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— Ken Leighton

Tick-Tick-Tick… Guitarist Mike Keneally will become a cartoon character in 2008 when he tours with Dethklok, a live-action band based on the Cartoon Network TV show Metalocalypse.

“We don’t dress to resemble the cartoon,” he says, “because we’ve got three projection screens with animation going during the show, similar to the band Gorillaz, showing the cartoon band ‘performing’ the music we’re playing onstage.… The drummer wears headphones so that the live band stays synched to the visuals. The band dresses all in black and stays mostly in the shadows until the last song, when the cartoon band goes away and the live band is flooded with white light.”

Keneally landed the ’toon gig by contacting Metalocalypse creator/songwriter Brendon Small via MySpace.

“[I told] him that my girlfriend and I were big fans of his first show, Home Movies. He wrote back to say he was a huge fan of mine too, having seen me play live in 1996 when he was a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston.…

When the Dethklok album of music from the TV show came out and proved to be such a surprising success, there was a need for a live show and a live band to play it, so he asked me and my bass player, Bryan Beller, if we would join forces with him and legendary metal drummer Gene Hoglan.”

Keneally first came to local prominence fronting the band Drop Control. In 1987, he joined Frank Zappa’s touring band as a “stunt guitarist,” replacing Steve Vai. He went on to play with XTC, Negativland, Robert Fripp, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Solomon Burke, and others.

— Jay Allen Sanford

Trophy Strife Six San Diego–related artists are nominated for Grammy Awards (ceremony to be held on February 10 in Los Angeles): jazz pianist Eldar (Best Contemporary Jazz Album), country-folk duo Buck Howdy & BB (Best Musical Album for Children), As I Lay Dying (Best Metal Performance), singer-songwriter J.J. Cale (Best Contemporary Blues Album), as well as former locals Tom Waits (Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album) and Eddie Vedder (Best Song Written for Motion Picture).

Two national acts up for trophies have a local connection.

Over two days in the summer of 2000, Green Day (Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group) filmed a video for their song “Minority” downtown, on Broadway between Fourth and Sixth Avenue. Though it was a major production, only about two dozen fans showed up to watch the shoot. The clip features the band in a parade, complete with baton twirlers and giant balloons, though these were later digitally enhanced to show the band members’ faces. At the video’s conclusion, the band destroyed their float and allowed fans to take pieces as souvenirs.

Beyoncé Knowles (Record of the Year) has San Diego connections that the artist would likely prefer not to have publicized. In 1999, Destiny’s Child — the group she was in at the time — canceled a San Diego appearance when local “fan” LaToya Langford began to issue death threats against the all-girl group. According to online reports, Langford allegedly demanded a specific sexual favor from Knowles. A restraining order was issued, but the threats continued until Langford’s arrest.

When Knowles performed at Cox Arena last August, several online sources report, local staff were instructed not to look at, speak to, or approach her. From Star Magazine: “The staff were actually told before the show that if Beyoncé was coming down the hall, you were to find an unlocked room and immediately go into it, out of her presence.”

— Bart Mendoza

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