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Guided by Voices' Bee Thousand (33 1/3) Paperback – October 2, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Bee Thousand makes perfect sense for Continuum's famous 331/3 series. The breakthrough album for Guided by Voices undoubtedly has an appropriate stature, as it exemplified a certain style of lo-fi, DIY aesthetic that's still influential. Moreover, Robert Pollard's elliptical lyrics and layered, yet quasi-improvisational melodies would seem to profit from a handy introduction. Everyone I know who listens to Guided by Voices was introduced to their music by some knowledgeable friend, a role which Marc Woodworth ably takes up in his short book. What's more interesting about Bee Thousand, though, is the way it both embraces and complicates the nostalgia permeating the entire 331/3 series. Simultaneously a mythologizing and d demythologizing book, Bee Thousand demonstrates yet again the power of Faulkner's claim that 'the past isn't even past.' ...Woodworth's book should help listeners of any age find joy in such oddities as "Hardcore UFOs," "a dairy creamer explicitly laid out as a fruitcake," and the "kicker of elves." More generally, anyone interested in DIY-type bands should find the bands narratives relevant."
(popmatters.com)

Bee Thousand makes perfect sense for Continuum’s famous 331/3 series. The breakthrough album for Guided by Voices undoubtedly has an appropriate stature, as it exemplified a certain style of lo-fi, DIY aesthetic that’s still influential. Moreover, Robert Pollard’s elliptical lyrics and layered, yet quasi-improvisational melodies would seem to profit from a handy introduction. Everyone I know who listens to Guided by Voices was introduced to their music by some knowledgeable friend, a role which Marc Woodworth ably takes up in his short book. What’s more interesting about Bee Thousand, though, is the way it both embraces and complicates the nostalgia permeating the entire 331/3 series. Simultaneously a mythologizing and d demythologizing book, Bee Thousand demonstrates yet again the power of Faulkner’s claim that 'the past isn’t even past.’ …Woodworth’s book should help listeners of any age find joy in such oddities as “Hardcore UFOs,” “a dairy creamer explicitly laid out as a fruitcake,” and the “kicker of elves.” More generally, anyone interested in DIY-type bands should find the bands narratives relevant.”
(Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Marc Woodworth is the author of Solo: Women Singer-Songwriters in their Own Words (Dell, 1998) and a volume of poetry, Arcade (Grove Press, 2002). He edits the international quarterly Salmagundi and teaches at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826417485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826417480
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.4 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a mixture of a) the insightful and interesting reflections of those who created and assisted with Bee Thousand, b) well-written and relatable musings from hardcore fans about how they discovered the album and what it means to them, and c) the bloated, pretentious verse of what manifests in my head as Cheers' Diane Chambers rattling off Greil Marc-esque collegiate diatribes about a soulful beer-drinking anthemic record.

For the big fans, the book is fully worth it for points a & (especially) b. My recommendation is to skip the entirety of c.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very informative book that makes you think about such great songs in a brand new way. The fact that Robert Pollard has not one, but two long essays in the book (one is by Bart J Hooper LLD or something similar, very obviously bob himself) makes this alone worth the price of entry. Add that to the great commentary by Tobin Sprout and a very competent author and you have a perfect celebration of the glory that is Bee Thousand and GBV.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of my desert island must haves is the Bee Thousand album and this book is a nice companion piece to go with the recording. I consider Bee Thousand to be one of the greatest post-Beatles rock and roll albums of all time. I think about this record a lot and wondered if it affected others as much as it affected me. And apparently it has. So it's nice to have this Bee Thousand inspired piece of work around to assure me that although I live in a place where most people have horrid tastes, I'm not alone in considering B1000 to be a masterpiece of poetry and music.
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Format: Paperback
Another enjoyable entry in the 33 1/3 series. Woodworth combines extended interviews with each band member along with his own musings about GBV, their working methods, their lyrics (just what exactly is a tractor rape chain?) and broader musings about the insular joys of making music and art in your friends' basements that you love, but which in most cases (though not GBV's), will never get heard. Woodworth's love for Bee Thousand is palpable through out, and while I'm not sure I buy his interpretations of Bob Pollard as an Emersonian hero, he's definitely right about the man being a sort of modern musical folk-hero and maybe some weird kind of savant. After I finished the book it made me want to take a bunch of bric-a-brac down into my basement and try to put together some weird, fragmented little collages of my own. With Echos Myron and Hot Freaks blaring in the background, of course.
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