Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Robert Pollard Is Off To Business - New Solo Album, New Record Label And MP3 Available For Download!

Hold onto your hats, my rock 'n' roll children! Those snarky hipsters over at Pitchfork have spilled the beans on Robert Pollards new solo album, titled "Robert Pollard Is Off To Business"! As a regular reader of Pop Zeus, you already knew that this Pollard/Todd Tobias colaboration was on its way (and had a clue to its title). But what was not known is that Pollard would be parting ways with previous label Merge Records. The June 3rd CD/LP release of Off To Business will debut on Pollard's new record label Guided By Voices, Inc.- run by manager-extraordinaire DJ Rich Turiel, manager David Newgarden and business manager Eric Weiss. Clocking in at a mere 35 minutes, the 10 song tracklist is as follows...

01 The Original Heart
02 The Blondes
03 1 Years Old
04 Gratification to Concrete
05 No One but I
06 Weatherman and Skin Goddess
07 Confessions of a Teenage Jerk-Off
08 To the Path!
09 Western Centipede
10 Wealth and Hell-Being

And you, yes you can download Gratification To Concrete (courtesy of Pitchfork) right this very minute! I loved this song after just one listen and I'm positive you will too.

But before Robert Pollard Is Off To Business, April 8th will bring the CD/12" single Weatherman and Skin Goddess! Only available through Pollard's official site, this single will also include 2 non-album tracks Kiss the Quiet Man and Coat Factory Zero. So mark your calendars, kids. And I will be updating my handy-dandy Pollard release calendar in the meantime...

Upcoming Robert Pollard Projects: Early 2008 Edition (Updated Againe!)

(Updated! Added Robert Pollard Is Off To Business, Circus Devils release date and tracklist info and Weatherman And Skin Goddess EP news...)

I am proud to bring back one of the more popular posts on Pop Zeus, namely the upcoming Robert Pollard release calendar! Our prolific Uncle Bob has so many irons in the fire at any given time, having one spot to sort it all out is invaluable (for me included). Baby New Year 2008, like Old Man 2007 promises to be another incredible one for Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices music (and art!). Here is what we know...

Robert Pollard "Happy Jack Rock Records Single Series"
(Rockathon Records. Available for pre-order now!)
The awesome Happy Jack Rock Records Single Series will continue its extremely reliable monthly rock injections well into the new year! This 7"-of-the-month club celebrating the release of Standard Gargoyle Decisions and Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love, is available now from our friends at Rockathon Records! If you haven't yet subscribed, you have already missed must-haves singles and b-sides like Rud Fins, Battle For Mankind, Be In The Wild Place and the long lost Sixland. But its not too late- every 45 in the series is still available from Rockathon. Here is what 2008 will bring to your turntable...

January 22
HJRR-8 Youth Leagues b/w Spirit Of The Fly

February 22
HJRR-9 Folded Claws b/w Speak Again

March 22
HJRR-10 When We Were Slaves b/w Battle For Mankind 2

April 22
HJRR-11 The Killers b/w Revolver Tricks (Stanley West)

May 22
HJRR-12 Miles Under The Skin b/w Frostman (Long Version)

Robert Pollard "Superman Was A Rocker" mini-LP/CD
(Happy Jack Rock Records. January 30th, 2008 / vinyl late February)
From out of the blue comes Superman Was A Rocker! Robert Pollard has dug deep into his suitcase of tapes and found 15 instrumentals that he either wrote or co-wrote, from as far back as 20 years ago to 2007. Paring that bunch down to 12 tracks (clocking in at 30 minutes), Pollard then made the pilgrimage to Todd Tobias' Waterloo Studios to record new vocals. The only exception is the final track, More Hot Dogs Please, which retains the original vocals and lyrics from GBV's early basement days.

So one could easily argue that this LP is a new Guided By Voices release- it features the music of Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell, Tobin Sprout, Kevin March, Doug Gillard, Tim Tobias and Nate Farley! And rumor has it that the track "Love Your Spaceman" is amazing, even more amazing considering it was crafted by the unusual songwriting team of Bob Pollard and Kevin March.

To top it off, Disarm The Settlers' own super-creative "Crunch" (aka Dave, subject of an earlier post) designed the Warhol-esque Bob image that graces the cover. You rock, my friend!

The Superman Was A Rocker tracklist is...

01 Another Man's Blood
02 Go Down First
03 Back to the Farm
04 Substitute Heaven
05 Prince Alphabet
06 You Drove the Snake Crazy
07 Surveillance
08 Fascination Attempt
09 Love Your Spaceman
10 Jumping
11 St. Leroy
12 Peacock
13 More Hot Dogs Please

The Takeovers "Little Green Onion Man" EP/CD
(Off Records/Happy Jack Rock Records. February 12th, 2008)
The Takeovers are back in early February to bring the rock and warp your brain. This limited edition 4 song EP (including Bad Football's previously released track Little Green Onion Man) features the usual rotating cast of guest musicians, this time including John Moen of Stephen Malkmus/The Decemberists, Sam Coomes of Quasi/Blues Goblins and Brian Berg of 44 Long. Sonically, it falls square in the middle of Turn To Red and Bad Football, which sounds pretty not bad to me! For more detailed info, check out this page at Off Records website. The short but sweet tracklist is as follows...

01 Little Green Onion Man
02 Rich Man’s Girl
03 Wigstomper 07
04 Instigator

Psycho And The Birds "We've Moved" LP/CD
(Happy Jack Rock Records. February 26th, 2008?)
February shall bring the return of Robert Pollard and Todd Tobias' lo-fi side project Psycho And The Birds! Previous releases have showcased Bob's scratchy boombox demos with Todd's creepy instrumentals layered over top. And many Psycho And The Birds tracks have morphed into more fully realized songs on later Bob releases. The tracklist be...

01 Person Who Lives in a Thundercloud
02 Rains Remain
03 I Love a Revolution
04 Enon Beach
05 Franklin's Famous Graham Cracker Crust
06 Tomorrow Man
07 Corona Grande
08 She Tears Out
09 Love Theory
10 Hound Has the Advantage
11 Poor Old Pine
12 I'm Never Gonna Leave, You're Never Gonna Win
13 Hybertech Green
14 Sharp Apples
15 We've Moved

Robert Pollard "Weatherman And Skin Goddess" EP/CD
(Guided By Voices, Inc. April 15th.)
The first single off of "Robert Pollard Is Off To Business", Weatherman And Skin Goddess will also be the debut release on Pollard's new Guided By Voices, Inc. record label! Along with the title track, two non-album tracks Kiss the Quiet Man and Coat Factory Zero will be along for the ride. Looking forward to this early taste of Bob Pollard's new sound!

Robert Pollard "Robert Pollard Is Off To Business" LP/CD
(Guided By Voices, Inc. June 3rd.)
Much more information has come to light regarding Robert Pollard's next solo LP with Todd Tobias! The tracks were laid down at Tobias' Waterloo Studio in January. And word on the street is that this is a true "classic rock" album. Here is the tracklist, kids...

01 The Original Heart
02 The Blondes
03 1 Years Old
04 Gratification to Concrete
05 No One but I
06 Weatherman and Skin Goddess
07 Confessions of a Teenage Jerk-Off
08 To the Path!
09 Western Centipede
10 Wealth and Hell-Being

Robert Pollard "Town of Mirrors : The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard" Hardcover Book
(Fantagraphics Books. June 2008.)
This may be the 2008 project I'm most excited about. Following a December art gallery show in Manhattan (subject of a forthcoming post), Fantagraphics Books (home to many of my favorite comic books) will be releasing this deluxe 10"x10" coffee-table book collection of over 140 Bob-picked collages and favorite song lyrics! If you already love Pollard's literary/art journal EAT, Town Of Mirrors is a no-brainer. Fantagraphics Books' blog recently posted about the book as follows...
"Town of Mirrors is the first and most comprehensive collection of Pollard's visual art ever released. Pollard's collages are the visual equivalent of his poetic and imagistic lyrics, surreal and reminiscent of the collages of artists ranging from Jack Kirby to Winston Smith. The book features an introduction by Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), an avowed Pollard fan.

Using collage elements from 1930s-60s era magazines, pamphlets and found obscure pictoral paperbacks as his primary tool, he portrays allegorical personas and hallucinogenic-type environments to create small, almost random synapses of unmistakable compositions with sardonic titles, each serving as a story unto itself. The Artist's media utilizes the archetypes of the working class, becoming pawn deities and martyrs found within the strata of near fantasy religion and the collective unconscious."
Didja? ;)

Circus Devils "Ataxia" LP/CD
(Happy Jack Rock Records. October, 31st 2008.)
The follow-up to Sgt. Disco (what many consider to be the best Circus Devils album) is already recorded and on its way! According to inside sources, Ataxia "fucking rocks", is the heaviest Pollard release in years and is influenced by Black Sabbath and Devo (?). And it looks to be another "October Surprise" for Ataxia, as Circus Devils returns to their traditional Halloween release date. Here is the tracklist...

01 under review
02 rat faced ballerina
03 eye razors
04 freedom's monster
05 backwash television
06 the girls will make it happen
07 mayflower brought disease
08 stars, stripes and crack pipes
09 ataxia (inst.)
10 nets at every angle
11 hi, i'm martha. how are you?
12 lunatic style
13 get me extra!
14 i found the black mind
15 he had all day
16 fuzz in the street

Guided By Voices "Some Drinking Implied 2" DVD
(Rockathon Records. Tentative release date late 2008?)
Even though this home brew Guided By Voices DVD from the folks at Rockathon didn't see the light of day in 2007, 2008 might just be our lucky year! Expect to see recent live footage of both GBV and Robert Pollard, never before seen rare clips from Bob and Rich T's personal collection and as many of GBV's TV appearances as they can scrounge up. I'm in!

And that just about covers it... so far...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hungover And Hungry For Fishsticks (Everybody Thinks I'm A Raincloud Live Video) - Updated!

(It's baaaaaaaack...)

Bob and the boys final TV appearance on some Irish guy's "late night" show, performing one of my favorites- Everybody Thinks I'm A Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking) from Half Smiles Of The Decomposed. Check it out before it's yanked down by evil corporate thugs!

It's too late, the thugs have struck. Sorry folks. Hope you got to see it before it went down. More videos and updates to come!

Psycho And The Birds - We've Moved Available For Pre-Order And Preview MP3 Download

Hey now! The next chapter of Bob Pollard's 2008 musical wonderland (check this link for the full tracklist), Psycho And The Birds' We've Moved, is now available for pre-order from Rockathon Records! In keeping with the previous P&TB releases, Pollard has turned over a bunch of boombox demos to producer/collaborator/multi-instrumentationalist (is that a word?) Todd Tobias. And as in the past, songs from this side project end up on future big releases. So it's a interesting peek into Pollard's songwriting process. And the word from Rockathon HQ is very promising...

This time around they totally nail the process, and if the music world actually allowed artists like Bob a chance to have a hit, this album would actually be chock full of them. Songs like I Love a Revolution and Enon Beach are filled with undeniable likeability and pop goodness. Bob even pulls out some lyrics that he said he first wrote as a kid in the song She Tears Out.

In some ways, Psycho And The Birds are becoming to Robert Pollard's solo albums what Robert Pollard solo albums were to Guided By Voices releases. It's a more user friendly Psycho And The Birds, more charming.
Sounds delicious! And keep in mind that, as usual, the vinyl is limited to 500 copies. So don't dilly-dally.

If you are still not sold, check out this free mp3 download of Enon Beach. And the rest of the tracks on We've Moved can also be previewed in 30 second chunks on Amazon (but the fastest and best way to order a physical copy of any Pollard side project is through Rockathon, trust me).

Guided By Voices - Everywhere With Helicopter Video

Here is the rarely seen Guided By Voices video for Everywhere With Helicopter off of 2002's Universal Truths And Cycles. Apparently, the clip is not exactly a band (or Bob) favorite to say the least and therefore wasn't included in any video collection. But its still cool getting a chance to see it.

Space Mountain! WOO!..