Friday, November 26, 2010


The Residents
Felt a need to post something bizarre today what with the bizarre weather we're having on the island this week 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 once 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 have released over 60 albums as well as a large number of singles, compilations, collaborations, etc. and show no signs of slowing down. 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 1978 Duck Stab/Buster & Glen album so todays tracks will be coming from that album. This is also one of those albums that I bought way back when based solely on the album cover.  I was thinking this is gotta be some weird stuff and I wasn't disappointed.

Bach is Dead
Buy It

Funny Toon


Barely Awake In Frog Pajamas said...

The music of The Residents has often creeped me out, but not nearly as much as Ralph Records labelmates (and Residents' offshoot?) Renaldo & The Loaf.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Long Live the Residents. Those eyeballs ought to be in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.