Still in the record store, even after a daydream about 1978, and having gone out on a limb with the Fall, I hedged my bets with something that was certified Nutboy-Approved.
Alien Lanes by Guided By Voices, which Nutboy likes more than Bee Thousand (thought by many to be their best).
For a while, I wasn't hearing it, but Nutboy has this weird way of being right just when I’m tempted to start feeling superior.
Bee Thousand itself is sort of a pseudo “great album” - the radically lo-fi sound, the sloppy execution, the great songs - and at first Alien Lanes sounds like a photocopy of it. (I was even playing “match the song to it’s counterpart on BT.) So it’s great twice removed. Except it doesn’t have any tunes as memorable as “Tractor Rape Chain”, “Queen of Cans and Jars” or “Mincer Ray”. Even so, I could see how someone would like it if they heard it first, but not otherwise.
But now, two months later, I’m warming up to it. The more I listen, the less it sounds like its predecessor. And there’s something to be said for a record with 28(!) songs (in 41 minutes!), very few of which are duds. There are still the annoying parts - like the snoring that is a prominent part of “Ex-Supermodel” - but it wouldn’t be GBV without that. And while I could complain that, in theory, such short songs can cut off the momentum just as it would normally get going, in practice, it turns out that the songs finish just about when you’d want them to.
So, all in all, not great, not pseudo great. Just pretty damned good. B+
2013 So Far:
2. Tame Impala
4. Guided by Voices
5. Iron & Wine
6. Phil Ochs