Guided by Voices - “She Lives in an Airport ” (free MP3)

Sound it Out # 39: Guided by Voices - “She Lives in an Airport ”(MP3)

Dayton, Ohio’s legendary Guided by Voices broke up in 2004. Over the course of a 21-year run they’d gone through numerous personnel changes, with singer and main songwriter Robert Pollard as the only consistent player throughout.

Pollard reunited the band's mid-'90s lineup in 2010 and released three albums in 2012: Let’s Go Eat the Factory (January), Class Clown Spots a UFO (June) and The Bears for Lunch (November). All three records have classic Guided by Voices attributes: hilarious song titles (“How I Met My Mother”, “Worm with 7 Broken Hearts”, “Finger Gang”), hard-to-tolerate noisy parts, and extremely catchy and well-crafted rock music.

Much has been written about how GBV and Robert Pollard could release flawless albums with some self-editing and higher production values. Maybe that’s true, but it’s missing the point. Robert Pollard is deeply compelled to produce copious amounts of music, and part of being a fan is listening to all of it.

That said, I think The Bears for Lunch is the best and most consistent release of current-era Guided by Voices. The clever and tender turns of phrase in “She Lives in an Airport” make me believe that there is no more talented songwriter than Robert Pollard. He makes me want to quote lyrics, which is something I’ve vowed never to do in music writing.

Check out "She Lives in an Airport" in the free download below, and then dig in to all three albums from 2012 right away; true to form, Guided by Voices has a new record called English Little League coming out sometime in the first half of 2013.


  1. Anyone who likes the early lo-fi GBV would do well to check out the rereleased 80’s output from The Cleaners from Venus. Wivenhoe UK’s Martin Newell wrote and produced a bunch of great DIY brit-pop under the Cleaners moniker on a 4-track porta-studio in a backyard shed. Midnight Cleaners is the album to start with.

  2. Pollard tried “self-editing and higher production values” on Under The Bushes Under The Stars. Didn’t work, it’s one of the weakest GBV albums. It’s not that as a fan, you “tolerate” the unfinished bits and pieces or weird experimental stuff – for me it’s more that you consider them equal to the “proper” songs. The best albums are beautiful collages that you listen to front to end. It’s not about picking the rough diamond songs, it’s about the whole flow of music and sound, where occasionally a proper song idea pops up.

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