In the post-Warhol world, artists are defined by their image and celebrity far more than by talent or originality. So how to relate to an iconoclastic San Francisco group such as the Residents, which has steadfastly concealed the identities of its core members across 35 years? Dang, people, I guess we'll just have to focus on their pioneering sound and video work, which ranges from some of the earliest examples of music sampling (even pre-dating their '70s album era) to their theatrical performances of the '80s and the multimedia experiments of the '90s. Now, according to the band's Web site, they've embarked on the "storyteller era." Dunno what that means, but the timing seems ideal for a headlong dive into the group's influential oeuvre. "Reich 'N' Roll Revisited: A Residents' Retrospective" spreads their vast audio-visual trove across three nights, beginning with music videos of the '70s and '80s, continuing with works produced since the dawn of the new millennium, and climaxing with live performance footage from a bevy of bodacious tours including "The Mole Show" (with Penn Jillette), "Freak Show," "Demons Dance Alone" and "The Way We Were." Still wondering who these guys (and gals) are? Resident geniuses.
Dec. 6-8, 7:30 p.m., 2007