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ICE - September 2000

By David Sprague - From the Independents Day section

With the daunting release schedule Guided By Voices has held itself to over the past decade or so, you'd think that there would be nary a scrap of unreleased material in the cupboard. But, as Bob Pollard and company will prove with the September release of the four disc Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft, that assumption is way off base.

The lavishly packaged box, issued by Pollard's Fading Captain label, contains an even 100 unreleased performances that chronicle the full 25 years that Pollard has been tweaking his one-of-a-kind surrealist prog-pop. Only a handful of songs have made it into stores in other versions - notable, "Wondering Boy Poet" and the concert staple "Buzzards and Dreadful Crows". But, for the most part, this is material that will be new to even diehard fans.

"Bob's constantly coming up with songs, and sometimes, even if they're really good, really interesting things, they can slip through the cracks," says Matt Davis, one of the Dayton based labels board of directors. "This gives him a chance to clear up the backlog a little, but there's still plenty more in there".

In typical idiosyncratic fashion, Pollard credits none of the 100 songs on Suitcase to Guided By Voices. In fact, each of the tracks is credited to a distinct (semi-fictional) "band" - including combos named Urinary Tracks Stars, Groovy Lucifer and Ceramic Cock Einstein (a suitable moniker for a group that would record "Shit Midas").

"Sure, that's kind of an inside joke, but actually it isn't all GBV stuff," says Davis. "Some of it fates back to before GBV even existed and some of it is Bob playing with different people around here".

The box, which comes with an elaborate book containing lyrics, photos and essays will also be telescoped down into a 19-cut, one-disc vinyl version entitled Drinks and Deliveries - which contains one exclusive song, "Sensational Gravity Boy (Refraze Version)."