The Residents, a notoriously masked group of cult pioneers who have been making underground art and music in San Francisco for 50 years, had a year planned for 2020.
Tours were booked, tickets sold, and in January 2020, The Residents hosted a new live performance of their 1988 album “God in Three Persons” at New York’s MOMA, featuring a live band, dancer and media artist John Sanborn collaborates with director Travis Chamberlain to create a visual feast for the eyes.
Then, well, we all know what happened shortly after that, and the plans for 2020 were ready for all of us.
Now, over a year later, The Residents are one of the first groups to sell tickets for an indoor tour across the United States this summer, followed by a winter jaunt through Europe, which suitable for a group of many premieres, such as music videos and CD-ROMs.
That said, all was not lost for The Residents in 2020. Homer Flynn, manager of The Residents, said via email: “The tour cancellation opened up the band’s schedule, allowing them to begin production. of a film project they have been working on for several years. The film, titled Triple Trouble, is now well in post-production. “
But before they go to Portland, Oregon to start their “Dog Stab!” Filmed on August 19, The Residents will be featured on the 40th anniversary show of “Night Flight,” a television series first broadcast in the 1980s on USA Network, where The Residents made several appearances.
Following a common trend, “Night Flight” now offers a streaming service called Night Flight Plus, with monthly and annual subscriptions giving access to a plethora of content from the past 40 years as well as new exclusive content.
On Saturday June 5th, Night Flight Plus will debut in “Duck Stab! Alive!” – “A contemporary recreation of the band’s 1978 DUCK STAB! Album,” said Flynn. “It’s alive!’ because it was recorded live in the studio for three days.
NBC Bay Area was invited to 25th Street recording studios in Oakland a few weeks ago to witness the scene. After a year of not covering anything inside, it was interesting to be inside with a group of people in a working environment. Having covered The Residents in the past, it was always okay for them to wear masks, but now we all were.
My first thought upon seeing the scene set up was that it was very current with the now ubiquitous ring lights illuminating the completely covered faces of each of the four band members, all dressed in new outfits similar to the “In Between Dreams” costumes, but with different fabrics and headgear.
Four camera operators slid high-tech red cameras down overlapping tracks, while in the next room, director John Sanborn selected pre-produced background videos for each song, which were then projected onto screens behind the group. Sanborn watched a group of monitors as everything unfolded in front of him.
Between the cameras and the group were four dancers wearing black jumpsuits with what appeared to be 3D printed black duck masks. In their hands were a mishmash of cellphones, selfie sticks, and gimbals they used to film The Residents as they moved around them, constantly shifting perspective in a fluid, at times erratic paparazzi performance. , which also gave a modern edge.
Sanborn had to complete and approve the final cut within 10 days. In the editing room, the background video projections were sometimes superimposed on the filmed footage of the band, creating a big effect where the band appeared to be in the middle of the footage, which was sometimes decades old material from the band. Extended video from The Residents. catalog.
In the end, everyone seemed happy with the results and happy to have the opportunity to do their part.
“The residents were thrilled to be back at work, especially with such a seasoned professional team,” said Flynn. “The results speak for themselves.”