I’m glad to report that the era of terrible Residents live videos is OVER! I think I’ve talked about it before, but for the longest time, it seemed that we were doomed to not have a good document of a Residents’ live concert. My go to is when I saw them on the Demons Dance Alone tour, and it was one of the best shows I’d ever seen in my life…. but when the Demons Dance Alone DVD came out, it was one of the worst DVDs I’d seen — terrible, muddy audio, grainy footage taken from backstage — so the main video of an amazingly theatrical show was of the backs of guitar necks. Continue reading
Utility Music is Gyratory System’s third album (out today!), and I feel a bit silly for having not known them until now. It’s a combination of all sorts of things I like — electronica with live instruments in the mix, krautrock influences, and, well, the first track is named “John Frum” after the patron saint of cargo cults! In fact, if you’re a fan of Krautrock in general, I’d highly recommend this album. It’s not a mere pastiche, but rather an extension of the genre. Continue reading
I had a dream last night — it wasn’t a terribly good dream, but I’m going to share it anyway! Because I thought it was at least marginally interesting and in defiance of that old saw that there is nothing less interesting than someone else’s dreams.
I discovered The Legendary Pink Dots through The Residents. An obscure Youtube artist going under the moniker of therezident (now renamed Virgil Pink) had been producing his own videos for Residents songs. Sometimes these videos would be cobbled together from cheap DV footage and google image search results, as in ‘Life Would Be Wonderful‘ and other times, in the case of ‘Dreaming of an Anthill‘, they would display remarkably accomplished sand animation reminiscent of German Expressionism and the inky grotesqueries of comic book artist Charles Burns. This slapdash approach that sometimes yielded moments of astonishing beauty seemed like a perfect fit for The Residents and I was thrilled by therezident’s ability to forge intuitive connections between found footage and the band’s music in the most seemingly unlikely of places. Having watched a bulk of videos based upon music by The Residents, I decided to investigate artists also represented on the channel. The Third Eye Foundation and Current 93 cropped up, but so did The Legendary Pink Dots and their lead singer named Edward Ka-Spel, both unknown to me. I was intrigued by the band’s inscrutable and, I felt, irritatingly portentous name. How could something as abstract as pink dots be legendary – and, moreover, wasn’t the name itself somewhat eye-rollingly self-promoting? I listened to a track. I believe it was ‘Of All The Girls‘. The video was underwhelming, but I found the music compelling. It was droning but propulsive and slightly nauseating; more threatening than The Residents. While the Residents at their best walk a indeterminate path between earnestness and sincerity, balancing unsettling melodies with daffy vocal deliveries, or vice versa, I sensed little of that playfulness in ‘Of All The Girls’. There were few concessions being made to the listener. One could easily have imagined that the composer (this Edward Ka-Spel) had produced the track for his own private enjoyment. I did not feel immediately invited into the world of The Legendary Pink Dots, but insidiously (because it was some weeks before I returned to their music) the music wormed its way into my brain until I felt all the more stubborn to discover more. Continue reading
So, we’re stealin’ the idea from the Sparks Project and doing one with probably even more records out there — The Residents! And this time we’re changing it up a little bit — we’ve got two hardcore Residents fans in me and Rich, but Aila is, at best, a casual fan, who will be hearing about 99% of these records for the first time. DANGEROUS! So, enjoy, THE RESIDENTS PROJECT!