Guided By Voices are probably my favorite band ever, but as a 30-something divorced male that probably isn't surprising. A girl said to me once, "How come all my ex-boyfriends love Guided By Voices and beer more than me?" I wanted to reply, "Because Guided By Voices don't constantly complain about their co-workers and want to stay in and watch shit on Netflix," but I didn't.
I like GBV so much that I wasn’t even mad when they played Central Park two weeks ago and did a lot of new songs that aren't as good as the old songs I wanted to hear. I kept drinking free beer and watching dudes older than me chain smoke and fist pump while they sang the wrong words to their songs. Eventually I was buzzed enough to imagine that they played "Gold Star For Robot Boy" and that dude from the Watch Me Jumpstart documentary was in the front row mouthing the wrong words too.
Robert Pollard was wearing a purple shirt that was covered in beer and sweat by the second song and he did that thing with his hands that's kind of awkward but cool while he smoked cigarettes. I thought it was illegal to smoke in public parks but maybe not when GBV plays. He constantly referred to the crowd as kids, which was nice too since the only kids there we actual children in strollers.
My dream was to do an American beer taste test article with Guided By Voices as they were playing 4th of July weekend and they love shitty domestic beer but their publicist said they aren't doing interviews or beer reviews. He did send me this link to their new video.
Normally I like books and films where nothing happens, and nothing really happens in this video. It's just a magician sitting there getting ready to perform or something. He primps himself, combs his eyebrows and goatee, and even puts on some cologne that probably smells like that rose-scented shit that Morrissey stinks of. The song “Keep It In Motion” is one of their new album's better tracks, but since the video is based around magic I fucking hate it.
It's not uncle Bob's fault, he wouldn't even drink beer with me so how is he supposed to know that I can't stand magic. My issue with magic is that it's not real. Music is real. You can be a musician, record songs, tour, and have a career. Magic is fake, yet there is some asshole putting "magician" as his occupation on his tax form. You aren't performing magic, you're a trickster. There's a big difference between doing something cool like writing "I Am a Scientist" and 100 other great songs and just being paid to trick people. Why the fuck would anyone pay to be deceived, isn't that called fraud? You pay for fraud protection so you’re not a victim, so magic is just fucking stupid.
You can watch the video if you want, it stars Jon Glaser, who is a comedian not a real magician. I'm not even sure if he's trying to be funny or just getting ready to perform magic. Spoiler alert: nothing cool happens.
Or, instead of watching this you can buy their new album, Class Clown Spots a UFO. There are plenty of shitty fragments of songs that make the real ones catchier. There's just enough reverb, Robert Pollard's voice is more Bee Thousand than solo career, and Tobin Sprout's contributions are perfectly vulnerable and fun. In fact, you can't really properly review a GBV album until you've had it for half a year and forget about it until track 19 pops into your head and you realize it's awesome.
Go see them the next chance you get, as they could break up again, you could die, they could die, or you could have kids and constantly complain about not sleeping enough until you get a babysitter for your annual Wilco concert.