The Residents


Jake and I debated for hours over which band should be the subject of our First Ever Post, but in the end, there was only one band we could agree on: The Residents. Weird bands don’t come any weirder than this mysterious foursome, who have been cranking out bizarre, experimental music (some of which most folks probably wouldn’t even call “music”) for about four decades.

Right from the get-go, The Residents were unlike anything that come before them. They kept their identities secret and rarely gave live performances until the early ’80s, when they finally began doing concerts dressed in matching tuxedos, top hats and giant eyeball masks. Their albums were pastiches of tape loop samples from other recordings, atonal skronk, carnivalesque psych-rock and avant-garde noise. They are perhaps best-known for 1980’s Commercial Album, a collection of 40 one-minute songs that the band explained could be rendered into conventional pop songs just by playing them three times in a row. To get the songs on San Francisco Top 40 radio, the band bought advertising time and broadcast them as commercials.

We know you’re probably asking yourself: Why the one skull mask? In 1985, the lead singer’s eyeball mask was stolen, so he replaced it with a giant skull mask and changed his stage name to “Mr. Skull.” When a fan returned the old eyeball mask, the band announced that the mask was now “unclean” and therefore would be retired. See? It all makes perfect sense.

We could go on about how unbelievably weird The Residents are, but honestly, our writing skills are probably not up to the task. Instead, we leave you with this video from one of their live shows. [Update: The video we originally posted has been removed, but this music video is actually way cooler anyway.] This song, “Constantinople” (not to be confused with the catchy ditty popularized by They Might Be Giants), comes from the 1978 album Duck Stab/Buster & Glen, which is widely considered to be one of the band’s more “accessible” efforts. Accessible to who, exactly, we’re not sure.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


10 thoughts on “The Residents

  1. I think this is among the most important info for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is
    really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  2. Greetings, I do believe your site could possibly be having web browser
    compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with
    a quick heads up! Apart from that, fantastic site!

  3. Pingback: Cromagnon « The Weirdest Band in the World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s