March 27 1995 2:06 PM
I've been in San Diego this weekend doing overdubs on "The Mistakes" (the quartet album with me, Henry Kaiser, Andy West and Prairie Prince). As is usually the case with me, there's too much material for a single CD, so the torturous process of weeding now begins. Henry returns to SD on April 10 to do his final overdubs, then Prairie may or may not do some percussion stuff (he hasn't gotten back to me yet on that), then I have a few more overdubs to do and then we're ready for mixdown. I tried to be very spontaneous during the overdub phase this weekend, as opposed to sweating every detail the way I normally would. The album has fallen into place very organically and I'm making an effort not to screw with that. I'll be fascinated to find out what you folks think of this one. It's very free, but it really has a strong "band" feel to it. The other guys who played on it are all thrilled with what we've done so far. Henry has for some time maintained an annotated discography of all his recorded work, and he grades each album. I'm angling for a good grade.
The little European promotional jaunt which Z just undertook turned out to be big fun. I was concerned about my emotional state, because when I went to Japan in January I was distraught with homesickness. This time out, although I still missed Viv and Jesse terribly, the guys in the band were very adept at keeping me busy (ie: drinking). Of all the tours I've done this was by far the least tension-riddled. The worst thing that happened was when Bryan and I went to a restaurant in Frankfurt to hang out with some folks from Tech 21 and Eventide. At the table I proudly showed off my little talking picture frame with Jesse's photo inside (you can hear the audio portion of this presentation in my New Year's message under "Mike's Sights & Sounds", and it's also the loop that provides the melody for "Baby Blues", a Mistakes tune which you may sample from the "Sights & Sounds" page). When the big greasy food arrived it was suggested that it would be a good idea to put Jesse away, so I asked Bryan to put the little device in my coat pocket, which he promptly did. A half-hour later, someone else at the table looked to another part of the room and said "Hey, isn't that Mike's little baby thing?" Bryan fetched it and sure enough, it was. Now, on this little trinket, there are two buttons, marked "REC" and "PLAY". Already knowing what would happen, I sternly directed Bryan to press "PLAY". The sound of cutlery and Germans regaled us. At this point I shouted "fuck" as loudly as possible. You wouldn't think you could get a restaurant full of happy drinking Germans to shut up instantly, but that's what happened (so keep it in mind, next time you need to do that). Bryan leaped to fill the silence in this way: "What kind of ASSHOLE would see this thing and press RECORD???!!!!" making things ever so much more comfortable. Anyway, I'm sure you figured out what happened: Bryan put the thingy in the wrong coat and someone found it and started passing it around. Ultimately I'm just glad it wasn't lost. I compensated at first by recording my own imitation of Jesse's gurgling, and then when I got home I scored big time...it now contains a sample of Jesse very clearly saying "little baby" (she's only ten months old you understand). So all's well, but I won't be letting it out of my sight again.
There's a Mike Keneally mailing list, incidentally, for anyone who still traffics in snail mail. The first Keneally newsletter/catalogue has just been prepared, so if you want in, please write to Immune Records, 9269 Mission Gorge Rd. #211, San Diego, CA 92071, or call at 619-448-3062. Suzanne will tell you what you need to do to get the "Rosemary Girl" CD single, "hat" and "Dust Speck" CDs and T-shirts, and she's also taking pre-orders on "The Mistakes". Further releases include the virtually live in the studio digital recording of Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins (which we may have to release in lieu of a Keneally tour in the near future, since Z may keep me too busy to go out on my own); plus I've recorded exactly one basic track for the next all-original Keneally album, which will almost certainly be called "Milk Blood Tuna". The new song is provisionally entitled "Frozen Beef" but will probably inherit a new name when I write actual lyrics for it. It's a jaunty tune, more upbeat than virtually everything on "Dust Speck", and seems to pointing the way to the next album's vibe. Maybe Scott will load in a few seconds of "Frozen Beef" for you to taste at your leisure.
I just got done typing a bunch of comments and general information about every album on which I've appeared, which was a horrifying amount of work, so the least you can do is look at it. Click on Discography and you'll get the master list of albums, then click on any of the artists listed to receive further information. Thanks to everyone who's responded to "The Poodle Bites"; keep sending in updates as you spot them.
The April issue of Guitar Player magazine has a nice article about the rebirth of progressive rock (something I didn't realize I was taking part in) featuring myself, John Petrucci of Dream Theater and Ed Wynne of Ozric Tentacles. (In Paris a couple of weeks ago, I went to a Dream Theater gig---which I actually liked a lot---and said howdy to Petrucci, who unfortunately was bumming because his right arm was mutating after five months of non-stop touring. I hung out a bit with Mike, the drummer, who's a super nice guy and fierce Zappa enthusiast---he dedicated the most recent Dream Theater album to Frank). The April issue also has a nice "Dust Speck" review by Andy Ellis, which you can read on the "Boil That Dust Speck" page. I was talking to Guitar Player for a while about getting permission to display my recent columns for the magazine at this here Web site---that's right, I need permission to reprint my own stuff. Not only that, it was refused! Guitar Player is setting up a page of their own, so hopefully you'll soon be able to visit them and check out any of my columns.
Hey! I broke a mirror here at Chatfield manor this morning. Pray for my soul. Thanks for visiting the page. Scott and I hope you enjoy it; it's a lot of fun for us. Take care.