Tuesday, April 1, 2014

meet the residents

The Residents playfully deconstructed pop culture and consumerism with the homespun musical hodgepodge and bizarre avante-garde experimentation of this cryptic compositional commencement.  The group (who have maintained their anonymity for their entire career!) had met in high school in Shreveport, Louisiana and then emigrated to San Francisco (stopping in San Mateo when their truck broke down and staying there for several years).  The group began making their own tapes and sent a copy of one of their demos to  Hal Halverstadt at Warner Brothers who had worked with their musical hero Captain Beefheart. While he was impressed with their originality, the band was still sent a rejection notice; but, since they had not included any name on their return address, the notice was sent simply to "the residents".  

Once they made it to San Francisco, the group formed their own label Ralph Records and proceeded to release their own material.  Their first single was 'Santa Dog', which caught the attention of Bill Reinhardt, program director of KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon who played it regularly on his 'Radio Lab' show. Their full length debut 'Meet The Residents' was produced by the band at their  El Ralpho studio at 18 Sycamore Street in the Mission District.   'Meet The Residents' draws in such diverse musical forms as classical, vaudeville, rock, pop, soul, jazz, and holiday fare into their musical blender to produce a collage of styles and sounds that could be described as noise.  The album only sold about forty copies with many being returned unopened.  The cover art was a scorching parody of the Beatles' 'Meet The Beatles'.  After threats from Capitol and EMI, the group rereleased the album with a different cover.  


 'Meet The Residents' 

full album:

1. Boots - 0:00
2. Numb Erone - 0:54
3. Guylum Bardot - 2:01
4. Breath and Length - 3:22
5. Consuelo's Departure - 5:05
6. Smelly Tongues - 6:04
7. Rest Aria - 7:49
8. Skratz - 12:59
9. Spotted Pinto Bean - 14:42
10. Infant Tango - 20:09
11. Seasoned Greetings - 25:38
12. N-Er-Gee (Crisis Blues) - 30:52

'Vileness Fats' is an unreleased film that the band produced at the same time as 'Meet The Residents'.  

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