Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Residents Hit the Road, Jack

For my 2 dollars, The Residents are the most important and interesting American band still alive since the great Rock and Roll explosion of the 1960's.

The band - whose members remain completely anonymous - have been making music since at least 1969. Despite having a back catalog nearly as old as the Rolling Stones, the Residents have never mounted a "greatest hits" tour. Rather, they seem to come out of hiding only when they have had ample time to develop a brand new show around some novel and provocative theme.

That moment is upon us, as the band are about to begin their first extended tour since 2002. As described on their website, the "Talking Lights" performance asks "What are ghosts? Spirits of those no longer inhabiting the flesh, but unable to leave their lives behind? Or could ghosts be a manifestation of something even less tangible, like loneliness, unfulfilled desire or isolation? In a world where nearly everything has become defined and categorized, how do we fill our obvious, purely human need for the fuzzy, vague and supernatural - with TV commercials?"

The show begins this Saturday in Santa Cruz and concludes its American leg in Milwaukee on February 16. Though details are hard to come by, the show will doubtless be unsettling, obsessive and completely unique. By all means, schedule a road trip if The Residents come anywhere remotely near your home. See here for the full tour schedule.


Anonymous said...

Everyone knows who the Residents are (Doh!) and the Icky Flix tour was pretty much a greatest hits tour. I saw the Los Angeles show last night, and it started off well enough but fell victim to Big Rez going for the ugly and unintelligible over and over again.

Gurldoggie said...

"Ugly and unintelligible?" That's what they do best!

I know that people make all kinds of claims about who they might be, but the Residents have never confirmed anything. Personally, I prefer not to even speculate and keep the mystery alive. Thanks for writing.