As We Go Up, We Go Down

Searching for some of the greatest hooks in all of rock 'n' roll, but don't have time to waste on songs lasting longer than a minute and a half? Well, then Guided by Voices is the group for you! The poster band for an attention-deficit-disordered world, Robert Pollard and bandmates (why name them? They'll probably be kicked out of the band before this goes to print) have been delivering tiny, frenetic nuggets over the course of God knows how many albums for more than a decade now. (As an indicator of their monumental output, one detached scenester recently observed that GbV is "the Joyce Carol Oates of indie rock.") Bob Mould, for one, lists them as a favorite, and if anyone should recognize a band that can sink its heavy pop claws into listeners, it would be the godfather of infectious melodies himself. And speaking of name dropping, guess who produced GbV's latest album, Do the Collapse? None other than Ric Ocasek. Which makes sense when you think about it: Who hasn't found herself singing along to "Let's Go" at the top of her lungs in an occasional unguarded moment? GbV is really just the Cars plus Rolling Rock plus amps turned (way) up. One result of this not-so-unlikely collaboration is a breakthrough for GbV fans-- (relatively) standard-length songs. It's a shift to be sure, but the trademark sing-along-with-the-punk-rock ethos still prevails. And everything under the sci-fi sun remains lyric fodder. The band that has brought us odes to cars (driving them, crashing them, parking them), UFOs and hunting knives, among other things, this time delivers hyperkinetic tales about, well, what are they ever really about anyway? Rest assured, the mere 16 songs on Collapse, like those before them, negate the booming declaration at the kickoff of 1992's Propeller that "this song will not rock!" The truth is once again just a lie this Saturday at the Majestic Theatre (4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit). Doors open at 8 p.m. and This American Flag opens the show. Call 313-833-9700 for more info.
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