It's been building up to this for a while.
Guided by Voices is finally playing 100-song set. And it's all going down on New Year's Eve 2019 in Los Angeles.
While it sounds like that should give the band plenty of room to play every and any song they damn well please, it's actually a small percentage of their catalogue, just about 20 percent of what's been released under the GBV moniker.
Of course, if you take into account all of Robert Pollards other work, which spans more like 1,600 songs, NYE 2019 will account for less than a percent of his life's work.
But there are 10 songs that they better play, or ... well, or I guess we'd just be disappointed, but still.
Here are 10 songs we're hoping to hear from GBV's massive 100-song set this New Year's Eve:
A Salty Salute
If they don't open with this then I don't know what the point of life even is. I better hear that bassline kick in right after the lights go down and Pollard chugs a Corona before belting the lyrics out.
This is how the club opens.
Sort of seems like the no brainer to ring in midnight, doesn't it?
This is definitely my go to when I tell myself I'm making a great decision despite the risk – you know, like having that one more beer at a GBV show.
Motor Away would be the perfect anthem to ring in 2020. If they don't play it, frankly, I'll be ticked.
Remember that weird time period where it seemed like Guided By Voices was going to fall in with the grunge/alternative explosion of the late '90s and suddenly become HUUUUUUUGE?
They even went as far as to sign a deal with TVT Records, the eventually-doomed label that had taken other underground acts like Nine Inch Nails and Snoop Dogg and turned them into household names.
The result was the glitzy, Ric Ocasek produced Do the Collapse.
While there's something vaguely depressing about hearing a GBV song in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode (not that we watched that show ... lol ... heh ... ) as well as the sheer hope in Pollard's eyes from that time, I don't begrudge the band for taking a crack at selling out. Hell, this is one of the hardest working musicians and bands in the history of rock, and they deserved a shot at it.
While GBV never became a major success, Pollard still makes his living from it, and I don't care if it's "too clean" or "not recorded in a basement on a tape recorder from 1984," Teenage FBI is still a great song with all the classic GBV hooks and one-liners all the stuff before it had.
I'm guessing this will make it on the setlist, as long as Pollard doesn't get too self-conscious about it.
Tractor Rape Chain
Anytime I see this song title I can't help but wonder if this song was written as a challenge. Take three random words, put them together and write a song.
Well, if anyone is up to that challenge, it's certainly Bob Pollard and co.
However it came to be, the audience better be shouting right along with Pollard as he belts the chorus:
Parallel lines on a slow decline — tractor rape chain
Better yet let's all get wet — tractor rape chain
Yes, let's all get wet indeed.
My Valuable Hunting Knife
Whether it's the rockin' version above, or the more lo-fo, slightly creepy rendition from Under the Bushes Under the Stars, this is undeniably one of the best GBV songs ever.
Go ahead, try to deny it.
See? You can't.
They'll play this one. If not, I will punch myself in the neck.
The Official Ironman Rally Song
At some point among these 100 songs, you'll need a reprieve to go a get a beer. This is a great song, but if they don't play it then you might ever get a chance to go get a beer. Because unlike the greedy band onstage, you don't get buckets of beer delivered to you as you play.
This song is a little more chilled out — although all of their songs rock live — and it's a good one to sing along with as you order another drink.
You are free, officially — to grab a beer or use the bathroom.
I Am a Tree
There was a run of albums from Guided By Voices so amazing, it's almost hard to fathom now, but Mag Earwig! fits squarely in there.
Smothered in Hugs
There's something about the chord progression in this song that is somehow extremely sad yet cathartic. For a song about hugs (there is actually no mention of hugs anywhere in the lyrics) it really strikes some deep, emotional, vulnerable spot inside of you.
It's also one of the approximately 18,000 awesome songs from Bee Thousand.
They'll play this one. Or I'll quit everything.
I Am a Scientist
Another Bee Thousand classic, it's really just a simple song about a simple scientist who simply wants to unlock his mind. There's also a nice shout out to pharmacists!
GBV better shoot us with rock and roll and play this song on NYE 2019.
A Good Flying Bird
This might be the only stretch on this list, but damn how cool would be if Tobin Sprout walked out and rocked this mofo out?
While Sprout isn't currently listed in the GBV lineup, this is the type of show he might just show up for. He's never really NOT in the band, when you think about it. And hell, the song's only like a minute long, so why not?