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The Devil Went and Puked: Robert Pollard's Rock Show

Robert Pollard/Guided By Voices

The Devil Went and Puked: Robert Pollard’s Rock Show

(MVD Visual/Rockathon Records)

Hard to believe it’s been five years since ol’ Bob Pollard pulled the plug on his Dayton, Ohio rock goliath Guided By Voices. The indefatigable 50-something indie rock superhero himself hasn’t slowed down. He’s often recording and releasing four or more records along with the seemingly endless reserve of unreleased GBV material, and even touring with some regularity and playing the old band’s “hits.” It’s like GBV never really stopped.

The truth lies in what Pollard told Harp Magazine in 2005: “I am Robert Pollard and I am Guided By Voices.” That quote could not be proven more true than in the new film The Devil Went Home and Puked. In 67 minutes Pollard culls, crafts, collages, and curates a media pastiche that collects pieces from every era of his musical career, putting together music, unseen video clips, artwork, and offbeat film interludes into a seamless rock-and-roll art film. The result is a psychedelic freak piece that bears every bit of the lo-fi, warts-and-all, stop/start glory that Pollard and GBV have come to symbolize. At the same time The Devil Went Home and Puked echoes the avant satire and madness that fellow groundbreaking Ohioan rockers Devo put into their early films of the 1970s. The hardcore fans will find plenty of joy in the mind-bending mix of rare clips in the studio, unreleased videos, and wacked-out vignettes, while the uninitiated will get the perfect primer to the waking universe of Pollard and GBV. All of the clips can be viewed a la carte from another DVD menu.

A guy who didn’t even “go professional” as a rock star until his late 30s, Pollard has always been the perfect basement DIY auteur. He has always been about doing it on his own, always for his own pleasure and own reasons, keeping his hands in every element of making the music: writing it all, helping to arrange and record it, creating the artwork, and shooting the videos. This makes The Devil Went Home and Puked a perfect multi-media showcase for his brand of unfettered, off-kilter genius.

donny kutzbach

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