as you know, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, my second favourite band is The Residents (my first favourite band is anything with Frank Zappa in it, but that’s another, entirely separate story). the residents played a concert at Neumo’s on the 18th of march, and i was there.
it is physically impossible to give you an idea of what it sounded like, because for 40 years, the residents have never played the same song twice and had it sound the same way each time, which is one of the reasons i find their albums a little iconoclastic, but it’s better than nothing. there is a lot of their music out there, in one form or another, on the intar-toobs, which saves a lot of disk space for me, because i don’t have to post them myself. they played a few songs that i recognised the words to, but even the lyrics were heavily electronically modified most of the time, so it was difficult to determine what they played… although i was kind of amused to notice that the read-out on randy’s (the vocalist) processor unit had names like “snake” and “old lady” and “rubber” and other things that seemed to indicate not only the sound that it made, but the title of the song as well.
i found a spot in the balcony, above stage right, behind “chuck”, the keyboard player, which was very interesting, because i got to watch him manipulating his instruments fairly well, in spite of the lighting. he had a 15″ mac book, with software i’ve seen before, but can’t immediately identify (something like digital performer, i think), a short keyboard with some sort of internal computer, an iPad with some software with which i am totally unfamiliar (having a considerable amount of disdain for the ipad in general probably doesn’t help the matter much), and a vaguely squashed-spheroid device with a use i was never able to figure out.
as an aside, i had temporarily forgotten that i now have a – TOTALLY FREE – G4 tower with a motorolla processor, capable of running OS9 and all of the goodies that i never thought i’d see again when i gave away my own mac a couple of years ago… time to get that up and running again… 8)
the thing that really surprised me was that there were only three of them. apparently “carlos” decided, after nearly 40 years in the music business, that the rock-and-roll lifestyle wasn’t for him, and he returned to mexico to care for his aged, ailing mother… or something like that. nobody’s really sure of anything, since the residents have kept their real identities a secret since they started out, and have appeared in disguise for their performances. so now there are only three residents, “chuck” on “keyboards”, “bob” on heavily processed guitar, and “randy” on vocals, but it’s okay, because “carlos” – the drummer – was prone to taking extended drum “solos” at awkward points. i didn’t really notice the difference, because i’ve only seen them live one other time, and that was before my injury, so i don’t remember it that well.
they played for two hours, and then did a half-hour, three-song encore, and i came away with their new album, Dolor Generar. i was under the impression, when i downloaded the bittorrent a couple of years ago, that i had fairly close to all of their released work, but apparently i was wrong. the fact that it’s the residents to begin with makes me sort of wonder what the person who made the bittorrent was thinking when they labeled it “all of the residents released work”, but it’s the intar-toobs, so i probably will never know. i took a whole bunch of pictures, but only nine of them made it to flickr, because the rest of them are redundant, out-of-focus, or are otherwise defective.
the photos may have been defective, but the concert was outstanding. 8)