Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Residents

Today in Music History:

In 1976, After a four-year legal fight, John Lennon was awarded his Green card, allowing him permanent residence in the US.
The ResidentsFelt a need to post something bizarre today and the Residents truly fit that bill. These mysterious giant eyeball headed dudes are truly weird. Over the course of a recording career spanning several decades, the Residents have remained a riddle. The band's members have never identified themselves by name, always appearing in public in disguise -- usually tuxedos, top hats and giant eyeball masks -- and refusing to grant media interviews. The Residents, always ones to convert their reality, good or bad, into a purposeful intent, figured out that being obscure gave them the added advantage of not having to please anyone but themselves with their music. Who are these guys?

It is rumoured that the four-member group emigrated to San Francisco, California from Shreveport, Louisiana at some point in the early '70s. Supposedly they picked their name when Warner Bros. mailed back their anonymous demo tape, addressed simply "for the attention of residents." Finding no takers for their oddball sound, the Residents founded their own label, Ralph Records, for the purposes of issuing their 1972 debut "Santa Dog," released in a pressing of 300 copies which were mailed out to luminaries from Frank Zappa to President Richard Nixon. "Santa Dog" stands against everything that the music industry felt was important. It was free.

The Residents released the first ever punk single, "Satisfaction," back in 1976, a full year before the Sex Pistols’ UK release of "God Save the Queen." England’s MOJO Magazine recently voted The Residents' Satisfaction as the 74th most important punk single in history. The Residents are credited with "inventing" the form of the music video. Five of their earliest videos are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They just recently released the album Animal Lover and show no signs of slowing down. They have released over 30 albums in 30 years as well as a large number of singles, compilations, collaborations, etc. One has to wonder how they have managed to retain their anonymity over the years. But whew, some of their stuff is out of this world. I'm a big fan of the Duck Stab album. Todays track is from 1989's "The King and Eye" an album of non-satirical covers of Elvis tunes inserted into a story about a baby king.

Love Me Tender by The Residents

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Funny Toon

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