GBV Singer And Guitarist To Release Album; Band To Tour

Robert Pollard and Doug Gillard's Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department due next month.

As Guided by Voices frontman Robert Pollard and guitarist Doug Gillard prepare to release an album of their own, their power-pop band will continue promoting this summer's Do the Collapse with a new set of U.S. tour dates.

Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department, credited to Pollard and Gillard jointly, is due Nov. 6.

Gillard played all the instruments on the album, leaving only the vocals to Pollard, according to Jason Pierce, an employee of the indie label Recordhead, which is releasing the record along with another label, Rockathon Records.

"I can't believe it's not a full band — it's so f---ing good," Pierce said.

Except for Pollard's vocals, the entire album was recorded on a four-track, according to Pierce. He compared the album's "immediacy" to that of Guided by Voices' lo-fi classic Bee Thousand (1994).

The album's song titles reflect Pollard's characteristic lyrical inscrutability. They include "Frequent Weaver Who Burns," "Soul Train College Policeman," "Soft Smoke" and "Larger Massachusetts."

The full band, meanwhile, is still promoting Do the Collapse, the Ric Ocasek–produced album released in August that lends a newly polished sheen to GBV's guitar rock.

A month's worth of shows are scheduled, from Nov. 4 in St. Louis through Dec. 4 in Detroit.

Do the Collapse includes "Picture Me Big Time" (RealAudio excerpt) and the single "Teenage FBI" (RealAudio excerpt), which also appears on the new soundtrack Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Music From the TV Series.

Before the GBV disc came out, Pollard, who has led the band for more than a decade through numerous lineup changes, said he wasn't worried that some fans might reject the studio touches of former Cars leader Ocasek (Weezer, Nada Surf).

"It's pop, but real powerful power-pop," Pollard said. "There may be some of our fans who like it when the songs sound different, with a different fidelity, but these are all f---ing hi-fi."

Guided by Voices made their name in the mid-'90s with the scratchily recorded power-pop albums Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes, as well as a barrage of nonalbum singles and EPs. In concert, they've also drawn on material from Pollard's three solo albums as well as from his side project, Lexo and the Leapers, which released the EP Ask Them in May.

The band is now touring the UK

Guided by Voices tour dates:

Nov. 4; St. Louis, Mo.; Mississippi Nights

Nov. 5; Columbia, Mo.; Blue Note

Nov. 6; Lawrence, Kan.; Bottleneck

Nov. 8; Denver, Colo.; Bluebird Theatre

Nov. 11; San Francisco, Calif.; Maritime Hall

Nov. 12; Los Angeles, Calif.; The Palace

Nov. 13; Solana Beach, Calif.; Belly Up Tavern

Nov. 15; Tempe, Ariz.; The Green Room

Nov. 16; Tucson, Ariz.; Club Congress

Nov. 18; Dallas, Texas; Trees

Nov. 19; Houston, Texas; Fitzgerald's

Nov. 20; Austin, Texas; La Zona Rosa

Nov. 22; Memphis, Tenn.; The Last Place on Earth

Nov. 23; Nashville, Tenn.; 328 Performance Hall

Nov. 24; Louisville, Ky.; Headliners

Dec. 3; Cleveland, Ohio; Agora Ballroom

Dec. 4; Detroit, Mich.; Majestic Theatre