In 1977 Gary Wilson famously released a uniquely bizarre and personal album titled You Think You Really Know Me …, full of electro-funk, proto-new wave, noise collage, and avant-garde jazz. Despite the fact that the album’s fans included Beck, Questlove from The Roots, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and Stones Throws’ Peanut Butter Wolf, widespread fame and notoriety eluded Gary Wison until the 2002 re-release of his debut album. Soon after media outlets like Pitchfork, The Village Voices, and The New York Times were talking about the lecherous outsider artist, remarkable as much for his idiosyncrasies and DIY aesthetic as his edgy and creative music.
More than the perverted musings of a peeping tom, Gary’s music is an honest reflection of ourselves, at least of that part of ourselves that loved our childhood pets more than we loved our parents, that worried if we’d ever make it to second base, or that really knows how often we floss. Equal parts Prince and Pee Wee Herman, Joe Jackson and Charlie Brown, Gary’s songs celebrate our inner ickiness, silliness and grooviness, the romance and randiness of born-losers from Endicott or Anywhere. Rather than alienating us with their creepiness, his lyrics and melodies ultimately make us feel more comfortable being who we are …. more comfortable being human.
Like ignoring the downfall and ruin of your hometown or clinging to the rotting corpse of your prom date that you’ve been keeping in your closet, on Electric Endicott Gary makes a choice, as many of us often do, to inhabit and mythologize, a time and place where he was the king or the charming jester, and Karen, Mary, and Linda were his fair princesses.