Sunday, April 8, 2012

Guided By Voices classic live: Crying Your Knife Away (analogloyalist remaster)

Some time back we were running through a compendium of sorts of key Guided By Voices tracks from the band's "classic years", roughly from 1990 - 1996.  The series petered out after Vampire On Titus, mainly because I realized what a fool's errand it was trying to pick a limited subset of tracks from the three following LPs (Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes and Under The Bushes Under The Stars) and (seemingly) hundreds of singles/EPs/errata that the band released.  For the most part, except for the non-LP sets *all* the LP material is essential.  The non-LP sets had many key moments, but my enthusiasm for picking through those releases faded as well.  Ah well, such is the life of the blog-as-diversion, not blogger-for-life.

And then I had the thought:  Y'know, this has already been done (mostly).  Back in the dark, dusty ages of 1995 I purchased this amazing 2xLP live set called Crying Your Knife Away, from the late, lamented Record Swap in Naperville, Illinois.  Barring less-critical thoughts about sound quality, and excusing the absence of some utter classics ("Echos Myron" / "A Salty Salute" / etc), this pseudo-bootleg had it all.  A virtual travelogue of the band's "greatest hits" up through the then-newly-recorded-but-unreleased LP Scalping The Guru (which was retitled and resequenced to become Alien Lanes), and a few classics from Propeller and Vampire On Titus.

Somewhere in the sands of time my 2xLP set disappeared.  I don't remember if I sold it, lost it, or what.  It's just gone, but for the magic of the internets it's not gone forever!  Also helpful was the 1998 reissue of this set on CD, packaging it all up oh-so-conveniently in a modern, portable, perfect-sound-forever medium.

The CD's sound quality was meh, however.  While obviously soundboard, and from a master, the "mastering" - or what passes for it - is shit.  It's been so long - 17 years? - since I've heard the original LP pressing that I have not a clue if the CD is faithful or not.  Regardless, the CD mastering needs a fair bit of help.

As a result, this thing shines - warts (beer too) and all.  One minor issue is that the sheets of feedback embedded in quite a few of the songs - audible on the original CD, but subsumed under the din - are brought almost too far forward in my version.  It's not something I've been able to solve, but then again, it was presumably present at the gig, too.

So here we go.  I love this record, and now you shall too.  Enjoy hearing the band, over the course of an hour, get progressively drunk(er) and as a consequence the endearing looseness it maintains.  Send in striped white pants!

Crying Your Knife Away
(analogloyalist April 2012 remaster)

Bass - Greg Demos
Drums - Kevin Fennel
Guitar - Robert Pollard (track 21)
Striped white pants - Greg Demos
Vocals - Robert Pollard
Vocals, Guitar - Mitch Mitchell , Tobin Sprout

Recorded live at Bela Koe-Krompecher's 26th birthday party in Columbus, Ohio on June 18th 1994.
Music interspersed with jokes and quips of Robert Pollard.
CD re-release of limited edition LP originally released in 1994.

01 [intro]
02 Postal Blowfish
03 The Closer You Are The Quicker It Hits You
04 My Valuable Hunting Knife
05 Gold Star For Robot Boy
06 Lethargy
07 Striped White Jets
08 Non-Absorbing
09 The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
10 Shocker In Gloomtown
11 Motor Away
12 Awful Bliss
13 Tractor Rape Chain
14 Blimps Go 90
15 Exit Flagger
16 I Am A Scientist
17 Quality Of Armor
18 Cruise
19 Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
20 Some Drilling Implied
21 If We Wait
22 Weed King
23 Pimple Zoo
24 Break Even
25 Ester's Day

Bela Koe-Krompecher's 26th birthday party at Stache's in Columbus, Ohio, June 18, 1994. The party actually started at 3:00 PM in Bela's backyard. Kegs were flowing, and Pete Jamison manned the grill, while Bela's grandmother, (beer in hand), presided over the whole affair from a lazy boy in the middle of the yard. Records were traded, lies were told, and perception was severely impaired. Around 10:00 PM the party went mobile, stumbling a few blocks away to Stache's. The drink of choice was Rolling Rock, and before GBV took the stage, at least one band member caught a nap.

Grab it here, lossless FLAC as usual.

Anybody have, or can make, a high-res (600dpi would be nice) scan of the original LP cover?  The original is full color while the CD reissue is greyscale.  I've not been able to source quality versions of either on the webz.


  1. No idea what the original sounds like, but this sounds excellent. Cheers mate.

  2. I will be quite interested to hear this. I remember being somewhat disappointed with the sound of the original CD (although still thrilled to have it!).


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  4. This is nowhere near 600dpi, but this is still better than anything I was able to find online. I extracted/re-aligned this from an ebay auction photo.