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THE KENEALLIST: This Bandcamp Friday, Mike presents Tar Tapes Vol. 2!

The Keneallist!

Hello, greetings, welcome and hi!

The Tar Tapes Vol. 2 comes to Bandcamp

Bandcamp Friday continues afoot, by which I mean apace!

Let me start again!

Bandcamp Friday continues apace!, and for December we are completing the Tar Tapes difecta with the appearance of The Tar Tapes Vol. 2 (we put up Vol. 1 last month, in case that slipped by your transom).

The Tar Taoes Vol.2

Vol. 2 was compiled in 1998, and was designed to reflect my then-current state of mind, using only music mostly recorded in the 1980s, which was an interesting exercise for me. In addition to home 4-track recordings, there are also live and studio recordings with my band Drop Control, and computer experiments done at Scott Chatfield’s house in the very early ‘90s. Apart from the original versions of “Fencing” and “Always Man” (which pre-date the hat. versions by a couple of years), all the songs are unique to this release.

1. Strange Impulse (1989)
2. Recognize (1986)
3. Meat Under Analysis (1982)
4. Anybody’s Brain (1984)
5. Molehead (1991)
6. Old Homes (1983)
7. Guns (1985)
8. Economy (1984)
9. Fencing (original version) (1989)
10. Always Man (original version) (1990)
11. Things Seem Important (1982)
12. Mystery Eyes (1986)
13. Where Are You (1984)
14. Bazbo (1991)
15. Bazbo the Flea (1991)
16. The Wreckage Was Large (1989)
17. Building Bigger Lies (1983)

It’s a substantial collection! I stand firmly behind all of these songs, with my hands on their little song shoulders!

The Tar Tapes Vol. 2 spans a gaping stylistic range, from me at my most accessible and pop-oriented, to more abstract/complex occurrences, and a myriad of way-stations in between. “Strange Impulse” (atmospheric pop) and “The Wreckage Was Large” (a Crimsonian look at the career of El Debarge) have both made their way into live setlists sporadically over the years, so you may have heard them at a show or two.

But this is a collection of “song” songs that, for whatever reason, mostly didn’t get a further airing later on, and maybe they shoulda. These are good songs, y’know? Maybe I’ll bust out a live version of “Economy” or “Old Homes” on the road with BFD next year (yes I AM trying to book road dates for BFD next year, wish us luck!).

Persons as varied as John Dean, Abbie Hoffman and Mariah Carey are all united in having never listened to this album, ever. You can break this chain! The Tar Tapes Vol. 2 will be available this Friday on Bandcamp, that’s what I’m trying to say!

And this Friday’s the day artists (just like me) get 100% of every penny you choose to spend!

Bask in the 2nd Mike Keneally/Marcelo Radulovich release

Marcelo is my dear pal who worked with me in 2001 on Wooden Smoke, and in September of this year we put out the ethereal instrumental collection Monday.

Our new release Bask starts off in a similarly ambient vein with the instrumental piece “Wake Up Dragon,” before heading off into a massively varied collection of vocal tunes, featuring Marcelo’s amazing voice, playing and production skills, and a whole bunch of me on guitars, keyboards and bass (and some sangin’. I sing lead on the tune “Quarry”).

A lot of it is super-eclectic studio funk, with amazing rhythms constructed by Marcelo, unusual harmonic structures coming out of me, and entire universes of kaleidoscopic sound flying by – Marcelo is an absolute whiz at creating otherworldly atmospheres and marrying them to body-shaking grooves, and then putting his highly compelling, textured voice on top of it all.

I really love Bask and I hope you’ll give it a go over at Bandcamp – you’ll find it, along with our Monday release and a vast treasure trove of other Marcelo projects, at the Titicacaman Records page at Bandcamp right darn here.

Just a reminder, as we plummet boldly forward into this joyous holiday season…

The Scambot Holiday Special

The Scambot Holiday Special (featuring the beloved standard “Holiday Face”) also awaits your kind attentions at Bandcamp. It’s now time to make this winsomely compelling tale of a medieval father and son making their way through a vast array of things on a quest of some sort (highly influenced by the Firesign Theatre and “Greggery Peccary”) a cornerstone of your family’s yearly holiday tradition!

Sit together around whatever modern equivalent of a Victrola you’ve got, share a warm toddy, and thrill together as the legendary owl of holiday hope makes its yearly trek once again. There’s also a sick guitar solo. And all for five bucks! Look, it’s right here.

MK & Beer For Dolphins at the Baked Potato Jan. 18/19

The quartet configuration of MK/BFD (me, Rick Musallam, Pete Griffin and Joe Travers) will do its thing for the first time in a whole entire year. Two nights in a row, two sets per night. Pete is learning a bunch of tunes he hasn’t played before, so we’ll be changing things up significantly over the four sets.

After this last year of me playing other peoples’ music with Devin Townsend, ProgJect and One Shot Deal (granted, all music I freaking love to pieces) I am absolutely, legally all a-quiver to play my own tunes again. I suspect that these two nights will unapologetically rage.

Here, look, look at the screenshot from the Baked Potato Calendar page and see how they use the special Finnish spelling of my name (“Keneaaly”) in the listing. This is a SURE-FIRE GUARANTEE OF A GOOD TIME. You may visit this calendar page yourself, scroll down until you get to mid-January and choose the set or sets which work best for your lifestyle.

I believe I speak for all four of us, even though I haven’t officially checked with the other guys about this yet, when I say that we’d be very happy to see you at these gigs!

Our great bud Syd Schwartz invites you to Jazz & Coffee

Jazz & Coffee

The mighty Syd, whose byline some of you prog-heads might recognize from having the written the superb liner notes to the brand new The Yes Album Super Deluxe Edition, has been utilizing two of his specific attributes – his glorious command of the English language, and his deep and abiding adoration of jazz – in a series of album-specific posts on Instagram for quite some time now (you’ll find him here).

Syd’s love-letters to jazz and other musics make you hear the music as you read them, and his texts are always informative, generously appointed and hugely enjoyable to read. Not since the writings of Paul Williams (the one who started Crawdaddy magazine, not the other one [who’s also great btw]) have I felt such true love for music from a writer’s writings. I invite you to immerse yourself in Syd’s world, and visit his new Substack.

Thank you everyone! Happy holidays!

The Tar Tapes Vol.2
Exowax Recordings
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THE KENEALLIST: This Bandcamp Friday, it’s Tar Tapes Vol. 1!

The Keneallist!

Greetings of the incipient holiday season to you and yours! All of us over here wish you all the best.

Now, here’s an MK rarity for Bandcamp Friday…

The Tar Taoes Vol.1

As alluded to in last month’s Keneallist, the recent sale of Bandcamp to Mephistopholean Industries, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as MII) has had some unhoped-for ramifications, but hey it’s 2023 and what are you gonna do?! We’re gonna keep on adding to our roster of recordings there, and MII has (for the time being at least) pledged to keep Bandcamp Friday going.

It would seem that there is now more incentive than ever to take advantage of Bandcamp Friday (the one day a month where 100% of all revenue generated at Bandcamp goes only to the artists and labels, and not to the overlords)!

This month our new Bandcamp entry is THE TAR TAPES VOL. 1. This was originally an extremely limited-edition CD, released in the late ‘90s, compiling some of the best tracks from the Tar Tapes cassette releases I put out with my brother Marty Keneally throughout the 1980s. Mostly home recordings, but also containing live and studio recordings done with our band Drop Control. Definitely young and innocent days.

The songs I selected for VOL.1 (and the later VOL. 2) are the cream of the crop of the original cassette releases. On VOL. 1, you’ll find original versions of some tracks which later became live favorites throughout my whole career (like “Killer Fish,” “Tug” and “Performing Miracles”), but mostly you’ll hear songs which never got re-recorded or introduced into the live repertoire later on.

It all makes for an interesting listen – if you haven’t checked it out before, you might like to now. Thanks!

Over-nite Sensation was released half a century ago!

Last week I was chuffed to join several friends at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Frank Zappa’s endearingly enduring Over-nite Sensation album. Dolby Atmos engineers Karma Auger and Erich Gobels,along with Vaultmeister Joe Travers, were there to describe how they fashioned another multi-channel masterpiece with their brand-new surround mix of the album, taking their cues from Frank’s own quadraphonic mix.

Snapped hanging in the lobby (above) after this stunning aural presentation were (l. to r.) my essential Exowax partner Scott Chatfield, indispensable engineer Mike Harris, crucial guitarist and longtime cohort Rick Musallam, the vitally important Ahmet Zappa, and the arguably fundamental me.

Chris Opperman’s got a brand new album

Chris Opperman and I have been dear friends and collaborators since way back in the the 20th century – you might remember Chris doing the work of an entire horn section on my Dancing album.  He’s a successful composer of wildly original music, a top orchestrator/arranger, a visionary educator, and a trusted music industry advisor (he’s been a great asset to my career).

This Friday, Chris is releasing Still Waters, a superb collection of solo piano recordings to warm you up as it simultaneously chills you out on a cold winter’s night. Still Waters features music written by Chris and other excellent composers including Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Ann Southam, Philllip Schroeder, Kimberly Osberg, and Tyler Kline.

You can listen and buy at his Bandcamp page (he also gets all the dough on Bandcamp Friday!), or pick up a CD copy at his website.

So, just to wrap up a couple of things:

The final four ProgJect California shows, and the three One Shot Deal shows in LA last week, were all an amazing time for me. The audience response was so gratifying, the music was completely satisfying, and every one of the musicians was inspiring and fantastic. What good fortune I’ve been granted to be able to take part in these kind of shows, both with, and for, such wonderful people.

The upcoming Devin Townsend shows in Australia will be similarly moving for me, I know. These shows will mark the end of this year’s Devin touring cycle, with this particular quartet, a band I’ve really come to love. I’ve logged a lot of hours on the road with them in 2023, and Devin is about to enter a lengthy period of no touring, covering all of 2024 and possibly 2025 as well – and once he decides it’s time to tour again, it could easily be with an entirely different ensemble.

So just in case this Australian run is the last roundup for this particular bunch of guys, I’m going to treasure every second of it.

All the best to you, good people! Talk again soon.


Exowax Recordings
Visit the Mike Keneally Store!

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