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- Posted on Jan 5th 2011 2:00PM by Mike Ayers
"Nick Mitchell is a friend who does solo sets at bars in Dayton," Pollard explains to Spinner. "He does some cool s---, especially when I'm there. He likes me to take a microphone with him. He does a lot of Beatles, Who and Pink Floyd. He opened with 'Acid Queen' once and elicited quite a response from me. Anyway, I got his request list with all these song titles that have been etched in the mind of most people for decades. I scrambled them and made a list of my own titles: 'Something Strawberry,' 'Children Ships,' 'Follow a Loser' and went down the list and wrote a song for every one. I was highly inspired and really dig what came out of that approach."
'Space City Kicks' doesn't slough off on the guitars -- it's an album of punchy, Pollard-style rock anthems that find him tender at times, as on 'Blowing Like a Sunspot' and a bit poppy on the aforementioned 'Strawberry Something.'
February sees Pollard teaming again with Guided by Voices' Doug Gillard for their side project, Lifeguards. 'Waving at the Astronauts' serves as the follow-up to 2003's 'Mist King Urth' and Pollard describes the new LP as "less proggy and more arena rock."
"['Waving at the Astronauts] is quite diverse and the main point of interest would be Doug's guitar playing and Travis Harrison's production," he says. "It's almost over the top, especially my input, but not too far. I think it entertains."
Lastly, March sees the debut of a new Pollard project called Mars Classroom, that of a collaboration with Big Dipper/Volcano Suns alum Gary Waleik. Formed out of a mutual appreciation for each other's work, Pollard says that Waleik came up with the name of the band, as well as the album's title, 'The New Theory of Everything.'
"It's the only line he wrote and sang on the album," he says. "I'm a big fan of his work, not only with Big Dipper but also early Volcano Suns. He knows where to go with chord progressions to make them interesting and has a great sense of melody and harmony. He's also a really good guitar player. What he sent me for Mars Classroom intimidated and blew me away."
Needless to say, it doesn't sound like Pollard's booking any vacations anytime soon.
Listen to, 'Touch Me in the Right Place, at the Right Time,' a new Robert Pollard track from 'Space City Kicks below.