Monday, March 18, 2013

The Residents' Freak Show

In seventh grade I got The Residents' Freak Show CD-ROM, which my parents' Performa PPC was just barely powerful enough to handle. It was based on the 1990 album and designed by Jim Ludtke, whose work now seems dated but fantastic nonetheless. The Residents later collaborated with Ludtke on several other projects, including Gingerbread Man and Bad Day on the Midway.

In Freak Show, you could wander backstage at a freak show tent and learn about the stories of the various performers, sometimes through music videos and/or animated short stories. For me, Freak Show was a sort of gateway drug to the Residents' catalogue and a lot of other strange music. Sadly, I don't think it will play on modern computers, and may thus remain a discarded byproduct of technology's rapid evolution during the 1990's (I personally think it should be made into a website).

Below are some of the music videos related to the main characters of Freak Show. It is only a mere fraction of the art and content that was on the CD-ROM.

Everyone Comes to the Freak Show

Harry the Head

Herman the Human Mole


Wanda the Worm Woman


Jello Jack

Benny the Bouncing Bumb

Mickey the Mumbling Midget

This song, called Lillie, wasn't in the CD-ROM but was on the original 1990 album.

Nobody Laughs When They Leave

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