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THE KENEALLIST: Tales from a tasty tour, with just a hint of vinyl

The Keneallist

Mike Types to You from the road

March 28, 2023

Salutations from over here!

We are nearing the end of the Devin Townsend European Lightworks tour – as I type (in the dressing room in Stuttgart on March 25, the walls unexpectedly decorated with Beatles Anthology artwork, two stones’ throws away from Mercedes Benz HQ) there are 9 shows remaining of a 32-gig run.

The Keneallist: Beatles artwork I did not expect to see on the dressing room wall in Stuttgart.
Beatles artwork I did not expect to see on the dressing room wall in Stuttgart.
The Keneallist: Some flags fluttering outside Mercedes Benz headquarters
Some flags fluttering outside Mercedes Benz headquarters

It’s been remarkable. I really love this quartet and over the last few nights we appear to have kicked ourselves upwards to a higher level of communication and precision. Really satisfying. Unfortunately, in tandem with this playerly ascension, Dev has been dealing with respiratory ailments that have really taken a toll on his singin’ throat – if only the realities of scheduling could allow us to just say to everyone with tickets to the show, hey let’s all meet here a week from now and do all this then.

But he’s been powering through like the show-must-go-on sorta guy he is. And even last night in Brussels, which was probably the height of his throat issues, he still hit some performance peaks that were absolutely astonishing to me. He operates at a level that’s pretty well beyond belief.

The Keneallist:
An intriguingly-named eating establishment near the Stuttgart venue.
The Keneallist: The weather in Stuttgart was wonderful. I walked for a long time.
The weather in Stuttgart was wonderful. I walked for a long time.

But what about Keneally albums on vinyl, you say?

Well-worn vinyl LPs from your imaginary collection.
Well-worn vinyl LPs from your imaginary collection.

Funny you should mention it, ‘cuz Scott Chatfield and Chris Opperman and I were talking about this two nights ago. NONE of my albums are on vinyl, and there’s an obvious feeling amongst us that it’s high time we remedied that.

But we’re all like, what do we start with? Do we go with The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Eat since it’s new? Or do we go with one of the old “classics”? Do we go with something that requires two discs to get all the music on (a la Sluggo! or Dancing), or something that would fit neatly on one slab (like the new one, or Wing Beat, or Wooden Smoke)?

And then Scott was all like, we should ask the Keneallist readers what they think, and Oppy and I were all like, yeah!

So that’s what I’m-a doin’ now, asking YOU what album you’d most like to see us print up on vinyl. Or maybe a top 3, and then we can do some MATH over here and see which albums are the most coveted on wax. Please respond to us by replying to this email or emailing us at and let us know what you think about this – thank you!

Paris in the springtime

The Keneallist: The front of L’Olympia. Really awesome.
The front of L’Olympia. Really awesome.

NOW it’s March 26, and we just played a show to a really wonderful audience in Paris, at the legendary L’Olympia. I listened to some of that live Jeff Buckley album recorded there to get in the mood.

It really is a beautiful venue and the audience knocked us all out, including a very young girl (I’m thinking she was around nine) who Dev invited up onto the stage to select her choice from the multiple stuffed octopi festooning Darby Todd’s drum kit, and who then sat peacefully in front of the barrier with hearing protection on, happily clutching her new octopus while a series of crowdsurfing dudes spilled over her into the pit between barrier and stage (fear not, the security force were sure that no dudes landed on top of her – at the point that it seemed like the frequency/velocity of dudes was becoming unmanageable, she was relocated to a safer vantage point, further down the barrier.

She was totally chill about the whole thing and her guardians kept an eye on her the whole time. All of this was very interesting to witness from the stage perspective, believe you me).

The Keneallist: Part of the lobby at L’Olympia. I was going for Kubrickian symmetry; missed it by that much.
Part of the lobby at L’Olympia. I was going for Kubrickian symmetry; missed it by that much.
The Keneallist: Our front-of-house engineer Chris Edrich, and lighting man Mike St. Jean, during our gig. Photo by our merch woman Laia Miguel Lloret.
Our front-of-house engineer Chris Edrich, and lighting man Mike St. Jean, during our gig. Photo by our merch woman Laia Miguel Lloret.
The Keneallist: Paris is kinda freaking amazing-looking.
Paris is kinda freaking amazing-looking.
The Keneallist: A freaking amazing-looking opera house in Paris.
A freaking amazing-looking opera house in Paris.
The Keneallist: These are chairs displayed in a window in a very posh shop in Paris. I think they cost €80,000,000 apiece.
These are chairs displayed in a window in a very posh shop in Paris. I think they cost €80,000,000 apiece.
The Keneallist: This is a fragment of a bus inside the lobby of another posh shop in Paris. It costs elevendy zillion Euros.
This is a fragment of a bus inside the lobby of another posh shop in Paris. It costs elevendy zillion Euros.

And those TTTKCE reviews keep a-rollin’ in…

There’s been a cluster of nice new The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Eat press coverage since the last Keneallist…

  • Actually, we did quote this review from Dmitry M. Epstein in the last Keneallist, but it’s such a special review to me I kinda want to highlight it again. It starts: “Prog polymath fathoms the frontiers of his fantasies and pushes their envelope to enforce a breach into the great unknown.” And it ends just as majestically, and in between hits some insights about my stuff that I really appreciate. Dude can write.
  • This is a sweet track-by-track overview from Gary Hill at Music Street Journal.
  • A really lovely piece by Greg Cummins at DPRP, including the first time, to my knowledge, that my music has been compared to a song by Mountain (and I totally get where he’s coming from with that, actually!).

    (Note: we ferried to the UK yesterday, and now it’s March 28 and I’m backstage at Bexhill-on-Sea, on a drizzly, windy day by the seaside. Seagulls hover outside the window. Its the sort of place where if you listen carefully you can hear “Bungalow” by XTC emanating from the crevasses on the beach. Back to the press parade…)
  • A well-timed review, considering I was just in Paris, is this one in the beautiful French language from Alain Bourguignon.

    At the bottom of this review is a very considerately-placed Google Translate Link that will make life easier for English-language specialists, and I’d specifically like to highlight this translation of the section about “The Carousel of Progress”:

    “After a simple, accessible beginning, the thing turns unexpectedly and completely moves away from the introductory plot. The instrumentalists let go completely, the lines move away, intersect, everything becomes sinuous, tortuous, surreal…One would think that our master builder did not come out intact! Then things calm down, find a clearer direction, return to the introductory melodic line. Awesome!”

    How delightful!
  • We finish up with a very good interview conducted by my long-time friend, and a very faithful supporter of my music for years now, Jedd Beaudoin, who found the best quote from our interview to title his piece, “Not so much boiled as cut in half.”

BFD passes the audition

Two days ago I received a set of mixes from Kip Stork (expert audio engineer and utterly sweet guy) comprising a MK/BFD show at a club called The Siren in Morro Bay, CA, from January 16 of this year. This was one show of a run of five nights featuring a heretofore untested BFD quartet lineup consisting of myself, Rick Musallam, Pete Griffin and Joe Travers.

The audio evidence suggests that the band is a very good one! I’ve just uploaded five of the tracks to over the last couple of days, and will very likely upload more during the coming week, so if this intrigues you you might like to check it on out. Thanks to Kip for a fantastic mix, and for the surprising and sudden delivery of same!

Mere minutes to showtime

Y’all are awesome. Thanks for reading all of this if you did. I listened to a bunch of Peter Gabriel today, which I haven’t done for a very long time, including loads of tracks I’ve never heard before and which were great fun to discover – when’s the last time YOU listened to songs from OVO? Anyway, listening to Peter Gabriel songs is a pretty nice way to while away some hours in a dressing room in Bexhill-on-Sea when the weather is dissuading you from actually being near the sea yourself.

Devin’s voice sounded amazing at soundcheck today, I think he’s going to be in full voice for tonight’s show which begins 59 minutes from the moment of this typing. And with that, I leave you for now.

Thank you Dan, if your name is Dan! If it’s not, thank you too!



P.S. Three more sights I drank in on my journey

The Keneallist: Our hotel for the day off yesterday was in Eastbourne. This dude was nearby.
Our hotel for the day off yesterday was in Eastbourne. This dude was nearby.
The Keneallist: A pier in Eastbourne. Perhaps the pier in Eastbourne. The only one I saw, anyway.
A pier in Eastbourne. Perhaps the pier in Eastbourne. The only one I saw, anyway.
The Keneallist: A beer in Eastbourne. Most definitely not the only beer in Eastbourne.
Most definitely not the only beer in Eastbourne.
Exowax Recordings
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THE KENEALLIST: Thank you for buying TTTKCE!

The Keneallist

Tally Ho!

Good gracious I just typed “Jan. 27 2023” and it reminded me that it’s 2023 now. What a crazy, science-fiction-sounding year to actually be in. For some reason I don’t think 2024 will hit me the same way, but check with me when it happens. Actually it probably will.

Hi! I hope you’re well! Hi!! I have a few things to report regarding the new album The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Eat.

While the official wide release isn’t until February 24, CDs have already begun shipping to those of you who pre-ordered the album over the last couple of weeks (and thank you so much for doing that).

The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Eat

The response has been very gratifying – it’s mildly unnerving to put out a new solo album after nearly seven years, and I was certainly curious to see if my current idea of what good music sounds like still made sense to people who’ve liked my stuff in the past.

I couldn’t be happier to find that the album is being received really well – we’ve already had to order up another batch! Thank you so much for that, too.

It’s the ‘Big Hit Song’ Video!

The main news for today is that the second video from The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Eat (I’ll just write TTTKCE going forward, ‘cuz that’s a lot to type) is online as of todayit’s for “Big Hit Song” (shown above).

This video, like the “Celery” video that premiered two weeks ago, is excerpted from the upcoming short film by Mikko Keinonen, The Complete Adventures of the Unrelated Sound Guy. The full film will be released February 24, the same day of the wide release of TTTKCE. This movie is based around five songs from the new album (and also includes some otherwise-unreleased incidental music I did for it). Keep an eye on for more about the film, and for now please enjoy the new “Big Hit Song” video.

I love this video (and the entire film) and I’m grateful to Mikko for having the inspiration/desire to make this movie and for doing such a fantastic job of it.

Interviews n’ articles galore

I’ve been talking my head off about the new album to various outlets; there are some interviews/podcasts that will be popping up over the next few weeks, but here are three print interviews that recently came out:

  • Our pal and supporter for many a year, George Varga at The San Diego Union-Tribune, did this quite excellent piece (shown above), including some quotes from other guitar players you might know.
  • An interview with Greek blues guitar website
  • Interview with Italian news site Cronaca Torino.

(The interview is in English, the Cronaca interview is in Italian, but you can work with that.)

A most refreshing spate o’ shows, indeed

The five nights of shows I just did with Beer For Dolphins were really intensely fun (the Alvas gig is shown above.). Man I loved it. It’s been so long since I did a little run of dates in a series of different venues with my band and it really freaking whetted my appetite to do more of it.

Pete Griffin, who had to learn 19 songs in an insanely short amount of time in order to fill in for the unavailable Bryan Beller, acquitted himself fantastically well – the whole band were killing actually and the audiences were magnificent.

Our openers, and dear friends, the Travis Larson Band are also a dream come true. I loved the heck out of all of it and seriously hope I’m able to do more MK/BFD stuff this year, in places other than CA, with TLB opening if we can make it happen, but I also have other business I need to take care of as well, f’rinstance…

Devin Townsend Lightwork European Tour 2023

Devin Townsend Lightwork European Tour 2023

I’ll be touring Europe with Devin Townsend Feb. 21 to Apr. 5. For the love of gosh, please come to one of these shows if you possibly can.

Where will we be playing, you said? Well, in Norway and Finland and Sweden and Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany and France and Switzerland, and Austria and Italy, and Spain and Portugal, and France and Belgium and Germany again and then we end up in the UK. Look, look all the dates are above, and here. I was on the road with Devin in North America when COVID told everyone to go home, three years ago already (good lord), so I’m well beyond grateful to finally get back to biz with him.

I really love working with Devin (I know I’m using the word “love” in this missive a lot but it’s TRUE, dammit) and if you haven’t checked out the Empath and Order of Magnitude albums in order to experience what-all we got up to the last few times we were hanging out, well, y’oughta.

I’ve been Bandcamping

Hey listen, long as I’m here I want to publicly thank Chris Opperman who’s been working behind the scenes with me and Scott Chatfield on the roll-out for TTTKCE, not to mention maintaining our relatively new Bandcamp page which you should also check out, because we’ve been posting some of the more esoteric catalog items (which in some cases aren’t available for streaming anywhere and are out of print), here have a look.

For that matter I want to thank Scott Chatfield, who has been working tirelessly to get this new album turned into a real-life thing that exists in your lives, just as he’s done for so many of my albums since the late ‘90s – Scott and Chris, seriously, thank you so much. I love you guys. It’s TRUE!!

…and Patreoning, too

I need to also let you know that I’ve been uploading so much rare and weird and interesting and otherwise-unreleased stuff at my Patreon page since mid-2020, and there is now a very large archive of me-related material residing there, and I add to it constantly.

It is seriously like a Mike Keneally boxed set that never ends, and all the content is available to all patrons no matter what dollar amount they choose to subscribe at (the lowest tier is $5/month, if anyone chooses to pay more it’s out of the goodness of their heart). I am very much loving it at Patreon and encourage you to check out that action if you have the time.

Jeez that’s enough to read for now, yeah? It’s 2023! Who has time to read more than a tweet? There’ll be more to type about soon enough, so I’ll be back soon. Thank you!


The Thing THat Knowledge Can't Eat

You can order the CD plus mp3 or FLAC download ($15) now. (MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE MP3 OR FLAC WHEN YOU ORDER!) Mike Keneally Store order CDs are shipping pretty quickly, and you’ll get your download right away. The official wide release date for the album (Amazon, streaming, download, etc.) is February 24, 2023.

Say, here’s an audio sampler called The Thing That Knowledge Can’t Suite.

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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:

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:

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: “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:

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: (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!