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Messages - Meisekimiu

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I don't really like cover bands. I'd say that the only cover band I've consistently liked is The Residents as Randy, Chuck, and Bob. And they're only technically a cover band if you follow The Residents' own strange truths and half truths they put out about their works. I get why cover bands exist, and I get why they make money. I look at bands I like and wish to become them, and I realize that the only way to ever go to a Beatles concert ever again is through the fake British accents of Beatles cover bands.

Still, something seems... wrong about sort of "stealing" a band's identity and performing their music live as them. When it comes to XXX Residents, I'm a bit more conflicted. On one hand, they aren't really a cover band. But on the other hand, they do perform live occasionally and as such market themselves as a "cosplay band". I guess to me it is just a bit too strange to see the eyeball headed Resident figures standing behind turntables and making techno trance music. Though I do have to say it definitely does seem "residential" to bring a vacuum cleaner up on stage and remix that sound.

Attack of the Killer Black Eyeball is XXX Residents' only album currently. Unlike The Residents, they do not perform original avant-garde music, but instead produce techno remixes of Residents music. I know for a fact that many pretentious fans of The Residents would scoff at the idea at a serious techno remix (Diskomo 2000 was "ironic" so it is allowed to exist of course). But I'm always open to new music, and hey, how "normal" can a Residents remix album really sound, especially when it's produced by some weird Japanese people? I picked up this album last year along with The Ghost of Hope in the Tower Records in Shibuya and was super excited to listen to it when I got home. Unlike The Ghost of Hope which I needed to listen to immediately, I waited until I was back in the US to properly listen to this one.

I popped it in like a normal Residents album and really made an effort of actually listening to it... and I was pretty disappointed. It really is just a normal techno remix album. The songs drone on for quite a while, with the occasional familiar Residents sample being thrown into the song. I put the album away and thought "well, at least it is a rare oddity" and that was that.

I think a few months later I ripped the CD and gave it a listen while I was doing some work on the computer. I just needed some background music and... wow, the album was suddenly much better! It really does need to be approached with the standard mindset that goes into listening to more mainstream electronic music: you don't just sit there and listen to it. It's club music. You put it on and let it be the background music to whatever you're doing. You dance to it in the club. You drink and get high to it, but not even the pretentious spiritual type of high, just the "gotta have fun!" kind of drugs (note: I don't do drugs so if that sounds naive, then, well, there you go). I think I could give this album to my friends and they'd still think it's weird, but it is very close to just being normal techno/EDM/electronic/whatever music. I don't know the differences in the genres to properly label what this is.

The standout track from this album is "Harsh Noise For Hotel Missy Kyoto". Unlike all the other tracks, it isn't really part of the whole techno megamix this album has going on. It's pretty much just a weird cover of "Serenade for Missy", although I still feel like it samples the original quite a bit and just overlays a new texture over top of it. Everything else on the album really is just a techno song that samples and remixes a Residents song, all of the remixes being their older works. The Census Taker is the latest work sampled in these albums to my knowledge, and a lot of Duck Stab/Buster & Glen and Fingerprince are sampled. It's pretty disappointing, since when it comes to remixed Residents music (outside of any RMX projects which... are pretty much new things instead of remixes in my view) I'm more interested in the later parts of The Residents' catalogue. For some reason I think Tweedles would be an excellent candidate for Techno-ification, though I'm not entirely sure why.

That's about all I have to say about this album. It's not a good album to really listen to, but I do enjoy putting it on in the background occasionally. I'm not really a big fan of just straight up techno music you'd play in a club, so I wasn't really predisposed to like this album much to begin with. Still, it's fun to hear music like this and be able to actually sing along to these samples which are pretty engrained into my mind at this point. It is a really interesting oddity, and as a computer programmer who likes to fill 8 hours of work every day with background music, droning electronic music like this really can be a blessing sometimes. And if I had to choose any droning electronic music, I really would prefer that electronic music to be vaguely Residential.

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RZ General Board / Re: in between dreams
« on: June 14, 2018, 11:48:21 am »
The In Between Dreams show I went to was just over 2 months ago and I still haven't written anything about it. I should probably change that.

I went to the show at the Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City. I was staying with my friend who was also going to the concert, despite not being a Residents fan herself (although being close to me means she was familiar with some of their works and I did give her daily "study material" leading up to the concert :P). She lived close enough to the venue that we could walk there easily, although she wasn't happy about the fact that I insisted we get there like 2 hours before the show even started.

Well, we did get there pretty early... in fact we were the first ones in line as we stood outside the venue. I stared at the big purple tour bus parked not too far away. Eventually after standing there for quite a while, other people started to line up. I decided it'd be a good idea to put on a little nametag I made for myself that said "HELLO! I am mewee/meisekimiu". Said nametag actually was just from a joke in chat I made about wearing a nametag, but I decided to go through with it in case anyone from chat or the forum was present. I started chatting it up with this guy behind me in line about how great The Rz were, as well as other artists like Captain Beefheart and Snakefinger and such. In the middle of the conversation I had to stop talking as I noticed the H.F. walk by and enter the venue. It was so surreal to see him with my own eyes. Yes that's right, I saw Hein Fokker! ;) also i saw captain doc as well

Anyway, we were finally let into the venue and I showed my fancy "I'm actually old enough to see one of these shows this time" ID to prove that I can consume the devil's liquor. I was first in the venue and I made a beeline for the merch stand. I bought the tour shirt and the venue poster! I was eyeing that MTR vinyl but I decided to skip it since I wanted things that were easier to take home. My friend bought a copy of Duck Stab pREServed since that was the only album she recognized. I remember the guy behind me in line bought a copy of Ghost of Hope. Afterwards I gave him my Real Name, which was a rather strange experience. He seemed a bit confused when I gave him my name so I gave it to him again and he seemed to accept it.

After I got a drink at the bar, I immediately went off to claim a spot up front, right in front of where Tyrone was supposed to be singing. After I talked to some other Rz fans who were reminiscing on the days of fan clubs and mail ordering things, the show finally began to start.

Flashback to around the same time of the year in 2014. I just got the Wonder of Weird CD, the first "new" Residents product I got my hands on. I had watched someone's upload of the Loser=Weed/Picnic in the Jungle performance from the Phoenix WoW show several times by this point, and I was so excited to finally hear clean audio of the whole show. When I hear that beautiful version of Jelly Jack my heart sinks a little bit. I wish I could have been at one of these shows. To listen to, to experience this live. Since then I've been to a few WoW shows in my dreams but I never thought I would hear any of these songs while in between those dreams.

My first thoughts were: "What is this song that they're playing? It sounds so familiar, but, there's no way that they'd..." Then the guitarist plays that same guitar riff that made me committed to seeing The Residents perform live four years prior. An evil cow man walked on stage and everything started to feel like a dream. I cannot believe I got to actually experience a version of the WoW version of Jelly Jack live (so this was a real residents cover of the world's greatest residents cover band's cover?). In fact, this version was even better than the WoW version!

I guess I should just talk about the setlist in general now. Everything was AMAZING. I can see how some might be disappointed with it, since many of the songs were just enhanced covers of the covers done during the WoW shows. But for me, a person who never even got to experience the WoW shows live but love those covers to death anyway, it really was a dream come true. I'll talk more about the similarity to the WoW shows a bit later though. All the new versions of songs were just incredible though. I'd say that one of the highlights of the show to me was It's a Man's World... I'm not sure how to explain it but that one in particular was just very powerful to me. All the actually new songs were great too! And Africa Tree was just...  :o Tourniquet of Roses was definitely the best way to end any Rz concert ever (pre-encore, anyway). Seriously I just had a crazy goofy smile on my face once I realized what was going on at the end. I will never forget the image of Tyrone alone on stage, just standing away from the mic, staring at us all as "THERE IS NO MORE TO SAY NO" kept echoing on.

The actual sound of the band this time was... just unreal. I had this idea in my head that the "Randy, Chuck, and Bob" incarnation of The Residents was sort of the pinnacle of their live sound. It sounded so great but this show just blew that out of the water. I did not know The Residents could get any better, but I guess most fans who have seen them evolve throughout the years are used to that by now. The almost organ-like sounds from those big keyboards were AMAZING. And the drums and everything else Cha-Cha was doing...! I used to joke about "liking the Residents before the drummer left" from Randyland but like... oh my god having an actual drum/etc guy is so great. I also liked his backup vocals and how he sometimes played melodic sections with his digital drum kit thing. I uh... stared at Cha-Cha a lot throughout the show. Anyway, one more thing about the sound of the show is that I'm glad the harmonica returned! That was such a cool part of Talking Light and it's so strange that it never returned at any of the other RCB shows (but I guess life in reverse yadda yadda).

The dream segments were very cool, but well, Residents concerts being Residents concerts, I couldn't hear them very well. I have no idea what the cowboy dream was about, although everyone was better behaved during the other segments. I loved the Nixon one. The keyboard guy dancing around to Nixon's blues was a really nice touch. It reminds me of how Randy reacted to the stories in Talking Light and Shadowland. It makes it seem like this isn't some prerecorded thing that The Residents have heard countless times by now but instead just some weird interruption to the show that we're all experiencing together for the first time. I dig it.

So, I guess I should put my more "analytical" thoughts on the show? In Japanese interviews they said something like The Residents were plague doctors trying to make the world continue dreaming despite a plague looming over us all, with said plague presumably being Donald Trump. Now, I didn't really get that from the show at all, although I can say that this show did make me very happy and I barely thought about Donald Trump during the show at all, so... I guess their goal was successful. I don't really know. I mainly just want to talk about this show from a more meta perspective.

I think that this show was what WoW was supposed to be but they changed it due to the 40th Anniversary, RCB Trilogy Concept, and Randy's own blog stories taking over WoW. I mean, I don't have proof, but if there was an alternate universe where this show was the 2013 tour, it would have fit in between Talking Light and Shadowland perfectly. And hey, one could interpret the strange stories of death from both Talking Light and Shadowland as "dreams" and BOOM, In Between Dreams is literally in between dreams.

That's all just theory, of course. My other theory is that they decided to play songs from WoW for the Japanese audience since they probably never got to experience those songs live before, and then decided to keep a lot of the "enhanced covers" from WoW. Sound and setlist wise, I really think that In Between Dreams is sort of the "definitive" version of WoW, even though both shows have different concepts and only one of the show has hilarious Randy stories. Whatever the story behind this show was, I'd like to think that The Residents really had creative motivation to make these definitive versions of the songs from WoW instead of just being lazy.


After the show ended my friend and I walked back to her apartment. I was gushing about all the cool things we saw and heard the whole time. The Wonder of Weird lost its place as my favorite Rz live show that night. All that's left is something else and there really is no more to say.

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RZ General Board / Re: On The Topic of Interviews
« on: April 17, 2018, 11:05:43 pm »
I've found pretty much all the ones I've listened to at least have some basic etiquette: making sure to always refer to them as "they" or "The Residents" instead of confusing them with any specific people. Today's interview was pretty aggravating since the production seemed very unprofessional (like... why wouldn't you edit out the bit where Captain Doc was dealing with construction noise? And HOW was the CD playback that horrible? Did you rub your CDs down with sandpaper and take a hammer to the equipment or something?!). I will say the guy kind of had an excuse with being kinda Clifford-ish since the show's scope was focused on 60's-70's music, but still, you can't like, read their wikipedia page a few times before interviewing a spokesperson?! I feel like the Japanese WAVE interviews went more smoothly and were more respectful, since Homer Flynn tends to use big words and complex sentences that are hard to translate!

To a certain degree I understand specific aspects of most of these radio shows; they tend to play specific tracks to demonstrate how weird The Residents are while also needing to stay safe enough to not freak out people who just wanted to listen to some NPR over their lunch break. Also, most of these hosts just aren't mega fans of The Residents who know exactly what to ask and what to play along with and how great all the albums after the commercial album are.

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XXX Residents - Attack of the Killer Black Eyeball


Album Title: Attack of the Killer Black Eyeball
Artist: XXX Residents
Release Year: 2009

Purchase Links: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.jp | Tower Records (JP only)
(I don't usually explicitly say this but... you may be able to listen to some songs on Youtube if you find them)

Alright, enough of the safe Ralph selections for our album club! Time to get a bit more crazy... and yet still definitely Residential. Obviously this isn't an actual Residents album so it'll never be Project of the Week, so let's discuss it here!

Have you heard of this strange Japanese Residents remix album before? If not, why not try giving it a listen? It might not exactly be the kind of music most people who come to a Residents forum are exactly searching for, but hey, it's easier to tap your foot to this than the wind.


Do you have a recommendation for the next Fine Flower we should discuss? Private message me the album info as well as your own introduction to the album and maybe it'll be the next one we talk about?!

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Songs for Swinging Larvae is definitely an interesting one. It's definitely very weird and wacky, but there's something about it that sets it apart from The Residents and other Ralph weirdness. Overall, I still think I like Arabic Yodeling more than Larvae, but this album definitely has some great songs. I obviously have to mention "Is Guava a Donut?" in particular. That song speaks to my soul somehow. It is insanely well made, catchy, and somehow personal and weird all at the same time. I really dig it. It sounds like a fake conversation I'd come up with in my head.

This is definitely a great album. It transports you to this very surreal world, which means it isn't one that I can just listen to any day of the week, but when I do listen to it I really love it and find new things to appreciate every time.

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Renaldo and the Loaf - Songs for Swinging Larvae


Album Title: Songs for Swinging Larvae
Artist: Renaldo and the Loaf
Release Year: 1981

Purchase Links: Amazon MP3 | Klanggalerie Physical | Klanggalerie Bandcamp

Behold! The album that (apparently) made Penn Jillette snap and finally become a fan of Ralph Records! This is the first official album put out by Renaldo and the Loaf and it's definitely a wacky and surreal one to start off with! Let's question the donut-like qualities of guavas and more in this installment of Finest Flowers Album Club!


Do you have a recommendation for the next Fine Flower we should discuss? Private message me the album info as well as your own introduction to the album and maybe it'll be the next one we talk about?!

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スネークフィンガー大先生!!!

I think Manual of Errors may be my favorite Snakefinger album, but Chewing Hides the Sound has so many great tracks! His cover of Kraftwerk's The Model is the song that actually made me a Snakefinger fan, outside of his guitar work on The Residents albums. I originally heard it in some bonus CD that had a live radio show recorded on it, and that was one of the songs they played. At that point I realized I really needed to check out Snakefinger's work.

I really love Here Comes The Bums. Part of it is just that I associate the song with The Residents' Shadowland tour, but it is a really good song. I love the vocal distortion... it is quite catchy and surreal at the same time. It has that kind of "Beatnik Party" vibe that Snakefinger seemed to really like. Also to note, I like reference to Henry Darger's The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion in the song The Vivian Girls. Well, I assume that's a reference anyway.

The only other track I really have anything to say about is Picnic in the Jungle. It is a really awesome track. It was probably the first song from a Snakefinger album I'd ever heard, although the Rz cover from the WoW show was what first helped me discover the song in the first place. I'd say it's probably my favorite song from the album, but The Model is pretty great too.

Overall, I love Chewing Hides The Sound! It's such a great album!

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The North American tour is starting in just a few months! Let's get hyped! Who's going to see the shows? If you're going, which show(s) are you going to see? It'd be nice to see if any forum members are going to the show you're going to!

I'll be going to the Salt Lake City show, and it seems like that'll be the only one I'm gonna be going to unless they add a Phoenix show (which they should totally do btw). I'll also be bringing a special friend who isn't really a Rz fan at all but... well, they decided to go with me anyway.  ;D

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Hello! Welcome to the first Finest Flowers Album Club post! These topics will be like Project of the Week, but will focus on albums not by The Residents. "Flowers" will run for about 2 weeks each, with one being posted on the first and one being posted on the fifteenth of each month. Please submit ideas for future albums to discuss as well, whether it be an album by a Ralph artist, an artist who's been known to be a big influence to The Residents, or just a random cool album you think people should check out!



Snakefinger - Chewing Hides The Sound


Album Title: Chewing Hides The Sound
Artist: Snakefinger
Release Year: 1979

Purchase Links: Klanggalerie

How could we not start with Snakefinger?! When I think "Ralph Artists who aren't The Residents", there are quite a few artists who pop into my head, but there are only a couple who really stand out to me in particular. One of those artists is Snakefinger, although honestly it's a bit inaccurate... to some degree he really was one of The Residents (By the way, we'll be getting to the duo who also stands out to me in particular eventually as well!). Songs on this album were written with The Residents, so really this could almost fit into standard Project of the Week territory!

Anyway, Chewing Hides the Sound is Snakefinger's debut album. It contains songs which pretty much any diehard Rz fan should recognize. What are your thoughts on it?


Do you have a recommendation for the next Fine Flower we should discuss? Private message me the album info as well as your own introduction to the album and maybe it'll be the next one we talk about?!

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RZ General Board / Re: Rezhead Berserk Button?
« on: January 13, 2018, 03:35:29 pm »
Not only do I too hate the "were they on drugs?" comments, but I also hate that people assume the fans are on drugs while listening to the music. Like, come on, I'm way too pretentious for drugs!  ;)

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Fan Words / Re: A Thread For Introductions
« on: January 13, 2018, 03:34:16 pm »
Welcome! Hope you enjoy the forum!

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RZ Project Talk / Re: THE 12 DAY BRUMALIA EXTRAVAGANZA 2017-2018
« on: January 01, 2018, 12:16:18 pm »
I'm gonna be honest... I've never actually listened to Brumalia. I was waiting for the holiday season!

Anyway, Day 8 makes my suspicions that The Residents really love Jelly Jack as a song even stronger. Which is cool because I love it too.

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I really dig the original Santa Dog. It's just a quick bit of early Rz goodness. My favorite part is the "when everyone lives in the future, the present is au revoir" part. Something about the way everything sounds in that part just sort of sums up what I like in music. I don't actually listen to Santa Dog that much though... I try to keep at least Santa Dog '72 exclusively a Christmas track.

Random note. I actually just listened to Santa Dog the other day after waking up hungover from a fun Christmas party and... boy was it irritating in that state! Is that what Santa Dog sounds like to people who have "normal" taste in music?!

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RZ Project Talk / SANTA DOG '72 (Project of the Week for 18th of December)
« on: December 18, 2017, 11:00:21 am »
Ho! Ho! Ho! In the beginning, there was... SANTA DOG! And perfection ends when life begins.

(Please keep discussion mainly to Santa Dog '72... we'll have plenty of time to discuss the other dogs later)

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It seems like Nazis are popping up more and more in the news lately, so it seems like the perfect time to listen to some 60's music! Or something.

Hang on, I'm not moleshow, what is going on?!

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RZ Project Talk / Re: PROJECT OF THE WEEK (20th of October): TALKING LIGHT
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:44:32 pm »
Ah, the Talking Light. I've mentioned before that the Talking Light version of The Old Woman is quite fantastic. In terms of other "covers", I particularly like the versions of Death in Barstow, Bury Me Not, and Die Stay Go. I should note that I'm only familiar with the setlist from the Bimbo's performance. I haven't even gotten a hold of Randy's Ghost Stories so clearly I'm not even qualified to talk about Talking Light! ...Just kidding, of course I'm still going to talk about it.

Anyway... Talking Light is definitely interesting. As I said before in the Shadowland thread, Talking Light is the most interesting part of the whole "Randy, Chuck, and Bob" trilogy, which makes sense if it really is done all in reverse. Beginnings are endings for all but a few, and The Residents are no exception. But it doesn't quite feel like an ending to a trilogy, it still feels like a beginning. There is that definite "early installment weirdness" regarding Randy's character before his blog appeared and In My Room/Randyland really solidified his character. But I guess that's really to be expected.

The ghost stories are all great. And spooky! My favorite from what I've heard is Perchance to Dream, but I have to admit I'm biased towards anything dream-related at all. I think The Unseen Sister is my favorite musically, and I'll listen to the instrumental version from Chuck's Ghost Music often. It is missing some Bob guitar in the beginning that is present during the Bimbo DVD performance, though!

I really like the stage design and overall vibe of this show. It is simply superb. The living room is generally inviting and all, but I find that it helps you get sucked into the show's narrative besides making you feel all cozy and stuff. While shows like the Mole Show and Cube-E were big and theatrical, this one's stage design felt less grand and more like... a high school play. Which isn't a bad thing, in this case! It sort of mirrors (heh... mirrors) the whole facade of The Residents' "cover band". It helped draw me in to the overarching narrative of the show. It overall stands out to me because it's such a unique stage design compared to The Residents' other live shows. I don't even think this paragraph made sense.

The Talking Light is quite confusing to me. I think there's some sort of commentary on TV and/or commercialism buried somewhere in this concept? That's what the Residents.com Historical seems to suggest, and even the Bimbo's DVD has an obsession with the television. I think that the "Talking Light" is not just the spooky spirit mentioned in the titular song, but can also be interpreted as a reference to the television itself. A TV is in a way a talking light.  But of course The Residents are pretty complicated so I'm not sure exactly what they're trying to say about this theme... or if that really was their intention at all. And if so, how do the ghost stories and the mirror people and even Randy, Chuck, and Bob fit into this theme? I have no idea. I suppose maybe one day I'll think about this hard enough to come up with a better answer, but for now, I'm still clueless.

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Idea Words / IDEA: Non-Rz Album Discussion
« on: October 16, 2017, 03:00:11 pm »
Hello, I have an IDEA. I know there's the "Just Discussion" forum for all your off-topic needs, but I was thinking we should have a "Project of the Week" type thing for non-Rz albums. I know this is a Residents forum, but since we are all Rz fans we generally probably share some kind of musical taste together. I'm not suggesting that we add non-Rz albums to Project of the Week, but rather have something else devoted to these albums. Basically, I think it'd be nice if we had a "book club" style thing for non-Rz albums, where we can discuss and maybe even discover these things.

And by "non-Rz" I mean that there'd be a focus on artists still associated with The Residents (like Snakefinger or Renaldo and the Loaf) or artists who The Crypitcs have said The Residents have taken inspiration from (like Captain Beefheart or Moondog). But people could also suggest other weird/conceptual music for this to. I think also it wouldn't rotate weekly but instead every other week at least, to give people a chance to listen to the album for the first time if someone suggested something no one else has listened to before..

I dunno, just an idea.

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RZ Project Talk / Re: SHADOWLAND (Project of The Week for 9th of October)
« on: October 16, 2017, 02:32:55 pm »
SHEEEEE-ADOWLAAAAND

Shadowland is currently the closest I've come to seeing The Residents live-- more on that later. I first experienced Shadowland for the first time this year. I stayed away from watching it until I watched Theory of Obscurity, and I delayed that for a while since I wanted to wait until I was READY to watch that. So, to be clear, I've only really experienced the webcast version "Live @ Etrange Festival" and listened to the live album put out later.

Anyway... Shadowland is... kind of weird. I mean, the whole RCB Trilogy is weird, but Shadowland is weird as a conclusion to the trilogy. Talking Light had completely original songs and video content written for it. The Wonder of Weird had Randy's whole crisis dominating the narrative with no videos. And Shadowland returns to the video format but offers no original songs and a good percentage of the videos are based on existing songs. This is quite weird... the trilogy gets less interesting as it goes on, with TL being the most groundbreaking. But of course there's the whole "Life in Reverse" theme going on, which means that the shows are getting more interesting over the course of the narrative. Which is a much better way to look at it.

I really like the song selection for Shadowland. I'm happy to see Is He Really Bringing Roses? performed live. And I think the Shadowland performance of Constantinople is pretty great. And Hard & Tenderly being performed live is just really special. One of my favorite songs from what I've experienced of Shadowland is the version of "My Second Wife". Is it being mashed up with another song or did The Residents just add lyrics to the song? I'm pretty curious, I really like this version.


Anywho... way back in 2016 was the US Shadowland tour and I was hyped. But there was a problem. I was going to a much more expensive concert in California the day The Residents were playing in my city (Phoenix, AZ). I had VIP tickets to some Japanese "idol" concert and was going to be spending the weekend in California... but The Residents were going to be performing their last show in California that same weekend! So, I bought tickets for the Solana Beach show, excited to finally see The Residents.

And so there I was. In some beachside town at around sunset, outside a venue to see The Residents for the very first time. And there were other Residents fans there too! It was surreal. I've talked to a few Residents fans face-to-face before, but I've never been in the company of that many fans before... heck, I've never been in the presence of more than one at a time before. I talked to one woman who mentioned something about seeing the Talking Light shows or something. I remember she said to me, "You're really going to enjoy this show, all their shows are always so crazy". I was so excited.

But in the back of my mind, I knew there was a problem. Most Rz shows are in venues which serve alcohol and I was just under the age of 21 at that time. That fact was actually why my friends, who I was staying with and who drove me all the way to Solana Beach, were with me in line to get into the venue. There was uncertainty as to if I'd actually get into the venue. If I wasn't allowed in, we'd all go to this famous Korean Barbecue place relatively nearby. But soon it was time to start letting people in, even if The Residents and crew were apparently running late. And they were doing ID checks. As they got to me in line, I just asked for clarification that it was a 21+  show (which I already knew it was) and just told them I didn't have my ID on me and walked away.

My friends urged me to get back in line anyway and show them my ID, just in case they did let me in and just wanted my ID to clarify that I'm under 21. I told them that probably wasn't the case but they told me it wouldn't hurt to try. I went back in line and the ID check guy immediately confronted me. "You said you didn't have your ID but I saw you talk to your friends over there. I know you have a fake ID," he said to me. "What? No this is my ID. I'm under 21 but they wanted me to show you my ID anyway." "Well then why did you say you didn't have your ID then? Huh?" "Well I knew I wasn't getting in anyway so I didn't want to get out my ID!" "I saw you talking to your friends, man, I know all the tricks people use to get into bars" "I'm not trying to trick you, my friends just thought that I should show my ID anyway!" And with that he said he'd get security if I persisted any more. Which is weird because I thought he was security but whatever.

Anyway, I turned back to my friends, feeling very much disappointed. I think I might have had tears in my eyes. As I walked back, I remember seeing a car pass by the venue. I'm not a car person but it looked like a pretty nice car. There was another car closely behind it, and I recall seeing some kind of big marching band bass drum in the back seat. And there was this person in the first car. Maybe I was just feeling really emotional at that moment, or maybe the tears were blurring my vision but that person looked so familiar somehow... but maybe it was only in my mind.

We're taking you... to the Shadowland...

19
Like moleshow said, the 13th Anniversary show is quite a mystery (maybe because it has all kinds of assorted secrets or something). It's an important part of Residents history as well. It laid a foundation for future shows but it's also unique in its own way. The famous red eyeball theft happened during this tour. And lots of other crazy stuff! Grandpa Gio described this show as "relaxed" compared to the Mole Show, and while the Mole Show is a very tense show... I still think the 13th Anniversary show isn't one you'd call relaxed. Something about the whole quality of the music still has this "high tension" feel to it which I can't really describe. I think that the footage of them performing Cry for the Fire is some of the most powerful live footage I've seen from them. I mean, Cry for the Fire is a tense song to begin with, but something about the footage and the way it's performed is just... I don't know. It's insane to me. Also: Snakefinger performing with The Residents is always great.

Anywho, back to the actual history of this show. Besides the things I listed, I'm pretty sure most people are aware of the history of this show. It wasn't supposed to happen until they were invited to perform in Japan by WAVE records... who would also cover all the costs of the performance. And so the 13th Anniversary Tour began in Japan (...much like the current In Between Dreams tour!). Since I am sort of known for dumping all this "Residents in Japan" stuff onto the forum, I guess I should talk about that now. Get ready for a special Project of the Week edition of... THE RESIDENTS IN JAPAN!


The Residents performed the 13th Anniversary Show (or the "Eyeball Show" as it was called) in two venues: One unspecified venue in Kyoto and in the Parco Space Part 3 theater in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. I'm really curious about this Kyoto show since there is no information on it at all. But the other venue is much easier to find information on. The building they performed at in Shibuya was actually part of a Department Store... Parco Part 3 was one of a series of Parco Department Store buildings in Shibuya (which is currently being completely renovated). On the eigth floor was a theater named Parco Space / Parco Theater and originally named "Seibu Theater". Seibu Theater was named after Parco's parent company, Seibu Department Stores, Ltd. What's really interesting is that Seibu/Parco also owned another subsidiary... a music distributor called "WAVE".

But who was WAVE? Well, WAVE was managed by Masanori Akashi, who appears under the credits for one of the 13th Anniversary Show CDs put out. There are other folks in there too, but I can't really find any information on them. Anyway, WAVE specialized in New Wave (of course) and Jazz music and mostly focused on foreign artists for a more "global" sound. They put out John Zorn, Tuxedomoon, and even some Thelonious Monk! WAVE even put out a Japan exclusive Residents compilation album, Memorial Hits, to increase hype for their live shows. This compilation album also includes a transcribed lyrics sheet written by WAVE employees, much like their release of The Big Bubble. I would love to get my hands on a copy of this album... or at least a scan of those lyrics sheets!


A promotional ad for WAVE's first store in Roppongi

While we're talking about WAVE, I found an interview with The Residents and Homer Flynn by WAVE out on Youtube. I haven't watched it all since it's pretty long, but here's the first part: LINK! It's pretty charming. I can't read all the Japanese because it's very fuzzy, but the little name cards say "レジデンツ" (Residents) for the members of The Residents and "スポークスマン" ("Spokesman") for Homer Flynn. I find the moment at 01:36 quite funny, where Homer describes the Theory of Obscurity and the interviewer basically goes "WTF did he say? You're translating that!" to the translator. The translator himself seems to go "mmhm" a lot which seems kind of annoying, but in Japanese culture this kind of "listening indicator" is pretty common. ...Though it is more annoying with the Americanized "mmhm" rather than a typical "hai" or "sou desu" responses. They also use the term "Strategy of Obscurity" in english a bit which is the direct translation of their translation of "Theory of Obscurity": 秘密の戦略 ("Himitsu no Senryaku"). I find that particularly fascinating since the localized version of the Theory of Obscurity movie was named "めだまろん" which is much catchier but loses some of the connection to the original title (めだまろん translates to something like "Theory of Eyeballs" which is still pretty good).

Anyway, I think that's pretty much all the weird rambling about Japanese stuff related to the 13th Anniversary Shows I can find. According to one of the Blue Note staff, the show was written about in a Japanese magazine after it had happened. A big part of why the 13th Anniversary Tour is a mystery to me is because of this link to Japan, where a lot of specifics can just get mixed up and lost. I mean, the most likely reason why we don't know what venue they performed at in Kyoto is because The Residents can't read Japanese... they don't know what venue they performed at! That mystery just ties in further to my appreciation of this show and its tour. Also because Snakefinger singing in a southern accent is very cute.



(By the way, the idea of The Residents and Snakefinger and their managers and everyone eating sushi or something together in Japan is an idea that fills me with joy.)

20
The very first bit of Residents music I ever heard was from Duck Stab. That's right... it's finally time to talk about my "origin story" as a Rz fan!

It was only about five or six years ago. I was browsing a website called "TV Tropes" which is a Wiki style website that catalogues various conventions and themes from media works. It's a highly addictive site at times, so some days I'd just spend hours browsing the site. Reading examples is entertaining and I would often use the site to find new works based on themes or tropes I liked. During this time I discovered many shows and other forms of media, especially catering to my ever-increasing love of the weird and surreal.

One day, I was browsing the Surreal Horror page which described... well, exactly what it sounds like. Nightmarish surrealism. Listed are things like David Lynch's movies, that one tunnel scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and my favorite anime series, Serial Experiments Lain. Anyway, on this particular day, I stumbled upon this entry in the "Music" section of the page:

Quote from: TV Tropes
The Residents. An avant-garde music group formed in the 1960's who have managed to stay anonymous throughout their whole career. Here's a taste. Besides the music itself, the music videos, video game and other creative output all serve to emphasize this.

Curious, I clicked on the link, ready to see how creepy and surreal these anonymous "Residents" guys really were. And there I was in my seat, watching this video, petrified in fear. What was I watching?! Who were these people?! That video was very scary and surreal and weird and did I mention SCARY? I closed the Youtube tab and continued exploring TV Tropes some more... that video was way too much for me. ...But something drew me back to that page. After a few days, or maybe it was a few weeks, I found myself going back to that page to discover that anonymous band again. I felt I was ready to explore more of their music. And so I began to explore and listened to the album that "Constantinople" song came from, one of their most popular albums, Duck Stab / Buster and Glen. I don't remember when I actually fell in love with The Residents... but here I am now.


Anywho, I really like this Duck Stab/Buster and Glen. Like a lot of The Residents' overall weirdness, the sound has kind of normalized so I don't really think these two sound creepy at all anymore... though I admit they don't sound "normal" by any means. Still, this is much more like "Residents pop music" than a big overarching multi-album story. So, I often use the songs from these two EPs to introduce people to The Residents... although they don't usually react in a positive way. I still remember the faces of discomfort people had as I played Constantinople as part of a class presentation on "avant-garde music". And as one of my friends responded to me once: "Birthday Boy: This song freaks me out. Never again. Never." Really? I mean... okay, that one is a little weird but most of these sound normal... right?!

Anywho, I'm not really going to talk about the meanings of the songs here since I think things like "Constantinople === Heaven?!?!" and "Krafty Cheese is a reference to Kraftwerk" and "Hello Skinny is about DRUGZ!" have been discussed to death. (Although I did hear the theory that Duck Stab/Buster and Glen is The Residents' way of "digesting" various musical artists which is pretty interesting... but I already said I wouldn't talk about the meanings!) So instead I'm going to just talk about how much I like these songs.


Constantinople will always have a soft spot in my heart for being the first Rz song I ever heard. Well... it's pretty great on its own merit too. I think Constantinople is one of the most "crazy" sounding songs of these two EPs (although other songs get close).

I really like the rhymes and tonal shift of Blue Rosebuds. I always wondered if the inclusion of the word "Eskimo" in the lyrics was related to the production of Eskimo in some way, whether it sparked the idea in the first place or it was slipped into the lyrics as they were researching all kinds of 100% true Eskimo facts. Interestingly enough, the Our Finest Flowers version doesn't have this line with it. Maybe they just couldn't fit another line of verse into the song though, I don't know for sure.

I just especially dig the very percussive nature of the lyrics in Elvis and His Boss. Not much to say here besides that I also wonder if it eventually led to Cube-E/King and Eye...

Birthday Boy... that one is definitely interesting. When listening to this album I sometimes skip it so this song sounds more special when I listen to it on my birthday. Also The Residents were quite ahead of their time, singing the "Birthday Song" before it was proven to be in the public domain! (They were clearly a bit more careful about this in The Voice of Midnight :P)

I love Krafty Cheese very much and I do not why in particular. I just love it very much and needed to comment about it.

The Electrocutioner may be my favorite song from this album. It is just fantastic. I think I'm just a sucker for songs that have a really intense moment before a calm fade out, like "Death Harvest" from The Ghost of Hope. I love the outro to this song. The lyrics are great and it just sounds amazing.

Alright, those are my very short comments on the songs of Duck Stab/Buster and Glen. Now I didn't comment on every song, but I really do love all of the songs on the album... I just had something specific I wanted to say about certain songs. :P While I have yet to successfully hook anyone into The Residents with this album, I'll surely be successful some time... right?

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