words + photos by Joe Cortez
At one point during the film "Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents," Penn Jillette remarked that The Residents are perhaps the most American of bands; they embody a persistent can-do attitude that is undeterred by a lack of knowledge about any sort of process in making something new and instead plunge headlong into the act of creation. For four decades The Residents have mined the nether realms of the imagination, creating entirely unique songs, albums, performance pieces, films and graphics that have influenced our culture in ways subtle and not so subtle and gave a home to adventurous fans tired of the norm and hungry for something weird.
Saturday night, April 9's show at The Regent Theater in LA was presented as both a performance of the (now) trio's latest live show, Shadowland, as well as a screening of director Don Hardy's documentary about the band, "Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents." The film is brilliant in the way it paints a detailed, engaging portrait of the band while still keeping the mysteries that have surrounded the band for over 40 years intact. It was the perfect way to begin a night that had as its centerpiece a performance by the legendary band itself.
Shadowland is the conclusion in what has become known as the Randy, Chuck and Bob trilogy, a touring cycle that began in 2010. Exploring and reinventing (as the band often does) the band's deep catalog as well as incoporating new tracks and video segments, Shadowland was an absolutely spellbinding set that prove to be at times haunting, occasionally funny and ultimately mesmerizing.
The Residents Photo Gallery