Carlos Bobuck (usually referred to simply as Carlos) was an identity ascribed to the fictitious former drummer of The Residents, created for the group's Talking Light touring show in 2010 and appearing intermittently until 2015.
Carlos was said to have joined The Residents in 1972, and to have retired in spring 2009, first moving to Van Horn, Texas, and then to his birthplace in Mexico to care for his ailing mother.
Carlos was credited as the lead vocalist of the off-shoot project Sonidos de la Noche, providing lead vocals on their only album, Coochie Brake, in 2011. He returned to The Residents to play drums on their Shadowland tour between May 2014 and March 2015, after which the identity was permanently retired.
Carlos Bobuck was raised in Texas during the mid-20th century. In 1972 he hitchhiked to San Francisco, where he met with Residents Uninc., an art collective from the mid-west featuring Randy Rose and Charles Bobuck.
Carlos began composing music of his own inspired by his travels and the "dramatic desert landscape" of San Francisco, but ultimately abandoned this idea when he decided that the music he had written did not accurately capture the journey. Carlos became percussionist with Residents, Uninc., appearing on their recording projects, and was grandfathered into the group when they officially became The Residents in February 1973.
Whilst strictly remaining a percussionist in the studio, Carlos undertook a number of roles when on stage. He played synthesizer for The Mole Show in 1982 and 1983 and The Way We Were in 2005; he appeared as a backing dancer for the 13th Anniversary Show in 1985 and 1986 and Ty's Freak Show in 1991; and from Cube-E in 1989 to Wormwood in 1999, and on The Bunny Boy in 2008, he was percussionist.
Carlos decided to retire in 2009, leaving the group to work at a Dollar General store in Van Horn, Texas in the spring. Charles Bobuck met with him in Texas, but was drugged during their meal. By January 2010, Carlos had moved to his birthplace in Mexico in order to take care of his mother.
In summer 2010, Charles and Bob (The Residents' lead guitarist since 1997) reunited with Carlos; Rose was developing his solo performance project Sam's Enchanted Evening at the time and couldn't make the reunion. Charles, Bob and Carlos began jamming together, and decided to form a new group, Sonidos de la Noche, in which Carlos acted as lead vocalist, delivering lyrics for the project in Spanish. Sonidos de la Noche released their only album, Coochie Brake, in October 2011, after which Carlos returned to retirement.
In May 2014, Carlos briefly rejoined The Residents to play drums on the group's Shadowland tour, but retired completely (alongside Charles Bobuck and Hardy Fox of The Cryptic Corporation) after the end of the tour's second leg in March 2015.
Since their 1974 debut album, The Residents have commonly portrayed themselves as a quartet. However, for their 2010 Talking Light tour, the group desired to present a more simplified sound, consisting only of a vocalist, a guitarist, and a DAW operator / keyboardist; leaving no place for their traditional fourth member.
As the project was to be character-based, the unseen character of "Carlos' was created to explain the void left by the missing fourth Resident. The name "Carlos" had previously appeared in the track credits of the UWEB compilation album Philip Charles Lithman AKA Snakefinger in 1992, referring to the guitarist of Snakefinger's ill-fated 1981 tour of Australia.
On every night of the Talking Light tour, the group's singer Randy Rose would explain that Carlos, their former drummer, had retired, and that he had returned to Mexico to take care of his sick mother. On the first night of the tour, The Residents released an instrumental album titled Dollar General, the liner notes of which featured a short story detailing composer and keyboardist Charles Bobuck's last meeting with Carlos.
When Bobuck, the group's guitarist Lionel Bob, and their frequent collaborator Nolan Cook gathered between legs of the Talking Light tour to record Coochie Brake as Sonidos de la Noche, they cast Marco Villalobos as Carlos, delivering lead vocals in Spanish for the album.
As Bobuck began his solo career, Carlos began to appear more and more frequently in the liner notes of Bobuck's releases, particularly the 2012 release Codgers on the Moon, in which Carlos is used as a metaphor for anonymity, and 2014's The Highway, where "Carlos Bobuck" was credited as having written the Spanish liner notes.
In Bobuck and Hardy Fox's Hacienda Bridge newsletter on September 1st 2017, it was revealed that Carlos had returned to the stage with The Residents, as the drummer for their Shadowland tour between May 2014 and March 2015. This has been the final acknowledged appearance of this persona to date, however during the shows themselves, the drummer was always introduced as "Chuck Bobuck".
Following Charles Bobuck's retirement from The Residents in 2015, The Cryptic Corporation's official website described Carlos as having been a pseudonym of Charles. In October 2017, having ostensibly retired from the Cryptics alongside Bobuck, Hardy Fox revealed that he and Charles Bobuck (and thus, presumably also Carlos) were one and the same.
- Coochie Brake by Sonidos de la Noche (2011) - lead vocals
- The Highway by Charles Bobuck (2014) - liner notes
- The Randy, Chuck and Bob Trilogy
- Talking Light
- Charles Bobuck
- Sonidos de la Noche
- Dollar General
- Coochie Brake
- Codgers on the Moon
- The Highway
- Carlos Bobuck, "El Camino", The Highway liner notes, 2014
- Jim Knipfel, "Somethin' Devilish: The Untold (And Finally True) Pre-History of The Residents 1963-1971"
- Dollar General liner notes, 2010
- "Talking Light", Talking Light Bimbo's, 2011
- Hardy Fox, Hacienda Bridge #23, September 1st 2017
- Charles Bobuck, THIS is for READERS, 2016
- Philip Charles Lithman AKA Snakefinger liner notes, 1992
- Hardy Fox, Hacienda Bridge #23, September 1st 2017
- Charles Bobuck, "About The Residents - Pseudonyms", The Cryptic Corporation official website