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Marc Woodworth's book covers the album's long and unorthodox period of writing, recording, sequencing, and editing. At least sixty-five songs were recorded and considered for the album and five distinct concepts were rejected before the band hit upon the records final form. One late version, very nearly released, contained only a few of Bee Thousand 's definitive songs. The rest were left out and nearly ended up in the boxes of cassette out-takes cluttering up Robert Pollard's basement. The story of Guided By Voices transformation from an occasional and revolving group of complete unknowns to indie-rock heroes is very much part of the story behind the making of Bee Thousand.
In addition to providing a central of how the record was made, Woodworth devotes a substantial chapter to the album's lyrics. Robert Pollard's lyrics are described by critics, when they're described at all, as a brand of tossed-off surrealism, as if his verbal sensibility is somehow incidental to the songs themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Woodworth offers a sustained discussion of Pollard's work as a writer of often sublime, beautiful, and very human lyrics.
The third key section of the book covers aesthetics. Woodworth considers the great appeal of the do-it-yourself nature of Bee Thousand and reflects on the larger importance of the strain of alternative rock for which this record is a touchstone. mobile or address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, mobile phone . Read less. . Print length. Publication date. October 2, See all details. Next . Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Jeff Gomez. Bryan Charles. James Greer. Kim Cooper. Mike McGonigal. Chris Ott. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? Matthew Cutter. Michael T. Don Breithaupt. Sam Inglis. The breakthrough album for Guided by Voices undoubtedly has an appropriate stature, as it exemplified a certain style of lo-fi, DIY aesthetic that's still influential. Moreover, Robert Pollard's elliptical lyrics and layered, yet quasi-improvisational melodies would seem to profit from a handy introduction.
Everyone I know who listens to Guided by Voices was introduced to their music by some knowledgeable friend, a role which Marc Woodworth ably takes up in his short book. Simultaneously a mythologizing and d demythologizing book, Bee Thousand demonstrates yet again the power of Faulkner's claim that 'the past isn't even past. Woodworth's book should help listeners of any age find joy in such oddities as "Hardcore UFOs," "a dairy creamer explicitly laid out as a fruitcake," and the "kicker of elves. All rights reserved. At the end of a main set, or often as an encore, Guided By Voices, on certain tours, offered a mini-set that included a suite of Bee Thousand songs.
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Please try again later. Verified Purchase. One of my desert island must haves is the Bee Thousand album and this book is a nice companion piece to go with the recording. I consider Bee Thousand to be one of the greatest post-Beatles rock and roll albums of all time. I think about this record a lot and wondered if it affected others as much as it affected me. And apparently it has. So it's nice to have this Bee Thousand inspired piece of work around to assure me that although I live in a place where most people have horrid tastes, I'm not alone in considering B to be a masterpiece of poetry and music.
As others have noted, this book contains three separate elements- recollections of the band members and other participants who helped make "Bee Thousand", short pieces by fans detailing the way the album resonated in their lives, and ponderous, pseudo-intellectual blathering by individuals completely unconnected to GBV, "Bee Thousand", or music in general. The first especially those from Bob Pollard make the book worthwhile. The second are easily enough skimmed, but the third are infuriating- they don't offer any insight to "Bee Thousand" that actually listening to the album once or twice wouldn't provide.
The space they take up would have been much better used by expanding on the commentary of Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Robert Griffin and others who could actually elaborate on the unique experience that is "Bee Thousand. A very informative book that makes you think about such great songs in a brand new way. The fact that Robert Pollard has not one, but two long essays in the book one is by Bart J Hooper LLD or something similar, very obviously bob himself makes this alone worth the price of entry. Add that to the great commentary by Tobin Sprout and a very competent author and you have a perfect celebration of the glory that is Bee Thousand and GBV.
This book is a mixture of a the insightful and interesting reflections of those who created and assisted with Bee Thousand, b well-written and relatable musings from hardcore fans about how they discovered the album and what it means to them, and c the bloated, pretentious verse of what manifests in my head as Cheers' Diane Chambers rattling off Greil Marc-esque collegiate diatribes about a soulful beer-drinking anthemic record.
My recommendation is to skip the entirety of c. For the interviews and the insights on the band during this period of its history, five stars. For Woodworth's writing three stars - not because it is bad writing by any means, but because I think one can only analyze an album so much before it can become a bit tedious in places. But he does include a lot of stuff even harder-core GbV fans might not know.
As an album, "Bee Thousand" is worth five stars in my opinion, and after a few beers I'd rate it six stars. The book is a nice companion piece, but given the choice between reading the book a second time and listening to the record, I'd just have a few beers and get lost in the "Bee Thousand" album itself.
One person found this helpful. Woodworth combines extended interviews with each band member along with his own musings about GBV, their working methods, their lyrics just what exactly is a tractor rape chain? Woodworth's love for Bee Thousand is palpable through out, and while I'm not sure I buy his interpretations of Bob Pollard as an Emersonian hero, he's definitely right about the man being a sort of modern musical folk-hero and maybe some weird kind of savant. After I finished the book it made me want to take a bunch of bric-a-brac down into my basement and try to put together some weird, fragmented little collages of my own.
With Echos Myron and Hot Freaks blaring in the background, of course. Woodworth's book is a wonderful one because it avoids obvious trappings associated with rock music fandom as well as the temptation to present a dry, step by step history of the making of Bee Thousand. Instead, Woodworth opens the wide angle for a look at creative impulse, and how that's found a home in the person of Robert Pollard. And he does so with beautiful language, unusual commentary from other artists, and a careful scrutiny that ranges from intimate listening to a proper and necessary distancing from the subject.
Greer's "history" is not a very good history at all, nor is it well written. It does offer a few interesting stories and insights that only an ex-GBVer could offer. But those are rare. Greer's book often bogs down into cheap, tabloidesque tattling particularly regarding Bob's ex-wife and his brother , and carries with it a smarmy brand of "Hey, I was in the band" sort of insider-ism.
The book's final chapter is its most valuable portion, in which Greers asks Pollard about his songs and the subject becomes the creative impulse hey, there it is again! It's terrific. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. Fantastic little book. Really enjoyed the insights into the four track recording sessions. Report abuse. Customers who bought this item also bought. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations.
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