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!

Mike Types To You December 23 2021

Ho! Heau! Heaux!

First off: thank you for being here, and for reading this. It is absurdly appreciated, I promise you!

I just turned 60 three days ago. My bro (breau breaux) Marty is here at my and Sarah’s place, and we are having a superfine holiday season. Egg nog is involved, as are craft beers and four Christmas trees of various sizes, but similar shapes. “Get Back” has been rewatched with my brother and it is just as overwhelming upon rewatching as it was upon first-viewing.

I’m feeling healthy and grateful to be such. Just got my booster shot five days ago, I was fatigued and achy for a very short while but within 54.5 hours I was at least 78% back to normal. I will home-test before my kid and their gang troop up here for Christmas, just to confirm that this residence is a copacetic, non-Omicronian zone.

Mike Types To You December 23 2021

I was thinking of calling the new double-album I’m trying to finish 60, with an Adele-style glamour shot on the front. Should I do that? Are people who buy Mike Keneally albums likely to be familiar with Adele’s album-naming and cover-photo conventions? Well it makes me chuckle, anyway. The album is coming out next year, it says here. I’m tantalizingly close to finalizing the last mix on disc one. After New Years’ I will re-tackle the second disc, which I’m estimating to be about 80% finished right now.

Disc One is a tight collection of nine mostly vocal tracks (also includes one instrumental featuring Steve Vai, and another featuring the Minipole Orkest) lasting about 42 minutes. Disc Two is a sprawling collection of mostly instrumental tracks which I will struggle mightily to keep under 80 minutes in length.

I’m feeling reflective re: 2021. Right now with the ‘cron doing its thing it feels more than mildly miraculous that we in the Zappa Band were able to wing around the U.S. opening for King Crimson. That really happened, and it was incredible to be able to do it. It feels like even more of a privilege now that it’s officially known that that was the last U.S. Crimson tour, and evidently the last Crimson tour, period. What a legacy that band and Robert have created. Just amazing!

(Incidentally twelve of our Zappa Band opening sets from that tour are available to download from Qobuz right dang here: https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/interpreter/the-zappa-band/download-streaming-albums)

Several albums that I worked on in 2020 at home have seen release this year. It’s gratifying to have sounds I created at home on my humble little recording rig be winging around the world on these very fine artists’ new releases.

I co-produced the album Other Worlds by The Android Trio, a group of brilliant players who first encountered one another in either The Grandmothers of Invention and/or The Magic Band. The music they make on their own is a fascinating combination of knowing homage to classic experimental/progressive music of the past, and entirely uncategorizable modern strategies. I like this quote about it: “The wonderful new album from Android Trio is a thrilliant ride, Max Kutner, Eric Klerks and Andrew Niven, virtuosos all, is serious progressive rock in every sense… I love this, it sounds big, it thinks big, it is big.” – The Organ (UK) (I am now a new fan of the word “thrilliant.”)

The album may be acquired here, and you ought to: https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/other-worlds

The artist who is enigmatically known only as “Pawlie” has created his fourth album An Ape’s Progress, and I was honored to be asked to play guitars and/or keys on nine of its ten tracks. A collection of extremely thoughtful and beautifully melodic tracks, it was a real pleasure to be a part of it. As it says on Pawlie’s Bandcamp page for the album (which is here: https://pawlie.bandcamp.com/album/an-apes-progress) “Pawlie’s fourth album consists of ten new songs built around one central theme: Homo sapiens (the “ape”) and its ongoing struggle to survive and evolve here on its home planet.” All the playing, performing and writing is wonderful (among others, Lyle Workman and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. also take part). Check it out please!

Devin Townsend asked me to take part in his albums The Puzzle and Snuggles – he also asked something like 60 other people, so these aren’t albums where you’ll necessarily be able to ascertain the contributions of any one participant – these are sound assemblages which present two very different views of Dev’s reaction to the pandemic. Puzzle is more chaotic and Snuggles is comforting. Both are absolutely remarkable achievements, 100% worth your time and attention. I’m always grateful for any opportunity to create with Dev – please delve into these extraordinary new releases, in a variety of exciting formats: https://devintownsendshop.com/

In fact, right now I’m working on a special mix of the three piano tracks and string synth track I recorded for Snuggles. Separated from the rest of the music, they form their own 43-minute ambient composition. After I finish this mix I’m going to upload for my patrons at Patreon. I’ve been sharing a lot of exclusive audio and video at Patreon, along with other visual items and our once-or-twice-monthly livestreams, which has been ridiculously fun (lately I’ve been doing a lot of live playing during the streams). Please consider joining us there: https://patreon.com/mikekeneally (Remember, no matter what tier you join, you’ll have access to all of the exclusive material I’m posting at Patreon. All of it, including recordings of the past two-hour livestreams, are archived and available for your ongoing enjoyment. After a year-and-a-half it’s already turned into an immense archive, and I’m not stopping now.)

I’m in the midst of planning a lot of live appearances next year, with at least six different acts. Will they happen? It’s real hard to say. There’s four more nights of The Zappa Band at the Baked Potato in February, and the Paul Gilbert Great Guitar Escape in Pomona in July. There is touring in the works for at least three different bands, including an April tour with a fabulous collection of musicians playing some tunes you know real well, and an appearance on Cruise To The Edge with someone else you know real well, hopefully a Zappa Band U.S. headlining tour later in the spring, European summer gigs with the Mike Keneally Report, and I’d love to do Beer For Dolphins touring in the fall, and there’s this OTHER band I’ve been working with in secret since 2015 and we’ve just completed our first three studio tracks which we would love to play live…will it all happen? Who can say? All we can do is plan optimistically and hope for the best, so that’s what I’m doing.

I wish us all the best with our 2022 plans, and I wish every one of you a profoundly happy and healthy holiday season!

Love,

Mike!

The Complete Adventures Of The Unrelated Sound Guy

An IndieGogo campaign for “THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF THE UNRELATED SOUND GUY” (a film inspired by five songs from my next album)

Mikko Keinonen is a very wonderful Finnish filmmaker. He hired me last year to play the piece “Mating Dance” for the closing credits music of his film DUUS.

(As it happens, you can watch a video of me playing this very “Mating Dance,” at the very popular video streaming hub YouTube.

A point of potential interest: practicing this piece for a week in order to prepare for this video destroyed my fingers, particularly the area just under the nails to such an extent that I couldn’t even dare dream of playing the guitar for, like, eleven days at least. Was it worth it? HA! 168 entire likes on YouTube [as of this typing] say that it WAS, bucko!) (Although that guy in the comments who says it’s a “really bad Bill Frisell imitation,” yeah I guess that stings a bit. But hey, you know — YooouTube commenters, am I right? AM I RIGHT?)

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