Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The The Tunes of Two Cities

The Residents
The The Tunes of Two Cities

1. Serenade for Missy
2. A A Maze of Jigsaws
3. Mousetrap
4. God of Darkness
5. Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth)
6. Praise for the Curse
7. The The Secret Seed
8. Smokebeams
9. Mourning the Undead
10. Song of the Wild
11. The The Evil Disposer
12. Happy Home [Excerpt from Act II of Innisfree]

Related Artists:
Eugene Chadbourne, Captain Beefheart, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Moondog, Hybrid Kids, Renaldo & the Loaf, Snakefinger

Seen by the group as a "prequel" to the conflicts between the fictional Moles and Chubs as outlined in the Mark of the Mole album, Tunes of Two Cities continues the "Mole Trilogy" by providing "source material" from both cultures. It also marked a new stage in the group's sound, as a majority was performed on the E-Mulator, one of the first keyboard samplers. (Fans of the group's earlier analog sound can mark their digital decline as starting here). The pieces vary between Mole music (primitive, grating, obsessed with fear and death) and Chub music (stilted covers of big band music, with a lot of nods to Stan Kenton). It's a strange album, but full of good work. "Smack Your Lips and Clap Your Teeth" is as funky (if that's the term) as the group had gotten up to this point; "God of Darkness" is chilling in texture, and "Song of the Wild" combines beauty and loneliness with a plaintive cry. The last song "Happy Home," would come to be the show stopper at the live Mole Show concerts, and outlines the Chub's philosophy: "People must be left alone/Unless they have a happy home."


marram62 said...


simone said...

not the best, but for some reason my favorite Residents album, maybe because Smack your Lips has the greatest (and shortest) electric guitar solo ever - courtesy of Snakefinger.
I left my copy of the album close to a radiator many many years ago, and it never sounded quite the same.
Thank you for bringing it back!