Album Reviews

Be sure that you’re in the right mental state to handle this


Have you ever hear of THE RESIDENTS?

I always wanted to hear Gomer Pyle sing through a megaphone! Ahhhhh…….yes!

This avante garde group formed in the early seventies. Their album cover of MEET THE RESIDENTS is a parody of The Beatles famous record. They sound like nothing else I have ever heard of before.

I guess you could compare them to the likes of Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart. Perhaps some strange jazz compositions as well. Vaudeville, carnivals, weird voices, rock n roll noises and disorienting sound effects all make up this art form.

Just like The Gorillaz, this group of musicians keeps their identities mysterious. They wear disguises to maintain their anonymity.

So on the first album (of an amazing 60 altogether), known as MEET THE RESIDENTS, there is random piano strikings. It all sounds sloppy and even amateur but on purpose. Somehow their riffs are catchy while annoying too. At first I was confused but somehow became hooked on their stuff.

It’s really weird and playful with silly dialogue

It’s collage art but with various noises instead of pictures pasted together.

It’s genius
it’s mood altering

it’s the first record in a series of my future postings

I’ll give you a clue and requirements of what I consider to be weird, obscure, talented, classic and bizarre.

My criteria for excellence is quite simple. Two concepts. One is…..Many artists invent a new language for music and emotion OR the second…..artists use that language in an emotionally powerful way. The greatest albums do both!

Album Reviews

I wanna find this one on vinyl

I remember it was the late 90’s when I was looking through one particular issue of Rolling Stone magazine. There was a list of the best albums (at least according to the staff of the magazine). I stumbled upon a review of this person named Captain Beefheart. It seemed like a strange name. Yet I wanted to know more about this unusual record, “Trout Mask Replica.” This was an interesting cover and title for sure. I listened to samples on an mp3 website and thought, “boy this is total rubbish.” So I moved on and focused my attention elsewhere.

Then a few years later, I think around 2002-2003, I came across it again at a Tower Records. It was playing over the intercom and suddenly I found myself liking what I was hearing. Not sure why this happens to many of us. We hate spinach as a kid but then later in life we somehow LOVE IT. We cherish a certain movie as a little boy but then HATE IT when we get older. This happened to me with Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band TROUT MASK REPLICA.

This stuff is unique. It is a fusion of delta blues, country, free form jazz, and boogie. This record influenced numerous albums for years to come. These 28 tracks do test patience and tolerance for their unusual arrangements. A casual listener, like I once was, could get easily bewildered by this barrage of vocals and chaotic music. Frank Zappa was the producer and he helped formulate an abstract painting of pure enjoyment of the avant-garde. This was really a 60’s masterpiece.

I finally caved in and bought it on cd. I listened to it numerous times. I love the improvised lack of structure, yet amazing guitar thrashings and tight drumming it possesses. Its really silly and basically makes no sense. Random saxophones and clarinets and seemingly lack of structures. It has this way of transforming my mood to another place.

John Peel (British DJ) once said, “If there has been anything in the history of popular music which could be described as a work of art in a way that people who are involved in other areas of art would understand, then Trout Mask Replica is probably that work.”

The captain (real name, Don Glen Vliet) and his boys exploded violently away from the norm and decided to explore new territories altogether.If I could find this beauty in vinyl format, I would buy it.