Guided by Voices – An Earful O’Wax
Get Happy!! Records, 1993
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
My obsession with GBV, if you know me you will know, runs long and deep. So, as I’m preparing to move out of this house, it’s quite appropriate that the last records I will cover at this station (i.e. the one with the bed and the Down by Law poster and the red walls) are my GBV records. Fact: I have closed 75% of the semester-end radio shows I’ve had in the last 3 years with a Guided by Voices set stretching 20 minutes to 2 hours. I’m sure the last song I want to hear before I die is “Don’t Stop Now.” Anyway, unlike the compilation rule I made for Bob Dylan, in which comps go at the end, given that this is sort of a best-of their early stuff pre-Propeller, it should come first. The first time I ever seriously listened to anything pre-Propeller was when Chris Clark forced me to listen to “Liar’s Tale” and “Crutch Came Slinking” because he has the box-set of their first five albums (and, I might add, is in a completely dilapidated state and makes me cry every time I see the discs lying about on his floor). Anyway, a whole new world opened up. Bob Pollard hasn’t quite found his footing, but he’s got some goddamned jams. “Liar’s Tale” is on this one, thank god. As are other jams like “Sometimes I Cry,” “Pendulum,” “Captain’s Dead,” “The Great Blake Street Canoe Race” and “Navigating Flood Regions.” Apparently, this record (which was only released in Germany) was a hot item when it came out, as the first five GBV records were not yet available. It’s missing most of my favorite early GBV tracks, like “Drinker’s Peace,” “Trap Soul Door,” “Crutch Came Slinking,” “Blatant Doom Trip,” and the gorgeous (yes, gorgeous) “Paper Girl.” Sad. But oh well, there are a few jams on here, and a few I never knew existed.