Much New Year’s News!

Happy Tuesday the seventeenth day of the new year!

I got a really amazing Rudolph mask for Christmas – it covers my entire head. What else could I possibly need?

Here are things!:

THE DRAWINGS from the SOUTH AMERICAN TOUR

I lob wide swaths of thank yous to everyone who ordered things at The Keneally Store in December, and thus became eligible to receive one of a bunch of pictures I drew during the December South America Satriani tour (such as the one you see here). I will soon place all of your names into the Rudolph head I just got for Christmas, and pull out the names of the winners, and then I’ll ship the drawings out next week. Good luck! Good luck, I say!

MK/BFD at X-JAMM in ANAHEIM on JAN. 21

I’m excited as cuss that the Beer For Dolphins quartet is going to play at:

X-JAMM!
presented by Blue Mouth Promotions

M3 Live Anaheim Event Center
2232 S. Harbor Blvd.
Saturday, January 21
5:30 pm
(Right down the street from the NAMM show)

It also features
Tony MacAlpine
Andy Timmons
The Travis Larson Band
Mark Lettieri of Snarky Puppy
Teddy Kumpel
Cameron Allen

In addition, very special guest Andy West will appear (and Andy Timmons, Travis Larson and myself will be playing a venerable Dixie Dregs classic with him).

So come see this! It’s 20 bucks at the door – ticket sales begin at the venue at 1pm on the day of the show (no advance tickets). No NAMM badge required to see this show! Just show up!

(If you are attending the convention itself, I’ll be signing photos at the KORG booth on Friday, Jan. 20 at 5pm. Jordan Rudess and Billy Sherwood will be there signing photos as well. Three guys, just a-signin’ a bunch of photos. Skritch skritch skritch. Or psss psss psss. That’s the sound of Sharpies.)

BAKED with BRENDON SMALL and STEVE AGEE
JAN. 28 as part of A NIGHT ON BROADWAY

I haven’t done a BAKED show with Brendon and Steve in several small forevers. So color me sizzling with gladness to be doing it again. Joe Travers will drum and Walter Ino will bass, and there will be comedians! Jugglers (not really)! Fire-breathers (not really)!

It’s part of an event called A Night On Broadway in downtown LA, wherein all or many of the classic and venerable (yes, I’ve used the word “venerable” twice so far. Three times now!) theaters of that region are simultaneously occupied by various entertainment people, so as to produce a huge night of ENTERTAINMENT spanning the entire downtown area. Fun! Epic! Venerable! We did it last year and it was “an hoot.”

Our venue is the Palace Theatre at 630 S. Broadway. It’s beautiful! Look at it! I don’t think we know our time slot yet, or how much the tickets are, but here’s the link for the whole A Night On Broadway event. Right now that site is a husk, an empty shelf, but the details will presumably be posted there once those details exist.
SATRIANI IN ASIA

The Shockwave continues! Joe Satriani and his band of scoundrels (me, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann) will be finishing up our touring in support of the Shockwave Supernova album next month in Asia. We’re playing Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand and Singapore in a two-week run. All the details are here at Joe’s website.

The December South American tour had some of the wildest playing we’ve ever done, and I’m excited for us to play again. I’m also very glad to be going back to Asia – it’s been a long time!

SOME ENTICING ITEMS FROM THE WORLD OF ONLINE

Here’re some things that have popped up lately on the web, which is wide as the world:

I did Jude Gold’s “No Guitar Is Safe” podcast. (It’s episode 36 – click link and scroll down a little bit to find it.) For this podcast, Jude sets up two amp rigs in the interview space so both he and his interviewee can play anytime the muse dictates. So this is nearly two hours of us playing whatever and talking about stuff. Jude is a great guy and this was really freaking fun to do. Thanks Jude for asking me to do it!

Excerpts from this interview with Jude can also be read with your eyes in the February 2017 issue of Guitar Player magazine. On newsstands now!

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Here’s an interview with AXS.com. Thank you to Kevin Wierzbicki for asking me a small but thought-provoking batch of questions that found me in a talkative mood.

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I recently went to the home of Anthony Garone, who is the lynchpin of Make Weird Music, which is a website devoted to guess what? You’re right! I did a house concert at Anthony’s for a bunch of demonstrably wonderful people, with Andy West guesting on bass for 10 of the songs. We had us a time, and I can’t thank Anthony enough for inviting us to play.

The following morning Anthony asked me to play through the song “You Must Be This Tall,” and he made a video of it. Then a few days later a young guitarist named Yvan Cluet did a bitchin’ transcription of my performance in the video. Yvan hears “1” in a different place than I do (clue: I hear the very first guitar note as starting on the “3”). Check it out!

Anthony also made a recording of Andy and I having a good time talking about music for about a half hour – there’s video, audio and text of this discussion on this page (thanks to Julie Cord for transcribing this conversation). Many things are discussed: Moby Dick…Mahavishnu…what Crazy Backwards Alphabet were thinking while they were playing…diving deeper into Satriani’s music…lots and lots of topics. It’s a good time. (I’m real glad that I get to play with Andy in Anaheim next week.)

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Tabletop Genesis – this is a seriously fun podcast that allowed me to get my Genesis geekdom on in a maximum-power sort of way. During the recent BFD East Coast tour, I talked with Michael Lord and Eli Noetinger for an hour-long episode of their podcast. It’s Episode 18 (as of January 13 it’s the episode at the top of the page). Yakking on and on about what we love about Genesis = TOO MUCH FLIPPING FUN. I could easily have jabbered for another two hours. Thanks Michael and Eli!

AND NOW I BID YOU ADIEU AND I WOULD ASK ONLY THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND BE KIND TO OTHERS AND HAVE A GOOD TIME

See ya!

Love,
Mike


Scambot 2 Factoids

We’re shipping the 2-CD Scambot 2 signed and numbered limited edition of 2000. The double-CD set consists of the Scambot 2 album (65 minutes of music) and the Inkling album (48 minutes of music) in a colorful digi-pak, with two handsome booklets nestled within. You’ll get an immediate download of Scambot 2 as soon as you pre-order. (You’ll have to wait until your CD set arrives to hear Inkling, which, by the way, features the brilliant RICK MUSALLAM on the song “Cram”!!)

Scambot 2 itself is also available as a single-album paid download. (Inkling won’t be available as a download – it’s only available as part of the 2-CD set.)


SCAMBOT 2

1. In The Trees (10:28)
2. Roots Twist (3:02)
3. Sam (3:20)
4. Clipper (4:36)
5. Forget About It (0:46)
6. Pretzels (4:25)
7. Buzz (4:32)
8. Race The Stars (3:44)
9. O (1:26)
10. Roll (6:23)
11. Constructed (3:46)
12. Freezer Burn (5:23)
13. Scores of People (5:22)
14. Cold Hands Gnat (4:00)
15. Proceed (3:19)


INKLING (More from the Scambot 2 Sessions)

1. Presence (0:48)
2. Scambot (2:17)
3. Boghe (4:01)
4. Sickness (2:01)
5. The Coma (2:11)
6. I Named You (0:45)
7. Falafel (1:29)
8. O Elastic Love! (1:23)
9. Cram (8:10)
10. Mystery Song (0:04)
11. E (0:37)
12. The Scorpions (5:32)
13. Skating Backwards (2:15)
14. Tom (7:01)
15. Mayday! (1:25)
16. Lovesong (1:27)
17. Back It Up (2:54)
18. Inkling (1:37)
19. Uncompressed Rag (2:04)

South America Satriani tour! Win free MK original drawings! Maybe!

Hotel Entirely Delightful, Mexico City, Dec. 1 2016

Hello dear friends – I hope you’re finding a great deal of happiness this holiday season.

I’ll be in South America for two-thirds of this here month of December, playing with Joe Satriani, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann starting tonight in Mexico City.

Now it’s a few hours later – I’m in the dressing room after soundcheck/rehearsal, and I got to say it’s a pleasure to be back in Satch world – soundcheck was super fun and I’m really looking forward to these gigs!

Here are the tour dates of destiny:

MIKE KENEALLY
playing in JOE SATRIANI’S BAND
also totally featuring BRYAN BELLER and MARCO MINNEMANN:

December 1
Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City, MX

December 4
Teatro Coliseo, Santiago, CL

December 7
EDA (Espaco das Americas), Sao Paulo, BR

December 9
Net Live Curitiba, Curitiba, BR

December 11
Teatro Araujo Vianna, Porto Allegre, BR

December 13
Teatro de Verano, Montevideo, UY

December 15
Plaza de la Musica, Cordoba, AR

December 16
Luna Park, Buenos Aires, AR

December 17
Teatro El Circulo, Rosario, AR


While on the road this month, I am feeling a very specific desire to do a batch of ridiculous drawings.

Such as these two I did last night in the hotel.

I enjoy doing these whilst touring. If the hotel stationary is any good I’ll sometimes use that, but otherwise I just do them in the sketchbook I brung with me.

I was thinking that some of you folks might enjoy getting a hold of one of these absurd things, so we’ve decided this:

THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF MAYBE

For the month of December 2016, anyone who buys anything from the Mike Keneally Store will be entered in a contest to receive one of the drawings I do during this tour.

After the beginning of the new year, Scott Chatfield will give me the names of everyone who ordered stuff during December, and I will randomly choose names (from a hat!) and send each winner one of the drawings. I’m absolutely gonna do twelve drawings, but maybe more. Your chances of winning are increased by how creative I feel.

The drawings will be shipped separately from the merchandise you order (in case your order is meant as a holiday gift, I don’t want to hold up the shipment waiting for me to get home from the road – plus I want to keep this contest thing going for the entirety of December).

This applies to both physical and digital purchases – everyone who orders anything from us in December has an equal shot at getting a drawing.


And finally, here are a bunch of new me-related things you might like to see and/or hear:

A video of me messing around with a great big pile of super-fun Pigtronix pedals, including the enticing Infinity Looper.

A video of me playing the song “Roll” for EMGtv – I played four different Scambot 2 songs for EMG pickups, which they will be rolling out (so to speak!) over the next few months… this is the first one.

A new interview for Music Street Journal.

And a Scambot 2 review also from Music Street Journal.

A new interview for Guitar Mania.

And a Scambot 2 review from Guitar Mania.

Another Scambot 2 review, from The Progressive Aspect.

A nice interview with Highway 81 Revisited.

Another interview, this one for Ticket.

And this podcast interview for The Prog Report.

There you go, a bunch of stuff to keep you busy while you’re not shopping. I offer thanks to the many journalists who’ve been keeping me yapping or typing recently, it is much appreciated.

As are you!!

Sending love,
Mike


Scambot 2 Factoids

We’re shipping the 2-CD Scambot 2 signed and numbered limited edition of 2000. The double-CD set consists of the Scambot 2 album (65 minutes of music) and the Inkling album (48 minutes of music) in a colorful digi-pak, with two handsome booklets nestled within. You’ll get an immediate download of Scambot 2 as soon as you pre-order. (You’ll have to wait until your CD set arrives to hear Inkling, which, by the way, features the brilliant RICK MUSALLAM on the song “Cram”!!)

Scambot 2 itself is also available as a single-album paid download. (Inkling won’t be available as a download – it’s only available as part of the 2-CD set.)


SCAMBOT 2

1. In The Trees (10:28)
2. Roots Twist (3:02)
3. Sam (3:20)
4. Clipper (4:36)
5. Forget About It (0:46)
6. Pretzels (4:25)
7. Buzz (4:32)
8. Race The Stars (3:44)
9. O (1:26)
10. Roll (6:23)
11. Constructed (3:46)
12. Freezer Burn (5:23)
13. Scores of People (5:22)
14. Cold Hands Gnat (4:00)
15. Proceed (3:19)


INKLING (More from the Scambot 2 Sessions)

1. Presence (0:48)
2. Scambot (2:17)
3. Boghe (4:01)
4. Sickness (2:01)
5. The Coma (2:11)
6. I Named You (0:45)
7. Falafel (1:29)
8. O Elastic Love! (1:23)
9. Cram (8:10)
10. Mystery Song (0:04)
11. E (0:37)
12. The Scorpions (5:32)
13. Skating Backwards (2:15)
14. Tom (7:01)
15. Mayday! (1:25)
16. Lovesong (1:27)
17. Back It Up (2:54)
18. Inkling (1:37)
19. Uncompressed Rag (2:04)

KENEALLY ON TOUR! SCAMBOT 2 NEWS!

WE’RE HITTING THE ROAD A FEW MOMENTS FROM NOW

tore-kersten-hi-res-photo-3

 

 

 

(Photo by Tore Kersten)

Hello! Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins (trio version – that’s me, Bryan Beller and Joe Travers) will be on the road beginning at the end of this week. The Travis Larson Band will open for us. The dates and info can be found here. We are all psyched!

It starts with Progtoberfest at Reggie’s in Chicago: on Friday the 21st I’ll be guesting at a Keith Emerson tribute show, which has had me very busy over the last week practicing some insane keyboard stuff, and on Saturday the 22nd MK/BFD will appear at the same venue.

From there we move on to the East Coast. For those of you planning to see us in NYC on Oct. 26, please be aware that there’s been a venue change: we will now be performing at Leftfield Upstairs, 87 Ludlow St. This venue doesn’t sell tickets in advance so show up early to buy tickets at the door. Travis Larson hits at 7pm. I’m excited to try out a new venue in NYC and grateful we were able to line this up at such short notice.

We then wind around through Richmond, Raleigh and Charlotte. Then we’ll head back across the country for two shows at the Baked Potato in LA: the trio will play on Sunday, November 6, and on Tuesday, November 8 – Election Night in the US – Rick Musallam will join us for a full night of quartet madness.

I hope you can see one or several of these shows. If you can, bring lots of friends! Bryan, Joe and I first played as a trio in the mid-’90s, and in all this time we’ve never been out of California as a trio – come out and celebrate this rare occasion with us!
SOME SCAMBOT 2 STUFF PART 1: A NEW INTERIVEW

Here’s a nice interview I did with Cameron Piko for Echoes & Dust, primarily about Scambot 2. Keith Emerson, Gentle Giant and Kendrick Lamar are also referenced therein. Cameron is a very cool dude – he created this insanely detailed interactive map to the conceptual continuity of Frank Zappa‘s catalogue. You can easily get lost in this thing for hours. In contrast, the Echoes & Dust interview will only take up about six minutes of your time. Thanks for a very enjoyable interview Cameron!
SOME SCAMBOT 2 STUFF PART 2: A NEW LYRICS CONTEST

Way back when, in ’94, in the liner notes to Boil That Dust Speck, I challenged people to figure out the secret backing vocals during the second verse of “Top Of Stove Melting.” If I remember correctly, I offered to give the winner a bag of donuts. I can’t remember if anyone collected. (I am happy to now share those lyrics publicly: “Once upon a time when you saw roadkill, you said ‘awww’/now you say ‘good for you’/maybe it’s a certain enzyme you lack/and may all your T-shirts be black.”)

Well! On Scambot 2, during the song “Pretzels,” there are two separate sets of backing vocals, where I once again didn’t stick the lyrics in the booklet. They occur at 0:33 and 3:27. I don’t think they’re as difficult to discern as the ones in “Melting” were.

You may see where this is headed. The first person to figure out those lyrics will get a bag of pretzels from me! (Gluten-free option available on request – I know a REALLY good brand.) If you do Facebook, please send me a message there (here’s my profile). If you Twitter, send me a message here.

One clue – one of the lines involves the name of one of my dear departed uncles, and he had an unusual nickname, so if you hear something that seems completely grammatically bizarre, that might explain it.
SOME SCAMBOT 2 STUFF PART 3: THE GENIUS OF RICK MUSALLAM ON “CRAM”

I suppose that this is technically some Inkling stuff rather than some Scambot 2 stuff, but since Inkling is only available as part of the Scambot 2 double-CD package, it’s virtually the same thing, yeah?

I’m now putting on headphones, and I’m going to play the song “Cram” and provide a guide to some of my favorite Rick Musallam moments within it. Please refer to this the next time you listen to the song!
MUSALLAM in “CRAM”:

His Les Paul appears on the far right of the stereo spectrum.

0:13 Rick tiptoes subtly into frame for the first time.
0:16 He provides commentary on his own initial utterance.
0:19 He asserts himself fully with an insouciant upward flourish, followed by a sprightly “sprang” at 0:21.

Starting at 0:24, Rick begins to bring the funk in earnest for a short series of lovely phrases.
My favorite of these is at 0:38. It sounds like the guitar is saying “Bongoes? Blahhh.”

1:11 A beautifully untranscribable chord that sounds like geese complaining.

1:16 is a real gift to the song, a very memorable four-note hook that pushes along this part of the song perfectly at its crucial mid-point.
At the end of the section at 1:27, his guitar literally laughs at the song. It is masterfully irreverent.

1:33 He returns to the motif he’d established back in the opening section, but more assertively. His note choices kill me here.

1:53 Another perfectly timed chord clunge.

2:00 He scrubs his strings rhythmically, adding percussive oomph to the new section.

2:09 A chromatically ascending series of quick string bends that works in perfect alchemy with what’s happening in the rest of the track right there. One of my favorite moments of the song.

2:24 A moment that is satisfying to me for reasons I can’t even explain. This little three-note descending lick frames the beginning of this new section perfectly for me, and it doesn’t make any sense why it does or should. But it does! And he follows it with the perfect chord, and, understanding that he’s just done something perfect, plays the SAME three-note lick and chord again. Then he does it a third time, but for the resolving chord, he plays a rather shocking, much higher chord, that turns out to be the first chord of a beautifully relaxed and bluesy descending chord melody. This whole episode demonstrates masterful arranging/production/performance skills, served up in real time on the spot. Way to go Ricky.

3:19 A few bars of funky chucking and quacking, providing a nice contrast to the ’70s West Coast CSNY-style acoustic stuff I overdubbed in this section.

4:24 Rick plays a perfectly complementary note to the dive-bombing low note in my solo. I overdubbed my solo months after Rick’s track was recorded, so Rick really had no idea at the time how perfect his note was in relation to it, but I choose to believe that he somehow knew what I was going to play later on.

4:35 A perfect four-note Rick-ism to close out this section. I had Mike Harris make it louder than my solo in the mix because I love it so much.

5:58 After laying low for a while, Rick toys around with a little Lydian-mode flourish that adds a very understated and nice touch to this new section.

6:35 The first of some little bluesy tossed-off licks he plugs into the spaces in my playing. I might have turned him up more in this section, but this whole closing section of the song has a haziness to it that I really like and I didn’t want anything to stick out too much. He is ubercool in this section though.

7:06-7:25 He’s still quiet in the mix here, but adding some really pungent notes that blend in with my chords, and add some dark and lovely harmonic complexity as things begin to wind down. You might not hear him, but you can feel him here.

7:32 A little two-note rising melody that I liked so much, I had Mike Harris copy/paste it (along with Kris Myers‘ deep groove) and repeat it over and over for the closing 30 seconds of the song.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Musallam is a beautiful beast on the git-tar! I love him, and so do you!
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS

Thank you for reading this!
Your obedient serpent,
Mike Keneally