Andrew W.K. Talks Robert Pollard’s Jack Sells the Cow
I’ve just finished listening to Robert Pollard’s newest solo album Jack Sells the Cow, and I’m devastated. I’m overwhelmed by its excellence and also tortured by it. The album makes all music seem possible. It makes everything feel like autumn has just begun. It’s the feeling of potential and parties — that something great is about to happen, and that something great just did happen and you’re in the reveling in the afterglow. His music makes me feel like the best song that doesn’t already exist will suddenly pop into your head — it seems like that happens to him. The greatest song you’ve never heard, so then write and record them. He also makes music that’s existed before seem to have always been there and like you wrote it with him.
How does he do it? How does Robert do this over and over and then continue to do it? I’ve met him several times and couldn’t gain much insight from our brief conversations and hang-out sessions. I’ve seen him play live several times and was only overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the show and surrounding phenomenon — but still wasn’t given much insight into how he makes this all happen. Maybe he doesn’t know how he does it either. Maybe he’s as intimidated by his abilities as I am. Maybe he struggles with the explosions of creativity surging through him. Maybe it feels uncomfortable to have so many songs to record and get out. Or maybe it’s the greatest and most orgasmic feeling in the world.
Not only is Robert Pollard responsible for all his incredible solo releases, he’s also the lead singer and mastermind behind the powerhouse rock band Guided by Voices. They formed in 1983. So for nearly 30 years, Robert has actually been increasing his powers and his energies and his skills. He’s making more music than ever. And he makes the music seem so easy. I can’t believe how much material he gets out — and its quality is so high-quality— almost too high. You could spend years enjoying just one of his albums, yet he’s already released four albums this year alone. Each album could be its own universe, and each song its own planet to explore, but instead he’s created multiple universes and alternate universes within universes, and that’s just the beginning of his entire universe. You could definitely ONLY listen to Robert Pollard music and be super well-stocked with tunes for a long time. It’s one of those rare cases where the more he does, the better it all gets. Maybe he’s still on fire from the same initial epiphany that’s kept him inspired this whole time — one continuous massive rocking vibe. Or maybe it’s been an ever-changing journey of extreme dynamics and methods and efforts.
I have so many questions, but none of them really matter. The music is here and it answers the big questions, and it just keeps coming. Robert Pollard is a cum engine.