Friday, January 05, 2007

Tonight and Tomorrow: Project Object in Chicago

Photo of Eric Slick courtesy of his dad (aw...)

So the Project Object tour continues on, making a stop tonight and tomorrow night at Martyrs in Chicago. Here's a cool article I found which appeared today in the NW Times -- and Eric, if you happen to read this, please pick me up a copy or seven of the print edition,, Mom.

Zappa-philes -- unite!


Times Correspondent

Being a member of the late, great Frank Zappa's band in the studio and on stage is in many camps the musical equivalent to having a law or medical degree from Yale on a resume. Past graduates of the Zappa School of Intricate Hard Knocks have included everyone from Lowell George, also late, also great, and the founder of the genre-bending Little Feat, '80's/'90's guitar great Steve Vai and Missing Persons co-leader Dale Bozzio.

Last year, Zappa offspring Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa got into the tribute game as "Zappa Plays Zappa," and an outfit featuring former Mothers of Invention members performed as the Mothers of Re-Invention. And for more than a dozen years now, other past Mothers and Zappa alumni have brought Zappa's music back to life onstage as Project/Object. Fronted by singer-guitarist Ike Willis, who jammed with FZ during the '70s and '80s, it also included Zappa worshippers such as Phish's Jon Fishman and past Zappa alumni such as revered Mother Jimmy Carl Black.

Project/Object's lineup today and Saturday at Martyrs' is also expected to feature past backing members and other Zappa-inspired "musician's musicians" such as former FZ hornsman Napoleon Murphy Brock, Dave Dreiwitz, bassist for Zappa protégées Ween and drummer Eric Slick, a past Project/Object member who has also pounded the skins for fellow guitar great Adrian Belew.

Given the alumni of Project and the genetics in "Zappa," it doesn't really come as much of a surprise that the leaders and members of the two tribute camps don't really see eye to eye, per comments regarding Dweezil Zappa on Project/Object's namesake band site. What's important here is that all the outfits are keeping the maestro's ahead-of-its-time compositions alive regardless of whether they just in it for the money, to paraphrase one of its creator's finest albums.

Project/Object | 10 p.m. today and Saturday, Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $15 in advance, $17 at the door (21 and older show)

Oh how I wish I were there.

But...and this is pretty damn incredible...I may get to go somewhere just as cool.

Here's the unofficial announcement:

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on February 14, 2007 and this is just the bare bones info I have at the moment and, um, there may be more to it than what I'm posting today, but so far the evening is going to include:

-Orchestral performance of some of Zappa's influences - Varese, Stravinsky, Webern, and the like

- Adrian Belew doing a talk, q&a and solo performance

- Ike Willis doing a talk, q&a

- Project/Object with Ike Willis doing one set

So basically what I'm saying here is Eric gets home from touring with Project Object on January 14 -- he then heads to California for three days to NAMM and I will be talking about why he's going and who he is going to represent and his amazing fantastic news in that regard over the next several days...then, upon his return to Philly, he gets on a plane again for Cleveland, Ohio to play with Zappa great Ike Willis and Project Object at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where Adrian Belew just happens to also have a gig.

Will Julie be there, too? Stay tuned...

I also have some news of my own to share (writing news, that is) but I guess I will talk about that tomorrow. I should just re-name this blog "Groupie Mom", huh.