Thursday, August 31, 2006

This Boat's A Rockin...

Eric Slick and Sarah Zimmerman sitting in with the Bustle in Your Hedgrow performers in New York City on August 28, 2006

There's the audience being wowed by the band, which included members of Benevento/Russo and Ween.

So Eric Slick continues to rack up more great reviews wherever he plays -- this one is from Monday night's Bustle in Your Hedgrow performance in New York:

"Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This Boat's a Rockin'

I'm not sure if it's National Jaundice Awareness Week, but the Empire State Building emanated a bright yellow glow last night. The skyline sure did look purty from the Hudson River. So what the fuck was I doing on a boat on a mislabeled tidal estuary following a five-day meth bachelor party binge that begged for a solid Monday night's rest?

The occasional quasi-supergroup cover band known as Bustle In Your Hedgerow rocked the Rocks Off Boat Cruise for three hours last night. And between December's ridiculous performance at the Tribeca Rock Club and the promise of a free ducat, I felt there was no way in good conscience I could have sat on my couch while the boat circled our little island. I'm still hurtin' badly today, but hot damn am I glad I got off my ass and found that fuckin' (black) dog.

Last night also marked the return to live giggery for guitarist Scott Metzger, who brilliantly deParted a less-than-stellar techno-jamband about five weeks ago. Metzger joined his old friends Diamond Dave Dreiwitz, Sir Joe Russo and Untitled Marco Benevento on the three-year anniversary of the very first Bustle performance, and it's almost as if the four of them have been playing together nonstop since that night's debut. Talk about cohesiveness...I think this is the kind of overwhelming tightness to which pedophiles are attracted. That's a horrible analogy, sure, but dead on.

The boat was crowded but not nearly packed, and watching people try to dance in the small space when the waters whipped the ship around was pretty hilarious. But dance we all did -- it helps when you're prodded by four insanely talented musicians that get together rarely to cover one of the greatest rock bands of all time. What's more impressive is how amazing they do it, though. I could maybe perhaps kinda use a lead singer up there, but musically, I'm not sure I've heard anyone cover anything so incredibly in the history of live music. How's that for all-out fluffing hyperbole?

Marco and Scott re-create the classic Zeppelin sound, but it's Joe and Dave that make this band as perfect as it is. Dave could have piloted the Enola Gay because he drops serious, destructive bombs all over the Japs place, and sans analogy, Joe may actually be the best drummer on the planet. If anyone can fill the dead shoes of John Bonham, it's certainly this human octopus pictured above that simultaneously makes it look so effortless and yet so difficult. Parking my no-talent ass directly next to him throughout the whole second set was like a eunich watching an orgy.

The remaining highlight that I'd be remiss if I didn't point out: the two School of Rockers that sat in with Marco and Dave to open the second set. The female guitarist made Metzger look like a chump and the young longhair on drums told Russo to go home and get his fuckin' shinebox. Well, maybe they weren't that great, but they really were phenomenal. These two folks have a very fine future ahead of 'em (a kind anonymous commenter chimes in: "The special guests were Sarah Zimmerman on guitar and vocals and Eric Slick on drums...").

I took some video footage of Immigrant Song and the not-so- impromptu DanjaBoots two-song encore ("We're out of Zeppelin tunes," I heard Joe say), but I've yet to upload the clips. Hopefully one of the videos does justice to that rendition of Immigrant Song. I hate to use the Ace-cliche "off the charts...we need new charts" here, but good lord, sometimes I just have no words for greatness.

And that, my friends, is greatness: a Top Fiver for 2006, for sure."

Ha ha - is it just me, or whenever Eric plays a gig do people always say afterwards "Best show I ever saw -- or, top show of 2006?"

Nah, it's not just me. In fact, if you click on the link I provided for this review, you'll see comments from a lot more people and they pretty much say the same.

Eric, Sarah, and Julie have a new project planned together with a gig sometime in October at Asbury Lanes. More on that in a future post.

In writing news, yesterday I was interviewed by Bloggasm and hey Sid Smith, I not only got to slip in my gratuitous reference to Neil Gaiman which wasn't really gratuitous at all, I also got to slip in one for you...also not gratuitous. Anyway, thank you to Simon Owens at Bloggasm (Bloggasm. Is that a great name or what -- wish I'd thought of it!) who did an awesome job and asked me all the right questions. Please also see his fabulous interview of my good pal, Myfanwy Collins, who has all kinds of cool stuff going on right now and had some very intersting things to say.

Speaking of Neil Gaiman, and when don't I, this is for Susan Henderson, who has a new and exciting blog about to launch in just two days...wait, I hope I'm right about that...Sue, you are launching on a Saturday? Anyway, I think Neil posted this in his blog while you were in Virginia so in case you missed it...oh he is slightly inebriated at a wedding a few weeks ago:

Yeah, I know. I had to hold on to the desk for support after seeing that, too.

Let's see. What else. Another Bite of the Apple continues to remain "highest rated in erotica" over at Fictionwise. That's had me smiling all week.

Okay, time for a nice cup of tea. I've been at the writing thing since 3:00 a.m. This insomnia stuff has got to stop! I'm hoping that when I take my annual internet free, two weeks at the beach next month I'll get back on a better sleep pattern -- if not, there may be a prescription for Ambien in my future.



Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Before there was an Adrian Belew Power Trio featuring Julie and Eric Slick...

Adrian was lead guitarist for David Bowie and here's a young Ade performing with David on one of my all time favorite Bowie songs -- "Stay". This actually made me cry last night (but of course that's just me) because it's so freaking good and I can't believe my kids are now in Adrian's band. Look how David smiles at him when he plays!

In other news, Eric did indeed perform at Bustle in your Hedgrow in New York City Monday night -- he sat in on Zep's Traveling Riverside Blues. And regarding his recent gig with Chris Harford, check out the comments on the Ween Forum Board:

"Excellent time. Harford kicked ass as usual. Rain, rain, rain. It was quite a night. Beautiful rain soaked late night set w/ B-ill and Mick on guitar. Floyd baby.

Special mention for Eric the drummer. 19 years old, grad of School of Rock, Adrian Belews drummer (at fucking 19), he has a great road ahead of him. True pleasure to watch..."

"The party was kick ass! When I got home at 3:30 a wicked storm raged throough my neighborhood! I hope the tent campers fared ok! Chris was on fire, His leads were killer, and Mickey, well what needs to be said? B.Ill and Eric Slick and Jen Walton sat in with Evan in Wineskin and tore it up while Tim was at the hospital watching his child be born! Congrats dude! That kid Eric can PLAY Yo! Can't wait to see some pics. See Y'all tonight at the SpiTune party!"

"Just got home. Holy fucking shit. Best show of the year so far. Wow. My brain is in pieces."

"I saw Project Object in Charleston, SC acouple of months ago and that drummer looks like the same kid. Could it be?...

I forgot to mention that the kid kicked complete ass and nailed all those crazy Zappa changes."

"Yes that is the same kid. Yes, he kicks ASS!"

"He is the touring drummer for Adrian Belew .. and some relation to Grace Slick ... well Grace Slick's husband's family actually"

"That drummer kid is really nice dude too. He rocked friday night for both bands."

Ha ha - Eric is a nice dude. For sure.

Last but not least, in writing news...ta da, Another Bite of the Apple remains number one highest rated in erotica at Fictionwise! and is quickly moving up the best seller list. Yeah!

And I received some awesome reviews for Another Bite from Ecata, Coffee Time, and JERR which you can find right here.

If that didn't make me smile enough, yesterday Buenos Noches, Justine got a five star rating/review from Enchanted Ramblings.

Okay then. I think I'll just sit back and wait for Hollywood to call...

P.S. Am I the only one who is completely nauseous over this?

P.P.S.: Eric has once again updated his tour blog.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Odds and Sods for Monday, August 28

Okay, so I'm like totally psyched here. I didn't even know my camera could do an avi or whatever they are called and when taking pictures of the Adrian Belew Power Trio at the World Cafe Live show two weeks ago the settings must have slipped so imagine my thrilled surprise when I uploaded these the other day and then also learned I could post them here. Sorry they are only a few seconds long...I have one that goes on for over a minute but the camera was in my pocket or aimed at the floor - I don't know what the hell I was doing that night -- and merely recorded the sound with a black screen. Yes, I know. I'm such a dork.

But even if it's just for a few seconds, it's still very cool to see Mr. Eric Slick, Ms. Julie Slick, and the master himself, Adrian Belew, in action on my blog today.

By the way, Adrian's website is undergoing some changes which are pretty neat. They've just got one west coast tour date listed but I know of several, tickets for which are already on sale, and they'll be on tour in places like Dallas, Phoenix, and San Francisco for a good deal of November. I'll wait until Camp Belew puts them on their website to formally announce it, though.

The trio continues to get high praise on rock forum boards across the universe -- everywhere from the Yes forum board to Bela Fleck to Primus. My personal favorites this week are on the Umphrey's McGee forum board...this after Adrian, J&E played with them at the Acoustic Planet Tour in Atlanta. I don't know if this link will work unless you actually join the forum board, but just in case you want to find it manually, it's under "Adrian Belew Set List"...and of course I will copy the best parts right here:

"He played with the Slick siblings. A brother (drums) and sister (bass) combo. The sister was 20 yr old and the brother was 19. Pretty amazing stuff. Not to mention his sit-in on "Red". (yes, Amy, I did poop my pants!). One of the best nights of music in my entire life"

"Much better show than I saw from him like a year ago, that one was really mellow. This time around he had good energy and looked like he enjoyed himself a lot more as well.

All I have to say really is that Elephant Talk was freaking phenomenal. I haven't gotten that excited when a song started in a really long time."

"Eric Slick was doing the drumming for Project Object on their tour earlier this year. He's a beast."

"I doubt any of you wouldn't ask the bass player to marry you immediately."

"Wait, she plays Crimson tunes?"

"and she's 20!

I'm picking out a 3 carat teardrop cut with platinum band as we speak."

Ha - I've found a bunch of other stuff which I'll post throughout the week when I'm calmer. I've been really frustrated by Blogger -- I couldn't figure out how to post for the last couple of days; I couldn't write new entries without being switched to "Beta Blogger" only when I did that, my old blog disappeared and we just can't have that. Finally I found a blogger help forum board and apparently a lot of other people are having the same problem and some guy found a back door way to sign on so hopefully I've beaten the system at least for now and can continue to post while blogger changes over to a new whatever.

In writing Neil Gaiman essay found a home at Chick Flicks Magazine - a paying pub(!) - and will be in their September 15 issue.

Speaking of Neil, he's in New York signing his new book at an event with John Hodgman on September 28, the same night Eric will also be in New York playing with Chris Harford and the guys from Ween at -- sob -- the closing bash for CBGBs where it's rumored everyone from the Talking Heads to Blondie to Lou Reed will be on stage. I'm hoping that things don't kick off until late that night so I can manage both events because they aren't all that far from each other but who knows. John Hodgman is amazing. I saw him perform/speak/read at the Philadelphia 215 Writers Festival two years ago and he did this audience participation thing -- which I normally would not like -- with walkie talkies. It was fucking awesome. Laugh out loud funny. And oh my god, a google search just told me that he'll be back at 215 again this year on October 5 with Jonathan Coulton...details right here.

Actually, Eric will also be in New York City the day before, September 27, 2006 at 12:00 noon with the same line-up as CBGBs for a free concert outside of Grand Central Station. I'm suddenly thinking "Two days at the W Hotel in NYC! Yeah!"

And if that's not enough, Eric is playing a gig in St. Louis with the fabulous Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller on October 13, 2006 at Off Broadway.

Look for Eric to possibly sit in on a song or two tonight as well in New York City at Bustle in Your Hedgerow -- damn, I was just at the website and didn't realize it was a boat cruise around NYC with some pretty heavy hitters in the music world or I would have scored tickets myself. Oh well. Something tells me Eric appreciates the fact that I don't make an appearance at every show he's in but oh man, as a music lover and his biggest fan, it's really hard to stay home now and then.

Let's see. What else. Oh yeah. Another Bite of The Apple is now available at Fictionwise and it appears to be on sale this week. Cool.

ETA: Oh my god, speaking of Fictionwise, Another Bite is ranked Number One in erotica today. Holy freaking cow!

Later...(off I go for a celebration martini)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio on Tour: Florida (and can you say Peach Cobbler?)

Adrian Belew Power Trio - last night of summer tour at the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth, Florida (photo courtesy of uber fan Joshua Kritzer, who attended all three Florida shows starting in Jacksonville, then St. Petersburg, and finally Lake Worth, which is near West Palm Beach, so he traveled some major distance from show to show)

ETA 8-23-06: Eric has updated his tour blog.

So it's back to the real world after an amazing three days in Florida and I wish I had a time machine so I could do it all over again. It was that great -- definitely ranking in my top ten experiences as both a parent and music fanatic and without a doubt the very best birthday I've ever had. In case you missed all of the billboards I posted, Julie and Eric (and Martha and Adrian Belew!) gave me this trip as a gift and I got to see the last two shows of the summer tour.

On Friday morning I flew into Tampa and cabbed it to the hotel in St. Petersburg where the trio had a show at the State Theater.

Actually, I lifted that photo from the website of musician Jay Yarbrough who created a special tribute page on his own website right here, but you know the drill, I'm far too excited not to post what he said here as well:

Adrian Belew
w/ Eric & Julie Slick
State Theatre, St. Petersburg, FL
August 18, 2006
"Adrian Belew's "Power Trio" took the stage around 10pm to an almost sold-out theatre and delivered exactly what Adrian Belew fans have come to expect: fun brilliance. His latest band consists of the brother and sister Slick who were warmly received ~ but only because they kicked ass. Julie played with a chilled style and gave Adrians music what it needed. At 20 years old, I was damn impressed. As for Eric (19 yrs), that brotha stomped! I've been composing for many years and let me say, it couldn't have been more than 3 measures into the opening song before his playing grabbed my attention. You rock, Eric.

As for Adrian? Well.., this was my third time seeing him perform and I don't believe I've ever seen him happier. Oh.., he played pretty good, too (wink)."

And yep, what Jay says is true, the venue was packed and because I did merch, when Adrian introduced the band fourth song in, he also gave me a shout out and I was swarmed by fans all during the show telling me how incredible the trio sounded and also met some people from the Philadelphia area who knew people from my past! Oh man, it was so much fun that when I got back to our hotel, I couldn't even sleep...I just kept reliving the evening and the incredible music and comments all night long.

Here's another review I found from a fan:

"Yesterday was like any other Friday. just glad the week was over. Except I was getting out of work to go to St. Pete to see one of the greatest guitar players in the world and the lead singer and guitar player for King Crimson....thank you Adrian Belew!!

I got the Tortoise box set in the mail and we listened to it on the way there. This is the music to save my soul, no doubt).

We had dinner at Bangkok #9 (I'm eating sticky rice and mango for breakfast) and went to Daddy Kool record store. i picked up a Yo La Tengo cd and David Byrne's Rai Momo and a t-shirt of Iggy Pop from The Idiot.

We waited outside the theatre. there were two or three people around. Adrian came out and said hi to all of us and left to go have dinner. he made sure he let us know that the Grand Cherokee he was driving was not his. It was a rental. Adrian is a loveable, goofy guy.

We went across the street to a pool place and had, sigh, beers. Everyday I become more like's sort of embarrasing asking for wine at a pool hall when you're with a beer drinking girl.

We left, got in line at the theatre and waited to get in. It was hot and sticky as it hadn't rained the way it did on this side of the bridge.

Jerry Outlaw opened the show. Jerry leads the Frank Zappa tribute band, Bogus Pomp. He played all new songs, which, well, sounded just like Frank Zappa's instrumental stuff. he played a tribute to Belew and Krimson sound man, Ken Latchney, who passed away recently. hell, even I remember Ken from previous King Crimson shows. Jerry played a beautiful, beautiful version of Frank Zappa's "The Black Page". That is truly one of Frank's greatest pieces."

(Note from our blog author here: Oh my god, I made the dumbest mistake ever when I talked to Jerry after the show. I was all high on excitement and not thinking properly, and when he launched into Black Page as the tribute to Ken, for some unknown reason I got the song confused with "Lenny" by Stevie Ray Vaughan which is a favorite of mine...I'd seen Stevie perform with Jeff Beck a few months before he died and when he played it, he dedicated it to "all the people still hurting out there" in a veiled reference to his bout with alcoholism...Stevie was a recovering alcoholic at the time of his death. Luckily Jerry didn't call me on my error and make a fool out of me at the theater but when I proudly repeated our conversation to Eric back at the hotel after the concert, Eric was like "Oh my god, Mom, that was Black Page -- you are such a dork!" After about five minutes of hiding under the blanket with a very red face, I got over it because hey, no one is perfect and I do know my music...I was just flushed and giddy that night and very into my job as merch saleswoman at the venue)

Okay, continuing on with our fan's summary of the evening...

"In between the shows you have the guys in their 40's and 50's talking about having seen Zappa in the 70's and how many times they've seen King Crimson, what tour, the time they saw Yes with Bill Brufford, yadah yadah yadah. It's always hilarious to hear these converstaions because sometimes they get the facts wrong--"

(Note from blog author: Oh my god, did he mean me? Arghh...yep, it had to be me. Ha ha...I just saw this and now I'm sitting here all red-faced again. Ha!)

"Belew played in Roxy Music for a while, then Bowie and then Frank Zappa." Ade never played with Roxy and he played with Frank before joining David Bowie and Eno. then came the Talking Heads."

(Okay...maybe he didn't mean me. Whew! So now I only have to be embarrassed by my conversation with Jerry Outlaw, who has most likely forgotten about it already anyway)

"And then....and then....Adrian came on stage. he was playing a trio format. He was all smiles and brilliant playing, looking straight at me in the front row and I was laughing back and nodding my head that his guitar playing was phenominal. his bandmates were 19 and 20 year old brother and sister who recently graduated from the real School of Rock. The girl looked like honie bee when i first met her, long curly hair and a beautiful but with an often indifferent look on her face. But this girl was really focussing on what she was doing. She had to concentrate on those intricate bass lines played by the likes of Adrian (on his solo albums), Les Claypool and of course, Tony Levin. holy shit. Her brother was an amazing drummer. He was Adrian, John Bohnam and Bill Brufford put together. And still I'm not believing I was witnessing Adrian playing and playing so well with these kids. Man. It was amazing.

Adrian played an excellent selection spanning most of his solo career. He opened with "Writing on the Wall" and then....AND THEN....he played "Dinosaur" from King Crimson's Thrak album. Then it was "Ampersand" and so on and so on. He played some solo stuff ala Robert Fripp with guitar loops and synth lines. He even did a cover of "Within You Without You" by the Beatles. I had a feeling he would do a Beatles cover because he often does. I was curious as to what. He played an "acoustic" set including "Young Lions" (siiiggghhh) and "Lone Rhinocerous" which often makes me think of a friend. Then the kids came out again and he played an amazing "Of Bow and Drum" (How the drummer could play all that is beyond me) and then....and THEN...."Big Electric Cat" from his first album....I was good then...and suddenly Ade asks the audience, "What time is it?"

I thought he was ready to leave until he answered, "it's 80's King Crimson time!" The place just about fell apart with screams. I was so fucking excited and he went right into "Frame By Frame", going as far as aping his own parts and Robert Fripp's missing parts at the same time! Holy shit. It begs the question, does King Crimson need Robert Fripp?

Then he played "Three of a Perfect Pair" and closed with "Thela Hun Ginjeet". They left the stage and came back for and encore....of "Elephant Talk"!!!!! It was so weird watching the bass player ape Tony Levin and do it so well.....

I was blown away, honie bee was ecstatic. She seemed very happy. Music had tempered my soul. We got an autographed cd and went outside where we ran into Peter Tush. We spoke, compared notes. Rayzilla interviewed Ade. Peter introduced us to the usual cast of artists, musicians and important people in St. Pete. the rest of the night got a little weird after that, maybe even dangerous, but we got home safely..."

Cool, huh.

Okay, on with the rest of the story because I know you are all dying to know what the hell I'm talking about when I mention "Can you say peach cobbler?" in the heading here.

We made plans to all meet the next morning in the lobby of the hotel at 11:00 a.m. for the four hour drive to Lake Worth. I was starving because in all of the excitement, I never ate dinner and since I was awake all night anyway, I woke the kids early and we went out searching for food. We found this amazing deli with made-just-like Mom's eggs and homefries and got back to the hotel just in time to meet up with Adrian, who sadly did not find a good place to eat (next time stick with Julie and Eric, Adrian...they have a knack for finding good food).

Here's where I got to see the real comradery of this band and also had the world's best giggle as Julie's mother.

Let me backtrack here for a moment by saying that from the minute she could speak, Julie became the Slick Family Social Director and the rest of us her mostly willing followers. We usually don't speak up in protest to her plans because she is queen of research and scopes out wherever she wants to go in advance so with few exceptions, she's never let us down though of course it's a little rough on Eric sometimes because he's a great, easy going guy and over the years Julie has dragged him into some pretty insane scenes against his will but afterwards he usually admits that "yeah, I had a good time in spite of the fact that Julie is nuts"...but then he's quick to add "nuts in a good way".

Anyhow, as noted by our fan above, Adrian had rented a jeep for the drive and Ms. Julie rode shotgun with Eric and me in the back. Adrian had this brilliant GPS system which Adrian named "Genie" who told us in nice, gentle female tones "Turn right at .08 miles" etc. but if we blew the turn, it would immediately say "Recalulate! Recalculate!"

Julie, who is in her last year at college in their music engineering program naturally loves all things electronic and could not resist playing with Genie and pretty much took it over ("Adrian types too slow," she told me later with a grin) and discovered with glee that she not only gave directions, she also gave you things like lists of nearby restaurants, groceries, etc.

But I digress.

Apparently, one thing that Julie had moaned about was missing a taste of a real Georgia peach during their concert in Atlanta as part of the Acoustic Planet Tour. So as we traveled down the various highways from St. Petersburg to Lake Worth, she was on the look-out for farm stands which sold peaches.

We passed a few but they were on the other side of the highway and I could see she had Adrian pretty much wrapped around her beautiful finger but even he wasn't nuts enough to try to do a u-turn on a super highway just to buy the Princess a peach.

But the funniest thing we're driving, we see a stand coming up right on our left and without even saying a word, Adrian slowed down and pulled over so that Julie could have her peaches. Ha! She made me get out of the car with her and then she starts testing the various bushels..."these are too hard"..."these are too soft -- we need them just right so we can eat them now". Meanwhile, I'm dying and trying not to look at Adrian and Eric in the jeep because we're obviously taking longer than they expected...and then Julie had the farmer cut open a peach and give her a taste and after it passed her high standards, she bought a bushel.

Or I should say she had me buy them. Ha ha.

We get back into the jeep and just as I'm about to ask how the hell we're all supposed to eat a bushel of peaches in one day, she answers that question for us.

"As soon as we do soundcheck I'm going to bake a peach cobbler so that we can have a little party after our final show of this tour."

The reason she said that is because unlike other venues, the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth offers housing to its bands and we learned we would all be getting our own fully equipped one bedroom apartments complete with a full kitchen.

"That sounds great, Julie," I sad. "But you're going to need things like sugar, flour, butter, nuts...I somehow doubt the apartment is that equipped."

"Oh, that's okay, Mom," she said. "Adrian will take us to the supermarket."

At this point Eric just sat there with his head in his hands and I did my best not to laugh out loud because it then became hilariously apparent that Adrian had assumed Gary's role on this tour (Gary being Julie's dad for those of you who don't know) and pretty much what Julie wanted, Julie would get, and where Julie wanted to go, Adrian would take her.

Or, the real reason: Adrian is one hell of a nice guy. Unbelievable. Just so good natured and funny and a pleasure to be around.

But he did want to do an early sound check, and we were all starving for that left us a very small window for supermarket shopping in a strange city where we didn't even know where a supermarket was.

"Genie will tell us where to find one," Julie replied in answer to my meek question from the back seat.

We check into the Bamboo Room around 3:30, and it's a way cool venue as you can see by the above photo. The manager led us to our apartments, and yep, full kitchen with all amenities except for ingredients required for peach cobbler.

"I want to do a 5:00 p.m. soundcheck," Adrian said. "That will leave us with about five hours before we go on so we'll have time to rest and eat..."

"And bake peach cobbler!" Julie added.

"Yes, and bake peach cobber," Adrian laughed.

We asked the manager of the Bamboo Room where the closest supermarket was because truthfully, I wanted to just walk there and not bother Adrian with this stuff but he told us it was about two miles away and it was pretty darn hot in Florida so walking was not an option. He did tell us the name of the market was "Publix" which I guess is a chain down south like Acme is here in Philadelphia. So at least Julie knew what to type into Genie if we got lost.

But first we drove a few blocks to have lunch...we found a cool place on a funky little street with vintage stores and other restaurants and stuff which normally we would have loved to have checked out further but Julie was on a mission to bake a peach cobbler. Oh, and she mentioned she was doing this to the manager of the Bamboo Room..hence why she needed to find a supermarket...and she really peaked his interest.

"Man, that's awesome. I have to admit, I've never had a rock band stay here before where one of the bandmembers baked a peach cobbler between soundcheck and the show. Are you a good cook?"

"She's amazing," Eric, Adrian and I all replied simultaneously. (Julie had previously cooked for the Belews during her stay at Casa Belew in Nashville while they were rehearsing for the tour)

So now we had the Bamboo Room's manager hot for cobbler as well.

Unfortunately, lunch took really long. We'd chosen a pretty laid back place where people did some serious drinking and I kept looking at my watch, knowing Adrian wanted to do a 5:00 p.m. soundcheck and also knowing that if Julie didn't get to a supermarket she would be in sulking princess mode and none of us wanted that to happen. Okay, make that Eric and me...hopefully Adrian has never seen a full Julie freak-out. Ha!

Anyway, we got done eating around 4:45.

"It won't take me long at the market. I know exactly what to buy. Let's just type in "groceries" on mom and I will run in, get the stuff, and we'll be back at the club by 5:00. I promise!" Julie said.

Oh. So now I'm going into the market with her. Okay. That was probably a good idea, I thought, because I know Julie when she goes shopping and she likes to take her time looking at everything as most gourmet chefs do.

Unfortunately, however, for the first time Genie gave us some bad information. When Julie typed in "grocery" it took us through a residential neighborhood with no market in site. I looked at my watch again and groaned.

Adrian, to his credit, maintained his cool and told Julie to type in the name of the market which we already knew. I, however, thought it was "Public" and not "Publix" but did not know Julie knew this which explains the heart attack I almost had when, after driving another mile, came upon "Public Storage".

Luckily, it was almost adjacent to "Publix". Whew. Because there was just no way we could drive around looking for a supermarket any further with time rapidly slipping by and soundcheck to do! I mean, we had to get our priorities straight here. Peach cobbler sounded fantastic and all...but those guys had a sold-out show that night!

Julie and I hopped out of the car and the minute we got into the market I said to her "Run!" and it was hysterical...we were like contestants on a game show or something, racing down the aisles, grabbing butter, sugar, me having to have Julie yell at me when I grabbed an $8.00 bag of pecans...she started price comparisons while I'm freaking out about poor Adrian and Eric sitting in the car..but luckily she found a bag of walnuts at half the price and somehow we made it out of the market within minutes with everything we needed.

Though Julie would later begrudgingly admit to me later that "we should have used pecans it would have tasted even better"....

But I digress.

So we race back to the car where I just know Eric is dying a million deaths in the backseat waiting for us because he is the consummate professional musician and I'm so worried Adrian is going to be upset as well, but again, he was laughing and taking it all really well.

"This cobbler better be really good," was all he said.

We assured him it would be fantastic.

So we got back to the venue, they did soundcheck, I stayed up in my apartment doing stuff like washing peaches and letting the butter soften so that everything would be ready for Princess Julie when she returned.

Somehow I knew she would end up cooking in my apartment, not hers, because I would be left with the mess to clean up, not her. Ha ha - I know her so well, because around 6:30 in she walked all ready for business.

By 7:30 p.m., the entire apartment complex and street below was full of the incredible smell of cobbler. The manager of the Bamboo Room was salivating and threatened to break into our apartment during the show and eat it all.

I cleaned up (sigh) while Julie checked on its progress in the oven, in between doing stomach crunches and getting dressed for the show.

Anyway, we left it to cool, went over to the Bamboo Room, and they put on the world's most incredible show, completely blowing away the audience.

When Adrian announced the band, he said "My bassist Julie Slick, who is not only a fantastic musician, but she baked a peach cobbler today," which cracked everyone up. Ha. They should only know. I did merch again, but this time they put me at a table with the CDs for sale almost directly next to the stage. I felt so strange sitting there and Julie smirked as soon as they came out and she saw where I was. But I have to admit, I ended up loving it because not only did I have the best seat in the house to see the show, after the concert Adrian sat at my table and signed about 100 CDs for fans while I stood there and sold them.

Adrian was amazingly kind and patient with everyone, which was extra incredible because he had driven four hours to get to the venue, literally had nothing but a sandwich to eat all day, and it was the last night of the tour and he was going to have a few drinks with some old friends he hadn't seen in many many years.

In the meantime, I'm nervously looking around for Julie because not only was she anxious to serve her peach cobbler to Adrian and his crew, I forgot to mention she also bought a half gallon of vanilla ice cream at the market. I was hoping she didn't head back to the apartment herself and attempt to carry it all because I pictured her dropping it and getting hysterical crying after all she'd went through to bake it. I mean, after what she put us ALL through to bake it. I saw Eric signing autographs but I didn't see her and while I took care of CD sales all kinds of horrible thoughts were running through my mind but I kept my cool somehow.

Finally I caught Eric's eye as he was signing a CD for someone.

"Where's Julie?" I whispered somewhat frantically.

"She's over there, Mom," he said, pointing across the room.

"Oh, thank God. Do me a favor. Go with her across the street to the apartment and help her carry the cobbler over. We don't want any accidents."

Eric grinned, remembering other Slick family incidents where Julie has dropped things...such as the famous French Fry debacle of 2000 where she bought $12.00 worth of fries in Ocean City for us to have with her dinner...she went with Eric on bicycles to a great place on the boardwalk, put the bucket in her bike basket, and then had a collision with Eric one block before getting to our beach house and $12.00 worth of french fries fell into the street. She still hasn't let Eric forget about this, calling him a "lousy driver" for "making me collide with you!" (Poor Eric. Trust me, it had nothing to do with his driving...she rear-ended him)

We are still hearing about that event from Julie some six years later...

Anyway, Eric being the sport he is, temporarily stopped autographing and went with Julie to get the cobbler, ice cream, paper plates, etc. Since there obviously would not be enough for everyone, they left it in the green room downstairs at the venue. Julie told me to "get Adrian".

Now, as I already said, Adrian had an exhausting day, had just put on this amazing performance, signed a million CDs and posters, and just wanted to have a martini with his friends. I was put in the position of having to walk up to him, interrupt him, and say "Julie says to go downstairs and have some cobbler".

I tried, I really did. But he was having an animated conversation and there was just no way I could do it. In the meantime, Julie was downstairs waiting, and a few VIPs walked into the green room, one being Michelle Sammartino, a disc jockey at XM Satellite Radio. So she was busy schmoozing with Michelle and her pals and feeding them peach cobbler while I worked up the nerve to break into Adrian's conversation with his pals.

Still couldn't do it so I went to the bar and ordered a very potent martini.

Downed it and got the courage and told Adrian that Julie was downstairs with the cobbler but he was still having a blast with his friends. By now, the venue had finally emptied out so I decided the wisest thing to do would be to get Julie and have her bring everything upstairs.

Whew. Did it, no problem, Adrian gets his cobbler with his friends...takes one bite and exclaims "OH MY GOD! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!" which of course caused Julie to grin from ear to ear as only she can...she's got the world's most beautiful smile.

So another disaster diverted -- Julie made just as many fans with her cooking as she does with her bass playing...she had the manager of the Bamboo Room and other assorted VIPs practically proposing marriage...and we finally left the venue well after midnight with a remaining piece or two of cobbler. Julie and I crashed out on my sofa, too excited to sleep. I asked Julie if she wanted to stay with me or go back to her own apartment and while she wanted to stay, we both agreed it would be best if she slept in her own bed and got a good night of sleep. But we were both really wired and kept talking about the tour and the events of the day, so she hung around until around 1:30 a.m. Just as she's about to leave, though, we hear Adrian and his wife Martha (who arrived in Florida while Julie was baking the cobbler so that she could see the last show of the summer tour and also have an extra day of r&r in Florida with her husband) walking down the path to their apartment, and Adrian shouts into our window "Peach cobbler! Peach cobbler!"

It was so freaking funny. But to see Julie's beaming face made the whole day's events so, so worth it...and she did bake the best damn cobbler ever.

"It would have been better with pecans and more butter and if I had our oven at home," she said.

"Nope, it was as good a cobbler as I've ever had," I assured her.

"Next time it will be better," she frowned.

Next time? Oh my god, kill me now. Ha!

Anyway, before I end this mini-series of a blogpost, here's some links for a couple more reviews of the various shows:

Review of Lake Worth show

Review of St. Petersburg show by Bogus Pomp's Jerry Outlaw

Okay. That's all for now. I just want to thank Adrian and Martha Belew for their incredible kindness and generosity and for taking a chance on Julie and John Sinks for telling me all those great rock and roll behind the scenes stories which I promise I won't blab via this blog again (ha ha - private joke), roadie extaordinaire David Harvard for all of his hard work and for making Julie's day the following morning by knocking on our door and asking if there was any cobbler left so the leftovers found a very happy home in David's stomach...and well, I just wish I could join the tour again when they hit the west coast in November but hey, I've got to be fair about this and it's their dad's turn next if he can swing it...if not, I'll be doing my usual Google stalking and promo back here from my lowly desk in Philadelphia and wishing I could be part of this tour forever.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio on tour -- Tonight: St. Petersburg, Florida

Eric Slick, Victor Wooten, and Julie Slick following what sounds like an incredible show at Chastain Park (The Acoustic Planet Tour with Bela Fleck and Umphrey's McGee)

So I'm currently headed for St. Petersburg, Florida, where I will get to catch the Adrian Belew Power Trio tonight at the State Theatre. Think I'm a little bit excited? Here's a couple of reviews I recently read from members of Adrian's "Tribe" who attended the shows in Atlanta and Piermont, New York. Ha ha - I really feel for the guy in Atlanta, whose review I am posting first, but since he got to experience such an incredible night of music, I don't feel all that bad:

"The show last night was a once in a lifetime event, marred only by the exuberant, young jamb crowd, oh and a torrential downpour. It was the fantasy version of this show that I had envisioned yet did not expect to have so fully realized.

The show began promptly at 7:30 with Bella Fleck introducing Adrian & The Slicks. It was rather warm out and the evening was still in the early lighting stages which made for good non flash photography conditions.

The show was somewhat of a sociological experiment as these bands tend to draw a varied crowd mix. You had your more mature.... jazz who were there to kick back and enjoy the jazzy styling of Fleck and then you had your younger, jamb crowd.

Of course you also had your Adrian fans and a few like moil who dig it all.

Adrian & Co. kicked it into gear and it was fun to watch the crowd reactions as he literally bent their minds with his twang bar. I yelled out "great job Julie" at the end of Madness, she really tore that won up, in a good way.

Eric and Julie were all those great things I have heard about them. Eric was all over the kit in beast fashion and Julie was solid and impressive, just as I have read in other reviews.

Bella Fleck strolls out and joins the trio in a tasty bit of mammary. (can't remember which tune ) This is what I had been hoping for. Adrian mentions that we are going to see a lot more of that during the evening. I was so happy to see Bella & Adrian plain's side by side that I would have been floating and satisfied with that but it was only a hint of things to come.

Adrian thanks the crowd and they go into Elephant Talk. Julie is all over the Tony Levin bass lick.

Here's where it gets interesting.

They are playing basically the outre to Elephant talk when Umpire's drummer mounts his kit straight across the stage from Eric. Then the bass player for UP.ME. comes out, then the lead guitar until eventually the whole band is on stage playing Elephant Talk along with the trio.

Eric exits as the U.M. drummer carries on the percussion, then Julie exits and eventually, Adrian. Now you have Umphries McGee finishing Elephant Talk and morphing straight into their set....

After the trio exits, two things take place, one: the sky opens up and tries to wash us away and two: the younger set rushes the stage along with many,many folks who just want to escape the torrential downpour. The stage has very extreme pitch which, just our luck, terminated right above us so along with the natural drops the roof was delivering a nice wall of water. We were soaked to the bone. I had a perfectly good rain jacket with hood which I decided to leave in the car.

So now our peaceful, expensive space was squarely invaded by the drunk and dancing factor along with the strict enforcers trying to enforce. It rained and rained and we just adjusted to the new coolness and wetness and remained for the duration.

Adrian strolls back out to join U.M. for a rollicking rendition of RED. It was awesome. U.M. has two guitars, a bass, keyboards a drummer and a percussionist. They were all over "Red". It sounded awesome.

Then various Flecktones jam with U.M., starting with Vic.

Slowly all the Flecktones emerge and just as with the last transition they fold themselves into the tune at hand and the Umphries slip off one at a time leaving the Flecktones to morph into their set.

So, there were no intermissions at all....

The rain stopped but the crowd who rushed the stage remains, they would have rushed the staged rain or shine.

The Flecktones weave their magic as always and invite the McGees to join them for "Stomping Ground" which was an all out lick trading festival.

Anyway, 10:30 arrives and Bela asks if we'd like to see a jam session.

(We all said no of course)

But, regardless, everybody comes back out, The Trio, The McGees...the stage is crowded. Adrian is front and center, Julie standing with Victor, Umphries bass player making for plenty of low end. Eric, Umphrie's drummer, Umphrie's Percussionist and Future Man.

They tear into a crowd pleasing rendition of "Come Together" by The Beatles. (familiar territory for our Ade ) He and an Umphrie trade off on the lead vocals. When that ends Bela simmers into another piece that I didn't recognize and all join in with feature spots for most everyone.

At one point I noticed that Vic had quit playing and so did the Umphrie's bass man
and it was all Julie carrying the low end with the lead guitar player of U.M.

It was so farkin' incredible folks, you should'a been there.

If last night's show turns out to be it for my musical ramblings for the week, I can still wear a big ol' satisfied grin.

If any of this post is incoherent, I apologies, I was up all it's time to try to catch up.

Anyway, I was hoping for Bela & Adrian to get together on at least a tune and it turned out to be so much more.

I know Julie had to excited to play on stage with Victor Wooten, way to go girl, you rocked the house..."

Thanks for that -- man, I wish I were there. I did edit that post to leave out certain personal information like his friends' names and the state of his car...hope nobody minds.

And now for the Piermont review:

"This past Thursday night the wifey and I booked a sitter (grandpa) and headed North to check out Sir Belew and the Slicks at the Turning Point Cafe, located in Piermont, NY, in this little century(s) old Bed and Breaky Hudson River town.

The venue was killer. I don't know the history, but The Turning Point Cafe looks to be an 19th century hotel turned restaurant & bar, it had that nice old country feel. The bar and stage were downstairs in the basement and we had a table in the back which was only about 20 feet from the stage. The place was packed, but there was a only a total of about 75 plus in attendance, making this a very intimate venue indeed.

We had a good view of Ade and Jule, but could only see about half of Eric, as he was tucked back into this corner area of the stage.

It obviously wasn't the biggest stage, however, what was coming from that stage was a huge sound! The trio kicked things off with Writing on the Wall, followed by Dinosaur, followed by Ampersand - some real smooth bass picking and tight drums throughout, and of course Ade being Ade, just killing that six string. Young Lions was next, and they just freakin rocked that one, arm and leg hairs on end - what a great song! Also, very fitting for the young Slicks to be playing it. Then (I believe) it was Beat Box Guitar, which was just killer, Eric's drums were the best here and on Ampersand, dig the fast heavy pounding from young Eric. They closed out the first half with Matchless Man and then Ade gave the kids a break, while he perfomed some pretty solo's including George Harrison's "Within you Without you". That sitar sound he pulls off is just brilliant. Second, to Young Lions was Ade by himself doing Lone Rhino, this songs real special - first time I heard it was off the acoustic Belew and it was all over (guy's been one of my heros ever since). The solo electric version was excellent, love those rhino noises he
pulls off.

The rest of the trio came out and they rattled off, I believe, 5 Crim tunes that just cranked, this included Frame by Frame, Three of a Perfect Pair, Elephant Talk, I was so impressed with Jule's playing on Three of a Pefect Pair.

After the gig Andrea stuck around to see Ade and to pass along our condolescences regarding Ken. He's definitely missed, but they all seem to be coping as best they can.

I picked up Side 3 and asked Ade to sign the CD and and a picture of the boy, who was in the womb last time Ade was in town. Ade ended up in the seat next to me at the bar for awhile signing CDs for fans. As you imagine, I was in my glory bellied up to the bar having a beer next to one of my heros.

We got chatting some more and Andrea ordered a round of car bombs for herself and Ade and I, which those of you who don't know is a half pint o' Guinness and shot of Jameson topped off with Bailey's cream, the shot gets dropped in the Guinness and you're supposed to gulp it down Boiler Maker Style. It's tasty li'l concoction and Ade agreed.

Ade and I got chatting some more about Jeff Beck while Andrea and Martha were exchanging picures of the kids. As it turns out Ade's come to be friends with the man and he told me a story about the first time they met where Jeff was chatting with Keith Richards while Ade was in the room and Jeff said to Keith "Keith, you gotta hear this guy sing this song.", and then he called Ade over in the hopes that he'd sing "Three of a Pefect Pair" for Keith. How cool's that!

What a night! I was somewhat disappointed that we didn't go to BBs show, especially, when I heard how great they sounded, but seeing Ade and Slicks in this cool little venue and having a chance to hang after made up for that 10 times over..."

Finally, here's an interview which recently appeared in The Florida Times about Ade's upcoming shows there this weekend:

Expect solo tunes, plus material from King Crimson

By ROBERT KAYE, Special to the Times-Union

"In a story that has become legendary among his peers and fans, Belew was "discovered" by Frank Zappa while playing in a cover band in Nashville. After joining forces with Zappa, Belew was then invited by David Bowie to join his ranks. From there, Belew went on to perform with the Talking Heads, the Tom-Tom Club and formed his own band, the Bears. His most tenured gig to date has been in the iconic prog-rock ensemble, King Crimson, joining in the early 1980s.

Q: I don't think Crimson has played here since the early 1970s when the band recorded the Earthbound album at our old baseball field.

We have been to Florida a few years back, but it has been a long time. That's one of the things I would point out as a preface to anything else we say. It's so difficult, for some reason, to play in Florida. That's for anyone; my band, the Bears, King Crimson or Adrian Belew solo. It's a head-scratcher that all of us have always wondered about.

It seems like Florida is a place with so much entertainment, with all its tourist dollars, but strangely enough, it is one of the hardest places to ever get shows to happen in. I don't know why and I've always wondered about that.

Q: The Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project recently canceled all of its Florida dates, including Jacksonville.

I've had numerous booking agents and promoters tell me all my life that for some reason it's hard to play there. Who wouldn't want to go to Florida to tour? There are a lot of things to do and everybody loves going there, but for some reason, for certain types of genres, it's very difficult to play in your state. Just a little advance apology from me to my fans in Jacksonville for being so long overdue.

Q: Will you be performing your own solo material exclusively or will you also do some Crimson covers?

It's my new stuff and a few bits that I picked from my past solo albums, and about a half a dozen Crimson tunes. There's nothing in there from the Bears, but there are some really interesting trio versions of Crimson material, which is unique and challenging in its own way.

For one thing, none of these songs were ever performed in a trio format, so when you cover a song like Three of a Perfect Pair, you really have to tweak it and add some interesting things to make it work as a threesome. But that's one of the things that I find so rewarding about what we're doing.

Q. I understand you're playing with the Slick Siblings.

It's a very young rhythm section, Eric Slick [19, drums] and Julie Slick [20, bass guitar], are brother and sister. Many people know them from the Zappanale concerts.

They have a very exceptional sort of chemistry because they've played music together all their lives. They were some of the first graduates from the School of Rock in Philadelphia. So we're looking to have a lot fun down there together. I think you'll like it."

Okay, then. I'm off to St. Petersburg. What a blast! It's like a five day birthday celebration. Okay, it is a five day birthday celebration! I still can't believe Julie and Eric arranged this for me. How freaking insanely lucky am I?


Thursday, August 17, 2006

I interrupt this broadcast of the Adrian Belew Power Trio Tour to Wish Myself a Happy Birthday

Is that the best picture of the Adrian Belew Power Trio or what? That's from their show in Philly Monday night and Gary took said photo. He gets the award for top family photographer now. And don't forget to click on all the pics in this post -- they will grow huge and clear before your very eyes. I know there's a joke in that comment somewhere but I'm too tired to think of it so use your imagination.

I'm still waiting for a report on last night's show from Julie and Eric -- it was a festival (The Acoustic Planet Tour) with Bela Fleck and Umphrey's McGee, but I did find a guy's live journal entry which said, in part:

Just got back from Chastain Park Amphitheater where I got to see Bela Fleck & the Flecktones for the first time, and I geeked out listening to Bela and trying to figure out if Jeff Coffin was playing a penny whistle or a piccolo.

Opening for the Flecktones was Umphrey's McGee, a very good band, and opening for the evening was Adrian Belew. They all jammed in various combinations throughout the night, as well, including an awesome encore performance of the Beatles' "Come Together" which completely rocked my world..."

Oh.My.God. So you mean to tell me Julie and Eric participated with some of the best musicians in the universe last night and did a group kick ass jam of Come Together and I missed it? You do realize what a Beatle fan I am, right? The name of this blog comes from John Lennon's brilliant book of poetry, In His Own Write.

My Live Journal guy also included some pics, and here are two -- one of said group jam where you can clearly see J&E on stage, and one, which really made me bawl, of Julie reaching into the crowd and shaking hands from the stage (and Eric is on the far right - you can see him from behind wearing his John Bonham headband):

And that's a hell of a crowd, isn't it? Yay!

So this is a weirder birthday than most - the kids are on tour, I'm kicking around the house trying to decide what to pack for Florida and have pretty much decided fuck this, I am not checking in my bag, I will travel without liquids. This presents no problem to me at all except for my hair gel, which I cannot live without because I have a full head of tangled curly hair that I manage to keep barely under control with specially imported stuff from France.

But oh, do I really want to check my bag in just for hair gel? I think not. I guess I'll buy myself a cool hat for my birthday. Or wear a ponytail.

Ha ha - like you all really care about my hair.

It's been such an unbelievable couple of weeks, starting with the Belew show in New York last Tuesday night and continuing on with the show in Philly Monday and breakfast with the Belews the following morning that my birthday today is almost anticlimatic, except for the fact THAT I GET TO FLY TO FLORIDA AND SEE THEM PLAY TWO MORE SHOWS THIS WEEKEND!

Seriously. How cool is it that J&E bought me that as a birthday gift?

I also got this in my e-mail today:

"We at Pearl Jam Message Pit would like to wish you a Happy Birthday today!" which made me smile.

And thank you Myfanwy, Ellen, and Justin for your birthday greetings as well.

Finally, since it is my birthday, as a gift to myself and since I haven't done this in a while, a fun Neil Gaiman moment:

Ha ha - he may have less to say now than when he was young, but I sure as hell don't, and the minute I get some reviews, emails, etc. about the Belew show last night, I will be back to edit this blurb.

I'm also sitting on some writing news (plus, did you know Target is now carrying two books of mine? That deserves a separate post, I think. Yep, I'm right there among the sheets, towels, and cheap lightbulbs) but I'll address that next week when I get back from Florida and the east coast leg of the Belew tour ends.

Okay, I'm off to have some decadent cake for breakfast. I mean, really. What else should one do on one's birthday to start the day off decently? I mean, besides...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio on Tour -- raves and reviews part III

Cool pic, isn't it? Thanks to "Gambit" of the Planet Crimson forum board -- I lifted this from him there (with his permission, of course)

So incredible reviews and emails continue to pour in about the Adrian Belew Power Trio.

Bill wrote:

"What I did last night

I went to see a personal legend on guitar, Mr Adrian Belew, with a long time friend Pete.

As backround, Pete and I share something with respect to AB. His influence and playing are part of some of the most important music in our lives. Neither of us can count the times we've listened to Remain in Light by the Heads, I can't imagine my personal musical tastes had I never heard "City of Tiny Lights" from Zappa...can't imagine my early college years without King Crimson's Discipline.

Then there is his solo work, music and virtuosity in a time when we're still being handed "britney spears" lookalikes and sampled hiphop and being told this is "the future of music". (bah...I don't think so RIAA...wanna know why record sales suck...because the "music" you publish sucks...ok enough ranting).

Anyway, it was my first trip to World Cafe Live and I must say I was suitably impressed. A new venue in an "odd" part of town but very accessible...a GREAT place to see a show. Not only do you get the show, they've a bar and restaurant..very affordable pricing..and a great setup for sound.

Adrian is touring in support of his "Side X" works (One, Two and Three), and is set up as a "Power Trio". He is "flanked" in this setup by 2 of the most talented siblings I've had the good fortune to see play, School of Rock All Stars Julie and Eric Slick. As the brother and sister power duo are from was a hometown show for them and family and friends were in attendance. I'm sure the parents will tire eventually of crowds of people coming to them after the show and blessing them for having 2 such talented youngsters...but they seem to take it well in stride. Dad was sharing a story about the previous night's show...early in the day he was entering the venue and was asked if he was "with the band". His response..."Hell no, I MADE the band!". Good for you!!!

One other thing about that last paragraph...if ever there was a better advertisement for the Rock School that listening to these 2 play and watching them perform...I can't think of one.

Anyway...Adrian played brilliantly...several Crimson songs were in the mix as well as a good dose of his latest work from Side's 1, 2 and 3. Must admit it was fun to hear Elephant Talk and more of that catalog...but I was most impressed (and I believe Adrian was as well, having not even attempted this song yet during the tour) with Walk Around the World from Side One. He played it alone and as complex as the fingerwork is for see him play it...AND SING IT at the same time??? There are times when watching talent like that is an awe-inspiring experience. This was one of those times.

Imric...they will be in your neighborhood tomorrow. Wanna see something REALLY scary?. Julie is 20/21 and her brother a year or so younger. AB in an interview said it was wonderful finding the two of them...unspoiled by "the biz". Me..I'm just glad to have lucked into an opportunity to see a couple of talents that will be around for a long time to come..and will have legions of fans in their own right. And, at the same time, I got to see Adrian Belew play, got to talk to him a bit after, get my cd signed...and go home refreshed in the knowledge that there still exist MUSICIANS.

There is hope.

Pete wrote this in my comments section:

"Hey Robin, Pete Franke again, one of those 'stranger/friends' you mentioned in your post, or is that perhaps just 'wierdo strangers' ;-D Thanks for being so gratious, you and your husband are clearly such genuinely nice people! To go to a club for music and find oneselve caught up in this wonderful, family vibe was such a unique experience, and seeing your kids and Adrian responding to all that energy with such an amazing performance is something I know I will keep with me for a long time. What a great night!

Now, your mission from here is to MAKE SURE that Adrian keeps his promise and does his live CD (at least in part) in Philly! Hell, his fans would support a double CD on that one, just to make sure theres room for everything. So, between feeding the dog, traveling the WORLD (wink, wink) and writing your novellas, you have to work for all of us common folks to get Adrian back to Philly!!

Peace and safe travels to you and your family! See ya around (in that non-stalking, positive way that rock fans do, lol)"

Eric got a few fan letters which I got him to forward me...I know this embarrasses him but I did get his reluctant permission to post them.

From Mike in Pittsburgh:

"Hello Eric,

Thank you for the fantastic show in Pittsburgh @ Club Café. Adrian rocked, you were jammin, and your sister is a totally smokin player (Incredible). You have to be tired from that smashing performance..

I'm glad i made it out to see you guys; tell everyone thanks for the liberating experience. Please let me know if you guys plan on coming back to Pittsburgh any time soon as I'm sure you will have a good turn out again. To many Crimson and Zappa fans here to leave Adrian hanging. We will always pack venues to see a legend like Adrian. Dude, your sister rocks... A very relaxed look, while tapping the guitar, ripping out notes and getting great tones, effortless... Love it..

Let me know if you ever come back w/ any band so I can tell my buddies to check out your skills..

Tell Adrian thanks for coming out after the show and talking to everyone. We all loved the kindness..."

From Brian in Philadelphia:

"Hi Eric,

I'm a 26 year old guy from philly, and I saw you play with Belew last night at the World Cafe.

I just wanted to say that you guys were awesome, and blew me away. I've played with some very talented drummers, but you seemed to have something else going on in your playing. I know plenty of guys who are excellent jazz drummers, and a few good rock drummers, but very few people that can play technically demanding music and still bang the hell out of the drums when necessary. Good job!

That's basically it. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the show (as did the guests I brought with me) and I hope that you guys DO get to come back to Philadelphia and record a live record."

Three guesses who is crying again right now. Christ, I should own stock in Kleenex during this tour.

Anyway, tonight they play with Bela Fleck and Umphrey's McGee as part of the Acoustic Planet Tour at this incredible venue in Atlanta. So it will be an amazing outdoor festival on the 27th anniversary of Woodstock.

How very perfect.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio: Last night at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia

Photos of Julie Slick, Adrian Belew, and Eric Slick 8-14-06 at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia -- courtesy of Katie Jacoby, rock violinist extraordinaire

Ha ha - it's 2:00 p.m. and I'm just getting to this blogpost -- I bet you all thought I'd have this prepared at 5:00 a.m. today due to the excitement/hyperventilation factor.

Well, you're right. I would have, except Gary and I had breakfast at the Down Home Diner in the Reading Terminal Market this morning with Adrian, his wife, Martha, and Julie and Eric so now I'm hyperventilating/all excited from that and am finally at this moment two hours later starting to calm down. They are all off to Atlanta to play the Acoustic Planet Tour tomorrow with Bela Fleck and Umphrey's McGee and Gary just dropped me off at home on his way in to work -- I don't know how the hell he can work after the last 24 hours. I'm still way too "high". (From the show, from the show. Sheesh.)

What can I say? Last night was the most amazing show yet. The hometown Philadelphia crowd came out in droves and was so supportive and enthusiastic that the band really felt it and there was like an electric current running to and from the stage.

I only cried once. I was too into the music to get emotional. And when Adrian was announcing the band and stuff he pointed to Gary and me as Julie and Eric's parents and then I fielded about a million compliments from people surrounding me for the rest of the evening so that kept me smiling, too.

Though when Adrian announced to the crowd about his plans to record Side Four Live with Julie and Eric, I almost required CPR.

Thank you so much to all of you who came out to the show, especially the Rock School kids like Katie Jacoby, Zach Bukowski, Carolyn Pagnotta, Rachel (ack..I don't know her last name), and Courtney Drew who made it despite just coming off a strenuous two week tour with Rock School, and of course Eric's true blue friends like Branden King, Larry Allen, Eric Svalgard, Yani (I Can't Spell His Last Name), Rachel II (another Rachel not affiliated with Rock School whose last name I do not know, either) and Louie Graff who also were there to cheer him on. Okay, yeah, that was another teary eyed moment for me -- watching Eric's friends hug him with such pure joy for his success. I know it meant a lot to him.

And oh wow, there was strong support from so many of Gary's old pals...he had a whole cheerleading section at the show, too. For those of you into Devo, the Spud Boys were there and yep, Gary's friends as well.

I have to admit I loved meeting my blog readers...I had a whole bunch of strangers (well, now they're friends) come up to me and introduce themselves and tell me they've been keeping up with my family's exploits on a daily basis and wouldn't have missed the concert for the world.

Sigh...seriously, that was a true sigh. I wish I could repeat last night all over again. It was so, so great.

But hey, in a way I do. As I've mentioned, the kids bought me a trip to Florida for my birthday this week so I'm flying down to Tampa on Friday to see the show in St. Petersburg. And yes! Jerry Outlaw of Bogus Pomp is opening for them, which is so cool I can't take it.

Speaking of opening acts, on the east coast portion of this tour it was Saul Zonana. Do me a favor. Click on that link and listen to Saul's music. He's fantastic! Adrian produced his CD, and I've been listening to it for the past half hour. I'm really, really loving it. Saul's a great guy, too -- it was a lot of fun swapping stories with him backstage as well -- I didn't realize that he was the bassist for the Crash Test Dummies. Gary and Saul got to talking, and here Saul will also be opening for The Adrian Belew Power Trio during the west coast swing but he's driving all by himself...then I got a brainstorm and said to Gary "Why don't you go with Saul on tour and share driving, etc." and the plan was hatched and we're running with it.

So lucky Gary gets to go everywhere from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco for most of November. The west coast tour has really shaped up and they are going to be visiting a lot of cities...Austin, Dallas, Phoenix...etc.

I will stay home and take care of the dog.

And write another novel or seven.

Yeah, so, the show last night gave me the chills; breakfast with the Belews this morning was so much fun because I really, really like them both and Adrian is hilarious..he makes these deadpan jokes that crack me up.

Last night he made the obligatory "Please visit the merch table" statement but then he added "and buy CDs from my beautiful wife or she will put a curse on you.......all of your babies will be born naked!"

Anyway, I could ramble for hours but instead I'll post a few emails I received:

The first is from a family who are part of Rock School in New York City:

"Just wanted to drop a line to say hello, and let you know PGSORM-NYC was at the show at B.B. King's in NYC last Tuesday night (August 8th). We had a couple of tables on the floor and loved the show!!! Julie, Eric and Adrian were amazing ~ even inspirational to the young students that we brought.

Break a leg tonight in Philly!"

Next, an email from a cool lady who saw the NY show:

"Hi Robin,

I’ve been reading your blog which I came upon via Eric’s blog via Adrian’s site….. ah, the wonder of the internet. First, let me say that I enjoy your writing…. Second, I had the pleasure of catching Adrian’s show in NY this past weekend. I was blown away by Eric and Julie – so young, so talented! They didn’t miss a beat. You must be so proud!"

Here's a comment addressed to Eric I just read on Eric's tour blog from someone at the Philly show last night:

"Well, as noone else has responded I guess I'll be the first to say "Wow". Minor snafus with Julie's fretless aside, the show at World Cafe was nothing short of amazing, incredible, short...there aren't enough adjectives to describe.

Adrian is blessed to have found you and your sister. If anyone reading has any chance at all to see you...well they'd be crazy not to.

Thanks for giving me such a memorable night of music!

I've no doubt that I'll be hearing more from you..and I'm busy now talking to family and drumming up some audience for the FL shows!!"

Oh wow. Thank you! And if you do drum up your family in Florida to attend the shows, tell them to come over and say Hi to me! Well, I won't be at the Thursday night gig in Jacksonville but Friday and Saturday, I am soooo there....

From Katie Jacoby's mom, Esther, who came to the show with her husband/Katie's dad Dave despite the fact they have to be in Washington, D.C. today:

"Dear Robin,

Fantastic show last night!!! Adrian is VERY lucky to have Julie and Eric in his band. Your kids are phenomenal is every way possible. We really enjoyed the concert last night and look forward to the Live Recording concert. Please keep me posted!

Katie took these pics last night. Enjoy!


I love Esther. And thanks for those pics, Jacoby family. As you can see, I've already put them to good use.

Here's something on the Planet Crimson forum board which just made me lose it altogether:


I was going to start with some kind of aphorism about conviction or focus, but this isn't the kind of thing you can put in formal terms. Adrian and the Slicks shook the World Cafe with enough ENERGY to power half of Philly during a blackout. Eric had recently mentioned in his blog how much he and Julie were looking forward to playing back in their hometown for family & friends, so Dog_None and I had suspected they might be a little more stoked than usual. But this blew any expectations out of the water. The enthusiasm on both sides was overwhelming. They raised the roof with the first song and never looked back.

The Slicks make an interesting complement to each other. Eric was the classic wild-man drummer, somewhere between Animal (the Muppet) and Keith Moon, while Julie simply pulled off that oh-so-cool unruffled bass player look like a seasoned pro (think John Entwistle if he'd moved and swayed now and then). We stood on the far stage-right side of the room, so Julie was the closest one to watch, and I was just as stunned watching her playing as with watching Ade. She's a much busier player than Tony Levin has ever been, but it never once seemed to crowd the others or lack a solid underpinning rhythm either. She tapped, plucked, picked, strummed, slapped and somehow always came out with something just perfect for the song.

The Mistress commented to me at one point how into it Ade was getting; but then, he could hardly not be while facing such energizing bandmates. "Beat Box Guitar" turned into a trippy abstract improv in the middle, complete with Pink Floyd-y atmospherics and humpback whale noises (even including a brief phrase of "Discipline"). They even had people dancing to "Madness" (!). Because it was such a great evening ("I've always had some really special times playing in Philadelphia"), Adrian was inspired for the first time on the tour to try "Walk Around the World" - solo with an echo box. And just when I was almost going to pick that jaw up off the floor.

It was obvious what a great time they were having, just from watching Eric and Ade mug & laugh like two kids in a candy store from start to finish. AB was feeling it enough that he announced he'd like to come back to the World Cafe for a couple shows when it's time to record Side Four. Be still my heart. If it happens, I'll be there every night. ("Honey? We don't really need to buy furniture, do we?")

Incredible. Just incredible.

As near as I can remember:

Writing on the Wall
Young Lions
Matchless Man
Beat Box Guitar
Drive (AB solo)
Walk Around the World (AB solo)
The Lone Rhinoceros (AB solo)
Of Bow & Drum
Big Electric Cat
Frame x Frame
Three of a Perfect Pair
Elephant Talk
Thela Hun Ginjeet"

Excuse me. Serious weeping here. I need to collect myself.

Okay. Whew. I just went through a box of Kleenex.

Oh. I know what I forgot to tell you. Guess who hung out at soundcheck last night and were blown away:

This guy and this guy who are, of course, members of this band!

Dave, who is Adrian's roadie, took pics of Eric hanging out with them which I will post as soon as I receive -- Dave is with the trio on the whole tour so in case Eric forgets to ask him (as if), I'll get him to email them to me when I see him in Florida on Friday.

Okay. That's enough excitement for one day.

I need a nap.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Tonight at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia -- Adrian Belew Power Trio!

Okay, obviously that's Eric and Julie on stage -- but if you peer behind them, you'll see Adrian Belew talking with their dad, who really has the hippie thing going on these days in like every way imaginable. Yay, Gary! The guy to the left of Eric is a musician from a French Zappa cover band.

Heart be still, The Adrian Belew Power Trio plays Philadelphia tonight. I'll be the one jumping up and down screaming and fainting up at the front of the stage. Funny. As I'm typing this, I'm remembering another conversation Gary and I had at BB Kings Tuesday night with Adrian Belew and his engineer, John Sinks. Gary and Adrian both saw the Beatles live (can you imagine?) and talked about the audience going into one long extended scream and it was the same way when A Hard Day's Night was released into movie theaters. Girls fainted and shouted throughout. Never having had the, um, privilege (gag) of attending boy band concerts, I wonder if that kind of thing still exists. Probably, huh. Bah! I want to hear the music!

Anyway, last chance to buy tickets for tonight right here. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Adrian Belew Power Trio on tour - raves and reviews part II

Julie Slick on stage performing at the Grand Finale at Zappanale in Germany a few weeks ago

So the cool emails and reviews continue.

First, there's a fantastic interview with Julie (and Eric) over at Big Bottom News for Bass Players, but, you know me and you're probably tired of me saying it, I'm far too OCD to just give you the link, here's the actual interview:

"This month’s Under-Exposed Bassist is Philadelphia native Julie Slick, graduate of the Paul Green School of Rock Music, Music Production student, and at 20 years old is currently touring with guitarist extraordinaire, and Frank Zappa alumnus, Adrian Belew. I caught up with Julie at the Turning Point Cafe in Piermont, NY, a 75 seater on the Hudson River where Adrian had just finished a scorching set with his lastest power trio. Rounding out the trio is Julie’s brother, 19 year old drummer Eric Slick.

First bit of background: The Paul Green School of Rock Music is as much a phenomena as an institution. Instead of teaching kids Sousa marches and trying to graduate them to soft-jazz arrangements, The PGSORM puts rock instruments in their hands, starts them with three-chord thrillers, and moves them through increasing levels of complexity, culminating in the “Omega” program: performing the Music of Frank Zappa. The school is experiencing some rapid growth lately, and has been the subject of a major documentary film release, but Julie and Eric were members of the first class of musicians to complete the curriculum. The Zappa connection led to Adrian performing Zappa’s City of Tiny Lights (a Belew feature-piece during his short tenure with Zappa’s band) at a Paul Green School show, with Eric and Julie as his backing band. “We played that song about 3,000 times with the Rock School. Paul invited us up to play with Adrian even though we had graduated. Adrian was looking for a drummer and after the show he told Paul Green that he was looking for a bass player too.”

Eric and Julie received and invitation from Adrian to formalize their impromptu audition: “It was like: finish midterms, learn these 15 songs in three days, fly down to Nashville, come back, take finals, go on tour. I’m still tying to digest the whole thing.” In an interview that Adrian did in the run-up to headlining the Zappanale festival he talked about his project with Julie and Eric: “Secretly I am drawn to the role of teacher but likely they’ll end up teaching me more than I’ll teach them. I needed a clean slate, to start fresh with players who aren’t ‘jaded’ to the oppressing music business, people who respect my work and are willing to put as much into it as I do.” More background and tour updates can be found at the website of Julie’s mom, author Robin Slick.

Julie plays with a very calm, almost serene demeanor, and a very relaxed approach to the instrument. I have seen her perform twice with Adrian Belew, and she switches deftly between pickstyle, fingerstyle, tap, slap, and some flamenco-ish flourishes, all while avoiding “bass face” or distractions. “I think it is most likely my natural approach. I worked very hard when I first joined the rock school. I remember listening to Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 and just crying because I couldn’t get it. Paul was my teacher and he wasn’t even a bass player, so I pretty much made up my own technique. By the time I had played for about a year and we had learned the Zappa stuff, watched movies like Baby Snakes, and Cream videos. I always had all of these resources. I guess subconsciously took things in. I also just have music in my blood. My dad (Philadelphia guitarist Gary Slick) is an awesome guitar player and I have a lot of support from him, and access to his amazing guitar collection… we just have so much music in the family. I did have to work on some of the things like slapping, tapping were things that didn’t come natural… I never had to tap until I learned these songs. I never played Elephant Talk. I can feel myself building up the stamina and I try to make it sound as much like the Stick as possible.”

Julie has been playing a red 2001 Fender Jazz bass as her primary rig on the Belew tour. She has also been doubling on a Gibson fretless on loan from her Dad. “I learned on that bass, actually. It sounds like an upright bass, almost, because of the Gibson pickups.” She owns a Music Man Stingray and a new Rickenbacker, but chose the J for the versatility. “I think that the Rick would sound excellent on some of this stuff, but I needed a bass that I could slap on. I ended up trying Jazz basses and not liking them, trying P basses and not liking them, and then finally I found that bass… that bass just fit right with me.”

On the opportunity to tour with her brother Eric: “Eric and I used to play songs on my synthesizer, with Eric playing bongos… songs about my mom. Eric and I have been playing together for the past eight years, bass and drums, we’re pretty comfortable with each other and it works out when you are so comfortable with two thirds of the band going into it.”

With a degree in music production on temporary hold due to the tour, Julie will be working on a new studio, producing, and rehearsing during her “downtime,” and heading out with Adrian Belew for another tour in late 2006. To see a young player land a dream gig and have no trace of “rock star” syndrome is rare. Knowing the Slicks it isn’t surprising. They seem to have found that balance between work ethic, fun, and skill that players of all ages could learn from."

Thanks to Pete Brunelli of Doot for writing and posting this...and I see he's got another blog where he has this to say about the Belew show in Piermont, NY Thursday evening:

"DOOT! (Pete and Stephen) took a ride out to Piermont, NY to catch Adrian's power trio at the Turning Point. Eric and Julie Slick are jelling nicely and we got to hear Adrian with his full assortment of gear. At Zappanale his gear never made it (his guitars did), but we were treated to a thrilling performance with Adrian knocking out his set through a Marshall Half Stack. That was an outdoor festival. The Turning Point is a 75 seater in a little village on the Hudson. In short, an amazing place to see a player like Adrian Belew.

This show was a real thrill, and I'll be sharing some pics very soon."

Again, thanks Pete -- that was amazing.

And now for some more comments I've received via my blog and Eric's:

Joe said...

"Tuesday's show in Times Square was one of the best shows I've seen in years. You Rock kid. I hope you have a great career. I saw Mr. Belew on the flight from Frankfurt to Newark and I assume you were the young man with the School of Rock T. I'm sorry about your friend Ken. That was a tragedy.

I didn't know what to expect on Tuesday night, but you guys performed like the pros you are and just blew us away. Having just seen Zappa plays Zappa at the Beacon about a month ago, my buddy and I looked at each other after Ampersand and said "This kid is better than Bozzio." Have fun in Philly, you deserve to enjoy it. You've earned it."

Tickledrop said...

"See Eric. :) I remember after the first show in Indy telling you that your Ampersand was the best. I think the drumming you do on that is just amazing. So fast. It's what I looked forward to the most the next night in Ohio.

How cool Joe. I saw the ZPZ show out west in San Francisco. Terry was injured, but I believe you when you say Eric is as good. Wait. I think you said better.

I look forward to the tour coming out west."

Joe said...

"Yup, Bozzio must've blown out his arm for a reason, age does matter. It's nothing for us old guys to be ashamed of. Just don't tell Mr. Belew, obviously he doesn't believe it.

Bozzio was great at the Beacon in June, but Eric was amazing at BB's the other night.

Maybe it is because I respect and admire Mr. Belew so much and I empathized with his recent personal loss, but I was just pulling for this band. Eric and his sister really did Adrian a solid and held up their end with class, enthusiasm and style. We spotted the barefoot sis before Adrian pointed it out, and by that time she had really caught our attention with her suberb mastery of the bass. Eric kind of hits you between the eyes right away and then builds from there.

My other friend said, "I knew it would be good, but I had no idea it would be this good." I felt the same way. I new Adrian Belew would be great, but I can't believe the level that Eric and his sister performed at. It was truly amazing and exciting.

Thanks for a great show Eric!."

Ice said...


I have seen every show that Adrian has played here in Pittsburgh for the past few years. I am extremely excited for tonights show. I read this entire blog at 5AM and really enjoyed the perspectives...especially Julie's description of the trip to Europe from Nashville.

I hope that you all have some time to chill after the show, at least for a bit...I have to run to another show where my drummer is jamming with another band.

Also, "Joe" said that he couldn't believe the level that you and your sis' played at....would he expect anything less from Adrian? Would the "White Rhino" tour with mediocrIty? I think not! The Side One tour threw "Big Mike" on the Bass with amazing results...not bad for a guitar player!"

Andre' Cholmondeley of Project Object says:


"Adrian is on tour right now with his amazing new POWER TRIO, featuring my good buddies ERIC SLICK (drums) and JULIE SLICK (bass) - as you probably know--Eric is the DRUMMER FOR PROJECT/OBJECT! The NYC show at BB King's on Tuesday was just INCREDIBLE -- huge sound, power-pop-fusion-experimental-soundpainting-madness-exhilirating-
guitarification!! Don't miss this tour -- It's short but sweet and only hits a few stops - GET TICKETS NOW!! SOME SHOWS ARE SELLING OUT, you do NOT want to miss this -- Setlist includes the BEST of Adrian's ENTIRE catalog, great new stuff from SIDES 1,2,3, and of course some 80s KING CRIMSON CLASSICS!"

So yeah, I'm loving this, and thanks to those of you who keep writing and leaving these great comments on my blog and Eric's tour blog, which, I noticed, he updated again! Yeah, Eric!

I see the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday edition has a listing in their Entertainment Section today:


Sideman star Guitarist Adrian Belew livened up music by David Bowie, Talking Heads and Frank Zappa, but aficionados know that he's a quirky, accomplished solo performer as well. He plays at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. Tickets are $25. Call 215-222-1400."

I probably mentioned this before, but one thing I'm really excited about, other than tomorrow night's show which will probably be the highlight of my "career" as a mother, is that for my birthday this coming Thursday, Julie and Eric bought me airfare and three nights in a hotel down in Florida so that I can catch the last two shows on this portion of the tour. I've never been to West Palm Beach and am really looking forward to it and can't believe J&E were so generous and did such a cool thing for me. Wait. Yes I can. As I mentioned to a few people, these last couple of months I've been waking up every morning pinching myself that all of this is really happening. And it just seems to keep getting better and better.