Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Residents @ Webster Hall (NYC) 2/9/2010

From the far fringes of American Pop/Rock - some would say the lunatic fringe - electronic and compositional pioneers The Residents brought their “Talking Light” tour to New York on one of their most extensive tours in years. Included in their set list were many death-themed selections from their over 30-year back catalog (including their wonderful interpretation of Hank Williams' "Six More Miles to the Graveyard" - first performed in the mid-80s for dear departed cohort Snakefinger - whom I had the great pleasure of meeting back in the day), along with new tunes, ghost stories, and tales of extreme familial dysfunction. Down to an eyeball-less three-some now, sole vocalist "Randy" - assumed to be Homer Flynn, one half of their "management" team -- said not to worry about the retirement of drummer "Carlos" - they didn't need his backbeat anyway. Flanking clownishly attired Randy (in old man mask) was "Bob" on guitar and Chuck on keyboard & computer, hidden in shadows, head to toe in black and wearing insect-like headgear with springy dreads and goggles. A minimalist living room set, with only three large disk projection screens behind them was a strong contrast to some of their renowned over the top and high tech stage extravaganzas. [see video]. Other selections included "Semolina", "The Unseen Sister" and of course, "Talking Light". There were a few moments of droll humor in the otherwise gloom-drenched swirling gothic trance, but nothing overt as in some of their sendups of Elvis and John Philip Souza. Opening and closing the show was the ancient hippie-dippie Coke jingle "I'd like to teach the world to sing ...". Yes, but about what exactly?

1 comment:

  1. Their music videos have brought me much squishy happy goodness over the years.
    SO WEIRD so good.



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