From their '90s breakthrough to their 2004 breakup, Dayton, Ohio's Guided by Voices were one of the great perennial live bands to play First Avenue, a setting that rendered controversy about their recording aesthetic (whether ostentatiously crude or slick) moot while concentrating their vast, uneven, some might say compulsively accumulated song catalog into a timeless hit-list. Their beauty always lay in sounding like a rusty machine cranking into high gear—The Beatles as forever old—and that mixture of resignation and cheer seemed built into Robert Pollard's clarion voice, the chords shifting uneasily under the anthemic weight of his deceptively simple melodies. The peaks, give or take a few missing favorites and alternate versions, are collected with vim... More >>>