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Mike Keneally - Wine and Pickles

Wine and Pickles

Mike Keneally

Exowax 2409

Exowax Recordings

Available from MooseMart.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker (

Think of Wine and Pickles* as the third in a series following on the bonus trove accompanying Keneally's Hat and Boil That Dust Speck re-releases. They were in DVD form, this is audio, but the difference is the same: a retrospective gatherum (1998-2006) for which you hafta have a pretty sophisticated background and bent head to appreciate the full spectrum of the menu. If you're not already hip to it, Mike Keneally was in Frank Zappa's band, Robert Fripp digs the hell out of him, and he's in recent years been a leading exponent of what's called 'art damage' music, a prog sub-phylum that includes the Art Bears, Creedle, Fantomas, Pere Ubu, Mars LaVolta, John Zorn, Henry Cow, and a number of musicians basically monkeyfuck insane when it comes to aesthetic creativity. I saw him perform Dog at the first CalProg and it was exhausting just watching someone put that much exhiliration into his work, let alone the oft pounding songs.

The material here gives a good overview of what the entirety of his catalogue is composed of, from the jaggedly delicate piano recital Bubble Creek to the kinda Brinsley Schwarz-ish mutant folk-country Never Ever Wrong to the lush pop-y stuff with Lyle Workman (very Rundgrenesque) to really strange noodling and avant-garde noisery. I'll warn that the metal factor is greatly reduced in favor of subtlety, nuance, and nutso collisions of, well, just about everything. Given much of the material, especially the cut with Lyle Workman, I suspect a collaboration CD between Keneally and Gary Lucas would blow everyone out of the water.

Don't expect a concept album, 'cause it ain't that, Hezekiah; equally, don't throw it on expecting to frug and boogaloo down Broadway lest you swoon in shock and disbelief. On the other hand, should you desire a very long collection of songs toeing no one's line or perhaps feel the need for a series of snapshots of Keneally when he's not a headbanging berserker, Wine and Pickles is the ticket. If you're already familiar with his array of discs, the cuts listed below contain titles that'll be familiar…and not. Half a dozen are alternate takes of one stripe or another, so every cut here is new in its own way.

Track List:

  • 2CTV
  • Feelin' Strangely
  • Li'l
  • Backwards Deb
  • Bubble Creek
  • Never Ever Wrong
  • Unused Hum
  • I Heard About What You Said
  • Inhale
  • 4S
  • Skull Bubbles
  • Stop for Flashing Red Light, Pt. 1
  • Lonely Man
  • Selfish Otter
  • A Concise Piano Statement
  • AeroDef
  • Kevorkian 3
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill
  • Paloma
  • Kevorkian 17
  • The Endings of Things
All songs wriiten by Mike Keneally except "Inhale": Keneally / Workman.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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