Author Topic: The Residents in Japan  (Read 1069 times)

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
The Residents in Japan
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:41:20 pm »
"The Residents are practically Japanese, but no one knows"

I see plenty of information out there about various aspects of Residents history, but one thing that I see almost nothing about at all is The Residents' brief period of popularity in Japan. It is kind of understandable, seeing how The Residents have never been defined by their popularity overseas... or their popularity at all. They are and really should only be defined by their actual art. That being said, a bit of history about the group can't hurt, especially since their success in Japan was the whole reason behind them doing the 13th Anniversary Tour after previously swearing never to tour again! Looking at this stuff can teach us about both The Residents, Japanese culture, and ourselves! Or something, I don't know.

Anyway, I'll be dumping random information I can find in this thread. I'm not fluent in Japanese but I am currently studying it.

~~~~
Random Context and History

The Residents are really only "popular" among the English speaking world. Although not all albums require knowing English to enjoy them, a lot of the "smarter" stuff they do is in English and typically some sort of commentary on Western and American culture. But somehow The Residents managed to find a following in Japan. Wave Records initially handled the Japanese releases of Residents albums, although I'm not entirely sure how that relationship started. The Residents' popularity in Japan spiked after the release of The Big Bubble, which was hugely successful in Japan, to the point that Wave Records actually got The Residents to perform live in Japan, kicking off their 13th Anniversary Tour. After this, The Residents' popularity definitely fell in Japan, whether it was because the Mole Trilogy was never developed further, interest in "New Wave" music started to fall by then, or of financial problems with Wave Records.

This basically means that most albums prior to the 13th Anniversary Tour were officially released in Japan. Afterwards, The Residents relevance in Japan faded, although with the internet it is much easier to import or digitally buy the music so a Japanese record label taking care of things seems redundant. I have found a Japanese label now printing Residents CDs called "Bomba (ボンバ) Records", though. And another one called "Bird Song". It's pretty hard to keep track of who is releasing what these days. It's also difficult to find which albums were originally released in Japan by Wave, mainly because Wave does not seem to exist any more. And the information that's around doesn't really mention The Residents at all, although the official Rz website confirms that Wave released The Big Bubble in Japan (with a lyrics sheet! If anyone has this Japanese version of The Big Bubble, please share a scan of this supposed sheet!). Another interesting thing the Rz website mentions about Wave is that they "even had a Residents sculpture installed in the lobby of their Tokyo record store." I have found no other information on this sculpture at all on the internet, but it's probably the thing about Wave that intrigues me the most. Does this sculpture still exist somewhere? Where is it? Are there any photographs of it at all?

The 13th Anniversary Shows were mainly played in the now closed PARCO Theater (formerly known as Seibu Theater) in Shibuya, although the Rz website mentions one show in Kyoto with no information on where this show was played. Shibuya's PARCO Theater hosted other interesting acts, such as The Ramones and apparently even a performance of The Rocky Horror Show, among more traditional Japanese music acts and plays.

Anyway, despite being world-famous rock stars, The Residents don't have that strong of a following in Japan anymore. Sure, they definitely have fans all across the world and Japan is no exception, but most likely there is no J. Edgar Sakimoto in Tokyo about to spend one hundred thousand quankeroonies trying to get a Ultimate Box Set.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。

Social Buttons


Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 06:47:42 pm »
I remember when I was in Japan earlier this year I caught a cartoon on TV while getting ready for the day. A character in that show that sort of stuck out to me was this weird baby with a giant red eyeball for a head. Obviously it reminded me of The Residents and I remember calling the character "The Resident" at the time, and then I forgot about the whole thing.

~~~~

What are The Residents called in Japan?

The Residents are simply called... "The Residents" in Japan. Why would they be called anything else? :)

But in Japanese, their name is written out as 「ザ・レジデンツ」 ("Za Rejidentsu") or more commonly just 「レジデンツ」 ("Rejidentsu"). Generally the "The" in their name is dropped except when put on albums and such. Even the Japanese Wikipedia article drops the "the" and simply calls them レジデンツ.

I don't think we English-speaking people have a real name for the eyeballs. I personally go for "The Eyeball-Headed Residents" when talking about the guys in the eyeball masks, but that's a mouthful! One thing I've noticed when browsing Japanese websites about The Residents is that they actually have a specific name they call the eyeball guys! I've seen people just mention "the eyeballs", but I've seen many people refer to the eyeball-headed residents (...that'll catch on eventually!) as 「目玉親父」or 「目玉おやじ」 ("Medama Oyaji"). If you stick that into Google translate, you'll see that it literally translates to "Eyeball Father", which is kind of weird. I wouldn't consider any of The Residents my father... what's going on?!

Well, Medama Oyaji is actually the name of a character from a very popular long-running manga/anime series called "GeGeGe no Kitaro"! Apparently an official localization named him as "Daddy Eyeball", which kind of makes more sense than "Eyeball Father". The franchise is so popular that when Japanese people see The Residents, they immediately think, "Oh! It's just like Medama Oyaji!"


The interesting thing is that the show happened to be the exact same show I was watching in that seemingly purposeless anecdote up there! I was doing the complete opposite of what they were doing. I was calling Medama Oyaji a "Resident", they call The Residents "Medama Oyaji". That's kind of funny.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 2 View List

FrenesiGates

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 06:22:15 am »
Like Like x 1 View List

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 01:57:29 pm »
Once I was ripping a Japanese idol CD so I could play me some super commercial J-Pop on the phone for long bus rides and such. I was using one of those CD ripping programs that auto fills in the media tags in the files so the correct titles and artist info show up all nicely. Unfortunately, the information was all translated in English as opposed to being in the original language it was in! I didn't realize it at the time and got rather confused later on when talking to some other people about song titles... I had gotten used to the English translated titles while obviously everyone else was using the Japanese names. Nowadays I try to at least double check that program when ripping my CDs, or fill in the info myself so I know it's right.

(On a note related to this actual forum, didn't something like that happen with The Commercial Album CDs and iTunes?)

~~~~

Translated Album Names and Song Titles

(This is going to be an incomplete section, since I don't have all the information right now! And probably won't for a long time... if ever.)

Most Japanese Residents releases don't have different names in Japanese and English. Actually, all albums have been released under their original names, although a few have alternate "translated" titles to accompany their official title. Yeah, The Residents didn't get any reverse version of that whole "Sukiyaki / 上を向いて歩こう" treatment here. (Does anyone get that reference?)

As an example, these albums have been released under their original names:
Duck Stab / ダック・スタブ (Dakku Sutabu)
Eskimo / エスキモー (Esukimou)
Meet The Residents / ミート・ザ・レジデンツ (Miito Za Rejidentsu)
The Big Bubble / ザ・ビッグ・バブル (Za Biggu Baburu)

(Note: for the rest of this post when I write romanized Japanese, I'll be writing out English loan words in standard english instead of their romanized Japanese forms for clarity.)

These album titles tend to be written with Japanese characters on the obi (the little paper thing on the side of the album) and in the liner notes and such, but the album art is obviously not touched and these releases make it very clear what the original title in English is. And just as a reminder, in case it wasn't obvious by the re-romanized titles I wrote, these titles are just the English titles but written with Japanese characters. They are pronounced pretty the same, albeit with slight differences in pronunciation due to the nature of Japanese language.

And for the most part, all releases have been released with titles like these. Those were just some examples that I find everywhere when looking for Rz info in Japanese.

But check THESE out! If you notice on that page, you'll see they have pictures of obi from Residents albums, AND they have additional translated titles to go along with the standard English title! I don't know if these are based on any original WAVE releases, or if this was something made for a special CD rerelease. But I do find it pretty interesting.

Intermission has an Obi that translates the title as 「幕間(インターミッション)」 ("Makuai (Intermission)") which can be translated as... "Intermission (Intermission)" (where the second "Intermission" is literally the English word "Intermission" written out with Japanese characters).

This Mark of the Mole  release also refers to it as 「もぐらの通り道」 ("Mogura no Toorimichi") which can be translated as "The Passage of Moles". One interesting thing here is that they are using the Japanese word for mole instead of simply writing "mole" as a loan word. It's kind of weird because they aren't literally moles, they're people are just referred to as "Moles". It's just a name. I guess they are kind of like symbolic moles, but whatever. Although if they did write it as an English loan word, it'd be kind of confusing since they'd be writing out as 「モール」 which is usually the word for "Mall".

Also, on that release we have some translated track names! After translating these... it appears to be more than just Mark of the Mole! The titles are pretty simple and for the most part good translations, although one of them from the second half of the CD definitely stands out from the short and direct translations.

1. 天の声 (Ten no Koe) / "Voices of the Air"
2. 大惨事 (Daisanji) / "Great disaster"
3. 移住 (Ijyuu) / "Migration"
4. 別天地 (Bettenchi) / "Another world"
5. 最後の復興 (Saigo no Fukkou) / "The last reconstruction"

6. 消灯 (Shoutou) / "Turning lights off"
7. ショーティーズ・ラメント (Shorty's Lament) / "Shorty's Lament"
8. もぐらがやってくる ヤァ!!ヤァ!!ヤァ!! (Mogura ga Yatte Kuru - Yaa! Yaa! Yaa!) / "Moles are coming (Yaa! Yaa! Yaa!)"
9. 生還 (Seikan) / "Returning Alive"
10. ニュー・ヒム (New Hymn) / "New Hymn"

First off, this looks like a pretty interesting release, a combination Mark of the Mole / Intermission CD (or Double LP?). Again, the titles are pretty simple, and with the exception of The Final Confrontation and Would We Be Alive, the translations are all pretty good. The title that sticks out to me, though, is もぐらがやってくる ヤァ!!ヤァ!!ヤァ!! I really just... don't know why they added that last part. It's not like it's in the actual song. Maybe it was for spacing on the Obi design.

Anyway, here's another Obi image that's big enough to actually read! This one is for The Tunes of Two Cities, also referring to it as 「二大都市のメロディー」 ("Nidaitoshi no Melody") which can be translated as "The Melody of Two Big Cities". They probably chose the word "Melody" to use instead of "Tune" because it's a more familiar and common loan word. I don't think it's the best translation because it's implying that the cities are both huge metropolitan areas, which I don't really get from the album. Also because the english title is sort of playing with the title of A Tale of Two Cities, and the Japanese title doesn't play with the Japanese title of the book (二都物語). To be fair, though, I can't really think of a way to reference that title either. Anyway, here are the translated track names:

1. ミッシーのセレネーデ (Missy no Serenade) / "Missy's Serenade"
2. ジグソーパズルの迷路 (Jigsaw Puzzle no Meiro) / "Maze of Jigsaw Puzzles"
3. マウストラップ (Mousetrap) / "Mousetrap"
4. ゴッド・オブ・ダークネス (God of Darkness) / "God of Darkness"
5. 舌鼓を打て! (Shitatsudzumi wo ute!) / "Smack your lips!"
6. 呪いの褒め (Noroi no home) / "Praise of the Curse"
7. オープン・アップ (Open Up) / "Open Up"
8. アンヴィル・フォレスト (Anvil Forest) / "Anvil Forest"
9. ミントの香り (Mint no Kaori) / "Scent of Mint"
10. 神秘の種子 (Shinpi no Shushi) / "Secret Seed"

I'm guessing there is more to the release... since a Tunes of Two Cities release without Happy Home would be very tragic,  but those are the only titles that show up in that picture of the obi. Again, there's really only one title that stands out to me, which is 舌鼓を打て! (Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth)), mainly because of the exclamation mark. And because they dropped the parenthetical when translating it. One that sticks out to just me is probably アンヴィル・フォレスト (Anvil Forest) because they didn't actually translate the title and just wrote the english title with Japanese characters even though you can write it out in Japanese (Something along the lines of 鉄床森). Open Up is spelled out the same way, and both of those songs originally come from Residue so maybe they just lifted the titles from a localized Residue release?

Anyway, these are the only translated album names and track titles that I could find, although if I find anymore I'll definitely post about them!
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 1 View List

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 10:58:27 pm »
Now, on this forum, and particularly this thread, I like to point out my interest in Japanese idols. I really dig the complete contrast of some of my big music/performance tastes, so I think it's funny to remind everyone of that. Anyway, I'll be going to Japan in March to watch the "THE IDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE! 4thLIVE TH@NK YOU for SMILE!!" concert... yeah, as passionate as I am about that it is a bit embarrassing to say it on a Residents forum of all places. I'm also hoping one of my favorite Japanese performers of actual weird (well, compared to normal pop) music, Mishio Ogawa, live as well during the trip. And yet one thing I always thought would be cool to do in Japan is actually watch a western music group perform live! I mean, obviously I'm interested in Japanese perspectives of western media, so that just sounds amazing right?

Wait what? Huh?! The Residents are coming to Japan again... next March?! Well... dang.

~~~~

The Residents BACK In Japan!

Dang. I did not see that coming! The Residents are going to be performing in Japan! Let's translate that blurb a bit better than the robots, shall we?

Quote
The Residents, who have continued to provide shock to the world since 1985, are coming to Japan for the first time in 32 years!

Tuxedos, Top hats, and Eyeball Masks are their trademarks. The Residents, for the first time in 32 years since 1985, have decided to visit Japan for a live performance. They formed in around 1966 in the American state of Louisiana and debuted in 1974 with their debut album "Meet The Residents". "Eskimo" and "The Commercial Album" were captured in the performance of "The Eyeball Show", and they were the first of their many much-discussed works and controversial expressions. Though they always take masked forms during their live performances, their sound and visual art have continued to have a big influence on music scenes from rock to avant-garde and many artists. In 2017, there are plans to announce a new work, and also to continue activities without revealing their identities as the "We have no sex, face, or personality" Residents. I want to feel their unique worldly feelings of their live performances.

That second to last sentence though...
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 11:44:16 am »
Here is a translated blurb from the "Medama no Gakkou" (School of Eyeballs) event happening in Japan about a month before the shows:

Formed in the late 60's, the mysterious American music group "The Residents" who have stared at the world with those big eyeballs are miraculously coming to Japan for the first time in 32 years! They will be holding the world premier performance of their new show "In Between Dreams" at Blue Note Tokyo in March. To commemorate this, music critic Manabu Yuasa, who was the editor of the Resident's biographical book "The Eyeball That Sees The Dancing Eyeball*" and who calls them "The most famous enigma in the world of American music", is offering a course on them titled "School of Eyeballs"-- A one night lesson with fundamental knowledge about The Residents, a screening of footage about their current activities, and a trial listening of a sound generator all joined together with commentary!

*The Japanese title to Uncle Willie's Guide to The Residents


On an unrelated note, I love that the eyeballs are being used as the dakuten in the logo (The two dots/dashes that should be in the in めだま are replaced with the eyeballs). That's a pretty common thing to see in Japanese logos and stuff, but to see it done with the Residents eyeballs is pretty darn amazing. The の with a top hat is pretty great as well.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2017, 09:53:42 am »
I was going to post something regarding Japanese comments on Rz videos hosted online... but I actually have some news to deliver instead!

A new event is happening on Monday, March 6th in Japan! The web broadcasting platform DOMMUNE will be broadcasting a program to commemorate The Residents' first appearance in Japan in over 30 years later in March. The program will feature talks on The Residents from various experts, inluding Manabu Yuasa, who led the "Medama no Gakkou" event that happened a few weeks ago. There will also be Rz music played later in the program. So basically it sounds a lot like that whole "Medama no Gakkou" event. The music segments are even called "learning" segments, like you're taking a class at the school of eyeballs.

The great thing about this event, though, is that you'll be able to watch it live! It'll be broadcast live on March 6th, from 21:00~25:00 JST. Or about 4:00 am to 8:00 am pacific time on March 6th. You can view it live either from their website or as a live stream on their Youtube channel. However, you cannot rewatch any old streams, you can only tune in live to watch it. The DOMMUNE website has this interesting quote, though: "DOMMUNE is only possible because of the help of all the performers, the artists who make the music played, and many other people. You can record the DOMMUNE stream for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not post it online or make it available for download. We ask that you respect this policy so that everybody can enjoy DOMMUNE!" If you can tune in, maybe look into recording it... just for archiving purposes, of course!

Anyway, one other thing about this event is that people can actually go to the studio they record from and be part of the "studio audience"! And I will be there! Yay!
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 1 View List

moleshow

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 197
  • Debatably Helpful
  • Location: Kay See Ehm Oh
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 10:54:00 am »
spread the word of the forum pls.. i NEED to speak to these FANS! their perspectives are still unheard by so many of us! ive seen japanese visits on the statcounter, but not yet have they joined. New Friends...
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 01:08:30 am »
The first bit of Residents music I ever heard was from the Icky Flix Constantinople video, uploaded on Youtube . Shortly after, I watched One Minute Movies from the same channel once I was brave enough to discover more of The Residents. Fortunately, the channel I linked to is an actual authorized channel that gives ad revenue back to the artists... or, at least some record company gets it.

~~~~

Over in Japan, Youtube isn't that popular. It's still widely known, and Youtube definitely is trying to get more of a market share over there, but it isn't the most popular video sharing website. That honor would go to Nico Nico Douga (ニコニコ動画), which I describe to everyone as "Japanese Youtube, basically". The most unique aspect of Nico Nico Douga is the fact that comments aren't just posted below the video like on Youtube or similar sites... the comments scroll over the video at the time they were entered. This lets you comment on specific things on the video, so instead of a bunch of comments saying "4:03 lol that was funny", you'd just get a stream of "hahaha" comments at the funny moment. It might sound a bit distracting, but the video player tries not to play too many comments at once, and you can always disable the comments if you really want to.

Anyway, it's no surprise that there have been a couple Residents videos uploaded to Nico Nico Douga. So, let's translate some comments, shall we? There were only two videos that had more than a couple comments, both being versions of One Minute Movies. One video is ripped from a television marathon from a long time ago that was called "TV's TV", which featured weird underground... stuff, like obscure video games and music. The played only half of the One Minute Movies during this program, though. The other video is the full package, with alternate Japanese song titles provided on the actual video. I'm not entirely sure where these titles came from, but they possibly could have been added in by WAVE Records, since it doesn't look like they were digitally added in over the original video by the uploader.

Anyway, here are the comments.

"TV's TV part 13" Comments (Only from One Minute Movies portion):

Moisture
レジデンツ! "The Residents!"
レジデンツ "The Residents"
レジデンツ! "The Residents!"
うわw "Wow lol"
おお、レジデンツだ "Ooh, It's The Residents"
レジデンツか!"The Residents?!"
逆再生の刺激感は異常 "The feeling from playing it backwards is abnormal" ???
目玉のダンナ "Master of the Eyeballs" ???
音楽? "Music?"
すきだww "I like this lolol"
心臓痛くなるPV "This music video hurts my heart"
スネークフィンガー↑ "Snakefinger ↑"
シュールw "Surreal lol"
見続けてついにここまできてしまった・・・ "I've been watching all of these and have finally found this one..."
シュール、て表現がぴったりくるなw "Surreal, the presentation is perfect, isn't it lol"
どういう状況 "What kind of situation is this"
中毒性あらあw "Aahh, addictive lol"
すごく遠くに来た感じ "Feelings which came from very far away"
女? "Woman?"

Act of Being Polite
目玉親父何やってんのwwwwww "What are you doing Medama Oyaji* lololol"
スヤァ "zzz..."
目玉一つ盗まれたんだよね "One of the eyeballs was stolen!"
あー、レジデンツか!目玉でようやく気づいたわ。"Ah, The Residents?! The eyeball made me finally notice it."
目玉おやじにしか見えんww "I can't see anything but Medama Oyaji lolol"
目玉は熱狂的なファンが取り返したがそのマスクは穢れたものとして使われなくなった。"An enthusiastic fan recovered the eyeball but it was damaged to the point where it couldn't be used."
シュールwww "Surreal lololol"
コマーシャルアルバムだよね "Commercial Album!"
ぶw "Boop lol"
こっちみんな "Everyone here"
ここのアニメーション、何かモンティパイソン思い出す。 "This animation, I remember something from Monty Python"
これが地球でつくられてるんだよな・・・ "Was this even made on Earth, I wonder..."

Afterwards
元の音楽思い出せない・・・ "I don't remember the source of this music" (Irrelevent to The Residents)
夜中にこれやってたら怖いな "This would be scary in the middle of the night"
ああ・・終わりが・・・"Aww.. It's over...?"
確かにレジデンツは怖い "The Residents are definitely scary"


"One Minute Movies" comments:

Moisture / 湿り気
TV'sTVから "From TV's TV"
!
[Someone added the lyrics of Moisture to the video]
Snakefinger !!!!
蛇指大先生じゃないですか!! "That isn't master Snakefinger!?!"
コメント3ってどんだけwww "There's only 3 comments lolol"

Act Of Being Polite/礼儀作法
MoMAの永久コレクションになってるレベルなのに再生少なすぎだろ "In the MoMA's permanent collection but they playback is too infrequent"
うーにゃーうーにゃー うにゃ うにゃ にゃん "Uuu Nyaa Uuu Nyaa Uu Nya Uu Nya Nyan" (This may be a reference to a Japaense internet meme. Or just someone being weird.)
たまらん "Irritated" (referring to the heart)

Perfect Love/パーフェクト・ラヴ
かわいい! "Cute!"
かわいい "Cute"
これかわいい "That's cute"

The Simple Song/シンプルソング
豚ちゃん! "Pig!"
これに参加したい "I want to participate in this"
踊る目玉おやじ集団 "It's the dancing eyeballs group"



(The entries with ??? are ones where I'm not sure about the translation)
----

Nice comments. Some interesting things to point out, though. First, a lot of people think the guy playing the guitar in the Moisture video is Snakefinger. While he definitely was involved with the album and probably actually did the solo, and the guy in the video does look familiar somehow, I'm pretty sure that's not Snakefinger... right?  Someone even corrected people by saying that it wasn't Snakefinger, which was nice. That comment was pretty interesting itself for multiple reasons. First, they call Snakefinger "蛇指", the actual Japanese words for "snake" and "finger" combined, instead of just transliterating his name to Japanese. They also call him "Snakefinger dai-sensei", which is a title you'd give to a teacher or someone who has reached mastery. I'm gonna be honest... 蛇指大先生 is a pretty cute name to call Snakefinger.

Also, a lot of Japanese people thought the Residents puppets were cute, which is expected from "kawaii Japan"... or just about anyone really. Those puppets are adorable and I want one.


*For information on "Medama Oyaji", please check earlier in the thread.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 1 View List

moleshow

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 197
  • Debatably Helpful
  • Location: Kay See Ehm Oh
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2017, 03:21:15 pm »
i  they think the eyeballs in general are cute? in that one thing hosted by Penn and Teller called like... The Residents: Who They Are and What They Look Like, i  would say that they're pretty cute.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 03:28:18 pm »
So, how about that whole DOMMUNE broadcast, right? I don't think anyone recorded it... but it was pretty awesome! I was there for the first half of the program before I had to bail out so I could make it back to where I was staying before the trains stopped, but being there was well worth the 20 minute walk from the station in the cold! A funny thing about the studio was that while we were walking there, we got lost and walked by this group of about 20 people gathered around a building in the general area where the studio was supposed to be... we walked past, thinking that there was no way that group was there for The Residents thing... only to find out after swearing at Google Maps a few times that it was indeed the building! Not all of them were actually there for the event, as there was something going on before it, but it was still surprising to see all the people who were interested in The Residents. Here's a picture of what the studio area looked like:


What a collection! And those Residents puppets are so cute! Here's a close-up image of them.


And yeah, the whole program was basically just an overview of the history of The Residents. It was still pretty cool, and I even saw a poster for The Eyeball Show I had never seen before! And I got to talk to a Japanese Rz fan in the audience! Coolio!

Also I went to a Tower Records in Shibuya (yes, those still exist in Japan) later in the week and picked up some cool stuff. I picked up an interesting Japanese remix album titled "Attack of the Killer Black Eyeball" by XXX RESIDENTS. Yeah, a Japanese Residents Remix album! And even more interesting is the fact that this XXX RESIDENTS group was created by (or at least with heavy involvement with) Naohiro Ukawa... who also created the DOMMUNE clube and streaming studio. I wonder if that DOMMUNE event was Blue Note Tokyo's idea or just his idea...

I have to say that "Attack of the Killer Black Eyeball" was pretty interesting, but... well, it wasn't the best album I've ever heard, let's just put it that way.. I appreciated "Harsh Noise For Hotel Missy Kyoto" the most... you can probably find that one on youtube or somewhere if you'd like to listen to it.

Anyway, Tower Records also had actual Residents albums! Quite a few, too. They had WB:RMX, The Third Reich 'n Roll, Demons Dance Alone, Mark of the Mole, Not Available, Animal Lover, Icky Flix, The King and Eye RMX, The Big Bubble, Intermission, and I think a few other ones too. I remember they had one album in particular on the shelf that completely surprised me... but... that's a story for another time.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 05:32:21 pm »
This thread's topic title. YES. It's happening right now. The Residents ARE in Japan! Man... when I created this thread I had a few topics I selected to cover and expected only a slow flow of small updates after that... I didn't expect to be talking about actual NEWS, and certainly not breaking news on... well, just see!

So, the first of the In Between Dreams shows happened yesterday... or today... or whatever. Now unfortunately, no setlist or really any live reports have come out. So sorry about the lack of any information there. Will post more info as it comes available. There has been a bit of info put out about the shows though. First off, Blue Note Tokyo will be serving a special drink during these shows called TYRONE'S OBSCURITY, which contains Pastis and lychees (which look kind of like eyeballs...). I'd love to try an official Residents drink! Anyway, Blue Note has also talked about at least some of the official goods, including classic eyeball shirts (of course!) and The Ghost of Hope in both vinyl and CD forms! I think some people have gotten the album a bit early and have been a bit quiet about it... but Blue Note has specifically stated on their website that the album would available at these shows prior to official release.

Anyway, I hear that Hein Fokker instagrammed this staff access badge from the show out. And it's pretty awesome! It's interesting to see the show being called by an actual Japanese name, 夢の中で ("Yume no naka de"), which could be translated as... well, "In Between Dreams". The text on the bottom just literally says "All Access".

One last bit of news is that Blue Note has put out an interview with The Residents... and, well if you've followed this thread before, then you know it means it's TRANSLATION TIME. I knew this interview was going to be great when I saw this quote from it: 「トランプは"The Ghost of Nope"」... That got my attention... and as you read my horrible translation, you'll see why it caught my eye! But seriously... we have some truly amazing info here in this interview on the show and maybe some other things...

~~~~~~~
Original article is here: http://www.bluenote.co.jp/jp/news/features/8011/
New costumes also unveiled! Interview with The Residents just before their performance

"Trump is 'The Ghost of Nope'"
They've been doing their activities for 45 years and even now The Residents show now signs of deviating from that.
We've decided to interview as the performance becomes imminent!


Is it a dream, a phantom, a shadow, darkness, or all of that? The Residents... Those Residents from America that come. To Japan. From March 21 to the 23, they'll be doing their first performance in 32 years and they came to take our questions in an interview. What is this world-premier program, "In Between Dreams"? What are The Residents', who have reached 45 years of activity, current status?

interview & text = Manabu Yuasa
[Translator's note: This is the guy who did the Medama no Gakkou event, as well as the DOMMUNE event, and translated Uncle Willie's guide. At this point, think of him as part of the Japanese branch of the Cryptic Corporation.]

This time, this Japan show "In Between Dreams" is called a world premiere, but what is the theme or concept of this program?

It's even in the title, the concept is "dreams". The Residents have chosen songs that meet this concept from their vast repertoire for this show. Also, for the show, there are videos produced with characters talking about "dreams". This time the costumes are modeled after plague doctors. These doctors believe that disease has spread all over the world, and they believe that it can be cured only by dreams created by The Residents or escaping to created worlds.

Why was Japan chosen as the place for the world premiere?

Since The Residents first performed in Japan in 1985, I think they've always wanted to come back. There were plans for a small Japan tour in 2011, but they were canceled by the earthquake disaster. So this time, when they heard from the agent that there was potential for being able to go to the Blue Note Tokyo, they were really looking forward to it.

How did you come to this work, or what was it's motivation?

The beginning motivation was this Japanese show. The Residents weren't planning anything in particular for their 2017 tour. But their motivation for new works was inspired from this unexpected offer.

How is it related to past work of The Residents?

Basically it's just new arrangements of existing works. However, there are also some new songs unveiled, and some from a new project, "The Fixie Man" will be performed.

Can we hear a bit more about "The Fixie Man"?

It's a very dramatic pieces. A piece based on an albino blues singer from the 1960's.
(Translator's note: Japanese doesn't have plurals, so I don't know if it's supposed to be "piece" or "pieces")

Is there any relationship between the new Residents album "The Ghost of Hope" and "In Between Dreams"? And if so, what is it?

They will also be playing songs from The Ghost of Hope on this stage. The Ghost of Hope is themed around train accidents, and it's also a metaphor for the darkness of western civilization. The darkness cannot vanish until the world learns how to dream again. The Residents have appeared to help with that.

It's the first time in 37 years that The Residents have come to Japan, but in those 37 years, have their been any changes in The Residents? Can I please get the facts?

The years have piled on, they've grown wiser, and they have children and even grandchildren. Hair has become grey, and they don't eat as much as they used to. But they are by no means gloomy, and even now get excited to discover fun day by day.

A few comments on arriving at 45 years of your activities. Are there any special feelings?

It feels like a very long time has passed since the beginning of The Residents. However, the future is always open just like it was 45 years ago, and they are still full of new ideas.

If you could describe 45 years of The Residents in one word, how would you?

Perseverance

Please tell me about any ongoing projects right now.

A stage show based on the 1988 album "God in Three Persons" is in production. Also, they're starting to rebuild the experimental film "Vileness Fats" which had its production stopped incomplete in the 70's.

Is there taboo for The Residents? If so, what kind of things?

The Residents don't like rules.

What is The Residents' favorite food?

Well to start, The Residents is a 4 person group so each has their own favorite.

This is a very difficult question, but if The Residents were forced to be pushed into a music genre, where would they be? (Multiple genres are acceptable)

The Residents will only be categorized into their own genres.

What are The Residents' thoughts on US President Donald Trump?

They try not to think about him as much as possible, but that's difficult. He is certainly "The Ghost of Nope".


The new costume for "In Between Dreams" was shocking. What will the sound be like? It would be fortunate if you could see it in a dream. Make the eyeballs long and let's wait.

レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 1 View List

Walter Westinghouse

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: France
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2017, 07:38:55 pm »
Quote
The Residents is a 4 person group

 ;D

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2017, 02:10:39 pm »
Blue Note put out a live report with pictures and a setlist (obviously with English titles) which I reccomend you check out. Here is what the little blog entry says.

Live Report

Kazunori Harada's Bloggin' BLUE NOTE TOKYO


A unit engulfed in an excessively big mystery, The Residents have accomplished their miraculous revisit to Japan. The last time they performed in Japan was in 1985. I was surely just getting out of middle school when the live review and artist photographs published in the magazine "Takarajima" came before my eyes. As I saw those outfits that were like a combination of space aliens and masked wreslters I grieved over the misfortune that I could not attend the performance. "I want to see them live someday", I thought with resolution. In other words, I was drawn in from their outward appearance. It's been close to 20 years since I've started listening to their various albums because mass production of Japanese edition CD's have been put onto the market by Bomba Records. Among these is "George & James", a collection of George Gershwin and James Brown related songs in an unprecedented style, an overwhelmingly bizarre idea, a time which I constantly enjoy. The concept of recreating the crowds of Brown's famous recording, "Live at the Apollo" ('62), with electronic sounds of a violent speed is even now intense to my waist. [Translator's note: I don't get it and Google translate doesn't get it either.]

When I first entered the venue, the curtain with the eyeball character familiar to fans drawn on it and the large white spheres on the left-hand side of the stage caught my eye. There were four members. Starting from the left, there was the vocalist, the keyboardist, and the guitarist, with the one on laptop and sense drum positioned behind the keyboardist. The vocalist was wearing a black and white skin-tight suit resembling a cow costume. Horns were sprouting from his head and his stomach band were charming. The other members were disguised as birds with giant beaks. This time they're tackling the world premiere performance of their new show, "In Between Dreams". I'm writing to avoid spoilers to some degree. The show's contents comprise of 3 parts: "The Cowboy Dream", "The Train Wreck Dream", and "The Ballerina Dream". I could appreciate the varied singing voice which I wanted to call the "Rainbow Voice".  A roaring low voice, a husky harsh voice, changing to Bruce Lee's weird bird call like sounds to a roar, and so on... my delight was just growing from being able to enjoy these at point-blank range. I also listened to an extremely creatively arranged cover of James Brown's famous ballad "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (not included in "George and James").

Performances will be done until the 23rd. After starting almost 50 years ago, The Residents' one and only world only gets more polished.

(Harada 2017 03.22)
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 1 View List

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2017, 11:32:13 am »
Well, the Japanese shows have concluded... but I still have a few more things to cover before this thread becomes uncovering old random bits of information once more!

First off, the copies of the Ghost of Hope CD sold at the Japanese shows seem to have a special obi you can kind of make out in this picture. The obi itself doesn't seem that interesting... it just says レジデンツ / ゴースト・オフ・ホープ and maybe some translated track titles. Now, what is interesting is that this obi seems to have been exclusively made for the In Between Dreams merch sales, as I can confirm that copies of The Ghost of Hope for sale in Japanese record stores are not any different from the US versions. To my knowledge, other than these special versions made for the Blue Note shows, there is no special Japanese release of The Ghost of Hope.

Anyway, another intereseting thing which I've been slacking on posting about is that Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents is being localized in Japan! The website for it, as bare as it is, is located here! The film is called めだまろん / ザ・レジデンツ・ムービー (Medama Ron: Za Rejidentsu Muubii) which can be translated as Theory of Eyeballs: The Residents Movie. Notice how the movie logo does the same thing that the Medama no Gakkou event's logo does: It uses the Residents eyeballs as the dakuten on the in the logo. I love that kind of stuff. Also I don't want to do a whole visual teardown of this logo, but the text formatting does a good job of portraying definite word boundaries without the usage of kanji... anyway...

The text below the logo says: "In early summer 2017, it's been decided the movie will premiere at Theater Image Forum!!". Said theater is a theater in Shibuya, Tokyo, not too far away from the Blue Note Tokyo. Neato! You can follow the movie on Twitter, here: @medamaron2017 (similar to The Theory of Obscurity's @ResidentsMovie acount). It could definitely use some love. I'll be trying to translate some of the descriptions Image Forum has put up about the movie, but for now it's looking like pretty standard stuff not too different from the Theory of Obscurity descriptions.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
Like Like x 1 View List

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 02:12:46 pm »
Update on some things! First off, めだまろん aka the Japanese Theory of Obscurity will be premiering at Theatre Image Forum in Shibuya, Tokyo on July 1st and Osaka's Cine Libre theater on July 8th! Here's a trailer, although I think all of us have watched the Theory of Obscurity by now so there's nothing really that interesting in here:

video

Anyway, the Blue Note Tokyo also put out an additional little interview from Homer Flynn about the In Between Dreams shows. As always, I've added my not-that-good-but-slightly-better-than-Google-translate translation. This ドナルド・トランプ guy seems to pop up a lot in talks about this show.

Quote
Interview - Offstage: The Residents

"It's the dark ages, so our theme is 'Dreams'."

This March, there was a different kind of performance for the Blue Note Tokyo.  It was the first performance in Japan in 32 years for American avant-garde band The Residents. Fans from all over Japan gathered for six exciting performances over three days.

For three nights in the middle of March, the Blue Note Tokyo, a jazz club approaching it's 30th year, had a different atmosphere from usual. It was The Residents' performance in Japan. With a rock-style band organization, psychedelic production, and cow and bird masks and costumes. The vocalist sang eccentrically with a voice that seemed to reverberate from the depths of hell.

"At first our ears doubted an offer from a Jazz Club with 300 seats, because it was an environment that until now they had never done before. But we thought back on it and thought it might be interesting. Because if the stage and audience seats are close, it'd be possible to experience this sense of unity."

That's what the manager of The Residents said. He is not only the band's business partner, but completely shares the band's thoughts, feelings, intentions, and so on. It is said he symbolizes the band.

"The cattle mask is a bull and a cow too. The bull is a symbol of power. The cow is a symbol of life. I'd like to think that The Residents represent both of those things. The bird masks are being used as motifs from when they were used as medical masks in Europe during the time of the bubonic plague (black death). In the past, doctors who were engaged in curing the black plague wore these masks so they wouldn't get infected. It seems that there were two reasons as to why they looked like a bird. First, for good luck. Additionally, herbs were stuffed into the beaks and accomplished the role of a filter to defend against infection."

In the first place, why now are there costumes of power, life, and black plague prevention?

"Because the present is a dark age like the time of the black plague. The US Presidential Election that happened not long ago, it should have been reported in Japan, the outcome of that election was disappointing. The Residents are beyond the feelings of sadness and are shocked. The people over there who live in the center of the US who voted for Donald Trump are ignorant. And furthermore, us ignorant people are proud of it. I feel like I'll be ignorant in the future. It's an unbelievable state-of-affairs. Devastating. So this time it was a live with those feelings as well."

Up on the stage was a huge spherical object. There they projected digital videos that resembled Mother Teresa and John Wayne among others talking about dreams.

"The theme of this live was 'Dreams'. Even in these dark times, they put a message in these digital films that you should never forget to hold onto your dreams. The video of John Wayne talks on and on about the dream of becoming a ballerina. Isn't it charming? John Wayne and Ballerinas, they thought that gap would be fun. The Residents' lives have high tension and are extreme. The audience and the band too should sustain this tension. So we thought to take a breath or establish an interval two times in the middle of the show and talk about Mother Teresa and John Wayne. And after resting we return back to the world of high tension."
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。

Meisekimiu

  • Global Moderator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2017, 07:41:06 pm »
Those who go to めだまろん in the theater in Japan get a free Theory of Obscurity clear file (basically a plastic folder with a picture on it) with their ticket. I have to admit, I really want one. :P Clear files are a pretty Japanese piece of merchandise, but the fact that it's branded with the Theory of Obscurity poster and not the localized めだまろん poster is a bit puzzling. Were these ever released to western audiences as well?



Image from the medamaron official twitter.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。

moleshow

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 197
  • Debatably Helpful
  • Location: Kay See Ehm Oh
    • View Profile
Re: The Residents in Japan
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2017, 03:09:39 pm »
i don't think US fans got those.

why is japan always so good at merch? i would easily fight someone for that poster. and they just give it out for free.



this merch famine is wrecking me.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."