Song of the Day: Guided By Voices – King Arthur The Red

GBV backstage at Sasquatch / photo by Rich Turiel

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “King Arthur The Red” by Guided By Voices from the 2013 album The Bears For Lunch on GBV Inc.

Guided By Voices – King Arthur The Red (MP3)

There are generally only two stances that music lovers take to Guided By Voices – either they don’t matter at all or they’re the only band that matters. Since its inception in 1983, the one-of-a-kind Dayton, Ohio, group have produced 19 studio albums (with #20 in the works) with 17 different members, all primarily written by the band’s legendarily prolific leader, Robert Pollard. During their original run, Guided By Voices were notorious for their lo-fi aesthetic, alcohol-fueled marathon shows, and fervent cult following, who subscribed to every word of the Gospel of Pollard. Pollard suddenly disbanded the group in 2004, declaring that he’d be continuing with his solo career, but then, he just suddenly reunited the 1993-96 lineup six years later. Seemingly looking to make up for lost time, the band issued three new albums of studio material last year and toured behind them. “King Arthur The Red”, the opening track from The Bears For Lunch, the third of the band’s 2012 albums, is a rough, loose, aggressive, and hummable slice of Robert Pollard’s skewed take on the British Invasion. Clocking in at just over two minutes, “King Arthur The Red” is a lively sign that despite their age (each member is pushing or past 50), Guided By Voices are just as energetic and weird as ever. Here’s to another decade of the best scissor kicks in indie rock.

Guided By Voices don’t have any tour dates lined up right now, but they do have another new album coming out, entitled English Little League, on April 30th via GBV Inc. If the band decides to tour this year, they’ll announce those dates on their website and Facebook. Watch last year’s video for “Keep It In Motion”, starring Jon Glaser, below.

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