Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Guided by Voices Live from Austin Texas|
Actor: Guided by Voices
Director: Gary Menotti
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
The latest release from the acclaimed Live From Austin, TX series of releases from the vaults of the award-winning PBS Austin City Limits TV show. — Guided By Voices are one of indie rock s most loved and prolific bands... more »
Houston...err Austin, we have a problem
ken powers | CA United States | 06/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I will start with the obligatory "I'm the biggest GBV fan in the world" (there, I said it), BUT something about this show just doesn't sit right. Let me explain, I purchase the DVD at a large chain store with a gift card (the only thing that would drive me to visit one of those dumps). Anyway, I noticed that this DVD and its CD soundtrack where the only Pollard product in the bins. This made me uneasy. As a fan, I want to see at least one classic GBV "studio" record as an alternate to a live set. Give the casual listener a chance to hear the band in a flattering light, you know, where the songs are given their just desserts, because, let's face it, they aren't going to find it here.
I'm just going to come straight out and say it, 2nd guitarist Nate Farley took this once in a lifetime opportunity to document the grandeur of GBV and turned it into a painful drunken wedding video. My stomach turned knots as song after song on the KILLER set list was butchered by Farley's drunkenly incompetent performance. He manages to make a jerk of himself the entire show. Can someone say "intervention". Anyway, it's depressing to watch. The rest of the band is in perfect form and Farley, a glamorized amp-pusher, ruins the show. Add to this the odd decision by the sound engineer to mix Farley's guitar above Doug Gillard's (the sober lead guitarist who's is actually playing the same song as the rest of the band). Nate Farley, your name is MUD. This video cements the assumption I've had for a while that Pollard shut the band down because he couldn't think of a more painless way to fire close friend Farley.
And look, Pollard's not doing so hot either. He flubs the first few lines from "I Am a Scientist". WTF? How can he flub a song that's literally encoded into his DNA? It's just sad. But he's the wizard or the captain or whatever he's calling himself. It's Pollard's show, so it's his privilege to blow it...as for the afore mentioned mud-man, not so much. I will add Pollard's performance might have been affected by the fact that his backing band was struggling to drag along a dead drunk rhythm guitarist.
I know a lot of people think a stumbling drunk GBV is glorious, and it's true. But unless you are as blitzed as they are it can be hard to watch, even harder under the bright TV lights of the Austin City Limits set. It's like after last call, when the lights go on and you get that first clear look at the girl you've been making out with all night. That moment can be unsettling. This DVD is chalked full of such moments (e.g., the girl has a beard).
IN conclusion, long-time-fans bring your expectations way down (way down), and you might enjoy this as a curiosity. Get loaded one night and spin it, it won't kill you. Heck, you might even have a good time. As for the uninitiated (that is, if you own less than, let's say, ten GBV related works), STAY AWAY. If you have to see them live get yourself the out-of-print "Live in Los Angeles" VHS. Now that show was a stone classic."