The Friday Morning Listen: Dot Wiggin Band – Ready! Get! Go! (2013)

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I had my thoughts all in a row, ready to wax prophetic about the 40th anniversary of Springsteen’s The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle. But then, lightning stuck! What could possible draw me away from those songs that mean so much to me? How could I forsake “The E Street Shuffle,” “New York City Serenade,” “Kitty’s Back,” and (especially!, one of my favorite songs of all time) “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”? It had to be some big news, right?

Yes. Dot Wiggin, of the outsider pop phenomenon The Shaggs, has come out of retirement with a new band and album, some 44 years after the release of the cult classic Philosophy Of The World. Why does this excite me? Don’t answer that.

There’s definitely a part of me that enjoys listening The Shaggs because the story of the album is so compelling. In truth, I’m probably more drawn to just how weird the music is. Weird for weirdness’ sake has always worked for me. That’s probably why I own more than one Jandek recording.

In the official promo video, The Shaggs are referred to as the “Grandmothers of punk.” As part of a very early DIY movement, I can certainly see that. And if you listen to the band that recorded Ready! Get! Go!, you will hear those punk roots, though filtered through a Captain Beefheart-meets-Kimya Dawson sensibility. Good clean fun, is what it is.

I do feel a little bad about tossing Springsteen aside on this anniversary. What can I say? Someday we’ll look back on this, and it will all seem funny?

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