Philosophy of the World

Philosophy of the WorldPhilosophy of the World, The Shaggs

The liner notes of The Shaggs’ Philosophy of the World, a favorite album of Frank Zappa, proudly proclaim that the band is “real, pure, unaffected by outside influences.” It’s the essence of The Shaggs; Philosophy of the World sounds like rock and roll as created by a game of telephone. Individually the elements are cacophonous, but somehow the primitive drum beats, cranky guitar chords, and angsty teen wailing hangs together to form a fragile whole. It’s weird, passionate, innocent and kind of adorable

As the story goes, the manic Austin Wiggin had dreams of managing a rock and roll band. This blue color patriarch shelled out for two guitars, a set of drums, and music lessons, and then did his best to explain rock and roll to his daughters. They did their best to oblige, even following him into the recording studio. In an apparent scam, Austin paid a producer for 1000 copies of Philosophy of the World to be pressed. 100 went to the Wiggins, while the producer and 900 copies disappeared. In spite of these inauspicious beginnings, Philosophy of the World has been hailed as a masterpiece of outsider art, ranked as one of the most influential garage albums decades ahead of the indie music movement. – Nathan


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