Saturday, July 2, 2011

Philosophy of the World

I'm a bit surprised that I haven't posted this already, as much as I've talked about it and compared other weird albums to it - so, here we go. The Shaggs were three New Hampshire sisters coerced into forming a "rock band" by their domineering and possibly unhinged father, who not only forbade them from taking lessons or listening to actual music but also financed and released this bizarre platter, sure they were going to be the next Beatles. The sounds contained within only barely resemble music in the conventional sense, with the guitar and bass playing completely different patterns as the drums wander in and out of sync at random. The sheer originality and naivete are charming, but there is an unsettling undercurrent beneath all the forced good cheer, as if the band were comprised of the children from Village of the Damned. The Shaggs had a bizarre career that I neither have the time nor inclination to dissect here, but this first album stands as a pinnacle of so-called "outsider music" and certainly stretched the boundaries of what could be done with guitar, bass, drums, and a little ambition - talent be damned.
Why do I feel?

1 comment:

  1. Great post. My girlfriend and I are originally from NH, and she was actually pen pals with Dot Wiggin for a while. It's so bizarre that these three unfortunate and inexplicably exploited sisters have such a massive cult following, when their actual post-Shaggs lives were so mediocre and depressing.

    They definitely had some of the most amazingly honest lyrics ever written, though:

    "It doesn't matter what you do
    It doesn't matter what you say
    There will always be one who wants things the opposite way
    We do our best, we try to please
    But we're like the rest we're never at ease
    You can never please
    In this world"


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