Review Revue: The Residents – The Big Bubble: Part Four of the Mole Trilogy

Is there a weirder, more prolific, more mysterious band than The Residents? I certainly can’t think of one. My older brother was a fan of theirs when I was a kid (I will always associate their strange giant-eyeball-with-top-hat costumes with his bedroom wall), and they were one of the many great bands (along with PIL, Dead Kennedys, and so many more) that I missed the chance to get into at a young age due to the fact that we really didn’t get along and therefore nothing he listened to could possibly be worth my time.

At this point, with a discography of more than 60 albums, and too many compilations and videos and who knows what all to name, I just don’t know where to begin. Then I start looking into this here album “Part 4 of the Mole Trilogy” and realize that the intrigue and clues and cross-referencing that people get into with this band (a mere taste of which you can see below) makes Lost look like a Dick and Jane book. There’s just too much here! I sort of feel like unless I’m going to move to a cabin in the woods for several years, armed only with the Residents entire catalog and an internet connection, I should probably just let the Residents be the Residents and move on. Well, maybe I’ll just check out this trilogy… wait, you say it has four albums? But the third was never released? Maybe if I follow the story close enough I can figure out which one actually was the third album, even though they claimed it wasn’t… uh-oh, here we go.

“Snakefinger & the boys. These guys are as weird as ___’s Some Bizarre Comp. And a picture to boot! Part 4 of the Mole Trilogy. This is for real man.”

“Where’s Sharona?”

“This one deserves your utmost attention”

“Oh, but is it [the picture] really them?”

“Of course not, silly. What’s more, that ain’t even Snakefinger.”

“By the way… Pt. 1 Mark of the Mole; Pt. 2 The Tunes of Two Cities; Pt. 3 (?) Intermission - it says it’s not Pt. 3, but what else is there? [Wikipedia says the third part was never released.] BIG BUBBLE RULES!”

“Sorry is great.”

“Alfy – there’s Residue, Pre-1984, and the Live Mole Show based on the UK video. Residue and Pre-84 are compilations which also say “not Pt. 3,” so that leaves the PAL TV LP as Part 3. But that’s just a live version of them both – P.S. I take it back, after hearing this, one of the Residents did not die after all.”

“Electronically reprocessed to simulate music.”

“The guy in front looks kinda like Leonard Rossiter.”

“Do read story of Moles & Chub. Interesting.”

(As a little bonus, here’s a piece written about the Residents and the Mole Trilogy by producer extraordinaire and sometime KEXP engineer Scott Colburn, who actually knows what he’s talking about.)

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