Monday, December 27, 2010

The Current-Feature Story December 2010

The Dead Kenny G's

I’ve gotta be totally honest with you. Before receiving this month’s assignment, I had never heard of The Dead Kenny G’s. Aside from a few YouTube videos, there’s very little online about the band, aside from their own no-frills website (which has no bio) and a run of the mill MySpace page (which has a one paragraph bio). Their music isn’t on Grooveshark. They have no entry on Wikipedia. Not cool, internet.

However, being the creative artist that I am, I managed, through exhaustive research and limitless imagination, to piece together a highly possible rendering of the story of how this talented group of musicians came together to form The Dead Kenny G’s, much like Aaron Sorkin did in writing The Social Network. To make the following seem more cinematic, imagine Michael Cera in the role of Skerik (yes, Skerik. That’s what he wants to be called, so that’s what I’m calling him. If you have to know his real name, Google him.), and one of the guys from The Backstreet Boys in the role of Mike Dillon. The following is based on true events.

Skerik: Hi, my name’s Skerik. I play saxophone and keyboards. I’ve played with all sorts of cool artists, like Roger Waters, Pearl Jam and Bonnie Raitt. I love me some Coltrane. But I can’t stand Kenny G.

Mike Dillon: Your name’s Skerik?

Skerik: Yes. That’s what I like to be called.

Mike Dillon: Hi, Skerik. I’m Mike Dillon. I totally hear ya about Kenny G. I play the drums and all sorts of other instruments. I also sing on some occasions. I’m really into Mike Watt, even though when he sings it sounds like he’s in physical pain. I’ve played with cool people too, like Ani DiFranco. I’m getting ready to work with Les Claypool from Primus. His new band is called Les Claypool’s Flying Frog Brigade. You should join too.

Skerik: You won’t believe this, but I’m already in that band. I can’t wait to play together. And then after we’ve played together in that band for a while, maybe we can tour together in a series of subsequent bands playing different varieties of music. Perhaps our newfound partnership can culminate in the formation of an acid-jazz fusion type combo, something totally not like what Kenny G does.

Mike Dillon: That sounds great. We could even add a little punk rock flavor, kind of like The Dead Kennedys. Hey, that gives me a great idea for a band name. How does The Dead Kenny G’s grab you?

Skerik: You’re reading my mind, man. Here’s another idea. How about after we’ve been together as The Dead Kenny G’s for a while, we bring in some new members, like, for touring and stuff? Maybe my buddy Brad Hauser on bass and Brian Haas from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey on keyboards.

Mike Dillon: Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey? They’re from Oklahoma. I’ve always wanted to visit. Maybe Brian can tell us what it’s like.

Skerik: Maybe someday we can even go there.

End Scene.

From the research I was able to do, I’m pretty sure that’s basically how The Dead Kenny G’s came into existence. And that cliffhanger at the end, where Skerik is left with his hope of one day visiting Oklahoma as the screen fades to black? Spoiler alert. It has a happy ending. Twice.

The Dead Kenny G’s (featuring Brian Haas of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) come to Currentland in support of their album Bewildered Herd on Friday, Dec. 3 at The Deli in Norman, Saturday, Dec. 4 at Eclipse in Tulsa and Sunday, Dec. 5 at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, AR. For complete tour information go online to You can also pick up a copy of Bewildered Herd on iTunes.

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