Sunday, September 02, 2007

Laboring Today...

Awesome photos of Julie Slick and Adrian Belew taken at Smith's Bar in Atlanta, GA on August 22, 2007 courtesy of Vance Cox - and click on that link for the whole slideshow...

Man, this is one Labor Day weekend where I really am laboring...doing the writing thing non-stop...well, reading submissions for an anthology I'm editing and working on/pondering something else which the jinx factor prevents me from mentioning until next week...

In the meantime, I wanted to take a quick break for a blogpost and do what I do best at times like vicariously through my brilliant offspring.

Let's start with this. So do you think this blogger was doing his best to hide from me? (okay, I mean me and google blogsearch). Ha! Don't you know that I will find you no matter what you call Ade? Atrium Blurew indeed...

"Atrium Blurew"

"We come in peace!" claimed the alien rock star descending from the loft at Cat's Cradle last Tuesday night. So began the Adrian Belew Power Trio's set. Yes, that photo you see may or may not be Adrian Belew, or his alien clone--some say the aliens cannot be photographed, hence the blurriness of the image, having nothing to do with the photographer's lameness whatsoever.

I grew up with Adrian, with the '81-'84 King Crimson in particular hitting me in my adolescent musical sensibilities, though really, pretty much everyone AB has worked with is on my favorites list. He played on "Remain in Light"--it doesn't get better than that! .. and Bowie, Zappa, and so on. His autobiographical video on his website gives a pretty amazing overview of his guitar hero life so far. So it can't be said that I am much of an objective listener.

The question is: what is happening now with the power trio (currently AB + brother/sister team Eric and Julie Slick)? I imagine the Slick's will appear prominently on the forthcoming release of "Side Four", though they do not appear in the credits of "Side Three" (2006), which features bass and drum support from Les (Primus) Claypool and Danny (Tool) Carey. I will say one thing: Adrian and the Slick's are touring like mad and kickin out the jams.

They began the evening with the funkiest song in the Adrian repertoire, "Writing on the Wall" (from the album "Side One"), and played a lot of newer material, some older Belew solo stuff, and of course, a few arrangements from the 80's KC. It was great to relive "Frame By Frame" and some of the 80's era masterpieces, though I did kind of want to jump on stage and fill in on the Fripp guitar lines--as if! Toward the end it was time to let go for some crazy guitar synth improv. The aliens would be proud!

I really enjoyed chatting with Martha Belew before the show, as she shared the insights into the mayhem that is the business these days. The sense I get is that musicians everywhere, even the "big guys", are really struggling during this great transition, where the industry is in decline and we are transitioning to new, download-based distribution economy. Well friends, the revolution is here! All we've got to do is make it happen.

"I can't wait to see what happens next." - AB

"Indeed." - D"

From the Parker Guitar Forum Board:

"Great show, as one might expect. Eric and Julie Slick (drums and bass respectively), were fantastic. Very energetic and chops aplenty. They seemed very happy to be there, but weren't at all overwhelmed by the experience. Adrian seemed in a more experimental mood than in shows past, and his playing was astonishing. Lots of what I'll assume was fairly improvisational, even a couple of "piano" solos (via synth)...

...So anyway, great show!!!

Pics to follow..."

Here's those pics he was talking about along with the following comment:

"It's been a week since I saw them, and I'm still numb. It was seriously the BEST show I've ever seen.

Everything that you've heard about Adrian being a likeable, down to earth guy is true. I hung out for close to an hour after the show. He was talking to me like we're old friends. I got everything that I wanted autographed (Side 3 that I bought there, a King Crimson button from '82, and my Ibanez Strat!) He played brilliantly, as did his AMAZING band."

Cool, huh. Hey, here's proof that Eric will use whatever is around to warm-up pre-sound check:

Speaking of Eric, this fall's Project Object tour has shaped up nicely, and here's the official poster with dates..though the October 24, 2007 slot is now definitely confirmed for the Poison Room in Cincinnati, Ohio...and I believe one of the open dates that say TBA just might end up being Pittsburgh...stay tuned.

Dot and Simon:

Dot and Eric:

Okay, I wish I could take a "snapshot" of this entire page, but you have to click here and read Dr. Dot's diary of Zappanale, which not only includes several photos of my son, but also shows Dot in Philly last week, after she gave...gasp...Simon from Idol a massage. Oh, I kid you not - the same hands which massaged my son touched Simon. Eric! Wash your back immediately!

Ha ha - just kidding. But Dot is so cool it's ridiculous.

Finally, while I am on the subject of cool, here is one hell of a You Tube featuring Dave Dreiwitz and Eric Slick at their Crescent Moon gig on August 16, 2007 at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I really enjoyed this - lots of fun and high energy and impossible to believe it's just drums and bass.