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06 February 2010

THE RESIDENTS! We saw them last night and they are freaky, amazing, disturbing, brilliant as ever. The show they're doing now is called "The Talking Light," and it features an old man named Randy telling ghost stories to the audience.[More:] For those not familiar with the Residents, here are a few tastes from their long and varied career:

This is a Man's World(JamesBrown cover)
The Gingerbread Man
Possibly their most amazing video ever: Hello Skinny
Pain and Pleasure
One-Minute Movies (being the four videos they made for songs from The Commercial Album, which had 40 1-minute songs)
Burn Baby Burn
The Third Reich 'n' Roll
an interview
Love the Residents! They always put on a great show as well. Sounds like a good time.
posted by kodama 06 February | 21:43
That was a truly unsettling and wonderful show. Terry and I had to listen to Slayer the whole way home to floss our brains.

And I really do think the dude standing behind us at the merch table before the show was Homer Flynn, AKA Randy, AKA The Residents.

It was an interesting crowd. I saw two dosed people on the verge of losing their shit, a guy who had brought his two young daughters (one of whom couldn't have been older than 10), lotsa graybeards like myself, and the couple who sat in front of us, who looked like they should have been at a nightclub and who spent the whole show sucking face while Randy sang songs about death and decay. Very, very odd.

I never thought I'd get a chance to see The Residents. Now that I've seen them, I want to see them again and again and again.
posted by BitterOldPunk 06 February | 23:07
"In 1982 Penn was hired by Ralph Records to sit alone in a motel room for six days and play records that were delivered to him each morning, then record his impressions on tape."

BOP just emailed me this link (he's on his phone and can't post the link)- he has described this tape to me a couple of different times, and now I'm finally going to hear it for myself. And so are you.
posted by BoringPostcards 06 February | 23:50
I used to play cuts from The Commercial Album on my radio show in high school. I was really just entertaining myself, since our signal only reached as far as the parking lot :-)
posted by pinky.p 07 February | 02:04
So, does anybody know when they dropped the giant eyeball masks that were their trademark for so many years?
posted by flapjax at midnite 07 February | 09:00
Late 80s-early 90s I think, flapjax. They had a stylized version for the Cube-E in 1990:
≡ Click to see image ≡

I think that was the last time they used the eyeballs onstage, but they are definitely still their logo.
≡ Click to see image ≡

posted by BoringPostcards 07 February | 10:14
What? They were wearing the Eyeball masks (+ Mr. Skull) for both of the shows I saw (late 90s/early aughts). What are they wearing now?
posted by kodama 07 February | 15:25
Okay, I went and looked at your pictures and answered my question. Huh.

I have to admit that while being a huge Residents fan I've sort of lost touch with them. I really love their 70s/early 80s work and then the 90s multi-media stuff. But in the last decade they have become just so prolific and really pushing this constant stream of limited edition collectables and such that I drifted away. Not that they aren't doing brilliant work as a successful and still plenty strange band in the internet era (their model is dead on - totally connect with your fans and provide massive fan service for a fee) but it doesn't mean as much to me I think. In a way The Commercial Album, Third Reich 'n Roll and especially their cover of Satisfaction just eviscerated rock music, just shoved in your face all of the basic flaws, lies and commercial aspects of rock. It was punk without the immediate selling out. All the stuff they went on to do just constantly seemed to expose the seamy underbelly of whatever they tackled and always looked at things from an unexpected angle. So now it kind of seems they are trading on that, which is a sort of selling out even if it only is to those who more or less agree with them.

So I'll always respect and love the Residents, they were monumental in changing so much of my musical attitudes and tastes. But its past tense for me.
posted by kodama 07 February | 15:35
BOP: I know what you mean. The funny thing is, most of the Residents Live VIDEOS are awful -- I mean, the ones Ralph puts out -- but they are probably the best live band I've seen. I've seen 'em twice (Icky Flix in Seattle, and Demons Dance Alone, also in Seattle) -- and I wanna see them so many more times. I'm sad they're not playing Seattle on this tour (particularly after skipping over us on Bunny Boy, too...).

Kodama: On the Icky Flix tour, an eyeballed-Resident came out, took off his head (he wore the ninja masks they sometimes use in the backgrounds), and on DDA, there were no Eyeball Residents, but on the Mr. Resident version of "Life Could Be Wonderful", they brought out the Green Eye, swaddled in a silk blanket.

I'm still a huge Rz fan -- though some of their recent stuff has been hit and miss. For me, I think the last truly great one was Demons, though the Bunny Boy was really good (and way enhanced with the video series). Tweedles was OK, but Animal Lover and Voice Of Midnight didn't really click with me. (VoM mostly due to the bad acting by the non-Resident actors, particularly the lead character.) That said, though, even ones I think are failures are pretty interesting and cool, so... hey. I'm still buying every little jot they put out...8)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me 07 February | 16:16
Once again, BoP and Beeps ride in like the Two Twin Horseman of the Sanity Apocalypse and post another Residents thread, which they both know scare the living shit out of me and make the most terrifying music ever recorded in the history of mankind.

I should one day subject you to a triple-feature of Eraserhead, Gummo by Harmony Korine, and All The Vermeers in New York, while taping your eyelids up, but you'd both probably enjoy that.

*shivers, goes and finds Golden Retriever....*
posted by Lipstick Thespian 08 February | 10:01
Thems fightin' wurds! || The organization kid