Combustible punk jazz trio, The Dead Kenny Gs, featuring saxophonist Skerik, bassist Brad Houser and drummer/percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon, have announced the release of Operation Long Leash due March 15 on Royal Potato Family. Recorded in December at Stone Gossard's Studio Litho in Seattle with engineer Randall Dunn (Cave Singers, Black Mountain, Boris), the band conceived the majority of the material while on the road last summer with Primus, Gogol Bordello and Garage A Trois. The release of Operation Long Leash is surrounded by a 15-date tour that begins in New Orleans and heads north up the East Coast.
If the moniker Dead Kenny Gs doesn’t say it all at first glance, an initial listen to the latest album quickly makes their intentions clear. The trio is committed to musical subversion of the highest order. Exploring a muso obsession of musical styles and sonic colors, The Dead Kenny Gs have both the courage and the chops to realize their wildest aural fantasies. One moment they draw inspiration from punk legends The Minutemen, while the next finds them embracing the spirit of jazz giant Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and still another the influence of indie rock progenitors Deerhoof; yet always remaining purely DKGs. It’s not just music informing the band’s voice either, but an obsession with political conspiracy in American history. The album’s title, Operation Long Leash, comes from the clandestine CIA operation in the late ‘40s to fund Abstract Expressionism as a means for Western culture to undermine the conformist ideals of the Soviet Union during the early years of the Cold War.
Operation Long Leash opens with the sprawling instrumental art rock "Devil's Playground" followed by the skewed go-go funk of "Black Truman (Harry The Hottentot)," featuring special guest Charlie Hunter on guitar. Over the course of the album's ten tracks, they'll blast through avant instrumental punk rockers spiked with Balkan and Klezmer music like "Melvin Jones" and "Sweatbox." The experimental doom metal dirge "Black Death" includes a cathartic lyrical onslaught from Mike D. that turns his past struggles with heroin into a metaphor for the Gulf Coast oil spill and the United States' addiction to oil. In the hands of these three musicians, the disparate elements coalesce into a complete vision, fearless in its creation and explosive upon arrival. In the words of Skerik: "Dead Kenny Gs is what happens when people listen to Bad Brains and Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sunn O))) and Milt Jackson, Dead Kennedys and John Coltrane, Melt Banana and Fela Kuti."
Listen to "Devil's Playground"
Listen to "Black Truman (Harry The Hottentot)"
March 4 | D.B.A. | New Orleans, LA
March 5 | Donna's | New Orleans, LA
March 7 | Engine Room | Tallahassee, FL
March 8 | Pour House | Charleston, SC
March 9 | Five Spot | Atlanta, GA
March 10 | Mo Daddy’s | Asheville, NC
March 11 | Cosmic Charlie's | Lexington, KY
March 12 | Rex Theater | Pittsburgh, PA
March 13 | Beachland Tavern | Cleveland, OH
March 14 | Bullfrog Brewery | Williamsport, PA
March 16 | The Dover Brick House | Dover, NH
March 17 | Brooklyn Bowl | New York, NY
March 18 | North Star | Philadelphia, PA
March 19 | The Jewish Mother | Norfolk, VA
March 20 | Martin's Downtown | Roanoke, VA