Wednesday, November 29, 2006
More fun sketches of Julie and Eric in concert by Family Guy cartoon artist Ron Brewer
Yep, I admit it Part II...my life is cool. This morning I came downstairs to find these new drawings on the desktop along with a few others I can't disclose yet, but all I can say is, they are just too amazing for words and I hope to post more as well as some very interesting news about them in the future.
Also, Part III of the podcast interview with Julie and Eric right before they took off on the west coast tour with Adrian Belew is posted now right here at Krimson News and both J&E are hilarious in this latest and last installment.
And because he knows I'm a total music freak, Sid Smith of DGM Live sent me the new CD by Jakko M. Jakszyk, which is called Bruised Romantic Glee Club. If you click on that link, you'll hear the title cut which absolutely blew me away and I've written to Sid and asked if I can get a download to put on my blog so that you can have a listen every time you come and visit me and read my daily ramblings, in which I'd like to include a more comprehensive review. But as a tease for now, get a load of who else contributes to this almost other-wordly recording:
Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), acoustic bassist Danny Thompson (Pentangle, John Martyn), sax and flute from Mel Collins (King Crimson, Roger Waters) electric bass from Mark King (Level 42) piano & keyboards from Dave Stewart (ex-Hatfield & The North), drummer Ian Wallace (King Crimson, Bob Dylan), Soft Machine bassist, Hugh Hopper, ex-Egg drummer, Clive Brooks and guitarist Robert Fripp (King Crimson).
What strikes me the most about Bruised Romantic Glee Club is that it's full of surprise. You may be lulled by a magnificent, classical keyboard piece and if you are like me, drift into that pleasant dream-like state...then the tempo suddenly changes and the music will really rock out. The songwriting is amazing and as evidenced by the stellar list of musicians who contributed to this effort, this is really a must buy CD. In fact, if you are so inclined, you can purchase it right here.
So thank you, Sid, for being so very awesome and sending me this masterpiece all the way from England.
Finally, today marks a sad day in music history. Five years...can you freaking believe it...five days since the passing of George Harrison. Click here to listen to his haunting guitar work and then take a few minutes of silence to remember a legend.
Yes, I know, I am a writer and should be hawking my books and those of my friends and I promise, I will begin doing that ad nauseam in the very near future, what with Christmas coming and all and the fact that I'm up for a couple of awards. But for now, just sit and listen to George, please check out the link posted above for Jakko Jakszyk, and remember what Frank Zappa said: Music is the best.
I know it's gotten me through some really tough times...and conversely, given me a high that can't be duplicated.
Oh, one final music note: Now playing, "Asleep" by Adrian Belew, inspired by the events of September 11. You can find that song on Adrian's brilliant solo CD, Side 2, and if you click on the link provided on the right hand side of my blog, you can pick up a copy at Mr. Belew's handy website store as well as read the very moving background story.
More tomorrow...and I hate to say it, but it's going to most likely be titled My Life is So Cool - Part III -- because yesterday was Gary's birthday and ooh boy do I have a story in connection with that!
Monday, November 27, 2006
Okay, alright, I admit it. My life is so cool I can hardly stand it. Because yes, that is Stewie from Family Guy, my favorite animated television show of all time along with the Simpsons, drawn by his actual artist, Ron Brewer, especially for my son, Eric, after Ron met him in concert with Adrian Belew two weeks ago.
Ron is a friend of the California Guitar Trio, who opened for the Adrian Belew Power Trio for three nights beginning in Villa Montalvo, California. He was so blown away by the Belew Trio he trekked to their two subsequent concerts in Eugene and Portand, Oregon. So he emailed Eric that pic, and too bad I don't have a scanner because Eric's got an original Ron gave him on the tour as well.
Julie apparently received something from Ron as well which I'll post here as soon as she comes home and reads her email.
There's some pretty interesting news I could share about all of this, but, um, I'd better not. The jinx factor and all.
And now, before I say another word about anything, the real major news of this morning: Eric has updated his tour blog.
I've really enjoyed the past couple of days -- besides pigging out on some incredible food, I've gotten a lot of writing done and am hoping against hope that I will tie with Susan for our "finish our mutual novels by the end of November" competition.
This Thanksgiving was one of the most relaxed and awesome holidays ever. Julie was in the kitchen at 7:30 a.m. all business. By 10:30, she'd baked two pies, roasted beets, chopped seventeen different vegetables in preparation for the stuffing and sidedishes, had the wild mushroom soup simmering on the stove, and made fresh whipped cream. All Gary had to do was basically come downstairs in the early afternoon and assemble things. It was like he had his own private prep/sous chef.
Here is said soup -- and you can see the swirls of mascarpone cheese, which is so damn decadent and rich it should carry a warning label:
Julie's roasted beet and pistacchio salad with dijon dressing:
And then we went into full eating mode and forgot to take pics of the actual meal, but I did remember during dessert -- unfortunately we had already cut into Julie's magnificent lattice top apple pie, but at least I got a shot of a slice a la mode:
And here's what is probably the best sweet potato pie I ever tasted, sans the whipped cream, which she shot it with a minute later:
Anyway, like I said, we had the best time, and yeah, yeah, we did continue our lame tradition of going around the table before digging in, saying what we were thankful for this year.
Eric went first and he gave an actual speech, naming so many things he loved about all of us and his life that I started to bawl like a baby. Julie was next, and she said "Well, as usual, Eric went on too long and he said everything I wanted to say, so I have to cut it short before the food gets cold and look at Mom, she's sobbing and she's not even going to be able to talk, so I'm just going to say how much I love all of you and let's eat. Mom?"
Julie: "Okay, we're skipping Mom...and Mom...get a kleenex, will you? Your nose is running and it's disgusting. Dad?"
But ha ha, Gary was teary eyed, too, and he couldn't speak, either. He managed a choked up "I love my family". At least I think that's what he said, anyway.
And now for the question I know you are all dying to ask: Did the "I've been a vegetarian for a year" Julie taste the organic, free range turkey breast she coerced me into buying?
The answer is Yes. She tasted one small slice, then asked for another, but stopped after that because she was afraid she'd get sick after not eating meat for months. However, we all agreed that we were happy she insisted on this turkey, because, yep, it was the most delicious bird ever and I will happily buy one every year from now on.
Hours later, Gary and Eric were on the road to Nashville, Tennessee to visit with Adrian Belew and pick up Eric's drums. When they finished the tour in Portland, Oregon, Ade's roadies drove all of Eric's equipment back with them to Nashville -- at the time we weren't aware that Eric was going right back out on tour with Chris Harford this coming weekend. It's a twelve hour drive from Philadelphia to Nashville, but Julie was so cute -- she packed the boys all of the Thanksgiving leftovers, even pie, so they wouldn't have to eat at any fast food restaurants on the various turnpikes they had to travel nor leave said turnpikes and get lost in search of real food. So they pulled over at a rest stop at lunch time, bought some coffee to stay awake (I think it was probably six hours into their drive), ate, and got back on the road again where they listened to the Beatles Christmas records which Eric had wisely burned onto CDs before their trip. It's been a yearly tradition in our house since the kids were babies that we always play the Beatles' Christmas records while we're trimming the tree. These records were mailed to members of the Beatle fan club back in the sixties and as I've mentioned here before, Gary was in said club until they disbanded in like 1980 and we have memorabilia like you would not believe. But years of playing them have rendered them charmingly scratchy...it's almost like listening to something from the turn of the century (sob)...so to have new remastered copies on CD is kinda weird but cool at the same time.
When they arrived at Ade's house in Nashville, Ade took them out to dinner at a really cool place -- Ade's wife and daughters were at her mother's house in Kentucky -- so it really was a boys' night out. The three of them discussed music and how fantastic their recent tour was and how they never wanted it to end...and even better...Ade discussed his plans for the future and again, I don't want to tempt the jinx factor, but there's some potentially very exciting news that I just might be reporting here within the next couple of weeks...right in time for that special music fan on your Christmas list.
And that's all I'm going to say on the subject.
That, and it looks like definite plans are being made for an extremely cool tour the last two weeks of March...I have no other details other than the possible opening acts, which just may blow a few minds.
Despite driving for twelve hours immediately following Thanksgiving dinner, Gary and Eric really wanted to be back in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the rest of the four day weekend here, so they grabbed a few hours sleep before heading right back on the road again.
But not before Adrian woke them at dawn and whispered "I'm going out to get you guys some really great donuts. Any special requests?"
Eric put the pillow over his head but Gary, used to me being awake at obscenely early hours, was fairly alert and replied "Chocolate for Eric, cinnamon for me."
So how endearing is that. This famous rock star -- this legend who played with King Crimson, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Paul Simon and Tori Amos -- went out at sunrise and bought my guys donuts.
Our two families have this mutual admiration/love thing going on which is so beautiful I'm getting teary eyed just typing this. Oh, I should add that while Eric and Gary were on the road to Nashville, Ade called here to check on their progress and to let me know he was reading my blog about the tour and he made me blush over how much he enjoyed it. We spoke for like almost an hour!
Anyway, back to the present. So Gary and Eric did in fact arrive home Saturday exhausted and happy; the drums are back in my living room, and let me give you the info for Eric's upcoming tour with Chris Harford:
This Friday night, December 1, they will be playing at The North Star Bar;
Saturday, December 2 -- and this is where it really gets interesting, they will be opening for The Benevento Russo Duo at The Recher Theatre near Baltimore, Maryland, which looks like the coolest venue ever...and here's how they have it listed on their website in case you are too lazy to click on the link:
"Walther Productions Presents
BENEVENTO / RUSSO DUO
Tom Hamilton's American Babies
Chris Harford and the Band Of Changes
Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) - Scott Metzger (Particle)
Eric Slick (Adrian Belew)
Saturday, December 2"
I'm kinda bummed because I hear Benevento Russo are incredible, it's probably going to be a huge, sold out show, but it doesn't appear I'll be able to go because Gary has another committment that evening and I have no way of getting there.
And on Sunday, December 3, Eric will be playing with Chris Harford at The Iota Club and Cafe in Washington, D.C.
Even more exciting, Eric, Chris, Scott, and the guys from Ween will be at WXPN, a public radio station which plays the only listenable music in the entire City of Philadelphia, doing a live radio interview/performance next Friday, December 8, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.
I'm pretty sure that's all the news for today but you never know. In the meantime, I need to edit a few thousand more chapters...arghh...I've learned the only real way to pick up errors is to print out the entire manuscript and read it out loud.
So that's what I'll be doing in case anyone needs me.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Adrian Belew and Eric Slick at The Vault two weeks ago
Hey, you didn't think I was going to post a picture of a pilgrim, did you?
Okay, this blog has been around for three Thanksgivings and now, as has become my yearly tradition, I am stoked to post what the whacked-out Slicks are having for dinner.
Much to my considerable relief, we decided years ago that the best way to spend holidays is to hide and basically stay hidden until Christmas.
And so we celebrate Thanksgiving by not inviting anyone over and enjoying the company of our immediate family and the dog, whom I secretly think we all love best...and yeah, yeah, okay, really digging the food.
This year is tricky because it's the first holiday both kids are vegetarians but I do believe Julie may be starting to crack. She instructed me to buy an organic, free range turkey breast for like $99.00 a pound at a gourmet butcher shop as opposed to a generic .88 cents per pounder at the supermarket.
"If I do this will you eat some?" I asked her through narrowed eyes.
"Err...maybe," she said, obviously dreaming about delicious, moist breast meat and her father's famous fresh orange rosemary gravy.
Aha! She's caving! I can tell!
But why oh why when I hear the term "free range turkey"...though in this case, turkey breast...do I have a mental image of a headless, legless turkey wearing a pair of Nikes running wild and doing somersaults all over some farm?
Okay, enough musings from my sick mind though let me add that I will be reporting back here on Friday just how good a $99.00 turkey tastes and if Julie doesn't at least sample it, she may also know how it feels to wear one and I'll be reporting that as well.
Oh relax, I'm just joking. At least she's not in the kitchen right now trying to fashion a bird out of tofu.
Anyway, here's the rest of the menu, which will be a joint effort between Gary and Julie (think Iron Chef with two totally insane people who really, really know how to cook) while Eric and I fight over the computer in the living room and take turns yelling the football scores in to Gary as he slaves over a hot stove.
"Who is winning the Dallas game?" he'll shout while banging pots and pans.
"Psst...Eric...are we watching Dallas?"
"I have no idea, Mom. Are their uniforms yellow and black?"
"Err...I think they must be red, white and blue. Wait. Let me check on line."
"Mom, I can look. You've been on all day!"
"Do you two knuckleheads know the score yet?" Gary will holler again from the other room.
Eric and I will exchange guilty glances while one of us frantically starts changing channels on the television and one of us starts googling football teams.
Woo, I just really went off track, didn't I. Okay, I'll stop. Here's what we're having for dinner:
Wild mushroom soup featuring five different kinds of mushrooms, fresh herbs, vegetable stock, pureed and finished with mascarpone cheese;
Roasted beet salad with feta cheese, pistacchios, and mixed organic greens tossed with a roasted garlic dijon dressing;
Truly sick homemade biscuits with organic honey;
Stuffing made with toasted whole wheat baguettes, fried onions, baby carrots, celery and about a pound of butter;
Fresh string beans stir fried with crispy shallots and sliced almonds (no, sorry, no Campbells cream of mushroom soup or god forbid, canned onion rings);
Buttery mashed potatoes made with heavy cream and baby yukon golds;
Traditional lattice top mile high apple pie topped with Bassetts cinnamon ice cream and yes, Julie taught herself how to do lattice tops (picture to follow);
Sweet potato pie with brown sugar pecan streusel topping served with fresh whipped cream...and here's what a dork I am -- we have a real whipped cream dispenser which requires nitrous oxide cartridges and I go in to buy them at Williams Sonoma making all kinds of strained stupid small talk with a bored, pimply twenty year old clerk because God forbid he thinks I'm a junkie and am going to use them to get high.
Well, okay, I did consider it once...but that was the year I didn't buy enough wine.
Well, that had to be the one year we did have company...
We do have this one lame tradition right before we eat where we go around the table and each one of us says why we are thankful...okay, yes, I know, I did say it was lame, didn't I? But this year I have so much to be happy about that the family is going to start looking at their watches when I start talking and the free range bird is going to hop out of its roasting pan and make a getaway. I'll spare you all the details of what I'm probably going to say, though.
You can thank me later.
Now. On to some writing news.
Both Susan Henderson and I are nominated for The 2006 Web Blogs Award. Sue is nominated for Best New Blog and I'm nominated for Best Diarist.
I was actually a top ten finalist for the Best New Blog of 2004 Awards though of course I came in 10th and was actually cranky about that. I didn't realize the odds when I was nominated two years ago...it's pretty freaking incredible I managed to even make the finals but that was the year I blogged an entire novel. Now the competition is even more intense - there's something like 50,000,000 blogs out there. But seriously, if Sue and/or I do make it to the finalist position, I have no choice but to undertake a serious campaign for your votes. Cool?
Guess who is not nominated? I know because I checked. Missing from the lists I checked, anyway...though admittedly I did not check them all, just Best Blog, Best Individual Blog...is Neil Gaiman!
Happy Thanksgiving, Susan.
I notice that I was nominated by some guy named Mike I do not know so Mike, whoever you are, I thank you...and I was also nominated by Susan. Too funny. Mike writes in the nomination that my blog is "A hilarious daily diary of a baby boomer mother with two rock star siblings.
But yeah, it's true. I can't find Neil Gaiman's blog listed anywhere. I guess it's up to me, huh. Okay, I'll do it. How embarrassing. I am now a certified uber-dork. Oh well, in case you want proof, I have just nominated him for Best Blog right here.
But only because I don't want him nominated as best "diarist". Ha!
Hey, I'm up for a blog award. Cut me a break. From now on I have to play dirty and post my best stuff!
How about my kids on stage in Amsterdam following a brilliant concert with Adrian Belew?
Oh, I am so shameless.
How about my son the drummer, sporting Gaiman locks?
A pic of my beautiful daughter?
My son and daughter hanging out together pre-Belew show in San Diego?
Oh God. I really am bad. Offering up my kids, Adrian Belew and Neil Gaiman for a Best of Blog Award. God forbid I actually do make it to finalist. I'll be setting up a webcam.
Ahem. This time I am kidding.
To redeem myself, I also just nominated DGM Live as Best Music Blog, 2006. And it is.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Eric Slick and father Gary Slick crashing out at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago...where they spent like twenty-four hours waiting for a connecting flight to Philadelphia
So things are back to normal around Casa Slick...and when I say normal, that means quite the opposite of what most people consider ordinary but hey, that's why my life is interesting.
No sooner does Eric get back to Philadelphia after midnight Thursday night that he gets a telephone call, yells "Mom, wake me at dawn", and Friday morning hopped on a bus for New York City 9:00 a.m. Friday morning to play a Chris Harford gig in Vermont that night -- some ten hours away -- and then another gig Saturday night in Latham, New York (which is about six hours away near Albany). Then, after playing for hours Saturday night, he got a lift into New York City from one of the band members and then took New Jersey transit home...where he arrived totally wiped out at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
Then the telephone calls started. One from a management company interested in Eric and Julie's project with guitarist Sarah Zimmermann who wanted to meet with them in New York City tonight...then one from a guitarist with whom Eric had a previous commitment made six weeks ago to record today and tomorrow somewhere in New Jersey. Eric had to juggle his schedule still semi-comatose from two weeks of touring the west coast and that crazy two day swing with Chris...and in typical Eric style, tried to make everyone happy and wished he had a cloning machine. Just as he's about to lose his mind altogether, he had a wonderful telephone call with Mr. Belew himself, setting up plans for a weekend in Nashville...Gary and Eric are leaving Philadelphia right after Thanksgiving dinner to take the eleven hour drive to Ade's house so that Eric can pick up his drums because we can't wait to have them shipped...Eric goes on tour again with Chris Harford the following Friday.
Anyway, that's enough out of me because I have a novel to finish but have a look at this pic from one of the final shows on the Belew tour...it says so much (again) about how much these three love each other and well, I just adore it.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The West Coast Adrian Belew Power Trio Tour: Wrapping it up...and even big stars still get starry eyed over the Beatles
The above photos are of Julie Slick and Adrian Belew playing/holding Paul McCartney's bass...yeah, that's right...Paul's bass, which he then signed and gave to a promoter friend of Adrian's (whose amazing Frank Lloyd Wright house the trio visited when they performed in Phoenix, Arizona)
And there's Ade, playing a guitar signed by all four Beatles! I have it on good authority that even Adrian was excited to be holding that axe in his hands let alone playing it.
So my family is home...finally. I say finally because even though they left Oregon at 5:00 a.m. for Philadelphia, the insane weather we had on the east coast combined with helacious weather on the west coast prevented them from getting home and they were re-routed and stuck in Chicago's O'Hare airport for literally a full day.
"I think the airport should put us up in a hotel," Julie sniffed to me on the phone. "It's their obligation, right?"
Right, Jules. That's why we never see television/newspapers photos of people camping out and sprawled out on airport floors when their flights are cancelled. Ah, the innocence of youth, thinking that when you are wronged, adults will make it right for you. Uh-uh, especially huge corporations.
Well, in any event, I did try to help them from my computer in Philadelphia...scoping out nearby Chicago hotels to put on my credit card, etc. but the thing is, the airport wouldn't give them a specific time for a new flight nor would they officially cancel theirs...though of course then I got the telephone call from hell from Julie that "the plane isn't taking off yet because they say it's too small to handle the weather but they said it should be okay in maybe another hour."
Let me tell you what that telephone call did to me. First of all, when Julie called me, we were under a tornado watch for the next two hours and severe thunder and lightning storms for the next five. High winds took every single leaf off of the giant tree outside my house within minutes -- and that tree usually isn't bare until Christmas. The rain sounded like it was going to break every window in this place...and she tells me they are going to board a tiny commuter plane?
I was already pretty shaken up that day. As I reported here a few days ago, Julie and Eric knew I was depressed and lonely while the family was out on tour so they sent me a beautiful pair of handmade turquoise and pearl earrings from New Mexico. I was walking downtown in said rain storm and when I got home, realized I was only wearing one earring...somewhere, somehow, I'd lost one. I burst into tears, even though that's not like me. Having lost my mother at a young age, I'm proud of the fact that mere possessions don't mean much to me anymore...things can get lost/broken, etc. and I know it's not the end of the world. But these earrings are really something special and I also knew Julie and Eric spent a couple of hours picking them out during their precious little down time on the tour which gave them even greater significance.
How would I ever tell them I lost one on the second day I wore them? I went on line frantically, trying to find a replacement, but no luck...they are that unique. I then thought about taking the remaining earring to a jeweler and having him/her re-create it, but how could I get away with that because I knew Julie would want to see me wearing them as soon as she got home.
Anyway, to make a long story at least a little bit shorter, hours and hours later, the Slick family arrived home exhausted after midnight...I was a complete wreck watching the flight arrivals on line at Philadelphia International Airport, memorized their flight number, and actually had television on and made deals with a God I don't even believe in...please no bad news about Flight 638...please no bad news about Flight 638...by the time they got home I was a complete basket case and wouldn't you know it, the first words out of Julie's mouth when she saw me was "You're not wearing the earrings!"
But like I said, when they got home it was really late and we were all exhausted so I acted like I didn't hear her and excitedly oohed and ahhed over seeing them for the first time in over two weeks and then we all crashed to our respective bedrooms.
I don't know what drove me to do this, but early the next morning, before either Julie or Eric were awake, I re-traced my exact path into town. Now mind you there had been the aforesaid terrible storm the night before, there were mud puddles, flooded streets, and leaves everywhere. I'd walked approximately two miles, too. But I remembered my route, which included a cut through a tree lined area/path right off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which was now in even worse condition than the rest of the area...wait, let me see if I can find a photo on line of this part of town...yeah, here's one, but it's taken on a summer day. Picture this same area in a monsoon.
Anyway, I was in tears and I have lousy vision to begin with despite obscenely expensive custom contact lenses but when I'm determined, look out. And sure enough, as I trudged through all kinds of disgusting mud and piles of wet leaves, I saw a glimpse of turquoise. My heart raced and I couldn't believe it, but there was my earring...a little bit bent where someone must have stepped on it, but for the most part, in tact.
What are the odds? But you know what? Something told me I was going to find it, despite the weather from hell and despite the fact that the area is huge and there are 2,000,000 people who trudge through there each day. Anyway, I just tried taking a picture of myself with my new earrings and it kept turning out so hilariously bad that I took one last shot where I was laughing my ass off at what a complete and hopeless geek I am and anyway, I finally managed one where at least you can kind of see said earring:
Yeah, I learned how to use photoshop and I'm dangerous now. (Not really. iPhoto has an "adjust your photo" feature I just discovered and I played with it, made myself orange, and then couldn't change it back.)
Anyway, back to the Belew tour -- so my family said it was the most amazing experience of their lives; the tour will resume in approximately March of 2007 but it could be sooner, could be later depending on a number of factors...and definite plans are in the works to record Side 4 Live.
I got a cool email from a guitarist with whom I wasn't familiar...her name is Jennifer Batten, and man does she have some creds. Well. of course I had to immediately google her after she wrote to me -- I mean, this is me we are talking about. Anyway, here's what she had to say:
"I played guitar for Michael Jackson for 10 years and Jeff Beck for 3. Saw your kids last night in Portland and holy crap---FANTASTIC!!!! So refreshing also whenever on the rare occasion, I see a great female player on stage!!!! Kudos--Jennifer"
So then I of course wrote back and thanked her and she sent me another cool message:
"I told Adrian as soon as he's done touring with your kids....I GET THEM!! They're going to go a long way in the business I think..."
So that was very cool, and I had a listen to Jennifer's music...I'm going to see if I can get an MP3 of hers to put up on my blog in a few weeks.
And speaking of that..
You will notice that I have retired Citizen Cope for now and my plan is to post a new MP3 every week of someone who may be new to a lot of you -- I really want to promote independent artists and encourage you to buy their CDs. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know for the past month or so I've been flipping over a CD called "View" by Bryan Beller. A song off of that recording, called Seven Percent Grade, is what you are listening to now. So I've put up a link on the right hand where you can grab a copy of View...and if there's anyone who is reading now who would like me to consider posting their music in weeks to come, drop me an email with the link to your site. Your stuff has to be uploaded to an actual web address that I can embed in the template of this blog for it to work, okay?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Fans all over the west coast continue to find me via this blog and send me the world's coolest photos -- these are courtesy of Peter, who caught the Adrian Belew Power Trio in Santa Fe, New Mexico
So the tour is officially over -- it ended last night in Portland, Oregon and my family will be home today. While I miss them like you would not believe (well, yeah, you would, actually) and they miss me, I don't think any of us want this tour to end...especially Adrian. I talked to Gary on the phone yesterday and he was close to tears...Ade has said repeatedly that this is one of the best tours of his life; that Julie and Eric are his band and even more importantly, we're all like his extended family, and he is really excited about future plans which of course include recording Side 4 Live with an accompanying DVD and a 2007 tour which will take the trio all over the world.
In the meantime, though, Ade will return to Nashville and record with his other fab project, The Bears, Eric goes on a three day tour with Chris Harford starting Friday, December 1 at The North Star Bar in Philadelphia, then December 2 in Baltimore and December 3 in Washington, D.C. -- I don't know the venues yet but will of course post them as soon as I get that info from Eric -- then he takes off from December 28, 2006 through January 13, 2007 with Project Object, and those dates I do have and here they are:
Project/Object with Ike Willis
performing the music of Frank Zappa
New Year's '06-'07 Tour
12/28 Thu - The 8x10 Club - Baltimore, MD
12/29 Fri - Mexicali Blues - Teaneck, NJ
12/30 Sat - Century Lounge - Providence, RI
12/31 Sun - Pearl Street Nightclub - Northampton, MA
1/2 Tue - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA
1/3 Wed - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA
1/4 Thu - The Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
1/5 Fri - Martyrs' - Chicago, IL
1/6 Sat - Martyrs' - Chicago, IL
1/9 Tue - World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
1/10 Wed - TO BE ANNOUNCED - TBA
1/11 Thu - Regatta Bar - Boston, MA
1/12 Fri - Nectar's - Burlington, VT
1/13 Sat - Revolution Hall - Troy, NY
In between all this, Eric and Julie will continue their work with the Sarah Zimmerman Trio, and wonders of all wonders, I managed to add one of their songs (written by Julie -- think I'm a little proud?) to my own pathetic MySpace site...and I realize that being a writer, I need to make that a better place since most of my "friends" are fellow authors so I will be updating that shortly and even though I still don't love it, I will be participating more on MySpace in the future.
I really don't dig it, I'm being honest here, but I sort of feel like I have no choice at the moment. And at least I get to hear my kids' music when I sign on, so wtf.
Julie's plans include recording several bands at her new studio -- here's her MySpace site with further details and contact information, and she will also be teaching a Master Class in recording at the Paul Green School of Rock Music, Downingtown branch on Saturdays. She's also contemplating a return to Drexel University to finish out her senior year and graduate but may continue to defer if her career continues to flourish and she goes into the recording studio herself.
Speaking of MySpace, I found a cool review of the Belew show in Seattle right here courtesy of my new pal, The Propheteer (love that name):
"...Adrian is touring with what he calls his Power Trio, himself, Eric Slick (19) on drums and Julie Slick (20) on bass, a brother & sister duo introduced to Adrian by Paul "School of Rock" Green in February of 2006. You may have seen the movie about Paul Green's efforts? There are two other efforts (possibly inspired by each other) you may have heard of, the Jack Black movie or Gene Simmon's Rock School. These kids are in Adrian's words, the two best young muscians in the United States at this time. And that was exactly what we saw last night. Tonight they will be playing at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, Oregon with the notable California Guitar Trio.
Together, they are mind blowing."
The Seattle show had some luminaries in the audience - ha ha - the Vice President of Starbucks and the man who does story boards for The Family Guy -- in fact, he attended 3-4 of the shows. It's amazing how many great fans attended more than one show -- Daryl Darko, Burton Lo, Rena Fay -- see my Incredible Thank You Post below for links and more details. It's a testament to what great musicians these guys are and what a fantastic show they put on.
Here's some more stuff I found via blog/google stalking:
The California Guitar Trio, who opened up for the Belew Trio in California and both Oregon shows and already had one blog post about them, wrote about the experience again right here:
"...This past Friday evening we played with the Adrian Belew Power Trio at Villa Montalvo. The carriage house theater is an actual carriage house that was converted into a beautiful small theater. The show was completely sold out. CGT played a one-hour set to open the show. The highlight of the show for me was playing 2 pieces with Adrian at the end of our set. We've known Adrian for many years, but this was the first time that we actually played together. After a short intermission the Adrian Belew Power Trio began a very powerful set. With Julie Slick on Bass and Erick Slick on drums, the 19 and 20 year old brother and sister that Adrian met at the School of Rock are absolutely amazing players! The show was absolutely phenomenal. I had heard reports from friends that had seen the Power Trio recently that they were good. And I was completely blown away. So good!"
I also couldn't help but notice Eric received some really cool comments on his soon to be up-dated tour blog...here's a few of them:
"Hey Eric, A saw the show in San Fran, man, I CANNOT believe your talent! amazing show. I met your teacher too, he seemed like a pretty interesting guy. It was great when you'd do little random things in between songs, you did em good too!
I don't count on you remembering, but I was the only kid in Slim's, a young Crim-head at age 16, and I'm so jealous you get to tour with the man himself at your age!"
I was the guy you stuck your tongue out at in Solana Beach (memorable moment between you and I, I'm sure...) and then I stalked you in a respectful manner following you to Long Beach. Your mom got me stoked up on Wednesday afternoon so I felt compelled to make the drive.
Love your music, love your energy. You three definitely have a great groove with Adrian and I'm grateful to have been able to catch up with you three.
I hope you continue to have amazing adventures and I look forward to seeing you again."
"Hey - just saw the power trio last Friday (11/10/2006) at Villa Montalvo - You all tore it up! I've been a Belew fan for many, many years and I've liked all the lineups, solo to sextet (w/Crimson).
You and your sister bring a great deal of energy and talent to the shows and are such a great mix with Adrian's "I'm the happiest guy in the world and I'm loving what I'm doing on stage right now" attitude.
Anyway - you all rocked Montalvo and we'll all be watching you and your sister's career with great interest."
Eric, I saw you last night (Nov 5, 2006) in Phoenix. You guys rocked like Atlas
Amazing drumming, Eric. You got all the licks and back beats. You and Julie nailed Frame by Frame, complete with time-gone-missing!"
"I was at the Rhythm Room show last night, as well, and was absolutely blown away. I've seen King Crimson three times, and it was great, but the three of you playing last night absolutely blew me away. You and Julie have an amazing energy together, and everyone on stage seemed to be having a blast. I can't wait to see what the two of you do next.
Good luck with the rest of your tour!"
"WHOMP!! I was so happy to see the power trio back to back, nov.7 and 8. They rocked hard. Just like the good old days. Three musicians with minimal equipment(sort of...ADE) in a small club setting. IT WAS GREAT!!! doing Thela Hun Ginjeet was ambitious and totaly mind blowing with Adrian going all the way to the stratosphere and julie and eric holding down the beat. UNREAL. I hope someone video taped it.
Thanks for everything!"
I'm following your and your Mum's blogs with great interest from the safety of my workplace desk here in England. I've just read that you stayed at the Habitat Suites in Austin, a place I always stay at when I'm over in Austin. It really is a little haven isn't it and Donald, on reception one hell of a nice guy!
Keep up the good work boy!
Hey, Steve Luckett, is this you? If so, very cool and drop me a comment here, okay?
Anyway, it goes without saying that I cannot wait to be reunited with my family today and escape the madness, meaning I'm currently watching the news and am totally appalled at what's in the headlines -- airline mergers which will cause huge fare hikes for all of us and what the hell happened to the American concept of no monopolies? -- murderer OJ Simpson, craving the spotlight with a new book and tv show How I Would Have Did It (if he did kill his wife and Ron Goldman...IF? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? HE DID IT, ASSHOLES...ARE YOU ALL INSANE?) and Fox Broadcasting system has really stooped to a new dirtball level in promoting the same; people camping out for three days in helacious weather to get a Playstation 3 (get a life, morons. Why not expend your time and energy doing something worthwhile, like protesting the war and global warming and the aforesaid monopolies)...and dear God, also making the national headlines is which celebrity couple won Dancing with the Stars?
Give me a break.
Oh well, thank god for music and the fact that my family is unaffected by bullshit like PS3 and celebrity dancing. Oh my god, I'm getting nauseous just thinking about how far our society has declined...but I'm hoping that this new generation -- the kids Julie and Eric's age (do they have a name yet? They certainly aren't the Me Generation or Generation Slacker) are our real hope for the future. These kids want to make art and music and helped to vote the evil Republicans out of office. Yes!!!!
Anyway, that's it for now -- I have tons of writing news to report and once I finish acting as unofficial publicist for the Belew tour (hey, I still need to find out what happened at the Oregon shows), it will be back to the business of being an author and hawking my books and those of my friends.
Well, okay, you know I'm still going to talk music. You guys enjoying the Citizen Cope MP3 I have playing now? Just you wait...I have all kinds of cool stuff lined up in the future for your listening pleasure.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Photo of the Adrian Belew Power Trio at Villa Montalvo, CA, courtesy of the California Guitar Trio
So I spoke to a shaken Gary yesterday -- after two weeks of sunshine in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, the Adrian Belew Power Trio had to endure driving eleven hours in a snowstorm to Oregon for their final three shows. What made it more difficult is that they don't salt the roads out there -- in fact, it's against the law to drive without chains on your tires, something which is totally illegal on the east coast (driving with chains, that is)...and between the eleven hour distance and the fact that they were driving a huge rented van, Gary and Adrian, who shared the driving, were happy to reach Eugene, Oregon alive and with everyone in one piece.
With two shows left on the Adrian Belew Power Trio...tonight in Seattle at the Triple Door and tomorrow in Portland at the Aladdin Theater, I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude to the following...oh, but first, when I was just on the website for the Aladdin Theater lifting the link, I noticed that if you review a show you attend there, you can win free tickets to an upcoming concert as well as having your review posted on their website...so why not kill two birds with one stone and write a stellar summary of the Belew show tomorrow night and win tickets to see some legendary performers on their upcoming schedule -- the first names I saw were Mose Allison and Al Kooper -- and I am glad to see the name of Al Kooper because I know he had some serious medical problems and if you aren't familiar with his work, he was a giant back in the underground rock movement of the late sixties, early seventies. His work with the late legendary guitarist Mike Bloomfield is fucking classic and a must listen for all aspiring musicians out there.
Anyway, without further ado -- thank you, thank you, thank you, to:
Daryl for his absolutely fabulous blog posts of the last few days...a few of which actually brought tears to my eyes...here's an excerpt from his latest entry:
"I'm not sure how to start to delve into the story of what happened to me last night. Through my life becoming less private (through the simple act of blogging) my world has become larger. I was invited as a guest to photograph a concert last night! Bleeding hell! You all saw the shitty snapshots I posted from the show at Slim's (which the allowance of my attending that show is attributed to the graciousness of Leah and the management at Slim's. Honest to god they have given me free tickets to 5 different shows there!). And one lonely mother sitting at home the next morning was searching the internet for pictures of her dear children that performed the night before. One soul found another...
I wasn't nervous in the least strangely enough. An hour before the doors opened I saw Julie Slick looking in the window of a music store next to The Catalyst. "Are you Julie?" I inquired. "Yeah." she said. -=Well, I've been talking to your mother on the internet... *Are you Daryl?=- I was talking to a musician from "the band"... I've never! And then after the show I walked up to Eric Slick and told him that my retirement dream was to start a Captain Beefheart cover band. He blew that idea out of the water by boasting that he was "already in a Beefheart cover band..." hahahaha! anyway, told him that I had been talking to his mom on the internet.. "Are you Daryl?" I almost feel part of the family, gosh!
To Daryl again for teaching me how to add music to my blog...right now you are listening to the amazing, amazing Citizen Cope but in weeks to come, I will try and post something new every couple of days.
And to Daryl once more, because I just noticed this, for putting up amazing animated photos of the Belew Trio on his blog (I just saw those pics two minutes ago...he must be adding them the same time I'm posting now...Daryl! How freaking cool! Teach me how to do this! Please?) Meanwhile, I love hanging on his blog because Three of a Perfect pair plays throughout and I sit here singing along. Hey, I told you he was the one who taught me how to add music to my blog, and if anyone else wants to know, drop me a line and I'll email you the top secret code. Ha!
To Joel Klein, who not only took the fantastic photos I posted here of the Belew show in Phoenix, Arizona, but actually snail-mailed me a dozen eight by ten glossies of said photos, which are currently being matted and framed and will be hung on a prominent wall in my living room...stay tuned for a digital shot of that when it's finished;
To Burton Lo, who also furnished me with breathtaking photos of the Long Beach and Solana Beach shows...see Burton's blog post about that as well;
To author Sid Smith of DGM Live, who not only provides daily updates of all things Belew on his site, he just sent me an amazing CD -- Jakko Jakszyk Bruised Romantic Glee Club -- and as soon as the Belew tour ends, I promise a comprehensive review of this simply awesome recording on my blog.
To Bryan Beller, speaking of amazing musicians and CDs, for the kind mention in his blog today (ha ha - I'm such a vanity Google stalker)...which states, in part:
"THE SLICK FAMILY: You probably have heard about the amazing new young phenom drummer Eric Slick, who played a gig with Keneally and I in St. Louis back in October and kicked major ass. He also has a bass-playing sister named Julie, and the two of them are currently serving as the rhythm section for none other than Adrian Belew (is that not the coolest, cutest thing you've ever heard of?). So when a female Slick found me on MySpace, I quickly approved the friend request and wrote her back, telling her that I couldn't wait to see her play with Eric. Imagine my embarrassment when Robin Slick wrote me back and informed me that she was, in fact, Eric's mother. But that miscommunication turned into a new friendship with a very cool self-confessed "rock 'n' roll Mom" and professional, published novelist. I highly recommend checking out her voluminous, constantly updated blog, as well as her brand new website (and not just because she has kind things to say about about my album View). She's a warm, wonderful spirit and, obviously, she brought those kids up pretty damned well."
Thanks, Bryan. I'm blushing. And please click on the actual link to Bryan's blog, there's some really cool stuff there as well as information on purchasing a special tribute DVD to his late friend, bassist Wes Wehmiller, who died tragically of thyroid cancer at age 33...Bryan writes beautifully about Wes here and I can't read it without my eyes filling with tears. I posted this link before, but Bryan's amazing autobiography, The Life of Bryan, which also includes poignant memories of Wes, can be found here.
To Belew uberfan Rena Fay, a/k/a Tickledrop, who not only attended four (I think four, could be five, could be six) of the west coast Belew shows, she provided unbelievable goodies for the Adrian Belew Power Trio and Gary, which included incredible concert stickers, buttons, and best of all, a huge basket of organic goodies with breads and pastries...all I can say is, my family and Adrian are totally overwhelmed with her generousity.
To Todd V. Wolfson, the amazing celebrity photographer from Austin, Texas, who was the first fan to send me photos (Austin was the second night into the Belew tour), and with whom I had two really cool telephone conversations over possible plans to work together in the future...yet another kindred spirit and I'm really chuffed to know there are still people out there my age who are still hip and cool and didn't forget what we learned in the love and peace era;
To Zappa historian Andrew Greenaway, who provided me with information about a certain celebrity Gary met on the tour, and then was kind enough to link my blog and talk about Gary on his own website right here;
To the California Guitar Trio, who opened for the Belew Trio in California, last night in Eugene Oregon (no news of that yet, though as the family is probably still asleep), and again tomorrow night in Portland, Oregon...for being super nice and supportive to Julie and Eric...in fact, I found the above photo on their fantastic and comprehensive website, which includes lots of cool tour related stuff and most importantly, guitarist Bert Lams' tour diary, which states, in part:
"At the end of our set Adrian walked out and joined us on two surf tunes: Pipeline and Walk Don't Run. This was the first time we played with him; another exciting moment on this tour! Adrian plays with two very young and amazing musicians from the School of Rock in Pennsylvania. Their dad was traveling with them. I saw him on the side of the stage, beaming with pride and joy during their set. Adrian is a legendary guitar player; he played with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, King Crimson, Laurie Anderson and Talking Heads, to name a few. He uses a lot of unusual effects, delays and distortion sounds; I loved his reverse delay playing, and his wild rhinoceros and dinosaur sounds in his set! He creates an amazing array of sounds on the guitar, and not only that; he IS one of the finest guitarists on the planet! It was a great honor to have him play with us."
To Julie and Eric Slick, who knew how lonely and depressed I've been getting as the days progress here all alone, besides calming me and humoring me with telephone calls and emails, sent me a magnificent pair of turquoise and pearl earrings made by a Native American which they bought when they performed in New Mexico which I just received late yesterday...if they didn't have my digital camera, I'd take a pic of them now but I surely will when the return;
And to Susan Henderson, who knows I need to be using this down time to write and has a true handle on my competitive spirit...we've challenged each other to finish our novels by the end of the month and even if that doesn't happen, at least I know we're both giving it our best shot. Susan, I know you are having some "problems" right now and here's a new Neil Gaiman (and unidentified friend) to cheer you up and make you melt...actually, I think this is the girl who is an amazing seven year old published comic book artist but I'm not sure.
And hey, speaking of my novel, which Susan had the NERVE to insinuate I wasn't working on, I posted an excerpt in my comments section yesterday but it was unedited and full of..arghh..errors...so in yet another unprecedented move, I'm re-posting that section right now: (Minor children hide your eyes but no, this is not erotica, this is from my mainstream creative non-fiction novel)
"“Ho ho, you want to know about The Rubber Room, do you?”
“Uh…not if it’s anything scary.” I was dead serious when I said that but Mick thought I was kidding.
“Ooh yes, very scary, love. Terrifying even. It’s merely a place on the third floor with a high tech bar and thick rubber walls. Three guesses why the rubber…”
“So people don’t get hurt dancing drunk?”
He burst out laughing. Hey, I thought it was a good answer. I stuck my tongue out at him.
“Okay, Mick, why the rubber?”
“It’s easily washable.”
“Easily washable? What, do people get shot in there?”
Now I had him really going – he giggled like an idiot. But why else would walls need washing if not for being splattered with blood? Ugh, I didn’t want to go to Stage Three after all. Topless men, people stuck in air ducts, bloody murders…
“You daft thing, you,” he said, ruffling my hair. “Easily washable for all of the sex and drugs going on up there.”
“Oh. My. God,” I replied, unable to keep my cool. Well, the coke didn’t help with that either. I had to be seconds away from a coronary. I’d never live to see my eighteenth birthday. And I actually preferred the idea of cleaning up after a shooting as opposed to walls that had to be hosed down after sex.
“Oh, don’t worry. First of all, there are actually even more secret places above The Rubber Room. Areas where private sex takes place. In fact, it’s an inside joke that while hundreds are dancing downstairs, the club’s owners are above them, fucking their brains out and snorting kilos. When you hear people talking about “upstairs at Stage Three”, well, there’s upstairs and there’s the real upstairs,” he said with a bored shrug.
“Oh. Okay. So now I know. But um, why did you say ‘First of all’? What’s second of all? Let me guess -- that must be the second floor. What happens up there? Lobotomies?”
Ha ha, thanks for indulging me...but I couldn't bear the mistake ridden version I posted yesterday and who knows how many people might have read it. Err...judging by the comments, at least two? Ha! Have I mentioned how neurotic I am? And how anal retentive?
Oh well. There's much that needs to be done today. And just two days now until my family returns. So that's it for now.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I thought for a change of pace I'd post some very cool black and white art shots of the Adrian Belew Power Trio taken last night in Santa Cruz, California...but you can view the whole incredible slide show, which includes many more amazing shots both in color and black and white, courtesy of Daryl Darko, right here. I haven't talked to my family yet as to how the show went or any other details, but I will report back as soon as I do. I did talk to Gary before I went to bed last night, which was 8:00 p.m. Pacific time and 11:00 p.m. here, and he said that Santa Cruz was an amazing town...hippies everywhere and really cool shops owned by people and not corporations. Have I mentioned how jealous I am to not be on this tour? Gah!
But you know, the internet is really amazing. I continue to make friends daily via this blog and people who find it after attending Belew shows. Daryl, who took the above photos, really touched me this morning when I read his most recent blog post.
I don't talk about my "former" pre-writer life a lot, but for many years, I worked for a wonderful man named Larry Friedman who was more than an employer -- he is a mentor, best friend, and major influence in my life. I went to work for him as a very young girl and one thing he taught me was to always thank people for a job well done and make them feel appreciated. Larry undid years of damage suffered in my childhood by giving me a sense of self-worth and confidence...he made me feel good about myself every single day. When he retired four years ago, he broke my heart but realizing I couldn't stay in that office without him, his retirement gave me the chance to pursue my dream of being a writer. Anyway, so as I've been google searching every morning for blurbs and photos about the Adrian Belew Power Trio's west coast tour this week and last, I make sure that I leave grateful thank yous and comments on the blogs of strangers kind enough to post about shows they've seen and every single one of them has written back to me...and I now have many new acquaintences this week -- living everywhere from Austin, Texas to all over California -- who I know will be friends for life.
Life is pretty funny, though. I see Daryl has a poll on his blog which asks:
Who would you most love to have a cup of coffee with?
All of the above
None of the above
Ha ha, notice name #3. Naturally, I voted. Now listen. Check out the current results. How in the hell is Christopher Walken beating Bob Dylan and Neil Gaiman? C'mon, hit the "back button" on that poll and vote. This is a travesty!
Okay, it occurs to me that I now have five days left before my family returns and two novels to wrap up, so I must get off-line and start writing. But before I go, here's the new cover for Three Days in New York City -- I gave you the UK link because it's been doing much better in sales over in England (I wonder why ha ha)...and it's got a new cover because for some unknown reason, Borders wasn't happy with it and asked for a new design before stocking it on their shelves. Another Bite of the Apple will have a similar cover, but with a red bitten apple instead and a few other differences...I'll post it when I get it from my publisher.
Finally, for all of your writers out there, this totally cracked me up. It's called "About That Novel You've Been Writing...." (Family Guy is like one of my favorite shows on television right now. What the hell is going on with the Simpsons? Did they fire all of their writers? Good god, they are spiraling downhill this season -- some of their shows this season are literally unwatchable -- and it's breaking my heart. Oh Matt G? I'm available and I'm funny! Hire me!)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Photo of Julie Slick on stage at Slim's in San Francisco, courtesy of Daryl Darko
ETA: ERIC HAS UPDATED HIS TOUR BLOG. (And it's hilarious)
Title of this post courtesy of Simon & Garfunkle (not the Bangles, damn it!)...and it's my theme song today because I really can't screw around blogging today; I need to work on my novel(s) as while I continue to miss my family like you would not believe, they will be home Thursday and this current state of loneliness is therefore prime writing time for me.
And truth to tell (ha), Gary laid so much stuff on me about events that occurred at the Adrian Belew Power Trio show in San Francisco Thursday evening my head is spinning but then he followed it up with "You can't report any of this stuff I'm telling you in your blog..."
All I can say is, what he told me is mind boggling, exciting, and I'm not saying another word because I believe in the "jinx factor". So I leave you now with a You Tube someone posted of the San Diego show...just a little taste of what these guys sound like in concert:
I do want to copy a blurb I read on DGM Live, though:
“I just returned from the Adrian show at Slim’s in San Francisco.
Some Side One and Three, some older stuff, some Crimson stuff, a stunning version of George Harrison’s Within You Without You. All in all, a great evening of great music.
I’m a law student at a school about ten blocks from Slim’s, and I had to miss the opening act to attend Torts class. Luckily, I got to the venue about five minutes before Adrian and the Slick rhythm section (a TRIUMPHANT musical family) hit the stage.
One of the most impressive things about the performance was Julie Slick tapping out Tony’s parts on Elephant Talk on a Fender Jazz. As something of a bassist myself in my pre-law school days, I was mightily impressed.
If Adrian’s tour comes to your town, GO!!!!”
The rest of Ade’s live schedule is as follows
● 11/11 - The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
● 11/13 - McDonald Theatre - Eugene, OR
● 11/14 - Triple Door - Seattle, WA
● 11/15 - Aladdin Theater - Portland, OR
Oh, one final thing. For my writer pals out there...Frank Daniels has written one of the most gut wrenching, emotional pieces about what's it's really like to be a writer over at Lit Park today. It moved my soul so much that I really do refuse to do anything but write today...oh, other than have dinner out tonight with another amazing writer...Deb, if you are reading this, click on Frank's piece...I can guarantee you will sit at your computer and weep like I am weeping...but I think Frank's piece should be a required read for authors and wannabe authors everywhere.
Friday, November 10, 2006
All of the photos I'm posting here today of Julie Slick, Eric Slick, and Adrian Belew were taken Wednesday night at the show in Long Beach, California, by the amazing Burton Lo...and to see these and many more, visit Burton's Flickr site and watch them as a slide show for maximum enjoyment right here. Also in the slide show you will see the trio's opening act, Saul Zonana, whose CD Adrian produced...Saul is also former bassist for the Crash Test Dummies -- he's an amazing performer and a hell of a nice guy. I met him when he opened for the trio in New York City in August and I seriously recommend you check him out.
Anyway, Burton and I became cyber friends when I discovered his Flickr site...naturally I had to write to him following the photos I found that he took in Solana Beach...and after a day of emailing back and forth, Burton actually decided to take the very long drive (and with a head cold yet) to Long Beach and catch another show! You can read all about it in his blog .
The following shots were taken at the end of the trio's performance, and is it just me, or can you just feel the love these three have for each other? I think this series of shots says so, so much about the band's unique and amazing chemistry:
This next shot is apparently one of an insane King Crimson fan...I've read about him in other blogposts and he's really into it, isn't he? I heard he danced non-stop all evening with that bag on his head.
Attending the show and completely wowed were Paul McCartney's rhythm guitarist, Rusty Anderson (that's not his actual site but I loved the one I linked so click on that, but for Rusty's actual web presence, click here), Josh Freese, who has drummed with everyone from Devo to Guns n' Roses, Suicidal Tendencies to Perry Farrell, Paul Westerberg to Chris Cornell, A Perfect Circle to Juliana Hatfield, Mike Ness to 311, and the list goes on. But I think the guest who excited my husband the most was Thomas Nordegg..."he was with Frank Zappa in the 80s and went on to tech firstly for Warren Cuccurullo, and more recently Steve Vai. He used to do a lot of video recording (ever seen the FZ St Etienne clip?). Was big mates with Warren and probabaly has a lot of scurrilous footage from his brief stint with the band. He can be seen in the extras for Steve Vai's Live In London DVD teaching Steve everything he knows about the guitar!" (information comes to me courtesy of my good cyber pal and Zappa historian, Andrew Greenaway. Anyway, Thomas spent a good part of the evening talking with Gary and he totally blew him away with his wonderful, insane stories about working with Frank...and now I believe he's also tech on the Zappa Plays Zappa tour currently coming to a city near you.
Speaking of Paul McCartney, here's a shot Burt Lo took of Eric which makes him look very Beatle like, don't you think? Ha ha, there's that Neil Gaiman haircut in action:
And as concerns Neil, well, it wouldn't be a Robin post without wishing him a Happy 46th birthday today...Hey, hey, Neil, you old geezer...I beat you to it (the age) and I know exactly what you mean in your blog today...I still feel like a kid, too, and keep wondering who the hell that "woman" in the mirror is. But like you, I still look way cool, too...we're not going to let a stupid thing like a number get to us, right? Besides, if 60 is the new 40, that makes us...um...still babies.
And while I'm on the subject of writing, something I sort of overlook (arghhh) while the kids are on tour and I'm busy being their music columnist, here's a couple of important blurbs:
First, my great pal Ellen Meister has an awesome promotion going on for her amazing book...if you are seeking a truly inspired gift for a teacher this holiday season, look no further!
Secondly, Philadelphia Stories is holding a Micro-Fiction Slam on Saturday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m. (registration at 12:00 p.m.) at Voices and Visions Bookstore (yes, they carry my book, too but that's not why I'm promoting them...they are the one of the last of the independent booksellers in Philadelphia and it's important that we give them our business as opposed to the corporate chains)...anyway, the premise of the slam is that you show up with up to two short stories no longer than 300 words...bring three copies of said story(ies) for each of the judges...there's a $5.00 per entry charge but if you win, it's $50.00 for you and the priceless fame that goes along with being a winner. I'm just hoping I can get it together to enter, but if not, I will be there in the audience for sure.
Finally, incredible but true, Another Bite of the Apple remains highest rated in erotica over at Fictionwise...I think it's been #1 for like two months now so to say I'm stoked would be a major understatement.
Anyway, I'm really tired right now because Gary called me and woke me at 1:30 a.m. last night excited beyond belief about the San Francisco show...he walked outside to call me during intermission...he said it was the best show yet and also celebrity studded...Boz Scaggs was there...and I was so dead to the world when he telephoned that I can't remember what else he said but you know me, I'll be back with another blog post and a lot more photos because Yay! Gary also had a 35 mm with him and took six rolls of film to Walgreens and made me discs which he'll download to Julie's laptop and email me later today so now I don't feel like a total idiot for forgetting to pack him my cable along with my digital camera though that omission gives me something to really look forward to when he comes home next week...though of course it's my family coming home that I'm looking forward to the most.
God I miss those guys. Have I mentioned that enough times?
Oh well. That's it for now. Today marks the beginning of a four day writing marathon for me. I'm serious about completing two novels by the end of this month and I'm well on my way. Sigh...trust me, it's the only upside of my family being out on the west coast and leaving me here alone to my own devices.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Photos of the Adrian Belew Power Trio at the Belly Up Tavern near San Diego, CA courtesy of Burton Lo
Okay, first things first.
Krimson News has part II of their podcast with Julie and Eric up today and yeah, yeah, I know I'm their mother but I laughed out loud. It's hilarious and sweet and really well done. Plus, as an added bonus, this week they break up the interview by including "Barracuda" in between segments -- Julie and Eric recorded that with Ann Wilson of Heart for the Rock School soundtrack.
In fact, here they are performing it with her in Seattle last May:
Anyway, I also found some cool stuff on the Planet Crimson forum board, and in case it's a members only thing, here's a bit of a review...
"... A lot of nice things have been said about Adrian's current band, but seasoned manager of expectation that I am, lol, I remained somewhat skeptical. Up until about 10 to 15 seconds into the show anyway, when I knew it was great band. Contrasting in style, but meshing together well, Julie and Eric proved to be a tight propulsive rhythm section that powered Adrian's songs to new heights. At its peak the intensity of the performance had real emotional power; I not only had to wipe away sweat from my forehead, but a time or two, a tear rolling down my cheek. As always, Adrian's joy in performing was contagious, and though I've been told I don't smile enough, when he looks you in the eyes as he's wringing that guitar neck, well I did my best to give him a big smile back (even Julie smiled back at him eventually, lol). The King Crimson songs were definitely better than they were with last year's band, and I have to say it, especially on "Thela Hun Ginjeet" it felt like the spirit of Crimson was present. Afterwards the ovation from the crowd packed into the club was so loud, Adrian covered his ears and said, you guys are louder than us, I didn't think that was possible."
And that same post led me to this one, which is the above mentioned Burton Lo's Flickr site and includes another cool review.
Anyway, tonight the Belew Trio hits Long Beach, which is right outside of Los Angeles, and they will be at Vault 350 which looks just too cool for words and tomorrow evening, November 9, they will be at the legendary Slim's in San Francisco.
I'm so jealous! Have I mentioned how bummed I am to not be on this tour and how much I miss my family? I'm starting to crack. Next thing you know I'll be the woman with her knickers on her head carrying all of her weirdest possessions in a shopping bag while crossing the street on a red light and shrieking at startled strangers that she's meeting Erica Jong, David Sedaris and Neil Gaiman for martinis at the Algonquin.
But heh heh...I am a very happy woman right now in spite of being desperately lonely. You didn't notice any smirks on that simian face today, did you?
And bye bye, Rumsfield. Hello, Nancy Pelosi!
Seriously. Click on those links. You can thank me...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
By the time they got to Phoenix (Okay, kill me now for typing that but yikes I'm feeling sentimental today)
Photo of Julie on stage in Phoenix Sunday night courtesy of photographer Joel Klein
Before I start "talking", I just saw that Eric has once again updated his tour blog and all I can say is, he is one hell of a writer and I take full credit for his talent. Ha! Well, his dad takes credit for the music -- Gary is an awesome guitar player whose musical influence is one of the reasons Eric and Julie are Eric and Julie and Adrian -- so please let me have my one moment in the sun in this family. (Insert smiley face emoticon here)
One of the coolest things about being a writer and having this blog is that people who attend the Belew shows find me, and I've been getting emails from all sorts of fans who are attending the shows all over the west coast.
Two more insanely interesting people I've met via Julie and Eric are Joel Klein and Dan Tomlinson.
Joel is a New York native and has been shooting pics for forty-four years; now he lives in Phoenix. Besides supplying me with the above photo of Julie (and the ones I'm also going to post below), Joel wrote me the following review of the Adrian Belew Power Trio's performance in Arizona:
"As always Mr Belew is right on with his eclectic and progressive guitar playing. As for your wonderful children Julie and Eric allow me to indulge:
If Adrian took away one thing (among many) from Mr Zappa, I hope that was Frank's insight to discover, nurture and promote untapped talent in musical genius. If he has acquired this ear for talent, then all I can say is that Julie and Eric will (if they choose to continue) have an incredible career as musicians. They are truly fine young talented people and also are not affected by the egomaniacal world we are surrounded by today in a lot of the music (or crap) coming out on bits and bytes.
You see, true artists need not surround themselves with such tripe, as true artists rely on their own merit as musicians that enhance the lives of folks like myself. Egos diminish this talent in many of today's artists. I can truly say that as a pretty good judge of people, Julie and Eric are true and pure musicians in every sense of the word when they are up on stage. As their Mom, you would be the best judge of this.
So, Robin and Gary, be proud that your have nurtured such wonderful people that will bring years of enjoyment to the ears of this world!!"
Man, that makes me cry every time I read it. And I adore what he has to say...very clever, the "bit and bytes", isn't it? So, so true.
Here are a few more photos Joel took of the trio:
Tbere's my Eric, or Eric the Animal as he's called on drumming forum boards all across the universe (ducking because I know Eric is going to throw a cyber shoe at my head when he reads this)
And the man responsible for my family's current state of bliss, Mr. Adrian Belew (with a lovely shot of Julie in the background, of course)
Now this next shot is most interesting. Normally I would be spilling the whole story behind it but Eric has been keeping such an awesome tour blog that I don't want to steal his glory and talk about what happened following the show. Plus, I understand there's a lot more pictures to "prove it". So let me instead identify some of the people in this photo...
Okay, the man front and center wearing the Twang Bar King t-shirt is my husband, Gary (ha ha - Gary has decided I can post his pic after all on the evil internet so I guess I lose my Neil Gaiman with the secret hidden spouse status har har). Obviously you know Julie, Eric, and Adrian. But standing next to Adrian is the mystery man, the guy who provided the Belews and the Slicks with one hell of an evening following the show -- he's the promoter, Danny Zelisko. The man front row, right in the green shirt works for Danny - his name is Beef. God I love that name. Beef. Remind me to use that in a story. Anyway, here's just a tiny taste of who Danny is.
Oh hell. I can't keep this in. Okay, Danny invited everyone back to his house after the show...he lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright home on the side of a mountain...and he's got a guitar signed by all four of the Beatles.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. I'd better shut up now. Eric will kill me and I know he must be dying to tell this whole story himself.
But have I mentioned that Baby Hippie Gary saw the Beatles with his mother in 1966 and if I go upstairs and snoop in his top drawer, he still has the original ticket stubs. If he didn't take my camera with him to the west coast, I'd be up there taking a shot right now. But yeah, Gary was in the Beatle Fan Club until it finally dis...dismembered? in like 1980. So to say he's a Beatle freak is putting it mildly...and how funny that this goes perfectly in sync with Susan Henderson's Question of the Week at Lit Park today.
Alrighty, then. I'd better get off this topic. So, let's talk about who else has come to the shows. We have the guitar player for the Tubes (sorry...I don't know his name), and the man I mention above, Dan Tomlinson. As a fellow drummer, Dan was really taken with Eric's playing and he immediately contacted me the next day and actually made some phone calls to try and get Eric endorsements which would be totally awesome. If you do a little research on Dan, you'll see he was with Lyle Lovett's band, played on The Tonight Show...anyway, it's just so cool that he reached out to Eric like that and really wanted to help him get said endorsements because face it, drum equipment is expensive and Eric goes through massive quantities of sticks, drum heads, pedals...you name it.
Yesterday the band had the night off so they drove to California - they play at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego tonight and Eric already spoke with Mike Keneally and he's coming to the show tonight...sigh...yet another great moment I'm missing.
But I will say this. I'm really happy for my family and thrilled Gary is getting a chance to see the west coast and bond with J&E and the Belews. As for me, while I am getting a lot of writing done, I'm getting absolutely no sleep (what's with all those strange noises I'm hearing in the middle of the night and why does the dog seem to think it's necessary that he drape all 65 of his pounds across my chest no matter which way I turn)...and worse, I am eating like a little spoiled kid...meaning, one night I had chocolate cake for dinner, last night I didn't eat at all, but the fabulous Julie made me fresh salmon cakes which are in the freezer right now so I'm going to be good tonight and cook 'em up -- she even left me instructions on how to make an accompanying chipolte dipping sauce.
Arghhh...who am I kidding. I MISS MY FAMILY! And I think I'm in shock that they won't be home until next Thursday. But hey, I really do believe I will have two finished novels ready to go by then.
At least in theory.
Oh. One final thing before I head into the kitchen and fry up some salmon. I would be remiss if I didn't say VOTE, DAMN IT! LET'S GET THOSE REPUBLICAN FUCKERS OUT OF OFFICE!