There is a certain type of indie rock aficionado out there who is particularly committed to a single band. A single man, really, as Guided By Voices have gone through a handful of changes in personnel, with only frontman/songwriter/mastermind Robert Pollard consistently around for every release. Being a fan of Guided By Voices requires a great deal of devotion simply because Pollard is such a complicated artist. He is a bit of a workaholic, and writing and recording appears to be something of a compulsion for him. Conservatively speaking, there have been no fewer than 16 studio albums that bear the Guided By Voices name, and that isn't counting the multi-disc, multi-volume Suitcase series of outtakes, any live albums, split EPs or albums credited to Pollard as a solo artist. It's a tremendous amount of material to keep track of, and finding a starting point is almost impossible. But on this day in 1994, Pollard made it a little bit easier for fans to break in by releasing the best, most consistent album Guided By Voices have ever produced in Bee Thousand.
Recorded on the cheap in Pollard's basement while he was still teaching public school, Bee Thousand was supposed to be his swan song before hanging up the musical spurs and focusing on his family. But in recording Bee Thousand, Pollard finally found the right balance between British pub rock, '60s-era garage and just the right amount of punk rock swagger. That sound, combined with Pollard's penchant for surrealistic imagery in his lyrics, made Bee Thousand into a critically-acclaimed monster that is considered one of the landmark albums of the '90s indie movement.
The songs on Bee Thousand rarely go longer than two minutes, but one of the longer ones — "I Am a Scientist," which clocks in at a whopping two minutes and 30 seconds — is the centerpiece of the album and one of Pollard's favorite songs to play live. The video is delightfully low-fi, trippy and charming — just like Pollard himself.