Material Girls and Boys looking forward to Madonna’s Confessions shows at Tokyo Dome this week may soon get the chance to “strike a pose” on their own. Television producers are putting together a Madonna special as part of 15 Films, what they say is a new style of show that will “take the short film genre to another level.” Each week the one-hour program will present 15 different takes on the life of a celebrity that will be “surprising, original, funny, intelligent, diverse, sexy and provocative, but free of empty spectacle: comedy skits, lifestyle features and fluff,” according to the producers. “One might be grainy, black and white, and look like a 1920s silent film, the next full color and filmic, the next a hip-hop music video, then a computer animation.” If you think you are the No. 1 Madonna fan in Japan, they invite you to apply to audition for this flagship program.
Contact Risa Morimoto of Zig Zag Productions: firstname.lastname@example.org AV
Strange things happen when a posse of battle-scarred rockers
try their hand at ambient music
|Mike Patton (r) and Fantomas
courtesy of Smash
Mike Patton, the mercurial singer for Faith
No More, Mr. Bungle and Fantomas, has a knack for surprises.
In fact, he did the most astonishing thing this writer has
ever seen at a rock show during a Faith No More concert back
at Nakano Sun Plaza in the mid-90s.
Without any fanfare, Patton in mid-song doffed his baseball
cap, pulled out his penis and began to pee into his hat. But
that wasnt the end of it. The singer then proceeded
to don his cap, showering himself in urine and eliciting a
sort of collective uugghh from the crowd.
While Patton is unlikely to repeat the stunt, the unexpected
is to be expected when he and the heavy rock veterans who
comprise Fantomas return to Japan to support their fourth
album with a pair of concerts at Club Quattro.
There was a time more than a decade ago when Patton ranked
with the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis as one
of pre-grunge alternative rocks leading frontmen. Kiedis
was the upstart rapper with the cocksure attitude; Patton
was a malevolent force with the vocal range of an opera star.
In recent years, Kiedis has been content to plow the funk-metal
fields, whereas since the demise of Faith No More in mid-98,
Patton has gone further and further into left field.
In addition to his solo material and work with the recently
disbanded group Mr. Bungle, Patton in 1999 formed Fantomas.
The band, which matches the vocalist with other metal and
alt-rock oldtimers who wanted to explore more unconventional
directions in music, are heavily influenced by the work Patton
did with downtown New York experimental sax player and label
impresario John Zorn.
Besides Patton, whose vocals with Fantomas are not actual
intelligible lyrics but grunts, howls, hummings and all manner
of otherworldly sounds, the group includes Slayer drummer
Dave Lombardo, Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne, and Mr. Bungle
bassist Trevor Dunn.
Fantomas have released four albums on Pattons Ipecac
Recordings imprint, each of which explores the dark side of
ambientas opposed to the light side found in the house-tinged
music of the Orbin a style thats been called spazzcore.
Eliciting groans from fans whod expected the obvious
from what seemed to be an alt-rock supergroup, Fantomas
1999 self-titled debut was a 43-minute opus comprised of 30
chronologically numbered pages. Crunchy hardcore
riffs, sinuous, screechy guitar lines, and Lombardos
protean drumming provided the background for numerous sci-fi
movie soundtrack samples, with Pattons indescribable
vocalizing setting an eerie tone.
If there were any doubt that Fantomas (the name comes from
an antihero in a series of French crime novels) is of an experimental
bent, their 2001 follow-up quickly dispelled it. Directors
Cut is a more wide-ranging celebration of film scores, and
in one typical track, the opening melodies from The Godfather
are transformed into a fusillade of death metal. Their next
album, 2004s Delirium Cordia: Surgical Sound Specimens
from the Museum of Skin, was perhaps Pattons most way-out
composition so far, a single, 74-minute track that saw him
extending his vocals to encompass Gregorian chants.
Recorded during the same sessions as Delirium Cordia but released
earlier this summer, Suspended Animation explores the textures
of cartoon music. Patton describes the new album on Ipecacs
homepage as nursery rhymes, cartoon sound effects and
choppy arrangements. The disc features artwork in the
form of a 30-page booklet of typically devilish and world-weary
cartoon kids by famed contemporary Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo
Club Quattro, Sep 5-6. See concert
listings for details.
Discuss music with
METROPOLIS readers at http://forum.japantoday.com