improvised

Guitarist Mike Keneally + Drummer Marco Minnemann = Evidence of Humanity

One bright morning, world-renowned drummer Marco Minnemann (Eddie Jobson's UZ, Nina Hagen, Necrophagist, Paul Gilbert, David Torn and countless others) settled down behind the DW kit in his secluded hideaway, punched the record button, and proceeded to pound out an astounding 52-minute improvised solo. When it was finished, he christened it Normalizer 2 and offered it as a sort of gift to a handful of his favorite guitarists, hoping that they would each add their own signature madness to the mix.

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Dethklok, Joe Satriani and, again, countless others) was someone Marco hoped would dig the idea. In the throes of recording his intense and complex Scambot 1 album (released last year on Exowax), Mike leapt at Marco's offer-- the creation of Evidence of Humanity would be a joyous, freewheeling counterpoint to his meticulous work on Scambot. "A fun ride," Mike would recall.

Frequently, while recording his parts, Mike would respond improvisationally to a section of Marco's drum solo, recording a melodic statement on guitar, keyboard or bass, and then overdubbing orchestrational support to the original improvised part. On other sections, Mike would compose movement strenuously in unison with Marco's initial improvised outburst.

The ecstatic result is something like two of the world's foremost musicians improvising together, but not at the same time. It's a record unlike any other that Mike has recorded (but probably closest to Nonkertompf, his indefinable, mostly instrumental 1999 solo extravaganza). Evidence of Humanity seems to have a life of its own, mutating and maturing with each listen.

Accompanying the Evidence of Humanity CD is a DVD, containing a tasty reimagining of the original concept. This time, Mike and Marco got together in real time and vaulted into the ether for another 52-minute musical improvisation, a feat that was videotaped for your pleasure and entitled Elements Of A Manatee. The DVD also includes an insightful conversation between the two kindred musical spirits, shot in the back seat of a car hurtling toward the Southern California desert's dilapidated Salton Sea.

PRAANG Bounces Back Into Denver For 2 Nights

The highly improvised quartet known as PRAANG featuring the all-star cast of Steve Kimock, Michael Travis, Jason Hann and Jamie Janover is scheduled to perform at Quixote's (formerly Owsleys) on Jan. 29 and Jan 30th.

PRAANG was born in December of 2006, due to the most unusual circumstances. Thanks to the legendary blizzards in Denver, which closed local airports for consecutive days, and left Steve Kimock stranded in town with 2 nights of music booked and no band in sight. Out of the blue, four unlikely musicians came together for the first time to recover a near snowed out show with no notice, no plan and no rehearsal. It's no surprise the 600 person venue came close to sell-out that weekend with word of mouth buzz alone - the caliber of musicians performing on a single stage was unthinkable at the time. Today, PRAANG is still purely experimental, instrumental and continues to play rare intimate performances, rain, snow or shine.

Known for a highly improvised performance, PRAANG is the strange combination of live electronic music, dub step and house music coupled with ethereal Hammered Dulcimer and the soaring, often psychedelic, voice of a guitar. The quartet, much like the experimental jazz bands of the past, performs with no form or known songs in their repertoire. Instead, the musicians pick themes or great storylines as their subject of improvisation. One member might say "tsunami" as they explode into an epic jam that tosses and turns like the great waves of the sea -- or a "tribal march", with a strong focus on drums, may come out of their explorations. It's as fun of a project to watch as it is to dance to.

January 29 & 30, 2010
Praang feat. Steve Kimock, Michael Travis, Jason Hann and Jamie Janover
Quixote's (formerly Owsley's)
2151 Lawrence St
Denver, CO 80205
Set: 10:00 PM
17+ Tickets: $20/ $22