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Tunes On Two Cities, The/The Big Bubble Enhanced


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Amazon's Residents Store

Music

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Photos

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Biography

THE RESIDENTS

Over the course of an artistic career spanning several decades, The Residents have remained a riddle of Sphinx-like proportions; cloaking their lives and music in a haze of willful obscurity, the group's members never identified themselves by name, always appearing in public in disguise (in the old days... tuxedos, top hats and giant eyeball masks) and refusing to grant ... Read more in Amazon's Residents Store

Visit Amazon's Residents Store
for 56 albums, 11 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details


Disc: 1
1. Serenade for Missy
2. A Maze of Jigsaws
3. Mousetrap
4. God of Darkness
5. Smack your Lips (Clap your Teeth)
6. Praise for the Curse
7. The Secret Seed
8. Smokebeams
9. Mourning the Undead
10. Song of the Wild
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Sorry
2. Hop a Little
3. Go Where Ya Wanna Go
4. Gotta Gotta Get
5. Cry for the Fire
6. Die-Stay-Go
7. Vinegar
8. Firefly
9. The Big Bubble
10. Fear for the Future
See all 11 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Alternating Dichotomies 29 Mar. 2007
By S. A DUNN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The songs on his album alternate between bright bouncy Residential music and dark primitive gutteral music. it represents the social clashes between the Chub and Mole cultures introduced to us by the Resident's album, Mark of the Mole.

The whole concept parralells many times in history when two cultures collide. One culture, The Moles were forced to migrate after a disaster, and the other culture, the Chubs were at first thrilled a the prospect of cheap labor. But then the Chubs were less than welcoming when "The great Machine" made the Mole's labor obsolete and then unwelcome. This music sonicly demonstrates the difference between the cultures.

HOWEVER.. as happens in the real world, some Moles and Chubs interbreed, creating the Zinkonites! The Zinkonites preferred the aborigone "Mohelmot" culture of their Mole forbearers over the plastic Chub culture. To discover the Zinkonite struggles of the prodegy of the Mole/Chub war, and the efforts of the Zinkonite hero, Kulla Bocca, then you must buy Part 4 of The Mile Trilogy, The Resident's Big Bubble!
delirious... atmospheric... 7 Jun. 2014
By S Tuffnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Another part of the Mole Trilogy in four parts'. Hmmm, I was not expecting much as parts 1 and 4 were very droll. However, I was determined to listen to this to complete the series; all in one sitting I might add so this was quite an ordeal. I like what The Residents do with their music in that they turn convention on its head and break through barriers and nobody can argue that they are an acquired taste. I wonder though what was in their minds when releasing this saga about the two races, the Chubs and The Moles. To reiterate for the uninitiated, the Chubs are the swinging jazz lovers that have the high life above ground and do what they want and have a blast not giving a toss about the hapless Moles who are 'working down below' and are determined to find some solace in the high life above. In Part 1 the Moles were forced out of their flooded tunnels to the surface and an uprising occurred where a war broke out and devastation resulted; a war of racial intolerance.

On this next part in the saga 'The Tunes of Two Cities' we have the inimitable Snakefinger which for me was a breath of fresh air as I always loved his part in the band as guitarist and vocalist. The Tunes are from the two races; the Moles are dark, deep resonating tunes, and the Chubs are jazz fusion atonalities. A nice idea that works better than the other albums in the saga. The album opens with instrumentals 'Serenade for Missy', jazzy dissonance, and 'A Maze of Jigsaws' just plain weirdness from the Moles side. 'Mousetrap' is a piano and synth competition. It has the quirky whimsical jazzy humour that the Residents are only capable of. I began to realise that this was an instrumental album primarily with just a few moments of la la las and that suits me fine as often Residents ruin albums with raving and monotonous chants such as on the abysmal 'The Big Bubble' that should be avoided like the plague.

On with the album, and we have 'God of Darkness' which is more tribal native music from the intrepid Moles clan. It is similar to a lot of what we hear on the first part of the trilogy, complete with chants and odd repeated noises. The saving grace of jazz atonality follows with 'Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth)', from the Chubs race, that have more musical sense for my tastes. Snakefinger's guitar is a highlight as always, just a weird phased sound and there's some cool little synth lines and horns to add to the soundscape. The pieces representing The Moles are certainly as droll as those off of 'Mark of the Mole'. 'Praise for the Curse' is dark and dreary synth burblings with a drum beat, 'The Secret Seed' is chimes that twinkle and clank over a bass drum rhythm and is too long and monotonus. The swinging jazz of the Chubs is wonderful such as 'Smokebeams' with its cool jazz flavour, lots of horns, trumpets and jazz time sigs.

'Mourning the Undead' is a clattering machine noise that drones on like being in a factory reminding me of 'New Machine' from the first album in the trilogy. This is highly strange but compelling as one out of the box among these tracks. It would make a great song to play in a factory; Residents capture the monotonous atmosphere perfectly. 'Song of the Wild' is a sad little tune with some interesting effects on the synths. The sounds are high pitched and unsettling. 'The Evil Disposer' returns to the native sounds of Moles with a lot of percussion and doomy factory like synths. Home [Excerpt from Act II of Innisfree]' is a bass drum and improvised music on horn synths, and repeated noises.

Of the whole four albums in the so called trilogy, this part is most successful but I still regard 'Tunes of two Cities' as a weaker entry in The Residents massive catalogue. 2.5 stars for the Chubs songs with that weird jazz sound. Round it off to 3 for the delirious unique atmospheres.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Review for The Big Bubble 8 Oct. 2007
By Music Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sugar Melts and Goes Away...But Vinegar Lasts Forever, October 8, 2007
By Music Fan "noisefreek" (New Mexico) - See all my reviews

This is part four Of The Residents Mole Trilogy, which is the tale of two very different races having to live together. The original LP of this album had an album cover picturing the eyeball folks, but if you peeled that off, underneath is another album cover, picturing four leisure-suited nerds (who are not the Residents). Even the LP label had a label on it. Now, the music on the disc is like nothing else. It is sung in the non-language of Mohelmot, which is garbled gibberish and the music is dramatic throughout even though the vocals are either very happy or extremely evil sounding. Truly scarier than any heavy metal vocals at times, trust me. At first, I didnt know what to think. Now it is one of my most listened to albums. However, like most residents albums, it takes a while to get used to. If you like annoying vocals, this is for you. Let me break the album down for you.

1. Sorry - Probably the weakest track on the album, nothing much on this 1
2. Hop A Little - Incredibly bizzare, it starts off with the lead singer happily speaking something almost like a scat, and then his demonic screams come in.

3. Go Where Ya Wanna Go - interesting garbled nonsense.

4. Gotta Gotta Get - Towards the end of the tune, the singer goes crazy. Very Weird and cool.

5. Cry For The Fire - Probably the best track here. really weird. Especially at 1:39 into the song when he begins to chant. The guitar by Snakefinger is awesome throughout. Hardy Fox's keyboard playing is great too.

6. Die Stay Go - More gibberish. Very funny.

7. Vinegar - A great track. The gibberish here is extremely good. The music towards the end sounds like "Constantinople" from Duckstab except faster.

8. Firefly - Even more weird gibberish, this time there are sort of lyrics.

9. The Big Bubble - The Big Bubble's Theme Song. This song should be a #1 hit.

10. Fear For The Future - The only instrumental on this album. Keyboard and guitar.

11. Kulla Bocca Says So - still gives me the goosebumps. At about 2:20 into the song you can here the singer smoking a joint. How can they smoke with the eyeball for a head?

The story of the album is this:
The Chubs are a happy race of people that live above ground (think your average mainstream type people), then there are the moles, a group of strange people that live underground (think underground artists). A storm comes and the Moles homes are destroyed and they have to live above ground. Soon the chubs and the Moles become disenchanted with each others races. A War breaks out. While all this is happening, a group of humans are becoming, known as a "Cross". a cross between mole and chub. Soon the language of the Moles (Mohelmot) is outlawed. A Pop group suddenly forms, known as "The Big Bubble". The lead singer, Ramsey Whiten was raised in a cross ghetto. His band becomes famous for their theme song "Cry For The Fire" sung in mohelmot. Ramsey is arrested, but released almost immediatley because of a huge public outcry. Ramsey is then fueled by fame, and thinks of himself as the new Messiah, representing beliefs of reactionary moles known as "Zinkenites". The Zinkenites wished to create a new Mole nation. But it turns out Ramsey was just a naive kid, manipulated by a Zinkenite politician named Kulla Bocca secretly pursuing a life of wealth and power. That was the end of the story. The project was never finished, and just like "Vileness Fats", the ending is forever a mystery. Rumor has it that the Mole Trilogy is based on what was going on with Residents at the time. Rumor also has it that the Residents are The Cryptic Corporation, which consists of Homer Flynn, Hardy Fox, John Kennedy and Jay Clem. Jay Clem and John Kennedy left around the time of The Big Bubble. Supposedly one of them earned a large sum of family money from the mining of aluminum. Also, if you'll notice "Kulla Bocca" is an anagram for "Alcoa Buck". We may never know what the answers are to The Big Bubble. It's definetley a great purchase if you like weird music to the extreme.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous packaging highlights an important avant garde work 8 July 2008
By K. Tkacs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Back in the day," I owned everything The Residents did on vinyl LP. Not having been able to listen to those for some years, I recently decided to order some of their discs from Amazon, including this one. The price seemed reasonable for a double-album set, but I basically felt that I was just replacing the old vinyl.

However, one thing that other reviewers aren't making enough noise about is that this double-CD set, as well as its companion (`Mark/Intermission') arrive in gorgeous new packaging. The two discs are stored in pockets in these little CD-sized hardcover books which are quite nice. There are 30-or-so glossy pages explaining the storyline, with lyrics and artwork.

Naturally, the CDs sound much improved over the vinyl I'd listened to for years. As for the music, The Residents are an acquired taste, squarely `avant garde.' This is music that is "lights out, headphones on, mind open." The band finger-paints with sound, using instruments in unconventional ways and not often adhering to a recognizable musical structure. These discs of the so-called `Mole Trilogy,' along with `Eskimo,' are their recognized masterworks, though I find that I often prefer the two albums of their American Composers series which have many high points and are often quite funny.

If you are new to The Residents, the Mole Trilogy may or may not be the best place to start. It's representative, so you can dive right in, but there are somewhat more accessible albums out there (such as the Commercial Album) if you like to ease into the water slowly. If you know about the group and the music, and are just wondering how this specific set compares, don't hesitate - for the money, these are VERY handsomely packaged editions. I wish more discs were available like this.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Worth the Work.... 19 May 2005
By Nitram - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
While I agree with other reviewers that the Residents are an acquired taste, once the acquisition is made 'The Tunes of Two Cities' is right up there with the very best of their work.

The concept itself is brilliant and makes for a follow up to 'Mark of the Mole' that actually surpasses its predecessor in my opinion. Where maybe they had taken themselves a bit too seriously with MOTM, here they are back to their irreverent best and through that irreverence they reach some profound musical moments.

Depicting the music of two different cultures as different as the two groups described in HG Wells' 'The Time Machine', they roam between the twisted and ridiculous big-band kitsch of the leisure class and the guttural, percussive moans and whines of the subterranean workers. Through this they somehow create a haunting atmosphere and manage to continue the class dialogue of 'Mark of the Mole' but in a more subtle and satisfying way. It needs a few listens but then most good things do.
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