Pollard: the new Mulder?
To what do we owe the honor?
Ever since Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard has seemed almost embarassed by the relative straightforwardness of his most famous band's name: among the intentionally ludicrous monikers he's tried on for size over the years have been Hazzard Hotrods, Psycho and the Birds, the Soft Rock Renegades, Lexo & the Leapers, Airport 5, Circus Devils, and one of our personal faves, Go Back Snowball.
Whether writing song titles, lyrics, or band names, it's often seemed that Pollard's compositional method is to open a dictionary, jab a finger, and string random words together. Perhaps, then, it was the mere randomness of the universe that led him to call his new band Boston Spaceships. But probably not. We don't think it's doing too much close-reading to surmise that the title of the Spaceships' debut, Brown Submarine (due September 9), is meant on some level to take a shit on the Beatles.
So what the hell could Pollard be referencing with this Spaceships thing? We inspected the new website and MySpace page, but learned little more than that Pollard has turned down tours with Radiohead and the Strokes and thinks Vampire Weekend are this year's Ned's Atomic Dustbin.
We were at wits end until our astute Pollard-phile Mike Miliard sent us the following, which seemed to clear up everything:
Ahh, mystery solved. The reference also meshes with the way Pollard (or whoever writes his press releases) describes his new endeavor: "Though you'll notice some subtle prog flourishes and acoustic strums, Brown Submarine is a pop punk album, made by and for kids who've worn out the grooves on their Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Wire and dBs records. While Pollard has stretched out post-GBV . . . Boston Spaceships rock hard, have fun and drink Miller Lite."
Minor point: "kids" don't listen to Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Wire, or the dBs. That's adults-pretending-to-be-kids music, or perhaps kids-with-insecure-parents-who-vicariously-indoctrinate-their-children-with-music-they-wish-they'd-been-cool-enough-to-listen-to-when-they-were-kids music. But that sort of goes without saying. The important thing is that Pollard's just announced that he'll take Boston Spaceships out for a spin this fall on what'll be his first tour in a couple years. It arrives at the Paradise on September 30: tix on sale now. In the meantime, here's the closing track from the record.
DOWNLOAD: Robert Pollard's Boston Spaceships, Go For the Exit (mp3)