Six years ago, Robert Pollard decided that the time had finally come to hang his Guided By Voices jersey in the rafters, but of course not because he was in a retiring frame of mind. The Dayton Pop mastermind merely felt that the GBV brand had run its course and that it was time for him to pursue his solo path by mothballing the band concept after the release of and tour for 2004’s melancholy Half Smiles of the Decomposed and concentrate on releasing his music under his own name.
At the time, Pollard seemed to feel that it was the more mature direction, saying then, “I’m going to be 47 (and) you can’t keep doing things because you’re having a good time. Matter of fact, that’s why you might want to stop, because you’re having too good a time.”
Perhaps it was little surprise at all that Pollard continued to release records under the Circus Devils band umbrella even as he released a steady stream of Robert Pollard albums.
And perhaps it was even less of a surprise that he assembled a new band, Boston Spaceships, to frame his more raucous musical output that seemed (to him) more suited to a freewheeling gang atmosphere.
And now comes the smallest surprise of all: Robert Pollard has reunited the classic GBV 1993-96 lineup (Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos and Kevin Fennel) and is hitting the road to re-create the scuffed studio magic of Bee Thousand, Propeller, Alien Lanes and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars in live, alcohol-scorched Technisonic splendor on what is being billed as “The Hallway of Shatterproof Glass Tour.”
Originally, Pollard intended to reconvene this version of GBV solely for Matador Records' 21st anniversary celebration in Las Vegas two weeks ago, but he ultimately decided to expand it into a full-blown nationwide tour. Pollard had long contended that the only reason to reunite and tour GBV was if there was new material to present. While nothing has been announced, it’s conceivable that he wrote and recorded eight new GBV albums in the band’s first three reunited rehearsals.
The Southgate House and Columbus shows are sold out; if you don’t want to pay a scalper’s car payment, the shows in Bloomington, Ind., Detroit and Oberlin, Ohio still had seats available at last check. And there’s no road trip like a Guided By Voices road trip. A salty salute, indeed.
(Get show and venue details and see what you're missing here.)