Sound Advice: : Bayside and Robert Pollard

Upcoming concert previews of note

Dec 1, 2007 at 2:06 pm
Robert Pollard

Bayside with June, The Sleeping, A Day to Remember and Driver Side Impact

Friday 11/30 · The Mad Hatter

Although it might seem as though the title of Bayside's latest album, The Walking Wounded, might be making some veiled reference to the 2005 van accident that took the life of drummer John "Beatz" Holohan and severely injured bassist Nick Ghanbarian, frontman Anthony Raneri insists that the title and the song are about survivors in general and about the process of dealing with and getting over one's wounds. The Long Island, N.Y., quartet has certainly lived up to that philosophy in their seven-year existence, enduring a long string of personnel changes (Raneri is the only original member; guitarist Jack O'Shea joined in 2003, Ghanbarian in 2004 and new drummer Chris Guglielmo signed on last year) before hooking up with Victory Records, one of Chicago's premier indie labels.

After inspiring a healthy buzz with their initial EPs, Bayside made a huge impression with their J. Robbins-produced 2003 debut full-length, Sirens and Condolences, a bleak but melodic slice of edgy Emo that was hailed as one of the genre's best. Their acclaimed self-titled 2005 follow-up presented a slightly brighter outlook while continuing to bash away with angsty Emo/Punk introspection, and the band's subsequent tour was drawing enthusiastic crowds and positive critical reaction. After Holohan's tragic death, Bayside stiffened their resolve to remain together; Raneri and O'Shea continued the tour as an acoustic duo while Ghanbarian recuperated. The shows were filmed for a DVD that accompanied Bayside Acoustic, an album of unplugged Bayside tracks, covers of the Smiths, Smoking Popes and Elliott Smith, and "Winter," a new song dedicated to Holohan.

When Ghanbarian recovered sufficiently, Bayside hit the road with interim drummer Gavin Miller, who was replaced by permanent drummer Chris Guglielmo before the band began work on The Walking Wounded. Perhaps the band's most expansive and explosive work to date, combining Emo energy with a crafty Pop sensibility, The Walking Wounded has already proven to be a hit with their fans, and the visceral intensity they brought to the studio is amped up exponentially when Bayside faces their audience. Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.(Brian Baker)

Robert Pollard with Death of Fashion

Saturday 12/1 · Southgate House

When former Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard released his latest two solo albums, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love and Standard Gargoyle Decisions, on the same day back in October, I was inspired to craft an inside music joke: Why did Robert Pollard release two albums on the same day? Because he was too busy working on three others for the Fading Captain Series to actually put out the other six he has finished.

And I've since decided that's no joke; it's merely an empirical fact. Previously with GBV and currently on his own, Pollard turns out songs like Kellogg's cranks out Corn Flakes — consistent quality with occasional burnt offerings for contrast and proof of fallibility.

Even by Pollard's own ridiculously prolific standards, 2007 has been a banner year for the Dayton native, with the release of the aforementioned full-lengths, plus the Silverfish Trivia EP under his own name and the double-disc Fading Captain retrospective Crickets. Then there's the Circus Devils — Pollard's Beefheart-meets-the-Who project with the Tobias brothers — and their excellent Sgt. Disco, not to mention his latest albums with the Takeovers and Acid Ranch, and the launch of his Happy Jack Rock Records Singles Club, with non-LP B-sides on actual 7-inch records. Combined with the nine or so releases he unleashed last year, Pollard makes even the most ambitious Rock bands seem like hopeless slackards by comparison.

So with all this musical activity (and let's not forget the upcoming art exhibit of his collage work in New York), it would seem that Pollard would necessarily be forced to redirect some of it to fit everything in and this year it would be the live aspect that has suffered for his art. Pollard's jam-packed Web site ( cites his upcoming shows at the Metro in Chicago and Saturday's bacchanalia at the Southgate House as the only shows scheduled for the entire year. For a guy as prolific as Robert Pollard, he's only assembling two audiences in 2007 and we've got one of them. It should without saying: Not to be missed. The show is sold out, but check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here. (BB)