The Residents

The Tunes of Two Cities

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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." The first CD reissue contains three outtakes, the second removes them, placing them on Residue Deux.

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