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The 13th Anniversary Show Live Tokyo

The Residents

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Album Review

The 13th Anniversary Tour marked the last live appearance of Snakefinger with the Residents and was the only time the group took to the stage with an armload of career spanning material, not centered around one concept album. Expanded from the original Torso release by eight tracks, the song list ranges from the early "Eloise" (from Vileness Fats) to their angst-ridden cover of James Brown's "Man's World." The band, relying heavily on the Emulator synth and the fiery angular distortion of Snakefinger's guitar, bring life to even the slightest of their material, rendering "Monkey and Bunny" from their snoozy team-up with Renaldo and the Loaf into something approaching a frightening beauty. The lead Resident's vocals burst forth with bile and confusion, letting out a cathartic wail on the show closing "Cry for the Fire." The remaster adds some applause into an original mix that was once all the more devastating when it seemed like they were playing for an enthusiastic crowd of three in an echoing hall. That quibble aside, this is one of the finest live documents of this mysterious group.


Formed: 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Over the course of a recording career spanning several decades, the Residents remained a riddle of Sphinx-like proportions; cloaking their lives and music in a haze of willful obscurity, the band's members never identified themselves by name, always appearing in public in disguise — usually tuxedos, top hats and giant eyeball masks — and refusing to grant media interviews. Drawing inspiration from the likes of fellow innovators including Harry Partch, Sun Ra, and Captain Beefheart, the...
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