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By John D Thomas
Guided By Voices
Hardcore UFOs Box Set
You'll need a Ph.D. in GbV to truly appreciate Matador's mammoth five-CD Guided by Voices box set (a veritable goldmine of live tracks, B-sides and rarities for the hardcore fan), so we'll just stick to the greatest hits collection (which is also being sold separately). For the uninitiated, GbV is Dayton, Ohio's best faux lo-fi British Invasion band. The group has been around since the mid-1980s and is fronted by the charmingly goofy and overtly sincere Robert Pollard, perhaps the most awkward onstage scissors-kicker in rock history. Pollard himself chose the cuts for the greatest hits disc, and while the band is often too precious for its own good, Hardcore UFOs makes a strong case for GbV as one of the most original and endearing American bands of the last 20 years. Only one problem: Pollard's brain must have been in space somewhere when he chose the version of "Motor Away" from the single, not the track off of Alien Lanes. Someone needs to bogart that man's (cheap American) beer.