The Residents are coming on what is reputedly only their 7th world tour in 40 years. This anarchic, satirical, experimental ensemble has been creating mind-snapping albums since the early 70s, often making twisted parodies of rock iconography. Their first album was Meet The Residents, a take-off on Meet the Beatles. A later album, Third Reich and Roll featured a caricature of a smiling Dick Clark in a Nazi SS uniform with tiny Hitlers dancing ala American Bandstand. The Residents have created some brilliant electronic soundscapes like Eskimo, released on white vinyl (and nominated for a Grammy in 1979 by what must have been a very stoned Academy) and their Fingerprince electrified the “Ketjak” or “Ramayana Monkey Chant” of Bali. It was during this period that The Residents were in heavy rotation on WXPN‘s Diaspar show.
Their music became increasingly conceptual and theatrical over the years with the band adopting stage guises including the famous Eyeball Heads and Tuxedo look. I’d lost track of The Residents in the new millennium. I think I just got exhausted by their prolific output. They’ve churned out 18 CDs in the 2000s, including four last year alone.
I’ve never seen The Residents live and I don’t believe they’ve ever played Philadelphia. But these cryptic musicians, who have kept their identities secret these many years, are currently on their Talking Light tour, hitting all the usual metropolitan areas including Philadelphia on Monday, February 8 at World Café Live. Reportedly, they’ll be playing a career retrospective. It’s a rare event and sure to be one of those concerts you’ll be talking about later, one way or another. As their mock Coca-Cola logo states, “It’s the Surreal Thing.”
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))