Discography: Mike with others 1980-1989

1986 Burning Bridges – Yayo (Accretions flexi-disc)

MK involvement: “Affable organ” (it says so on the cover)

Comments (ca.1996): The next time you and your friend Jerry are having a conversation about what the first-ever commercially released Keneally performance on disc was, boy, will Jerry be surprised!

Jerry: Surely it was “Broadway the Hard Way” in 1988?

You: Nope!

Jerry: The little-known “Damn These Pants” from ’82?

You: No, sir!

Jerry: Damn you, you! What is?

And then you whip out your copy of “Yayo” by Burning Bridges. BB are buddies of mine from way back, one of whom, Andy Vereen, was in the band Graphic with my brother and I. Andy also sings on “hat” and is mentioned by name in “Here is Why”. I think I covered this ground somewhere else on the page, but hey. And the recently released “Trummerflora” involves several Bridge denizens as well. So our relationship is long, and standing.

Actually using the term “commercially released” is slightly misleading, as the only way to procure “Yayo” was to purchase BB ‘s first single (which I believe was “World In Motion”, and screw me if I’m wrong) and find within it a brief piece of paper hawking a free copy of “Yayo” on red flexi-material if’n you only would send the brief piece of paper in. And then in the mail you’d get it, and you’d put it on and play it and hear a joyous little shouter with tasty organic fills from yers truly. Then the record would end and you’d do something else.

Probably no longer available but write to Accretions anyway and tell them I said hi (PO Box 81973 San Diego CA 92138).

1987 James Morton – Let’s Make Rhythm!

MK involvement: Keys, bass, guitar, vocal

Comments: This is a tape which accompanies a book which teaches tots to bang on percussion devices. ‘Twas recorded on the same machine which brought the home demo Tar Tapes material to life, a four-track reel-to-reel Dokorder for which “Let’s Make Rhythm!” was a last mighty wheeze before entering itself into early retirement. (The noise-to-signal ratio on this cassette is pretty stunning.) The format consists of narration about different percussion instruments alternating with simple ditties designed to show off each instrument’s unique qualities. My fave memory of the recording process would be James’ intro to “Giddy-up”, which found him on his stomach on our kitchen floor banging coconut shells on the tile, then craning his neck upwards to speak into the mic in audibly labored tones. Other tracks include “Cymbal Blues” (which I attempt to sing like Kermit the Frog, but Bryan thought sounded like Bachman-Turner Overdrive), “Shave Haircut Two Bits” (the single), “The Old Soft Shoe” and “Crash Goes The Cymbal” (both of which I sang in a voice which I imagined at the time would be soothing and pleasant for kids, but which frightened Scott when I played it for him a couple of hours ago – he’s probably having nightmares about it as I type). Instrumentally the star of the day is my old deceased Oberheim OB-SX which provides a variety of doingy synth noises. “The Knee Fist Song” (that’s really the title) and “My Triangle Has Three Sides” sound like outtakes from a really misguided They Might Be Giants session.

1988 Frank Zappa – Broadway The Hard Way (Rykodisc)

LP/cassette song list: Side One:

  1. Elvis Has Just Left The Building
  2. Planet Of The Baritone Women
  3. Any Kind of Pain
  4. Jesus Thinks You’re a Jerk

Side Two:

  1. Dickie’s Such An Asshole
  2. When The Lie’s So Big
  3. Rhymin’ Man
  4. Promiscuous
  5. The Untouchables

The LP and cassette feature a spoken dissertation on the origin of “Confinement Loaf” at the beginning of side two, and the band members are introduced at the end of the album, two items not on the CD version.

CD song list:

  1. Elvis Has Just Left The Building 2:24
  2. Planet Of The Baritone Women 2:48
  3. Any Kind of Pain 5:42
  4. Dickie’s Such An Asshole 5:45
  5. When The Lie’s So Big 3:38
  6. Rhymin’ Man 3:50
  7. Promiscuous 2:02
  8. The Untouchables 2:26
  9. Why Don’t You Like Me? 2:57
  10. Bacon Fat 1:29
  11. Stolen Moments 2:58
  12. Murder By Numbers 5:37 (featuring Sting)
  13. Jezebel Boy 2:27
  14. Outside Now 7:49
  15. Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel 6:40
  16. What Kind Of Girl 3:16
  17. Jesus Thinks You’re A Jerk 9:15

MK involvement: Manual performance of written guitar lines which were, and let there be no question about this, composed by Frank Zappa; keyboards on tracks 2, 3, 5 and briefly on 16; lead vocals on “Elvis” and “Rhymin’ Man”, and the role of the prostitute in “What Kind Of Girl?”; harmony vocals on remainder.

Comments (ca.1996): People still ask me if it’s me doing the Johnny Cash voice; yeah, that’s me, even though I will always contend it sounds more like Mr. Ed. “Promiscuous” and “Jezebel Boy” were each played only once on the tour, which accounts for the rough edges in the performances. We probably rehearsed “Jezebel Boy” 200 times in L.A. before the tour started, so I don’t really understand why we only played it one time. I suppose it’s such an “L.A.” song that it just never felt right to play it anywhere else. “What Kind of Girl” was played twice, and constructed during soundchecks on the road in response to current events. Those are pretty much the highest notes possible for me to sing. It hurt. Sting joined us on stage in Chicago; he was an extremely pleasant gentleman and he actually seemed quite nervous backstage. You know how some people just exude charisma and all attention in a room is drawn to them even if they’re just standing still doing nothing at all? I’m afraid Sting is one of those sorts of people. Frank came up with “Elvis” and “Rhymin’ Man” for me to sing during the European leg of the tour, at a time when band morale was extremely low. Since I was still the enthusiastic puppy of the band, I was more than happy to accept, which is probably a good thing—the rest of the guys weren’t exactly craving more work at that point.

Discography: Mike Keneally Discography: Mike with others 1990-1999