We Know It’s Only Rock N’ Roll But We Like It

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I AM THE RED MAN: Mike Patton’s Peeping Tom, TLA, Saturday Night

BY S. FITZGERALD LODWICK I arrived on South Street shortly after nine and, after straightening out some unpleasantness with my press credentials, headed across the street from the TLA to enjoy a beer with the Mike Patton fanatics. One young woman had been to the Peeping Tom show just two days before, in Baltimore, MD. This is not wholly uncommon as, truth be told, Mike Patton fans are more of a cult than an audience. More intelligent than the Moonies, and far less frightening than the Scientologists, yet a thousand times more dedicated than either.

In fact this Patton-obsessed mystery woman somehow managed to spot and stalk Patton on South Street, which is how I got to meet him, albeit briefly.

Peeping Tom is a departure for the man who introduced himself to me as “Mike” — an unexpected detour into stylish, futuristic Pop from a man better known for his innovative forays into metal, rap and prog. Two Mac laptops cap the end of co-conspirator Dan the Automator?s DJ workbench, along with the instruments of Dub Trio, and mics for the King and his talented Queens Butterscotch and Emonte Copella. The crowd waited for the maestro to take the staging, excitedly discussing Patton?s many projects, and waxing poetic about which one was the most significant. Was it Mr. Bungle?s Dsico volante or Faith No More?s Angel Dust? What about Fantamos?

Patton greeted the eager crowd rocking a wide-collared pimp-red shirt with the collar flipped over his black blazer and a doo rag on his head. Tracks such as “Mojo” and “Five Seconds,” two of the catchier songs off the record, made the crowd flow with the will of Patton. Passing the mic to beat-box extraordinaire Butterscotch, Patton starts reciting ?Cheesestakes, Peppers, Onion, Cheesestakes, Peepers, Onion?? Cum” — though after “Cum” he admitted he didn?t know where he was going with that — while Butterscotch then proved herself to be a worthy contemporary of Rahzel and other human beat?box masters. After a few more tracks, Brooklyn?s Dub Trio got to take the center stage. They started with a few metal riffs and then eased in to a fine variety of modern dub — though it would have been much more powerful as straight dub, without the metal nonsense. The show?s final third was, arguably, the best part of the night. After an amazing rendition of Bobby Womack and Peace’s “Across 110th Street,” Patton signed off to Philadelphia with the words ?Philly, Ya?all ain?t notin but a bunch of dead-ass hipsters, but we love ya anyway?. The pop satire over with, I went and got a beer.

[PHOTO BY F. SCOTT LODWICK]

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