Author Topic: 13TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW (Project of the Week for the 25th of September)  (Read 144 times)

moleshow

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this one slides us further into the realm of all that is spooky and strange in the world of Rz, without explicitly plopping us down in, like... ghost and death and murder and Voice of Midnight-y kinds of things.

go forth! if you feel so inclined.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

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moleshow

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this show is such an absolute mystery to me. i don't have a solid sense of what the setlist was at any of the shows- i think that it's cut down for some releases or reorganized for others. i don't know what costumes were used for what tracks. i don't know much of anything for sure about it, but i do know that i really like it!

it's an eerie, minimalist affair. the way the shows seemed to allow the Rz to appear as if they were ghostly apparitions in the darkness, haunting a space, coming forth out of a stagnant darkness with life and energy! they assume costumes and identities for sections of tracks that do not necessarily have characters with distinct appearances. they use the people onstage as their decorations which allows the show to feel exceptionally alive compared to any of their other shows. (they would soon use both living and static decorations in Cube-E to make for something REALLY fascinating.)

it sets a precedent for shows like Way We Were, Shadowland, Talking Light, Fillmore '98, and Wonder of Weird (and seemingly the upcoming In Between Dreams)- setlists not based off of singular albums to visualize them, but assorted tracks organized by eras, ideas, themes. this makes one thing i've seen pretty funny: this tendency for Cliffords to trash the RCB trilogy while praising the 13th Anniversary shows. like- hey, dude! those shows are, structurally, similar. while the RCB shows have narration, characters, those sorts of things- they don't take up much of the show. but i am not of that mindset, and am almost definitely missing the point. anyways, 13th Anniversary show very good, perhaps a little spooky.

i may have more to say at a later date.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."

Meisekimiu

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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.)
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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