Tuesday, November 09, 2004

gary wilson really knows me

One of the great underground cult albums of all time, Gary Wilson's 1977 LP, You Think You Really Know Me, has the same legacy as the likes of the Shaggs and William Shatner records, except Gary's record is really freaking good. Its easy to have heard about, but until its reissue you had to count on dubs from friends and friends of friends. Mine is a CDR with the song titles scrawled onto a piece of folded newspaper. I could paste paragraphs upon paragraphs of further information here. He has been name-checked by Beck (Where It's At), Simpsons creator Matt Goening and has been further resurrected by Peanut Butter Wolf and his label, Stone's Throw, for a new album. He hung out and talked music with John Cage at the age of 14. ?uestlove of the Roots describes it as such in GQ: If the offspring of Elvis Costello were hired to make some '70s funk-porn music but ran into a bunch of CBGB punks doing an impersonation of new wave...

The brain-damaged electro-funk of Gary Wilson was new wave when the label was still mainly used to categorize punk acts with a sweet tooth for pop. Completely ahead of his time, Wilson used chilly synthesizers and bizarre sound effects and samples to tell his odd tales of love and sex. In 1977, Wilson recorded his debut LP You Think You Really Know Me in the basement of his parents' house in Endicott, NY. Home tapings started becoming prevalent in the '90s, but in the late '70s, Wilson was an indie pioneer, releasing a strange lo-fi record that eventually influenced Beck. Moreover, the LP inspired Olympia, WA, college radio station KAOS to spin underground artists, helping to cultivate a taste for non-commercial music that later gave birth to K Records and Sub Pop. Legendary Seattle DJ Stephen Rabow even presented one of Wilson's gigs in the early '80s. - AMG

Gary Wilson - 6.4 = Make Out
Gary Wilson - Chromium Bitch

This is too weird not to buy, right?


At 10:38 PM, Blogger guanoboy said...

I honestly don't know what to make of this...your references are correct, it's got this weird Shatner feel to it but it seems somehow more serious...it's probably a result of not knowing who this guy is, whereas w/Shatner you've got an idea of who he is and it effects the music as a result. Gary Wilson just sort of worries me...which is strange because I like a lot of off-kilter music...I'll have to listen to it more.

Thanks for the education!

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After downloading this piece, Windows Media asks that you fill in the "genre". The default window says "unclassifiable". Perhaps so, but it sure is a great piece of music. I dropped it into my "jazz" folder but only because I don't have an "unclassifiable" folder.

He kinda looks like an "other-worldly" Nash the Slash.
I could never figure out how he breathed in that get-up either.

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary is still making the music

Check out http://www.sixpointfour.com/

At 3:17 PM, Blogger heath said...

I know, I linked to his website from his name in the first paragraph... later on I mention how Stone's Throw put it out... short attention span eh?

At 7:22 AM, Blogger thebeathunters said...

weird but awesome tracks! who were the musicians involved in this record? these guys at stones throw sure know what they're doin'


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