Pollard Preps Busy 1st Quarter 2011

 

 

Guided By Voices
mainman cancels that long-overdue vacation from the business, gets cracking
again with three new releases.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

With the wildly successful Guided By Voices reunion tour
winding down – it’s set to culminate New Year’s Eve at Irving Plaza
in NYC – frontman Robert Pollard is already filling in his appointment calendar
for next year. He has announced no less than three albums due during the first
three months of 2011, including one from Lifeguards (Pollard and ex-GBV member
Doug Gillard), Mars Classroom (Pollard and Big Dipper’s Gary Waleik) and a solo
release titled Space City Kicks.

 

Here’s the scoop, from the Pollard camp:

 

 

ROBERT
POLLARD Space City Kicks
(January 18)
(Guided By Voices Inc)

Recorded as always (or at least, often) with the invaluable assistance of Todd
Tobias at his studio in Kent, Ohio, and placed in order so that it seems like
Pollard lined up all the songs at once, fired a starting pistol, and sent each
of them off at top speed in a different direction, Space City Kicks is Robert
Pollard at his loosest and most free, under which conditions he very often
produces his finest work.

 

 

LIFEGUARDS
Waving At The Astronauts

(Serious Business Records / Ernest Jenning Recording Co.)
February 15, 2011

Robert Pollard
Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices 1997-2004)

Robert Pollard and Doug Gillard of Guided By Voices are LIFEGUARDS. The two
first worked together outside of the GBV realm on the 1999 fan-classic Speak
Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Dept, which included “Do Something
Real,” the anthemic theme to Steven Soderbergh’s film Full Frontal. Their
debut release as Lifeguards, Mist King Urth emerged in 2002 on Pollard’s own
Fading Captain Series to fervent fan approval. In 2010 Pollard and Gillard
reconvened for the first time since the end of GBV to create the astounding
follow up: Waving at the Astronauts. Gillard wrote and recorded 10 complex and
beautiful instrumentals at home then sent the finished compositions off to
Pollard who graced the tracks with some of the most unforgettable melodies and
strangely poetic lyrics of his career. In May 2010, Pollard came to New York to record his
vocals with Gillard and Travis Harrison at Serious Business Music where drums
and overdubs were added and the record was mixed. From the ragged and
triumphant rock masterpiece “Paradise Is Not So Bad”, to the chugging
“Sexless Auto” and the off-kilter ramble of “What Am I”,
this is the latest gem from a songwriting team whose limits are larger than any
arena you might try and squeeze them into.

 

 

MARS
CLASSROOM The New Theory of Everything

(Happy Jack Rock Records)
March 29, 2011

Robert Pollard
Gary Waleik (Big Dipper) Robert Beeman (Pell Mell)

Robert Pollard is no stranger to Mars. As a precocious earthling, he wrote one
of his first songs about the red planet and even though Bob’s a peaceful man,
the God of War’s favorite celestial body keeps orbiting through his deep-space
consciousness (see Pinball Mars, “Queen of Mars”). Is the
constellation Ursa Major even in the same quadrant of the sky as Mars? Ask an
amateur astronomer like Gary Waleik, stellar singer-guitarist of Boston’s inimitable
purveyors of experimental pop, Big Dipper (a band that, according to hearsay,
comes in at number 20 on Mr. Pollard’s list of favorite groups. Number 19? T.
Rex). How these two astral music-makers wound up together in a classroom on the
fabled planet of little green men and came up with “The New Theory of
Everything” is anyone’s guess. Oxygen tanks? Solaris-era spacesuits? Floating
in a tin can far above the earth? However their minds melded, I’d like to see
what they left on the blackboard as they worked out their hypothesis. Given the
scope and beauty of the resulting music, it’s surely a formula for perfect
song-craft. The eleven tracks Pollard and Waleik beamed down to our humble blue
planet for Mars Classroom’s debut LP range from the irrepressibly hooky,
guitar-driven “New Theory” to the trippy moodiness of “Paint the
Rocks” and the Brit-chime riffing and dirty-sweet harmonies of “It
Had To Come From Somewhere.” The last track, an achingly languorous and
slow-burning masterpiece called “Wish You Were Young,” features
Robert Pollard’s uncanny ability to put words together that can break your
heart without plying a single sentimental cliche. The Hindi name for Mars comes
from the Sanskrit word “mangalam” meaning auspicious. It’s clear that
this music from a distant planet came together under a very good sign.

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