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The Residents are an American musical group and art collective originating from Shreveport, Louisiana, and who have been officially active since 1972. Since their inception, the group have produced a vast catalog of albums, videos, live performances, multimedia projects, and books.

The Residents ostensibly attempt to operate under a veil of anonymity, preferring to have attention focused on their artistic output rather than their individual personalities. They are noted for surrealistic lyrics and sound, their disregard for conventional music composition, and the over-the-top theatrical spectacle of their live performances.

History

Origins

The Residents originated in Shreveport, Louisiana, out of a group of friends and roommates (originally numbering five) who attended college at Louisiana Tech in the mid 1960s, forming an "anti-fraternity fraternity" called Delta Nu. This group of friends also included future collaborators such as Homer Flynn, Hardy Fox, Jay Clem and John Kennedy.

After completing their studies, the Delta Nu group drifted apart; some members of the group left Louisiana and headed west for San Francisco, eventually settling in San Mateo, California, where they decided to remain. During this time, Fox had started a tentative music management career, representing the rhythm and blues group The Alliance, featuring multi-instrumentalist Roland Sheehan.

While attempting to make a living, the remaining members of the Delta Nu group began to experiment with tape machines, photography, and anything remotely to do with art that they could get their hands on.

The Alliance disbanded in the late 1960s, and Sheehan sought refuge with the group in their small apartment, bringing with him a large number of musical instruments, including an acoustic guitar and an organ, and the final ingredients the group needed to begin formally experimenting with sound production fell into place.

1967-1972 - The Delta Nudes / Residents Uninc.

Earliest recordings (1967-1970)

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"The Delta Nudes", 1970 (photograph by N. Senada)

From approximately 1967 to 1970, the group began to make the first of possibly hundreds of loosely edited reel-to-reel tapes, consisting mostly of home studio experiments, rehearsals and improvisational jams, including their 1970 demos The Ballad of Stuffed Trigger and Rusty Coathangers for the Doctor.

Roland Sheehan left the group and San Mateo in 1969, however by this point the rest of the group had gathered enough recorded items to begin compiling demo reels without him.

Shortly after this, the group met two of their most influential collaborators; a visiting British guitarist and multi-instrumentalist named Philip Lithman, and The Mysterious N. Senada, an eccentric Bavarian avant-garde composer and music theorist, who had appeared unannounced on their doorstep one day and decided to remain with the group in a mentor-like role.

The Warner Bros. Album and Baby Sex (1971)

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N. Senada and the pre-Residents at The Boarding House, 1971

In 1971, the still-unnamed group sent a reel-to-reel tape to Hal Halverstadt, an executive at Warner Bros. Records who had signed Captain Beefheart to the label. Halverstadt was not overly impressed with The W***** B*** Album, but awarded the tape an "A for Ariginality".

Because they had not included any clear name with the tape, the rejection slip was simply addressed to "Residents". The members of the group then adopted this as their official name, initially becoming Residents Uninc. By this time, the group's friend Homer Flynn had formed the graphic design company Porno Graphics and began creating silk-screen prints to accompany the group's increasingly complex recordings.

Their first known performance was at The Boarding House in San Francisco in 1971. A photograph of Lithman playing violin during this performance led to him being given the nickname "Snakefinger", which he would use as his stage name for the rest of his life. The same year another demo tape was completed and submitted to Halverstadt, later known as B.S.. The original cover art for this demo was an image of a woman fellating a small child, blown up from an advertisement for a pornographic magazine from Denmark which the group had received unsolicited in the mail.[1]

Shortly after completing B.S., Residents, Uninc. left San Mateo and relocated to 20 Sycamore Street, San Francisco; a studio they named "El Ralpho". A former print-works, the building featured a completely open ground floor, allowing the group to expand their operations and also begin preliminary work on their most ambitious project up to that point: a full-length film entitled Vileness Fats, which would consume most of their attention for the next four years.

Santa Dog and the birth of Ralph Records (1972)

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Santa Dog

In 1972, The Residents formed Ralph Records as a small independent label to release and promote their own work. To inaugurate the new label, the group recorded and pressed the Santa Dog EP, which became their first recorded output to be released to the public.

Designed to resemble a Christmas card from an insurance company, the EP consisted of two 7" singles, with four songs between them. The group sent copies of Santa Dog to west coast radio stations (as well as Richard Nixon and Frank Zappa) with no response until William Reinhardt, program director of KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon, received a copy and gave it heavy rotation on his show.

Reinhardt met and befriended The Residents at El Ralpho in the summer of 1973, and they gave Reinhardt access to all their recordings, including copies of the original masters of Baby Sex and The Warner Bros. Album.

1974-1982 - The Original Dogma

Meet The Residents (1973)

Following the formation of their record label, the group formally adopted The Residents as their name and released their debut album Meet The Residents on Ralph in 1974. Their most sophisticated recording effort up to that point, Meet The Residents is considered by the group to be the official beginning of their catalog.

The album was compiled (in accordance with N. Senada's Theory of Phonetic Organization) from hours of tapes the group had recorded of regular jam sessions on Tuesdays, and during breaks in the filming of their feature film Vileness Fats. Only forty copies were sold in the first year of its release.

Not Available and The Third Reich 'n Roll (1974-1976)

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"The Enigmatic Foe"

The Residents, by this time, were at a rough point in their career. Personal and creative conflicts had arisen among the group, including the issue of a love triangle involving two Residents. This turmoil eventually resulted in a large, "embarrassing" food fight.[2]

The group ultimately decided to resolve this tension in 1974 by developing an operetta entitled Not Available – taking N. Senada's Theory of Obscurity to its logical conclusion, the completed work was placed in storage, to be released only when everyone involved had forgotten about its existence.

The Residents' second official album The Third Reich 'n Roll followed in 1976. A pastiche on 1960s rock and roll with two tracks, each approximately 17½ minutes long, consisting of cover versions of classic rock and pop songs which had been spliced, overdubbed, and edited with new vocals, instrumentation and tape noises. 

To further promote The Third Reich 'n Roll, a short film was shot on the sets which had been constructed for their ongoing film project Vileness Fats. Also entitled The Third Reich 'n Roll, this film became the group's first music video, and is one of the earliest known examples of the medium.

Abandonment of Vileness Fats and birth of The Cryptic Corporation (1976)

Throughout this time, The Residents had been working tirelessly on Vileness Fats while also producing a steady string of music releases, and by this point they had filmed fourteen hours of raw footage for the film, constituting only two thirds of the still-incomplete script.

To make things worse, the group had chosen to shoot the majority of the film on black and white 1/2" video tape, which while groundbreaking when they first adopted it, had already become obsolete due to the introduction of the superior Beta and VHS colour video formats. Finally, and reluctantly, the group would abandon the project entirely, shortly after the release of The Third Reich 'n Roll.
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Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy!, 1976

Despite this demoralizing failure, the group's fortunes began to improve when The Third Reich 'n Roll's initial pressing sold strongly and also encouraged sales of the first album. The group followed The Third Reich 'n Roll with two singles, "The Beatles Play The Residents And The Residents Play The Beatles" and "Satisfaction", a distorted cover of The Rolling Stones' song which was intended as a distillation of the ideas explored on The Third Reich 'n Roll.

Around this time, the group's friends Homer FlynnHardy FoxJay Clem and John Kennedy formed the management company The Cryptic Corporation to represent them. Clem became their spokesman, Fox edited, produced and compiled their increasingly prolific output, Flynn was already handling Pore Know Graphics, and Kennedy took the role of President (admittedly a fairly empty title, as overall responsibilities were handled more or less equally between the four).

Fingerprince and Duck Stab!/Buster & Glen (1977-1978)

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Fingerprince promotional art, 1977

Fingerprince, a particularly ambitious project not unlike the earlier Not Available recordings in style and scope, was released in 1977. The Residents' original intention with Fingerprince was to release it as the very first "three-sided" album – they had found a way to simulate a third side by arranging the grooves on one side of the vinyl album to play a completely different program of tracks depending on which series of grooves the needle was dropped on.

This idea was abandoned when the group discovered that Monty Python had executed the very same idea three years earlier with their Matching Tie and Handkerchief album. The unissued "third side" of Fingerprince was later released as an EP titled Babyfingers, and the Babyfingers tracks have since been re-integrated into Fingerprince on later reissues.

The Residents followed Fingerprince with the Duck Stab! EP, featuring their most comprehensible pieces of music up to that point. This release would receive positive attention from the music press, further developing the band's cult following. As Duck Stab! was too long for the 7" records it was pressed on, it was thereafter compiled with another suite of tracks from the same period entitled Buster & Glen. The resulting Duck Stab!/Buster & Glen is now regarded as one of their most essential releases.

Eskimo (1979)

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Eskimo, 1979

Following Fingerprince, The Residents began composing their most ambitious conceptual project to date, Eskimo - a "documentary" album containing music consisting of wind sounds, percussion and chanting in a fictional "Polar Eskimo" language. Rather than being songs in the traditional sense, the tracks on Eskimo would more closely resemble "live-action stories" without dialogue.

The recording of Eskimo was fraught with complications, leading to repeated delays and earning the ire of The Cryptic Corporation and Ralph Records. Unwilling to rush their creative process, The Residents disappeared and left the Eskimo master tapes in England with their friend, percussionist Chris Cutler.

With mounting financial obligations to consider, the Cryptics responded by releasing Not Available in 1978. Despite the original conditions of its recording, The Residents were not bothered by this deviation from their plan since the decision to release the album did not affect the philosophical conditions under which it was originally recorded.

Eskimo would finally be released in 1979, and to further promote what the group felt was likely to be their magnum opus, remixed the album's tracks in a disco style, resulting in the 1980 Diskomo EP. Eskimo also boasted the first instance of The Residents wearing eyeball masks and tuxedos, which would later be considered by many to be the most recognizable costume worn by the group.

Commercial Album (1980)

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Four interior decorators of the Apocalypse, 1978

In 1980, The Residents released their Commercial Album, consisting of 40 songs, each lasting one minute. The project was a pastiche of advertising jingles and their similarity to pop singles; the liner notes state that each track on the album should be repeated three times in a row to form a complete "pop song".

To promote Commercial Album, The Residents purchased 40 one-minute advertising slots on San Francisco's most popular Top 40 radio station at the time, KFRC, such that the station played each track of their album over three days. This prompted an editorial in Billboard magazine questioning whether the act was art or advertising.

Commercial Album also led to the creation of One Minute Movies, a short film by The Residents and Graeme Whifler containing four music videos from the album. Created at a time when MTV (and what would later become known as "music video" in general) was its infancy, the group's videos were in heavy rotation on early MTV lineups, since they were among the few music videos available at the time.

The Mole Trilogy and split of The Cryptic Corporation (1981-1983)

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Toothpicks, 1982

In 1981, Mark of the Mole was released as the first part of an expansive trilogy of concept albums. The second part of the trilogy, The Tunes of Two Cities, followed in 1982, with the group's first tour, The Mole Show, following shortly thereafter.

The Mole Show was hosted by Penn Jillette, and featured The Residents performing behind a burlap screen, in a number of disguises (including the eyeball masks) while dancers and actors appeared in front of painted backdrops used to help illustrate the story.

The Mole Show was not a financial success, and seemed to support the band's previous reasons for never performing in a live tour. The tour's failure brought long-lasting tensions within the group to a head and almost resulted in the complete dissolution of the band.
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The Residents performing in 1982

In 1982, John Kennedy and Jay Clem left The Cryptic Corporation following disagreements about the direction of the group. Kennedy took with him the deed to the group's Grove St. studio, and raised the rent to a price the remaining Cryptics and The Residents could not afford to pay.

This change in the band's fortunes resulted in any further work on the Mole Trilogy being placed on hold indefinitely, and The Residents' previously prolific schedule of releases would slow considerably over the next year.

1983-1989 - American Composers, 13th Anniversary and Cube-E

Following the near break-up of the group, The Residents did not release any new music in 1983. They still managed to release the Mole Show live album and video, the Intermission EP, and Title In Limbo, a collaborative album with Ralph label-mates Renaldo & The Loaf, which had mostly been recorded in 1981.

The Residents followed these releases with the introduction of an ambitious new project, The American Composer Series. This series was planned by the group to include at least ten volumes and continue until the year 2000. The first volume, 1984's George & James, profiled the works of George Gershwin on one side, with the other side consisting of a cover of the first half of Live At The Apollo by James Brown.

In 1984, the group also issued Residue of The Residents, a compilation of their "MOP tapes" - outtakes from recording sessions dating from their early recordings to outtakes from The Tunes of Two Cities. This retrospective focus would continue with the release of Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?, a condensed thirty minute edit of the Vileness Fats film, with an entirely new soundtrack created by The Residents.

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The Big Bubble, 1985

In 1985 The Residents would finally return to the Mole Trilogy, producing "part four" of (a planned six), The Big Bubble. Like The Tunes of Two Cities, this album also focused on the culture and music of the fictional civilizations featured therein. In this case, the album presents some songs by a fictional band called The Big Bubble, pictured on the album cover.

After this, the group's Japanese distributor approached them for a two-week run in Japan. Admittedly reluctant at first to return to the stage after the underwhelming response to the Mole Show, The Residents created The 13th Anniversary Show. Unlike The Mole Show, this tour was a financial and critical success, extending through to 1986 and resulting in the release of three live albums. During the US leg of the tour The Residents encountered a few problems, including having the tour manager having to fan a member's keyboard because of overheating, being booked in a pool hall and having someone run on stage only to be thrown back into the audience.

1986

The Residents (and Mr. Skull) perform with Snakefinger, 1986

Backstage at the Hollywood Palace show on December 26, 1985, one Resident's eyeball mask (Mr. Red Eye) was stolen, so it was replaced with a giant skull mask. The eye was returned by a devoted fan who discovered where the thief lived and stole it back, although Homer Flynn said the person who returned the mask was most probably the thief. It was put into retirement because they said it was "unclean" and in a bad condition – a superfluous shell. After this, the affected Resident was known as Mr. Skull.

1986 also saw the release of Stars & Hank Forever, the second (and to date, final) volume of the American Composer Series. The group had hoped to cover a number of different artists, but only two albums from this period saw completion and release, though at least two additional albums (including one dedicated to Sun Ra and Ray Charles, and another dedicated to Harry Partsch and Harry Nilsson) are known to have been at least partially attempted. The 13th Anniversary Tour concluded in January 1987 in San Francisco, with a special appearance by Penn and Teller.

In 1987, The Residents were preparing God In Three Persons, their most ambitious concept album since Eskimo, when they received the news that their friend and long-time collaborator Philip "Snakefinger" Lithman had died of a sudden heart attack. The Residents performed at a wake in his honor, and this performance was later re-recorded in the studio and released in a limited edition as The Snakey Wake EP. Despite this unanticipated tragedy, the group continued to work on God In Three Persons despite not having been able to record Snakefinger's guitar parts as planned.

God In Three Persons, a lengthy poetic fable in a clear narrative format, tells the story of a disgraced evangelist named Mr. X who visits a carnival and becomes entranced by a pair of mysterious and androgynous conjoined twins. Musically, it features a recurring motif based on "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" by The Swinging Medallions (earlier featured in The Third Reich 'n Roll). The album was finished and released in 1988 as their first album to be designed specifically for compact disc.

In 1988, UWEB (or Uncle Willie's Eyeball Buddies) was formed as a successor to the long-defunct W.E.I.R.D. fan club. UWEB was unique, in that The Residents directly participated in its existence, providing otherwise unavailable recordings for limited, subscriber only releases. Over the course of its existence, UWEB would release nine CDs featuring unheard music from the group's past and present, including The Snakey Wake, Liver Music, Daydream B-Liver and Stranger Than Supper.

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Cube-E, 1989

In 1989, The Residents premiered their third tour, Cube-E, a three-act performance covering the history of American music. It was a step up from previous shows, featuring more elaborate dance numbers and sets. It was also the first show composed exclusively of music written specifically for the show. The show was almost entirely backlit, with blacklights highlighting fluorescent pieces of costumes and set. The first part of this show would be recorded in the studio and released as the UWEB Buckaroo Blues EP, and the third part would become 1989's The King & Eye, a surreal biography of Elvis Presley consisting entirely of covers of classic Presley singles.

1990-1997 - The Multimedia Era

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In 1990, The Residents turned their attention to emerging computer technology, beginning to make the majority of their music with MIDI devices, which would define their sound during this time. With these new instruments, they recorded and released Freak Show.

A concept album, each track offers an insight to the character of a circus freak. The Freak Show concept would recur repeatedly throughout the early-to-mid 1990s as The Residents became educated in new technologies and mediums (including a graphic novel).

1992 saw the group's 20th anniversary, which they celebrated with the release of Our Finest Flowers, an album which consists of new tracks made from elements of tracks from their entire discography.

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Gingerbread Man, 1994

In 1994, The Residents released Gingerbread Man, featuring their first foray into computer graphics. The Gingerbread Man CD was "enhanced" with additional CD-ROM content, marking the beginning of a series of experiments by the group with this new format (in collaboration with artist Jim Ludtke). The group also revisited the Freak Show album for a CD-ROM by Voyager in the same year.

At this time, The Residents were also working on an album entitled That Slab Called Night, which would eventually be reconstituted as the instrumental soundtrack to the Discovery Channel documentary series Hunters: The World of Predators and Prey in 1995.
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Timmy in Bad Day On The Midway

In 1995, The Residents released what would be their final complete experiment with the CD-ROM format, the immersive game Bad Day On The Midway. This game was accompanied by a soundtrack album, Have A Bad Day, the following year.

In November 1995, Freak Show was also developed into a stage performance by a theater company at the Archa Theater in Prague. This performance differed from the group's previous shows in that they did not actually perform - rather, the "Freak Show Orchestra" consisted primarily of the band Už Jsme Doma.

1997 is often referred to as "the missing year" in Residents history, as the group worked on a number of new projects during the year but no new releases ensued. Despite this, they created a new live performance piece entitled "Disfigured Night" during this period, which would be performed a handful of times throughout the year, culminating in their performance at the Fillmore. The Residents would make one final attempt at a CD-ROM game, I Murdered Mommy!, in 1998, but the collapse of the CD-ROM industry (and their publishing company Inscape) resulted in the group leaving this effort unfinished and unreleased.

1998-2009 - The "Storyteller" Era

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Wormwood Live, 1999

The Residents released Wormwood in 1998. A concept album, Wormwood's lyrics are derived from violent stories from the Bible. The group toured to support the album, and these performances featured the group departing from pre-programmed music and again using a live band, including guitarist Nolan Cook.

2001 saw the group undertake a retrospective multimedia project entitled Icky Flix, resulting in a DVD, an album, and a live show.

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Mr. Wonderful, 2003

As a response to the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks, The Residents released the album Demons Dance Alone in 2002, and followed this with a tour of the same name. In an unusual move, the album handed almost half of the vocal duties to vocalist Molly Harvey.

In February 2005, The Residents toured Australia as part of the What is Music? Festival with their 33rd Anniversary show, a two-hour retrospective set entitled The Way We Were. The performances on The Way We Were tour were recorded and were released in 2005 as a limited edition CD and DVD set. 2005 also saw the release of the concept album Animal Lover, which tells a series of stories of human failures and misery, as seen from the perspective of animals.
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The Way We Were, 2005

In 2006, The Residents launched a hard-boiled crime serial, The River of Crime - their first project with Warner Music Group's Cordless label. Following the success of the podcast, The Residents launched their weekly Timmy video series on YouTube.

In 2007 the group recorded the score for the documentary Strange Culture and also released a double instrumental album, Night of the Hunters, in which they revisited the 1994 sessions which became the soundtrack to the documentary series Hunters. In October, the album The Voice of Midnight (inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "Der Sandmann"), was released on Mute Records.

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The Bunny Boy

In 2008, The Residents announced on their website that they would begin their first American tour since Demons Dance Alone in support of an album entitled The Bunny Boy, which was released in September. The tour began the following October, with further dates in Europe in November. The Bunny Boy project also included a YouTube video series of the same name, which was later compiled and released on DVD as Is Anybody Out There? in 2009.

2009 also saw the release of The UGHS! - a mostly instrumental album made up of music composed earlier in the group's career, which had then been completely reworked for The Voice of Midnight.

2010-2016 - The "Randy, Chuck and Bob" Era

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Talking Light, 2010-2012

In January 2010, The Residents began a new tour named Talking Light, with dates in North America and Europe. For this tour, which lasted until April 2011, The Residents appeared as a trio, as well as seemingly revealing their identities: "Randy", "Chuck" and "Bob", with a fourth member, "Carlos", having recently left the group to care for his ailing mother in Mexico, after deciding that "the rock 'n' roll life style wasn't for him after all".

Randy Rose, the singing Resident, wore a mask resembling an old, bald man, while keyboardist and composer Charles "Chuck" Bobuck and guitarist Lionel Bob wore dreadlock wigs, illuminated breathing apparatus and goggles.

Talking Light told stories about various characters' obsessions with ghosts, imaginary people, and supernatural phenomena. One of these performances was featured as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival curated by Matt Groening in May 2010 in Minehead, England.
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"Sam" 2012

The Residents released several albums related to the Talking Light concept between 2010 and 2012, including the instrumental albums Dollar General and Chuck's Ghost Music, live album Bimbo's Talking Light, and studio album Lonely Teenager. In October 2010, Rose performed a set of thirteen Residents tracks in Olomouc, Czech Republic, with the band Už Jsme Doma, who had previously been involved in creating the Freak Show Live performance in 1995.

In late 2011, The Residents presented a new performance piece at The Marsh in Berkeley, California, entitled So Long Sam. A new version of this piece, retitled Sam's Enchanted Evening, was subsequently performed as a Randy Rose solo venture in March 2012 at Henry Street Settlement in New York City.

In January 2012, The Residents released the album Coochie Brake under the guise of Sonidos de la Noche. Coochie Brake focused on an ambient and slightly ethnic sound, with vocals by the group's former drummer Carlos.

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Delivery of an Ultimate Box Set

In December, The Residents released an infomercial starring Rose, announcing the availability of The Residents' Ultimate Box Set - a 28-cubic-foot refrigerator containing the first pressings of every Residents release to date, as well as other ephemera (such as an eyeball mask and top hat). The Cryptic Corporation advised in a press release that the intended audience for this project was within the realm of fine art, and, accordingly, the price of the set is $100,000.

In January 2013, The Residents began their "40th Anniversary Show" (actually taking place on their 41st anniversary), the second in the Randy, Chuck and Bob trilogy, entitled The Wonder of Weird. Bobuck later claimed to have experienced health problems during the first show of the tour.

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Randy, 2013

In 2014, it was reported that the band were taking part in the filming of a documentary, Theory of Obscurity, directed by Don Hardy and offering "an unparalleled glimpse behind the scenes of the world's most mysterious band". The film was completed in 2015 and premiered at SXSW Film Festival.

In May 2014, the final installment in the group's Randy, Chuck and Bob Trilogy was launched, a new tour entitled Shadowland. Partway through the tour, Bobuck, announced he was retiring from live performances. Following this, he retired from the group altogether, continuing a solo recording career outside the auspices of The Residents.

The Residents signed to Cherry Red Records and in September 2016 announced their next studio album (and their last to feature direct input from Bobuck), The Ghost of Hope, with the release of a single, "Rushing Like A Banshee". The Ghost of Hope is a concept album derived from historical accounts of train accidents. In November, the group released a video featuring Randy, announcing a new film project entitled Double Trouble, which would incorporate the footage from the unfinished film Vileness Fats into an entirely new story.

2017-present - The "Real" Residents

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The "Real" Residents, 2017

In March 2017, following the release of The Ghost of Hope, The Residents begin touring a new performance entitled In Between Dreams beginning in Japan and continuing with further dates in Wales. With these performances the band introduced a new four-person line-up - Tyrone on vocals, Eekie on guitar, Erkie on keyboards and Cha Cha on percussion.

The group announced during this time that they were working on two new studio albums, a concept album about people and objects that recur intrusively in peoples' minds entitled Intruders, and a blues-influenced album with the working title Dyin' Dog. Tracks from both upcoming albums would be premiered over the course of the In Between Dreams tour.

In 2017 the group also announced a new concept - a PledgeMusic campaign asking fans to submit covers of their favorite Residents tracks from the length of their career to be compiled into an album entitled I Am A Resident!

I Am A Resident! and Intruders were both completed and released during 2018, alongside the first entries in Cherry Red Records' ambitious pREServed series of newly remastered and expanded editions of the group's discography, beginning with the first four studio albums (not including Not Available) in early and late 2018, as well the first-ever official release of their 1971 demo tape The W***** B*** Album as a limited edition vinyl pressing for Record Store Day in April.

In mid-2018, The Residents also announced a novel entitled The Brick-Eaters, to be released via Feral House. The novel, described as "an absurdist buddy movie of a story featuring a very tall and young internet content screener teamed up with an aging career criminal whose primary companions are an oxygen bottle and a .44 Magnum", was released later in the year, supported by public readings from the book by Homer Flynn (in his guise as "Captain Doc" of The Cryptic Corporation) with minimal musical accompaniment by The Residents themselves.

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Hardy Fox, 2018

Shortly after the release of Intruders, on October 30th, the group suffered a significant loss when their long-time manager, collaborator, producer and arranger Hardy Fox passed away following a short battle with brain cancer.

According to an official statement from the group posted after his passing, "Fox's influence on The Residents was indelible; despite any formal training, his musicality was nevertheless unique, highly refined and prolific. Blessed with a vital sense of aesthetics, a keen ear, and an exquisite love of the absurd, Hardy's smiling face was a constant source of joy to those around him. He will be missed."[3]

The life of Hardy Fox was celebrated by his friends and collaborators later in the year at the "Hardy Party" (named in the spirit of the group's earliest performances in 1971 and 1972).

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God In Three Persons Live, 2019-2020

The pREServed series continued throughout January 2019 with expanded remasters of Eskimo and Commercial Album, as well as a six disc Mole Trilogy box set in April, and a limited edition vinyl pressing of their hitherto unreleased demo tape B.S. for Record Store Day. In April, the group also premiered a live version of God In Three Persons in Bourges, France. This theatrical version of the group's 1988 album is expected to continue with further dates announced for January 2020 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The Residents released In Between Dreams Live, a live album featuring performances from the In Between Dreams tour, on Secret Records in July 2019. A three disc pREServed God In Three Persons set followed suit in August. In September, the group released a limited edition box set of five 7" singles featuring demos by obscure Louisiana blues singer Alvin "Dyin' Dog" Snow. These demos will be the basis for a cover album recorded by The Residents, entitled Metal, Meat & Bone, which is expected for release in early 2020.

The first phase of the pREServed campaign concluded in November 2019 with the release of an expanded Not Available, alongside a compilation of the group's early recordings entitled A Nickle If Your Dick's This Big. Further releases in the series are expected in 2020, including American Composer Series and Cube-E box sets, and a remastered edition of Freak Show.

In late 2019, The Residents announced a new tour, Dog Stab!, to begin in April 2020 in support of the release of Metal, Meat & Bone. In January 2020 the group will release their first stand-alone spoken word piece, The Healer and the Archer, as a limited edition single-sided LP with art by Leigh Barbier.

Identities

The Residents catalogue

See also

External links and references

  1. http://alienatedinvancouver.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-residents-return-to-vancouver-homer.html
  2. "The True Story of The Residents" by Matt Groening
  3. News Machine, October 30, 2018
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