December 14, 2006

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The Residents, Tweedles
Mute Records, 2006

Those in the audience young enough to find purpose in guzzling overpriced Bud and driving home stag Saturday night after Saturday night may need a little Residents 101, a course that literally can't contain 100 percent accurate material. Weeding through the legends, including the one about the Residents actually being The Beatles, the best-held belief is that the band in fact consists solely of Homer Flynn and Hardy Fox, two parts of the band's Cryptic Corporation management team. For their 2006 effort, the "band" has mashed together street-artist clatter, industrial heaviness, keyboard atmospherics and the Bucharest Film Orchestra to tell the musical story of "a vampire who eats broken hearts." As deconstructionist as that reads, it's even eerier in practice, sort of a cross between Jim Thirlwell's Drano-gulping habit and the soundtrack to Bram Stoker's Dracula. The listener becomes a lost traveler in a Fellini-esque city where there's a choice between salvation and self-destruction around every corner, and the latter wins out every time. B-

Eric W. Saeger