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Sunday, August 22nd, 2004

A Salty Salute

So you may notice the format of today’s post and the mp3 of the week are a little different – I’m trying out a way to do periodic special occasion mp3s of the week, mainly when I don’t feel like dragging out a theme over the span of many weeks (and won’t I feel stupid for doing this when I inevitable run out of material to post!). But anyway. This week’s special expanded version of the mp3 of the week is in tribute to Guided By Voices, who have opted to call it quits at the end of the year and are releasing their final album Half-Smiles Of The Decomposed this week. These tracks will stay up for a week and then that’s it, back to regularly scheduled programming.

I only got into GBV around Isolation Drills, after their ‘golden’ period of Bee Thousand through Under The Bushes, Under The Stars – you know, when they sold out and went mainstream (joke!). I go through periodic Pollard-intensive phases where I plow through everything of theirs/his I have (all the albums, a bunch of EPs, the Suitcase set, a few solo records) though even when I’m in the zone, I find the sheer amount of material, some of it quite throwaway, let’s be honest, pretty tough to wade through When you hit mother lode though, hoo boy. When the Human Amusement At Hourly Rates best-of came out last year, I thought, “Hey – alright, I can finally get a disc with all the best stuff on it for when I don’t feel like going through the entire album”. Then it was pointed out to me that I already own all this material on the albums and could just burn my own compilation CD. Um, right. I’m still a little peeved that they’re not coming back to T.O. for a date on the farewell tour, but I did get to seem them a couple years ago for UTAC at the Horseshoe (tiny club of capacity around 200) so I shouldn’t complain.

Anyway, y’all aren’t here to hear me prattle on so here’s the music:

We’ll start with GBV tour mates and drinking buddies (and Chromewaves whipping boys) The Strokes actually doing a good live version of “A Salty Salute”, Alien Lanes’ opening cut. Scotland’s Delgados performed this super-quickie version of “Indian Fables” from the Fast Japanese Spin Cycle EP during a BBC session early on in their career.
Vancouver’s Salteens offer up a bubblegummed-up version of “Motor Away”, again from Alien Lanes …while Knoxville’s Superdrag (again, GBV tourmates) do a rocking live version of the same tune.
Another Alien Lanes double-shot, “Game Of Pricks”, this one less great all around. England’s My Vitriol do an overly angsty version of this great tune (a b-side from their Always Your Way single… …While Jimmy Eat World go too straight rock on their version, which just appeared on the Future Soundtrack For America compilation. How hard is it to do a good cover of this tune?
And we’ll finish off with some fellow indie rock legends – As Portastatic, long-time GBV buddy and collaborator Mac McCaughan tackles Bee Thousand nugget “Echos Myron” live. Fellow Ohian Kim Deal’s Breeders cover the super-brief but super-rocking “Shocker In Gloomtown”, taken from their Head To Toe 10″. The original appeared on The Grand Hour EP.

Guided By Voices are dead. Long live Guided By Voices.

Update: MP3s are gone now. Thank you, come again.

There is talk of re-releasing David O’Rusell’s Three Kings on the eve of the US election with additional documentary footage tying it in with the current Gulf War. Three Kings is easily one of the best war movies of the last decade (if not THE best) – if you haven’t seen it, you really should, whether it’s the new version or the old one. I’ve been meaning to get it on DVD for a while now, but since it looks like it’ll be coming out on DVD regardless of what happens with the theatrical release, I guess I’ll just wait a little bit.

Someone has stolen Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from a gallery in Oslo. Now THAT is brazen. The London News Review lauds the crack security measures at the gallery.

Okay, comics in bit torrent format? Why haven’t I been downloading these before? Cuz I’m an idiot, that’s why. I’m currently raiding the Suprnova archives, and spent yesterday reading the entire run of Ultimate Spider-Man. CReader is a really nice reader program for the .cbr files and the image quality is really quite excellent. You get used to the scrolling, too. Any other good BT sites with a wide selection of digitized comic goodness?

The Canadian National (Comic Book) Expo hits town next weekend at the Metro Convention Centre, and The Toronto Star has some interviews with some of the higher-profile guest attendees. I used to go to scads of comiccons when I was a kid, back in the boom of the early 90s when there was a con almost every month somewhere in T.O. Admission was cheap and it was great fun raiding all the dealer tables for deals and back issues (the same back issues which clutter my room back at my parents’ house this very day). Now I look at the $20 admission fee and can’t imagine that I’d get that sort of value out of attending besides watching all the other attendees and thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I”. So I guess I’ll just comfort myself in the knowledge that both Patrick Stewart and George Takei are enjoying the hospitality of my town at the same time and continue downloading comics from the internet.

np – Wilco / Being There

By : Frank Yang at 9:55 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Covers are my life says:

    Yes Long live GBV. But what are some of the better covers done by GBv?

  2. david says:

    The "Shocker In Gloomtown" cover is my favorite cover of a GBV song, the video even includes Bob and the band peeking in on the Breeders rehearsing.

    My other favorites: Mary Lou Lord’s "Blimps Go 90" and Jon Auer’s "Gold Star For Robot Boy."

    GBV has performed many covers, notably "Baba O’Riley." Other covers have included "Five Years" and "Ziggy Stardust" by Bowie, and many others.

  3. Justin says:

    Three Kings is a great movie – one of my very first DVD purchases a few years ago. Be nice to see it get some love.

  4. matt says:

    They do an incredible version of "A Hard Days Night".