Tuesday, October 23, 2007

406. The Residents - Duck Stab / Buster and Glen (1978)

Track Listing

1. Constantinople
2. Sinister Exaggerator
3. Booker Tease
4. Blue Rosebuds
5. Laughing Song
6. Bach Is Dead
7. Elvis and His Boss
8. Lizard Lady
9. Semolina
10. Birthday Boy
11. Weight Lifting Lula
12. Krafty Cheese
13. Hello Skinny
14. Electrocutioner


Well this is strange, yet compelling piece. The Residents sound like nothing else really, a bit like Sparks on acid, it just sounds grotesque, disturbing, insane and funny all at the same time. And their musical capacities are also quite good. It's electronic and creepy and the vocals are pretty disturbing with their free-association lyrics, but behind it all is a sense of fun... it reminds me a lot of Joker, the Batman villain, this should be the type of music he likes.

Part of the fascination with The Residents comes from them as a band, no one knows who they are, they always show up in costumes and never give interviews and all of that makes for a pretty fascinating product. They are however, much more than that, they use influences from music from the past 50 years, like Elvis, Booker T. and twist everything to their nightmarish needs.

This makes for fascinating, if uncomfortable listening. Yet, while you feel uncomfortable you also feel like listening to it again, in some kind of musical masochism. This is just great, it is definitely original and it just works. Even the weird cartoonish voices. Recommended.

Track Highlights

1. Birthday Boy
2. Elvis And His Boss
3. Semolina
4. Hello Skinny

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Much of the speculation about the members' true identities swirls around their management team, known as "The Cryptic Corporation." Cryptic was formed by Jay Clem (Born 1947), Homer Flynn (born April 1945), Hardy W. Fox (born 1945), and John Kennedy in 1976, all of whom denied having been band members. (Clem and Kennedy left the Corporation in 1982.) The Residents themselves don't grant interviews, though Flynn and Fox have occasionally commented to the media. Nolan Cook, who has been working with the band recently, denied in an interview that Fox and Flynn are the Residents, saying that he has come across such rumors, and they are completely false.

William Poundstone, author of the Big Secrets books, claimed Flynn and possibly Fox are likely members of The Residents, probably the group leaders; this is probably the most widespread belief among the group's fans. A subset of that belief is that Flynn is the lyricist (a conclusion buttressed by the fact that his voice bears an uncanny resemblance to that of the Singing Resident) and that Fox writes the music. In addition BMI's online database of the performance rights organization [of which the Residents and their publishing company, Pale Pachyderm Publishing (Warner-Chappell), have been members for their entire careers], lists Flynn and Fox as the composers of all original Residents songs. This includes those songs written pre-1974 (the "Residents Unincorporated" years), the year Cryptic formed. However, many have pointed out that a songwriter can copyright a song under any name he/she chooses; the person named in the copyright assignment receives all royalties and legal requests and other information for the song, which, if Flynn and Fox are merely trusted managers who both handle the Residents' business and protect their identities, makes them the logical choice to be assigned the copyrights.

Cryptic openly admits the group's artwork is done by Flynn (among others), under various names that, put together, become Pornographics, but the pseudonym is rarely spelled the same way twice (examples: Porno Graphics, Pore No Graphix, Pore-Know Graphics); and that Fox is the "sound engineer" — meaning that he is the main producer, engineer, master, and editor of all their recordings. (Since 1976, the Residents' recordings have all listed their producer as "The Cryptic Corporation," presumably meaning Fox in particular.) Many other rumors have come and gone over the years, including the idea that the band members are physically disfigured; that 60s psychedelic band Cromagnon shared members with the band; and that the band members are in fact The Beatles in disguise.

Interview with the Residents... well with Penn from Penn & Teller talking for the residents:

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