Chavez Makes a Rare Appearance, Upstaging Guided By Voices' Farewell - Oh My Rockness

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Chavez Makes a Rare Appearance, Upstaging Guided By Voices' Farewell

December 2, 2004
The seminal and most influential Guided by Voices play their final NYC shows before calling it quits on a nearly two-decade career. But moving on, guess who's opening for them Saturday night? Chavez!

Sure, this show is sold-out mostly because fans want to say goodbye to Bob Pollard and crew. But that's not why I will be there. I liked Guided by Voices enough, but for their demise I shed no tears. I mean do you have to put out a new album every 3.4 months? Being prolific is one thing, but come on. No, I will be there because I was (and still am) in love with NYC's Chavez. They were simply one of the most underrated bands of the 90's. Chavez only put out two proper albums, 1995's Gone Glimmering and 1996's Ride the Fader. And both of these releases were virtually interchangeable. The songs on one could've easily been on the other. So much so that, even though I've listened to each hundreds of times, I couldn't really tell you which songs are on which.

But Chavez knew what they did well. And that was playing guitar-driven songs with an angular, highly melodic bent. So it was an extreme letdown when I heard they were no more. Singer Matt Sweeney, of course, went on to be in, among other projects, the short-lived Zwan with Billy Corgan (with wasn't as good as Smashing Pumpkins or Chavez.) It seemed like Chavez would fade away into indie rock obscurity. Until this year...

The first I saw of the Chavez resurfacing was in May. They played a benefit at the Bowery with Jon Spencer, Cat Power and others. I couldn't go because... I'm lame and I'm still kicking myself for it. The band has turned up a few more times since then, but it feels as though the gig with Guided by Voices is their true coming-out-again party. Whether or not their sound has changed significantly I can't say since I haven't heard them in 8 years. But somehow I'm thinking they've still got some good guitar hooks in them. And while no one is saying they are formally back together or that they'll ever record again, this show should be a good indicator as to what their future holds.

Oh, and let me know how Guided by Voices are. I'll be at the bar.

Guided by Voices and Chavez play Saturday, December 4th at Irving Plaza.


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