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Vancouver band SK Robot pays tribute to Dayton, Ohio indie-rock giants Guided by Voices for ninth annual event, at the ANZA Club this Saturday.
Robert Pollard with Guided by Voices at the Pearl Concert Theatre, Las Vegas, Oct 3 2010.
A friend the other day was telling me about bringing up Guided by Voices in conversation with someone who’d never heard of the Dayton, Ohio indie-rock band. “Name a song,” this person said to my friend. “Maybe I’ll know it.”
“That’s the thing,” said my friend. “You either know them all, or you don’t know any of them.”
Saturday, November 13, 2010
ANZA Club, 3 W 8th Ave, Vancouver
Tickets at the door
This is true. You can point to a few fabulous pop gems—”Teenage FBI,” “Glad Girls,” “Chasing Heather Crazy”—that, in the group’s ’90s heyday, almost succeeded in pushing Guided by Voices over that magical line to Weezer-size popularity. However, nothing stuck: the band’s potent blend of pop, prog and psychedelic rock was just too out of step with the times.
But those that did fall under the spell did so with fanaticism. Which explains Guided by Robots.
Now in its ninth year, the annual Vancouver event, traditionally held downstairs at the ANZA Club, is presented by local indie-rock outfit SK Robot with guest vocalist Kevin Perley. Together, the quintet powers through two should-have-been-hits-filled sets of Guided by Voices songs (the band’s chief songwriter Robert Pollard has over 1,200 tunes registered with his music publisher) followed by karaoke, in which members of the audience are invited to sing along with SK Robot.
(The ANZA’s downstairs room has no stage; it was a major concession to the spirit of the evening when, for last year’s event, the pool table was moved out from in front of where the band normally plays to a far corner.)
This can, and has, devolved into a dozen drunken audience members crashing into each other while the good-natured (and by this time quite intoxicated themselves) members of SK Robot play “Glad Girls” over and over again.
For fans of Guided by Voices—who, five years after breaking up, recently reunited for a tour—it’s New Year’s Eve, Halloween and happy birthday all rolled up into one. And, as with past years, all money raised at the door goes to Vancouver Rape Relief.