Posts Tagged ‘Mike Keneally’

Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #4

Anyone familiar with Frank Zappa’s 1988 band is no doubt familiar with the unique guitar and lyrical stylings of multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally, that band’s “stunt guitarist“. It wasn’t very long after the demise of Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa‘s band ‘Z’ that Keneally formed his own recording and touring band, Mike Keneally & Beer for Dolphins. It was around this time that I seriously took an interest in the music of Mike Keneally, who some critics consider “a leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era.”
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“MyKeneally Tour” at Emerald Hall, Braintree, MA.

Imagine your favorite musician or group performing for you and your friends in your very own living room, backyard, or rented hall? That’s what Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller did last year when they put out the call to their fanbase that they were ready, willing, and very much able to perform in these very intimate venues. They hit the road with their first “MyKeneally Tour“:
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Mothers In Da House – The Don & Bunk Show

In the last few years, with the cost of touring becoming so high, musical acts (to my knowledge Mike Keneally is also performing these intimate concerts) have had to innovate, playing whenever and wherever feasibly possible – including community halls, church basements, and, yes, fans’ living rooms.

On March 28th, 2010, The Don & Bunk ShowDon Preston and Bunk Gardner performed an intimate concert at Maclean Studio (aka his living room).

In macleanstudio’s words:

“If you ever get the chance to host a concert at your house with these guys, take it. Such genuinely nice fellows bringing with them musicianship from another dimension. It was great hearing those Zappa tunes. We were all pretty much spellbound. We can’t wait to have them back here on Cape Cod. I hope I’m that cool when I’m 77 !!!”

Note: The Don & Bunk Show, A Zappa Retrospective, Sullivan Hall, New York City, NY, 1 Apr 2010 is available to torrent at Zappateers here.

Mammy Anthem, The Baked Potato, January 6th, 2010

Mike Keneally sits in with the Rick Musallam Band (a former Beer For Dolphins bandmate) at the Baked Potato on January 6th, 2010.

Sleep Dirt Variations

We are all quite familiar with the acoustical duet version of “Sleep Dirt” between Frank Zappa (acoustic lead guitar) and James “Bird Legs” Youmans (acoustic rhythm guitar) on the album of the same name, recorded at the Caribou Studios in Nederland, Colorado, in December, 1974. It is one of the most beautiful compositions in Zappa’s body of work.

The other day, while organizing music tracks, I happened across several versions of “Sleep Dirt” by other artists as well as a live version by Frank Zappa from 1975 which has an eerie resonance when one listens to these later cover versions.

Listen for yourself, then decide:

Sleep Dirt – Henry Kaiser & Mike Keneally
– Live at the Freight and Salvage, 2000.

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Sleep Dirt – Ed Palermo Big Band
– Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, NY, 12 Dec 2007.

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Sleep Dirt – Quintette Gaucher
– Quintette Gaucher Play the Music of Frank Zappa, 1996.

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Sleep Dirt – Zappatistas
– Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, Germany, 3 October 2003.

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Sleep Dirt – Frank Zappa
– War Memorial Gym, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 1 October 1975.

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Mike Keneally Interview & Video

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a big fan of Mike Keneally. His music is so utterly different from anything else that each and every listening is indeed a delight. When his early recordings (which were long out-of-print) were made available for download, believe me, I scooped them up. The words progressive and eclectic only begin to describe this musical renaissance man.
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Zappa’s Universe — Revisited

Zappa’s Universe (the album and video of the same title) documents the big tribute concert thrown for Frank Zappa over four nights (November 7-10, 1991, although the footage on the album and video are from the first two nights), organized by conductor Joel Thome, who assembled the Orchestra of Our Time at the Ritz in NYC. Mike Keneally and Scott Thunes were joined by other ex-Zappa sidemen Steve Vai, Denny Walley among many others including Frank’s son, Dweezil Zappa.

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Humor in Music — Z


Does humor belong in music? During this particular Z gig (NAMM, Hilton, Anaheim, CA) in late January, 1995, it did.

Bryan Beller:

The Z show was a private party for Peavey, with a special guest appearance by Dick Clark. We all got dressed up in fake costume stage tuxes and wore ZZ Top beards for a planned skit, before playing our only song of the evening: an even newer medley, one that spanned the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. It was fun, it was silly, it was Z in a nutshell.

Here are Parts III, IV, and V.

Z is:

Dweezil Zappa – guitar, vocals
Ahmet Zappa – vocals
Mike Keneally – guitar, vocals
Bryan Beller – bass
Joe Travers – drums

Inca Roads a la Mike Keneally


Before you vote comment on the Ben Thomas rendition of Inca Roads with ZPZ, I suggest you watch these two clips: the first has Mike Keneally performing Inca Roads in Swindon, UK, in October of 2008; the second clip is an acoustic cover of Inca Roads (with Brian Beller) performed at Guitar Center, Seattle, Washington, October 7th, 2002.

Big Band Zappa — Ed Palermo


Three reasons to purchase every Ed Palermo Big Band CD you can possibly get your hands on:

One:

Ed Palermo’s Big Band performs “Echidna’s Arf” with Mike Keneally during the early show at River Street Jazz Café in Wilkes-Barre, PA, on August 16th, 1998.

Two:

Ed Palermo Big Band performs “Cruising For Burgers” at the Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, November 10th, 2004.

Three:

The Ed Palermo Big Band probably has the greatest horn section since the 1988 Zappa band disbanded (Ed Palermo’s interpretations of Frank Zappa compositions are always a delight to hear).

Yes, Balint, I can feel Eddie’s love for Frank.