Exposé Online banner

The Residents — Petting Zoo
(East Side Digital ESD 81662, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01

Petting Zoo Cover art

This collection is billed as a collection of the Residents’ more “accessible” tracks. I think it’s safe to say this is not an attempt to grab mainstream mass appeal, for even at their most “ear friendly,” the anonymous pop deconstructors are a long shot from even the strangest of Top 40 bands. That being said, for anyone who believes in music beyond the confines of commercial radio, this provides a reasonable introduction to the Residents’ massive body of work. Sure, the vocals don’t sound like the R&B crooner-of-the-month, and the backing vocals don’t sound like reworked gospel tunes, but you’ve heard that before, and you’re looking for something different, right? Rest assured that you’ll get some of the classics like “Constantinople” and “Smelly Tongues” and “Hello Skinny” and more recent tracks like the “.Road” (live in studio) version of “God’s Magic Finger,” and “Betty’s Body” from 2002’s Demons Dance Alone. Hearing these tracks all brought together emphasizes something that may not always be apparent in the Residents’ music: they are really excellent songwriters. “Fire Fall” is a touching evocation of old age, rather like a Tom Waits song, and “The Aging Musician” is a sad portrait of star past his peak: “Maybe if I put a bullet in my brain, they’d remember me like Kurt Cobain, and the parasites on MTV would wipe their eyes and act like they knew me.” Long-time fans won’t need this CD, but others would do well to pick it up. ‘Nuff said.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 26, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): The Residents, Philip Charles Lithman (Snakefinger)

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Änglagård - Epilog – Since Änglagård's superb 1992 debut Hybris, more than a few folks have been eagerly awaiting the follow-up effort from this magnificent Swedish ensemble. Everyone wondered — would they be able to...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues