The town of Dayton, Ohio enjoyed its time in the sun in late 2003. With the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' ascent to the sky, the town that reared those inventors could take pride in the birth of the century's greatest innovation. While the Wright Brothers have left a tremendous imprint on modern culture and travel, Dayton's other famous son, Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, has long been Ohio's finest musical export. While Pollard is simultaneously lauded and derided for his willingness to release every one of his musical thoughts, 2003 was big business even by GbV standards. In late summer the band released a new full-length entitled Earthquake Glue, and by the end of the year (and just in time for holiday shopping) a collection of greatest hits, a five-disc boxed set and a DVD documentary had all hit the shielves. That comes out to around seven hours of ear-bending, cryptic and thoroughly melodic rock & roll.
Don't fret if you can't keep up with the Pollard canon: Just bring a $20 bill to Mississippi Nights this Wednesday and see Guided by Voices in its full-rocking, beer-slamming glory. That will get you into the show and give you enough left over for a bottle of Busch Light; both purchases will give you a nice introductory taste of the band.