Got the new Residents CD, The 12 Days of Brumalia today. The songs had run last December online, but are now available in plastic and cardboard, the way I like them. A very, very good album on first blush(es). The key credited collaborators for the last couple of studio albums and tours (Nolan Cook, Carla Fabrizio, Molly Harvey, Toby Dammit and Eric Drew Feldman) are all back, giving this album a very organic and band-driven feel (at least by Residents standards, anyway). The music mixes melodic and noisy elements nicely, and the lyrics/framework are loosely based on that classic old holiday chestnut “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Like the relatively recent WB:RMX, this record incorporates a spectacular collection of very contemporary sounding beats and rhythms, and the production and mix are both beautiful. With a new contract this year on Mute Records, it looks like the Residents are poised for creatively and commercially for another great little run. How has this group managed to be so good for so long? Who knows, but I hope they keep it up as long as I’m around to listen to them. (I should note that I think I own more records/CDs by the Residents than I do by any other recording artist, and there’s still several important chunks of their canon that I’ve not yet acquired . . . it’s nice to have mysteries remaining when it comes to groups you love, I think).