Guided by Voices has long been an indie-rock cult band waiting for its big break. The Dayton, Ohio, band came to fame in the rock underground with the 1994 release "Bee Thousand." A year later, "Alien Lanes" earned still more critical raves, but the record sales and radio play never happened. Now Guided by Voices has teamed with producer Ric Ocasek, formerly of the Cars. Ocasek has given the band and lead singer/songwriter Robert Pollard a radio-friendly pop sensibility. They combined on the group's current CD, "Do the Collapse," and it's Guided by Voices best effort yet. Local fans can judge for themselves Saturday at 8 p.m. when Guided by Voices plays the Showplace, 1063 Grant St. Opening is Those Bastard Souls.
SCENE'S BIG FIVE
1. Secret Garden: Tonight at 8 in the Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo North Campus. Secret Garden features New Age folk and classical music by Norway's Rolf Lovland on keyboards and Ireland's Fionnuala Sherry on violin.
2. C.O. Jones: Saturday at 11 p.m. in the Calumet Arts Cafe, 56 W. Chippewa St. Dave Schulz, currently playing keyboards on the Goo Goo Dolls tour, returns home to play with his band C.O. Jones. The music is party R & B, and the band rocks.
3. Pat Shea: Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Tralf, 622 Main St. Buffalo's favorite contemporary country singer offers his style of original music.
4. Bob Egan: Monday at 9 p.m. in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. Egan sings acoustic folk songs with a touch of pop. He plays with the band Wilco, known for its country-rock and folk-influenced music.
5. Magic Red: Tonight at 10 in the Blues Room, 391 Washington St. Magic Red plays blues guitar in a style that has been compared to Johnny Winter. It's heavy, loud blues with a dose of rock 'n' roll.
BIG BEAT STORY OF THE WEEK
Looks like super-duper Buffalo Bill Doug Flutie is working on a rock album. The mighty-mite quarterback has played occasional local gigs with his band, the Flutie Brothers, and rumor is that Dynamic Doug may release a CD this fall. Could be bigger than the Beatles -- or at least Flutie Flakes.
AROUND AND ABOUT
Cher earned a nice payday for her concert in Buffalo earlier this month. The plastic surgery poster girl grossed $588,031 in ticket sales for the gig, according to Billboard magazine. . . . moe. hit town recently for a surprise gig at Broadway Joe's before the band's national tour. The group was formed in the early '90s when the members of moe. were students at the University at Buffalo. . . . 5 Cubic Feet plays original rock Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. in Heenan's, 946 Elmwood Ave. . . . Pamela E. Swarts offers original rock sounds tonight at 10 in Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. . . . Top 10, Sept. 24, 1995: "Run-Around" by Blues Traveler.
Get-well wishes to Graham Nash, who recently broke both legs in a boating accident. Nash is part of a new album with old bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. . . . Bass player D'Arcy Wretzsky reportedly has left the Smashing Pumpkins. . . . The Sense Field plays original rock Sunday at 7 p.m. in an all-ages gig at the Showplace. Also on the bill: the Juliana Theory. . . . The Forty-Fives perform retro British pop Tuesday at 9 p.m. in Mohawk Place. . . . Abi Tapia plays folk songs Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Coffee Bean Cafe, 3268 Main St. . . . Top 10, Sept. 24, 1982: "Eye in the Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project.
Rich Wall, program director at The Edge 103.3 FM, assures us that the station is not going hard rock but is still an alternative format. Wall says the nature of alternative music these days involves hard rock and metal-influenced acts such as Limp Bizkit, Korn and those old standbys, Metallica. The Edge still plays such acts as U2 and Live. . . . Jake Schneider and the Field play original music tonight at 8 in the Tralf. . . . Top 10, Sept. 24, 1972: "Ben" by Michael Jackson. . . . Redheaded Stepchild celebrates its third anniversary with folk and acoustic sounds Saturday at 10 p.m. in Nietzsche's. . . . This week's words to live by, courtesy the First Edition: "I just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in."