Where is it? How many people live there? 7,414 or 12,049, depending on who you ask. It's too small for such weirdness. I live in a metro area of more than 300,000 and we have very little that's as freaky as the three albums I've heard this year by artists who live in Battleboro. They're all beautifully deranged and in existence thanks to Night People: Blanche Blanche Blanche, Son of Salami (who is actually from another three-syllable Vermont town that starts with a B, two-and-a-half-hours away), and the latest, The Silk Pistol by the Happy Jawbone Family Band. It's taken up residence on my stereo at work. It's magnificent and ramshackle all at the same time: big, ambitious melodies and song structures and harmonies (like Phil Spector, maybe, or Pete Townsend when he still wore an ascot but wanted to turn rock and roll into art) brought to you on instruments held together with duct tape, played with near-complete abandon by boonies-living art freaks. Here's their version: "we were all born in a bathtime suicide mission. nothing was left but a pair of sunglasses that are still bleeding to this day. at the stroke of midnight you can hear them sing out of desperation."
They've released records on Feeding Tube. The stuff I've been listening to is on cassette. The band urges anyone who likes them to become a "real bone-head," and join their fan club. All you need to do is draw a picture of something you care about and send it to: P.O box 322 Westminster, VT, 05158. They say to "Expect goodies to arrive shortly thereafter!" I intend to do this.
Meantime, pick up the new cassette from a hard-working friend in Iowa.