George Starostin's Reviews



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Mike West <> (20.01.2003)

You know, I think that to chalk the Residents up to "parodists" is to miss a great dal of the point. They were always much more than this: even at their silliest and most direct parroting of other artists, the Rz were making music that said "[The Beatles/Elvis/James Brown/etc.] might sound like THIS if they ignored the charts and just followed their unfiltered muse!" And more importantly, I think that if you listen to them enough times, however weird their songs are, there's a certain internal structure and texture to them that really is very pretty and interesting. That is all.

SUSANNA CURTIS <> (15.05.2004)

The more you know music the easier it becomes to understand these guys. Your missing "The Booker Tease" is but one example amongst thousands (at least). That song is a parody of "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MG's. And there are other elements mixed in. Although I'm not a Residents fanatic, as a long time professional musician and student of music I recognize that these guys (?) have a musical savvy that they hide underneath a facade of incompetence. Now I don't know how well they actually play any instruments, but they do show evidence of having listened to more music than most of us will ever hear in in our lifetimes and are able twist, spin and mutilate it into something new, and something all their own.

Seriously "consume" as much forties, fifties and sixties pop, big band, jazz, blues, country and rock (of all genres and subtypes) and you will almost certainly begin to recognize various sources, ideas and concepts. But then these individuals are about much more than just being a band, or musical group.


Duane Zarakov <> (04.02.2001)

That bit that goes "No no n-no no/ no no n-nonono/no-one can do the shing-a-ling/(etc)" is from The Human Beinz' 1964 (?) version of the Isley Brothers' "Nobody But Me", i.e. it's that actual record at the beginning & then they start singing over it. (If you wanted to know...)

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (29.09.2003)

Dammit, this may sound annoying, but I *also* got into the Residents thanks to you. Gee, George, I swear I'll never fight with you again. I love this record! It's hilarious, indeed! Those little ditties at the beginning, 'Seasoned Greetings', 'N-Er-Gee'... Damn! What impresses me the most on here, though, is the amount of *music* these guys put into the songs. Just listen: 'Numb Erone', 'Guylum Bardot', 'Consuelo's Departure', 'Rest Aria', 'Infant Tango'... there are *melodies* on those things! It IS music, but very twisted music. I particulary love the piano grooves on 'Rest Aria'. Brilliant cross of funky rhythms and classical-tinged themes. I love it. 'Infant Tango' is also brilliant. I love Snakefinger's guitar on here, along with those horns. 'Seasoned Greetings' is brilliant! I find it funny when they get to the point where it sounds like they're hitting a kettle or something. And there's 'N-Er-Gee', of course. The destruction of the "Nobody But Me" song is nothing short of PERFECTION. I love this album. And know what? The talk of letting the strangeness wear off kinda worked on me. It's just like, after a couple of listens, it stops being simply a crazy cacophony, and those melodies and little nuances become clear.


Sergey Zhilkin <> (26.02.2001)

As you probably know in the second decade of previous century there were so-called futurists - poets who were fond of shocking the public by their strange behavior. They made make-ups on their faces, wore motley clothes and wrote shocking lyrics. They didn't want any fame - their only aim was to make the crowd angry. They liked when critics made them sink in shit. Futurists were the special kind of masochists, in my opinion. So the Residents are not even an inch better. 'Third Reich'n'roll' shows how some stupid fellows can ruin great hits. No, this isn't music and this isn't funny, too. Awful! I'll go now and listen to Frank Zappa or 10cc because they REALLY know how to make interesting parody.

In fact, I have no mood to write 'fuck-these-Residents' comments so I will just say out loud what I think: DUCK STAB, BIG BUBBLE AND COMMERCICAL ALBUM ARE THE WORST RECORDS EVER MADE! And don't you expect any ratings...

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (29.09.2003)

What a great album. I don't think it's as good as Meet The Residents. but it's good in a different level. They do a great job with all those 60's tunes, those sound effects, those synthesizers... Wow! Some songs are totally ruined, and they're very funny. I love what they do to that James Brown song, with a lady singing in German, alternated with some PA-PAAM! There are lots of other great moments, like all those songs played at the same time on the end of side one, the beginning with "Let's Twist Again", and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" slowly transformed into "Sunshine Of Your Love." What do I say? LOL, I say! LOL!


Mike DeFabio <> (11.01.2001)

My second favorite Residents disc. There is SOME filler, I guess, but not much. Many of the songs on here, while they are more accessible than most of their songs, are also among their most frightening. "Sinister Exaggerator" and "Birthday Boy" are obvious examples (the latter in particular is EXTREMELY unsettling), but "Blue Rosebuds" is also pretty creepy. Those first few bars just before the chipmunk voice starts screaming are quite spookin', but I guess you can only really know what I mean if you've heard the song. "Laughing Song" is probably my favorite as well, for many of the same reasons. I'd give this an..... 8.

By the way, I think "Constantinople" is about death. But that's just me.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (29.09.2003)

I'm not a *very* big fan of Fingerprince, but the Residents do a GREAT job with these songs on here. They're all very catchy and weird as usual. 'Constantinople', 'Laughing Song', 'Sinister Exaggerator'... All classics. I dig 'The Booker Tease', too, as well as 'Bach Is Dead' and 'Elvis And His Boss'. Talking about filler, I think that only things that qualify as filler are on Buster And Glen. Some of those gloomy songs don't do much to me. 'Lizard Lady', 'Semolina' and 'The Electrocutioner' are cool, and 'Birthday Boy' is very funny, though.

Brian Stevens <> (04.08.2006)

I notice that some comments are made that one or two pieces are "filler." I disagree. In my own opinion, all of the songs can be treated individually and stand up on their own merits. (I admit that I prefer some of the songs to others, Blue Rosebuds and Laughing Song really stand out for me.)

I tend to listen to the album in its entirety without skipping tracks. I also think that Constantinople is about death, perhaps Constantinople is a euphanism for Heaven?


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Michael J. West <> (22.01.2001)

Actually, there's quite a bit of interesting guitar on here. In particular, look for Snakefinger's distinctive work on "Moisture"--fantastic syncopated guitar solo--and "Fingertips," among others. If that's not enough, XTC's Andy Partridge plays on "Margaret Freeman," and though I can't say for sure where he appears, experimental guitarist Fred Frith also is credited. That's three guitarists right there, plus an acoustic drummer in Chris Cutler. May not subtract from your point that it doesn't sound like a full band, but I did want to point out that there are, in fact, non-synthesized instruments on here.

Ted Goodwin <> (24.05.2001)

Besides this album I've heard only about 2 Residents songs, so I don't really know how it compares to the rest of their output. But years ago when I heard about the "album with 40 1-minute songs" on the Dr. Demento show, I just had to check it out! The record itself looked pretty interesting. There was a double-wide space after every 5th song so any given track would be easy enough to find. All the titles were listed on the labels, and each title had the time of "1:00" given after it. (My fondness for such vinyl oddities also led me to pick up an obscure record with one side that played from the inner groove out.)

I don't have the album anymore but the titles I remember liking the best are "Red Rider", "My Second Wife", "Suburban Bathers", "Ups And Downs", and "Margaret Freeman". Somewhere I saw that the band liked "Ups" so much that they later made a 3-minute version of it.

The first time heard "Margaret", I realized that it represented what I had expected most of the album to sound like.

Has anyone noticed that the big faces on the cover seem to be John Travolta & Barbara Streisand?


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