My Top 1000 Songs #185: Pop Zeus

While appearing on a Robert Pollard solo album--1999's Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department, credited to Pollard and guitarist Doug Gillard--"Pop Zeus" may be the most prototypical Guided by Voices tune. Ridiculously infectious hook that instantly sounds like the catchiest tune you've heard up to that point in your life? Check. Rough, lo-fi sound that sounds tossed-off with minimal effort, yet you wouldn't change a note? Check. Profoundly nonsensical lyrics that seem like they must have some deeper meaning for those in the know? Check. ("Find him a helmet, he will come crashing. Pop Zeus--Electric newspaper boy!") A rousing rock & roll anthem compressed to under 2 and a half minutes? Check.

There are Guided by Voices/Pollard tunes that hold deeper meaning for me; but if you wanted to most concisely nail down the aesthetic that lies behind several thousand Pollard/GbV songs (and counting), this would be my pick.

Sloppy-drunk live, missing all the notes, still great:
BTW, don't forget to check out my playlist of Pollard solo/side project highlights.