they have better/others that are must listens.


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