Eyeballs in the Sky
December 29, 2006 3:43 AM   Subscribe

What are The Residents up to these days? The avant garde band (if you can legitimately call them avant garde or a band) made an odd choice with their last/ongoing release, The River of Crime. If you like physical objects, you can purchase a package with cover art, a blank cd-r and codes to a website where you can download them; if you don't, you can purchase the episodes, which are styled after old radio noirs, as podcasts or as a double album through itunes. Concurrently, they have been putting out a series of short films via youtube. The Timmy series, based on a character created for the 1995 cd-ROM "A Day at The Midway", uses a mix of found footage, animation, music and voiceover to tell a series of short unrelated stories. As much as the band has done to keep up with technology over the last thirty-five years, they vehemently ">oppose file sharing of their work, including the sharing of mp3s that they have put out for free on their own website. With that in mind, I wonder how the band feels about the amazing collection of concerts, videos, interviews and assorted other weirdness you get when you type their name into YouTube. [more inside]
posted by elr (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
In tribute - The Residents cover of James Brown's This Is a Man's, Man's World.

The True Story of the Residents" as told by Matt Groening.

Mysterioso - Another interview and performance from Spanish TV.

The Residents Museum - A virtual tour of props, pictures, and images of all things The Residents.

Giant Eyeballs and RRROAR - Really worthwhile fan sites with much content.

Singing Lawn Chairs - If you're sick of waiting for the Residents to tour, you can try to check out this tribute band, who look pretty awesome from their videos.

Also, there are some shockingly interesting Wikipedia pages on The Residents, their first (failed) film Vileness Fats, and their possibly fictitious friend and mentor N. Senada and his "Theory of Obscurity".

I hope you enjoy. Happy belated Brumalia by the way, y'all.
posted by elr at 3:43 AM on December 29, 2006

Thanks for the inspiration to take Cube-E for a spin today; listening to the disc isn't quite as good as going to the show I saw on that tour, but it's still an awfully fun experience!
posted by jburka at 4:04 AM on December 29, 2006

Huh, wouldn't have expected them to come down on that side of the file sharing fence.

Almost like I don't know them or something.
posted by hackly_fracture at 4:49 AM on December 29, 2006

I wonder how the band feels about the amazing collection of concerts, videos, interviews and assorted other weirdness you get when you type their name into YouTube.

Well, if you join MySpace you could go to their MySpace page and ask them. Might be worth a try.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:08 AM on December 29, 2006

Um… yea I like the Residents.
posted by tellurian at 5:37 AM on December 29, 2006

I like the Residents a lot, and if they don't want me to, I won't click any of the links in your posty there.

But I will tell you all: get a copy of "George and James," their tribute to George Gershwin and James Brown. Side A is a cover of the entire "live at the Apollo" concert that blows my mind. Awesome and crazy.
posted by koeselitz at 6:13 AM on December 29, 2006

I've always joked about getting a group of people together and try doing one or two shows as the Residents. No one would know!
posted by drezdn at 6:35 AM on December 29, 2006

I can't believe that the Reisdents are still at it after all of these years. Of course, by now they could just be a rotating group assembled by one giant eyeball svengali, replacing members as they get too old. Sort of a Menudo for anonymous avante garde groups.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:36 AM on December 29, 2006


Seeing this post made me think of my old friend Jim Ludtke. For a number of years, Ludtke was the visual force behind many of the most visually arresting Residents projects, including Freak Show and Bad Day on the Midway.

I met the members of The Residents through Jim, and even got to work on a private little show they did for the launch of a JVC video deck, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Todd Rundgren was mixing video feeds live on a Toaster, with the results projected behind the band. The real keeper was that the table of Japanese JVC executives, placed right up in front of the stage, had no idea about the strangeness of The Residents. Ty Roberts, who owned the software company that had developed control software for the deck, convinced JVC to hire The Residents for the event, apparently without actually explaining the antics of the band. The fellow who sang the vocal to "Benny the Bump" had a lovely rubber Benny prop attached to his chest, underneath his shirt, which he released during the climax of the tune. The resulting looks of absolute horror on the faces of those executives were precious.

Jim died tragically a few years ago, and soon thereafter, a Swedish digital arts magazine contacted me and asked if I would write a tribute for him. The magazine went under right before publication of the issue with my tribute, so it was never published. If any of you would like a copy - it includes unseen Ludtke artwork, and a rare scan of one of his lovely airbrush masterpieces - email me at my MeFi name at gmail.com, and I will send you the 2 megabyte PDF. If the powers of MeFi are cool with it, I'll be happy to upload it to yousendit and post the download link here.

eir, thanks for the post and jogging my memories. I'm listening to Freak Show as I type these words, man, Harry the Head is a great damned song.
posted by dbiedny at 6:50 AM on December 29, 2006 [4 favorites]

H.E.L.L. yes!
posted by malocchio at 6:56 AM on December 29, 2006

i second that HELL yes!
posted by 40 Watt at 8:21 AM on December 29, 2006

dbiedny: "If the powers of MeFi are cool with it, I'll be happy to upload it to yousendit and post the download link here."

Self-linking is verboten in posts to the front page, but here in the comments they're OK if they're in good faith. I'm sure the admins won't mind.

Please post this. I'd like to see it, too.
posted by koeselitz at 8:52 AM on December 29, 2006

That is really cool, dbiedny. Thanks, and sorry for your loss, even after all this time.
posted by cgc373 at 10:18 AM on December 29, 2006

Run, run
Fast as you can
This thread made no mention
of the Gingerbread Man
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:42 PM on December 29, 2006

My relationship with the Residents is fraught with loving pangs of hunger, and seeing them a few years back at the House of Blues (on the Demons Dance Alone tour) only cemented that for me. Getting a hug from Hardy Fox wasn't such a bad bonus, either.

Thank you, dbiedny, for your kindness.

And thank you, Residents, for all the great albums and your side projects (like Pee-Wee's Playhouse). Keep on keepin' on, whoever you are.
posted by Moody834 at 7:34 PM on December 29, 2006

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