The Legends of Laurel Canyon
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best
Transfiguration of Vincent
Christmas in the Heart
Glitter and Doom Live
Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
Playing for Change
Guided By Voices
Jellyfish Reflector is a live disk that captures GBV in concert on 2/17/96, very near the release of their studio album, Under the Bushes, Under the Stars. For sheer quantity, this disk is a wonder, containing thirty-two tracks (!) on one disk. It’s also a pretty good show, but I’m rather certain that most people would have some difficulty with its aural quality. Not that the disk sounds bad – by GBV standards, it’s pretty darn good – but the tapes are completely untreated, and so the occasional flat note or strained vocal remains untouched. In terms of recording quality, it reminds me of live recordings I've made of my own band at one time or another, so I'm more inclined to forgive the lack in aural perfection than most. Thirty-two songs in their raw, live form are an awful lot for anyone to swallow, though, and I think that the ‘studio’ recordings (I use the term loosely) would reel more people in.
That being said, it’s a heck of a show, with the band bashing out songs the way some people eat french fries. The song selection is great, too, including the best bits of , Under the Bushes, Under the Stars, as well as great versions of older stuff like "Melted Pat", "Game of Pricks" and "Motor Away". (Note: although they are listed on the sleeve, "I Am a Scientist" and "Matter Eater Lad" do not appear on my version of this disk). The first twelve songs were culled from their upcoming studio release, and you can hear singer/songwriter Robert Pollard’s concern when he asks the unfamiliar audience to not leave. The new songs are at least as good as the older stuff, though, and all are performed admirably, although it would be nice if these guys gave poor Robert some vocal support.