I’m a fan of the now defunct band, Guided By Voices. I have all of their legitimate releases as well as a concert or two that I found online. While I used to listen to the band at least a little bit every day, I haven’t listened to them much at all in the last year or so. I’ll blame that on The Decemberists. Anyway, I came up with this brilliant idea a few weeks ago. The plan is to put my iPod on shuffle and listen to my entire catalog of Guided By Voices music until I’m all the way through it.
After a few days I was feeling pretty good about my progress, despite not having too many opportunities to listen to my iPod. I looked down at my iPod and it said I had listened to 78 GBV songs. That made me feel even better about my progress. I know that Bob Pollard, the lead and brain-child of GBV, is a very prolific songwriter, but 78 songs is still several albums worth of material. I had to have put a sizeable dent in the catalog, right? After the split-second that it took for all of this to flash in my mind, I read the rest of the line and realized just how many GBV songs I have.
684. Yes, there are 684 Guided By Voices songs on my iPod. There are some duplicates, but that’s probably only about 100 of those songs, and I still “have” to listen to them in order to actually listen to my entire catalog. Doing the math, that leaves almost 600 original GBV songs. Bob Pollard certainly IS prolific. But I really should have known this prior to starting this endeavor, as I have both “Suitcase 1” and “Suitcase 2”, two box sets that Bob released that each include 100 previously unreleased songs. So, that’s 200 original songs that weren’t even officially released until the box sets. The amount (and quality) of his output is amazing.
At this moment I’m on song 390. I’m making progress through the catalog, but it’s slow going. I can’t listen to anything else with my iPod because then I’ll lose my place in the shuffle and I’d have to start over. This kind of stinks, as I could really stand to listen to some Lady GaGa or The Decemberists right about now. I’ve taken to filling my non-GBV wants by listening to last.fm on my Xbox 360 when at home or to the actual radio when I’m in the car. Unfortunately, these are times that I normally would be listening to my iPod, which means these are times when I could be putting a dent in my sizeable GBV task.
It’s a good thing I like GBV.