Friday, December 01, 2006

Odds and Sods for Friday, December 1

That's Eric on drums with Chris Harford and Scott Metzger on guitar and Dave Dreiwitz of Ween on bass. They'll be performing tonight in Philadelphia at the North Star Bar and yeah, yeah, I'll be there with the camera and luckily for my son, there is no backstage/green room at the North Star so that's one less thing I can pester him about. But from reading the Ween forum board, this show is liable to sell out so it might be a good idea to click on the North Star link and get your tickets on line ASAP.

In other news, I found a very very cool review of the Adrian Belew Power Trio show in Portland, Oregon:

"...We saw the "Cailfornia Guitar Trio" for the first time and the "Adrian Belew Power Trio" final performance of their 2006 tour. We also had a chance to chat with Ade after the show and introduce him to my older brother....

Oh man - The boys from Cali were superb. Such tone and attention to detail, highlights were the Beethoven Piece and a new song that they performed (don't remember the name, but it was second to last), and of course their version of "Freebird" just blew me away - it never would have occurred to me that that song could rock like that on Acoustic strings. So good to see these guys so sad that I missed the first six songs - I've heard such good things from the folks in the tribe, all of which couldn't be more true.

Ade and trio capped the 2006 tour off wonderfully.

Having seen them in a small cafe venue in Piermont, NY, which was a nice change of pace from BB Kings (where I had seen the Trio last year), however, the venue was a little small for their huge sound and I couldn't even see Kid Slick on banging his drums because of how the stage laid out, but, mind you, still loving every minute of the trio's playing - so it was fantastic to see these guys front and center on the stage of Alladin theatre, which is beautiful old theatre, and apparently according to a source that I will not reveal at this moment, is home to the record of the most viewings of the XXX rated film "Deep Throat" - LOL - it would have been much better to receive that information after the show - but whataya gonna do eh.

Back to the gig - it was clear from the start that the Slicks, although they certainly held their own in Piermont, had taken it up a few notches, and the result was a bolder, more free sound, that let Ade wonder off in his eclectic galaxy of tone and twangidge and return seamlessly to the rythm of songs like Ampersand, Writing on the Wall, Young Lion!, Of Bow and Drum which was my favorite of the evening such a cool rockn' tune. Ade alone on Within You, Without you and all the other sounds leading in and out of that one Lone Ade doing Lone Rhino was also a treat.

The trio closed out with all Crim stuff, and they just nailed it to the wall. This included Elephant talk, Frame by Frame, and Three of a Perfect Pair...

Brother Bill, who I brought to the show as part of his 40th birthday present was impressed with the Twang Bar King, saying "it was definitely different than anything he had ever heard". The wifey and I were buzzing for the next couple of days over how great the show was...

One last thought - I'm so happy (and envious) for Eric and Julie, having a chance to play and grow alongside one of the best in RocknRoll. Sky's the limit for them both! Hats off to Ade and team for a great couple of years of albums and shows all over the US and abroad - despite what I'm sure were some tough times - RIP Kengineer. I really appreciate the great music!"

So that made me happy...I cannot wait until the Belew tour picks up again in March, 2007...but as I mentioned a couple of days ago, you may be "hearing" from them a lot sooner than that. And that's all I'm saying on the subject.

So Tuesday was Gary's birthday and we pulled off the surprise of the decade. We lulled him into thinking we were all going out for pizza, but in reality, Julie was six blocks away at her boyfriend Matt's house, cooking a dinner which made Thanksgiving pale in comparison. She prepared a standing prime rib roast...wait...a typical Julie story in connection with that.

Yeah, yeah, I got the call from the butcher shop:

"Mom, is it okay if I spend $56.00 for a prime rib?"

"What?!" (Well, it was nice of her to call and ask, especially since it was my money she was spending. But $56.00?)

"It's prime, Mom. And think about it. If the four of us were to go out to dinner at a really nice restaurant and we all ordered prime rib, the bill would be more like $200.00/$300.00."

Yeah, but you and Eric wouldn't order prime rib -- you'd get $5.00 tofu platters but of course I didn't say that.

"'re right. Jesus Christ, $56.00 for a rib roast. And this is the same place we bought the free range turkey, right? Holy cow, we're making the payment on this guy's Porsche this month, aren't we. But no caviar appetizers, okay?"

"Very funny. No, I'm serving roasted potatoes, creamed spinach, a roasted beet and pistacchio salad since Dad loved it so much the other night, and I'm making a pound cake for dessert with lemon cream topping."

"Mmmm...okay then!"

Now the trick was to lure Gary over to Matt's, which normally would not be that difficult because we could have just gotten in the car and picked them up...and Julie could have come outside and said "Park for a minute, we're not ready yet." But to make the party more special for Gary, she wanted the dog there, too, because really, Monty is Gary's other son:

So we concocted an elaborate plan. Eric allegedly took the dog out for a walk before we were supposed to head over to Matt's and pick up Julie for pizza, but instead, Eric walked the dog over to Matt's house so that he could eat $56.00 prime rib, too. Julie was then supposed to call us with a really lame excuse -- that while walking the dog, Eric bumped into another dog who looked just like Monty, and the owners allegedly know Gary and me for twenty years and they want to say hello, and what a surprise, they live on Matt's street.

Only Eric forgot to call; Julie was busy in the kitchen, and in the meantime, Gary started hyperventilating that something had happened to Eric and Monty because trust me, Eric never walks the dog for a half hour.

"Call Eric on his cell. I'm really worried," Gary said, pacing.

So I called Julie instead.

"The dinner isn't ready yet but Eric is here and so is Monty," she replied.

I had to think fast.

"Okay, we'll be right over," I said, and hung up before she could protest.

"We need to walk over to Matt's -- apparently Eric bumped into friends of ours who have a dog who looks just like Monty and..."

"Oh my god," said Gary. "I'm starving to death; it's already 7:30 p.m...what are they trying to do, kill me? And what friends do we have in this neighborhood for twenty years? We're anti-social, aren't we?"

"Yes," I agreed, trying very hard not to laugh and appear pissed off, too.

So the two of us headed over to Matt's and Gary said "You know, I bet Marra's (pizza restaurant) will be closed by the time we get there and I'm going to end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my birthday dinner. Why is Julie even at Matt's house? Why didn't we leave two hours ago?"

"Because Julie wanted Matt to go with us, and he had class until 6:30 and just got home," I said. Oh god, I am such an awful liar but in any event, it worked though I can't believe he bought it.

Anyway, we walk over and there's Eric and Monty sitting on the front step.

"Where's the so-called friends and other dog?" I asked Gary, still going full steam with our sad excuse for a surprise.

But by this time, Gary had of course figured it out and was giggling. Well, he still had no idea what he was having for dinner.

Julie did a magnificent job, she even transferred my best dishes to Matt's house so that the meal presentation would be gorgeous as well and damn, damn, damn I forgot my camera or I'd have taken pics.

We all gave Gary CDs as gifts because music is what he loves the most and he's got that unfortunate right before Christmas birthday and we save our money and ideas for that...but luckily there's a lot of cool recently released stuff out (a real surprise with the music industry being what it is today)...we got him the new Clapton/JJ Cale CD, the Beatles' Love, and Neil Young Live at the Fillmore. He was pretty psyched and I really want to recommend the Clapton/Cale...just an amazing, amazing CD. I wasn't happy with Clapton's last couple of releases except for the one he did with BB King two or three years ago...he pretty much lost me after 24 it was really awesome to hear him back in great form again (especially as I named my son after him...seriously, I did...that's how much of a fan I am).

So that's the story of Gary's birthday...we pulled it off after all...and other than that, I've been working like a maniac on my novel, am still awaiting word on some exciting writing news but I don't want to jinx myself by saying anything else...and hey hey hey, I hope to see a lot of you at the Chris Harford show at the North Star Bar tonight. Okay? Okay!