Mike Keneally and XTC's Andy Partridge have written an album together and it's out now! Here's a video for the track "I'm Raining Here Inside."
Andy Partridge speaking about Wing Beat Fantastic:
"How does he do it? When Mike took away the demo we made for a freshly co-written song "You Kill Me," he had in his hands a rather lumpen campfire strum on acoustic guitars. What came back to my ears sometime later was a totally pulled apart, beautifully arranged mini-film for the ears, flowing like sonic liquid from one section to another, effortlessly moving from one time signature to the next. He'd made a tiny symphony, turning a bitter little protest tune into a well-crafted, cool, gliding, chrome...well...big protest song! Mike, what is your secret?
I didn't know how any of the tunes we'd agreed to write together were going to come out, but I know one thing, SO musical is this man that him just sitting with a guitar across his lap or perched at a keyboard pulled things from me that I can honestly say "I don't know where they came from."
One such piece was "Your House." One morning I said "give me a chord," he did, and another..."go up this time," and he did. Suddenly the basis for a whole bittersweet tale flew out. This is tough to talk about as I'm internally fighting the anti-vanity police writing this, but Mike and I wrestled from nowhere as beautiful a song as my best XTC work. Sat in my microscopic garden shed studio, I was privileged to be part of some rare magic that day. His inherent musicality set something off in me that was like a lovely bomb. No wonder Frank Zappa wanted to work with this man. When he sent me my copy of the finished album, and I got to this song, I couldn't hold back the tears. Thank you Mike, there are not many pieces of music that can do that to me.
Love all the short between-song vignettes that Mike includes on the album. Sometimes commenting on the song past, sometimes lifting motifs from a forthcoming piece. Like scenes in a film, a prequel of what you are about to hear, bending the timeline of the whole album to his musical will. This is filmic sense Mike, who taught you that, show me?
Sat at my kitchen table wrestling out the words to title track "Wing Beat Fantastic" was a bit of a roller coaster thrill ride. Don't think I've been head to head with such a sharp mind. I'd come up with a good line, he'd come up with better, I just HAD to beat it with a better one yet...or he's not leaving this table. A privilege to be goaded by you, man, good results."