With the release of the new Boston Spaceships album and Guided By Voices Suitcase 3, one can't help but wonder what Pollard is doing. The answer is sort of the same stuff... Pollard has been writing and recording since the demise of the DIY deities Guided By Voices. GBV formed in 1983 and beginning with 1992's Propeller, began a recording a slew of incredible albums on 4-track. Alien Lanes, Bee Thousand, Vampire on Titus, and Mag Earwhig were the perfect Indie albums to couple with the 1990s. Pollard, who wrote most of the songs, infused GBV the aurora of a silent majority of regulars.

Even as late of 2001, the release of Isolation Drills could be considered one of their best. Bob's 1:30 - 2:15 minute gems usually found their place on an album of 15-25 tracks. Between '83 and today, he has released 16 with GBV, 13 solo projects, and 26 under other banners. This massive mesh of interlocking projects featured some of GBV, the man in particular was Tobin Sprout with whom he released two Airport 5 albums. Bob can write songs. The 1998 documentary Watch Me Jumpstart features a interview with Bob and his brother explaining how he used to come up with songs when he was younger, and they're in the burger joint (probably in Dayton, as Pollard is a notorious home-body) where Bob can recall it word for word. Boston Spaceships is just the latest of this phenomenon. Already on their 4th release, entitled Zero to 99, it seems each new project is just a way of writing Bob's legacy.

Zero to 99 discusses some facet of an older man reminiscing on beautiful 90s slacking...or perhaps looking ahead to a cloudy future. The beauty isn't in the meaning which you get instantly, its usually veiled in a strange character (Pluto the Skate) or some extended awkward metaphor (Godless). Zero flows in and out of strange pops, Let it Rest For a While has chunky, reverbed guitar and floating vocals where as Trahsed Aircraft Baby begins with a cheesey sample which seems just sewn on the front end, ready to fall off. Godless is a solitary, clean bard's tale. Track after track, you can see the seams in the album. Did he write this group on a rainy day? Had he just got done listening to the Cars for a day? Or perhaps he just got over a recording session running late into the night and had to go out for beer. Regardless, it is still chock full of lo-fi sounds, ranging from trumpet to loosed-cord...or (chord) guitars and tin-foil headed snare drums.

One could never fathom how many songs he's actually thought up because we only get to experience those he's recorded.
Even Dylan needed a backing band eventually. Randy Newman wrote about the good old days in Ohio. Leonard Cohen's returned, far from his golden years. And you can pretty much always find Bowie. Bob Pollard has certainly joined the ranks.


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