365 Days of Mike Patton: “A Little Poker Tomorrow Night?,” A Perfect Place (2008)

In 1991, Faith No More’s “The Perfect Crime” was recorded for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and for FNM fans who were looking for new music, it was a godsend. But Mike Patton wanted more than just a single song on a single film’s soundtrack.

So, when, about seven years later, he was asked to record the movie score and soundtrack for a black-and-white short called A Perfect Place, he was so enthused that his soundtrack was actually 10 minutes longer than the entire 25-minute film. Here’s “A Little Poker Tomorrow Night?” a song that contains Patton’s mouth noises and plenty of “la-la-la, la-la-la’s” in an almost child-like voice.

There isn’t much in the way of singing on this album (though there are a few that we’ll eventually get to on this 365-day journey), but much of the music is gorgeous.

All Music gave it a good review, though “The twist that differentiates this project from his many others is that he had to adhere to someone else’s vision, and with less freedom to run rampant, the standard Patton idiosyncrasies are refined.” Still, the reviewer wrote that Patton “shows off his enormous talent as a sophisticated composer and musician.”

For Patton, it’s a matter of looking at the music in a visual way.

“With pretty much every musical situation that I’ve been in, like Faith No More, especially, we always would say, ‘Picture Harry Dean Stanton in Paris, Texas.’ And we’d use moments like that,” Patton told Believer Magazine in 2013. “Or the pistol-whipping scene in Goodfellas. … It’s a point of reference that you can use. Instead of saying, ‘Hey, a quarter note here and an eighth note there and a minor seventh…’ No. To me it works much better to say, ‘Now picture this.’”

With the exception of some of the percussion, Patton composed and played everything on the A Perfect Place soundtrack. Which just shows that Patton, for all his vocal talents, isn’t somebody who’s only good at singing and screaming. He’s simply good at being a musician.

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