Saturday, July 08, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio on Tour - Night Two

Julie Slick at a gig at Rembrandt's Restaurant; Eric Slick on stage with Project Object in Burlington, Vermont

Happy Saturday!

Well, the first reviews of the Adrian Power Trio on tour are coming in and to say I'm excited is a major understatement.

They got a standing ovation in Indianapolis...and here's an e-mail from a fan I received that was meant for Julie but you know me, I'm going to post it here anyway:

I caught your show in Indpls last night with Adrian Belew. Great show. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I think you and your brother Eric are phenomenal talents. I think that you two will go far. I've been involved in music for over 17 years and I've seen a lot of people come and go and both of you have a talent that is both raw and seasoned at the same time. Best of luck in the future. Great show.


ETA: Here's a comment I just got in my post below which I am copying here due to parental proudness:

Just saw Belew Plus Two in Springfield, Ohio last night. Simply amazing--all three were brilliant. These sibs have a really bright future
And Thomas, President of the Arf Society and the man responsible for bringing Adrian and J&E to Germany next week to headline at Zappanale 17, wrote this:

Hi Robin,

You really make us terribly excited for the show here in Germany. Can't wait to see the trio on Zappanale-stage. 8 days to go - 8 days to wait.

Music is the best!


Here's a review of the show in Ohio last night which appears today in the Springfield News-Sun.
Here's an interview Adrian did for the Calgary News which I will post here in its entirety because it mentions Julie and Eric:

Calgary's News & Entertainment Weekly
No Rest for the Wicked -- Guitar Great Adrian Belew Looks to the Future

Adrian Belew fondly remembers his very first electric guitar.

"A Gibson Firebird, I liked the shape of it, such a modern looking guitar, a very odd shape.... I paid $10 a week for the darn thing, forever, until I paid it off. I played it and played it and played it."

But back in the mid-’70s, the musical climate was harsh and inhospitable for guitarists of all shapes and statures.

"When the disco era hit, there was no work for live bands, here in the United States, except in the Holiday Inn circuit, which is a terrible place to play. I was offered a job in the Holiday Inn circuit, but as a drummer," Belew says. "And my thinking was ‘Well, I don’t mind playing drums to ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’Round the Old Oak Tree,’ but I would hate to try to play guitar to that dreck, so I had to sell that guitar to buy a drum kit and that’s what I did."

Since this inauspicious start to a phenomenal career, Belew has played with a literal A-Z of the most creative musical minds of the late 20th century – from Laurie Anderson to Frank Zappa, not to mention David Bowie, David Byrne, Robert Fripp, Trent Reznor, Paul Simon and, of course, William Shatner. The Nashville based guitarist, singer-songwriter continues to juggle full-time membership in two bands (prog-rock dynasty King Crimson and the Beatlesque pop combo The Bears) with his eclectic solo work. He’s garnered pop culture nods that include passing mentions on The Simpsons and the School of Rock,, as well as a recent Grammy nomination for best instrumental recording (Beat Box Guitar).

Belew has little time or appetite for nostalgia, having recently released the last of a trilogy of discs, unassumingly entitled side one, side two and side three.

"Over the last five years I’ve put a lot of effort and time into touring with and resurrecting King Crimson and, to a lesser degree, The Bears. I didn’t have a lot of time for my own stuff, for myself, but whatever time I did have, in between the cracks, I would record whatever new ideas I might have," Belew explains.

"After about four years of accumulating all these various ideas I started looking seriously at what I had and realized, ‘Wow, I’ve got 35 songs here."

On side one, he lets loose with the mother-of-all-power-trios – Tool drummer Danny Carey and Primus bassist Les Claypool. The results are as powerful and impressive as one would expect. With side two, Belew explores newer, less familiar territory.

"I had also been developing a whole bunch of other ideas more in the DJ music mode, where you have drum machines and long synthesizer pads and not much vocals but a little bit here and there, repeating phrases… a whole genre I had never touched on."

He plays virtually all the instruments and, as much of a departure as side two is from his past work, there’s still no mistaking it’s Adrian Belew.

Finally, on side three, Carey and Claypool return for a satisfying finale that is as eclectic and dynamic as Belew’s fans expect from his solo work.

"Side three was really everything else that didn’t fit in either one of those categories, which is why side three is a very eclectic record – it has all kinds of different things on it," he says.

"I worked hard on fitting them together smoothly, to make one record, and I’m kind of used to doing that with my solo records, they usually are a pastiche of different ideas." With an audible lack of arty pretension, Belew chuckles at his use of the word "pastiche."

The trilogy also showcases another new Belew passion – painting. His original abstract acrylics grace the covers and inserts of all three discs. For him, it’s all part of the same power-drive creativity package.

"The whole thing reminds me exactly of music. Painting is just like making a new song – You go in the studio, you have nothing and you just start," Belew says. "You might put a few textures on, a few rhythms on. You might do whatever, change this, change that, erase that off, put something else on and gradually you build something and then at some point you have to say that’s it, it’s done. That’s the hardest part."

Back from a six-week tour of Italy and Australia, Belew will begin rehearsing the following day with a new, fresh rhythm section. Young sibling prodigies, Julie and Eric Slick are both honours graduates of Paul Green’s School of Rock – the rock school that was the inspiration behind Jack Black’s film School of Rock.

"Out of 1,500 students, they’re the top students that they’ve ever had," Belew states proudly. He draws clear parallels between his work with the School of Rock’s alumni and his own experience with mentors like Fripp and Zappa.

"I do see the parallels, and for me it’s an honour, honestly, that there’s someone out there who’s been inspired by what I’ve done in the same way that I’ve been inspired by the Beatles and Hendrix and Jeff Beck and King Crimson. I was a big fan of King Crimson before I was in the band, that was one of my favourite bands – second only really to The Beatles and then one day I woke up and I was in the band."

Oh my god, that is so cool and surreal, it gave me the chills.

As I also mentioned, Eric will be doing a tour blog for the Philadelphia Inquirer and here is the link!. I will make it a permanent link on the right hand side here as soon as Eric starts making regular entries and I'll see if I can twist Julie's arm to do a post or two as well.

Finally, I note on Pollstar that three additional Florida shows have been added -- August 17, 2006 (my birthday!) in Jacksonville, Florida; August 18 in St. Petersburg, and August 19 in Lake Worth.

Um, ya think I'm gonna be asking for a special birthday present this year? Can you say "airfare and hotel to Jacksonville?" Ha! Oh well family - start saving your money now...I'll settle for nothing less.

And yes, yes, yes, it looks like Adrian, Julie and Eric will be coming to Philadelphia for a show at the World Cafe Live on August 14. It's not on their calendar yet but should be there any day (fingers crossed!) and of course I will post a link for tickets as soon as it's available.

Okay. Where are all my Belew Tribe members who attended the show in Ohio last night? I want to hear from you! I'll come back in and edit this post and add your comments in later or if your remarks are really special, I'll create a new post just for you.

As for novel is calling out...edit me...edit me...don't neglect me because your kids are on tour and you're excited...I need help....please....