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I Sell The Circus

Ricked Wicky

Released: 02/02/2015
Format: LP
Label: Fire Records
Catalog #: FIRELP396
Country: United Kingdom
Discs: 1
# Tracks: 15
Front Cover
Back Cover
Pressing Details
Vinyl Color # Pressed
Original Release Notes: The first thing the listener will notice about Ricked Wicky is that it is the most musically adept project Guided By Voices' mage Robert Pollard has undertaken in some time, at least since late period-GBV (Half-Smiles of the Decomposed, for instance), or even Boston Spaceships. "[Ricked Wicky] is a sophisticated arena rock band,” says Pollard, and I Sell the Circus offers in evidence a series of ball-peen hammers to the brain-pan (“Piss Face” with its James Gang-era slide guitar and the proto-punk stomp of "Intellectual Types,” for example) alongside more delicate, prog-tinged Frippery (“Cow-Headed Moon” features Court of the Crimson King-esque mellotron, while the acoustic guitar mastery displayed on “Even Today and Tomorrow” recalls the mellow-era ELP of “Lucky Man”).

Credit the players: bolstering the easy mastery of a dizzying array of songwriting forms one naturally expects (and receives) from Pollard are the impressive instrumental prowess of fellow Daytonian Nick Mitchell (“no blood relation to Mitch,” Pollard stresses), who can otherwise be found in near-weekly performance at Wings, an important Dayton sports bar; multi-instrumentalist and producer Todd Tobias; and “the worldly Kevin March,” (Pollard again) who does double duty these days in Guided By Voices. These guys can play, and on I Sell The Circus, they play the fuck out of the songs.

"The band named Ricked Wicky is significant in that it is the very first name I created for a non-existent band in my early teens," explains Pollard. Fourteen of its fifteen tracks were recorded at Cyberteknics in Dayton, a studio Pollard has come to use with increasing frequency due to its profusion of vintage analog gear. “Rotten Backboards” is as gorgeous and melancholic a tune as Pollard has ever written, and lyrically sounds a note of wistfulness that long-time fans will not find unfamiliar. “She can run, ’cause that’s what I did,” sings Pollard over a sublimely textured background of synth-strings, arpeggiated guitar, piano and clattery drums, and while it’s tempting to read real regret into the content (“rotten backboards” as a metaphor for the debris of the past), it’s always dangerous looking for autobiography in Pollard’s mostly-fictional constructions. And anyway, the misty wistfulness is cleared away immediately by the sharply propulsive prime-Who swagger of the next—and final—track “A Real Stab.” Which seems to be about needles, or the messengers of Oz, or paper bags. It’s one of the best songs on an album of standouts.

“Some may wish to refer to us as a ‘super group,’” says Pollard, tongue practically poking through his cheek, but as with a lot of the pronouncements made by The Oracle of Huffman Prairie, as no one has ever called him or ever will, he’s joking, but he’s not joking. Ricked Wicky may not be a super group as the term is too-commonly used, but there’s no real doubt they’re a super group.

Album release comes with a guitar pick sealed in the shrinkwrap that looks the same as the guitar pick image on the cover of the album.
I Sell The Circus
Side A
1.   Well Suited 2:50
2.   Death Metal Kid 2:10
3.   Guts 2:05
4.   Cow Headed Moon 2:34
5.   Piss Face 2:23
6.   Even Today And Tomorrow 1:40
7.   The Intellectual Types 2:54
Side B
1.   Uranus Flies 3:01
2.   The Important Girl 1:38
3.   Frenzy Of Blame 2:02
4.   Mobility 2:28
5.   Tomorrow 1:41
6.   Miles Of Concentration 1:50
7.   Rotten Backboards 2:17
8.   A Real Stab 3:35
Total Length: 35:08
Other Formats
Label - Catalog [Format] (Country) # Tracks
Fire Records - FIRECD396 [CD] (United Kingdom) 15
Guided By Voices Inc. - GBVI-52 [CD] (U.S.A.) 15
Guided By Voices Inc. - GBVI-52 [LP] (U.S.A.) 15

Album Credits
Role Name
Art Department Joe Patterson
Art Department Robert Pollard
Art Department Vince Williams
Collage "No More The Red Carpet"
Collage "Salvation Soap"
Collages Robert Pollard
Cover Photo Of Harry Harne Guitar Pick Image Joe Patterson
Guitar Pick Shaped Image Of Terri Nelles Photo Harry Harne
Layout Joe Patterson
Layout Robert Pollard
Original Photo Of Bob Used By Harry Harne Terri Nelles
Role Name
Bass Guitar Todd Tobias
Drums Kevin March
Guitar Nick Mitchell
Guitar Robert Pollard
Vocals Nick Mitchell
Vocals Robert Pollard
Role Name
Copyright 2015
Publisher Needmore Songs
Songwriter Robert Pollard
Role Name
Business Management Eric Weiss
Legal Richard Grabel
Management David Newgarden
Role Name
Additional Album Text A Factory Of Raw Essentials Product
Additional Album Text www.robertpollard.net
Additional Album Text www.rockathonrecords.com
Dedications Dedicated To Lucy (2005-2014)
Dedications Dedicated To Pete (2002-2014)
Rockathon Records Kevin Poindexter
Rockathon Records Matt Davis
Rockathon Records Mike Lipps
Thanks Stephen Hopkins
Thanks For The Pot Roast Sarah Zade-Pollard