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Electric Endicott

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Album Review

Gary Wilson does not change, which may well be troubling for those who deal with him on a daily basis but should come as a relief to those fascinated with his sporadic adventures in recording. The ready availability of inexpensive digital recording technology means Wilson's third album, 2010's Electric Endicott, sounds noticeably more polished than his homemade debut, 1977's You Think You Really Know Me, but its soul is very much the same — Wilson's music is still pop with something a bit wrong, especially in his jerky rhythms and oddball, overdubbed backing vocals (which suggest what George Clinton used to throw onto early Funkadelic albums after the Orange Sunshine took hold), with curious, noisy outbursts tossed into the mix here and there. And Wilson is still malignly obsessed with girls — they're always treating him bad ("Where Did Karen Go" and "Lisa Made Me Cry"), he's mooning over the great unattainable female ("Please Don't Break My Heart Today"), or he's once again insisting he really does have a girlfriend even if there's no evidence of it ( "Secret Girl" and "Swinging with Karen Tonight"). Electric Endicott does represent something of a creative advance in the repeated references to Wilson's old home town of Endicott, NY, making this a song cycle of sorts if you want to press the issue, and the presence of a couple of spare piano numbers ("The Clouds Cry for Endicott" and "Kathy Kissed Me Last Night") reveal Wilson's unexpected talent for cocktail lounge jazz. Electric Endicott confirms that the gifted outsider who allowed us to glance into his psyche on You Think You Really Know Me hasn't stopped pursuing his singular vision of twisted pop music, just as he still hasn't figured out how to deal with the opposite sex, and who knows: if he ever did, he might never be able to make music again.


Born: October, 1953 in Endicott, NY

Genre: Action & Adventure

Years Active: '70s, '00s, '10s

The brain-damaged electro-funk of Gary Wilson was new wave when the label was still mainly used to categorize punk acts with a sweet tooth for pop. Completely ahead of his time, Wilson used chilly synthesizers and bizarre sound effects and samples to tell his odd tales of love and sex. In 1977, Wilson recorded his debut LP You Think You Really Know Me in the basement of his parents' house in Endicott, NY. Home tapings started becoming prevalent in the '90s, but in the late '70s, Wilson was an indie...
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Electric Endicott, Gary Wilson
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