South America Satriani tour! Win free MK original drawings! Maybe!

Hotel Entirely Delightful, Mexico City, Dec. 1 2016

Hello dear friends – I hope you’re finding a great deal of happiness this holiday season.

I’ll be in South America for two-thirds of this here month of December, playing with Joe Satriani, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann starting tonight in Mexico City.

Now it’s a few hours later – I’m in the dressing room after soundcheck/rehearsal, and I got to say it’s a pleasure to be back in Satch world – soundcheck was super fun and I’m really looking forward to these gigs!

Here are the tour dates of destiny:

MIKE KENEALLY
playing in JOE SATRIANI’S BAND
also totally featuring BRYAN BELLER and MARCO MINNEMANN:

December 1
Teatro Metropolitan, Mexico City, MX

December 4
Teatro Coliseo, Santiago, CL

December 7
EDA (Espaco das Americas), Sao Paulo, BR

December 9
Net Live Curitiba, Curitiba, BR

December 11
Teatro Araujo Vianna, Porto Allegre, BR

December 13
Teatro de Verano, Montevideo, UY

December 15
Plaza de la Musica, Cordoba, AR

December 16
Luna Park, Buenos Aires, AR

December 17
Teatro El Circulo, Rosario, AR


While on the road this month, I am feeling a very specific desire to do a batch of ridiculous drawings.

Such as these two I did last night in the hotel.

I enjoy doing these whilst touring. If the hotel stationary is any good I’ll sometimes use that, but otherwise I just do them in the sketchbook I brung with me.

I was thinking that some of you folks might enjoy getting a hold of one of these absurd things, so we’ve decided this:

THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF MAYBE

For the month of December 2016, anyone who buys anything from the Mike Keneally Store will be entered in a contest to receive one of the drawings I do during this tour.

After the beginning of the new year, Scott Chatfield will give me the names of everyone who ordered stuff during December, and I will randomly choose names (from a hat!) and send each winner one of the drawings. I’m absolutely gonna do twelve drawings, but maybe more. Your chances of winning are increased by how creative I feel.

The drawings will be shipped separately from the merchandise you order (in case your order is meant as a holiday gift, I don’t want to hold up the shipment waiting for me to get home from the road – plus I want to keep this contest thing going for the entirety of December).

This applies to both physical and digital purchases – everyone who orders anything from us in December has an equal shot at getting a drawing.


And finally, here are a bunch of new me-related things you might like to see and/or hear:

A video of me messing around with a great big pile of super-fun Pigtronix pedals, including the enticing Infinity Looper.

A video of me playing the song “Roll” for EMGtv – I played four different Scambot 2 songs for EMG pickups, which they will be rolling out (so to speak!) over the next few months… this is the first one.

A new interview for Music Street Journal.

And a Scambot 2 review also from Music Street Journal.

A new interview for Guitar Mania.

And a Scambot 2 review from Guitar Mania.

Another Scambot 2 review, from The Progressive Aspect.

A nice interview with Highway 81 Revisited.

Another interview, this one for Ticket.

And this podcast interview for The Prog Report.

There you go, a bunch of stuff to keep you busy while you’re not shopping. I offer thanks to the many journalists who’ve been keeping me yapping or typing recently, it is much appreciated.

As are you!!

Sending love,
Mike


Scambot 2 Factoids

We’re shipping the 2-CD Scambot 2 signed and numbered limited edition of 2000. The double-CD set consists of the Scambot 2 album (65 minutes of music) and the Inkling album (48 minutes of music) in a colorful digi-pak, with two handsome booklets nestled within. You’ll get an immediate download of Scambot 2 as soon as you pre-order. (You’ll have to wait until your CD set arrives to hear Inkling, which, by the way, features the brilliant RICK MUSALLAM on the song “Cram”!!)

Scambot 2 itself is also available as a single-album paid download. (Inkling won’t be available as a download – it’s only available as part of the 2-CD set.)


SCAMBOT 2

1. In The Trees (10:28)
2. Roots Twist (3:02)
3. Sam (3:20)
4. Clipper (4:36)
5. Forget About It (0:46)
6. Pretzels (4:25)
7. Buzz (4:32)
8. Race The Stars (3:44)
9. O (1:26)
10. Roll (6:23)
11. Constructed (3:46)
12. Freezer Burn (5:23)
13. Scores of People (5:22)
14. Cold Hands Gnat (4:00)
15. Proceed (3:19)


INKLING (More from the Scambot 2 Sessions)

1. Presence (0:48)
2. Scambot (2:17)
3. Boghe (4:01)
4. Sickness (2:01)
5. The Coma (2:11)
6. I Named You (0:45)
7. Falafel (1:29)
8. O Elastic Love! (1:23)
9. Cram (8:10)
10. Mystery Song (0:04)
11. E (0:37)
12. The Scorpions (5:32)
13. Skating Backwards (2:15)
14. Tom (7:01)
15. Mayday! (1:25)
16. Lovesong (1:27)
17. Back It Up (2:54)
18. Inkling (1:37)
19. Uncompressed Rag (2:04)

KENEALLY ON TOUR! SCAMBOT 2 NEWS!

WE’RE HITTING THE ROAD A FEW MOMENTS FROM NOW

tore-kersten-hi-res-photo-3

 

 

 

(Photo by Tore Kersten)

Hello! Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins (trio version – that’s me, Bryan Beller and Joe Travers) will be on the road beginning at the end of this week. The Travis Larson Band will open for us. The dates and info can be found here. We are all psyched!

It starts with Progtoberfest at Reggie’s in Chicago: on Friday the 21st I’ll be guesting at a Keith Emerson tribute show, which has had me very busy over the last week practicing some insane keyboard stuff, and on Saturday the 22nd MK/BFD will appear at the same venue.

From there we move on to the East Coast. For those of you planning to see us in NYC on Oct. 26, please be aware that there’s been a venue change: we will now be performing at Leftfield Upstairs, 87 Ludlow St. This venue doesn’t sell tickets in advance so show up early to buy tickets at the door. Travis Larson hits at 7pm. I’m excited to try out a new venue in NYC and grateful we were able to line this up at such short notice.

We then wind around through Richmond, Raleigh and Charlotte. Then we’ll head back across the country for two shows at the Baked Potato in LA: the trio will play on Sunday, November 6, and on Tuesday, November 8 – Election Night in the US – Rick Musallam will join us for a full night of quartet madness.

I hope you can see one or several of these shows. If you can, bring lots of friends! Bryan, Joe and I first played as a trio in the mid-’90s, and in all this time we’ve never been out of California as a trio – come out and celebrate this rare occasion with us!
SOME SCAMBOT 2 STUFF PART 1: A NEW INTERIVEW

Here’s a nice interview I did with Cameron Piko for Echoes & Dust, primarily about Scambot 2. Keith Emerson, Gentle Giant and Kendrick Lamar are also referenced therein. Cameron is a very cool dude – he created this insanely detailed interactive map to the conceptual continuity of Frank Zappa‘s catalogue. You can easily get lost in this thing for hours. In contrast, the Echoes & Dust interview will only take up about six minutes of your time. Thanks for a very enjoyable interview Cameron!
SOME SCAMBOT 2 STUFF PART 2: A NEW LYRICS CONTEST

Way back when, in ’94, in the liner notes to Boil That Dust Speck, I challenged people to figure out the secret backing vocals during the second verse of “Top Of Stove Melting.” If I remember correctly, I offered to give the winner a bag of donuts. I can’t remember if anyone collected. (I am happy to now share those lyrics publicly: “Once upon a time when you saw roadkill, you said ‘awww’/now you say ‘good for you’/maybe it’s a certain enzyme you lack/and may all your T-shirts be black.”)

Well! On Scambot 2, during the song “Pretzels,” there are two separate sets of backing vocals, where I once again didn’t stick the lyrics in the booklet. They occur at 0:33 and 3:27. I don’t think they’re as difficult to discern as the ones in “Melting” were.

You may see where this is headed. The first person to figure out those lyrics will get a bag of pretzels from me! (Gluten-free option available on request – I know a REALLY good brand.) If you do Facebook, please send me a message there (here’s my profile). If you Twitter, send me a message here.

One clue – one of the lines involves the name of one of my dear departed uncles, and he had an unusual nickname, so if you hear something that seems completely grammatically bizarre, that might explain it.
SOME SCAMBOT 2 STUFF PART 3: THE GENIUS OF RICK MUSALLAM ON “CRAM”

I suppose that this is technically some Inkling stuff rather than some Scambot 2 stuff, but since Inkling is only available as part of the Scambot 2 double-CD package, it’s virtually the same thing, yeah?

I’m now putting on headphones, and I’m going to play the song “Cram” and provide a guide to some of my favorite Rick Musallam moments within it. Please refer to this the next time you listen to the song!
MUSALLAM in “CRAM”:

His Les Paul appears on the far right of the stereo spectrum.

0:13 Rick tiptoes subtly into frame for the first time.
0:16 He provides commentary on his own initial utterance.
0:19 He asserts himself fully with an insouciant upward flourish, followed by a sprightly “sprang” at 0:21.

Starting at 0:24, Rick begins to bring the funk in earnest for a short series of lovely phrases.
My favorite of these is at 0:38. It sounds like the guitar is saying “Bongoes? Blahhh.”

1:11 A beautifully untranscribable chord that sounds like geese complaining.

1:16 is a real gift to the song, a very memorable four-note hook that pushes along this part of the song perfectly at its crucial mid-point.
At the end of the section at 1:27, his guitar literally laughs at the song. It is masterfully irreverent.

1:33 He returns to the motif he’d established back in the opening section, but more assertively. His note choices kill me here.

1:53 Another perfectly timed chord clunge.

2:00 He scrubs his strings rhythmically, adding percussive oomph to the new section.

2:09 A chromatically ascending series of quick string bends that works in perfect alchemy with what’s happening in the rest of the track right there. One of my favorite moments of the song.

2:24 A moment that is satisfying to me for reasons I can’t even explain. This little three-note descending lick frames the beginning of this new section perfectly for me, and it doesn’t make any sense why it does or should. But it does! And he follows it with the perfect chord, and, understanding that he’s just done something perfect, plays the SAME three-note lick and chord again. Then he does it a third time, but for the resolving chord, he plays a rather shocking, much higher chord, that turns out to be the first chord of a beautifully relaxed and bluesy descending chord melody. This whole episode demonstrates masterful arranging/production/performance skills, served up in real time on the spot. Way to go Ricky.

3:19 A few bars of funky chucking and quacking, providing a nice contrast to the ’70s West Coast CSNY-style acoustic stuff I overdubbed in this section.

4:24 Rick plays a perfectly complementary note to the dive-bombing low note in my solo. I overdubbed my solo months after Rick’s track was recorded, so Rick really had no idea at the time how perfect his note was in relation to it, but I choose to believe that he somehow knew what I was going to play later on.

4:35 A perfect four-note Rick-ism to close out this section. I had Mike Harris make it louder than my solo in the mix because I love it so much.

5:58 After laying low for a while, Rick toys around with a little Lydian-mode flourish that adds a very understated and nice touch to this new section.

6:35 The first of some little bluesy tossed-off licks he plugs into the spaces in my playing. I might have turned him up more in this section, but this whole closing section of the song has a haziness to it that I really like and I didn’t want anything to stick out too much. He is ubercool in this section though.

7:06-7:25 He’s still quiet in the mix here, but adding some really pungent notes that blend in with my chords, and add some dark and lovely harmonic complexity as things begin to wind down. You might not hear him, but you can feel him here.

7:32 A little two-note rising melody that I liked so much, I had Mike Harris copy/paste it (along with Kris Myers‘ deep groove) and repeat it over and over for the closing 30 seconds of the song.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rick Musallam is a beautiful beast on the git-tar! I love him, and so do you!
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS

Thank you for reading this!
Your obedient serpent,
Mike Keneally

Mike’s final Scambot 2/Inkling song diary!

(Photo by Frank Wesp)

Hello pals! Beyond its easy availability from all of us here at Exowax in the USA, Scambot 2 has begun its wide release and will soon be showing up at Burning Shed in the UK and iTunes, and has already appeared at Amazon.

Many thanks to Chris Ingalls for this great review of Scambot 2 at Pop Matters!

To honor these glorious developments, I now offer the final installment of the ongoing Scambot 2/Inkling song diary, this one covering the second half of Inkling.

Mystery Song

This 4-second song represents the pinnacle of my compositional efforts to date! And it’s a fun moment of interaction between myself and Mr. Minnemann, and nicely punctuates the space between the ethereal ending of “Cram” and the startling introduction of…

E

Ever since hat. and Boil That Dust Speck I’ve enjoyed messing around with tiny little songs. For this project I made a bunch of them, merely two of which ended up on SB2 proper, resulting in a bumper crop for Inkling. This one has a link with “O” on SB2, quoting its ending piano part. So far we’ve got “M” (from Scambot 1),”O” and “E.” Will Scambot 3 continue the trend?

The Scorpions

So titled, because Ophunji (by the end of Scambot 1) had The Scorpions (the band), along with members of Air Supply‘s touring group, chained up in his recording studio disguised as the Quiet Children. This song is an alternate version of “Salve-Dependent Scorpions” from The Scambot Holiday Special, with an entirely different guitar performance, some added keyboard parts, less saxophone, and a radically different mix. This new version is a whole other trip for sure, and I really love it – I’m happy with the guitar playing and with the highly attuned work of Messrs. Beller, Musallam and Travers. Suitable for loud crank-age in the car.

Skating Backwards

One time in the ’90s I woke up in the middle of the night in a French hotel room, and the radio was playing some very eerie and bewitching organ music (I had fallen asleep with the radio on – it wasn’t a supernatural radio occurrence). The piece went on for a long time. Ever since then I’ve had the desire to write a long-form organ piece (organ was my first instrument after all) in tribute to my memory of that night – which still hasn’t happened, but “Skating Backwards” provides a sliver of an inkling of what one section of such a piece might sound something like. I really like the ending. I like the whole thing but I think the ending is especially neat.

Tom

So titled, because that is the name of the tiny red bug who shows up in the story every now and then. The first minute and 24 seconds was scored on paper without an instrument at hand, so it was fun to record the parts and hear how they sounded. The second part is a long blues progression, over which I challenged myself to play the most economical guitar solo I could. Later on I decorated the solo with synthesizer commentary – sometimes phrasing or harmonizing with the guitar, other times heading off into its own world. Part three is super atmospheric and chill, and extremely suitable for late night contemplation with headphones engaged.

Mayday!

As anti-news-media screeds go, this is pretty cute. I mainly did it in order to provoke a reaction from news addict Bryan Beller (he liked it!). I really enjoy the analog synth backdrop, made up of four tracks of edited Moog Voyager improvs (I drew from the same bank of recordings used for the comedy sketches on The Scambot Holiday Special). I love how weirdly expressive abstract synthesizer sounds can be – I use them here in kind of the same way Raymond Scott used electronic sounds to punctuate advertising copy. At the end of this track it used to go “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” for a lot longer, but I edited it down (it’s still plenty long enough). I did this for you.

Lovesong

At one point this song had lyrics about Ophunji’s crush on Karen Carpenter. I do have a working version of this song featuring Ophunji singing in his gnat-voice. You might want to hear it. I enjoy the weird turn the guitars take at the end of this track, and the hard cut to black.

Back It Up

“Three and say it!” and “Back it up! Y’all look so beautiful, buttercup,” were part of a dream I had that made me wake up laughing. This song makes me very happy. If it didn’t have a middle section in 11/8, I would ask all the world to dance to it with me.

Inkling

I knew I wanted to write a song called “Inkling” – I’ve known that for years, and have tried to write lyrics for one a few times. I came up with the basic track of this song years ago during the Court TV sessions, and for years I didn’t realize that it was “Inkling,” but during the Scambot 2 sessions I finally figured it out. I want to explore this melody further, and I’m considering coming up with a live arrangement for it. Maybe for the BFD tour next month? I’ll take it up with the authorities, run it up the flagpole and see if anyone falls over when they look up at it.

Uncompressed Rag

Not unlike Sluggo!, this album ends with a jaunty little piano ditty. It was recorded immediately after I wrote it and I had only the most basic grasp of the piano part. Maybe that’s a good thing? This one features Evan Francis‘ bold exhortations on clarinet. I love the way he dances around the chord changes.

And with the actual resolution into E Major that we’ve all been waiting for, Inkling saunters off into the sunset. Why not go back to the start of Scambot 2 and play both albums again? We all have time for that, right?


Thank you for hanging with me throughout this song diary – it’s been extremely fun for me, and I really hope it’s enhanced the album-listening experience for you.

And finally, I hope to see a bunch of you at the MK/BFD shows next month (please go here for all dates and ticket links). Me, Bryan Beller and Joe Travers doing our thing, with the Travis Larson Band opening – it’s going to be a good time for everyone!

Galangal!
Mike


Scambot 2 Factoids

We’re currently shipping the 2-CD Scambot 2 signed and numbered limited edition of 2000. The double-CD set consists of the Scambot 2 album (65 minutes of music) and the Inkling album (48 minutes of music) in a colorful digi-pak, with two handsome booklets nestled within. You’ll get an immediate download of Scambot 2 as soon as you pre-order. (You’ll have to wait until your CD set arrives to hear Inkling, which, by the way, features the brilliant RICK MUSALLAM on the song “Cram”!!)

Scambot 2 itself is now available as a single-album paid download. (Inkling won’t be available as a download – it’s only available as part of the 2-CD set.)


SCAMBOT 2

1. In The Trees (10:28)
2. Roots Twist (3:02)
3. Sam (3:20)
4. Clipper (4:36)
5. Forget About It (0:46)
6. Pretzels (4:25)
7. Buzz (4:32)
8. Race The Stars (3:44)
9. O (1:26)
10. Roll (6:23)
11. Constructed (3:46)
12. Freezer Burn (5:23)
13. Scores of People (5:22)
14. Cold Hands Gnat (4:00)
15. Proceed (3:19)


INKLING (More from the Scambot 2 Sessions)

1. Presence (0:48)
2. Scambot (2:17)
3. Boghe (4:01)
4. Sickness (2:01)
5. The Coma (2:11)
6. I Named You (0:45)
7. Falafel (1:29)
8. O Elastic Love! (1:23)
9. Cram (8:10)
10. Mystery Song (0:04)
11. E (0:37)
12. The Scorpions (5:32)
13. Skating Backwards (2:15)
14. Tom (7:01)
15. Mayday! (1:25)
16. Lovesong (1:27)
17. Back It Up (2:54)
18. Inkling (1:37)
19. Uncompressed Rag (2:04)