San Diego Symphony's second night of the Masterworks season showcased the power of place and personality
Garrett Harris noon, Oct. 13
A feeling of fearlessness pervades You Must Be This Tall, a willingness to pursue any musical idea to its fullest extent. But this uncompromising stance is approached with verve and humor - the album jumps with life.
Four of the new songs began as very short musical ideas, a rhythm pattern, or a snatch of lyric or melody, not lasting more than a few seconds that Keneally sang or played into his cell phone while on the road with Satriani or Dethklok. After returning from touring, he set himself a challenge: go into the recording studio for four days and create four completed song structures based on these voice memos, one song per day.
By the end of the week, full basic tracks were recorded for "The Rider," a sweeping classic-rock anthem; "Kidzapunk," a manic, chaotic theme song for a movie that doesn't exist; "Cavanaugh," a moody, proggish character study; and "Pitch Pipe," an epic instrumental with guitar to the forefront.
Except for Marco Minnemann's virtuosic drumming on "Kidzapunk" and a few soulful guitar interjections from Rick Musallam on "The Rider," these four songs feature Keneally playing all instruments, manually (except for some electronic percussion programming on a couple of tracks, all the playing on this album was done in real time by human hands).