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Wednesday "Rock Gods" Post

Today is Wednesday, which means it is Rock Gods Musical Chairs day. I will get back to the "Good News" postings shortly (I will be starting a second thread). Also, for those of you emailing and wondering when I am going to address the situation with the judge, please note that, due to stipulations set forth in my employment contract, I can not (and would not, anyhow) blog about it. I will also announce the kitty's name later today.

Other participants (I will link their specific posts when they go up):

Andrew (Sitting in for Andrew this week is his brother: Jimi Hendrix
Tesco: Bubba Dupree of DC Hardcore band Void
Courtney : David Bowie
Mr. Nimbus: Syd Barrett
Devilish Belle: Ramones

In today's installment of Rock Gods, I pay tribute to the many musical stylings of Mike Patton, star of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk and Lovage and co-founder of Ipecac Recordings. It would be hard to say what I love most about Patton: the versatility of his voice - his soothing tones, his guttural screams, his passionate moans - or his lyrical and musical genius.

Here are three Mike Patton samplings, from three different eras/bands:

9308SeMike.gif1. Faith No More - Midlife Crisis (download)
It's not my absolute favorite FNM song, but it does epitomize what FNM is all about: With lyrics like your menstruating heart, it ain't bleedin' enough for two and liberal use of Patton's clenched teeth hissing and growling, Midlife Crisis is a great starting point for the uninitiated. It's got this raw anger that comes only with age; a bitterness that leaves a taste like Greek olives in your mouth and a certainty that yea, you're getting old but at least you're bound to beat the shit out of someone before you're too tired to do it.

2. Mr. Bungle - Retrovertigo.

Taken from the pure work of art known as California, Retrovertigo is, in my mind, one of the greatest songs ever recorded. It's slow, it's moody, it pulls at your gut and sucks you in and never lets you out. Patton's voice is at its finest here. He's all smooth and low one minute and powerful the next and in between there's about a billion emotions. Here, you can also get a great lesson in how to compose a tune that will forever be etched in someone's head. You'll be watching the news one day and suddenly the words to Retrovertigo will pop into your head and Mike Patton will be singing them. And you will thank me.

3. Lovage - Anger Management
Here we have a selection from another Patton band, Lovage, from the album Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By (produced by Dan the Automator and featuring the incredibly sexy voice of Jennifer Charles ). Listening to Anger Management is to put yourself in a red velvet bedroom with mirrors on the ceiling. It's sitting in a smoky barroom watching the female lounge singer lick her lips and run her hands down her sides. It's red lipstick and black garters and cigar smoke and maybe even a few dollars on the nightstand in the morning. Patton's voice is at once sultry and dangerous and, together with Charles, this tune oozes sexuality.

Patton can do it all - anger, love, jealousy, horror, sex - and he has a different voice, a different persona for each emotion, each genre he puts forth. His voice is a music instrument in itself and Patton plays it perfectly.

For those whose only experience listening to Patton comes from his nasally, spasmodic rap on Epic (you know, that video with the fish), I suggest you try out the tunes above and get a taste of what else the man has to offer.

Other essential listening:

From The Real Thing: Surprise! You're Dead!
From Angel Dust: RV
From King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime: Gentle Art of Making Enemies
From Album of the Year: Helpless
From Fantomas - Director's Cut: The Omen (Ave Satani)(download)
From Mr. Bungle: Stubb (a Dub)
From California: Vanity Fair

Tesco's response:

Mike Patton... excellent choice. Mike is one of the early ones... Even though Faith No More's debut came out in '89, Patton's work goes back to the early eighties. A friend of mine from SoCal was playing us the Bungle demo back in '85. We had no idea that he would be the one responsible for an entire genre of metal music. Nothing but respect for Mike Patton.

Mr. Nimbus says:

Mike Patton is the Man. I remember how pleasantly surprised I was when the first Mr. Bungle CD came out and it sounded nothing like FNM. He is one seriously warped individual, and I say that with much respect.

Courtney says:

Unfortunately, Patton never grabbed my attention, other than the video with the fish. However, I remember him being this manic, buff little man, with long hair and wild eyes. I can imagine he tore up a stage like no one's business.


Midlife Crisis is actually my favorite Faith No More song. In addition to the anger, I always loved the contrasts of the song: the trading off between the growl and his voice smoothly swelling up in alternating verses, and the beginning (spare percussion) versus the end (layer upon layer of sound). I'm a sucker for those types of transitions.

AM just doesn't do it for me. But that's my personal tastes.

MC is good, and you could tell it is a FNM song within 1/10th of a second. It's just got that FNM sound which I like. I wouldn't say it's their best, but it's definitely catchy enough to want to listen to a few times.

Now, I'd not heard Retrovertigo, and now it's on permanent repeat. What a kick ass tune! Especially when it kicks in.

I love that you also mention Vanity Fair... It has my favorite opening line of any song : "You're not human, you're a miracle"
Does it come any better then that?

Patton rules! I love his vocals on "Gentle Art..." I think they show off his full abilities, from the shrieks to the mild croon and his wonderfully distorted tongue-in-cheek humor.

I am disappointed that there is no mention of EP he recorded with The Dillinger Escape Plan, Irony is a Dead Silence. While it is neither's best work, it certainly warrants mentioning.

Chris, when I get home, I'll upload the cover they did together of Aphex Twin's Come to Daddy.

I have always rather liked FNM. Too bad so many other bands tried to pinch their sound and hashed it up so badly.

I can't say I like much of what Patton does but he certainly has my respect for his willingness to try anything and everything musically.

I always favored "From Out of Nowhere" from The Real Thing.

Patton is stuck in my head with one of the most memorable concert moments I've ever witnessed.

Mr. Bungle opening for Primus at Primus' First Annual New Year's Freakout in S.F. ('92-'93). Towards the end of their set Patton pulled off his shoe, dropped his pants, pissed in his shoe & then drank it. I kid you not.

A friend backstage said the whole band came off the stage sick...

Good show though...

That's on one of the tapes I have - I think the Croissant tape.

Patton (the versatility of his voice)- never more evident than on Bjork's "Medúlla".

Check out the video "the inner or deep part of an animal or plant structure" (making of Medulla) - if you dig Patton's voice, it's a treat.

Saw Faith No More At Reading in 1990. Best band of the festival, without a doubt. I remember Patton throwing up at the side of the stage before going on, him getting stuck after climbing the framework at the side of the stage, and the collective laughter of 50,000 people as they launched into "Easy" as one of the encores

the dillenger project was magnificant. And patton is truly underated and lets keep it that way. it is no secret that he likes to stay in the shadows of fame. patton is simply brilliant at his work and no one can take that from the fans or all the people who want to work with him.
oh yea he has always been miles ahead in everything he does.