Monday, November 3, 2008

Robert Pollard's latest

PureMusic has been on hiatus for a while, and maybe will be for a while longer after this, but meanwhile, there's a new issue up , and I've got three reviews in it.

The one I like the best covers Robert Pollard's new project Boston Spaceships. I wrote it last summer about the first Boston Spaceships album Brown Submarine and Pollard being Pollard (and in my view a national treasure), there is already another one in the wings.

Here's the review.

BROWN SUBMARINE • Boston Spaceships

Robert Pollard is said to have 1000 songs registered to his name at BMI. He has released two multi-disc Suitcase box sets, named after the bulging valise in which he carries his demo recordings. People who want to trace his discography must master not just Guided by Voices and solo material, but dozens of semi-fictitious alter egos and hypothetical band names. You wonder how, in all the years and all the projects, he has managed not to write the same song twice...and, if you keep thinking about it, you also wonder whether he would realize it if he did.

Boston Spaceships is Pollard's newest project, a real life, flesh and blood band, whose members include ex-Decemberists drummer John Moen and frequent GBV collaborator Chris Slusarenko. It is quite good--and quite reminiscent of the great GBV records, Bee Thousand in particular. (See if you can listen to "You Satisfy Me" without hearing echoes of "Gold Star Robot Boy".) These are short, absurdly hooky songs, as casually ear-wormy as advertising jingles, but as surreal as Magritte's head-scarfed kiss. From the first slanting, sly guitars of "Winston's Atomic Bird" through the jangly, lo-fi "Go for the Exit," Brown Submarine is all fizzy pleasure.


"Go for the Exit"

If you back the site up to the reviews section you can read my other reviews, of Noa Babayof (an Israeli freak folkie) and Mudhoney.

Also, I'm reviewing this soon, but thought I would share this video by a Scottish band called The Magnificents. Their record, Year of Explorers, has apparently been out for a while in the UK, but I am just getting to it. It's really good.

The song is called "Ring Ring Oo Oo"

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