The Zappa Band has a batch of shows coming up…

The Zappa Band has a batch of shows coming up…
Including one with Beer For Dolphins

Hey! It’s been a little while. What’s been up, eh? Here’s a brief look back at the last month or so for me: After the ProgJect tour ended in early May, I played on Cruise To The Edge with The Zappa Band and Jakko Jakszyk, got COVID on the boat, came home, had to cancel a Beer For Dolphins gig in Escondido on May 13 ‘cause of having COVID, got all better in time to play with The Zappa Band at the Rockefellas.live festival in Banning, CA on May 22, Mike Harris just mastered my new album (with Scott Chatfield’s and my assistance) two days ago, and now there’s all this:

On June 3, The Zappa Band returns to the Whisky-A-Go-Go in remarkable Hollywood, CA. Can’t you hear the crashing, blasting strum already? Tickets to this event can be found here.

Zappa BFD Social Square

Then on June 5, something highly unusual is happening at the Grand Ritz Theater in Escondido, CA, near my hometown of San Diego. The cancelled Beer For Dolphins gig from May 13 has been rescheduled…as the opening act for The Zappa Band. Joe Travers and I will be giving OUR ALL as members of both bands. BFD will play an hour-long opening set, studded with old faves, and seasoned with two songs from my upcoming album*. And then The Zappa Band will continue the presentation of sonic esoterica for another two colorful, wonderful hours. Three hours of immense density, for an extremely reasonable price.

Tickets to the Escondido show, which has an early start time of 6pm (it’s a Sunday), are here.

And separate tickets to the VIP EXPERIENCE, which gains you 3pm access to our soundchecks, and allows you to hurl questions at the stage between songs (we will answer you), can be found here – click the PRODUCTS tab on this page to find the VIP tickets.

Adding extra emotional weight to this San Diego-area show for me is the fact that my wife Sarah and I are preparing to move out of Southern California and go to live in a whole other land. I’ve been a Southern California boy for 52 years, and 44 of those years have been spent in San Diego county. So this’ll be my last local show as a San Diego resident, and I’m playing in both bands to boot – it’s likely to be a heavy evening for me, so if you want to come witness some potential blubbering, this will be a good place for you to be.

The Zappa Band

A few days after all that, The Zappa Band tour of the eastern U.S. will commence. Our first-ever headlining tour, and we’ve got enough material in the hopper to do some decent setlist-altering from night to night, so if you come to multiple shows you will probably see some different songs at each one. All the ticket links to all o’ them shows are right here on our very own live dates page.

Gotta get back to prepping for these Cali gigs. All of us in the Zappa Band have to play on different gear than usual at the LA and Escondido gigs because we will have just put all of our regular gear on a truck to be shipped east for the tour, so I have to work out which patches I’m going to use on this here Kurzweil K2vx that my friend Paul Rose has been kind enough to lend me for the SoCal gigs. That was some exclusive, behind-the-scenes scoopery for you right there!

You guys stay awesome and healthy and well, promise? Love you tons, always.

Me (Mike)

*Release date for the new album to be announced, um, pretty soon! We’re figuring it out. I’m happy that it’s finally mastered, that was a big step!

ProgJect tour – coming in April

A few weeks ago I joined a new band called ProgJect, which is the brainchild of drummer/mover/shaker Jonathan Mover, whose work you may know from Joe Satriani, or Marillion, or GTR, or the Musical Box, or his work as editor of Drumhead Magazine or various other entrepreneurial  (MAN that’s a hard word to spell) activities with which he’s found himself entwined over the years.

A couple of years ago he got it into his head to put together something of an all-star band playing a bunch of the progressive rock of the ‘70s he grew up loving (Genesis, Yes, Crimson, ELP, Floyd, Gentle Giant, Bruford, etc.). He joined forces with Ryo Okumoto, the keyboardist from Spock’s Beard, and very soon Michael Sadler (vocalist from SAGA) and Matt Dorsey (bassist from Sound Of Contact and In Continuum) became a part of the enterprise.

ProgJect tour – coming in April

Apparently they had it mind at the beginning of the whole process that they’d like me to play guitar, but thought I was too busy, and then the pandemic happened, and in the event I didn’t hear anything about the project until October 2021. I went up to LA to play with them in January of this year, and basically right away I was going “oh yeah, this needs to happen.”

I love all these songs so much – I grew up loving them just like Jonathan did, and it is absurdly exhilarating to play all these different, fantastic songs one right after the other. We’ve been rehearsing every weekend pretty much and I promise you, it’s a really powerful set of music. I think audiences are going to be extremely happy about this band.

The ProgJect website is this here: www.progject.com

If you want to go directly to the tour dates, that’s here: www.progject.com/main/#tour

This is pretty much an east coast tour, although it starts with an LA show on Apr. 1. Jonathan has very ambitious long-term plans for this band, so don’t be concerned if we’re not coming to your town right away – the idea is to play everywhere. I hope you get to see us soon.

Mike!

“Pup” EP Now Streaming For The First Time – On Bandcamp

Today is Bandcamp Friday! We are participating in this now-venerable tradition by releasing, for the first time in a streaming format, the Mike Keneally Band Pup EP from 2004. This was a very private pressing made available at the time only to those who pre-ordered the Dog album.

In addition to three otherwise unavailable live Keneally Band tracks, it contains a long studio take of the song “Li’l.” This freaky instrumental, in a later recording, ended up on Wine And Pickles, but this earlier version is longer, faster and rawer, and also contains the mysterious sounds of the Mattel Optigan that was available for our use at Stanley Recordings. 

There’s also two one-man-band studio recordings, “Sun Flute” and “Party Poopers,” both recorded at Chatfield Manor in the span of time after Wooden Smoke and Dog, and very different from both of those albums. This was during the period when I was just beginning to sink my claws into Pro Tools. They are pretty sturdy examples of bizarre home-recording experimentalism.

All the music pieces are tied together with radio-style announcements and jingles, as this EP also functioned as promo for the then-brand-new Radio Keneally streaming service (no longer with us, and may its light forever shine in our memories). Pup captures the vibe of Radio Keneally in kind of the same way that The Who Sell Out captured the vibe of pirate radio of the ’60s.

Thank you to Chris Opperman for suggesting to Scott Chatfield and I that we make Pup available on Bandcamp, and then put his hard work where his ideas were and uploaded Pup to Bandcamp himself along with all of the supplementary textual material I prepared to accompany it. The hope is to continue uploading recordings from my catalogue to Bandcamp every month until we finally have it all up there. 

For now, this is the first step, and it is here: https://mikekeneallymusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Mike!
"Pup" EP Now Streaming For The First Time - On Bandcamp