Showing posts with label The Residents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Residents. Show all posts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Strangers Have Left On Longer Trains Before - Ghost of Hope by the Residents ~ a Review... sort of


Well, the superintendents of the subterranean have done it again. Ghost of Hope, the latest release by the Residents, delivers everything fans have come to expect from the masters of storytelling... and more.

If you're reading this, then you probably already know about the Residents, therefore I'll forego an introduction here, but if you need more background, cheque out this link - The Residents or What Does Salt Smell Like?

Life is a Lonely Train

I waited a long time for this release and was so excited when my special order from Psychofon Records finally arrived. It was special because I received two different, limited edition pressings of the Ghost of Hope; the Die Hard Lenticular Set and the Collector Edition. The latter being black and red speckled over white vinyl. The Collector Edition is limited to 250 numbered pressings and includes a six postcard set. 

Photo credit N Ritchie

The Die Hard Edition is limited to 100 pressings. This package includes two one-sided clear discs with a distinctive red spot in the center. 


I collect medical X-rays and have a snazzy light screen for viewing them. When I noticed that the cover art on the Die Hard Edition is translucent and resembles X-ray prints, I couldn't resist taking a look. 


The label image is lenticular, meaning that it appears differently depending on viewer perspective. 

 3D images of lenticular label

Also included in the Die Hard edition is a 7" one-sided glow in the dark 45 rpm record featuring the song,Train vs Elephant
Photo credit Don Fickles

And, as if that wasn't enough, the Die Hard Edition also includes a 10" x 10" lenticular print of the album cover.
3D representation of 10"x10" lenticular print

Another limited edition version of Ghost of Hope was released a few weeks later. The Red Splatter version is limited to 100 pressings and may be the most striking visual of any of the versions.


 bright background
I'm not even going to mention the music on Ghost of Hope except to say that this record was produced by and features Eric Drew Feldman of Captain Beefheart, Snakefinger and Gong fame. Nolan Cook is credited for his contributions on guitar. Also noteworthy is the fact that this will be the last Residents record to feature the original Residents since Charles Bobuck recently announced his departure from the band. 
numbers 22

Good luck finding one



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bunny Boy Halloween

Where, oh where has Bunny Boy gone? 
Where, oh where can he be? 
Did he find his missing brother, Harvey? 
Did Bunny kill the Beast and save the world? 
Did good triumph over evil or did the corporations win? 

A whole lot of folks have been wondering.

Well, that's a whole lot of questions, and maybe it's no one's damn business what Bunny has been up to. But since you asked... the fact* is, Bunny recently turned up near the shores of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, behind the Zion Curtain. 


Apparently, Bunny had long overstayed his welcome at the old Balfour place in Erda where he had been staying as a guest of an old friend, Merdis. Bunny finally did find Harvey though. Maybe. Bunny said that he saw a guy who "looked an awful lot like Harvey" on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. He was passing out Book of Mormons, or Books of Mormon, (I'm not sure which). He looked a lot like Harvey. Bunny was almost 100% convinced it was him but was too scared to talk to him. The cat had his tongue. I'll bet that hurt.

Bunny was still fast asleep in the guest haus, (actually an old shed he shared with a wheel barrow and other burryin' tools), when Merdis arrived to evict him. Bunny got dressed and announced that he was heading to Santa Cruz, CA for Halloween and immediately departed on his long journey across two and a half states. 

Bunny saw lots of interesting things whilst walking across the desert; salt water, rocks, dirt, even some bushes. The Jack Rabbits were all unfriendly and didn't want to talk to him though. That made Bunny sad. 

Half way across Nevada, Bunny's feet were tired so he decided to take a rest at the Bunny Farm. It wasn't what he expected, and he didn't get any rest there, but he did get off his feet for a while. 

Bunny decided to hitch-hike the rest of the way and the nice folks at the Bunny Farm gave him a square of cardboard to make a sign. Bunny borrowed the official Bunny Farm magick marker pen and wrote upon the cardboard. Everyone figured he'd write "Santa Cruz" or something like that. But instead, he wrote: "Hi, I'm NOT crazy" so that people would know that he isn't crazy. That'd help him get a ride, he thought. 

Before long, a blue Subaru, not sure what kind, (they all look alike), stopped and gave Bunny a lift. It was a nice woman named Edweena, and she was going to Santa Cruz too. She told Bunny that she's a yoga instructor there. Bunny told Edweena all about the bunny pose and made her promise to incorporate it in her own yoga routine. 

Bunny talked Edweena's ear off. He had a few stories to tell, and after hours of Randy this, and mama's boy Carlos that, Edweena had had enough and turned up the 70's TV theme music they had been listening to in an attempt to drown the chatter. Bunny talked louder. Edweena handed Bunny a case full of compact discs and asked him if there was something he might want to listen to. He thumbed through the selections, mostly crap, and then pulled out what he said was one of his favorites. They spent the next couple of hours listening to the throat singing selections of Chirglechin. Edweena was surprised that Bunny could sing along and knew all the songs. A mysterious bunny indeed.

Edweena dropped off Bunny next to Charlie Hong Kong's on Seabright Ave, and told him how to get to the bus stop. He was glad that Edweena hadn't murdered him in the desert for his lucky rabbit feet. They're a pricey commodity these days, and a big pair like Bunny's, would fetch buku dinero on the streets. In parting, Edweena presented Bunny with a nice card that depicted Sasquatch with bunny ears that she had attached with duct tape. Inside the card, she wrote, 
"Bunny, thanks for riding to Santa Cruz with me. You are an amazing bunny. Your yoga friend, Edweena" 
 Actually Bunny made the card, but he pretended that Edweena had given it to him.  

After a quick bus ride to downtown, Bunny found himself in his own habitat. He even met some nice bunnies there. Bunny reveled in, and relived memories of his glory days when he was big on the YouTube and starred in the Rez E Dents premier of the Bunny Boy at the Rio, right here in Santa Cruz. Those were good times. 

The next day, Bunny was out of his suit, and going somewhere. He didn't say where.

Bunny was last spotted eating chicken somewhere in remote Nevada, at these coordinates 
40° 21' 03'' N 
117° 20' 48'' W  

* and of course none of this really happened... or did it? 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

SHADOWLAND in 3D - Another Evening with the Residents at the Rio

Part Three of the Randy, Chuck and Bob Trilogy
 This is not a 3D photo

OK, I've seen the Residents perform probably more than most people should. And I've been fortunate to see the Residents perform at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, CA more than every other venue combined. That was easy to do when I lived in Santa Cruz, only a couple of blocks from the Rio, but now I live behind the Zion Curtain - a long thirteen-hour drive away.
3d photo of the Rio Theatre doors.

3D photo of a Hello Dolly record that Skinny found in the hall.

I go back home to Santa Cruz as frequently as possible and had been waiting for the Residents to announce US tour dates so that I could plan around that. One day, I learned through the grapevine that the Residents would be playing the Rio on March 12, giving me about three weeks to get time off, make travel arrangements and secure lodging. That's usually easy for me to do, but this time there were numerous obstacles to overcome... however, I made it.
I was pretty stoked when my tickets showed up in the mail. It was much easier when I could drop into Logos or Streetlight and buy tickets, but it was awesome that there was an on-line option. 

The long drive across Nevada was agonizing as usual. By the time I got to Auburn, I began to remember what it felt like to be alive again. My skin immediately responded to the wonderful moist air. So nice to be able to breathe. I sometimes feel somewhat suffocated out in the arid Deseret Territory. 

Revitalized! The wild mouse ride* from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz kept me awake and B4** I knew it, I was on Highway one, heading to my daughter's house in Pleasure Point where she and my son were waiting for me. All of us attended the show at the Rio the following night. My kids both grew up listening to the Residents and this was my 22 year old daughter's first Residents performance. Shadowland was my 25 year old son's sixth Residents show. He's been attending Residents performances with me since he was ten years old. Lucky lad!
Rio doors

There would be only two shows on this tour and when it was announced that Shadowland would be Charles Bobuck's final tour with the Residents, I was happy that I could attend to say adios to Chuck and wish him well. 
3d photo of the Rio Theatre ticket booth.

There were lots of familiar faces in attendance. Old Santa Cruz friends and folks I've met while waiting in line at other Residents shows. Residents people is good people.
3d photo of the Rio Theatre doors. 

The show opened with a 20 minute video that cataloged a short history of of the superintendents of the subterranean. Then after a short period of prelude music, (selections from Charles Bobuck's the Highway), the lights dimmed, and one by one, the Residents took the stage.
3D photo of projection orb. 

The first song of the evening was Rabbit Habit, from the Bunny Boy album. The singer was wearing a horned skull mask, white gloves, and a long-tail white jacket over a tight body suit made to look like muscles, veins and cartilage. He also sported a fancy golden codpiece.
Photo courtesy of Rich O`Rielly  

 Photo courtesy of Don Fickles

At the conclusion of Rabbit Habit, the singer ripped his mask off and revealed his face. "Surprise! It's me, Randy, singer for the Residents," he announced. We were all SO surprised.
Photo Courtesy of Don Fickles. 

Randy introduced Chuck as "my former friend, the despicable Carlos." I suppose it was a jibe in reference to Chuck's announcement that he was retiring from touring. Throughout the Randy, Chuck and Bob Trilogy, Randy has consistently bad-mouthed Carlos, the Residents former drummer, because he retired from the band. Get over it, Randy!
 Photo courtesy of Rich O`Rielly

 Photo courtesy of Rich O`Rielly

Dressed in white jackets, the residents delivered an up-beat Vegas style show. Bob, who is often found sitting, Fripp style, at Residents performances, stood tall to assume rock star position for this tour. I really enjoyed watching his tall lanky frame squeeze out every last squeak and scratch from his guitar. Incredible.
Photo courtesy of Rich O`Rielly

Photo Courtesy of Don Fickles. 

Shadowland is Part 3 of the Randy Chuck and Bob Trilogy and is all about birth and rebirth. The previous two shows on the Trilogy tours were about death and love, respectively. Therefore, the Randy Chuck and Bob Trilogy is "life in reverse" according to Randy. "What a concept" 

Shadowed Shadowlanders in 3D- life in reverse


3D photo of projection orb. 

Nifty images were projected onto a 5' diameter inflated orb as the power trio played their thematic musical selections of familiar tunes. Every few minutes, the lights would dim, and the Residents would stand at attention as short Shadow Stories were projected onto the orb.  

The Libertine - photo courtesy of Don Fickles

The Diver - Photo Courtesy of Don Fickles

Photo courtesy of Don Fickles

There were six Shadow Stories in all. The short monologues by the Butcher, the Libertine, the Garbage Man, the Diver, the Model's Mother, and the Engineer were humorous and a bit dark. Whenever I see a Residents performance, I'm reminded how dark they can be and I ask myself, "Do I really like this?"

The Residents chose Mourning Glories, one of my long time favorite songs, as an encore. The song originally appeared on the Not Available album which was my very first Residents record that I purchased at Cosmic Aeroplane way back in 1979.

As usual, there was some fancy schwag available for purchase. There were only 75-80 copies of a special edition Shadow Stories CD that were exclusively available at this show as part of the Shadowland CD debut. 
Limited edition Shadow Stories compact disc on fancy transparent wrapping shroud.

The limited edition Shadowland/Shadow Stories CD set came wrapped in a fancy transparent cellophane shroud that was easy and fun to unwrap & re-wrap. The Shadow Stories CD is made to look like a tiny record - black with grooves.
Shadowland/Shadow Stories CD's on shroud and backside of  Theory of Obscurity T-shirt.

From Santa Cruz, the Residents were off to premier their new documentary film, Theory of Obscurity at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX. The Residents will also perform at SXSW which will be the final show on this tour. 
Photo courtesy of Rich O`Rielly

I'm interested to see the Residents' next incarnation. Will there be a Randy and Bob duo? Will the Residents break up? Will Chuck be uploaded onto the Residents' main-frame and become an electronique participant at future tours? Unanswered questions. 

Special thanks to Rich O'Rielly and Don Fickles for allowing me to use their photos.

* Highway 17 

** Santa Cruz lingo 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Residents - Again? Part 2 of the Randy, Chuck and Bob Trilogy

I've lost count of how many times I've shoveled snow this winter. My neighbor, Dylan, has been nice to clear the sidewalk in front of my house a couple of times with a snow blower. I have been using the old school method - snow shovel, which is sadly the only real exercise I get.

Three inches of ice covered by a foot of snow atop my roof for months on end has been far too common, therefore, earlier this month, a friend and I drove all the way to Santa Cruz, CA to get away from what seemed like an unrelenting winter, and to do some stuff that can't be enjoyed here in Utah, behind the Zion Curtain. 
One of the primary reasons we went to Santa Cruz was to see the Residents 40th Anniversary Tour at the Rio Theatre. Their final show on their US tour. 
The Residents power trio of Randy, Chuck and Bob played some of their biggest hits and even did a tribute to the late great Snakefinger. 
I love going to the Seabright Beach overlook at Atlantic Ave and 3rd where it is common to see a large peace sign constructed on the sand. 
I was getting some strange vibration sounds when driving between 15 and 20 mph, so I took my car to my mechanic friend, Waid, who checked it out thoroughly and informed me that it was only a tire wearing issue. Waid didn't even charge me for the inspection. I replaced and upgraded the tires when I got back to Utah. 

While we were waiting for Waid to inspect my car, we took a loaner over to Rosicrucian park in San Jose to check out the Egyptian museum there but unfortunately it was closed that day. 
The grounds of the museum and park were a nice place to relax whilst we waited to hear from Waid.


As usual, the pacific Ocean was spectacular. This picture was taken at Natural Bridges State Park.
Aaron's two grapefruit trees presented us with a most delicious specimen... BEST grapefruit I've ever eaten. 
And one that was a bit over-ripe.
The snails were having their way with Aaron's garden. He battled the slimy creatures every night and by the time we departed, it appeared that he had the upper hand on the situation. 
Before leaving town, we stumbled on a Blorb on Pacheco Avenue. God bless Brad Stock!
Twas wonderful to see my kids and SO many good friends. SO difficult to leave. I'll be back.