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Welcome to the wild, bizarro world of the experimental artists The Residents. Little is known about the group’s origins or its members’ identities, although it is widely believed that they are based out of San Francisco, California. When their debut release, Santa Dog, first appeared in 1972 on the equally enigmatic Ralph Records / Cryptic Corporation, the few hundred copies quickly fell on deaf ears and blind eyes. Rumor has it that then-President Richard Nixon sent his record back. True to their “Theory of Obscurity” concept, The Residents cultivate mystery to ensure artistic integrity. With different musical personas for each of its four tracks, Santa Dog is a fully-formed avant-garde pastiche of musique concrète, Raymond Scott-esque exotica, television sound effects and the group’s own mutilated take on rock ’n’ roll that later became their trademark aesthetic. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time vinyl reissue of Santa Dog, complete with Christmas-themed fold-out sleeve. The package is an essential artifact for devout fans and beginners—a puzzle wrapped in a piece of commercial music. Or perhaps it is the other way around?

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