Brandon Ebel, the president of Tooth & Nail (Danielson's first label) said:
"We received their cassette tape demo in the mail one day and took a listen. At first we thought it was bad, then we thought it was a joke, but the more we listened to it we realized it was brilliant"
That about sums it up for me. I was in the car of a friend of a friend when I first heard this.
I thought it was laughably stupid. BUT it would not get out of my head. I couldn't stop thinking about it and eventually downloaded some stuff and listened to it because it was quirky.
I now love Danielson in a way that is completely not ironic. I genuinely think he's a genius. His compositions move me and his lyrics touch me. I now have their entire catalogue.
I think the reason they are a "guilty pleasure" is because I would never sit someone down and say "listen to this" 'cause almost no one likes them immediately. They require repeat listens and focus. You also need to get past Daniel Smith's high pitched squeal...
What really makes me love Danielson in all of their incarnations (Danielson Famile, Danielson Family, Tri-Danielson, Danielson Starship, Brother Danielson, and Danielson) is this: Uncompromising Artistic Integrity. Have you ever heard a musical genius convey his vision without a hint of compromise? It's invigorating.
They are so interesting they even had a documentary made about them. If you are not disgusted by the singing voice they will probably grow on you. Also, if you are familiar with Sufjan Stevens, he got his start with this group and most of the band plays on his Illinois album.
I had to include this. Terrible dancing. Unnecessary lipsynching. Danielson's wife Elin saying "Ve'll dance vit you" in her Eastern European accent. The awesomely awkward zoomin on the keyboard player Chris. The freakishly long close up of the big dude dancing. The song is one of my favs though....