According to the Washington Post, Guided by Voices is “the Grateful Dead equivalent for people who like Miller Lite instead of acid.” That’s apt, but I’d add the caveat that anyone who fancies sophisticated production techniques or lengthy song-suites need not apply, for GBV has made high art of a lo-fi aesthetic across the past 35 years, and spread it across more albums than one might easily count, all of them crammed full of songs that rarely make it past the two-minute mark.
It’s clearly a case of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but certainly douse it with a room-temperature can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and turn it up to eleven.” Led by the terror on two legs that is singer, front-man and principal songwriter Robert Pollard, GBV takes the essence of American garage rock, fuses it to a British Invasion-era “hit ‘em quick and quit” aesthetic, and runs it all through a “I’ve already written five new hook-infused songs in the time it took us to record that last one” world view.
This has quite naturally and understandably endeared the Dayton, Ohio-born band to a sizable cult of rock snobs who wouldn’t be caught dead with a Yes album in their collection. (Or, at the very least, they’d hide that Yes album when their friends came over for the weekly booze-and-vinyl fest.) Buffalo, being the blue collar, hard-drinking, rust-belt mecca that it is, boasts a significant GBV fan-base, and for members of this tribe, the band’s Oct. 26 show at Asbury Hall at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.) has quite likely been circled, in bold, on the calendar since the gig’s announcement in June.
Consider it a holiday for discerning indie-rockers. And grab your tickets quick. Like a GBV song, they’ll be gone before you know it.
Also in the “don’t miss” category this week:
Joe Bonamossa brings serious tone and a firm grip on the often vital space where the blues and rock meet to Shea's PAC (646 Main St.) at 8 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27. ($59-$129, Ticketmaster.com)
Indie-rock legends the Breeders and guests Screaming Females offer you a valid excuse to break out your Pixies T-shirt and party like it's 1994 at the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. ($28-$32, Ticketfly.com)
If you've never experienced the funky majesty and get-down glory that is Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles, you need to rectify that situation by heading to Asbury Hall @ Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.) at 8 p.m. on Oct. 31. ($20-$79, Ticketfly.com)