No question about it: there has never been a band as determinedly warped as the Residents. Over the course of a career now deep into its third decade, the quirky quartet have never revealed their names or their faces. But what they have shown, aside from a predilection for titles like "Duck Stab" and "Santa Dog," is a consistently unique and compelling musical and especially visual sensibility. It's all here in Icky Flix
, an extraordinarily comprehensive DVD that brings together some 17 pieces spanning the group's career, from 1976's "The Third Reich 'n' Roll" to recent items like "Burn Baby Burn" and "Bad Day on the Midway." And not only is there visual content galore--in 2000 they also rerecorded the music for almost every piece, with users given the choice of listening to either the original or the new track. (The new versions are a little smoother and better produced, but essentially the same--i.e., dissonant, jarring, strange, a bit like Captain Beefheart without the Delta blues flavor, referencing everything from "We Are the World," "Holy Holy Holy," and "Wipe Out" to James Brown and John Philip Sousa.)
The visuals defy literal description, as the Residents and their various directors undertake a dazzling multimedia journey, combining film, video, still photography, computer animation, and more to create images that range from dark, surreal, and grotesque to funny, endearingly wacky, absurd, and even beautiful (it's not a bit surprising that some of this stuff now resides in New York's Museum of Modern Art). There's only one Residents--and while that may be a good thing, so is this remarkable, fascinating document. --Sam Graham
From the Back Cover
Near the end of the so-called "millennium," someone suggested that the Residents release a DVD compilation of their many award-winning music videos. The anonymous group's reponse was swift and unanimous: "YUKKKK!!! HOW ICKY!"
More specifically, Mr. Skull, sometimes known as the Black Hole of the group, replied, "I'd rather eat dog doo and die!" It seems that the group saw the idea of creating a collection of their visual work, some of it almost 30 years old, as a task more fitting to bean counters than semi-famous artistes. But then Mr. Blue, a less volatile type, remarked, "But with a DVD we could record all the music again and let people have a choice of which soundtrack to play." "Hmmm...," replied the contrary Skull. "That would completely enrage our fans, giving them absolutely nothing to complain about. Let's do it!"
So they did. And in the process, the Residents, with the help of their friends, crammed the disc full of newly created material: 4 never-before-seen music videos, video versions of their CD-ROMs, and a newly restored edit of Vileness Fats, their first-ever video "experiment"--and that's in addition to recording new music for the 100 minute long disc. As usual, the Residents have created a great version of an icky idea: The Residents' Icky Flix.
1. The Third Reich 'n' Roll
3. One Minute Movies
4. Kick a Picnic
5. Songs for Swinging Larvae
6. He Also Serves
7. This Is a Man's Man's Man's World
8. Harry the Head
9. The Gingerbread Man (Concentrate)
10. Jelly Jack the Boneless Boy
11. Just for You (Disfigured Night part 7)
12. Stars and Stripes Forever
13. Where Is She?
14. Burn Baby Burn
15. Hello Skinny
16. Bad Day on the Midway (Concentrate)
17. Vileness Fats (Concentrate)