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RZ Project of the Week / Re: I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by Meisekimiu on August 28, 2018, 11:20:32 am »
i should probably listen to it, i guess.
You are actually required by law to listen to this album if you are a Rz fan.

I should mention a few more things I forgot to write in my post. I was really surprised that this was a new Residents album. I was kind of just glossing this one over, partly because the fan concept meant this wasn't the "Real Residents?", and partly because Intruders the "next studio album" was coming out pretty soon. I mean, I preordered Intruders a couple of days before I Am A Resident came out, and this time I decided to buy the CD and the vinyl because it's a "real album". The day I Am A Resident arrived I didn't even really think to myself, "I'm going to listen to a new Residents album today", because deep down I didn't consider it a new album at the time.

After I listened to it I realized how special this album really was. It really hit me with these complicated emotions I've felt in Residents projects before, but never mixed together like this. I've listened to Eyesore a few times, and overall I like a lot of the covers in that compilation. But for every cover there is a bit of respect I feel for what they do with it. I think every song in Eyesore is different enough from the source to come with a "huh... so that's how The Residents have impacted you?" kind of appreciation.

Our Finest Flowers mixes concepts in an interesting way. Connections between Residents works that didn't exist before are explored in a way that's like crossing your senses together. Hearing familiar melodies and lyrics flow into other familiar melodies and lyrics was a true joy... and shock as well. (Note: I should mention that when I first listened to Our Finest Flowers I was probably only familiar with about 20% of the source material)

The latest Residents live shows have radically transformed the existing sounds of The Residents' previous (and in some cases, present and future as well) works. I mean, I guess the old Residents live shows have too, but these more modern shows transform the source material much more than just adapting the song to what a live band can practically produce. The exciting thing about hearing one of these new performances for the first time is that at the start of every song it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what song they're playing. The melody seems so familiar... and when you finally realize what song they're playing it's so exciting. OMG! They're playing this song, I've only listened to it hundreds of times, and it only took me a minute to figure it out!

So, all of those emotions are combined in this album. Every new cover introduced tends to confuse me for a few seconds while I figure out what they're actually playing, then I feel joy and excitement when I realize what it is. Then I think "wow, this is an interesting interpretation of the original song. GOOD COVER!". Then it flows into another song and I think "WOW this is a connection I've never made before!". And it keeps on going until the end.

Of course, there are some special moments in this album that fit outside of this emotional loop. The endings of most of the tracks of the album are quite special, the ending of the "Lingering Illusions" in particular messed me up a great deal. Also the ending to the album as a whole is just... silly, beautiful, triumphant, and... well... special! The last bit of the actual "megamix" as I described it earlier is also just... wow. As I was hearing the final moments of all these weird covers it blended into one last cover. It sounded familiar to me... what was this a cover of? And where had I heard this cover before? Then it hit me and I suddenly was overwhelmed by memories. Once that final song bit fades out, all that's left is something else and there is no more to say.

RZ Project of the Week / Re: I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by goatie on August 27, 2018, 02:05:52 pm »
2013 is from the liner notes, excerpted here:

The year was 2013. The Residents were sitting in a bar ... when somebody said, ... "we need to do something different... completely different."  ...  the original idea ...  was opening up the concept of The Residents to their fans, inviting them to submit their own versions of the group's original songs. The best of these fan interpretations would then become an album called I AM A RESIDENT! And that was okay - simple and straightforward.

So to be completely clear, it was just the idea of doing a straight compilation that's from 2013.  The remix thing came in during the PledgeMusic campaign, so it's crazy super impressive that they changed gears so quickly.  I first heard about this project in mid-2016, when we were working on the website redesign (trivia: that's why the "? ? ? ? ?" button on the front page brought up song lyrics having to do with identity and being a part of something - it was always intended to become I AM A RESIDENT).  But there was no hint of remix back then.  If that had been the plan all along, they also kept it from me, which is awesome and a testament to how far they'll go to keep a secret.  But I'm more impressed with the quick pivot, so I'll believe the story as presented.  Also, believing the story as presented is just better overall, because the purpose of a constructed narrative is to bring excitement and interest to something that is otherwise boring.
RZ Project of the Week / Re: I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by moleshow on August 27, 2018, 10:14:27 am »
wooo!! interesting comparisons. i should probably listen to it, i guess. whered you hear that they've had the idea since 2013? thats absolutely NUTS and id totally believe it!
RZ Project of the Week / Re: I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by Meisekimiu on August 24, 2018, 11:34:27 pm »
I just listened to I Am A Resident for the first time. HOLY EYEBALLS IT'S AMAZING!

I mean, I was expecting to like it since most of the songs covered in this album I like, but WOW. The remix concept is really what pushes this album from "cool fan compilation, Eyesore 2.0" to the advertised "NEW CONCEPT FROM THE RESIDENTS". It is fantastic. It really is a new Residents album, and it's pretty sweet.

I like the little radio framing device they use to open and close the album. It's cute and makes the album feel like this big event... I'm not sure properly how to explain it. Somehow it makes it feel more like "oh yeah, these people ARE Residents!" Honestly it reminds me of those 1 hour megamixes pop radio stations play on the weekends (... not that I listen to pop music radio...). It's a pretty genius way to frame this album because well... the remix concept really does make this a megamix in a way. I mean it's just one hour of straight Residential chaos and it's awesome.

The whole remix thing adds another layer to the thing as well. Because all the covers blend together and "The Real Residents?" add new textures (AND LYRICS!) on top of them, this really feels like "Our Finest Flowers 2". Which is pretty sweet! Honestly? I kind of like this more as a "Residents play The Residents" album compared to Our Finest Flowers. Maybe because we live in the future where computer synthesized music sounds better and we have even more Rz material to choose from. Maybe it's because the songs are longer and mixed together so they have time to flow between vastly more songs AND the songs get to live on their own for a bit instead of just being squashed together into one single song. Maybe because that cute radio thing and the "I Am A Resident theme" at the end made it more special. I don't know but I love it.

I'm honestly surprised that they thought of this project back in 2013. I mean, at this point I'm used to knowing that Residents albums take years to develop from just the basic idea, but wow... unlike whatever the "Blues Album" is going to be called, this one kind of just laid hidden for quite a while until they actually unveiled the pledgemusic campaign. It's weird that this Residents album was originally imagined up right when I became a "proper" Residents fan... and it just came out and I'm just now listening to it. Crazy!

I lack the musical talent to have properly contributed to the project... and even if I did, I had no money while the pledgemusic campaign was running. So do I consider myself to be a Resident? Maybe. Just maybe.
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.
RZ General Board / Re: in between dreams
« Last post by Meisekimiu 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.
RZ Project of the Week / Re: I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by goatie on June 09, 2018, 08:34:18 am »
As an album, I AM A RESIDENT! ended up being much better than I had expected.  Here's the thing about tribute albums: they're usually pretty boring.  It seems to me that only one band knows how to cover The Residents well, and that band is, well, The Residents.  Residents covers generally follow one of three patterns: 1) make it heavier/edgier (boring), make it weirder (you're trying too hard and it shows), make it sound like the original (what's the point?).
So I was delighted with the submissions that did something very different with the songs.  I've already publicly expressed my love for the OK Glass version of "Moisture," but there were several submissions that seemed to break down the song into basic pieces and then rebuild from there.  They didn't sound like covers, but originals.
But even so, a collection of cover songs isn't really exciting.  As originally conceived, I expected that I'd listen to it a couple of times then put it away for a few years before listening again to see if I happened to like it.  But the collaborative aspect really changed things.  This is really a new Residents album with a bunch of new Residents participating... or I guess I could just shorten that to "this is a new Residents album" because who knows and/or cares how many times there's been a change to the roster?  It ceases to sound like a collection of songs and begins to sound like a piece that was always conceived to be this way.  If you told someone the original idea behind this album was to gather a bunch of musicians and have them record parts to be mixed into the suite, they'd probably believe you.

And for any contributor whose track was augmented with actual Residents, that's got to be the thrill of a lifetime.  I can't imagine the pants-wetting joy that comes from the double whammy of "hey, that's me!" quickly followed by "holy amazeballs, that's The Residents PLAYING ALONG WITH ME!"

We also got to see a little bit into how The Residents functions as an idea factory.  The original plan was just to collect about a dozen songs, slap them on a disc, and call it a day.  And after submissions started coming in, everything changed.  We normally only see the finished project, but in this case we got to see it evolving, which is perhaps the closest we'll get to a kind of in the studio documentary.
As for my part... since I was managing the submissions side of things, I got to see a lot more of how ideas spring up and course corrections are made in order to reach the final destination (or, in this case, to discover what the final destination is).  I'll be honest: it was frustrating at times when something new came up and I had to scramble to figure out how to implement my part of it.  The Residents are very willing to shift to a new idea, and from a distance that can look unfocused or scatterbrained, but it's actually a very determined drive to produce the best end product.  Given what I now know, I definitely would change some of how it all got handled, but I wouldn't step away from the opportunity to be a part of something so ultimately satisfying.
RZ Project of the Week / Re: I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by ADeadlyFriend on June 06, 2018, 01:11:33 pm »
Why shouldn't anyone be a Resident? Don't we all get their mail?
Jokes aside I haven't had a chance to listen to the album but I'm very intrigued by the concept. I was considering submitting a cover of Betty's Body but it never materialized as music isn't really my forte, so I shall be a Resident in my own way.
RZ Project of the Week / I AM A RESIDENT
« Last post by moleshow on June 04, 2018, 09:31:10 pm »
this thread is all about IAAR.

what are your thoughts on the concept? the music? are you yourself a Resident? do you think it's ridiculous to even consider that notion that anyone is a Resident?

RZ General Board / Re: in between dreams poster jpg
« Last post by goatie on May 04, 2018, 10:19:08 am »
That is, indeed, one of my weekend projects.
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