2B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, March 27, 2003
Saturday Looks Go od to
Me tells how to ot aloner
The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine -
ELITE ENTERTAINMENT EXPOSITIOI
JEFF DIcKERSON - SOMETHING CLEVER
THE WORST BAND OF ALL TIME, AND NO,
THEY'RE NOT FROM ANN ARBOR
By Sean Dailey
Daily Arts Writer
Saturday Looks Good to Me has been making noise on the
Detroit/Ann Arbor scene for the past two years.
Combining a throwback sound reminiscent of the Beach
Boys and old Motown with an indie rock ethic, the band could
be one of the few in the local scene with a truly unique style.
Releasing their first four LPs without the help of any label,
independent or otherwise, the band has managed to land major
U.S. tours with the likes of Saves the Day and Rainer Maria
and garner national attention. Their first release on PolyVinyl,
All Your Summer Songs, came out earlier this month. Recently,
The Michigan Daily had a chance to sit down with the brains
of the operation, Fred Thomas.
The Michigan Daily: Congrats on signing with PolyVinyl.
How did that come about?
Fred Thomas: Saturday Looks Good to Me almost acci-
dentally became a band out of a 4-track project that kinda hap-
pened. I spent a couple of years making this record. They had
been given the heads up on us from Kyle from Rainer Maria
and some other people on college radio had been kinda hyping
the band up to PolyVinyl. It's not necessarily like a lot of the
other bands on PolyVinyl, but that's kinda what they're excited
about. They came and saw an awful, awful show we played in
Milwaukee. But they signed us anyway.
TMD: How was the recent tour with Saves the Day? Were
you received well by their fans? You're not really even in the
same ballpark as far as genres go.
FT: That was a crazy tour. I was surprised how receptive
they were. We sold a ton of merchandise, made a lot of friends.
There definitely were people who weren't into it at all, but
there was more people into it than I thought there would be.
TMD: Your live shows tend to sound a lot different than the
recordings. Is it a matter of the people performing with you, or
a matter of the crowd?
F: In the beginning, everyone was so excited. But it was
like, "Jesus Christ, we have 11 people on stage, this is ridicu-
lous." It's hard not to suit up and freak out. Many times, most
of the band is drunk and just going crazy. It's more about hav-
ing fun and motivating people to dance then sitting down and
paying subtle attention to the intricacies in songs.
TMD: The SLGTM stuff talks a lot about love, longing,
and other things along those lines. Do you ever find it difficult
to avoid cliches and create something meaningful in a new
way, in some way that's still relevant?
F: Because most of the things that are being sung about
are actual events and actual people, actual things, I don't really
think about ciches. Whether it's a clich6 or not, it's happening
or it has happened. There's definitely some things that could
fall into indie rock cliches, but it's all too real to me to even
think about that.
TMD: What's the first song you remember hearing and
thinking, "That's what I wanna be like, that's the kinda music I
FT: I remember when I was 19 and all my friends were like,
"Pet Sounds is the best album ever. Beach Boys, Pet Sounds.
You gotta listen to it." So I bought it and I was like, "This
record sucks." But I couldn't not listen to it, you know? At the
same time, I was going through the same thing with The
Clash. I was like, "These guys are fucking annoying." But I
couldn't stop listening to either of these records. The way it
sounded, it doesn't sound like anything else. I didn't want to
See SATURDAY, Page 12B
courtesy oT rall or ome Records
The Sights - Proud to be a product of Detroit.
The S*ights despise
By Scott Serilla
Daily Arts Editor
Eddie Baranek, frontman of rockers
the Sights recently discussed the curse
of the Detroit garage label, via email.
The Michigan Daily: How was your
South By Southwest experience?
Eddie Baranek: SXSW is a total
joke. It's a big industry wank-fest where
people are there to be seen, not heard.
Let's just say I will never return. People
don't give a shit about the music, they
only care about their hair.
TMD: How is the current tour with
the Datsuns going? You're about half
way through it, any tales of road may-
EB: There is a hotel room some-
where in Atlanta that has a hair dryer in
the toilet, a chair smashed to bits, a
clogged shower and a bolted TV that
wanted to be liberated. The tour has
been a blast. Nothing beats waking up at
noon everyday and playing shows every
The Datsuns are very professional
and hardworking, and their live show is
amazing. One of my favorite bands I've
TMD: You've been touring for
awhile now, what is it like to come back
to Detroit? What's the first thing you do
when you get back into town?
EB: The first thing I do is meet up
with my girlfriend, usually at 6 a.m. or
some odd hour. And since it's usually
hard for me to sleep, we go and grab a
bite to eat at my favorite local diner,
TMD: You're sometimes being
labeled as the little brothers of Detroit
garage rock; bothersome or can you live
EB: I'm more bothered by my three
least favorite words, Detroit garage rock.
But as far as being labeled the little
brothers, that is fine by me. We are 21
and 22 in a scene that is more 27 and 30
TMD:In a more general sense what
has the scene meant to you guys? How
do you your own identity and be part
of what still seems to be a fairly tight-
EB: People are disappointed we
don't sound like the Von Bondies or
the White Stripes. I like these bands
and always have. The hype surround-
See BARANEK, Page 12B
All aboard the Outkast gravy train ...
1. Get Rich Or Die Tryin,
SO Cent - Well, you're rich
now, and you're not dead, so
you can buy braces!
2. Come Away With Me,
Norab Jones - This al bum
has been onthis list for eleven-
ty garbillion years. We have no
3. Chocolate Factory, R.
Kelly - Is that where you tell
those underage girls you're
4. Home, Dixie Chicks
- See No. 2. You guys need
to branch out and buy other
albums. There's a lot of good
stuff out there.
5, Sing The Sorrow, AFI
- Trust, us, we're singing it.
Loudly and proudly.
6. Chkcago, Soundtrack
- Nothing ie showtunes to
make you want to yank your
own eardrums out.
7. Street Dreams,
Fabolous - He's the worst. We
wish he would die. Painfully.
8. Cocky, Kid Rock -
Awww, he sings with Cheryl
Crow. Now he's sensitive and
dee. Fallen, Evanescence
- Enjoy the nine spot while
you can, because next week,
life will imitate art.
10. Monster, Killer Mike
- Not bad, but not too subtle
either Is the "Killer" necessary?
Well, we guess just "Mike"
would be lame.
ON THE RUN FROM JOHNNY
LAW, POLANSKI GIVES ACCEP-
TANCE SPEECH - Roman Polanski
finally gave a belated acceptance
speech for his Academy Award.
The director, who has been a fugi-
tive from the law since his statutory
rape conviction, was given a Best
Director Oscar for his Holocaust
drama "The Pianist."
In a statement he released, he said,
"I am deeply moved to be rewarded
for the work which relates to the
events so close to my own life, the
events that led me to comprehend
that art can transform pain. I believe
this still holds true today. My most
heartfelt thanks to the members of
the Academy for this wonderful
Adrien Brody, who played the
lead in the film, won the Oscar for
ver the past four years here at the University,
I've stumbled (unintentionaly) across several
local bands at parties, bars, coffee shops and
walks through the Diag. Even though you could say
each band has its own musical style and persona, I'd
lump them all into the "not good" jgebre.
Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but I've never been a
fan of musical acts that specialize in cover songs (and
bad cover songs at that) and general non-rocking. If a
local band is actually good (wliki mnry Aicohol-
induced friends of the band might believe) wouldn't
they have a record deal and be touring Japan in a mas-
sive arena tour?.
Sure there are always those great undiscovered
musicians you read about in the back pages of
Rolling Stone, but it's a myth I tell you, a myth.
I have to give some credit to local acts. While Ann
Arbor musical misfits are horrendous at best, they
still exhibit a certain degree of skill - i.e. some
vocalists have decent pitch and some musicians can
actually play the first few notes of "Paradise City" on
their guitars. Try to imagine, if you will, a band that
displays a complete lack of any musical knowledge.
It's hard to imagine, but one such band did exist. That
band was the Shaggs.
Who are the Shaggs? The group consisted of three
sisters from a dirt poor town in New Hampshire -
Dorothy, Betty and Helen Wiggin. The sisters formed
the band under the advice of their father Austin, who
bought his daughters instruments in 1967. Dorothy
took care of lead guitar and vocals, Betty played
rhythm guitar and provided some backing vocals
while Helen was left with the drum kit.
Later on, the youngest sister Rachel played bass on
a few songs for the family. The Shaggs were an avant-
garde, indie Patridge Family, minus the aggravatingly
catchy tunes and the even more aggravating Danny
The band name is said to have come from Austin,
who wanted to name his daughters' group after the
popular shag hairstyle of the time. The name is iron-
ic i1 that Dorothy, Betty and Helen are far from sha-
gadelic. Visualize the three ugliest women ever to
roam the forests of New England and you have a good
idea what the Shaggs look like.
Now that you know a little bit of the history of the
Shaggs, it's time to learn their about their music. To
describe the songs of the Wiggin sisters in words is
nearly impossible so I'll justproid; you with the
original liner notes from their 1969 debut album
Philosophy of/the Word.
The Shaggs are reAl, pure, unaffected biy outside
influences. Theirmusic is different, it is theirs alone.
Of al # contemporary acts in the world today, perhaps
only the Shaggs do what others would like to do, and
that is perform only what they belive in, what they
feel, not what others think teShaggs shouldfeel
After listening to the title.trk of the album it's
easy to see what they meanthby "unaffected by outside
influence " It would be safe t assume the Shaggs had
never heard music before they went into the studio to
record their debut (and final) album. Rhythm is
painfully absent from Helen's drumming, Betty's ran-
dom playing of "notes" on her guitar break all con-
ventions of musical structure and Dorothy's vocals
mirror Mumbles from "Dick Tracy" singing in a util-
ity closet with a pillow over his mouth.
A lot of the blame can probably be placed on their
father Austin, who is quoted as saying "get my girls
while they're hot!" If Philosophy of the World repre-
sents theWiggin sisters in their prime I can't imagine
what they sound like on an off night. Austin Wiggin
watched over his daughters' studio sessions like a
hawk and served as producer for their album, much
like Brian Wilson did with the Beach Boys from Pet
But unlike the Beach Boys' masterpiece, the
Shaggs came out of the studio with 12 tracks that
were as excruciating as they were unique. "We Have
a Savior" and "Sweet Thing" are two of the more
touching songs on the album that give an inside look
into the Wiggin sisters' primitive musical minds.
The Shaggs are truly one of the most fascinating
musical acts of the 20th century and upon listening to
their lone album it's easy to see why Frank Zappa
called Philosophy of the World his third-favorite
album of all time. The Shaggs are one of those bands
you just have to hear to believe.
Give the Wiggin sisters a listen and you may find
yourself less critical of the local garbage music scene
in Ann Arbor - although I'll take the Shaggs any day
over some balding grad student singing Dave
Matthews b-sides in Espresso Royale.
- If you want to find out more about the Shaggs or
where you can pick up a copy of their album e-mail
my pal Foot Foot firstname.lastname@example.org.
EWS IN ENTERTAINMENT
At The Michigan
Charge by phone
An Office Of Major Events
Division Of Student Affairs
Best Actor, and the screen-
play was named the Best
LONG DOWNWARD °
SPIRAL, A.K.A. THEIR
SECOND ALBUM -
The once-trendy New
York rockers are begin-
ning work on their
sophomore effort with
Godrich, who has
worked with Beck and
They are recording
two songs with Godrich,,
and if they turn out tox
the band's liking, they
may record the entire
album with him. He's s
The band has been working on new
material for some time, debuting cer-
tain songs like "Meet Me in the
Bathroom" on their recent tours.
MAN IN BLACK IN HOS-
PITAL - Johnny Cash is
still in the Nashville
Baptist Hospital being
treated for pneumonia.
The singer has been
there for two weeks.
A hospital spokesper-
son said, "We're taking our
time and making sure he is
Cash was diagnosed
with autonomic neu-
ropathy over a year ago,
a condition that made
him more likely to get
Courtesy of RCA pneumoa.
THE O.J. ALL STAR
OF THE WEEK
THE BEASTIE BOYS
The New York trio, after a five-year
absence from the music scene, decided
that the best way to reappear on the
scene was to release an absolutely terri-
ble single. The track, "In a World Gone
Mad," is an anti-war song that criticizes
the Bush administration and the war in
Iraq. Maybe they should have spent
their time off writing songs that were
actually good instead of whining.
o scruffy an