Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hey, I met the Idiot Bastard!

Project Object performing at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, WI

And their drummer, Eric Slick

No new info yet on last night's Project Object show in North Carolina with Denny Walley but as usual, I will come in here with my ETAs if some pop up later. (By the way, ETA means "edited to add" in case there's someone out there who gets confused when I do that). Just know that the tour continues down south with a show tonight (again with Denny Walley) in Atlanta, Georgia at The Five Spot - doors at 8:00 p.m.; show at 9:00 p.m. Upcoming shows, after a much needed day off on Sunday, include Monday night in Charleston, South Carolina; Tuesday night in Carreboro, North Carolina, and Wednesday night in Charlotte, North Carolina...and then they head for West Virginia. I wonder if Eric is going to come back with a drawl...

In fact, ETA right now. This just off the Frank Zappa Forum Board:

Sheik Oyura Beeg 1
Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 62
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:19 am

"Maybe it was because it was a beautiful Carolina evening, maybe it was the venue- Stella Blue - filled with FZ and P/O fans, maybe it was the huge tribal drum circle going for hours in downtown Asheville, but what resulted was a fantastic concert last night by Project/Object. The band was tight, opening with "Little House I Used to Live In" and ending the night with "San Berdino" at 3 am.

The new drummer Eric Slick was very impressive. Eric S. kicked ass on the Moog, Dave played some exceptional bass, Seahag was phenomenal,and Denny Walley(and grandson) were a special treat...and of course Ike and Andre were great. When they cranked out "The Mammy Anthem" to start the second set, chills went up my spine..."Lawd hab murky."

I was introduced to the lovely Duchess of Prunes a.k.a. XYQA from our forum, a true SUPERFAN, who will help feed our favorite band in Atlanta this evening. It was a pleasure meeting you my dear.

Run to see and hear this band on tour.I'm going to catch another show in Charlotte this Wednesday...I can't wait."

Sigh...I so, so love this.

Of course I'll be posting links to the venues each day and reminders...ha ha just call me their unofficial P.R. person.

So as you can obviously tell, I've been completely OCD while Eric's been on tour searching out reviews, blogs, etc. on the subject, and it was while doing this I encountered Andrew Greenway, best known to music fans around the world as The Idiot Bastard.

After visiting his website and reading a bunch of cool stuff...and I'm not sure how the sequence went...I think he was googling as well and found me...we started corresponding. Ha ha - what can I say, he lives in the UK and is a music freak/historian/writer. Do I need to add anything else? about this review he has posted of the Zappanale 16 CD?

"...And as for Eric Slick's drums on the rock band version of Approximate - killer!"

Then Andrew made the mistake of writing me an e-mail asking me for any info I had on Neil Gaiman. Andrew is a huge fan of Tori Amos but knew very little about Neil and Tori is contributing Sister Named Desire to an imminent tribute album, Where's Neil When You Need Him (itself a line from her song, Space Dog), and he asked that I fill him in.

Who, me?

Nah, I behaved, and rather than write back with a mini-series, I simply directed him to Neil's website and told him about his blog with five years of archives.

"Just go to the search feature and type in Tori Amos or whatever else you're looking for as concerns Neil and you'll find more info than you can possibly use," I replied.

Apparently that's what he did, and then Andrew visited my blog yesterday and actually took the quiz "Which Neil Gaiman Book Are You" and I got this email back, which merely said...

"I'm Coraline".

I laughingly replied that somehow I doubted he was a children's book.

But I'm kind of embarrassed about the other stuff he read in my post of yesterday along with the ensuing comments -- Susan Henderson and I were just messing around.

Okay, so it was just Sue who was messing around. I was dead serious. Ha!

And while I'm on the subject of Sue, she's taking part in an amazing event scheduled on May 15 (Eric's 19th birthday!) at 7:30 p.m. at The Back Room, 102 Norfolk Street, New York, NY where she'll be be reading with Pasha Malla, Roy Kesey, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Todd Zuniga, Jeff Landon, Claudia Smith, Kim Chinquee, John Leary, Darlin' Neal, Gail Siegel, Grant Bailie, Lindsay Hunter, Jim Nichols and Kevin Dolgin. That's one hell of a line-up, and since I'm predicting right now that Eric is going to want to spend his birthday with his girlfriend that evening since it's also the day after the tour ends and he hasn't seen her for a month, I'm going to do everything possible to be there -- unless, of course, Eric wants me around to sing Happy Birthday and watch him blow out candles.

Sigh...probably not. So yeah, I'm guessing there's a 99% chance I will in fact be able to attend, because normally I would not miss this reading for the world.

And while I'm on the subject of boasting about my wonderful friends, look who is scheduled for a review at Kirkus Reviews on May 15! There she is, right there with illustrious authors such as T.C. Boyle...Ellen Meister!

May 15 is obviously a very, very special day.

Okay, believe it or not, and maybe you will after reading it, this blogpost was done on only one cup of coffee. I'm off to make an entire pot now.

I'm not responsible for what happens next...


Friday, April 28, 2006

Speaking of Neil Gaiman...

Good fucking lord. Can I get that tattooed on my left hand?

Ha ha - I guess this is Neil Gaiman Day on my blog because it's my second post on the subject today but cut me some slack, I've barely mentioned him for the past two weeks while my son is on tour and providing me with other entertainment.

So yeah, because I'm sitting around here bored now and I can't write because the banging/construction next door continues (though I did write for three hours outside this morning), I took one of those Quizilla things: Which Neil Gaiman book are you?

I really took my time and answered those questions completely truthful. And unbelievable, I got this answer, which is, of course, one of my all time favorite books written by any author let alone Neil Gaiman:

You are Smoke and Mirrors! You are idealistic, unpredictable, and hypnotic. People might think you're a show-off and have a need to be surprising, but really you're just talkative and get carried away with some subjects. You might easily get jealous or feel lonely if something is going wrong in your life. You probably like fantasy, fiction and things that can temporarily take you away from the world. You have a great sense of humor and are enthralling to be around.

You know what's wild? If someone were to write my bio, that's exactly what I hope they'd say about me because it's so totally true it's scaring me. Though whether I enthrall people...hahahaha, maybe I'll take a poll of my own.

So which Neil Gaiman book are you? Do you care? Well, in the event you do or are simply bored like me, here's the link to the quiz.

Hey, this may end up being a three post day. I just got some awesome photos of Eric and Project Object at their gig in Wisconsin...I'm just waiting to see if any reviews come in from last night's show or said Wisconsin show before posting them. If not, I'll definitely do it tomorrow because I know that a lot of people are going out tonight to see P/O with Denny Walley.


Odds and sods for Friday, April 28's been a while since I posted a new Neil Gaiman photo so I figured, what the hell, I could use a thrill today.

(This is because I have no new Eric/Project Object photos but I intend to remedy that shortly -- either tonight or tomorrow)

ETA: The band will be playing in North Carolina tonight at Stella Blue with special guest Denny Walley! For those of you not familiar with Denny, he is an unbelievable slide guitarist who played with Frank Zappa for many years and oh man, do I wish I could be there this evening.

So Eric Slick continues on tour with Project Object to rave reviews; the movie Rock School is in heavy rotation on A&E network and I'm hearing from lots of people how cool the movie is and how gorgeous and talented my kids are (d'oh)...and now I think I should get to some writing news.

First, someone we all know and love has just signed a lucrative, two book deal and I will be blabbing more on that very shortly...I'm just so thrilled for "her" I can't even tell you.

Second, my great friend Jordan Rosenfeld has an amazing story up today -- The Change -- at Juked. Seriously, click on that link and have a read. Jordan tackles sci fi for the first time (at least I think so and I'm pretty sure I've read all of her stuff but I could be wrong) and like everything else she writes, she's aced it. Jordan also recently signed a contract with Writers Digest for a hardcover non-fiction book due out next year so great things are happening for her at last. I've been a big fan since I read a draft of one of her early novels four years ago...a novel I know which will be published some day because it's just so damn good and four years later I can still remember it verbatim, which is saying a lot considering the fact I can't remember what I had for dinner last night.

Third, the banging and construction next door continues so I am out of here for now with the dog, my pen, and my lucky journal (ha ha -- autographed by the aforesaid Neil Gaiman and I swear to God, it's almost full now so I hope he inadvertently passed me some of his mojo).

Be back later to see if there are any new Project Object reviews or if I hear from Eric...if so...I will post again; if not, hey, happy Friday!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Eric Slick on tour with Project Object: He Blogs!

Eric Slick on drums at the Iron Horse (thanks to my brother David and sister-in-law Staci for sending me this great photo today and double thanks to them for surprising Eric at the Show in Massachusetts as they live in CT an hour and a half away and have two very young children)


ETA: Oh god, follow this link to a review of the show too lengthy to post here but here come the tears again... wanna talk proud mother moment? My son, the writer! Yep, he has kept his promise and is blogging the tour after all. Here are the excerpts from the first week:

Wednesday, April 12 World Cafe Live

The first day of the Project/Object 2006 Spring Tour. I can honestly say that this was the first time in 3 years that I was nervous before a show. I woke up on Wednesday morning with that certain adrenaline rush - an unhealthy feeling. Knowing that we were going to be in Philadelphia, my hometown, I felt an indescribable dose of pressure. People were going to be critical, myself included, and playing Frank Zappa's music is a daunting task. Sure, this is the music I have been analyzing and picking apart since I was 11 years old. I can remember the day I bought my first Frank Zappa record, 'Sheik Yerbouti'. I went to the orthodontist and he accidentally broke off one of those 'vital' braces sending my mouth into shock as he responded by nonchalantly shooting a needle of anesthetics into the back of my throat (without my consent, nonetheless). My mother felt bad for me and took me to the record store immediately afterwards. My face completely numb with a nice pool of drool forming until my tongue she asked me what record I wanted and I replied by drawing out the letter 'Z' with my finger. 'Zappa?' she replied, and I shook my head repeatedly. I went home and ran up to bedroom and threw on the sprawling 79 minute record - and I was floored. So floored, that I put it on loop and listened to it until my face had feeling again. I believe that something inside me changed that day, maybe something broke, who knows. One thing I knew at least as a drummer, this was going to be the music that I obsessed over from that point forward. Anyway, back to the pre-show. The ability to focus was perhaps my biggest flaw on Wednesday. Certainly there was a lot on my mind! Not seeing my friends for a month, what to eat and not eat before the show, when I could warm up my hands, making sure the 50 year old hardware on my drum kit wasn't going to break (which it did), etc. I get nervous just reminiscing about the pre-show! The School of Rock All-Stars opened up for us, and they did a fine job. I had to chance to play on a laid back version of 'Take a Chance on Me' by ABBA with Terry, Carolyn, and Bosco. Foster and Hannah dancing during Yes' version of 'America' always makes me smile, it's one of those genuine stage moments that is hard to recapture. At this point though, I was freaking out in my own idiotic fashion, trying to memorize sh*t before the show that was practically muscle memory to me. Still, I walked on stage with my heart in my mouth and we tore through the '71 version of 'Little House I Used to Live In'. Not the best version we've done for sure, but I think we absolutely surprised the crowd. Being the wreck that I was, I can't recall the rest of the show. I don't remember what I did, when I may have dropped the best, if my electronics were working, or especially if the cinderblock was the doing it's hefty last minute job in front of my bass drum. What I can remember was the unbelievable support that everyone gave us, and I would like to thank my parents for being the best, Andre for providing me for this opportunity, the rest of the band members for being incredible musicians, Carolyn for calming me down, Paul Green for showing and staying for as along as he did, and all the fine freaks of Philadelphia for telling us that we didn't suck too bad for our first night. After the show we packed up and headed to the world's greatest Motel 6 in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Thursday, April 13 Starland Ballroom

We spent most of the morning at the Motel 6. By this point I was starting to love the Motel 6 atmosphere, but not the whole 'you have to steal some angry dude's wireless connection by sitting outside in the grass'. Andre and I went to Guitar Center because I had to pick up a new bass drum beater. Somehow the indestructible metal beater I had decided to snap right in half during 'Packard Goose'. Andre picked up a nasty little machine called the Korg Pandora's Box. I've played with those things forever so I know the virtues of owning one. The weather was particularly good on Thursday, and this put me in a more relaxed mindset. Still, I always understood that the first couple nights were going to rough. We drove a quick 15 minutes to the Starland Ballroom and I was baffled. This room is the perfect venue! I think we all enjoyed the arguing sound guys. They should have their own sitcom on HBO or something. Props to the chef for making a portabello mushroom so good that I might have a hard time eating one anywhere else. Other props to the Dr. Dot massage therapist for getting that nasty lump out of my rotator cuff! This night was going to be special from the get-go because the Mahavishnu Project was opening and Glenn Alexander and GREGG BENDIAN are sick individuals. They did a fantastic job, and Dave really held it down. The violinist and keyboardist were also quite fantastic. Talk about a band that made the Mahavishnu '72 live tapes sound sloppy! They left the stage and I went in the crowd for a bit to see how many people were there. What an enthusiastic group of people...they looked psyched. We went on and did our typical first couple of songs (Little House, Dirty Love, Titties n Beer, Flakes, Broken Hearts) and the crowd went wild. Surprisingly there weren't too many drum problems because the bass drum anchor seemed to have tightened itself? Bendian played Filthy Habits and King Kong and I felt a tad overwhelmed - he's one of the best live drummers I have ever seen. As Svalgard wonderfully puts it, 'His press rolls are so perfect that they sound like white noise'. Highlights of the night for me: Ike Willis singing 'Outside Now' with such pure emotion (his voice and guitar playing are even more insanely exceptional this tour), Svalgard's 'Inca Roads' keyboard solo that put George Duke in his place, Andre's amazing improvisations and inventive soloing and his duo soloing with the monstrous Seahag in 'Zomby Woof', Seahag in general, and Dave's jaw-dropping 'Apostrophe' bass solo. It's a joy to play with Dave - he is one of the few bass players who understands what a rhythm section is supposed to do. Back to the same Motel 6.....

Friday, April 14 Valentines

This tour is particularly new and exciting because there are so many places on the East Coast I haven't been to yet. Albany is a strange place, particularly because it's architecture is so similar to San Francisco. Big hills, parks, and row houses everywhere. Ed Mann was supposed to show up but unfortunately his back went out. I was looking forward to it, as a marimba player and because he would certainly help fill out the sound. Valentine's is a bizarre room to play music in - the ceilings are made of some type of metal, the stage is not present until you walk up a big flight of stairs...very different. We didn't have an awesome chef this night so we kind of had what felt like a family dinner at a Mexican place called Loco. How creative! Just kidding, the food was great and we had a good time discussing the finer points in life, like quesadillas and Eddie Money concerts in Chile. Also, the merits of 'I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch' were discussed by Seahag and I. Do yourself a favor and watch that video. Went back to venue and there was a rabid group of Zappa people ready for some music. I think our sets were strong in Albany, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Highlight of the night for me: Our premiere performance of Village/Echidna/Wash..WAIT FOR IT....

Everyone was hilarious after the show, doing our best 'I Need a Miracle Bra'.

Dragging equipment down a flight of stairs = kinda lame, but the fine stage hands at Valentine's helped us out completely.

Motel 6 in Albany, with no Pop Tarts in the vending machine...

Saturday, April 15 Higher Ground

Ah yes, a venue named after a Stevie Wonder song. I immediately fell in love with the place almost just because Mr. Bungle played there. My parents decided to spend the weekend on tour and they came to Vermont with a gigantic Target bag full of pre-toasted Pop Tarts and 3 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats. Thank you Mom and Dad for saving my life in the food department. Surprise of the day: The Disco Biscuits were playing in the larger room next to us. A little wookied out? Absolutely. I guess the secret word for that night was not Mud Shark, but indeed the Chewbacca Groan. The one thing that sucked about this show was my inevitable bass drum problems. We had to put another last minute cinderblock in front of it. It's funny that I didn't know how old my hardware was until I started beating the sh*t out of it on this tour. U-Melt opened up for us this night and I would like to thank them for being so into it. It's obvious that they love Frank Zappa music. The show was pretty good, the sound on stage was nice and clear. Highlights: Crusin' for Burgers...

A Best Western with WIRELESS. That's what I am talking about.

Sunday, April 16 Iron Horse Music Hall

The first thing I found out about Northampton was that it was the um....female partners capital of the world? Andre and I discussed the craziness of Easter Sunday. My parents again really going overboard in the food department...they arrived with many chocolate easter bunnies. Dave and Seahag were convinced that there should be manufactured Chocolate Jesus Bunnies. Tonight's secret word/every sentence we uttered was our collective Michael McDonald impersonation. The crowd for a Sunday was ridiculous, absolutely screaming and helpful with our equipment. I snagged a wireless connection for 5 minutes from a Police Station across the street. Svalgard really killed it tonight, he's been consistent and as one fan described it, 'fluid', which may be the hardest thing to achieve playing this music. Rooming with him is a ball and it makes staying at a cheesy motel that much more interesting. Seahag again was self-deprecating and I can never tell if he's being serious, because he's probably the best living guitarist besides Adrian Belew. Dave as always killed it, I don't know if he understands how good he is...Andre, of course being innovative and amazing as usual, his playing speaks for itself...Ike delivering a knockout 'woo woo woo' Micheal McDonald cry throughout the night helped me laugh. Good times!

Motel 6 with Strawberry Frosted Pop Tarts...

Monday, April 17 The Century Lounge

BONEYAHD! The cries of PRAAAvidence, Rhode Island. I was impressed as I walked in, as there was drum kit already set up for me. How excellent. There was a sweet ass golf video game too. I didn't eat dinner that night, which can be extremely difficult because these shows are like marathon runs. By the end of the 4 hour run, I'm usually drenched in body fluids (I forgot to mention that I played so hard in Albany that I started bleeding all over my drums, and there's still blood that won't comne off my hi-hat). My performance tonight wasn't so good, a blister popped open during the last 4 songs and I rushed everything in pain. I was so pissed at myself for doing that, but I literally couldn't play right, so I stole duct tape from my floor tom and in a hurry a wrapped it around my throbbing finger. My voice was also killing me this night because I had sore throat and a bit of a head cold. Props to Brian who took me to the Brooks pharmacy to get Cold and Sinus medicine.

I would certainly like to forget this gig although the fans really seemed to enjoy it (headbanging dude ruled and the guy who yelled 'NOICE!') and one guy compared me to Will sir, are way too kind...Will Kennedy is about 1,000 levels above me, but thank you nonetheless. It was cold and rainy after the show and that probably didn't help my attitude. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Motel 6 on the way to Hahpahs Ferryyy...


Okay, I admit it, I'm dying here. I told you all my son could write! I can hardly talk right now I'm so choked up.

Which is good, because it's 8:00 a.m. and the workmen next door have been pounding away for the past hour but I don't care, I'm out of here for sure today to go to scenic Baltimore (where believe it or not I have never been) on some writing business and won't be back until tomorrow afternoon. Yep, a whole day away from the madness.

But one final reminder: A&E Network is premiering Rock School tonight and not only will you see Julie and Eric Slick as young teenagers throughout, toward the end of the movie I'm quite prominently featured (ha) on the plane to Germany sleeping with my mouth wide open (lovely) and when the kids perform the final concert in said Germany, you can see me run over to Julie as she leaves the stage...and wasted on err, beer, at the front of the stage while they perform.

I'm just kidding, if you blink you will miss me on all three occasions but who cares anyway, this movie is about Paul and the kids and if you haven't seen it yet, you should! reviews are in yet for last night's Project Object show but I'll watch the usual sources until I leave for my trip today and if I find anything interesting, you know, the usual...I'll be back to edit.

P.S. Julie's lasagna was sick. If she continues to cook vegetarian like that for me, I just might...



Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Coincidence? I think not!

This, as you know, is the pic of Eric taken when he was four or five years old and I made a remark about how weird it was that the magazine cover came true, and I also made a joke about the cowboy hat that his sister insisted they both wear...

And this of course is the photo I posted of Eric yesterday.

Heh. How freaking insane, huh.

So right now I'm in the middle of a total nuthouse. The place next door was sold and is being gutted and rebuilt...the workmen got there around 7:00 a.m. today and my entire house is vibrating and the pounding and banging noises are making me lose what's left of my mind. I went outside and screamed at the workers who looked at me like I'm warped because apparently this type of work is done at dawn everywhere and as their expressions told me, I'm going to have to live with it. I feel like crying because this is happening at the worst possible time. I have a real chance to finish my novel with Eric away on tour and the house mostly to myself and now I can't even think straight due to the noise. I live in a brownstone/rowhouse you can imagine what I'm going through - it sounds like they are in my kitchen right now. In fact, with this house being over a hundred years old, I'm seriously starting to worry about any adverse effects I might have structure wise.


And then, we have Julie in said kitchen, making not one but two lasagnas...vegetarian for her and me (did you know I'm now a vegetarian? I didn't. But Julie says so and I'm too upset right now to argue.) She made a meat one for her boyfriend. Every pot in the house is dirty and I'm afraid to go in and look at the stove, sink, and countertops. All I know is, she has a class at noon. God forbid I go in there and have to clean up. One of the reasons I personally never cook lasagna is that it's such a freaking mess maker.

So that's two days in a row with a nervous breakdown for me. I've decided I have to get out of the house and escape the noise, so I'm going to go for a walk to the park with my journal and at least try to do something productive.

I haven't found any new reviews on the Project Object forum board but if you check the journals of the various bandmembers on the website -- and hopefully my son will work on his -- you will see what keyboardist Eric Svalgard had to say about him, which of course made me teary eyed for a change:

Now I should say something about Slick. I have known and worked with him now for 4 years and have always loved his playing and his attitude. He knows this material as well as anyone and is a total asset to the band. He listens, has great feel and is a the SHIT. Total joy to play with. Some young players who get notoriety have trouble when they get older and are no longer freak shows. Eric will not have that problem, he is the real deal.

Thank you, Mr. Svalgard. That was incredibly cool of you to post.

So tonight's show is at The Poison Room in Cincinatti, Ohio. I haven't spoken with Eric yet today as to how the Detroit show went last night but he's having such an incredible time, I'm sure it was awesome. And of course as I will remind you all tomorrow, at 9:00 p.m. the A&E Network will be premiering Rock School and you can see where it all began for both Eric and Julie.

Oh well. Now Julie is stomping and cursing over the fact that we don't live in the suburbs and have a huge kitchen because she just dropped/spilled something due to limited workspace. Great. I'm getting the fuck out of here before I end up killing myself and her.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object -- More of the Tour; Robin Slick -- Life is a Chore

Eric Svalgard on keys and Eric Slick on drums with Project Object at Martyrs in Chicago (Nice hats, guys)

Okay, just a few more proud mother comments here as additional reviews come in from the Chicago show Saturday night...and I'm finding this stuff using Google blogsearch and visiting forum boards, etc. which is becoming a full-time job. Ha! I seriously need to get back to my own writing but I could not resist posting these today:

floatingpancake wrote,
I think last night's show was probably the tightest playing I've ever seen. Unfucking-believable. One of the best shows I will ever see, hands down. Yeah.. Yesterday was a bit wild. I woke up at 1:30 today and am just now trying to remember what it's like to be alive. I got some great footage of the show with my camera which I can't wait to see.

Their drummer is only freaking 18 years old. Insane.

I want to chill out and just refresh my mind. I can't even really think what to type right now, except that I fucked up and never set my alarm the other night, and missed out on getting Tool tix. I feel like a real fuck for that. anyhow time to have a coffee and plan for the day

Here's another nice one:

Eric Slick is P/O's new little Tony Williams... ya know how TW came into Miles band in the 60s and shook shit up by driving tempo etc...? Eric gets into it! He has a great effect on the rest of the band...

And finally:

I've seen P/O 5 times. This was BY FAR the best they've ever sounded. The addition of Sea Hag and Mr. Slick on drums just sent them over the top. As an example of how well the former plays, think of all the written out parts after the solo in Inca Roads. He played that stuff with the greatest of ease.


So good on Eric - the tour isn't even two weeks old yet and I miss him so much I can't bear it. Ah, so this is a taste of my imminent future. Julie's boyfriend is actively looking for an apartment, so it appears I'm going to be hit with empty nest syndrome all at once.

Oh well. It'll all be fine, assuming I use the spare time to write. But another morning like this one, and I will not make it through another day.

They moved the mailbox that's been on my corner for twenty years. I do not know where they moved it. I walked all over the fucking neighborhood with the dog in pouring rain, I asked neighbors -- they were all clueless as well. So then I called my local post office.

"Um, can you tell me where the mailbox is that used to be at 22nd and..?" I asked whoever answered the phone -- a woman who obviously did not have her coffee yet and was not prepared to deal with a soaking wet, cold, angry me.

"There is no mailbox there, Miss."

"Yes, I know that. Where did they move it?"



"Yes. It hasn't been moved."

"But...look, I was just there. It's gone."

"I know."

"Was it stolen?" (Can you steal a mailbox? Aren't they like bolted/cemented to the ground?)


"So. You know there's no mailbox there anymore; it hasn't been moved, it hasn't been know what, I really don't care. I just want to mail my bills. Well, I really don't want to mail my bills, but I have to. So where are you telling me I should go?"

And then she names a spot six blocks away across a busy street. Are you fucking kidding me? That's my new mailbox?

I realized I would get absolutely nowhere now and then said, Screw you, I'll never pay for another stamp again, all of my bills are now getting paid on line.

Arghhh...and then I encountered the evil that is Comcast.

I tried paying on line, I really did. They told me my user name and password were wrong. Even though I knew for sure it was correct and even answered the security question correctly, it still came up "invalid".

So then I called them. Forty-five minutes later...and I swear...I'm still shaking...I manage to make a check by phone payment, only to be disconnected before I got my confirmation number. Now you know I'm way too paranoid to let that one go, especially as Comcast is my cable provider and trust me, they will cut you off if your bill isn't paid monthly and on time.

I called back.

Good thing I did; the computer didn't "take" my payment.

"Um, what happens if it did and I end up paying you guys $400.00 this month instead of $200?"

"Oh, we'll just credit you."

"No! I would want the money back. Can't you make sure this doesn't happen?"

"There's no way I can do that, Ms. Slick. I suggest you make your payments on line."

"I tried to do that! It wouldn't let me!"

"Let me connect you with the internet department directly. They'll be able to help you."


Twenty minutes and I'm still on hold...then I start listening to the recorded message for real that I'd been hearing all twenty minutes and realized I was in the wrong place, anyway, this was for people with Comcast internet connection problems. I was merely trying to set up a pay on-line account for my cable tv.'s now 9:38 a.m. I've technically been trying to pay my cable bill since 7:00 a.m. if you count walking the dog and helplessly trying to find a mail box that I guess I dreamt existed for the past twenty years.

I seriously feel like I'm having a stroke. So. I am off to have a cup of green tea and my blood pressure medication and will try not to let what just happened fuck with my entire day and keep me from writing.

Because I still have my gas and electric bills to pay...

(Oh my something is wrong with and I've been trying to post this for the past three hours. What the fuck is going on in my world today? I feel like pounding my fist through the monitor!!! Oh god, I just checked the blogger forum board, like I have nothing better to do. Yep, there are problems but here I go to drive myself a little more nuts...I'm gonna try once more to publish this thing though according to the blogger forum, it's not gonna be fixed until "the Google boys in California arrive sipping their Starbucks 1:00 p.m. eastern time")

Serenity now! Serenity now!


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object -- More shows, more reviews

The entire band in Boston with special guest star Katie Jacoby on violin

Eric Slick on drums and Ike Willis on guitar and vocals

Morning, morning:

I'm just hopping from forum board to forum board, email account to email account, Google and Yahoo news, etc. picking up blurbs about the Cleveland and Chicago Project Object shows which I unfortunately could not attend. I just want you to know that I'm not leaving out any negative reviews because: THERE ARE NONE! Oh man, this is such a joy; not only are the fans ecstatic over this tour but every single one mentions my son the drummer and well, to say I've been on a ten day high since the tour started would be putting it mildly. So I've done some cutting and pasting here so I can gather up all of said reviews and put them in one place. And thank you very much to Katie Jacoby and her mom, Esther, who provided me with the above photos from the Boston show. As always, you can visit this link which will take you to my photobucket site where there are tons more photos that haven't been shrunk to accomodate this blog size..and if you go deep into it, you'll see photos of Eric with some other faces you just might recognize.

Okay, here's a blurb which followed P/O's show in Rhode Island on Monday:

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Project/Object 4/17/06
Category: Music

Stellar performance Monday 4/17!!! Outstanding performances by all members, especially bass wizard Dave Johnson, and the 18 year old drummer Eric Slick...If he's this good now, wait 10 years.... If you missed this show, well... you suck!

Here is the set list:

Set 1 :
The Little House I Used To Live In
Mud Shark
Dirty Love
Titties & Beer
Broken Hearts are for Assholes
Filthy Habits
Token of My Extreme
Crusin' for Burgers
Big Swifty
Pick me I'm Clean
Advance Romance
"Ike Willis Tune" Business as Usual - Ikes wife sang backup.

Set 2:
Mammy Anthem
Stick it Out
Packard Goose
Uncle Remus
City of Tiny Lights
Idiot Bastard Son
T'Mershi Duween
Dog Breath ,Uncle Meat,Pound For A Brown
Jones Crusher

Inca Roads

And then I got the following email that morning from Andre' Cholmondeley, P/O's founder, guitarist, vocalist, and my favorite Bush whacker!

Hello hello

We are in Cleveland, the heart of rock n roll... myself and Eric 'n Eric just returned from a morning walk thru the HALL of FAME. Yeah, that was cool. It's easy to be real hip and shun the whole Academy/Hall thing...but... personally, I'm a sucker for the artifacts and actual instruments from amazing sessions etc that they have. A couple dumb exhibits, but all in all a blast of 100 years of incredible music & history. There's something special about seeing all the cool letters, guitars, amps, boots and other stuff from this mad pile of energy called rock n roll.

The Project/Object Tour continues into the Midwest -- c'mon out, and help us spread the word , if you have friends in the upcoming towns!!

And -this just in- the mighty SEAHAG (Roberto Mangano) will be along until ATLANTA 4/29, at least!

In the Hag's own words:" I've been touring for the past week around the northeast. I originally tried to play only a week at first, but the oceans have swept the hag into 10 more days of sailing the seas of fabreeze........I'll be selling Sound of Urchin cds at the merch booth!

See you there,

Thanks, Seahag"

Wow, I was really glad to hear that Seahag has decided to stay on with the tour. He is just an amazing, amazing guitarist and the dynamics of the current line-up is so outstanding I'd hate to see it altered in any way...well, except for the guest stars lined up, like Denny Walley!

And Eric called me from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which of course should have been in Philadelphia, not Cleveland, but we had a very, very stupid Mayor at the time who really fucked things up) and was so excited...because just like Andre said, it may be corny or whatever, but it's still awesome and Eric had a blast. I'd love to have a visit myself. Listen, ten years ago when Hard Rock Cafe opened up in Philly, I admit it, I went; and then when Eric participated at the Great Guitar Smash for the grand opening of Hard Rock Cafe at Times Square, NY in August, if you think I didn't get a thrill out of seeing what they had there:

The Beatles
Trademark collarless suits custom tailored by D.A. Millings and Son.

John Bonham - Led Zeppelin
A suit ordered by John at "Granny Takes A Trip" in London on November 28, 1979. John wore the suit on stage. Also displayed is the original receipt from Granny's with all of the measurements and directions to make the suit.

The Ramones
A black leather motorcycle jacket autographed by the band and donated to the HRC New York, 1988.

James Brown
A two-piece gold satin stage suit worn by the "Godfather of Soul" at the Apollo Theater New York in 1964.

John Entwistle - The Who
John's "Lightning" Bass used in his self portrait drawing that was shown on the cover of the 1975 LP "Who By Numbers".

Bo Diddley
A guitar handmade by Bo Diddley in 1945.

Jack Bruce - Cream
Jack's 1962 Fender Bass VI Guitar hand painted by "The Fool". It was later given to Leslie West while rehearsing for West, Bruce and Laing. Jack wrote the song "Strange Brew" on this guitar.

Oh, speaking of the said Guitar Smash, that reminds me:

Hi, Eric if you are reading this! Miss you!

"BatchainPartIV" posted some photos on the Frank Zappa forum and inquired as to the violinist. He got a reply which kindly mentioned my blog!

musicwriter wrote:
The crazy violin chick is Katie Jacoby - a Rock School All-Star. Their new drummer is a Rock School grad named Eric Slick who is phenomenal.

There are more P/O blurbs and reviews/photos here:

Then BatchainPartIV replied:

I was nearly 100% sure she was a Rock School grad 'cause she was so damn fucking good. I knew Eric Slick was a new face and I was nothing less than astonished at what he did with basically an 8 pc. drum kit.

Then he did in fact visit my blog and left this comment which is pretty much what he said above but even better:

BatchainPartIV (George) said...

I suddenly knew Project/Object had a new face at the drums in Boston on 4/18(Harper's Ferry)he was wickid fuckin the balls!!! Yes, how true I never expected that kind of drumming from one drummer with an 8 pc. drum kit. I tried to get a clear shot of him but, well, you know those cell phone cams. They sure do blur a whole lot. Too daym bad my sis's friend wasn't around or she'd have shot out to the "Beantown" suburbs and we'd have gone to the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA a few nights ago. (She'll drive long distances and not think anything's unusual about that.)

But incredible Eric is! A rare "two-fer-one" in drummer is he!

Batchain (BatchainPartIV in the Zappa-dot-com fo-rum.)

P.S. to Batchain: I never really visited the Zappa forum board before and notice some moron named Trendmonger who is not only a pompous uninformed know-it-all, he has the audacity to crit Rock School Uberlord Paul Green for having his kids perform Zappa music. Shall I kill him or would you like the honors? Well, having some time on my hands and reading over the forum board further, I see that Paul has taken care of him in the past and expect he will have more to say in the future and doesn't need my help. But people like Trendmonger are the very reason I avoid forum boards these days, including the writerly ones I always frequented as a novelist. He has no idea what Paul has done and is doing for these you think any of them even knew who Frank Zappa was before entering Rock School? He's keeping the music alive! If you go by Trendmonger's reasoning, then no classical music student should ever dare to perform the music of Bach or Beethoven.

But I have to wonder if that knucklehead Trendmonger ever saw the kids perform at Zappanale 14 and 16? Or talked personally with Adrian Belew and/or Mike Keneally after they performed with Eric and the Rock School All-Stars a few months ago? If he can still make those comments after that, then I respectfully suggest he invest in a good hearing aid and well, if they're available, a brain transplant. If he did not attend or speak personally with Adrian or Mike, he should shut the fuck up.

And I'm sure I'm not the first person who suggested that.

Finally, from last night's show in Chicago:

joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 207
Location: ill of noise
Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:52 am

Just got back from the P/O show at Martyrs in Chicago. What a fantastic show! Some pics may be coming here from Arkay. What a great band, in top form. I could close my eyes and imagine myself at a Zappa concert. The new drummer is a real find and only 18 yrs old. Those Rock School grads make fine muscians.........Must try to crash, but my head is a buzzin. Great to finally meet the Dr Ronnys and Arkay as well. It so nice to be able to hang with other forum members.


Anyway, tonight's show is in University City, MO...and for ticket information, you can click right here.

That's it for now. I expect more reviews will come in once some people in Chicago wake up ha ha - don't forget, P/O shows go well after midnight and Chicago is an hour behind the east coast time if anything interesting comes across the wire, I'll come in and edit or get to it tomorrow.

When I'll also hopefully get to announce some exciting writing news as well...


Friday, April 21, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object -- The reviews are coming in...

Eric Slick rocking out on the drums are some reviews I'm getting off of the Project Object website forum board, the Yahoo Groups forum board, and by direct e-mail regarding Eric Slick on tour with Project Object:

Went to the show last night at Toad's and once again it was great. Ike was much more animated than I have seen him in several years. Maybe it was because his wife was there too. They even played a song from Ike's solo CD.

Once again Andre was great and allowed me board access to record the show and this time instead of taking my Mini disc to record I took my new Laptop and recorded straight into it so as to save time in converting the audio files.

Eric Slick is killer on drums and even though I liked Glenn a real lot Slick is no joke. He actually had double duty last night because he also was the drummer for the Beefheart Band Dr Dark.

(Glenn Leonard is the former drummer for Project Object whom Eric replaced)
So that was written by a guy named Kevin on the Yahoo board and he got an immediate reply:

I saw them in Philly and I agree completely. Ike refers to his wife Denise as "Ma". She is even in his cell phone under "Ma"; they are so cute together! He even slimmed down quite a bit which has got to help him with him stamina. I actually assisted in the re-release of Ike's old solo recordings. I worked the merch booth and personally sold close to a dozen myself; the folks were gobbling them up as soon as knew about it. He has got to be psyched about those re-releases. "Should Gone Before I Left" is almost 20 years old now and has been out of print and unavailable for years. Every little bit helps those guys....most of their profit...a.k.a gas money, is in the sale of their merch. Help support the P/O cause!!

Eric Slick rocks and in my opinion, blows Gleonard away...and he is only 18. Watch out!!!

~Debutante Daisy

And someone who attended the show in Boston said this on the P/O Forum Board:

Boston apr. 18th - wicked pissah awesome
Today at 10:01am
4th show that I've seen you guys. Great set. Everyone was on fire. Keyboards were best I've ever seen - he was on fire.

New drummer is great - cute too!

Please continue to end with that combo, it tickles all my mental musical pathways. Was happy to get autograph from Ike. That left me floating around for a while. Love you guys! Thanks Andre and Ike for pulling it all together.

The next review, which caused tears to immediately start streaming down my face this morning, was sent to Andre and he forwarded it on to me: (Holy cow, I'm starting to feel like Neil Gaiman here...all I need to add is "and cast as Terry Bozzio, we have the brilliant young master Eric Slick -- filming began last week in New England and moves to the midwest today...)

Michael Phillips sent the following comment at Thu Apr 20 8:19 pm.

Holy Wooky at a wet t-shirt contest Batman ! You folks kick the proverbial ass in Burlington on the 15th !!!

The addition of Mr. Slick is absolutely brilliant ! Is it just me or was the Baby Snake stuff added to the set meant to accommodate young master Slicks incredible style that some what resembles Mr. Bozio's somewhat?

Unfortunately for me I had one of the dates not so much unlike the one Andre referred to when joking around saying " ... and the girls in the room are saying " I thought you said these guys were funny ? This sucks ! Take me home !" So I missed the encore only to hear about on the college radio station Monday morning. It left me felling pretty depressed. But, hey Andre ! There was a guy there taking video ! Was he with you guys ? If so, is there any chance of getting a copy of that show? I've seen allota concerts and quite a few of your guys shows but that has to be one of the most amazing nights of music I've ever had! That's regardless of the fact that I didn't get to see it all ! CRIPES ! If I had seen the rest as it was described on the radio I might have had to deify you guys and start a new religion ! Hope to see you folks again towards the end of the summer ! And thanks for keeping Franks music and legacy alive!!!

Wow. That one left me a bit speechless and pouting because I was in Burlington the following morning and had I known, I would have tuned in to that college radio station and heard what they had to say directly. Damn it! I'm gonna have to put my detective hat on, find the station, write to the morning DJ, and see if I can get a transcript. Ha! Yeah, I know....I'm more than a little nuts but can you blame me?

So if you are in the Cleveland area tonight, here's the ticket and venue information -- and yeah, yeah, I do feel like hopping on a plane this very instant.

And if all this isn't enough, I'm hanging around here yesterday afternoon with the television on in the background and all of a sudden, I hear a TV commercial for the Rock School documentary which will be shown on the A&E Network starting Wednesday night, April 26 at 9:00 p.m. and I immediately spun around in my chair just in time to see a close-up of my son on the drums! I have to admit, even though I've seen the movie about a thousand times and own the DVD, I still got really excited when I saw that commercial, which I understand is in heavy rotation on all of the cable stations right now. But unless you know Eric intimately, you'll never recognize him in the movie -- it was filmed over three years ago when Eric had really short hair and was barely sixteen years old. Though when Julie and Eric are interviewed in the movie their names are flashed across the screen so you know it's them and then of course they are in tons of concert footage and Eric does some narration, etc. I think Julie basically looks exactly the same, just younger but to make it easy for you, they are first interviewed in the movie side by side trashing the band 311. And at Zappanale toward the end of the movie, Eric is wearing a "Titties and Beer" t-shirt. Ha. Anyway, here's the link with the scheduled showtimes throughout the month.

So Julie and I did not eat breakfast at Sabrina's yesterday, we found an incredible place at 22nd and South Streets called Ants Pants Cafe. It was sick, sick, sick! I had an avocado, tomato, egg and brie sandwich on multi-grain toast; Julie had the special which was an omelet with carmelized onions, goat cheese, and spinach, with an order of fresh fruit on the side. I of course could not resist those homemade potato chips and it's worth the trip alone just for them. They also make a sweet potato version which comes with a chili/sour cream dipping sauce. Oh man do we have a new favorite place for breakfast now!

And as I mentioned, no trip shopping with Julie is ever without adventure. First we went to Lucky Jeans where...and I'm not being delusional, I swear, the twenty something sales guy flirted with me while Julie was trying stuff on. I'm serious. He kept telling me how cool I looked and how cool I was and asking me all of these kinda personal was pretty flattering.

Most likely he saw a T.V. special on older women liking younger guys cos' there's no committment worries -- said old broads just want sex, etc. But whatever. I left there feeling pretty good, so after Julie got two pair of shorts at Lucky, I suggested we go to the store I talked about yesterday owned by the rock musician's wife.

The owner is Kimberly and she's young and beautiful. Her store is filled with one of a kind, original designer pieces that blew me away. She started selecting stuff for Julie that if I had picked out, Julie would have said NO WAY -- like a pink flowered camisole type top and a very short cropped faded jacket to wear over it. Julie came out of the dressing room looking like a fucking model.

"Oh my god, you are gorgeous" Kimberly and I said together.

"Thanks!" Julie smiled so widely I could not believe it. She usually gets shy in these situations, but she really did look knocked out magnificent and the outfit was so unlike anything she owns I started getting insistent.

"Mom, can I talk to you alone for a minute?" Julie said, giving me a weird look.

"Yeah, okay, but you are letting me buy you that top and jacket. Do you have any idea how gorgeous you are?"


Okay, I know when to shut up so I followed her back into the dressing room.

"What's the matter?"

"Oh nothing unless you don't mind spending $175.00 for a tank top..."


(Considering how gorgeous it was and a designer piece, I shouldn't have been caught so off guard but you must remember, I live in black t-shirt world)

"How much is the jacket?"

"You don't even want to know."

"Oh crap."

"Yeah. Now what are you going to do, Mom. How do you get us out of this one?"

"I have no idea." Ick, ick, ick.

"Well, tell her the truth. You're an unemployed writer."

"But..but...I make money writing," I said weakly but okay, thank god Julie is no Paris Hilton and is so frugal and down to earth that she wouldn't let me buy the outfit for her because if you must know, had she looked at me with those big brown eyes and asked, she looked so incredibly beautiful I would have gone for it.

Wait, now I'm starting to worry they switched babies on me in the hospital. How the hell did I give birth to anyone so sensible?

Just kidding.

Anyway, I dealt with it by saying to Kimberly that "Julie wouldn't let me spend that much money" which was the truth but I did it while Julie was in the dressing room and whispered it. And I did end up getting her a very affordable plain little black tank top so we didn't leave empty has an unusual cut to it and is made of a great, stretchy fabric so all I can say is if you can swing it, you really should visit this store (on 16th between Walnut and Sansom) because Kimberly is a doll and has unbelievable taste.

And yep, I was actually considering going back later and buying the stuff for Julie anyway as a surprise -- that's how great she looked and how much I love her -- but when we got outside, she was adamant about not wanting anything else and made me swear I wouldn't do it because she knows me so well.

Man I love my kids.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tonight at Abilene: McRad with Julie Slick on bass

Here's a photo of Julie when she played with McRad in Liverpool in October...sob...oh man, have I mentioned how much I want to go back to England?

Yeah, so Eric Slick/Project Object have the day off today as they make their way to Cleveland and Chicago for the midwest portion of the tour so wasn't it ever so nice of daughter Julie to give her mother some vicarious thrills by sitting in on bass with McRad tonight at Abilene?

Here's the official poster for the show:


So as most Philadelphians know, Abilene is at 429 South Street and if you're in the area, go out and support these bands. I unfortunately will not be there tonight because I'm still nursing my Disco Biscuit wounds of this past weekend. (Wounded pride, that is...i.e....who is that old weird chick in line?)

But in honor of said event, Julie and I are going out to breakfast somewhere cool this morning -- most likely Sabrina's:

For some reason, they don't have their breakfast menu here but trust me, it's to die for. Usually stuff like fresh fruit and marscapone stuffed french toast, huge pecan pancakes, fresh veggie omelets and truly great home fries..

After that, I will in fact play stage mother and "force" Julie into going with me to a really hip store I just discovered which sells perfect stuff to wear on stage, especially if the band is punk. It's owned by the wife of a guy in a rock band I met while having my hair done because you know, I can never shut up when it comes to music, writing, and my kiddies.

Anyway, getting back to Eric, he told me that basically they've been playing sold out shows every night -- the Boston show was packed with Berklee students -- and the reception has been amazing. Hopefully more people will post film clips and other stuff on the Project Object and Frank Zappa forum boards today.

Sigh...I really miss Eric but I'm so thrilled for him -- he's really getting to live his dream and how many of us are lucky enough to do that?

Okay, it's only 8:00 a.m. and Ms. Julie is kicking me out the door to eat and then shop (she's got class at noon and then rehearsal with McRad) so I will most likely be back with another post later this afternoon once this trip is over (and I am sure it will not be uneventful as trips with Julie never are) and I hear from Eric as to how the Connecticut show went last night and how he must feel after playing drums for like six hours straight with two bands.

And I may even have some writing news!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object - Boston last night, New Haven, CT this evening

Okay, so last night Project Object played Boston.

Here's something I read on the Project Object Forum Board this morning which of course, as Eric's mother and biggest fan, turned me into a blubbering mess before I even had my first sip of coffee:

"I saw Zappa in the 80's and was blown away by the level of musicianship. What was cool about popping in on this show was the playing was in that Zappa tradition, and they also played some more obscure stuff. I enjoyed some of the political commentary on the state of our "moronic leaders", and I am pleased they have the guts to speak out. As I said, the musicianship was terrific, and I feel like Frank would have been smiling. The guitars, the vocals, the keyboards, the bass, and drums were all top notch. These are some serious players whose can't possibly be getting paid what they are worth-so a big thanks to them for enduring the road.

The bass solo was truly inspiring, and the fact that the drummer could not only keep up, but was complimentry was a high. Speaking of the drummer, I have seen Terry Bozzio, Carl Palmer, Bill Bruford, Stewart Copeland, etc. These are all really great players, and there were times I felt this kid not only played in that league, but had moments way beyond. His energy,timing, and heartbeat were incredible. The band members were all amazing, and really complimentry to each other.

I am also pretty certain I will get a good chuckle when I hear a Michael McDonald song on-you had to be at the show for that. Catch this band-this is a not to be missed event. If you loved a Zappa show, you will really love these guys. They can play Zappa, or whatever they want. That is talent!"

And to make my day altogteher, someone put up a clip of the band performing "Stick it Out" a couple of nights ago. Make sure you let it buffer all the way through or whatever before hitting "play" so it doesn't keep pausing and when the little movie screen comes up you should immediately hit the green button and maximize it because it will fill the entire monitor screen and you will see amazing solos by Eric Slick and the rest of the band -- and okay, I gotta admit it, there's a lot of Eric Slick footage close-up. And notice Eric singing harmonies which he is doing throughout the show and is incredible! So whoever you are who filmed and posted this clip - thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hey, I also wanted to add that Eric Svalgard does amazing vocals on Village of the Sun, and here's an excerpt from his tour blog:

So, now we are in Providence which makes it night six. So far there has not been a bad night in the bunch. Slick is a great addition to the band, we keep getting tighter, every night it sounds better. Crowds have been great, even on Easter Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing Madi in Boston tommarow. This line up is more hard rock and less jazz than the previous P/Os I have been in. The crowds seem to like it. I have been singing Village and so far haven’t fucked it up too bad. This is the forget stuff tour. Napi is usually the one that idiot checks the green rooms at the end of the night. Since he is not here Laura left her bag with her computer in the Starland, Seahag left his guitars at Valentines, Dave left his toiletries at the hotel in Burlington and then his bag with clothes in it at the Iron Horse. I have only lost a can of shaving cream at the Motel 6 in Brunswick. I am knocking on wood that I don’t lose something worse.

Eric Slick, however, is still having password problems with his journal (I'm getting these right off the Project Object website) but told me he's writing in MS word and will copy all of his entries to the blog as soon as it's up and running.

Tonight's show is at Toad's Place in Connecticut and unless I'm mistaken and I don't know how the hell he's going to do it in a million years, Eric will also be drummer for the opening act, Doctor Dark because he's their drummer, too -- oh my god, this could mean five hours of intense, complex drumming.

Ha ha - it's what he lives for, the lucky dude. I wish I could make the CT show tonight in the worst way but I'm still fried from the weekend and Gary can't really take any more time off from work to drive me, anyway. It's about eight hours round trip from here and he has to be at work by 7:30 a.m. so considering that P/O shows can go to 2:00 a.m., you do the math.

But sob...I wish I were going. Right now it looks as if I'm not going to make another show until May 6 in Baltimore unless I get some strange urge to fly out to Kentucky or Wisconsin next week.

Oh, two final things: (1) here's a twisted Neil Gaiman moment for my brilliant friend Susan Henderson (and I gave you that link because it's Pasha Malla day on her blog and I finally realized who Pasha reminds me of -- David Sedaris. I mean, that's the reaction he elicits out of me -- laugh out loud funny and so, so smart.)

Oh do we bear it? But let me guess. We now have matching screen savers. You can thank me later ha ha. (in New York at the end of the month maybe? When are you reading?)

And (2) just in case you think I've forgotten about her, nope, Ms. Julie Slick will be performing at Abilene's on South Street this Thursday night playing bass with McRad -- more info on that with linkage and photos tomorrow.

So that's it for now though I haven't heard from Eric yet today obviously (I think they sleep until noon cos' like I said, by the time the show ends...and these guys have no's 3:00 a.m. or later before they get to crash) so I may come in and edit this post if he tells me anything cool or if...gasp....I get any writing news of my own. I've got a lot of stuff out there in submission land again and in the hands of an agent but you know, I'm too superstitious to say much more other than fingers crossed, candles lit, etc.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object on Tour - - Burlington, VT and Northampton, MA

This first group of photos is from Higher Ground in Burlington, Vermont and yeah, I know -- my photography skills seem to be getting worse with each show but that's only because the music is so unbelievably good I can't be bothered with taking pics all night

Robbie "Seahag" Mangano on guitar, Eric Svalgard on keyboards, Eric Slick on drums

Eric rocking out behind Ike Willis' towel

Ike making a grand entrance from the balcony - opening song, second set. Have I mentioned how amazing Ike is?

Next group of photos is from the following evening at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA

Eric and Ike again with some glimpses of keyboardist Eric Svalgard

Yay, this time we get to see a little Andre C. on guitar

And did I finally manage to get one of Dave Johnsen on bass?

Sooo...what can I say about this weekend. I don't even know where to begin. As good as the opening night was in Philadelphia, by the time I saw Eric and Project Object play on Saturday night in Vermont, they'd already done shows in Sayreville, New Jersey with the Mahavishnu Project and a gig in Albany, New York. All I can tell you is if I thought they were amazing Wednesday, you should have seen them Saturday and Sunday evenings. I am so blown away it's kind of hard to get my thoughts together right now. That, and I'm exhausted. Eric's dad and I figured out we'd been in seven states in two days and had it not been for the sheer evil that is and the trip it inexplicably took us through the Berkshires to get to Vermont on the way up and through mid-town New York on the way back, we actually would have made great time, but thanks to Satan...I mean...mapquest....four hour rides became nine hour adventures in gridlock.

But no more complaining...though I do want to say something that I found hilarious. Mapquest says take I-91 in Connecticut to Exit 10 and then 89 to Vermont. They fucking neglect to mention anything about Massachusetts. In other words, they meant Exit 10 in MA, not CT, and Gary and I ended up on a fifty mile stop and go trek through some bumfuck town in Connecticut with general stores and ancient gas pumps from the time cars were probably invented.

So we were stymied and had no alternative other than to buy a $15.00 travel Atlas which told us right away we should have stayed straight on Route 91 all the way through the State of MA and I take a look at who published this wonderful, detailed Atlas and it says in big bold letter on the inside cover: THIS ATLAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY (FUCKING) MAPQUEST.

Their evil plan, then, is to totally screw with your brains with their on line directions until you are so lost and aggravated and stuck in traffic you have no choice but to pull up to the closest gas station and buy their book!

Okay, let's get to the good stuff now that I've vented. When you are driving through the Berkshires -- even though it was by mistake -- and then through Vermont, your first impulse, if you are like me, is to say "That's it. I'm selling everything I own and moving here."

Because really, New England is one of the most magnificent places on the planet. My regular readers know how obsessed I am with the real England, but when I was in tiny towns in MA and Vermont, I thought I was in the UK -- the architecture is gorgeous; the towns have names like Manchester and Glastonbury; there are just acres and acres of rolling hills, lakes, forests, grazing sheep...I mean, I could easily have been in Newcastle or Huddersfield.

But then, you know, we needed gas and stopped in a little store in the middle of nowhere in this gorgeous, gorgeous wooded area and there were two big beefy hunter guys, talking about the deer they shot -- one was wearing a hat with earflaps and the other was eating a slim jim...and well, you just can't take me out of the city.

And a glance at their pick-up truck told me all I needed to know: Bumper stickers that supported Iraq, Dubya, and the right to life. 'Nuff said?

Though I would like to have a second home in New England for sure.

And where we ended up in Vermont for the show were all hipsters -- it's a college town and the venue where Project Object played is owned by the rock band Phish (who I just trashed a week or two ago here. That'll teach me not to be such a big mouth, huh, because not only was that like the greatest venue ever, they let the band play until 2:30 a.m. I mean, they actually did a four hour set. It was crazy!!!!)

So as I said, what should have been a six hour drive tops took us over nine hours and we arrived in Vermont at 6:00 p.m. with swollen ankles and sore asses. And as for me, I was pretty sure black lung disease because I think Gary smoked a carton of cigarettes on the way up because he was so nerved out and I wasn't going to add to his stress and the stress of the long ride in general by screaming about second hand smoke.

When we get to the hotel, however, they booked him in a "No Smoking" room and made me initial all of these forms to that effect since it's on my credit card. Now Gary never follows rules but I told him he'd better smoke outside, in the car, or, if he absolutely had to have one in the room, open the window and make sure he blew the smoke outside and left no butts around as evidence.

He decides to have a smoke outside but two seconds later there's a knock at my door and it's Gary, all freaked out.

"Robin, you won't believe this. There's a guy sitting at a computer at the end of the hall monitoring smoke levels in the rooms."

"Oh come on," I said, laughing.

"You think I'm kidding? He's in a little glass booth, and his screen keeps changing."

"Like a two star hotel really hires the cigarette police. Oh for god sakes, let me go have a look."

So I go with him down the hall, and immediately crack up laughing. Right on the door it says "Business Center - ask front desk for key" and there's a desk with one computer. It was merely a guest, who had about eight screens open checking his stocks, finances, whatever. I stood there watching him switch regular old screens from Prudential to Merrill Lynch, etc.

And this poor guy looks up and sees us, and there's Gary with his shoulder length hair scowling at him because I can't stop laughing and of course he gets paranoid because I am in fact bent over double giggling...oh well...I guess you had to be there. Trust me on this, it was hilarious, and Gary will be hearing about the cigarette hotel internet police from me for the next ten years.

Anyway, I call Eric on his cell phone to let him know we've arrived and he says "You can't believe this, they moved us to the lounge for tonight's show because the Disco Biscuits are here and they've sold out three nights straight and they stayed an extra night for another show."

Eric sounded upset because Project Object is the headliner on this tour, but then he called back five minutes later and said the lounge is gigantic and really nice and almost identical to the main room so there was no problem and that Disco Biscuit fans were not the type that would have attended Project Object's show anyway so they weren't "stealing their fans" or forcing them to play to an empty room, but he added "You guys may as well not get here until the show starts at 10:00 p.m. since the hotel is right next to the venue, anyway, and we hang out backstage before the show."

So okay, Gary and I decide to go in search of food and we find a pizza place because we were really too tired to even sit in a nice restaurant -- we just got it to go and took it back to the hotel. Gary crashed out for a few hours; I watched T.V. because I can never power nap and wake up refreshed -- in fact, I get loggy when I do that -- and at 9:45 we headed over.

Well, no one prepared me for the insanity that is the typical Disco Biscuit fan, espcially the five hundred outside the venue who couldn't get tickets or were frantically trying to scalp them...or had them and still had to stand in line which did not make them happy.

Sob. I felt like a grandmother. This was a very, very young drunk, hip, and angsty crowd. And of course all smoking cigarettes, too. I could not catch a break that day, I swear. Oh, and did I mention while it was 90 degrees when I left Philly, it was 90 below zero there and raining.

I dial Eric up on my cell.

"Eric, you've got to tell us where the back door is and let us in. They're making us stand in a six mile line of disgruntled Disco Biscuit fans and if one more person looks at me like I'm a narc I'm gonna have a panic attack."

"Mom, I can't. It's crazy here."

"You mean I have to stand in this line?"



I hang up and look at Gary.

"We're stuck here."

"Oh no we're not," he said, and pointed to a side door with a guard.

And so we pushed through teenaged wasteland and got to the door which of course was locked and Gary knocked, the guard opened the door, we explained we were there to see Project Object, not the Disco Biscuits, and he said "Where are your tickets?"

"Um, we don't have tickets. We are on the guest list," I said.

"What guest list?" he asked.

"I'm going to kill your son," said Gary.

So now it was time to pull out all the stops and not care about anything.

"Listen," I said to the guard. "I am the drummer's mother. This big guy here is the drummer's father. Trust me, we are on the guest list. Please let us in before I have a nervous breakdown out here and you do not need that right now with all of these ticketless disco kids about to start a stampede."

Whenever in doubt, just act like a crazy menopausal woman and you will get your way.

The guard let us in with a smile and even pointed us in the direction of "backstage", which was in fact the second floor -- very, very cool. So we got to say hi to the band and hang out with them for a few minutes before they finally got to play at around 10:30 p.m.

Okay, what can I say about the music? Well, it was otherwordly. You can check for comments and the sets lists on the Project Object forum board, but here are some personal email excerpts which the band forwarded to me:

On Apr 18, 2006, at 9:49 AM, Matt Woods wrote:

Awesome show the other night. Great set – I have a copy of the set list and that was just an awesome line up of songs. We got some video and watched it through last night. Eric Slick is awesome – what feel he has.

And I googled Matt Woods - I think he's a guitarist but there are two of them so I'm gonna have to check on that with Project Object but judging by their response to him which I did not want to post for privacy sake, I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Here's another one:

On Apr 14, 2006, at 11:08 AM, Steve wrote:

Great show at Starland! How old is Eric Slick? The young man rocks!! To be able to play with you guys is extaordinary... A little Chad Wackerman in him????


Here's the link to Chad Wackerman so you can get an idea of just how good "Steve" thinks Eric is...

And from the actual Frank Zappa forum board:

R.C. Cola
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 53
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:23 pm

Philly Show was Beautiful! See Shocked This Shocked Band! I was blown away by just about everything they did. I was also incredibly proud of the young people involved. It was drummer Eric Slick's first show, he is a PG Rock School graduate who will impress anyone who hears him, and he's 18!

Truly a great testament to the FZ legacy. Loved every second of it!

And when I got back to Philadelphia last night, this email was waiting for me:

Hi there,

I was just at a Project Object concert last night at Valentine's in Albany, NY, and I got to see your son play. I have to tell you that I am very seriously considering marrying him and I just wanted to clear it with you first....


No really, it was an incredible show, and I decided to Google his name this morning and I came across your website. You must be so proud to have such a talented and successful family! Frank Zappa's music is an inspiration to so many people, including me, and I am so glad they got a drummer like your son to help carry on the legend. I am definitely going to check out your book, too!

So I guess I just want to say thanks for birthing such an amazing person, so that I was able to enjoy his drumming last night!

Best of luck to you!

Hey, I just realized I'm concentrating solely on Eric here and not talking about how amazing the rest of the band is...but you know, I am his mother and I kinda use this blog to not only promote my own books and stuff but my kids as well so you're gonna have to humor me and get your Project Object info off their forum board (where actual concert clips, photos, and whole shows are linked! The entire Philly concert is there but it's a Bit Torrent thing and I'm scared to use that without Eric home in case I fry the computer). But anyway, Project Object is one of the most amazing live bands I've seen and you are reading the words of a woman who has seen the Who with Keith Moon; individual and joint concerts featuring Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton; both Live Aid 1985 and the ARMS concert at Madison Square Garden starring Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page among gotta believe me, if Project Object is coming to a town near you this tour, it really is a must see/hear event.

Okay, now for me here comes the real tear jerker at the Vermont show. I notice a good looking African American guy wearing a cool multi-colored robe totally grooving on the music and really going nuts every time Eric solos. At intermission Gary goes outside for a cigarette (I know, a big surprise ha ha) and he comes back in and he says:

"Rob, you are not going to believe who that guy in the robe is."

"Who!? Who!?"

This guy's son.

"You are kidding me!"

"Yeah. He said he loves Project Object and always goes to the shows and he was just at the Sayreville show on Friday night and said Eric blew him away so much he had to come again tonight to the Vermont show. He said his dad would have gone nuts over the way Eric played."

"Did you tell him that his father was one of Eric's heroes and that a lot of the jazz stuff Eric does was learned directly from listening to his CDs?"

"Of course!"

"Oh my god, wait until we tell Eric and introduce him," I said.

Anyway, in the meantime, that guy's son came over to me, introduced himself as Gamal, and of course I told him something Gary didn't tell him - that his father had played with my father and ho ho ho, the things you find on the internet, here's a photo of my father when he was with Buddy Rich's band - he's the one standing playing the trombone:

"That's not all," Gary told me.

"What else is there?"

"He said he'll be at the Boston show and he's bringing this guy's son with him -- they're friends and he told him all about Eric following the Friday night show in NJ."

I clutched my heart and got all teary eyed. I mean, this is just too, too much for me to handle. The music, the fans, the guys in the awesome they are to Eric and how much Eric seems to have changed in just a week - that whole boy to man thing...oh yeah, and if that's not enough, a very well known, well connected guitarist came up to Eric after the NJ show and exchanged phone numbers with him so there's something very interesting in his future as well...

Anyway, enough of my rambling. My gal the amazing violinist Katie Jacoby and her mom filmed the Philadelphia show and without further ado, here's the band performing "Eat That Question"

P.S. Did I just go a whole post without mentioning Neil Gaiman? Ha!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Eric Slick/Project Object on Tour - Night 2 - The Starland Ballroom

Robbie "Seahag" Mangano on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, Dave Johnsen hidden back there on bass, and Ike Willis looking on while waiting to resume his vocals.

So last night Project Object played the infamous Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey and opening for them was the Mahavishnu Project.

Tonight, if anyone is in the Albany, New York area, they'll be at Valentine's and I wish I could make this one -- Ed Mann will be joining them on vibes and I've seen him perform at Toad's Place in Connecticut -- he is fucking amazing!

By the way, you might have noticed that the tour is being billed as "Project Object with Ike Willis". For those of you not familiar with Ike, I found a really cool wiki on him right here and if you click on the links, well, your jaw might just drop. Yep, my son is his drummer and what's really cool is when I met up with Ike Wednesday night before the show, his first words to me were "I've been waiting three years for this moment!"

Three years ago, Ike first heard a sixteen year old Eric play drums with the Rock School All-Stars at Zappanale 14 in East Germany.

"He's on the list!" Ike said to me backstage.

"The list?"

"He's going to be in my band. You mark my words. He's first on the list."

At the time, I was really thrilled and flattered, but Eric was just about to enter his senior year of high school and I was busy worrying about college applications for him and didn't take Ike's remark seriously. Har har. Like there was ever any doubt that Eric would go straight for a career in music and that despite the odds, he'd be lucky enough to see it happen. What was I thinking?

Anyway, I'm waiting to hear from Eric later today to find out how the show went last night and as soon as I do, I'll come in and edit this post and add in whatever interesting things he tells me. I know at World Cafe in Philadelphia the other night, tons of people asked him for his autograph and wanted their photo taken with him, and that was quite cool.

But an even funnier thing happened at the Philadelphia show I neglected to mention yesterday. I was standing next to a woman who was maybe just a little younger than I am and she was going on and on about how gorgeous the drummer was.

"That's my son," I said proudly.

"Oh really! Oh my god, he's so beautiful! Would you mind if I flashed him?"

Now any other mother would have been horrified, but I thought it was hilarious.

"Go ahead," I urged her.

(She was not unattractive, but like I said, she was definitely forty something)

"My husband will kill me," she said, but her hands were already tugging at her t-shirt.

"Where is he?" I asked, because really, she seemed to be all alone pressed there front and center at the stage.

"At the bar."

"The bar is all the way in the back, he won't notice."

I am so, so bad. But it totally cracked me up that I was standing next to someone that age who wanted to flash the band.

She did it so quickly that I don't think anyone noticed but I did, I did!

(Thank god she had a nice body)

I see the Project Object website has updated their "Journal" link to include Eric, and since he's got his laptop with him and practically every venue they're playing has wireless, I'm counting on him to continue the family tradition of blogging and doing me proud.

Okay, so I'm the only one in the family who blogs but Eric is a great writer with an awesome sense of humor so I'm gonna be really bummed if he doesn't do it. Eric Svalgard, P/O's keyboard player, keeps a good one and he's Eric's roommate on the tour so here's hoping he goads him into it, too.

But truth to tell, they have an exhausting schedule and their shows are three hours long (and grueling because of the complexity of Zappa's compositions) so between driving hours and hours between cities -- I'm guessing the ride to Albany alone today is going to be at least four hours but I'm geographically challenged -- I don't know if that's going to be physically possible to do on a regular basis. Looking over their schedule, holy cow, they're even driving from Connecticut to Ohio to Chicago over the course of three days. So if Eric doesn't blog (sob), I'll understand.

And it's just another way Rock School prepared him for this. Christ, the Rock School west coast tour included thirteen hour bus rides with no hotels or showers for two days at a time over an almost three week period so compared to that this will be a piece of cake for Eric. And for Eric, that west coast tour was like the greatest time he ever had in his life, so I'm not worried about him at all. But I did go out yesterday and buy him every treat I could think of to take to him when I see him in Vermont tomorrow -- Kudos Bars, toaster-free Pop-Tarts (when did they come out with those?), Smart Food (the world's greatest cheddar cheese popcorn. Oh, if eating that only did make you smart and healthy. I could live on it, it's so good.) and a couple boxes of cereal.

What can I tell you? Despite the fact that I think I'm so cool and hip, what I really am is a neurotic Jewish mother.

So here's something really weird and if I were really a delusional fan, I would be reading all kinds of cosmic meaning into this but in reality, it means nothing other than a bizarre coincidence. When you go to Project Object's website you will see right away that the tour is called the "Mission Accomplished" Tour. Now I know the reasons for this but I'm not going to go into that now. Also, in my post yesterday, I mentioned that of all the bands in the world, Uberlord of Rock School Paul Green had my son's girlfriend Carolyn sing an Abba song when the Rock School All-Stars opened for Project Object Wednesday night. Fucking Abba! Yikes! (Though as I said, Carolyn was magnificent and she belted it out like Janis Joplin). Sooo....I refer you to Neil Gaiman's journal post of today -- both the title and content.

Ha ha - yes, we know. He's sending you secret messages, Robin. Now. Get yourself a life before you are wearing Depends and confusing the dog with your significant other.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to my trip this weekend. I've already gone on line and researched restaurants (ha) and much to my utter joy, found out that there's a world famous, award winning hand-cut french fry restaurant right down the street from Higher Ground, which is the venue in Vermont. I mean really. What more in life does a person need?

Heh. How about fresh Vermont maple syrup creme brulee? Trust me, I scoped out an awesome restaurant but hesitate to say which one it is in case I can't get reservations. Note to self: Do that now!


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Eric Slick and Project Object - The Tour - Night One, Philadelphia, PA

Robbie "Sea Hag" Mangano on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, Ike Willis on guitars/vocals

Robbie, Eric, Ike, and André Cholmondeley- guitar, vocals, samples

Katie Jacoby - "The Blue Viper" - on electric violin

Max Svalgard, son of keyboardist Eric Svalgard (whose photo I neglected somehow to take last night but will certainly make up for it this weekend!), joins the band on bass for Peaches and Regalia

Ms. Julie Slick, joining the band on bass for "City of Tiny Lights"

The oh my god I think I'm back at Zappanale 14 in Bad Doberan, East Germany photo - Teddi Tarnoff on vocals and Julie Slick on bass (City of Tiny Lights)

Seriously, apologies for being a really crappy photographer and missing photos of Eric Svalgard on keyboards and Dave Johnsen on bass (huge stage and I was right in front so getting group shots was impossible and I was on the other side of the world from Dave and blocked by monitors for Eric Svalgard) but I will be at two more shows this weekend and promise to take tons of photos. Last night, I basically put the camera away for most of the evening so I could just enjoy the incredible, mind-boggling music.

I'm still speechless. Really. The musicianship, the comradery of the band, the way the standing room only packed audience accepted Eric as the new drummer and then treated his Dad and me like we were royalty for giving birth to "a genius"...their generosity in allowing Rock School kids to join in on some songs like Max Svalgard (Eric Svalgard, P/O keyboard player's son) on bass (he did great!), Teddi Tarnoff on as usual incredible vocals, daughter Julie on bass, and the absolute brilliance of Katie Jacoby on electric violin. I know I brag about Katie a lot, but to see her live is really something special - she's not only a prodigy she's so beautiful and has such stage presence you just know she's going to be mega-famous some day.

I'm still waiting for everyone to post on the Project Object forum board -- there are fans who traveled from Washington, D.C. and upstate New York -- P/O has a fiercely devoted fan base -- but there was one dude who checked in on the board in the wee hours and he admits it, he was at the bar, so take his post with a grain of whatever:

YaBB Newbie
Gender: male
Posts: 17
Tonight's Show 4/12
Today at 2:57am »
Well folks, the tour started tonight in Philly at World Cafe Live.

What can I say? AWESOME!!!!

For those that crave the set list, sorry I don't have it. I was too busy jamming out at the bar. But it's safe to say the if you don't like Shiek Your Booty, Joe's Garage, Thing Fish and other Zappa classics you will be disappointed.

Andre, Ike, Seahag, Dave, and Erik's (drums and keyboards). Excellent job!!!(as always) Including the newbe drummer. As was all the extras that played with you. I think you should add the violinst to the band. (Shes hot, and can play the violen too.)

Hopefully some one will post the songs that you played tonight and add more comment. I'm tired and am going to sleep. But it was an awesome f*cking show!!!!


Ha ha - I didn't edit his post for spelling but to check it yourself and see if anyone adds anything else today, here's the link -- just click on "forum" and then "Tonight's Show 4/12".

Like I said, Project Object fans are very dedicated so expect the forum to fill up as the tour progresses. But don't worry if you forget to check (ha) because I will be providing direct posts and links as I find them, and because I am OCD as concerns my kids, I will be checking hourly.

Anyway, not to be all mushy or anything, but what can I say? Last night was all because of Paul Green, and if you have kids who show any interest in playing guitar, drums, etc. and are in a city where there's a Rock School, SIGN THEM UP IMMEDIATELY! And if there isn't a Rock School in your city, write to Paul and find out how you can get involved in getting that accomplished. I can't even type right now without getting choked up over Eric's eight years at Rock School. Paul's love of these kids, his taste in music, and his whole teaching philosophy, really, enabled Eric, four weeks shy of his 19th birthday, to be on that stage last night with highly talented experienced musicians -- some twice his age -- playing extremely difficult/complex music previously played by greats like this guy with confidence. To see his glowing smile after he aced one of his many solos...oh god...hear come the tears again.

I also do not want to leave out mentioning the awesome job the Rock School All-Stars did as the opening act for Project Object last night. One really touching moment was when my son's girlfriend Carolyn came out to do her song, which, I cannot believe, was Abba's Take a Chance on Me, and Paul brought Eric out of Rock School retirement so he could back up his woman on drums. It was so good! Carolyn has got a hell of a voice and she wailed on it! I was skeptical when I heard Paul had added an Abba song of all bands when he's so into Zappa and Pink Floyd, but I should know by now never to doubt his instincts. Anyway, Carolyn is probably going to kill me for this but I could not get the camera off of "video" when I took this shot, but I'm posting it anyway:

So that's all I can manage right now...I'm still all sobby looking around my living room, which, as I mentioned yesterday, for the first time in fifteen years is missing a set of drums and I keep staring at the empty space in disbelief.

But I'm so thrilled for Eric...oh my god, he's the luckiest kid in the universe right now.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Eric Slick and Project Object - The Tour Begins! But first...breaking news...


Phaze is pleased to announce that our paperback titles are now available in Borders stores nationwide. Readers may now find Fairy Godlover by Devi Sparks, Truth or Dare by Leigh Ellwood, and Three Days in New York City by Robin Slick in the romance and erotica section of their local store! Bedtime Stories by Madeleine Oh and Hot Off the Presses by Trixie Stilletto will be arriving shortly!

So yep, it's true. If you have an immediate urge to buy Three Days in New York City by yours truly or any of the other above mentioned Phaze titles, all you have to do now is visit your local Borders. I know I blurbed it here when I first got the news a few weeks ago, but it's now on the front page of my publisher's website.

Okay, then. Let's see if I can set up a reading at our downtown Borders megastore. (Easier said than done, I'm told, but I have a plan...)

And um, I can just see me on my upcoming trip to New England.

" that a Borders? Hang on, I want to run in and see if they have my book!"

And if they do, of course I'll probably immediately do some guerilla marketing - meaning, I'll pull out some copies and put them somewhere prominent in the store.

Sigh...causing me and my books to probably forever be banned from Borders for life.

Haha - and if god forbid they do not have my book in stock at that particular Borders...well, then I will go hassle the 17 year old kid behind the information desk.

"I wish to register a complaint!"

Wait until he/she looks me up on the computer and realizes, hey, I have a real live erotica queen right here in front of me! After which I will race over to the table of literary fiction and calmly leaf through the 2005 Best American Short Story Collection and smile sweetly while he/she checks their inventory further.

Speaking of erotica, yep, I finished my "Samba" yesterday -- managed to stop myself at around 7,000 words -- and already subbed it. Of course typical me, I've been writing for Phaze for almost two years and didn't think I had to look at the formatting guidelines. So of course I complete it, go to mail it off, and realized when I checked the website for the submission address that I'd formatted it all wrong.

But explain something to me. When I highlight the entire story, hit select all, and then make the format change, why do only some sentences indent? Arghh...I must have spent two hours manually correcting things. I didn't realize that as per the guidelines at Phaze you couldn't use tabs to indent, and naturally, every single one of my paragraphs was in fact a tabbed indent. What I needed was a .03 indent with no tabs. I was so frustrated when I couldn't get it to work by hitting select all with that in mind! So I ended up having to line up every single sentence on the left with no indents or tabs, copy it to another blank new document, and then do the select all thing with the .03 left indent.

Well, valuable lesson learned. Next time I go to submit anywhere, I'll fucking memorize the guidelines before I type my first word.

Oh, and here's the best news. After reading it over like ninety times before sending it, once I did sub it I of course had to read it one final time and saw right away that I'd used the same phrase twice on one page and almost had a heart attack. I actually wrote to my publisher and alerted them. Hopefully they had a good laugh at how neurotic I am -- at least someone should get a smile out of my pain.

Grrr...since I gave up on the idea of the writing cabin, I at least need an assistant for these things! Formatting and making sure I don't use the same word seventeen times, that is.

Just kidding, just kidding.

You know what I think is interesting? People who have assistants for research when they write. I know most famous writers do, but I love research and it's one of my favorite parts about the process. I actually know of a delusional woman who not only refuses to do research for her novels, she brags about it. And then of course wonders why her books aren't published. Christ, I even do research for erotica. I don't know half the stuff that's out there in the way of sexual aids, toys, etc. and while making stuff up is the great joy of writing fiction, I don't give a shit how smart or creative you are, you still need to research certain things and if you don't, it's blatantly obvious and you're fooling no one let alone editors.

Anyway, getting back to THREE DAYS IS AVAILABLE AT BORDERS! THREE DAYS IS AVAILABLE AT BORDERS!'s good that I'm happy about something, because while as you all know how thrilled I am that tonight begins Eric's tour with Project Object, outside of this weekend when I visit him in Vermont and Massachusetts, it will be another month before I see him again.

Eric, as I've mentioned, is the world's coolest kid and well, he'll be 19 so he's technically an adult but even before he reached that age, I've used him as a sounding board for a lot of adult issues and he's pretty wise about a lot of things. And most importantly, he's a hell of a lot calmer and easy going than anyone else in this family.

Soo...the tour. It's really hitting me now. Load in to the World Cafe for the band is at 3:00 p.m. and this will be the first time in fifteen years there won't be a drum set in my living room...everything is packed in their cases and ready to rock.

Sob...I guess I'd better get used to it though I can't imagine a house without a million musical instruments and since Eric has three sets of drums, when he does decide to move out I'm gonna make him leave a set here. Otherwise I'm going to turn into a loony middle aged interior decorator woman and put a lounge chair or some other piece o'nonsense in the empty space and we just can't have that!

And of course I'm way, way excited that Julie Slick will be performing on bass tonight with Project Object as well. When they were little, they made a pact that they'd always be in a band together, but of course they grew up and their musical interests/tastes are in different directions and while it breaks my heart because they are such wonderful musicians, especially when they are a band's rhythm section, I know I have to let go of that fantasy. But for old time sake...

Heh. I just realized I get to take a whole new slew of pics tonight of the two of them together on stage for who knows, what may be a final time. Though I keep saying that and then something magical occurs so I refuse to give up hope.

One more time, I'm posting the Project Object tour information. If you are reading this in a city where they will be and you write to me, even if I wasn't planning on attending that show, I may reconsider. If I like you, that is. Ha.

You know what's really cool? The tour t-shirts are going to look just like that, olive green with red and yellow. Think I'll buy a hundred or so? Ha! I doubt Eric's name will be on it individually, but God forbid it is...then I'll be buying a thousand of them. I'm just a little proud...

So, that's it for now. Eric slept at his girlfriend's house last night since they won't be seeing each other for a while and I'm busy doing his wash (Oh, I'll do it, Mom...cough cough) after which I want to run to the store and buy him yet more supplies I started thinking he'll be needing.

Expect lots of photos and stories tomorrow! (I have to get this all in now because when I leave for New England for three days this weekend, I will be internet free. Oh my god, can you imagine my post when I return on Tuesday? It will probably be a mini-series!)

Anyway, I'm off. Hope to see a lot of you at the show tonight!