Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lobotomized von Trapps

What does one have to do to win the title of Worst Band in the World? To start, one might be forced to play and perform by one's father, who believes his wife has forseen his daughters' rise to stardom in a family band. This was the case with The Shaggs, who released their only album in 1969, Philosophy of the World.

The New Yorker described their album as "hauntingly bad," and Rolling Stone said the group sounded like "lobotomized Trapp Family singers," but for a group considered so inept, it's strange how widely they have been reviewed and even lauded. Some of the band's celebrity fans, like Frank Zappa and the band NRBQ, claimed to find genius in the four Wiggin sisters' out-of-tune and arrhythmic playing, and this attention helped push them past the remainder bin. As a result, Philosophy of the World has been reissued a number of times, along with previously unreleased tracks.

The Shaggs disbanded in 1975 after the death of their father, but ongoing interest in them have produced a 2001 tribute album by the band's admirers, a 2003 stage musical about the band, and a soon-to-be-released solo album by former Shagg Dot Wiggin! Here are the original Shaggs doing their homage to Halloween in their (luckily) inimitable style:

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