Umphrey's McGee Unveils New Mash-Up Album 'ZONKEY' September 07, 2016 12:24

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Photo by Craig Baird: Live & Listen
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Genre-defying progressive sextet Umphrey’s McGee has announced the November 11 release of ZONKEY, a truly unique collection of 12 innovative mash-ups; conceived, arranged and performed in their entirety without the use of any samples. Always a band to challenge the boundaries of live performance, Umphrey’s McGee began a tradition eight years ago when the group started performing live mash-ups during their annual Halloween concerts. The event has become a fan favorite with sold out shows and highly coveted tickets. ZONKEY marks the first time the group has taken songs spanning 40+ years of popular music from 70’s Reggae to 80’s Pop to 90’s Metal and beyond, and recorded them in the studio. 
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Only a band with the caliber of musicians such as Umphrey’s McGee could pull off these ambitious compositions that include “National Loser Anthem” (Radiohead’s "National Anthem" + Beck’s "Loser" + Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight”), “Can't Rock My Dream Face” (Michael Jackson’s "Rock With You" + The Weeknd’s "Can't Feel My Face"  + Fleetwood Mac’s "Dreams"), “Strangletage” (Ted Nugent’s "Stranglehold" + Beastie Boys "Sabotage") or “Life During Exodus” (Talking Heads’ "Life During Wartime" + Bob Marley‘s "Exodus" + Frank Zappa’s "City of Tiny Lites" +  Chicago’s "25 or 6 to 4"). The passion and precision in their playing is tremendous, as well as seamless blends and transitions within the arrangements.
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"ZONKEY clearly pays homage to some of our favorite artists & songs. While we’ve tried to reproduce the spirit of the original compositions & recordings, we’ve also tried to have some fun with the takes as we’ve often combined seemingly dissimilar musical elements to create a new vibe altogether,” notes keyboardist Joel Cummins
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Aside from Umphrey’s McGee’s dynamic sounds, cutting edge live spectacles, massive fanbase and sold out shows, the band has set a new standard with their groundbreaking fan-engaging, communal live experiences. Their pioneering live interactive efforts include fan curated sets, “audio immersion” via their Headphones & Snowcones experience and the annual UMBowl events (featured in Wired), to name a few. These extraordinary fan relations efforts have been the subject of stories in numerous outlets, including BillboardMashable, Pollstar, Relix, Chicago Tribune, and TimeZONKEY is yet another example of a band unwilling to sit idle as they continue to evolve and explore endless possibilities.
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Watch Umphrey's McGee perform "Bittersweet Haj" in Kansas City on 06.27.15:
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ZONKEY Track Listing
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“National Loser Anthem”
"National Anthem" (Radiohead) + "Loser" (Beck) + "In The Air Tonight "(Phil Collins)
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“Life During Exodus”
"Life During Wartime" (Talking Heads) + "Exodus" (Bob Marley) + "City of Tiny Lites" (Frank Zappa) +  "25 or 6 to 4" (Chicago)
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“Can't Rock My Dream Face”
"Rock With You" (Michael Jackson) + "Can't Feel My Face" (The Weeknd) + "Dreams" (Fleetwood Mac)
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“Sad Clint Eastwood”
"Sad But True" (Metallica) + "Clint Eastwood" (Gorillaz)
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“Electric Avenue To Hell”
"Highway To Hell" (AC/DC) + "Electric Avenue" (Eddy Grant) + 
The Triple Wide (Umphrey's McGee)
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“Ace Of Long Nights”
"Ace of Spades" (Motorhead) + "It’s Gonna Be a Long Night" (Ween)
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“Sweet Sunglasses”
"Sweet Dreams" (Eurythmics) + "Sunglasses at Night" (Corey Hart) + 
"Electric Feel" (MGMT)
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“Strangletage”
"Stranglehold" (Ted Nugent) + "Sabotage" (Beastie Boys)
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“Come As Your Kids”
"Kids" (MGMT) + "Come As You Are" (Nirvana) + 
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” (Dead or Alive)
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“Frankie Zombie”
"Thunder Kiss ’65" (White Zombie) + "Relax" (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) + 
"Have a Cigar" (Pink Floyd)
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“Bulls On The Bus”
"Bulls On Parade" (Rage Against the Machine) + "Mark On the Bus" (The Beastie Boys)
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“Bittersweet Haj”
"Hajimemashite" (Umphrey's McGee) + "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (The Verve)