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date: 11 August 2020

Residents, thelocked

  • Rob Jovanovic


America’s most obscure art rock band, probably formed in Louisiana before moving to California. Band members identities have been kept hidden or listed simply as John Crawfish, Paul Crawfish, George Crawfish, and Ringo Starfish. An initial series of home demos were also willfully obscure and secretive so when the band sent the tape to Warner Brothers it was returned to the unspecified owners simply as “the residents.” Taking this moniker as their band’s name, the collective then set up their own Ralph Records label in San Francisco which released the debut album Meet the Residents on 1 April 1974. The cover and title were parodies of the album Meet the Beatles and included 11 original tracks alongside a cover of Lee Hazlewood’s “Boots.” While this avant-garde set was hard to categorize it often drew distant comparisons to the Mothers of Invention. Over the four decades since, the band has issued an album roughly every year, with intriguing titles such as ...

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