Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mondo Cane


On the long and winding road that is The Montgomery Drive I am constantly searching out new music to enjoy along the journey. In all my time searching and listening, few artists have stuck out like the legendary Mike Patton. Coming across as a modern day renaissance man, Mike Patton leaves his mark in all forms of Entertainment. Known to most as the vocalist for the the band Faith No More, Patton has also lent his vocal stylings to a variety of projects ranging from groups like Mr. Bungle and The Dillinger Escape Plan to acts like Lovage and the one and only Peeping Tom. Aside from his musical endeavors, Mike Patton has bestowed  his trademark voice to video games such as The Darkness (both games 1 and 2), Left 4 Dead, Bionic Commando, and Portal. Furthermore, Mike Patton has utilized his vocals and musical talents in films like I Am Legend (voicing the creatures) and Crank 2 (composing the film score). Along with Greg Werckman, Mike Patton has also founded and operated his own independent record label based out of California known as Ipecac Recordings. Through Ipecac Recordings, Mike Patton has released both his own projects and other artists' releases always utilizing original packaging that leaves listeners engaged and intrigued.

On my trip in Japan I picked up a variety of releases that were either unavailable in a physical format or harder to get back in the states. One of these releases was an album by Mike Patton called Mondo Cane. Of all the music I've purchased this is one of the few albums I can repeatedly listen to and continuously enjoy time after time. The release features covers of 50's and 60's Italian pop songs performed by an orchestra comprised of over 60 musicians and Mike Patton on vocals. As released through Ipecac Recordings, the release features stunning and colorful packaging featuring the rainbow colored world centered around the strikingly white colored Italy. The bulk of the songs are in Italian however select songs include phrases in English. As the album progresses it flows beautifully, gracefully transitioning from soft and soothing ballads to faster more aggressive overtures. Whether your looking for songs to help you relax, or tunes to analyze and/or rock out to, Mondo Cane offers a little bit of everything for everyone. For some listeners, the thought of listening to songs in a  different language may not be very appealing; however, I challenge you naysayers to listen carefully to Mondo Cane and not be blown away (Listen Here). In addition, Mike Patton's Mondo Cane debuted at #2 on the Billboard Classical Chart, as well as #7 on the Heatseekers Chart.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Cassette House


Over the years I've had the opportunity to perform in a multitude of different show spaces.  Whether it was inside a little red shed in Virginia, a basement in Pittsburgh, or a ritzy club on South Beach these places always had various characteristics that made them all special in their own ways. Tucked away in the heart of Brevard County there was a DIY venue known as: The Cassette House.

Although I had previously known and performed with many of the local mainstays (Cassettes on Fire, Worst Friends, and Gillian Carter) of the Brevard County music scene at other venues, it wasn’t until this past summer that I actually had the pleasure of playing at The Cassette House. After relocating to the Orlando area in late August, I was finally close enough to spend some quality time at The Cassette House before they closed their doors earlier this month. At this apartment I was bombarded by amazing artists from both near and far, finally getting a taste of the wonderful scene the residents had crafted for themselves and Brevard County as a whole. 

Through sheer passion and determination, the residents of The Cassette House had created a place both locals and touring acts enjoyed and longed to play. For many out of state and international artists, the thought of travelling to/or through Florida is as unrealistic as the thought of snowstorms wreaking havoc in Miami. With that being said, The Cassette House established and built a reputation that encouraged many of these out of state and international artists to not only come to Florida but to drive the extra hours all the way to Central Florida just to experience its spectacular shows and magnificent demeanor.

In having free shows but encouraging donations to pay the artists, The Cassette House maintained outstanding crowds and extremely positive atmospheres. Everyone who entered the apartment went home happy. The artists were compensated and provided with couches/futons for the night while patrons were given memorable and intimate concerts. I was privileged enough to perform at the second to last show and to attend the final concert at The Cassette House. I’ve compiled a playlist of videos of all the bands that performed at that final show which you can below. 

Although it is very unfortunate to see such a historic place come to an end, it is also exciting to see what type of influence this monumental place will have left on the Brevard County music scene.

The Cassette House had a huge impact on not only myself but also numerous others. Personally, I feel very fortunate to have had the privilege and pleasure to have shared in some of the wonderful experiences that took place there and will always cherish those memories. The Cassette House may be gone, but its Legacy will live on.  


Tuesday, November 15, 2011



Since I began performing and touring I have encountered countless artists over the years. The genres are always different, and the members and their personalities are always as intriguing as their sounds. From the swamps of Miami to the highways of Japan there are millions of undiscovered artists simply waiting to be heard. No matter what your preference I hope to expose you to some of the most amazing sights, sounds, and tastes of The Montgomery Drive.

For the first post in The Montgomery Drive I felt it would be best to share one of the most unique bands I have ever known and seen. This past March following the Earthquake/Tsunami Disaster, I traveled alongside my friends Unfair Roots to Tokyo, Japan. After arriving as the first Americans to tour the island following the disaster, we met and played with some of the sweetest and most diverse groups I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with. Our dear friends and hosts on our journey were a band called “S-Explode”.

Hailing from Saitama, “S-Explode” fuses a multitude of genres together creating a complex blend of sounds and tones that can only be described as a sound all their own. The band is a four-piece consisting of Hiroyuki, Kenta, Naoto, and Tetsu. Hiroyuki is the vocalist, singing and screaming while dancing, jumping, and swinging across the stage. Kenta is the guitarist, banging his head and swinging his guitar around effortlessly while playing complex scales and intricate riffs. Naoto jumps around the stage, bobbing his head as he lays down flawless bass lines full of thick groovy scales and crunchy fills. Lastly, Tetsu (or “The Beast from the East” as I called him) plays the drums utilizing odd time signatures and insane drum rolls. Every night watching “S-Explode” was an experience and adventure. There are not many bands that can have this effect. In our time together I came to feel very much in the company of brothers connecting not only with their loving personalities but also to their mind-blowing sound. On my journey I took numerous videos documenting our tour together. To check out a video of their set from the last show we played together in Tokyo watch below.