Author Topic: GOD IN THREE PERSONS (Project of the Week for 13th of February)  (Read 348 times)

moleshow

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GOD IN THREE PERSONS (Project of the Week for 13th of February)
« on: February 13, 2017, 08:39:17 am »
THE CRYPTIC CORPORATION PRESENTS...

GOD IN THREE

PEEEEERRRRRSOOOOOONS

...yeah. you know the deal.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 12:11:21 pm by moleshow »
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

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CheerfulHypocrite

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Part 1
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 02:17:41 am »
The song Double Shot (of my baby's love) was banned on many radio stations, due to drinking and sexual references: it was the worst hangover I ever had and she loved me so hard. The Residents first used Double Shot on Third Reich And Roll - and it became a leitmotiv of the God In Three Persons - it leads from overture to epiphany. It is one of the consolations of philosophy - that an epiphanic moment is a universal good.

It might have been assumed that Snakefinger would provide guitar parts; he had performed with on the 13th Anniversary Tour in 1986. Snakefinger died - Linz 1987 - of a heart attack just as There's No Justice in Life was released. In 1988 God In Three Persons was released and in 1989 I listened, for about three months, before putting God In Three Persons away for a decade. The late 1980's had become a graveyard of cultures.

They Live is a strangely appropriate film. Not that the plot of They Live had much in common with the plot of God In Three Persons. They Live came from a short story called Eight O'Clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson. Eight O'Clock in the Morning was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in November 1963. Making it as old as at least one Resident. By June 1989, They Live was being understood as a critique of Reaganomics. It was, a bit late - but not as late as The People Under The Stairs. They Live is a world that is, predominantly our own yet slightly different. Technically a theologian, Nelson worked with Michael Moorcock smuggling banned Henry Miller books out of France, which simply adds chiaroscuro to an already obtuse paragraph.

God In Three Persons is a film with an absent visualisation. Unlike Vileness Flats, the unfinished element of God In Three Persons is the unfinished lives. Anybody can speculate as to what Snakefinger might have done had he not died in Linz. In truth it is crass to do so. That does not prevent even the most well intentioned from doing so.

They Live has a five minute or so fight scene. In which the two characters, Nada and Frank, beat the crap out of each other. The motivation: Nada has sunglasses that let you see the world as it really is. When Frank, finally, wears the glasses he sees the world without illusion. Without Maya: the power manifesting the universe giving rise to the illusion or appearance of the phenomenal world. In san serif font, tens of feet high, there are the instructions of existence. Single word injunctions. The distillation of the self help mantras:

CONSUME
OBEY
CONFORM
   
Which is a masterstroke of world building. Which is where They Live and God In Three Persons become the same thing: the zeitgeist.

Both speculate on a future, once you wear the spectacles. In many senses, both become  "capital accumulated to the point of becoming images" - the spectacular of Debord. The san serif mantras of They Live are, like the logos of God In Three Persons something of the underlying reality. Without the booklet, the music is simply a competent orchestration and arrangement of  Double Shot (of my baby's love). The conceptualism that characterises The Residents was reaching a crescendo and, in many respects, a caesura that appeared as The King and Eye. Without any apparent effort, the Residents accumulated sounds to the point of becoming a self sustaining story. This was the mythopoetic strand that appeared in their early works and continued, developing and maturing using the foils of obscurity and anonymity to drive the prima materia of popular culture into becoming something enduring.

God In Three Persons is a film soundtrack without a film imagetrack. The only way in which to approximate an understanding of the story occured to me to be to adopt the practice of watching television with the sound turned down. In an era where Television has become the whim of demand led pseudoconsumption of intellectual property, the irreproducable nature of watching television with the sound turned down has less conceptual power. It has less impact. It is something from History. It is not, generally, part of making your own entertainment. It is something I stopped doing when I watched the Hillsborough Disaster live. With the sound turned down.

By the time I had seen real dead people being made on television, I had got to Devotion. The way the Hillsborough Disaster unfolded for the next few decades, really ought to have given me some kind of insight into how callous it is possible to be. It was an unedifying moment: real life disaster had, in my mind, ruined my preferred mode of experiencing God In Three Persons. It is like remembering what you were writing when Kennedy got shot. I had never been fond of football. It had been the bane of my childhood that every boy in Liverpool wanted to be a footballer. I wanted to do things like Science. Not kicking a ball about. The only reason I saw football on television was the sound was turned down and music was playing. Watching people die while I entertained myself did not stop me entertaining myself.

Quote
somethings coming but not real soon

In 1999, about a decade after I stopped listening to God In Three Persons I was with a friend. His father, a deaf artilleryman, had been at Hillsborough. When he returned and was first asked about Hillsborough he would narrate the match, naming people and what they did to the ball. His narrative ended abruptly when the Referee blew the whistle six minutes in. He never referred to anything but those six minutes. It was then, my friend's mother knew, for certain that he was autistic. He never talked about Hillsborough. People, like me, who were never there, talk about it and have all sorts of opinions on the matter. The truth may be that it was a disaster that transformed a city with the powers of mythopoesis.

Quote
For pain and pleasure are the twins
That slightly out of focus spin
Around us till we finally understand
That every thing that gives us pleasure
Also gives us pain to measure

Back in 1989 It was May and I was still listening to God In Three Persons the Hungarian Border had changed. This, for me, was more significant than the Berlin Wall coming down. That would be November 1989 - after the man with his shopping bags faced down a tank on Tianamen Square, the Ayatollah Khomeini's first funeral ended in a riot, Mandela and Botha meeting,  after 300,000 Siberian coal miners went on strike, after Poland got a non-communist prime minister and refugees began pouring into Hungary from the German Democratic Republic. Between May and September I lost contact with friends I had in the Democratic Republic. It was only decades later, in 2006, I found out what happened.

Quote
Television Host The feeling is definitely there. It's a new morning in America... fresh, vital. The old cynicism is gone. We have faith in our leaders. We're optimistic as to what becomes of it all. It really boils down to our ability to accept. We don't need pessimism. There are no limits.
They Live

1989 was the year that the Soviet Union collapsed and the endless Cold War was declared over and officially won. In total I listened to God In Three Persons from late February to mid May. Watching the disaster of Hillsborough did not stop me from turning the sound down and playing music. But it was the beginning of the end of watching television and of that transient way of listening to things. Something clicked into place and, somehow, I realised that the media is constructed and not constructed by me.

Quote
And we finally realise
That all our lives we love illusion
Neatly caught between confusion
And the need to know we are alive.

The storyline of God In Three Persons is halfway between a film and a radio drama. Unlike the overt hörspiel Storytelling of Voice Of Midnight this is a reminiscence. The kind of story told in retrospect by someone whose experience has left them with an apotheosis that they do not, in reality, understand. The story is sad, terrifying, horrifying and engrossing. Mister X, Indeed" is not a nice person, but he is sympathetic. His role as Narrator against the female Chorus of Laurie Amat defines the story. His character seems to have been drawn from "Colonel Tom" Parker - who, coincidentally, worked for the Hillsborough County Humane Society. This gives no added sense of identifying with him, but coincidences colour existence. We overinterpret coincidence to ensure the world means something.

Mister X assures us that he discovered the conjoined twins whose fate narrates God In Three Persons, almost as a backdrop to the apotheosis that Mister X has. The Twins appear to be male and female, conjoined and miraculous. Devotion? suggests they should have parted almost as they met. By The Touch, parting was impossible. They had become a love story. A kind of ménage à trois. Yet it is a story that the twins have no part in telling. Mister X quotes but nowhere does He or She actually speak. As though Mister X had lived a life with the sound turned down.

Quote
Lies can often give you power like a coffin filled with flowers gives life to the living, not the dead.

Despite imposing himself between the Audience and the Twins, both between the Audience within God In Three Persons and between the Twins and the Listening Audience, Mister X is never really clear if he knows what the story is that he is telling. He is never really clear if it was He was in control or if They. It seems that he experiences, during a violent ravishment that ends the conjoint nature of the Twins and also gives Them a voice:

Quote
We can't believe that you're so dumb
to think we needed anyone
to show us what we've known about for years.

In Plato's Symposium, Aristophanes describes the origins of sexuality in a eulogy more absurd than funny. In primal times people had double bodies: spherical creatures, wheeling around like clowns doing cartwheels - faces and limbs turned away from each Other. These primal people were powerful and existed as three sexes: the children of the Sun, who were all male; the children of the Moon who were all female and the children of the Earth who were male and female. It seems that these Children planned to set upon the gods of Olympus and so were sliced in two by Zeus. Zeus could have destroyed them with lightning, but did not want to deprive himself of their devotions and offering and so decided to cripple them. These spherical people are the prima materia of an alchemical marriage that carries itself as a theme throughout the Residents' works.

Compressed into Kiss Of Flesh is the hubris of Zeus. Mister X, had no idea if these were the Children of the Sun, Moon or Earth. He had simply assumed - and more, he had assumed their sexuality was fixed just as he assumed his own was. In his desperation to have only his story told in a manner that suited him, he glossed over the parts that he did not want to reveal. Much the same as The Bunny Boy the core of the story takes place in a secret room. This is not the same kind of room as the Cave of the Apocalypse or Roger's Secret Room but more like the Watts Tower. Not so much secret as to space or place but secret as to purpose. It was where the Trinity retired to seek inspiration. Built by Mister X, inspired by the Twins, it is never really clear to Mister X if he is being manipulated. Even raping them he can never be certain of his own will. Mister X embodies the problem of Free Will and Determinism in his relationship to the Twins.

The text never resolves if the it was an act of will by Mister X or an act of submission to the Twins which creates, for a monotheistic audience, something a good deal more subtly blasphemous than any claims about Wormwood. There is no reason that a human mind could apprehend that any kind of Godhead would visit ravishment and mutilation upon itself. Yet, if the Twins had been in control all the time, that would seem to be what happened. Mister X was never really sure.The certainty of Mister X is a narrative of the finding of faith, which carries with it the danger of heresy. For Mister X the heresy is that he becomes incestuously part of the triune deity. A shocking, but subtle, matter that very much turns the reality of religious experience on the mixture of sexes - Sun, Moon, Earth - and where in that triangle Mister X fits.

Thousands of people left East Germany in 1989. They had, according to West German Law, a complete right to do so. They were not foreign. The official narrative of people in The West was that the the Wall Collapsed and thus was The World Saved. In truth, tens of thousands of people began shifting across the border into Hungary long before the Hungarians removed the barbed wires at the borders. Many managed to make the hairpin journey from East Germany to Hungary to Austria and then to West Germany. Some got lost. They were refugees.

Without the kind of Internet that exists now, without the constant connection of mobile telephones, people lost touch with each other more easily. It was the fax machine that destroyed the Soviet Union's grasp on intellectual property and so the ability to control what people thought. The fax machine could take an essay in Moscow and, effectively, publish it anywhere there was a telephone line. Like Mister X and the Aliens of They Live and Zeus, something had slipped beneath their attention. The World was not as they portrayed it.


Quote
A tingling in my tangled brain
was screaming that this was insane,
but it also told me, "touch it", too.
 "Stand aside", I told the masses,
and with that I made my passage
from the lonely to the only side.
Openly they smiled to greet me,
like they always knew they'd meet me
somewhere
walking up and down the road.

The last time, in 1989, that I listened to God In Three Persons it was just after my friends decided to leave. There was tension and a certain inevitability that something was about to change. History, does not really happen overnight. It takes time. Between 1989 and 2006, my friends became invisible. They had left in February and by May the were the invisible people. Almost two decades of inacessible existence. Much like Hillsborough, their absence was peripheral to me. Yet I considered we were friends. By about 1998 or 1999 I had forgotten why I had not listened to God In Three Persons in about a decade. So I did.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 08:46:22 pm by CheerfulHypocrite »
Not altogether reliable for facts.
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Meisekimiu

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I actually don't have much to say about this album besides the fact that I think this is one of The Residents' greatest artistic achievements ever and this album is beautiful and I love it so very very much. The music, the words, the story.... everything is just truly amazing.

One thing I want to do as I study Japanese is to try and translate a big artistic work from English to Japanese that hasn't been translated before. I'm nowhere near the level to translate this properly yet, but I've already decided that this album will be that giant work. That's how significant it is to me. I basically consider this album to be literature. Yeah.
レジデンツはほとんど日本人だけど、誰も知らない。
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CheerfulHypocrite

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Part 2
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 08:47:36 pm »
The Good Friday Agreement had been signed in 1985. By 1999 the Agreement was beginning to fundamentally change the relationship between the Islands. A date of May 2000 was set for total disarmament of all paramilitary groups. This, however, remains an ongoing project. It will take sixty years: History does not happen overnight. What had happened was much more Free Movement between the Islands and right across Europe as a continent. It was possible to travel to work in two dozen countries. In many senses we had put on the spectacles and were awakened to a new and exciting existence. Like a continent of Mister X Indeed. The signing of the Good Friday Agreement had been at Hillsborough Castle. Much like Mister X Indeed, I would be happy for anybody to draw meaningful inferences from that. Perhaps there is simply a shortage of good names in the world.

The only thing that had really happened, in the intervening years, is that everybody had become Mister X: projecting a narrative that obscures the underlying truth. In a sense, we have all submitted to manipulation by the Twins. In retrospect, listening to God In Three Persons after the events of September 2001, the Twins could be seen to have been a prescient understanding of how the world would be in the future; but, in 1998 and 1999, I discovered that I preferred the Instrumental version. As though, somehow, distance between myself and the narrative salves the knowledge that I am capable of truly horrific behaviour. The knowledge that I am capable of indifference to suffering.

Which is the real apotheosis that Mister X achieves: knowing that he is irredeemably capable of indifference to suffering. Yet, Mister X never ceases to strive towards understanding.

Quote
But I see the strings extending
up and down and never ending
as we dance around ourselves and jerk
to all the tunes that only we hear
and the voices only we fear
each inside an island all alone.

Which has the quality of Arminianism and of the Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, and severall steps in my Sicknes by John Donne. In particular the words of Meditation XVII from where comes the paraphrase:

Quote
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Despite the words of Mister X, he knows, having worn the spectacles, that nothing is as simple as he portrays it. In my mind, Mister X has always had the appearance of The Bearded Man in They Live. Ranting about the inequities of our world:

Quote
Bearded Man: They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.

Which is exactly what happened to my friends. East Germany to Hungary was fine. But, when your passions are things like The Beatles and pop culture, the thing to do is to get to the magical The West - the mythical land of opportunity. Like innocent children they had assumed that the important things like healthcare would be free. Like me, they had taken to travelling. More globally. Some time in the 1990's they were in America and discovered how free market medicine works. They discovered how being a qualified doctor did not really qualify them to make medical decisions in a free market. They travelled back to Europe. Eventually becoming visible at the home of a different friend. Dying of chronic illnesses and a decade or so of itinerant life. Nostalgic for their old German existence. Utterly devastated by The West.

And the most heart rending part of it all: they would do it all again. All of it. The suffering and loss and the early death. All of it. Which is what God In Three Persons is a soundtrack for. Turning down the sound on the reality of the world and watching the images go by. If you pay too much attention it will tear you apart and leave you incapable of knowing that you are not an island. Like a shadow of Mister X Indeed:

Quote
their bond is made of leather not the flesh and blood it used to be.

Which is why God In Three Persons is so incredibly sad. The music is not relentless sadness. The words are not relentlessly downbeat. The sadness is in the World. Peel away the soundtrack while watching live television and eventually you will see a new world. A world in which the identity of the sadness is revealed as being us. We. Everybody. Not someone lacking identity through calculated acts of obscurity but people whose identity is purloined and sold back to them. Like the holy union of the Twins. Their alchemical marriage taking them beyond the relatively naive characters of Arf and Omega or even the Children of The King And Eye. God In Three Persons takes the bonds of your world and shatters them only to return them. It is the soundtrack of a film that does not exist.

Quote
Nada: Don't wear them glasses too long. Starts to feel like a knife turnin' in your skull.



The word r a p e was replaced by ravishment to avoid the automated censor of the forum.
Not altogether reliable for facts.

moleshow

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(part 1)

God in Three Persons. What a concept. What a project. What a wonderful, delicious, frightening, sad, lovely, horrific tale. I adore every second of it.


My primary experience of this album was one of confusion and slight repulsion. The end was so utterly jarring that I felt that to some extent, the album had attacked me. The violence of Kiss of Flesh followed by the gentle realization explained in the dreamy Pain and Pleasure made me want to avoid the album as a whole for a while - it was harsh and a difficult to wrap my head around. I was very genuinely confused by what I had experienced.

Needless to say, I went and listened to the Commercial Album a couple of times to cope with the confusion of the work. I can say that while I have not recovered from the confusion as a whole, I have learned to embrace the confusion as a fundamental part of the work and I have recognized how the overlapping themes of the work are what make it so, so good.

Song by Song

Main Titles (God in Three Persons)

Even the beginning of the album is entirely unafraid to tell us that it is going to be unlike any previous work from The Residents. From the sound of it, one could easily assume it was by another group entirely. Make no mistake - atypicality is set as the norm. Anything is possible.

The presence of credits being shown up front is sort of strange for a Residents album - we often go by not knowing who did what. The shift is wonderfully jarring.

Hard and Tenderly

This track sets us off on the winding trail of the album. Mr. X, our narrator encounters the twins for the first time. His first impression seems to be that the twins are not only deviant in fundamental nature, but also pure and knowing… more so than anyone around them. Mr. X sees them as equally aware and knowing to himself, and thus has the braveness to meet them.

The encounter brings out the first duality. The twins are a duality in his eyes, and this brings out a duality in him. This first duality is a gut reaction. He both longs to touch their holy union, but also believes that to approach them would be “insane”. The twins, all the while, seem to have seen this encounter coming from a mile away. They realize from the beginning that Mr. X is not above lying to them for his own sake, calling himself any name other than Ed. They know that he recognizes their hyper-awareness, but he cannot conceptualize to what extent this ability could put them above him in terms of the ability to recognize one’s surroundings. So they laugh.

They know, as far as they can tell, who and what he is.

Devotion?


And here is where the unsureness of his interactions with the twins arises for the first time. He has a conflict in perception, in mindset. Since the album is told looking back, he sees now what he may not have seen then. He was growing quite attached to the twins. He realized that, already, they had the upper hand over him (although it did not seem as if he wanted to recognize the weight of such a thing). The chorus sings at us, from an objective perspective. They watch and commentate, speaking the obvious. But yes, something is coming.

Mr. X is rendered vulnerable by the twins’ immediate distaste for his rejection of those he perceives as below him. So they enforce a feeling upon him. A feeling of being less than them. While they reconcile immediately after, they struck a blow upon him where he was most vulnerable. They show to him that they can reject him at any time. How dangerous.

The Thing About Them

Here, Mr. X confronts, in a very hesitant way, the unclear nature of the perceived duality of the twins. He simply cannot wrap his mind around who and what they are. He also begins to fixate upon and develop some strange, complicated feelings for who he perceives to be the “female” twin. The fatal mistake in his mindset relating to the twins becomes enforced very deeply in him. So early on, too. He refuses to accept that the twins are just as much two people as they are one. Inseparable. He has not yet become angry about this, but his disappointment is clear. He dreams about what the wants, and wonders why he, the powerful, strong Mr. X, cannot have what he most desires. He desires the part of the twins that he sees as easier to manipulate. The parts that won’t bite back. And he fixates upon some, if any, solution to his issue.


Their Early Years

We know very little about our narrator’s past at this point, but we must look to the twins. Who are they? Are they really as capable and mystical as we assume? How? Why?

Not all of these questions are answered in any complicated, satisfying way. They simply are. The way in which they were raised gives us a view into their mindset. They learned that people were surely made with no particular idea of “normal” embedded in them. If people were a certain way, nothing was to be done about that.

But when put into an environment where such comforting thoughts and beliefs were not held by everyone around them, the only people the twins had were each other. But we must question - are they truly two people?

They draw back from a world that hurts and rejects them, but they are forcibly called back to it when they can do something for others. They do not heal the dog simply to be seen as powerful or worth respecting. They do something because they can. They have the capability, and so they use it to help. And it changes how they are viewed. Mr. X is not this type of person.

Loss of Loved One

Now we can learn about Mr. X. We do not hear about his childhood, but we do hear about his isolation, and what caused him to attach so quickly to the twins.

Yes, he had lost his wife. He believed himself more capable than her sickness. Specifically, his love for her. He views the unfortunate event of her death as being partially due to the fact that she did not try to fight it. And in his despair, he takes from others… until he has no one left. He faces a situation that he cannot manipulate.

Quote
This is the sad. Oh, it’s such a sad part.

Very, very sad.

But he sees salvation in the twins. They offer something to him, even if they are not aware that they ever directly did so. He sees an opportunity in them to escape his despair. Something will fill that void. And it will be the part of the twins that he longs for, even if they force him to realize things that he was simply too attached to see.

Quote
All her life she was a dancer, but no one ever played the song she knew.

Not even he could give his true love what she needed.

The Touch

We focus back on the desires of Mr. X, and his need to reach toward them. To hold and to control. He wants to have what they have kept away from him.

It is not hard to see how he is not particularly kind, no matter how much he loves the twins. Calling anyone a freak, especially a pair of freaks in this case, is simply not something one says with sweetness… even as a joke.

The twins remain playful, innocent. They speak words that imply a certain maturity that Mr. X doesn’t desire in them, jokingly warning him to act his age. But through carelessness, they allow him to touch the “holy union” that binds them. This was not in their plan, but Ed gets the upper hand because they let their guard down. This will not be the last time that this happens. They cannot predict the results of chaos meeting uncertain circumstance. This puts them at risk, more so than any other aspect of their cautious relationship with this manipulative, cruel man. (Although, he’s got that bangin’ jacket and hat combo. So those bits can be excused.)

The Service

Quote
He really loved them. He really cared.

He is not being intentionally manipulative towards the twins, but simply expressing his personality. He loves them, but only the parts that he wants, the parts that they show him out of kindness.

The exploitation of the holy, mystical powers of the twins is not as cruel as it could be. It is not done with the hatefulness of a freak show, but shares the twins’ kindness on a larger scale.

A ritual is explained to us. It is a performative affair, Mr. X playing a role that he believes extends beyond these healing events. He shows himself as a controller, manager, manipulator, holder of the twins. He takes great satisfaction in seeing his work come to fruition. Or, at least, work he perceives as his own. Displaying himself as a mysterious, powerful man, capable of handling the power of such strange individuals is something he takes pleasure in this.

He enjoys this a little too much, in my opinion. Chill out, ya creep.

Confused (by What I Felt Inside)

Now, he is not performing for people in need. He is confronting the confusion of his desire. The duality of his need for two that he sees as the source of this begins to manifest with a tangible presence.

The twins actively attempt to grab their power back. His reach for the “she-thing” (gross, Mr. X.) inevitably brings both of them. He cannot have one without the other. It is awkward, disorienting, and fundamentally an unsure event. There is no going back from here. Even though he tries to manipulate the situation, there is nothing to be done. He has shown an unkind facet of his desire to himself. Does he long for the twins as a whole? Does he have a choice? Where does his longing stem from? Is his infatuation a signal of a character flaw? (Probably.)

This is a point at which i can say, with certainty, that his inability to accept the twins as they are (a sort of singular being presenting as two, with many dualities contained within them) begins to gnaw on him. It chews its way out of him. It presents as confusion and shifts violently into rage. But not yet.

Fine Fat Flies

Desperately, he now attempts to shed all confusion by boldly knowing what he wants or pretending to do so. He recognizes, to some degree, that the pursuit of his desire would be, on some level, a death sentence. No matter how appealing the twins seemed to him, their complexity made it all so much more difficult. He moves on impulse, as not to get caught up in whether or not he knows anything in his situation at all. The twins decide to play a role, just as he has with them. The main difference lies in the fact that Mr. X is unable to see that they are presenting themselves as something they are not.

Quote
”Hold me tight and be my master.”

The game has truly begun. The “female” twin is toying with him, in a manner that is almost inhumane. The twins target him by conforming to what he wants. They devalue the power of their union, playing the role of two individuals, connected only physically. For this is the reality that Mr. X sees. They know their power is diminishing, since they are associating with, on a personal level, a man who seizes all that is not already seized. He grabs all that he can take, because he can take it. He worries not about who or what these actions could affect.

Psychological control is not the only method that they must use, though. Once their “master” (insert laugh track) becomes physical in his desperate grabs for power, they must take advantage of their tangible presences in the world. Finally, the “masculine” aspect of the twins acts out, having been aware of the unpleasant situation as it escalated. To choke him is fitting. But Mr. X seems kind of… well, turned on by this? Yuck, y’all. Yuck.

Anyways, he tries to end the encounter off with less hurt feelings. There are so many, though. Hurt feelings are unavoidable, especially if you believe you deserve to have everything you want.

Silver, Sharp, and Could Not Care

The fear of having his control taken away begins to blend in with the confusion about who and what the twins are. He has been denied something. That is no irrelevant act, to him. He believes he is entitled to all that is around him. He now sees the power of physical control. And to know power that he does not fully have control over is unpleasant. He wants to believe that what he wants is the best thing to want. To keep things the way he wants them to be, he must become violent in some way or another. The twins being aggressive in standing their ground is an enormous threat to him.

He realizes what he wants. He wants to separate the twins, to confine what he wants to one part, and that which he detests (and that which rejects him) to another. Even the thought of being able to get what he has wanted since the beginning is too tempting for him to resist. He knows what he wants, and he believes that what he wants is the best for everyone, since it is the best for him.

Quote
Lies can often give you power like a coffin filled with flowers gives life to the living, but not to the dead.

Kiss of Flesh

The chorus warns us that the story is reaching its peak.

It rises to the peak with a hesitant gentleness. Both in the structure of the lyrics, and in the music. Mr. X has created a room, strange in its description… and in its purpose. He shows his adoration for them with wild displays.

But he is here for his desire. He may say “we”, but to be in the same space does not mean to share a motivation or want to be in that shared space. The twins are mentally elevated so far above him that they can hardly ever be said to be in the same space.

Mr. X longs to claim his control. He does not believe that the twins could ever act out against him. No, never. Not again. He objectifies them with the mindset that they could do him no harm. The twins obey his commands… but as his satisfaction becomes greater, they strip him of it entirely. They can play this game no more

They mock him. They hurt him. He has been so foolish as to believe their lies. They have known more than him for the whole time.

Quote
Don’t you see there is no ‘she’ now?

The duality falls apart before his eyes. His control is stripped away from him. He is no longer their ally. They have become people before him, people above him. So he claims physical and sexual control. A disgusting act of splitting them physically and violating the wound. The lyrics overlap, becoming difficult to follow. (insert nut joke)

Even then, the twins toy with him. He ‘sees’ the “she” twin, but his doubt has become so strong that he doubts the reality of it. He still cannot hate the aspects that he desires, even if that desire is targeted at something that does not exist.

Pain and Pleasure

Finally, we reach Mr. X at a point in time after what has happened. He has realized that there was no control to be seized. The violent, sexual act did nothing to create his desired “trinity” of sorts, but incorporated him into a duality, and incorporated dualities into himself. He recognizes that his desire for control brought nothing to him.

Quote
...then I guess I could be crooked, evil, bent, and twisted, looking down at the strings I tried to pull.”

He is at peace with his situation. His passion tore them apart, and it is impossible to deny that his satisfaction is in part due to his visible, lasting effect upon them.

Quote
Everything that gives us pleasure also gives us pain to measure it by. And I also realize that all our lives, we love illusion - neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive.

(such good lyrics, ugh) The twins are not mentally disconnected. Only one aspect of their connection is no longer present, and even that allows itself to be simulated. Their bond is made of leather. Is this about bondage or just a belt or something? I don’t know. The transition from flesh to leather is only done through an extraction of flesh, and subsequent treatment of it. It is still, to some extent, flesh. It cannot return to its previous state, though.

They are all changed by what they did to each other. But they hold no contempt over it. They simply accept it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2017, 11:53:05 am by moleshow »
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

moleshow

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(part 2)

Themes (the Complicated Stuff)

It seems to me that the themes are split up into three, with a singular undercurrent of sexuality.

The themes are control, confusion, and duality.

Control

Throughout the album, there is a desperate attempt from all parties to have control. For the twins, this comes quite easily. They are rational, and can control what they feel. When confronted with Mr. X, a man who longs only to control what lies outside of him (as he cannot control that which lies within himself), they inevitably have fun for quite a while, denying him of or allowing him the realities that he seeks. Their encounters with him establish to them the way in which he deals with those who he believes know less than him. Back and forth they go, escalating into physical control as well as psychological, until it becomes too real to maintain and dissipates.

For Mr. X, to seize control of the twins is to control his desire. To make them be who he wants them to be and when is an act of aggression, a statement of dominance. His need to dominate others reduces his ability to consider the nature of the passivity that enables his behavior. Blinded by desire.

Confusion

The theme of confusion blends into that of fluidity.

The twins are indeed fundamentally fluid, at least in the aspects that Mr. X focuses on. Their personhood flows between the minds of one person, two people, or a blend of the two. The aspect of their existence that is “gendered” is so incredibly fluid that it is one of the main aspects of why the events of Kiss of Flesh occurred. They simply cannot be placed into boxes of “is” and “is not”. The labels applied to them by outside presences just don’t stick.

Mr. X denies himself of this fluidity that the twins are based in. He has what he assumes to be a strong sense of self. Unshakeable. Through his acts that shoved those around him away, he had no need to confront the ever-changing aspects of his vague and unclear “self”. He believes he knows what he does, why he does it, and what he wants. A disruption of that is a disruption of all that he knows.

Duality

The twins are both a singularity and a duality. Their fluidity enables this. They exist in many different ways. They are connected in both a mental and physical manner.

Mr. X believes that he is a singularity, creating a trinity. God in three persons. But through his interactions with the twins, he creates dualities within himself that can have no third presence to correct them. He sees the twins as both male and female… and when he comes too close in Kiss of Flesh, neither. The duality remains, as he recognizes that there is no ‘she’. It is the twins and Mr. X. But his attraction to them is both hateful and loving, controlling and passive, desperate and detached. His experience of them is comprised of pain and pleasure. Everything he experiences with them is matched with an accompanying experience that both enhances and negates it, depending on the situation.

The main trinity that he creates is, in a strange and fluid way, the eventual physical one. Him and the twins, the latter party now being split apart. But a duality is within this nonetheless. Countless ones are. The twins are connected spiritually and mentally. Mr. X’s attraction to them still places a blend of heterosexuality and homosexuality within him. They are all irreversibly connected, while still ending all at a distance from each other. Close, but no longer close enough to create danger.

In Conclusion...

This album set a tone and standard for other storytelling works from the group. Mr. X is sort of a recurring type - you can see him in Tweedles (especially, since Tweedles takes until there is nothing left to take in a similar manner), in Randy, (to some extent) in Roger, in Harry the Head, in Tex. The album is humanizing for all parties involved, making us question who is in the right and where manipulation can be accepted, or if it can be accepted at all. And who is to blame in a game of weak and strong where two parties push and pull endlessly until the rope breaks?

I find it to be simply one of the best. Musically fresh, conceptually complex, contextually advanced, and it really gets the gears turning. Hard not to think about it. It is actually almost impossible to simply listen to it, for me. All parts of it need to be considered for quite some time before throwing in the towel.

Delicious, utterly Residential in its ability to deny and reject perceived notions of The Residents, what they are and what they do. And it is rewarding, I must say. Embracing the discomfort of the story is a wonderful part of the experience, since that is so utterly vital to really having anything to say about it.

Yeah.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 09:41:04 am by moleshow »
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

goatie

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This was my sixth Residents album.  I bought it at the same time as Our Finest Flowers, but listened to the other first because this one clearly needed my undivided attention for the full duration.

Historical note: I ordered these two CDs through a music store in the mall.  I went in and saw that a friend I knew from my previous high school (I had moved and changed schools) worked there.  He came up to me and in an affected customer service voice asked "how may I help you, sir?" I asked "where do you keep the Residents records?" because I like questions that don't have good answers.  He said "our boss won't let us stock them, but I can special order some for you." OMG he was a Rz fan too and I didn't know!  I had only really gotten into them during the summer between schools, so my only guess is that he considered them his secret shame or something, and that's why they hadn't come up in conversation (for my part, I didn't know they were real - which in a way was a far advanced opinion of the group, but not really, and not helpful at the time).  Moral of the story: it pays to let your freak flag fly.

This is of course the first experiment with the potato chips model the Rz would later utilize at grander scale with Freak Show.  They did the album, soundtrack, and singles... and if I'm not mistaken they were already talking up a film or theatrical version at the time.  I wasn't too familiar with "Double Shot of My Baby's Love" and really only knew the Rz version, so...  funny story one day I'm in the car with my mom and a song comes on the radio and I say "haha this sounds like Double Shot" and my mom was all "well duh, it is."  Moral of that story: your mom knows stuff.

I was immediately taken by the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the album (to this day it still pleases my inner poet). Being both poetry and a clear narrative, I find myself easily being swayed to one side or the other - meaning that I can be listening to the story and then get caught up in just the sound of it, and vice versa.  To that end, I still find things that seem new to me, even though I've heard this album countless times in the past two decades.

Musically of course it's wildly different from other Rz albums.   My experience to this point had been Not Available, Commercial Album, Meet The Residents, Third Reich 'n' Roll, and Our Finest Flowers.  I was under the impression at the time that "Residents" was just an umbrella name, and each album was created by a different set of individuals.  Again, so close to the truth but not enough to take credit; the best I can do is point back as an old man and say "hey, look how that kid almost gets it."

So that's pretty much all I have to say right about this.  I'm not really into sorting out deeper meaning, or trying to explain exactly why I like things.  If you ask for my top Rz albums I will immediately say Not Available and God in Three Persons – I think the similarities are obvious from an emotional standpoint but I'd be hard pressed to find concrete elements to point at.
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CheerfulHypocrite

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Control

Throughout the album, there is a desperate attempt from all parties to have control. For the twins, this comes quite easily. They are rational, and can control what they feel. When confronted with Mr. X, a man who longs only to control what lies outside of him (as he cannot control that which lies within himself), they inevitably have fun for quite a while, denying him of or allowing him the realities that he seeks. Their encounters with him establish to them the way in which he deals with those who he believes know less than him. Back and forth they go, escalating into physical control as well as psychological, until it becomes too real to maintain and dissipates.

For Mr. X, to seize control of the twins is to control his desire. To make them be who he wants them to be and when is an act of aggression, a statement of dominance. His need to dominate others reduces his ability to consider the nature of the passivity that enables his behavior. Blinded by desire.

I am not certain I agree about Control. Control is at the surface but, beneath the surface everything is uncontrolled. There is even a sense in which the Twins lack even control over their "own genders". There is a hint that there is "no He and no She". Which might well mean that the Twins are, in fact protean in character and embracing their lack of fixed, physical identity.

There is a sense in which Absence of Control is the state of nature for the Twins. Much as claimed in the Eulogy of Aristophanes, the Children of the Sun, Moon and Earth have different binding of male-female; male-male; and, female-female. Nowhere does Aristophanes insist that those combinations are fixed. So, for example - and easiest to visualise - there is no guarantee that the female of the female-male is not interchanged, at some point, with the male. The satire of Aristophanes in the Eulogy makes the fluidity of the protean state the natural state. In that sense, Control is simply not part of the relationship. Mister X is struggling with Loss - the absence of his own Other Half whose death has left him less of a person in the Arisophean sense. It is not so much a matter of Control as the Twins demonstrating their inherent nature is protean: there is no he or she just they.

In being in a natural state that lacks control, the Twins substitute Compassion for Control. Unlike the simplistic duality of Arf and Omega there is no conflict between the two identities with the Twins simply an endless exchanging on the Dao. The Twins are a literal embodiment of The Way 道 which Mister X fails to apprehend. If there is a theme of Control it is subverted by a theme of compassion. Which, like the Way, Mister X fails to apprehend. In that failure, Mister X condemns the Twins to physical separation but does not achieve any kind of reconciliation to his own situation: that of Widower.



Confusion

The theme of confusion blends into that of fluidity.

The twins are indeed fundamentally fluid, at least in the aspects that Mr. X focuses on. Their personhood flows between the minds of one person, two people, or a blend of the two. The aspect of their existence that is “gendered” is so incredibly fluid that it is one of the main aspects of why the events of Kiss of Flesh occurred. They simply cannot be placed into boxes of “is” and “is not”. The labels applied to them by outside presences just don’t stick.

Mr. X denies himself of this fluidity that the twins are based in. He has what he assumes to be a strong sense of self. Unshakeable. Through his acts that shoved those around him away, he had no need to confront the ever-changing aspects of his vague and unclear “self”. He believes he knows what he does, why he does it, and what he wants. A disruption of that is a disruption of all that he knows.

This I agree with but would not characterise it as confusion but, instead, anamnesis. Anamnesis is the process whereby one remembers what one has forgotten. In Socratic Method, Socrates leads the Learner to remember the wisdom that they have 'forgotten' by posing a series of questions. It is fundamental to Socratic theories of knowledge that we simply "remember" the forgotten wisdom and bring it to the front of our minds. Mister X knows - and the Listener knows he knows - that his wife is dead. There is no confusion. Simply a refusal to answer the question which the Twins pose: do you think you know more than we do? That refusal keeps Mister X from knowing what he knew when his wife was alive.

The question from the Twins is compassionate and the failure to answer, by Mister X is the source of all the suffering. Mister X, were he to answer, would know what he knew when she was alive. When he was part of the Children Of The Moon. In the Eulogy of Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium the Children of The Moon were an androgyne mix of male and female. In the language of the Alchemists, they were the hermaphrodite and the presence was synonymous with the Alchemical wedding. The Twins, as the Dao, pose the question to Mister X: what is your true nature.

Mister X, it seems, only understands and reconciles himself to his true nature after the Kiss of Flesh.


Duality

The twins are both a singularity and a duality. Their fluidity enables this. They exist in many different ways. They are connected in both a mental and physical manner.

Mr. X believes that he is a singularity, creating a trinity. God in three persons. But through his interactions with the twins, he creates dualities within himself that can have no third presence to correct them. He sees the twins as both male and female… and when he comes too close in Kiss of Flesh, neither. The duality remains, as he recognizes that there is no ‘she’. It is the twins and Mr. X. But his attraction to them is both hateful and loving, controlling and passive, desperate and detached. His experience of them is comprised of pain and pleasure. Everything he experiences with them is matched with an accompanying experience that both enhances and negates it, depending on the situation.

The main trinity that he creates is, in a strange and fluid way, the eventual physical one. Him and the twins, the latter party now being split apart. But a duality is within this nonetheless. Countless ones are. The twins are connected spiritually and mentally. Mr. X’s attraction to them still places a blend of heterosexuality and homosexuality within him. They are all irreversibly connected, while still ending all at a distance from each other. Close, but no longer close enough to create danger.

This is the part I agree with most and least. This narrative of Mister X in terms of only sexuality seems almost right. Although I would stress that Mister X condemns the Twins to the transience of sexuality by severing their physical link between the Twins thus reducing them - as Aristophanes explains in his Eulogy - to seeking the connection with their partner, that they have lost. Mister X can never experience that connection, ever again. Not only because of his wife being absent but because he refused to simply embrace the protean nature of being one in the many.

In that respect, it is the collision of a theology - that of the Christian Trinity - and of the godlessness of Buddhism and Taoism. Mister X fails to embrace the salvation of the Way because he chooses the traditional sacrifice of the Abrahamitic Trinity of Religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism). Mister X substitutes an assault with a knife for the dissolution into the oneness. In this sense, Mister X is avoiding duality. He is sacrificing - which is traditional - and so not becoming at one with his true nature.

The God In Three Persons is an immanent deity that has no duality. It simply is. The only duality is the one created by Mister X. The duality is an illusion. In truth there is always a unity. The unity that Mister X deliberately breaks. Not because he is human and fallible or because he is unworthy of becoming at one with the Twins but because he cannot answer the question: what is your true nature.

While I agree that duality is a way to explore the theme, I suppose that loss and innocence are better. Mister X needs to remember his true nature and the Twins are the way to do so: once Mister X can get beyond the duality of their personhood. They are much closer to the Dao of Taoism than they are to being two persons. Perhaps, rather than duality, I am convinced this has more in common with the notion of "betweeneness". But that would be another thing.
Not altogether reliable for facts.

eggoddleo

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I find it difficult to listen to God in Three Persons without speculating on the intentions of its authors. I feel somewhat hesitant to interpret the meaning of the album. It makes me uncomfortable, as if I have somehow violated an unspoken agreement between The Residents and its audience. I try not to think about who lies behind The Residents, and what they intend with their work. I prefer to take the art at face value. Yet Gi3P sparks me to ask what real-world event inspired this album -- assuming that the album comes from real-world inspiration, and not pure fantasy.
The album just has too much emotional content for me to take on without imagining a human being on the other side of obscurity. A thinking, living person (or persons) who wrote the words and music.
My fears might grow from a misunderstanding of The Residents. I can sidestep my anxieties and openly speculate upon the intentions of this person if I accept one thing: the people responsible for The Residents do not equal The Residents.
You cannot create The Residents. You can only reveal them. Their art has more in common with seance and revelation than it has with performance and creation, making The Residents something that belongs to the fans as much as it belong to the "creators".
Interpreting Gi3P album, looks more like mythologizing more than it looks like speculation. Even if I mythologize, say, a man in the aftermath of a crisis -- a kindred spirit -- who wrote his magnum opus sometime in the late 1980s.
I first heard Gi3P around 14 years ago, making me about 14 years old when the opening credits first graced my virgin ears. The album has taken on new meaning, and a life of its own, inside my head, since that first time. Every time I hear the album, I gain a new sense of perspective, uncovering wordplay and innuendo as I give the lyrics a closer listen, but even at the young age of 14, I sensed in the album an overarching theme of sexual transgression. Mr. X misdirects yet he also becomes Miss Directs as he acquaints himself with a he one who almost always becomes a she one.
This defying of both sex and gender, this combination of masculine and feminine, explains the title of the second track.
What other puns and innuendo can we find in the first track? Words like pulsing drum, tingling and tangled might remind us of the sexuality that positively oozes from the album, which leads us to ask what it means to go "down beneath the bottom" -- a phrase that helps us gauge the narrators emotional barometer while hinting at a dynamic yet that ties in with the title of the following track: devoting.
Yes, this Mr. X may have think he'll come out on top of the world yet he never quite gets himself out from under the bottom of things. Even when trying to con the twins, he finds himself begging, beseeching and devoting himself to them.
I think the symbolism of the next track, "The Thing About Them", doesn't require a genius to piece together. Here we find out about the he one, the she one, and Mr. X's inability to tell one from the other. We also learn of Mr. X's ambition to make the twins into what he wants. Finally, we have the cottage with the tiny door. Curious how we cannot tell who the cottage belongs to. Does Mr. X want inside as he says? Or does he want of them to go inside?
In "Devotion" we have some religious language that mentioned already -- begging, beseeching, devotion, etc. -- but in "Their Early Years" we find out first miracle. Also, I love how the twins think "they thought that we were put together randomly, just like the weather, with no uniformity in mind." It makes them seem deceptively innocent, and I can relate to that innocence.
Haven't we all had a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature rooted in our childhood? I know I have.
"Loss of a Loved One," teaches us that Mr. X has a fault line in his soul, a wound that only a miracle (like the resurrection of the dog in "Their Early Years") can heal. The language towards the end, again, makes me think of religion. It sounds like someone answering a religious call to me.

"Yes, my life was nearly ruined, till I saw what you were doing. Now I strive to keep on serving you. Life is good but I am better, for I feel at last I let her go because I finally found the truth." These lines could easily come from someone addressing a higher power, rather than some twins they hope to relegate to some sideshow act performed for profit and perversion. The Great G-Word in the sky hardly receives direction mention outside of the album title, yet we can sense "His" presence lurking over the entire album like a long and smokey shadow.
"The Touch" hints toward the perversion I mentioned before, the back and forth of their scrimmage seems innocent enough, yet foreshadows the sexual tension that builds from this point onward. M. X seems to think he comes out on top, finally out from under the bottom, or so he claims, as he insists that he pushes the twins through towns and through bushes as he describes in "The Service".
The lascivious nature of Mr. X's relationship to the twins finally comes to a head, the elephant in the room growing to unavoidable size in "Confused by What I Felt Inside". Perhaps this "inside" relates to the cottage door in "The Thing About Them". I can't help but think "smooth and shiny object  with a purpose and a job [Mr. X] recognized and was familiar with" has the same shape and use as the pink object we see Mr. X wielding in the art for Gi3P -- but perhaps that guess says more about me than it does the album. Mythology says as much about the people who create it as it says about the real world.
The narrator loads "Fine Fat Flies" to the hilt with sexual language of both an overt and covert nature. One would have to bury their head in the sand to miss the carnal message of the song, yet even ordinary actions and objects receive descriptors like "sharpness", "penetrating", and "liquid" and "lacing" to remind us of the conflict and mutability of feminine and masculine that persists throughout the album.
"I said it would be wrong to play these games of weak and strong together without me [...]and they simply were too young to understand." This moment disturbs me more than any other in the album. It touches upon the manipulative nature of Mr. X and borders on the subjects of consent and violation of consent. How young do you think he means by "too young"? I hesitate to wait for an answer.
Sonically, I think the end of this track represents the peak of this album as it builds and builds upon a throbbing, piercing rhtyhtm that finally halts leaving us overwhelmed, yet empty, unsatisfied with what we have accomplished so far, exhausted, yet craving more.
Finally, the themes of piercing and penetration begin to manifest themselves in the objects and actions of the story in "Silver, Sharp, And Could Not Care," leading to the climax of the tale in "Holy Kiss of Flesh."
Ahhh... what can I say about "Holy Kiss of Flesh"? I don't know where to begin! I guess I'll begin by stating that I find it important to note that the twins titter from the very beginning of the track as if they anticipated Mr. X's actions well ahead of time. This causes me to question if Mr. X ever had the upper hand in his relationship with the twins, and if they somehow manipulated him all along.
Then we have the first blunt sexual language of the album. Mr. X refers to his dick, and says he fucks the gaping Venus between the twins, and then we have the literal "climax" of the album, when Mr X says, "There could be but one conclusion nto this sick distorted fusion, and of course it came...and so did I." Ew, right?
At last we have the denouement. Here the narrator almost hands the meaning of his parable directly over to us. A personal philosophy grounded in BDSM seems somewhat apparent in the closing words of the album.
Story-wise, we find that while Mr. X's actions seem objectionable, he does not go without sympathy. The narrator renders himself, I guess, in a way that we can all relate to.
Lets not forget that the twins remind friends with Mr. X, and each other, after he cuts them apart. I like to think that Mr. X never quite manipulated or abused them. They led him on all along, not to demean him, but to heal the fault lines in his soul. A soul does not heal easily, I guess. The twins darken the sky and bring a dog back to life without a problem, but it takes a great amount of pain and trauma for them to heal a broken soul, so much, in fact, that they split apart in bringing something else together.
What does it mean? I don't know! Sometimes I think the whole story amounts to nothing more than a masturbatory fantasy. Perhaps the narrator mythologizes as much as I have in my interpretation of the album. Maybe the crimson eruption that ends below a twin's belly button isn't the only thing that's only in Mr. X's mind.
And what of the religious overtones? Is religion just a masturbatory fantasy, too?
How about the "meta-musical" meaning of the album? The Residents persistently make commentary on the music scene. What does it mean that they borrow from other artists in the musical backing of their story? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't their three songs that make up all the melodies on the album?
"Ooh Baby" by Sam Cooke.
"Holy Holy Holy" the Christian hymn.
"Double Shot of My Baby's Love" by The Swinging Medallions.
God In Three Persons, God In Three Songs?
I dunno.
I could be taking it too far but I find it interesting that while Snakefinger was allegedly slated to lay down a guitar track for the album, Gi3P ultimately had three parts that made up the music: the narration, the Greek chorus, and the backing music -- God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity.

dunwich

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I actually don't have much to say about this album besides the fact that I think this is one of The Residents' greatest artistic achievements ever and this album is beautiful and I love it so very very much. The music, the words, the story.... everything is just truly amazing.
^This.

moleshow

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OLD TALK ^
---
NEW TALK v

"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

goatie

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How about the "meta-musical" meaning of the album? The Residents persistently make commentary on the music scene. What does it mean that they borrow from other artists in the musical backing of their story? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't their three songs that make up all the melodies on the album?
"Ooh Baby" by Sam Cooke.
"Holy Holy Holy" the Christian hymn.
"Double Shot of My Baby's Love" by The Swinging Medallions.

Correction: the song is "Ooh Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, one of the greatest songs of regret for my money.  It definitely paints the emotional mood of the last track, and totally shocked me the first time I heard it used by the Rz.  Part of me assumes that they intended to use Smokey for a side of the American Composers Series, and salvaged this particular recording when it was clear they weren't doing that anymore.