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Forget the ‘Monster Mash’ the ‘Dracula Cha-Cha’ is where it’s at!


A colorized image of Bela Lugosi as “Dracula” by artist Micah Carey.
 
Well, it’s that time of year again when most of us turn our attention to all things Halloween, including yours truly. So, to get you in the spirit of the season, let’s learn a little bit about an Italian cat by the name of Bruno Martino. The jazz composer, piano player, and crooner who gave us the musical gift that is the “Dracula Cha-Cha” (also known as the “Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha”).

For most of his career, Martino played the nightclub circuit in Europe and wrote music for other performers. His 1960 song “Estate” would bring him his greatest success and was covered by the likes of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker and Shirley Horn. Though for my money Martino’s jam about the Prince of Darkness and everybody’s favorite blood-sucker Dracula, the “Dracula Cha-Cha” is Mr. Martino’s crowning achievement. Martino wrote the bouncy number along with Bruno Brighetti, and it is quite the earworm. The song is said to have inspired the bonkers 1998 novel by author Kim Newman, Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha (the third book of Newman’s “Anno Dracula” series) which reveals a wild reality where Dracula was never killed by Dr. Van Helsing. The groovy tune has also been covered by a long list of other musicians including experimental Australian band The Tango Saloon with the fucking glorious vocals of Mike Patton on their 2008 album appropriately titled Transylvania.

I’ve included images of various album covers for Martino’s “Dracula Cha-Cha” as well as his original 1960 version of the song. I’ve also posted The Tango Saloon/Mike Patton version below because it rules and let’s face it, Patton is God. Dig it, ghouls.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.10.2017
10:39 am
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Patton is GOD: Faith No More channel Black Sabbath with their crushing cover of ‘War Pigs’
06.28.2016
12:57 pm
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Faith No More giving zero fucks.
 
It has been 26 years since Faith No More tore the roof off of the Brixton Academy in London on April 28th, 1990 during their tour in support of their third record, The Real Thing—the band’s first album with vocalist Mike Patton after FNM parted ways with former vocalist Chuck Mosely in 1988.

The show was released on both VHS and DVD called “Faith No More: You Fat B**tards: (Live at the Brixton Academy) and on vinyl as FNM’s only live album “Faith No More: Live at the Brixton Academy.” The band’s performance at Brixton is mind-meltingly energetic and the then 22-year-old Patton commanded the stage like a hyperactive kid who decided to mainline a dozen Pixy Stix just for fun. Which might help explain Patton’s wardrobe changes during the show that included a skeleton mask, a police helmet and the eventual loss of his shirt mid-way through the performance. As a die-hard fan of Black Sabbath it wasn’t hard for me to love FNM’s ferocious seven-minute cover of “War Pigs” which nearly gives the original a run for its money. It was also an opportunity for Patton to show off his prodigious six-octave range which he does with mind-altering precision. Get ready—the annihilation of your auditory functions await! 
 

Faith No More performing a cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ at the Brixton Academy in London, 1990.
 
The entire show, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.28.2016
12:57 pm
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‘Bacteria Cult’: Stream the new album by Mike Patton and John Kaada exclusively on Dangerous Minds
03.29.2016
11:04 am
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As out there as they are, Mike Patton’s best known rock bands Faith No More and Mr. Bungle have rarely engaged me as much as his more nakedly avant-garde work. The first taste I got of Patton’s deeper weirdness was with the 1996 album Adult Themes for Voice, an entirely a capella disc that consisted of nothing but processed vocal sounds arranged into very strange compositions. He followed that a year later with Pranzo Oltranzista, a weirdly food-themed suite for a voice/cello/sax/guitar/percussion quintet. The sax on that album was played by John Zorn, whose Tzadik label released both of those albums, and with whom Patton has done some of his most edifying non-rock work.
 

 
Patton is on the cusp of releasing a new LP with yet another of his more outré collaborators—the wildly eclectic Norwegian singer, soundtrack composer, and member of the avant-rock trio Cloroform, John Kaada. Due to the duo’s shared fandom of film music (Patton already paid tribute to the form on the Fantômas album The Director’s Cut in 2001, the same year as Kaada’s recorded debut), their ongoing collaboration is significantly less noisy then most of the work Patton’s known for, but while it’s less fitful, it’s every bit as much of a trip through seemingly incompatible genres as Mr. Bungle can be. Their work is informed by Romantic and Baroque classical, carnival music, Spaghetti Western soundtracks, Berlin Cabaret… The resulting music is evocative, moody, and just plain HUGE. The pair’s first collaboration was 2004’s Romances, and a 2007 live DVD documents a Danish festival performance they undertook in Romances’ wake. They’re set to release their second album this week. Bacteria Cult features eight songs composed jointly by the duo, orchestrated by Kaada, performed by Norway’s Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and naturally featuring vocals by Patton, who had this to offer when we asked about the reactivated collaboration:

Getting a chance to work with John Kaada is always a joy and an honor for me. He is a truly creative musician. When I heard these songs I knew I wanted to be part of this project and John welcomed me with open arms. It’s shocking to me that filmmakers are not knocking down John’s door to hire him.

The album’s lead-off track “Red Rainbow” has been streamable on Bandcamp for a little over a month now, but it’s Dangerous Minds’ privilege today to serve as the exclusive host of the complete Bacteria Cult album stream. Listen after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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03.29.2016
11:04 am
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Watch a teenage Mike Patton and pals at Mr. Bungle’s high school talent show


 
Mr. Bungle were a ‘90s avant-garde rock band that carved out a bizarre niche somewhere between Naked City and Frank Zappa with their second LP, Disco Volante, a wild, unpredictably genre-jumping headfuck. Because their debut LP was, though definitely weird and twisty, still more of an identifiably funk-metal record, the band held a large appeal to proggy dude-bro music fans whose thirst for eccentricity outpaced what Primus were prepared to offer. If that’s the reputation by which you know the band, and that turns you off, I get it, but I’d encourage giving Disco Volante a fair hearing.

The band were able to pull off such aggressively uncommercial music on Warner Bros. Records partly because the early ‘90s were such an indulgent, lucrative period for the industry, but also because of the band’s singer. Mike Patton had achieved a measure of clout in his other job as the frontman for Faith No More whose The Real Thing album and its single “Epic” had become hits. But though Mr. Bungle’s debut came after Faith No More’s success, Bungle was Patton’s first band, formed in 1985 when its members were still in high school.

Their high school talent show has turned up on YouTube. They go here by the name “Bister Mungle,” because, well, high school boys are just that hilarious.
 

 
Amazing how many elements of the band’s later notoriety are already in place here, especially the unabashed zaniness and the genre-hopping.

Remarkably, members of this goofy kid band would go on to play in a huge number of bizarro rock and avante-garde outfits. Apart from Faith No More, the versatile Patton has been a member of the experimental metal band Fantomas, founded Ipecac Records, and collaborated with artists as diverse as John Zorn and Dillinger Escape Plan. Indeed, the man’s discography is too prohibitively long to go into here. Bassist Trevor Dunn is also all over the place, having played in Fantomas, Tomahawk, his own Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant, and even The Melvins. And Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance has long helmed a heavy-friends side project called Secret Chiefs 3.

The band’s name came from “Lunchroom Manners,” a short educational film that found a measure of cult status when Pee-wee Herman screened it during a performance that was taped for an HBO special. Here it is…
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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02.24.2014
11:18 am
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Danger: Diabolik: two sides of Deep Deep Down

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(John Phillip Law and Marisa Mell in Danger: Diabolik)
 
There’s no question that one of the more beloved movies here at Dangerous Minds is that deliriously kitschy caper film, Danger: Diabolik, Mario Bava‘s ‘68 ode to love, leather, Marisa Mell and…Marisa Mell.  The same could be said for its somewhat hard-to-find Ennio Morricone soundtrack.

While uniformly great from start to finish, and full of quotable dialogue, it’s perhaps best remembered for its insanely catchy main title song, Deep Deep Down.  You can hear Christy‘s renditions of the song below (in both English and Italian), but below that is one from Mike Patton.

Say what you will about Patton’s various bands (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle), because I can say very little.  He does, though, do a fully committed Deep Deep Down!

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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05.13.2010
05:10 pm
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