If you have been following this blog than you probably noticed that I had previously posted The Disfigured Night Fillmore show along with a description of The Disfigured Night story. In this posting you will find the audio track only from the live performance the band did at the Marlboro Eyeball Experience in 1997 that was later released on DVD. Being that you should already know The Disfigured Night story I decided to post the lyrics so all you REZ fans can follow along at home.....enjoy. I will be posting video shortly.
DISFIGURED NIGHT Lyrics: Silly Billy bought his breakfast from a fat old man, who cooked his eggs and bacon in a big black frying pan; The pan was made of metal that was once an army tank, holding soldiers with their wounds that oozed until they stank; And every time the breakfast man put eggs upon his plate, the yellow yokes stared up as Billy cut them, then he ate; He saw the eggs as bulging boils that burst when they are poked, he tasted tears from someone's fear, and made a silly joke.
The rest of his day like all the others moved along a path, Filled with visions of somebody's pain inflicted past; He saw a woman raped by brothers who had left her in the back seat of a Chevy that had honked its horn at him; A chance encounter with a clown once made him scratch his hand from a case of hives and then he met a mad milkman, whose sister swallowed shards of glass inside a sugar rose, and died with blood exploding from her mouth and from her nose.
He lived alone inside a world of other people's pain, isolated from their joy and love his life retained its innocence because he couldn't hear or speak a word, releasing pain as easy as a tree releases birds; It even made him happy in a strange and funny way, reversing misery to joy and agony to play; They called him Silly Billy when they saw his sappy face, but no one knew it came from someone's less than happy fate.
Then one day he met a monkey sitting in the rain; The ape, who somehow lost a leg, would soon make Billy change; The vision that the monkey made, when Billy touched his paw, was not too different from the ones he all too often saw: a little girl with golden hair, who also had one leg, was crying by a bowl that cripples sometimes use to beg; But then another vision came, as Billy sat and stared, he realized the monkey and the girl were once a pair; With their two good legs the cripples made each other strong, but what really blasted Billy was the young girl's song. Isolated in his mind, his world had been complete, until a simple song released his undiscovered need; With that wistful melody repeating in his brain, Billy hesitated, looking out into the rain; For, despite the things he'd seen, a mystery remained until the purpose of those other people was explained; But in the ape and girl he saw a perfect usefulness, so Billy vowed to reunite them in the present tense.
Soon the crippled chimp and Billy set out on their way, but then another question came and with it was dismay; If life was nothing more than just a vehicle for pain, he could not see why he was free, but that was soon to change; While Billy once had been immune to agony and sorrow, he soon began to feel the dark emotions that he borrowed.
Billy and his new companion traveled everywhere looking for the little girl with gold and curly hair; No longer seeing other beings like he saw the wind, For the first time in his life, the dummy had a friend; Smiling, laughing, playing games and knowing that he cared, while mumbling the melody into the empty air; Yes, for Billy life was different than it was before but change was not just knocking, it was breaking down the door.
Soon the manchild and chimp were walking down the street, when they saw a taxi driver with a piece of meat; As Billy bumped the driver's shoulder, visions formed inside his mind of something slowly sliced to pieces 'til it died; Instead of smiling as he would on any other day, Billy hit the ground face first, weeping all the way; Devastated by the shock of feeling death and pain, Billy began to understand what he had lost and gained;
With increasing frequency, more incidents occurred: Dead babies cried from safety pins and memories from birds told of chicks that left their nests and fell beneath the feet of cattle who were not concerned with tiny things that tweet; He felt a mother's misery whose child had become blind, and a cancer victim's will to live, as it declined.
Soon the pain became so great they only moved at night, as Billy tried to blind his mind from everything in sight; And the goofy grin that once resided on his face, now reflected his infected fall into disgrace; Where a sweetness once had radiated from his pores, now his face was covered up with festers, welts and sores; around the sores was scar tissue resembling a pox that made his skin look like some thinly coated clumps of rocks; Surrounding those were tiny blisters popping constantly; Overall his face recalled a charbroiled Christmas tree;
But as his life descended into black and blacker pain, two sympathetic little points of light remained unchanged; The monkey and the song were always there regardless of the pain he felt from someone else's loss or lack of love; The song provided nourishment for Billy's beaten soul, and the monkey made him smile, while they pursued their goal; Then one day as Billy pulled the monkey from the mud, it wheezed and sneezed and filled the air with tiny drops of blood; with heat projecting from its skin and fluid from its eyes, the monkey barely breathed for two more days and then it died; Sorrow soaked in Billy's bones and numbness in his neck, but nothing had prepared him for the impact that was next; Exploding in a choking scream, his sadness was so strong, it blotted out the memory of Billy's sacred song.
Devastated and alone he crawled beneath a bush, coiled himself into a ball, and imitated mush; Drifting deep into despair an opening appeared, above and below, it opened up around him everywhere; The hole was like a vacuum cleaner sucking him into a dark and barren emptiness that clung to him like glue; Losing containment like the raindrops in a hurricane, Floating like a limpid flower in a sewer drain, down and and down and down it sucked him 'til there was nothing left, except a tiny hand held mirror and an unwrapped gift; Desperately he ripped it open and found inside the box the monkey's head which winked and grinned and bit his left leg off.
Horrified he screamed in painful agony and cried, and then the mirror drifted up and stopped before his eyes causing him to watch as teardrops healed his open sores while noticing how long his golden hair had grown before realizing that he looked just like the little girl, and then he drifted back into a cold and lifeless world.
A huge white hand reached out above his head as he awoke; "Perhaps it's God," he thought he saw, inside a long white coat; As his eye moved down to where a right leg should have been, he saw a wooden crutch that touched the floor right next to him; The hand moved down to stroke his cheek and quickly he was filled with memories of melodies that mocked his mind until he saw the golden hair cascading down below her waist, and realized what he had heard was nothing but a taste; At once his mind was wild with words that he had never known defining lines inside the song with light and liquid tones; He sat up straight and radiated life from far within the center of his soul where pain and darkness once had been; Then, like the sunshine in the summer fills the air with birds, Billy stood upon his bed and filled the air with words.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
The most rewarding, the most difficult, and the most accomplished of all the Residents' albums, this was their departure into the field of imaginary ethno-musicography that they had begun on "Six Things to a Cycle" on Fingerprince. Ostensibly a musical documentary on the Eskimo, this is an album of icy atmospheres, poetic electronics, and imaginary landscapes, concocted around a loose narrative told in the liner notes. There's also a subtheme of indigenous populations overrun by western commercialism (is that native chant actually "Coca Cola is Life"?). Ex-Henry Cow member Chris Cutler plays a lot of the percussion on the album, especially on the finale, "Festival of Death," the only real piece of rhythmic music here, which shines out as anything but dark or sinister. In any other group's hands this would have been a pretentious disaster, but the Residents pull it off through spirit, humor, and sheer bravado.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Subterranean Modern was Ralph Records' first album involving music from anyone other than The Residents or Snakefinger (with the exception of the very limited work with Schwump). The idea was to widen Ralph's appeal by bringing a greater variety of styles into the label. To this end Ralph had four band submit contributions on the theme of "San Francisco". Each was required to include a version of Tony Bennett's I Left My Heart in San Francisco. The four bands chosen were The Residents (of course), Chrome, Tuxedomoon, and MX-80 Sound. The Residents' contribution to the album was a four-part work called The Replacement about a man who's life is being drained away and replaced with that of another man.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Narrated by Penn & Teller, this documentary covers the first 19 years of The Residents' career. It includes clips from videos, live shows, and comments from people who work with The Residents such as Homer Flynn and Hardy Fox of the Cryptic Corporation. (There are no interviews with the Eyeball Guys themselves -- they don't like to talk.) The video contains parts from most of their videos as well as excerpts from various TV appearances not available elsewhere, such as the performances of From the Plains to Mexico and Teddy Bear from their appearance on David Sanborn's Night Music. The Eyes Scream was directed by John Sanborn, who also directed the live sequences on the Freak Show Video. The video is approx. 50 minutes and is split up into 5 parts here.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Satisfaction is a cover of the famous song by the Rolling Stones, recorded as a three-minute distillation of the ideas behind The Third Reich 'N' Roll. It features Snakefinger on guitar and backing vocals by The Pointless Sisters. The Wire magazine had this to say about Satisfaction in their September, 1998, article "100 Records That Set The World On Fire (While No One Was Listening)": "If there was one record that told you the 60s were over, then this was it. The Clash may have crowed, "no Rolling Stones in 1977", but their rethoric was just gasbag posturing compared to this, a blowtorch evisceration of Jagger and Richard's song that reduces their original to a piece of marketable rebellion fluff (Wham!'s "Bad Boys" with a better riff). The Residents start from the premise that there are rather more serious things to be unsatisfied about than romance or advertising things like total mental breakdown, a condition they proceed to delineate with unbearably off-key guitars and a vocal that sounds like the most haunted, driven, raging man alive. It's excruciating, purifying and hilarious, and if inflicted on friends it usually receives two of the highest possible accolades: "Take that fucking thing off", and "They weren't being serious, were they?"
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
In 2000, Ralph Records America collected all of the MP3's they had released on the Buy Or Die website on a CD entitled dot.com. Each MP3 is a never-before-released track from The Residents' history, dating from 1969 to 2000. Walter Westinghouse, track 9, was a bonus: it had never come out in MP3 format, but only appeared on this CD. The compilation was limited to 1,200 numbered copies.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Fingerprince was conceived as the world’s first three sided album. The Residents never specified whether it would be a double record with one side blank, or a single album with two concentric grooves on one side. They probably toyed with the idea of making it triangular! However they’d planned to do it, Ralph Records decided the albums would be uneconomical to manufacture, so Fingerprince became a conventional two-sided LP. The leftover songs were relegated to a proposed EP, Babyfingers. Due to considerable artistic distractions (the most notable being Eskimo), Babyfingers was not released in the actual EP format until 1979, but four of its five songs had appeared on The Residents Radio Special cassette in 1977. The songs whose importance would become apparent soon were “You, Yesyesyes,” “Tourniquet of Roses” and the songs jettisoned to Babyfingers, which point the way towards the wacky, sinister pop of Duck Stab, Subterranean Modern, etc. Fingerprince provided the blueprints for their future original compositions and although it may not be a great album, historically it is an important album for The Residents.