The Friday Morning Listen: Keneally/ Minnemann – Evidence Of Humanity (2010)

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There are times when I’d love to kick myself right in the ass, mostly for being so slow on the uptake. Since I’m not a cartoon character whose knee bends in that unnatural (but very funny) self-ass-kicking direction, I guess some confessional-type writing will have to do. One of my Internet friend/writer/cohorts has been trying to turn me onto Mike Keneally for years. Despite Keneally’s association with Frank Zappa and despite the stellar play turned in for the 1991 tribute video Zappa’s Universe (which I may or may not own…seriously, I can’t remember), I have somehow been unable to even begin collecting the man’s music.

Go ahead. You can imagine me kicking myself in the ass now.

I’ll wait.

Yesterday I received an email from Keneally’s camp announcing the upcoming release of the live CD/DVD Bakin’ @ The Potato! The video you see below is from that DVD. 30 seconds in and I’m hooked. A minute or so later, the guitars coalesce and the top of my head nearly blows off. I must have this music!

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Mike Keneally talks with us about the lingering influences of Frank Zappa and XTC, and his magical introduction to prog through ‘Tarkus.’]

So I send an email to said cohort, who points me in the direction of Keneally and Marco Minnemann‘s Evidence of Humanity. Minnemann recorded a 52-minute drum solo and Keneally composed & played music to fit. Woah, this is crazy, intense, and beautiful stuff. There are so many details that it’s sure to take me weeks to internalize it all. And while Keneally is a masterful guitarist, this is not a shred-o-matic, too-many-notes affair. Oh sure, Mike does peel off a few impossibly fast lines to some of the faster drum passages, but far more time is spent extending the harmonic beds created in response to the drum music.

This experience reminds me that there are a bunch of other artists I’ve been meaning to check out. It happens not because I have some sort of fear or aversion to the music, but because I’m quite good at procrastination. This needs to change. My collection needs more Keneally. Today!

No, wait…tomorrow. That’s it, I’ll order some more CDs tomorrow.

(Cue hilarious self-ass-kicking imagery).

 

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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  • Stephen Willerton

    I first “discovered” Mike Keneally’s music about 2-3 years ago. I’ve not stopped kicking myself that it wasn’t earlier!

    I’d particularly recommend his “Wooden Smoke” CD – this is also mostly instrumental (the vocal tunes are great, though!). Once you’ve heard this CD, you’ll want them all.

    Hope you make the jump into his music – you won’t regret it.

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