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Guided By Voices


Guided By Voices, the other pride of Dayton, Ohio (the Wrong brothers?), has said this much-ballyhooed reunion tour features a half-and-half mix of new and classic material. Good luck discerning the difference. Not content with one comeback album, the naked emperors of go-for-broken indie rock have thus far issued two in 2012 — January's Let's Go Eat the Factory and June's Class Clown Spots a UFO, all told comprising 42 tracks of meandering, messy, expectant excellence — with a third, Bears for Lunch, on the way. This pace actually puts head beerleader Robert Pollard right on schedule: He's released at least two official, quality-uncontrolled solo albums every year since 2006, and the frequency and spontaneity of his various side-projects (Boston Spaceships, Circus Devils, Fading Captain, archival releases and assorted mailed-in "postal-rock" blind dates) play like a musical Tourette syndrome. The hits-to-misses ratio topples on Guided By Voices' bedrock recordings Bee Thousand (1994) and Alien Lanes (1995), 48 songs worth of slurred swills, spoken-word diatribes, midchorus fadeouts, madman ramblings and guitar-pop exhibitions worthy of a display case at the Smithsonian, overwhelmingly pretty playpens ("Awful Bliss") and exceedingly weird pigpens ("Kicker of Elves"). After all that, Class Clown's handclapped title track is one of the simplest, loveliest things they've ever done, a never-say-die triumph of sky-streaking guitar and vocal hooks, the crosshatch of fight and flight. Detective and KG Accidental open. Tickets $30. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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