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It’s Guided By Voices Day!

12 Oct


You can read Pat O’Brien’s review of the show on City Pages here.
See Staciaann’s slideshow of photos on City Pages here.

The first and only time I saw GBV was back in 1996 when I was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.  I vaguely remember seeing a band whose guitar-driven lo-fi sound hit me as something new.  The show was in a ballroom in our student center & there were maybe 20-30 people there. I remember liking them enough to pick up a yellow t-shirt with a multi-colored oval on it that just said “Alien Lanes.” It was a men’s medium but I still wore it around – big & baggy were still in style… sort of left over from the era of grunge. My boyfriend later stole that shirt when we broke up & I never saw it again.

Two or three days after that show I kept humming this tune in my head & it was driving my roommate nuts. The song was “Don’t Stop Now” & this is still a favorite song of mine. As was my m.o. at the time, I took a poster to remember the show (which you see scanned above). I also still have the check stub of the check I wrote out to GBV’s manager for the t-shirt. For some reason I just never got rid of it. These sort of weird details show (a) I’m slightly OCD, & (b) I must’ve really liked this band.

I never really kept up too much on GBV’s career for some reason, but regardless, their music hit a nerve.  Somewhere in my brain that combination of short 2-3 minute fuzzy songs with indelible hooks still sits never having let go of its reserved space.  Sometimes I purge things I should remember to store new items, grocery lists, or just random trivia, but those songs & that show are still pretty clear.

Tonight Guided By Voices is playing one of my favorite venues in town, First Avenue, & I am not really sure what to do with myself.  I am lucky enough to be shooting photos tonight, so I’ll get one or two up on this post, but most will be on City Pages, which I’ll post a link to later.  It won’t matter that the crowd will most likely be full of booze-addled 35-year-olds who know every word. I’m just content to sit back & let some sort of matching memory wash over me.

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