Will the band inspire a hugging spree?
Try to not fall in love with Guided by Voices. It's virtually impossible if you're even a casual fan of lo-fi indie rock or power-pop balladry. Many fans have been in an intense relationship with Robert Pollard's band since the early '90s, when tracks like "I Am a Scientist" established his enormous songwriting talents.
The band's 2004 breakup was crushing to fans who made lifelong memories to such tunes as 1995's "Motor Away" and 2000's "Hold On Hope." So when the band started up again in 2010, it came as welcome surprise. Their June 20 concert at the Barrymore is a chance for fans to prove their devotion as the band perform songs from two new albums, Motivational Jumpsuit and Cool Planet.
In keeping with the marriage-like theme, here's something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue to enjoy before the show.
Something old: 'Glad Girls'
This tune, from 2001's Isolation Drills, is an ode to carefree happiness. The epic TV love story How I Met Your Mother used it in a particularly wonderful way, in a scene where the series' protagonist goes on a hugging spree. I hope fans reenact that scene at the Barrymore.
Something new: 'Planet Score'
Featuring a basketball heckler played by Hot Tub Time Machine's Rob Corddry and lyrics that tell a ghost story, the video for this Motivational Jumpsuit track is a treat. Breaking Bad's Matt L. Jones plays the hapless hoops-shooter, whose facial expressions amplify the hilarity.
Something borrowed: 'Five Years'
Pollard's love for the material he covers is infectious. This is abundantly clear on "Five Years," a David Bowie classic the group sometimes play in concert. Pollard funnels desperation into lyrics like "We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot," which pack a punch when paired with the band’s muscular instrumentals.
Something blue: 'Gold Star for Robot Boy'
This track, from 1994's Bee Thousand, showcases the band's power to break hearts. Lyrics like "If I waited for you/To show me all the actions I should take/Would I get my break?" dart through a sonic thunderstorm, drenched in guitar feedback and battered by crashing cymbals.