weasel walter weaselw at juno.com
Wed Nov 19 04:22:32 EST 2008

as far as this "can play" or "can't play" thing: it's the same in every
field or idiom - either you have a great idea or you don't. if you can do
enough to express that great idea in a way that works, technique becomes
secondary. of course, if you want to go beyond that initial outburst of
creativity, you're eventually going to need more technique or you'll get
stuck in a rut. 

the original slits had great musical ideas and that was why they were so
great despite whatever technical limitations they had. they definitely
progressed and became more subtle and complex as time went on. by the
time of the first peel session, they definitely had their shit together.
none of their records sound alike at all, and that's to their credit.
"ping pong affair" is one of my favorite songs of all time: that
composition is so ingenious and the parts fit together like an incredible
puzzle . . . they had great ideas. period. 

actually the shaggs could play really well. their music is really
sophisticated and impressive on a technical level. there's some
unbelieveable nuance in what they did. those unison things they play are
incredibly sick and nobody  could just pick up a guitar and play that
stuff. not in a million years. when i listen to "philosophy of the world"
i hear a very well rehearsed unit playing some incredibly weird and
complex music, not incompetence. people don't give the shaggs enough
credit because what they were doing was so sophisticated, most people
just don't understand it. the shaggs first album has a lot in common with
the music of olivier messiaen in terms of the use of different lines in
different tempi simultanously.

many groups, now and then, "can't play" and they don't have any good
ideas, which is why they totally suck. in fact, most rock bands fall into
this category. 

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