My Top 1000 Songs #609: Jane Of The Waking Universe

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

As noted a few times before, I could easily fill this list with dozens of Guided By Voices (and Robert Pollard solo) tunes. But that would get boring, so, like other great (albeit far less prolific) acts like the Beatles, Who, Clash, etc., I've tried to cherry-pick a few absolute faves, even if that selection might change with my whims. Which brings us to "Jane Of The Waking Universe"--probably not the most obvious of GbV tracks. It's from 1997's Mag Earwhig, not their most beloved record, when Pollard brings on a new backing band to replace the line-up that had been in place through their classic mid-90s run, and adds some muscle to the songs (with mixed results). 

Still, "Jane" is as solid as anything that came before (perhaps coincidentally the one one track on which the old line-up still plays)--like the best GbV nuggets, it's ridiculously catchy, with some drop-dead harmonies in the chorus. The upgrade of their lo-fi roots to a fully produced rock & roll anthem works here, powerful but still far from slick, the under two and a half-minute running time keeping it squarely in the "let's throw a bunch of these against the wall and see what sticks" territory. And it's got the usual, wonderful lyrical gibberish, nonsensical & profound-- "And undulating always like the tide, the devil's bride is calling all toward her skirt. And in the loving folds there, we will hide inside, from any would be sneak attack until it's safe to journey back."

As one says.

Live, last fall: