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The myth surrounding San Francisco’s Residents looms large. The band’s dedication since the mid-’70s to outlandish experimentation and theatrics makes the work of weirdos like the Flaming Lips feel positively conventional. Rather than shy away from novelty, the Residents built a career around capricious whims and gimmicks:The members perform in tuxedos and eyeball masks and refuse to grant interviews, while their loosely conceptual albums range from quirky to punishing. The Residents’ overwhelming discography demonstrates an Ingmar Bergman–like work ethic: They consistently bang out variations on the same bizarro themes, regardless of who’s paying attention. And like its morose, Swedish kindred spirit, the band has been relentlessly active in its golden years, releasing four albums in 2009 alone.
THE RESIDENTS PERFORM AT 8 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930.