The Residents
Guy Lochhead, 24/04/12
Prolific American art collective formed in 1969 known for their uniquely avant-garde take on rock music and folkloric band history. They work anonymously, disguising their identities with eyeball helmets, top hats and tuxedos. Their music often deconstructs Western pop music in a highly conceptual way, frequently quoting, sampling and plagiarising other artists to make their point. They pioneered the music video as an art form, and were in heavy rotation during the early days of MTV. Many of those early videos are now preserved in the MOMA. To be honest, the whole legend around the band is impossible to summarise here. Extraordinarily ambitious, funny, genuinely mysterious and intelligent; the Residents are an antidote to homogenised boring music. In my opinion, the stories and background are as important as the actual music, so I will include ‘Meet The “Residents”: America’s Most Eccentric Quartet’ by Ian Shirley, as well as a copy of the ‘Meet The Residents’ album. Grrrreat stuff, but I feel like the listener has to navigate the discography for themselves…

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