Guided By Voices: June 18, 2011 Northside Festival, McCarren Park – Streaming Songs + Download Link for Offsite Purchase

June 27, 2011

[Photos courtesy of MaryAnne Ventrice]

There is no doubt that the single most highly anticipated performance at all of this year’s Northside Festival was the McCarren Park performance of Guided By Voices.  Touring with the reunited mid-90s “classic” lineup of the band since last year, frontman Robert Pollard has proven that he hasn’t lost a step – or his ability to guzzle alcohol onstage.  The first time I saw GBV, with this same lineup, he went through a case of beer during a 90-minute set.  Here, Pollard did himself one better, throwing back a bottle of Cuervo as he complimented our neighborhood (lots of bars, after all), mused negatively about Pittsburgh and some of his non-classic lineups, and – oh yeah – performed a monster 40-song set (equaling, thanks to GBV’s short songs, just under 110 minutes).

True to the best years of the “classic lineup,” this set focused on the band’s mid-90s classics Alien Lanes (with “Pimple Zoo,” “Watch Me Jumpstart,” “Striped White Jets” and “Motor Away”, among others) and Bee Thousand (“Tractor Rape Chain,” “Hot Freaks”, “I Am A Scientist,” etc.) among the many other records covered.  For this show, Pollard was his usual freewheeling, unhinged self, swigging his drink and belting out the lyrics to his songs like a rock star 25 years his junior.  GBV were among the first bands to be referred to as “lo-fi” because of Pollard’s use of barely-functional recording equipment on his earlier records, but live, it is evident how tight these songs are, filled with classic hooks and absent filler.  Pollard has long had the rare gift of churning out these nuggets of greatness in vast quantities, and bless him for that –  he has more good songs on one record than most bands have in their careers. (It should be added that he has more good records out than ten good bands are likely to put out in their careers).  As a result, this set never faltered, even through three encores, with Pollard delivering humorous crowd banter with an economy equal to his songwriting and the familiar hits coming and coming, punctuated by between song chants of “GBV! GBV!”  It rarely slowed down, either, except for a tidy acoustic “Awful Bliss,” after which Pollard reminded us, “You’ve gotta do the acoustic songs, man.  That’s what makes a rock concert… it’s like Emerson, Lake and Palmer.”  And then he played another song.  And another.  And another.

When the show finally wrapped up at nightfall with a rocking “Weed King,” we knew we had gotten our money’s worth.  We also knew that of all the “lo-fi” bands we might see during the weekend, they’d have a hell of a time competing with the gold standard, even if the gold standard was born in 1957.  I don’t know whether Pollard thrives because or in spite of all that alcohol, but he does.  And our night, our weekend, our Northside Festival, wouldn’t have been half of what it was without him.

This show presented a unique opportunity for the NYCTaper crew.  GBV has been officially releasing all of their reunion performances on their online store,  Because we wanted the band and the fans to have the best recording possible for the site, we agreed to record this show for gbvdigital for free, in exchange for the chance to record the show and host a couple of the streaming tracks on this site.  As a result, the full show cannot be downloaded here, but can be purchased from gbvdigital in MP3, FLAC or AAC format via the link below.

Stream “Don’t Stop Now”:
[audio:’t Stop Now2011-06-18.mp3]

Stream “I Am A Scientist”:
[audio: Am A Scientist2011-06-18.mp3]


Guided by Voices
Northside Festival
McCarren Park
Brooklyn, NY  USA

Recorded and produced by for
[nyctaper, hi and lo, johnny fried chicken boy, and acidjack]

Equipment: Soundboard + Schoeps Mk41>NBox+ + Schoeps Mk5 (omni)>EAA PSP2 >> Tascam DR-680 (24/48)
Position: FOB, DFC, Mk5s NOS, Mk41s DINa
Mastering: 6x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity (EQ omni source, Dyson compression on soundboard source, adjust and balance levels, mixdown, set fades, tracking,  additional EQ, smooth peaks)>FLAC ( level 8 ) and >MP3 (VBR0)

Tracks [Total Time 1:48:53]
01 [Intro]
02 Pimple Zoo
03 Expecting Brainchild
04 #2 In the Model Home Series
05 Watch Me Jumpstart
06 Melted Pat
07 Shocker In Gloomtown
08 Kicker of Elves
09 Buzzards and Dreadful Crows
10 Always Crush Me
11 Gleemer
12 Tractor Rape Chain
13 Hot Freaks
14 Striped White Jets
15 Squirmish Frontal Room
16 14 Cheerleader Coldfront
17 Dodging Invisible Rays
18 Gold Star For Robot Boy
19 Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
20 Cut-Out Witch
21 Sad If I Lost It
22 Matter Eater Lad
23 A Good Flying Bird
24 Awful Bliss
25 Quality of Armor
26 Jane of the Waking Universe
27 Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
28 Exit Flagger
29 I Am A Scientist
30 Game of Pricks

31 [First Encore Intro]
32 Echos Myron
33 Bright Paper Werewolves
34 Motor Away
35 Don’t Stop Now
36 Smothered In Hugs

37 A Salty Salute
38 My Valuable Hunting Knife
39 Over the Neptune>Mesh Gear Fox

40 [Third Encore Intro]
41 My Impression Now
42 Some Drilling Implied
43 Weed King

We encourage you not only to purchase this set from GBVdigital, but to also support Guided By Voices by visiting their website and buying their official albums (which you should already own anyway).

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6 Responses to Guided By Voices: June 18, 2011 Northside Festival, McCarren Park – Streaming Songs + Download Link for Offsite Purchase

  1. eric
    June 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Do you think you’ll get any indication of how well your recording is selling? Just curious.

  2. acidjack
    June 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    We don’t (obviously) get any of the money or process any of the payments, so it’s not info that’s readily available. But you make a good point – I am curious, and hope the band is making some money off the recording. I’ll ask the people who run the site…

  3. Chris
    September 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    GBVDigital has been gone for some time now. Is there any other way to get this/ give Bob my money?

  4. Matt
    October 26, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Piggybacking on what Chris asked. Since GBVDitigal is gone, how can I hear the whole show?

  5. Tym Macaleer
    July 24, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Darn, link is busted, I really wanted to hear this!

  6. acidjack
    July 24, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Yeah, not sure what happened to GBV’s download store, but it’s theirs to sell now.

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