Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft [Explicit Lyrics]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
Since graduating from home-recording obscurity to indie-rock iconhood, Guided by Voices have released a prolific stream of albums, EPs, and singles. Still, it isn't all that surprising that frontman Robert Pollard and company lay claim to enough unreleased archival material to fill the 100-song, four-CD Suitcase. This consistently colorful stroll through Pollard's basement tapes -- which includes a snazzy booklet with lyrics, photos, and essays -- is obviously aimed at the most die-hard GbV completists, but the material is actually consistently engaging, boasting the band's trademark mix of hissy lo-fi sonics, sterling pop hooks, and artfully inscrutable wordplay. ...
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10/17/2000 CD Limited Edition, Box set Fine Books, CDs, DVDs, Videogames, LPs & more! Fast shipping! All items guaranteed!

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
Since graduating from home-recording obscurity to indie-rock iconhood, Guided by Voices have released a prolific stream of albums, EPs, and singles. Still, it isn't all that surprising that frontman Robert Pollard and company lay claim to enough unreleased archival material to fill the 100-song, four-CD Suitcase. This consistently colorful stroll through Pollard's basement tapes -- which includes a snazzy booklet with lyrics, photos, and essays -- is obviously aimed at the most die-hard GbV completists, but the material is actually consistently engaging, boasting the band's trademark mix of hissy lo-fi sonics, sterling pop hooks, and artfully inscrutable wordplay. Though a handful of Suitcase's songs -- including "Buzzards and Dreadful Crows," "Wondering Boy Poet," and "Static Airplane Jive" -- have appeared on albums in different versions, most of these sonically humble but musically ambitious tunes have never been released before. Rather than crediting Guided by Voices, each of the tracks -- which date back to the early 1980s and are performed by various combinations of players -- is attributed to a different fictitious band with a regal moniker (e.g. Huge on Pluto, Judas & the Piledrivers, Champion Hairpuller, Elvis Caligula). Offering an embarrassment of musical riches that will delight GbV fanatics and probably perplex everyone else, Suitcase is a powerful testament to the band's loopy brilliance.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Only a fool would argue Robert Pollard's talent as a songwriter, but even the most loyal fans may find room to question his decision-making process. As the frontman, benevolent dictator, and sole constant member of Guided By Voices, the ever-prolific Pollard writes songs the way most people eat potato chips one right after another, but while a surprising number of them are good, he doesn't always appear to know which songs are keepers and which would be best left in his basement. The majority of Guided By Voices' albums have at least two or three songs that are purposeless fragments often more, and it's significant that GBV's most consistent if not their best album, Do the Collapse, was the first with a "real" producer Ric Ocasek on hand to assist in the editing process. Pollard's issues with quality vs. quantity are practically the raison d'ĂȘtre of Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft, a four-CD box set that collects homemade recordings of 100 songs that didn't make the grade on GBV's albums, from a tune Pollard wrote and recorded while a junior in high school "Little Jimmy the Giant," one of the better songs on disc one to several tunes rejected for Do the Collapse. Like most of Guided By Voices' previous releases, just about everything here was recorded on cassette machines in basements or rec rooms, and it sounds like it; I'm no audiophile, but the constant rumbling of hiss, fumbling of microphones, and rising and falling of levels was driving me nuts by the end of disc four. However, on " Try to Find You," recorded live in a noisy bar, we do get to overhear the touching reunion of two women who apparently haven't seen each other in a while. And true to form, each disc has several songs that sound unfinished, go in the wrong direction, or are simply dumb jokes that don't communicate outside the rehearsal room. But it's just as true that Pollard's genius with a melody, a chord change, and a hook runs wild and free through this set, and if you don't mind wading through losers like "Mr. McCaslin Will Sell No More Flowers," "Gayle," and "Driving in the U.S.A.," you'll be rewarded with beauties like "James Riot," "The Terrible Two," "Shrine to the Dynamic Years," "I Can See It in Your Eyes," "A Farewell to Arms," and "Long Way to Run," to name but a few. In many ways, Suitcase plays like Bee Thousand or Vampire on Titus expanded to epic length -- the work of a bunch of inspired semi-pros serving up a little noisy crap alongside a healthy portion of unpolished genius. The noise and the crap are what keep the mass audience away, and at the same time makes them all the more endearing to their cult; the same cultists probably also love the bulk of a four-disc box, while most anyone else would be better served with a more tightly edited two-disc package. If you're already a GBV loyalist, you don't need me to tell you you'll love Suitcase, but if you're either a dabbler or new to the band's work, let me point out that Do the Collapse and Mag Earwhig! are a lot cheaper, more portable, and readily available at better record stores near you.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2000
  • Label: Recordhead Records
  • UPC: 665998900628
  • Catalog Number: 25

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Terrible Two (1:46)
  2. 2 Bloodfeast (1:02)
  3. 3 The Kissing Life (2:44)
  4. 4 Bottoms Up! (You Fantastic Bastard) (3:25)
  5. 5 Tear It Out (4:27)
  6. 6 Cinnamon Flavored Skulls (0:35)
  7. 7 Bunco Men (2:22)
  8. 8 Bad and Rare (1:04)
  9. 9 Dorothy's a Planet (2:15)
  10. 10 Pluto the Skate (1:17)
  11. 11 Let's Go Vike (2:38)
  12. 12 Sabotage (4:26)
  13. 13 Pink Drink (3:09)
  14. 14 James Riot (2:47)
  15. 15 It's Easy (0:46)
  16. 16 Dank Star Ground Control (2:24)
  17. 17 Spring Tigers (2:08)
  18. 18 Born on Seaweed (2:11)
  19. 19 Flesh Ears from June (1:58)
  20. 20 Driving in the U.S. of A. (1:53)
  21. 21 My Big Day (5:55)
  22. 22 Have It Again (1:02)
  23. 23 Little Jimmy the Giant (1:52)
  24. 24 Taco, Buffalo, Birddog and Jesus (3:23)
  25. 25 Ding Dong Daddy (Is Back from the Bank) (0:38)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Supermarket the Moon (2:12)
  2. 2 Hold on to Yesterday (3:19)
  3. 3 Ha Ha Man (1:19)
  4. 4 Our Value of Luxury (2:59)
  5. 5 Bughouse (3:43)
  6. 6 Rainboy Billy (1:40)
  7. 7 Shrine to the Dynamic Years (Athens Time Change Riots) (1:56)
  8. 8 On Short Wave (2:48)
  9. 9 I Can See It in Your Eyes (2:12)
  10. 10 Tobacco's Last Stand (1:42)
  11. 11 Shifting Swift Is a Lift (2:17)
  12. 12 Sing It Out (1:11)
  13. 13 Messenger (1:54)
  14. 14 The Fool Ticket (2:24)
  15. 15 Mallard Smoke (1:55)
  16. 16 Mr. McCaslin Will Sell No More Flowers (1:26)
  17. 17 Shit Midas (0:55)
  18. 18 Blue Gil (2:51)
  19. 19 Invest in British Steel (3:49)
  20. 20 Spinning Around (2:10)
  21. 21 Let's Go (To War) (0:47)
  22. 22 Grasshopper Rap (1:27)
  23. 23 I'm Cold (2:41)
  24. 24 Damn Good Mr. Jam (2:41)
  25. 25 In Walked the Moon (4:08)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Long Way to Run (1:38)
  2. 2 Mr. Media (1:24)
  3. 3 Settlement Down (2:59)
  4. 4 Mr. Japan (1:47)
  5. 5 A Kind of Love (2:52)
  6. 6 Meddle (2:42)
  7. 7 Big Trouble (7:49)
  8. 8 A Good Circuitry Soldier (1:38)
  9. 9 Devil Doll (1:05)
  10. 10 Pantherz (2:04)
  11. 11 Cocaine Jane (0:52)
  12. 12 Exploding Anthills (1:39)
  13. 13 Perch Warble (1:36)
  14. 14 Medley: This View/True Sensation/On the Wall (3:52)
  15. 15 What Are We Coming up To? (1:56)
  16. 16 Scissors and the Clay Ox(In) (2:58)
  17. 17 Cody's Antler (2:24)
  18. 18 Once in a While (2:00)
  19. 19 Buzzards and Dreadful Crows (1:28)
  20. 20 Carnival at the Morning Star School (1:05)
  21. 21 Cruise (2:53)
  22. 22 Gayle (1:17)
  23. 23 Gift (2:55)
  24. 24 The Flying Party (0:55)
  25. 25 Trashed Aircraft (2:16)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Trying to Make It Work Again (1:04)
  2. 2 Turbo Boy (3:12)
  3. 3 Chain Wallet Bitch (0:29)
  4. 4 Little Head (2:19)
  5. 5 Why Did You Land? (2:47)
  6. 6 Time Machines (3:11)
  7. 7 A Farewell to Arms (2:13)
  8. 8 Best Thing Goin' Round (0:55)
  9. 9 Sickly Sweet (1:27)
  10. 10 United (3:51)
  11. 11 Unshaven Bird (1:19)
  12. 12 Black Ghost Pie (0:50)
  13. 13 Go for the Answers (2:19)
  14. 14 Rocking Now (1:47)
  15. 15 Excellent Things (2:33)
  16. 16 Static Airplane Jive (1:11)
  17. 17 Where I Come From (2:47)
  18. 18 Try to Find You (2:57)
  19. 19 Deaf Ears (2:06)
  20. 20 Good for a Few Laughs (2:14)
  21. 21 Raphael (2:59)
  22. 22 My Feet's Trustworthy Existance (2:29)
  23. 23 Eggs (3:24)
  24. 24 Wondering Boy Poet (1:08)
  25. 25 Oh, Blinky (2:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Guided by Voices Primary Artist
Kevin Fennell Drums
John Shough Bass
Tobin Sprout Guitar, Piano, Background Vocals, Hand Clapping
Jim MacPherson Drums
Robert Pollard Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Hand Clapping, Trash Cans
Greg Demos Bass, Vocals
Pete Jamison Vocals
Jim Pollard Guitar
Don Thrasher Drums
Steve Wilbur Guitar
Doug Gillard Guitar, Background Vocals
Paul Comstock Guitar, Background Vocals
Johnny Strange Bass
Mitch Mitchell Bass, Guitar
Larry Keller Drums
Bobby Pop Vocals
Mitch Swann Guitar
Greg Toohey Bass
Eric Payton Drums
Technical Credits
Jon Pareles Liner Notes
Tobin Sprout Composer
Terry Lawson Liner Notes
Robert Pollard Composer, Artwork, Cover Art
Dan Toohey Composer
Byron Coley Liner Notes
Mitch Mitchell Composer, drum machine
Michael Corcoran Liner Notes
Dhafer Youssef Composer
Michael Azerrad Liner Notes
Matt Diehl Liner Notes
John Mulvey Liner Notes
Victoria Segal Liner Notes
Ethan Smith Liner Notes
Dave Spague Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    And for the die-hard fan...

    I rate this outing a 3-star effort. Had it been a 3 disc offering, that rating would be a 4. And as a 2 disc set it would qualify for the 5-star treatment. That is how erratic and varied the song quality in this 4 disc monster are. But that is also why I love it so. Who else would have the guts to put this thing out? But do you have the guts to buy it?

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