Back in the saddle! In this week’s installment of “Tuesday Reviewsday” (peep the podcast on iTunes or at NPR), I chitchat about Rihanna’s Anti, share my favorite cuts from St. Lucia’s Matter, and super duper gush over the arrival of Nevermen—that’s the supergroup comprising freak king Mike Patton, werewolf/singer Tunde Adebimpe, and the night-terror-having cosmology-creating avant-rap poet laureate Doseone. Geeked. Listen below or via one of the links above.
Every few weeks, I pop into NPR member station KPCC for “Tuesday Reviewsday” on Take Two. This week it’s The London Sessions by Mary J. Blige and Geocidal from Mike Patton’s Tētēma.
The A.V. Club Inventory feature is simultaneously the geekiest and most well-regarded thing I’m involved with. Usually I’m stunned into silence at the endless sea of pop culture knowledge that the other contributors cup in their hands like so many haphazardly hocked loogies. It makes me a little ill actually, but just this once, I was able to pitch in. The subject: 24 Unconventional Recording Spaces. I wrote on: Mike Patton (#12), Gorillaz (#14) and My Morning Jacket (#23). <Click that for an ancient bonus.
Alan Moore, Unearthing (Lex Records)
“Watchmen mastermind Alan Moore narrates his biographical tribute to his mentor/colleague Steve Moore over a score by Crook&Flail, a.k.a. Subtle’s Adam ‘Doseone’ Drucker and Fog’s Andrew Broder.”
Grade: A (via The A.V. Club)
Mike Patton, Mondo Cane (Ipecac)
A one-off that finds Patton remaking Italo-pop standards backed by a 40-piece orchestra, the record is flagrantly enjoyable from first gasp to final croon.
Grade: B+ (via The A.V. Club)
My personal OMG moment came on Day Two of the Coachella festival, when Spin sent me into the pit to cover Faith No More’s reunion set. A longtime member of the cult of Patton, I was flabbergasted when I began what I expected to be a slow approach to the front of the stage, and discovered the path clear. “I can’t fucking believe it,” was a common exclamation from my fellow devotees on the floor, but the crowd filled in eventually as echoes of the Freak King’s cries spread across the grounds. Faith No More slayed. Read all about it.
As on Day One, I contributed a bit to Spin‘s “Best and Worst Moments” feature as well. Click over to read some quick quips and bits on Dirty Projectors, Beach House, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Ezra Koenig.
Recorded at a series of European performances including an outdoor concert in a Northern Italian piazza, the self-titled album features traditional Italian pop songs as well as a rendition of Ennio Morricone’s “Deep Down.” Patton worked with a 30-piece orchestra and choir to create the uniquely new Mondo Cane sound.
Mondo Cane isn’t due out until May 4, via Patton’s own Ipecac Recordings, but I’ve reviewed it anyway over at West Coast Sound. It was meant to be “first impression,” but became a full-blown critique. Why? I couldn’t help myself. Some blame the devil; I blame Patton — is there a difference, really?
It’s not out until October 13, but The A.V. Club‘s “Inventory” book (see earlier entry) is currently the number one best seller in two Amazon.com categories: Music > History & Criticism, and Movies > History & Criticism. I added my two cents, mainly as related to Mike Patton, Brotha Lynch Hung, and The State.
The book’s actual title is Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined By Saxophone And 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists, and you can read more about it here.