Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12. Mr. Bungle - California

Ok, so you are in this boat. Think Willy Wonka’s boat. That ride where everything is sweet and sugary and then turns into a speeding nightmare. That’s California. It's all smoky bar room and cigar smoke and just when you are about to lean back in your chair and sip your bourbon, the ride gets noisy and disjointed and you hold onto your seat as it shakes. Then it’s back to a slow ride and you’re suddenly thinking of red lipstick and black garters and maybe you’ll finish up this song and then go masturbate to a magazine cover. But the boat shakes you up again and it’s hand and arms inside the ride at all times. It shakes your brain and rattles your skull and "Golem II"and "Holy Filament" play and make you think, what kind of crackhead nightmare is this? You're almost tempted to jump out of the boat but something about the calliope-like sound makes you hang on, even if the sound is giving you flashbacks to some tenth grade mescaline trip at an amusement park . Then you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the boat is bumping its way over there with the lyrics What would they say/If you went up in smoke?/If I dug you up/And made soup of your bones? playing in your ear and you think, damn this has been one crazy ride. Was it fun? Was it scary? A little of both? Maybe I should ride it again and be sure. And you get back on the boat and you notice little things about the ride you didn’t notice the first time and each subsequent turn on the boat makes you appreciate the ride more fully, makes you see all the noises and imagery and soft sounds and full range of emotions come together to make one pretty surreal, yet fulfilling, experience.

Favorite song: Retrovertigo
Mike Patton is a genius


Cullen said...

Retrovertigo is not only the best song on this album, but one of the best songs ever written. Period.

See the vintage robot wearied
Then awakened by revision theories
Every famine virtual

Both what the fuck and awesome.

michele said...

I agree and meant to say as much. If I had to choose a list of the most perfect songs ever, this would be in the top five.

Woody said...

Correction, Mike Patton is a demented evil genius. And I love everything he does.

Cullen said...

Top five Retrovertigo is definitely there. The Secret Song off Disco Volante is close. I don't think I'd have two songs by the same band in the top five though, but they'd both definitely be in the top 10.

Steve said...

An ex-girlfriend of from my Humboldt Country days went to high school with Mike Patton. Her verdict was slightly different from yours: "Mike Patton was an asshole."

davis,br said...

I haven't posted in awhile, but I have to on this one.

Mr. Bungle, eh? They're an Arcata California band that made it to the national scene. They were all kids I knew from the local music scene on the Northcoast, through one of my young proteges of the time, and from the music store I worked at in Eureka in the early to mid-1980's (Two Street Music).

How 'bout this trivia: I was the guy who taught Trey Spruance (and Trey's grandfather was the Admiral Raymond Spruance of WWII fame (CIC Battle of Midway, Battle of Phillippine Sea btw: v. illustrious parentage) his modal scales (and various picking patterns, including r/l-style "slip picking").

He was the best student of the many I had back then, learning everything I had to teach young aspiring lead guitarists in about 3-4 weeks (as I recall)of a lesson plan that the more typical student took about 4-6 months learning.

Trey was a nice, earnest kid who lived guitar.

My only remaining claim to musical fame. Heh.

Oh. And I didn't really know Mike all that well, but the time or three we met, he exhibited no trait that I would've attributed to the term "asshole". He just did music.

...dunno what ever happened to any of 'em. I moved on in life from Arcata, Two Street Music, and music in general (pretty much) in the mid-1980's.

Ramon Johnson said...

This is the best song i ever heard! i love this.. Spanish Safety Training