Music » Critics' Picks

Mike Keneally

7 p.m. Saturday, September 8. The Gramophone, 4243 Manchester Avenue.

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Say the word "Zappa" in polite company and watch people either foam at the mouth about their favorite Mothers of Invention album or mumble about the man's perceived inscrutability. But few will deny the instrumental dexterity that Zappa espoused and demanded of his players, and Mike Keneally, his former "stunt guitarist" (so called for his superhuman ability), has made his name as a go-to sideman for the likes of Steve Vai and Metalocalypse's cartoon band Dethklok. But his latest solo record shows little of the psych-rock excursions that made him an underground legend — Wing Beat Fantastic was written with XTC's Andy Partridge, and that bittersweet melodic rock that made Partridge's name is now broadcast through Keneally's own formidable chops.

Just the Two of Us: Keneally will be performing songs from the new album with Rick Musallam, a fellow Zappa devotee who has recorded with the Roots, Gwen Stefani and more.

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