Mike Keneally — Wing Beat Fantastic
(Exowax EX-2413 , 2012, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-07-03
Check out the subtitle: "Songs written by Mike Keneally & Andy Partridge." There you see the reason I had to have this. Keneally is a consistently interesting songwriter, guitarist, and singer, and Partridge is simply one of my all-time favorite songwriters — his body of work with XTC stands easily among the greats. Barring a few minor bits, Partridge doesn't appear on the CD other than as a co-composer; the performances are by Keneally and a select group of players including Marco Minnemann, Nick D'Virgilio, Brian Beller, and others. The songs bear the unmistakable Partidge stamp, from the quirky melodic jumps to the clever lyrical turns. Of course, those qualities aren't unknown to Keneally, so it's really a match made in my musical dreams. It's a simply stunning collection of pop songs beautifully realized, much like Keneally's Wooden Smoke crossed with a later XTC gem like Nonsuch. A number of Keneally solo compositions (mostly instrumentals) fill out the set nicely, providing the perfect complement to such wonders as "It's Raining Here, Inside" and "You Kill Me." This is what happens when the talents of a skilled progressive musician are turned towards shorter forms — if only the other progstars who tried their hands at pop had been as successful.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more