Archive for April, 2007

Street Spirit – Eye Weekly (4.19.07)

April 23, 2007

A Street Spirit column for Eye Weekly on the soundtrack resurgence.


Bright Eyes review – Eye Weekly (4.19.07)

April 20, 2007

Bright Eyes‘ justifiably hyped new record Cassadaga.

Mike Patton interview – Eye Daily (4.12.07)

April 16, 2007


There’s no such thing as a brief introduction to Mike Patton. For the record, let’s just say that he became famous singing with Faith No More and then spent the next 15 years making every kind of music imaginable and working on a catalogue to rival his mentor John Zorn. The most recent installment being his foray back into the pop world, an A-list guest-fest called Peeping Tom, who play The Phoenix tonight. I recently spoke with the man of a thousand bands on the phone before his soundcheck in Boston.

BILTON: Has it been a relief just singing with Peeping Tom as opposed to conducting and playing other instruments?
PATTION: Absolutely. It’s like vacation. This band has much more of a Vegas vibe. It’s very entertaining and it’s quite the party vibe so it’s kind of exotic for me.

You’ve mentioned that this project has a lot more potential in terms of people that you want to work with in the pop world. Do you have certain people in mind?
I’m probably not going to squirt any names out there as of yet, but there’s some people — old friends who didn’t make it on the first record but who did some tracks with us already. And then there’s a wish list of people that come into my mind every time I look up into the clouds. I’ll see what I can pull out of the hat for the next one.

Do you still get the occasional strange collaboration request, or have people figured out that you’re not interested in fronting INXS?
I don’t get those offers very often. But every now and then something cool comes through the pipeline. Like the Bjork thing, and I’m on the next Massive Attack record. I still really enjoy collaborating and helping other people realize their vision.

Speaking of collaboration, can you tell me a bit about working with John Zorn on the Moonchild and Astronome projects?
That is unlike most other things I do. Working with Zorn is an event; he knows exactly what he wants. (more…)

Street Furinture Sell-out? – Eye Weekly (4.12.07)

April 13, 2007

A look at Toronto’s hotly contested Coordinated Street Furniture Project.

Street Illegal – Eye Weekly (3.29.07)

April 2, 2007

Street illegal

Rami Tabello is doing the work city hall won’t to find illegal billboards – so why does the clerk’s office say he’s frivolous?

Right here, we had this sign taken down… whoa, it’s back up. I have to take a picture of that.” In the middle of Peter Street, just south of Queen West, Rami Tabello jams his candy-apple red Mini into park and flips on the four-ways. “That’s a re-erection,” he says excitedly, like he’s spotted a smack-addled celebrity. “Hold on,” he tells me, and screws his body around in the cramped driver’s seat to snap a photo of an illegal billboard that was as of yesterday triumphantly removed – thanks to his efforts. But by now I’m accustomed to the erratic braking and aggravated honking as we stop to gawk like yokel tourists, paying dangerously little attention to the midday traffic in Toronto’s entertainment district.

For the past half hour, I’ve been riding shotgun with Tabello as he takes me on a sightseeing tour of Toronto’s illegal third-party billboards. Throughout our conversation, he interjects constantly to point out specific offenders, rhyming them off like old acquaintances: “That’s a re-erection; this variance was rejected by the city; that sign has a mural permit but they’ve hung a vinyl fascia.” I can barely keep them straight, let alone plot our travels.

But Tabello knows the route, expertly threading his tiny car though the gridlocked streets. “Downtown’s not such a huge place,” he says. “[The work] can get overwhelming but it’s worth it.” And after explaining the five violations at a particularly ill-advertised intersection, he sums up the lesson: “So, you see, it’s everywhere. But it’s kind of fun.”