Monday, February 8, 2010

The Residents - 9:30 Club - Feb 7 2010

The Residents - Walking about a mile through 2 feet of snow only plowed at some points, was the task before me prior to a date with the Residents.  Being that tours are infrequent (they did not happen for at least a decade back in the day) for this band that has been around for 40 some years, the snow difficulty was a small price to pay. The fireplace and beat up lounge chair on stage looked inviting. They also had the three circular projection screens set up that I saw the one prior time I saw them in the mid 80s. Three Residents hit the stage, one in an old man half-mask complete with bathrobe. The other two looked like rastafarian cyborgs. They flanked the stage on guitar and keyboards/electronics.  The old man went by the name of Randy and the others were Chuck and Bob. He explained Carlos had retired which was fine as they did not miss his ten minute drum solos. Of course all of this only exists in their bizarre world, as their real identities have always been a mystery. They have done such a good job of secrecy, they will be able to keep this band going for centuries. Perhaps in the early days it would have been tough recruiting people into their very strange and singular music, but they have paved the way for many other bands that do this sort of thing. Still, as I listened, there is just something about their peculiar style that makes you feel their brand of weird and fun music. They mixed musical short stories with songs of varying tempos, even a couple that rocked a bit. Light humor, dark themes, good staging, very similar to the previous show with an entirely different set of songs. There was good slide guitar work, strong electronics and even a harmonica that would fit in Once Upon a Time in the West. All surrounded the active vocalist who had a lot to say and a lot to sing. No eyeball heads, alas, but the Residents do move on (as is obvious if you follow them musically). A refreshing show from my past which resonated just as well today.

Quote of the Night: The usual door routine-- "Could you pull (your hood out of the way so I can see your face)", "What I really look under 50?", "Yeah, not a day over 16". Oh the fun of dealing with the 9:30 workforce.

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