Sunday, 7 March 2010

Murder Most Fowl

Ripped this as a request, but in doing so felt it had to be shared.

The second greatest Residents album in my opinion; second only to the sublimely wonderful Commercial Album, which is hardly worth posting because everybody has it, right (what do you mean... shame on you... go and buy it immediately!).

Duck Stab, as it is known, is not an album in the true sense, it's actually a combination of an earlier released 7" e.p. titled Duck Stab! and a series of tracks added to the original to create an album length package, these tracks have their own identity and are collectively known as Buster & Glen, but the two pieces work so well together I don't know why I'm even bothering to mention it.

Whereas Commercial Album has a very upbeat vibe to it, despite its strangeness, Duck Stab comes from a very different place; it revels in a kind of dark, macabre sinisterism, delineated so aptly by the fixed expression of the knife wielding character on the front cover.

And then of course there is always that sense of who are those guys?
Somehow in our age of cult of celebrity, artists who refuse to divulge their identity, opting out of the 'Adore Me', 'Love Me' demands, are deemed suspicious; and the accusations and speculations aimed at The Residents, claiming that they must be 'famous people' having a joke at our expense, suggests that anonymity in today's art is subversive enough to make many uneasy.

My favourite of all the speculations about who they could be was one of the very early suggestions, that being that they were obviously The Beatles [!].
This was based on the fact that The Residents were apparently originally named The New Beatles, and possible clues were to be found on the first album's art work:

Irony is so often misunderstood.

To adopt complete autonomy and work entirely within the ethos of doing it for yourself, The Residents soon created their own label, Ralph Records; Ralph chosen for its onomatopoeic relationship with throwing up.

I am aware that both Commercial Album and Duck Stab are undoubtedly the most accessible albums within The Residents' enormous canon; and I do see great worth in albums such as Eskimo and Mark of the Mole, but boy, do you have to be in the right mood to listen to those albums, and I'm not quite sure what that mood is...

For me, The Residents shined when they worked with the greatest of their collaborators: Snakefinger.
And why I love Duck Stab so much is Snakefinger slithers all over it; giving a great vocal on 'Constantinople' and adding his unique blend of slippery slide and glass finger guitar to many of the tracks.
Together, The Residents and Snakefinger made some of the most bizarre and absurd music in the history of modern popular music.
And I'm ever so glad they did.
I hope you are too.

The Residents - Duck Stab (1978)

Duck Stab Side

Sinister Exaggerator
The Booker Tease
Blue Rosebuds
Laughing Song
Bach is Dead
Elvis and His Boss

Buster & Glen Side

Lizard Lady
Birthday Boy
Weight-Lifting Lulu
Krafty Cheese
Hello Skinny
The Electrocutioner

Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
Take up Residency here

If you dig this, keep 'em peeled: Snakefinger boot on its way


teifidancer said...

ah, just so adorable.

Anonymous said...

cheers mate,gonna check this now,always found the residents stuff a bit lacking compared to the mighty snakefinger,maybe i chose the wrong album as an intro,i've not heard this or the Commercial Album,Ralph records introduced me to some far out stuff over the years.
hope yr well.xx
looking fwd to the snakefinger boot

Anonymous said...

I haven't played the commercial album for years but just reading about it makes me want to hear it again - not heard this before but looking forward to grabbing it.

Nice one Roy.


roy rocket said...

Link fixed!