New Tunes from Guided By Voices

Guided By Voices is certainly an acquired taste for many, but if you listen to this track, you’re going to have to recognize the songwriting gifts of Robert Pollard and Co. You can find the song on a 7″, as well as the new LP Class Clown Spots a UFO, which hits stores on June 12th.  In my mind, this is perhaps one of the best songs the group’s written.  For one, there’s a good solid length (something often lacking from the group) and Bob’s voice sounds remarkable here.  It’s about as simple as a pop ballad as you can get, and I’m loving it!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Guided-By-Voices-Class-Clown-Spots-A-UFO-New-Version.mp3]

Download:Guided By Voices – Class Clown Spots A UFO [MP3]

Interesting Lo-Fi Jam from Italian Horn

Italian Horn is the musical moniker of NYC writer Anthony Pappalardo. Dais Records just announced they’ll be releasing his Red Affair 12″, which is limited to only 300 vinyl copies, so head HERE to pick it up. It’s interesting that Robert Pollard produced the cover art collage for this album, as you can see hints of old GBV in the track that we’re featuring today.  This one’s a little more gritty in terms of the overall production, but you can sense that feeling of just writing a track solely on the evolution of a single melody.  I’ve been digging this today, so I figured I’d share.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Red_Affair.mp3]

Download: Italian Horn – Red Affair [MP3]

More New Music from Guided By Voices

Everyone has been talking about the reunion of the “classic” line-up for Guided by Voices since their return to the road last year.  And while the January physical release of Let’s Go Eat the Factory Out is still a bit off, the band is pushing out another new single for your ears.  This new number is a bit slower than the previous single, but Pollard’s vocals definitely have that tone that made him such a memorable frontman from the beginning.  If you’re a true fan, you’re probably on board; if not, you can still get into this track, and band, before the new album hits stores.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/01-Guided-By-Voices-Doughnut-For-A-Snowman.mp3]

Download: Guided By Voices – Doughnut For A Snowman [MP3]

New Rocker from Classic Guided by Voices

As we’ve all certainly heard, the classic line-up of Guided By Voices is back together, having recorded new material.  I was fortunate to catch the group on their classic return, and they sounded just as I had hoped, if only a wee bit older.  The band will be releasing Lets Go Eat the Factory at the first of the year, but for now you can grab a listen to this track that went up on Matador Records, the label that will be putting out this track as a 7″ on November 22nd.  Whether you’ve liked the band for years, or just recently caught on, surely you see the greatness in this.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Guided_by_Voices_-_The_Unsinkable_Fats_Domino.mp3]

Download: Guided By Voices – The Usinkable Fats Domino [MP3]

Boston Spaceships – Let It Beard

Rating: ★★★½☆

How does one review something written by Robert Pollard?  You know there are going to be some amazing tunes, but you know there will probably be a few that you can toss away, especially when there’s 26 tracks.  But, in the case of Let It Beard, the latest release by Boston Spaceships, the majority of the trucks are solid, and you’ll hardly find any throw-away tunes.

“Blind 20-20” kind of gave me a start, building up towards its machine-gun drumming.  Bob’s entry changed the dynamic of the track, and when he hits that renown Pollard pitch, it’s a great moment–all before the song subsides into itself. Clearly, Boston Spaceships is still under the songwriting of Pollard, as evidenced by “Tourist UFO.”  Sure, the guitar has that angular chug, psychedelically walking in and out of the track, but the voice of Bob dominates in the forefront.  It’s incredible thinking about his persona (the drinking, the shows, etc) and his ability to still pull off warm vocals that grab even the most casual fan.

The construction of “Make a Record for Lo-Life” grabbed me immediately, like riding up and down on some sort of indie rock roller-coaster.  Crashing cymbals and chugging guitars give a bit of bounce to the track, and we’ll call the solo in the middle a bit of a racing moment on straight-away. Of course, song construction, and self-importance might account for the weaker moments on Let It Beard. “I’ll Make It Strong (for you),” for instance, just doesn’t hold up to the energetic tracks.  Like several of the tracks present, they appear to come from a different, almost unplugged guitar sound, taking a bit of the bite out.

Still, even with moments that come off softer, slower moments do have the ability to win out on this latest Boston Spaceships effort.  “Christmas Girl” sticks out, as the guitar itself begins slow, then almost seems muted, but again, Pollard’s voice has this capacity to propel the song into this blissful pop moment.  It’s quite possibly the standout moment of the entire record, if I had to pick one (I mean, there are horns!). Similarly, “No Steamboats” sort of trickles along, begging to be pushed to the limit of maximum rock n’ roll, but it never quite goes there, not until the end.  You’ve got to appreciate appropriate use of restraint.

In the end, Let It Beard is a mixed bag of various touches of Robert Pollard’s legacy.  While a great deal of the tracks have Boston Spaceships focusing on a more raucous garage sound, there’s still elemental dabbling in the studio with visible “lost sounds” tossed in just for the sake of it.  There’s just something about listening to anything penned by Pollard that eventually finds its way into your soul, haunting you passionately, secretly whispering for you to skip this track, love the next one, repeat that one, and then go back through it all over again.  It’s a sort of magic most people wish they had in their songwriting, but so few seem to possess.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ChristmasGirl.mp3]

Download: Boston Spaceships – Christmas Girl [MP3]

Guided By Voices @ East Side Drive-In (9/30)

Date 9/30/10
Location East Side Drive In
Doors 6pm
Tickets $25 @ Frontgate

So some band called Guided by Voices is playing at the East Side Drive-In(Fader fort from SXSW) on Thursday evening in Austin.  I hear that they are pretty decent or something so I suggest you check it out if you have the time.  Sweet indie/l0-fi band Times New Viking will also be on hand providing the opening support.  In all seriousness folks, the show seems to have some tickets still available and they are relatively cheap for such a big band.  I’d recommend getting to the venue early if you want a good spot.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/08-echos-myron.mp3]

New Music from Capstan Shafts

A few years ago someone somewhere told me that Capstan Shafts would be right up my alley because they had the whole Guided by Voices quality.  It’s true, and you can’t really complain with anyone who makes bedroom recordings, or in that style, sound really interesting and worthwhile.  So here we are, and its time for the new CS album, Revelation Skirts, to come out on August 24th.  You can label me excited.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/capstanshafts-quietwars.mp3]

Download: Capstan Shafts – Quiet Wars [MP3]

New Tunes from The Octagon

octagon1webOnce again New York hits right at my heart, now offering me the great sounds of The Octagon. They’ve released their latest album, Warm Love and Cool Dreams Forever, on Serious Business Records, but I have a feeling not too many people have heard much from this group yet, but that should change soon.  The group has the ferociousness of old punk tunes with a lot of lo-fi tendencies, which might recall a little bit of Guided by Voices.  You can even grab a free EP from the group with several B-Sides HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/04-Radio-Days.mp3]

Download: The Octagon – Radio Days [MP3]

FTC – Guided by Voices

gbvRecently I was reading a book from the 33 and 1/3 Series on Bee Thousand. It was perfect timing because everything else lately had seemed a bit stale, so I went back and played the album.  Over and over again, it reveals new sounds to me, just as the band’s output does for most listeners.  It’s great to see that Bob Pollard, sand Guided by Voices,  is still trucking along, releasing new albums to this day, but for those of you who missed out on the genius of this man and his band, I suggest that you go revisit the entire catalogue.  Here’s a little old school, straight off of Bee Thousand.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/08-echos-myron.mp3]
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