Snakey Wake - (1988)
The second release on the Residents' fan club label is a studio recording of music written for the wake of their longtime guitarist and friend Philip "Snakefinger" Lithman, who died of a heart attack while on tour in 1987. This 20-minute suite begins with a propulsive, almost danceable version of Hank Williams' "Six More Miles to the Graveyard," which the group had already covered a year before on Stars & Hank Forever. What follows is a four-part composition that brings in old English laments, church bell scales, a twisted bossa nova beat, cathartic screams, and distant yelps. Maybe unsurprisingly, there is no guitar to be heard anywhere on the album. A very personal album, hence its limited release, but better than a lot of what they had been currently working on. The group was able to channel some of their anguish into the following God in Three Persons project as well, but a great chapter of the group's career had come to an end.