Hardcore fans of indie rock and Beltway trivia already know that White House press secretary Jay Carney is a mega-fan of the band Guided By Voices, but the rest of the nation got a taste of just how deeply Carney digs the lo-fi legends when he dropped a gratuitous compliment into his daily press briefing yesterday.
After announcing that President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron were headed to Dayton, Ohio, for an NCAA tournament play-in game, Carney gave in to the impulse to add, "As you probably know, Dayton is the home of the Wright Brothers, the Dayton Peace Accords, and Guided By Voices, the greatest rock 'n' roll band of the modern era, in my humble opinion."
The press corps just laughed.
The video was posted to the Facebook page of Guided By Voices founder and frontman Robert Pollard on Tuesday afternoon, inspiring the band's fiercely loyal fan base to add some levity to a YouTube commenting thread that until then had been dominated by talk of Jesus Christ and a law authorizing the assassination of American citizens.
"Why did the press give Jay Carney such a free pass on what was clearly the question of the day: Tobin Sprout or Doug Gillard? Mag Earwig or Bee Thousand?," a commenter using the handle "drowner1" asked on YouTube, making reference to guitarists and albums from the band's various eras.
Pollard, a former schoolteacher, formed Guided By Voices in the 1980s, and the band surged to popularity among indie-rock fans in 1994, with the release of its album "Bee Thousand." In 2010, Pollard recruited members of the band's mid-90s-era "classic lineup" for a reunion tour that took it from Las Vegas to Brooklyn. While the status of that lineup is now unclear, the group released a new single, "Keep It in Motion," just two days ago, and its 19th album, Class Clown Spots a UFO, is expected in May.
Carney's quote appears at 0:24 in the embedded video below.