The Cryptic Corporation=The Residents, right?
August 2, 2005 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Are there any good arguments against the members of The Residents and the members of The Cryptic Corporation being the same people? Other than the fact that they've denied it in the past?
posted by PinkStainlessTail to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Actually, and this is pure conjecture on my part, I suspect that originally there were Cryptics who were not Residents, and vice versa. Now that it seems increasingly likely that the roster of Residents fluctuates by project, with only one or two "core" members remaining, then Cryptic and the Residents being the same team seems much more likely. (But what of Pour No Graphics?)

A better question might be -- if they came clean about their identities, would they retain they (admittedly limited and cultish) popularity?
posted by mkhall at 8:36 PM on August 2, 2005

I don't have a link, but in the book Biggest Secrets, investigative reporter William Poundstone lays out the circumstantial evidence suggesting that they are.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 8:37 PM on August 2, 2005

This snippet kinda' ties in with mkhall's conjecture:
It should be added that Hardy Fox of the Cryptic Corporation in 2002 confessed to playing the bass drum with the Residents at the Boarding House. I quote:
"So yesterday I was able to watch a bit of The Boarding House on my own DVD as I previewed a copy of the limited edition DVD that Ralph America will be selling at the Demons Dance Alone show. Suddenly I was confronted with a slice of the past almost beyond remembrance, for there clearly on the screen was me, having totally forgotten that I played bass drum with The Residents that night so many decades ago. Wow."
posted by tellurian at 12:03 AM on August 3, 2005

As far as I can tell the only reason to believe the Cryptics aren't the Residents is because it's much more fun that way. Various Cryptics have been interviewed (IIRC, back in the day, Jay Clem was the main Spokescryptic, and then when he left, it became Hardy Fox) on audio (I've even got an RA interview from some radio show with HF) and, well, it's pretty clear that they're the singing Residents.

In fact, on the Demons Dance Alone tour at most venues (but not mine, dammit!), Hardy and Homer were introducing themselves and shaking patrons' hands as they entered the theater; this ties in with the James Brown story the Singing R tells on stage (basically, he met James Brown a long time ago when he played Shrieveport, and they ended up meeting up with him after the show and showing him how to get on the on-ramp; later, the Residents were playing the House of Blues and that Resident mentioned that they'd met once before and told him that story, and saw this complete look of non-recognition as James Brown said "Oh, yeah, I remember that!", and for the Resident that was one of the most important nights of his life, but for James Brown it was just another day on the road) and the fact that that album/tour seemed much, much more... personal. (in fact, you could see that the singing Resident had a wedding band, even.)

And, well, if you check BMI's online database, all the Residents' songs are credited as being written by the Cryptics (though, of course, that could just be a Dodge to protect their identities...)

As for good reasons why they AREN'T:
a) It's more fun.
b) What does it matter?
c) According to the Cryptics, everyone who has ever played with the Residents is a Resident. Which includes the Residents, Lene Lovich, Snakefinger, Andy Partridge, and, by necessity, the Cryptics themselves, as they've helped out on the recordings too (as tellurian points out -- and also the Cryptics are actually credited, by name, with appearing in the Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? VHS). So, if anything, it's the Spartacus defense.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:00 AM on August 3, 2005

someone told me Tom Waits was in the Residents
posted by Satapher at 3:05 AM on August 3, 2005

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