25 August 2009

I May Be In Over My Head On This One

Day 7
So, this is it. I have listened to this album for seven days in a row, and more importantly I tried writing about it for seven days in a row which is a feat that is at least slightly impressive since this is the first time that I have been able to execute a several part series from start to finish. 
I finished reading Sellers' Perfect From Now On, and while the last five chapters are all about GBV I still feel slightly empty-handed. Yeah, he got to hang out with Robert Pollard and that's real cool, but I feel like Sellers never really expounds upon why he loves GBV so much. I mean, he quotes song lyrics and he talks about how he listens to them all the time and he talks about scouring internet message boards in order to talk about GBV even more and he talks about searching eBay for bootlegs and concert t-shirts but he never really says "I love GBV because...". (Writer's Note: The book is really funny, and I would recommend it to anyone for any reason.) 
Sellers calls Pollard a genius for making Bee Thousand, and the internets still revere this album as being a lo-fi masterpiece. I'm hesitant to call anyone a genius other than Bill Murray or Hunter S. Thompson so I'm trying to refrain from calling this record the work of a genius. One thing that does deserve commending is the fact that all this week at work, songs from this album kept popping into my head. I was digging a hole today, and out of nowhere I was singing "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" to myself. I was humming "Gold Star For Robot Boy" while I had my usual lunch of iced tea and cigarettes. "Echos Myron" crept into my head twice today, and I didn't mind either time. 
After a week, the only conclusion that I feel comfortable making is the fact that Guided By Voices is awesome. I think that it's really that simple. Is this a cop out? Well, yes and no. It is in the sense that I promised to deliver, and I clearly haven't. But at the same time, it's not because this album really is special and awesome. It's awesome because it doesn't sound like an album is really supposed to sound, but rather it sounds the way Bob Pollard wanted it to. It's special because it was made in 1994, and yet it still sounds fresh and unique even in these tumultuous times of 2009. In the future, when the world has exploded within itself and the next generation is hard at work recreating the internet and the plant, these cats will need music to listen to and Bee Thousand is one of the albums that they should be listening to. They would probably be best off if they just listen to Guided By Voices exclusively, but that may be asking a lot so let's just agree that they should listen to this album so that there's still room to listen to the Pixies because that's another band that the future should listen to. At the risk of sounding redundant and rehashing everything that I have already said, I am going to stop. This album is excellent, and is easily in the top 10 of best albums that I have ever heard. It makes me smile in ways that an album never has before. I sympathize with Sellers in the sense, that now I feel compelled to talk to everyone I know about this album. I want to shout from the rooftops that GBV is one of the most meaningful bands my ears have ever heard. (Writer's Note: I said "one of the most", not "the most. There are a few other bands that would rank higher. I mean, shit, I really like this album/band but I'm not going full bore into fanaticism.) This was good times, and hopefully it wasn't a waste of time. (Writer's Note: I'm totally doing this again in the future with another album/band.)

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