Pin It
Favorite

CD Review 

by Mike Corrigan


Well, the folks at Matador Records have finally gone and done it: created their own Guided by Voices mix tape. Well, boy, howdy, that's exactly the same thing GBV fans have been doing in their bedrooms and basements for years now. With a catalog containing literally hundreds, if not thousands, of songs, however, picking and choosing was never easy. And the task of compiling something truly retrospective within the space allotted on a single compact disc was flat-out impossible. Yet Matador (and GBV helmsman/savant Robert Pollard, who selected and sequenced the whole thing) has done an admirable job with Human Amusements at Hourly Rates: The Best of Guided By Voices.


With characteristically little fuss or fanfare, the collection presents 32 tracks that do this remarkable Datyon, Ohio, band tremendous justice -- insofar as any justice can be done with such a limited number of songs. While there are certainly dozens of ragged GBV classics that failed to make the list, the album thoughtfully contains essentials from every era in the band's long and productive career. Reaching all the way back to 1987 is the balls-out rocking overdrive of "Captain's Dead" (from Devil Between My Toes). There's also the beautiful and spare "14 Cheerleader Coldfront" from 1992's Propeller and "Shocker in Gloomtown" from the 1993 EP, The Grand Hour. And yes, middle-period lovelies from Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars are well-represented ("My Valuable Hunting Knife," "Watch Me Jumpstart," "Cut-Out Witch," "Tractor Rape Chain," "I Am a Scientist") mixed in with single-only alternatives of famous album tracks ("Motor Away," "Game of Pricks," Teenage FBI") and enough outstanding latter-day clean cuts ("Things I Will Keep," Twilight Campfighter," "Surgical Focus," "The Best of Jill Hives") to keep recent converts from feeling left out of the party.


Human Amusement should prove especially invaluable for fans recommending GBV to neophytes and for the curious justifiably overwhelmed by the thought of slogging through the band's massive discography, which contains something like 17 albums (and counting) and god knows how many EPs and singles. These are all prime cuts here, trimmed of fat and ready for ingestion. Not only do they represent some of the band's finest moments, they also represent some of the finest indie-rock moments of the last two decades.


'Nuff said. Go listen.





Publication date: 11/13/03
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Mean Streets
  • Mean Streets

    Local small businesses have it hard enough without having to battle overzealous parking patrols
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • The First Seahawk
  • The First Seahawk

    Publisher's Note
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • Moving Forward
  • Moving Forward

    The process of self-examination and change inside the Spokane Police Department
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
10th Annual Souper Bowl

10th Annual Souper Bowl @ Selkirk Lodge

Sun., Feb. 1, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Say 'No' to Fear

    Why Spokane ought to embrace its roots as an immigrant-friendly place
    • Jan 21, 2015
  • Crossroads

    A high-profile retailer is eyeing a particular block of downtown Spokane; what that might mean for the Central City Line
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation