Monday, October 01, 2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part I

Hey hey hey - the new issue of Drumhead Magazine is available in book and music stores across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and as you can see by the above ever-changing photo I lifted from their website, there's a three page article entitled "Too Slick" all about the amazing Eric Slick with additional commentary from Miss Julie Slick and Adrian Belew.

And do I believe the Phillies won the National League East yesterday? It's not that I'm a die hard sports fanatic or anything but my late, beautiful beatnik mom was a huge Phillies fan and I have a soft spot for them because of that. It's funny -- I have outlived my mother age wise -- she has now been dead for more than half my life -- and while with each passing day the memories grow fainter and fainter, there are certain things I will never forget which still make me smile -- like the time she took my friend and me to a coffee house -- not a yuppie Starbucks but a real live coffee house where hipsters played bongos, sang bad folk music, recited poetry, etc. and we drank herbal tea with a side of banana nut bread -- anyway, my friend and I tried very hard to look like hippies even though we were like eleven years old and my mother just about killed us by wearing an earpiece attached to a transistor radio so she could listen to the Phillies game while we were there. She would shout out the score or if anyone got a homerun while my pal and I were trying to act like we were cool, wishing we were old enough to sit by ourselves and smoke cigarettes.

Ah, those were the days. Such innocence. But in any event, I love a good party, so it will be very cool this week to watch the play-offs and maybe have one of our legendary barbecues here.

So in case you haven't noticed, I'm back. Did you miss me? Oh my god, what an unbelievable, fabulous vacation we had.

And while Gary and I were at the beach, Eric was off gigging in so many places it's hard to keep track of them all, but he played an impressive show with some serious jazz musos in New York on September 22 - you can read about it here and here and see some really cool photos here.

At the moment, he's just wrapping up this jaunt with yet another band, Sounds of Greg D:

I was just over at the Ween forum board where someone had this to say about Friday night's show:

"They were super stellar last night.

Eric was ridiculous. Just ridiculous."

He'll be back home later tonight, I think, just in time to start serious rehearsals for the upcoming Project Object tour, and here's the press release for that which includes the cities they'll be hitting but you know me, I'm an obsessive compulsive who feels the need to post them here as well:

Wed 10/10/07 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre/Underground
Thu 10/11/07 Troy, NY Revolution Hall
Fri 10/12/07 New York, NY Lion's Den
Sat 10/13/07 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony
Sun 10/14/07 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Mon 10/15/07 Lancaster, PA The Chameleon
Tue 10/16/07 Plains, PA River St. Jazz Cafe
Wed 10/17/07 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Thu 10/18/07 Ferndale, MI Magic Bag
Fri 10/19/07 Chicago, IL Martyrs'
Sat 10/20/07 Chicago, IL Martyrs'
Mon 10/22/07 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
Tue 10/23/07 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
Wed 10/24/07 Cincinnati, OH Poison Room

The show in Philadelphia on October 14 will feature Eric on double duty -- both with Project Object and as drummer for their opener, Crescent Moon featuring Ween's Dave Dreiwitz on bass. Now you know I'm going to be right down in front for that one, so I'm hoping to say Hi to a lot of you there and will of course post many reminders in the next two weeks.

October 25, Eric flies home from Cincinnati, has a few days of r&r, then both he and Julie fly to Nashville to Casa Belew the first week of November to work on some new material for an upcoming studio recording and a massive, three week tour in February-March 2008 which will have the Adrian Belew Power Trio jetting up, down, and across the country -- both re-visiting cities where they've already wowed audiences last year and new cities/states who will be seeing them for the first time.

Life is good.

And now sit back and let me torture you with tales and pictures from our vacation. You can leave if you want...(we're just jammin', that's all) (extra credit to the first person who posts the name of the person attributable to that quote in my comments section)

So we pull up to our beach house and look - someone painted a "Welcome" sign for me on the pole outside:

"How did they know?" I asked Gary. "And err...should I be paranoid?"

Gary giggled and told me not to worry. Ah, it's nice to have a six foot tall, gentile husband.

Here's the view from our bedroom window - Gary actually got out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to take these pictures but alas these are from my camera, not his...he has the much better Canon but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to upload them so I have to wait for Julie or the meantime these will have to suffice but trust me, the sky had way more pinks and purples than this and I will post Gary's photos tomorrow.

We arrived on Saturday, September 15 and literally just spent the first couple of days decompressing. Julie and Eric were wrapping up the Seattle gig with Adrian and didn't get back to Philadelphia until late Monday night and they were too beat to travel to the beach. Julie and boyfriend Matt were finally able to make it down on Wednesday, and they stayed through Sunday morning, which was way cool, especially since Julie took over the kitchen. And because I am insane, I took photos of the meals she prepared - seared scallops over brown rice with caramelized leeks and arugula for Julie and me: a Moroccan style chicken dish for Gary and Matt:

Next up are a couple of shots of Princess Julie with Matt -- along with our other son, Monty -- he's the one with the ball in his mouth -- and Matt, by the way, is an awesome bassist and currently gigging pretty heavily with his own band, Cheers Elephant, and ha ha, if I'm not mistaken, the band photo on that site was taken with Gary's camera which is why I am sure Julie will know how to upload his photos for me...anyway, I do believe Julie was also the producer/recording engineer on the tracks Matt has put up for your listening pleasure...she's just so talented I can't take it. So I forgive her for coming into my bedroom every morning at 5:00 a.m. and making me ride bicycles on the boardwalk in the dark before I even had a proper cup of coffee.

Me: Why oh why are you doing this to me on my vacation, Julie?

Julie: Because it's when it's the most beautiful, Mom - no people, the sunrise, the cool air blowing off the ocean...

Me: Oh my god I'm so tired I'm going to die. My legs and ass aren't used to riding a bike...

Julie: Mom! It's a totally flat ride - no hills, nothing.

Me: Okay, okay, you're right. And it is freaking gorgeous out here.

Julie: So do you thank me for waking you up?

Me: Yes. Thank you, Julie. (Whilst secretly muttering to myself Oh my god, I'm gonna die on the boardwalk in Ocean City...if I don't freeze to death first, I'm gonna pass out...fall off this bike...and assuming my death isn't immediate, I'm gonna wake up to a bunch of 18 year old paramedics pounding on my chest and about one hundred retired people in white shoes forming a circle around me which will thus insure that I have a deadly stroke after all.)

Here's those photos I was talking about:

And one of Gary, Monty dog and me:

Eric had a ton of rehearsals upon his arrival home from Seattle due to all of his aforesaid gigs but we connived him into coming down for just the day on Friday and he had such a great time we talked him into returning the following Tuesday into Wednesday morning...and those three days were basically the only days off he's had all summer. Eric was kind enough to bring us down a copy of Drumhead Magazine and naturally being the crazed groupie parents we are, Gary and I then made a million phone calls to bookstores and music stores everywhere trying to score more copies which was not easy because we were basically at least sixty miles from any major city. We finally found them at a Guitar Center a couple of towns over, so we hopped in the car, picked them up, and even we had to laugh at our extreme devotion...though not so much when we got stuck in the traffic jam from hell due to construction work on the Ocean City causeway.

Here's a couple of shots of Eric - one with Julie and Monty and one with his Dad, who, you will notice, is wearing his most favorite t-shirt:

And not to be left out, Monty also made a friend, though to be honest, as you can tell by the expression on his face, Monty prefers humans:

In fact, Monty prefers human companionship so much that he suffers terrible separation anxiety as evidenced by his behavior every time we left him alone, which, based on his heartbreaking expression, wasn't all that often:

I basically spent two weeks offline, but I did go to the library a couple of times to check my oh-so-exciting email (including one from Neil Gaiman telling me how much he enjoyed an MP3 of the Adrian Belew Power Trio and thus sending me into total convulsions of joy) and I did get a few very interesting calls from LA on my cell phone...but this is the How I Spent My Vacation post and not the Robin The Writer post though you can be sure I'll have a lot to say about that this week, including yet more reminders that Another Bite of the Apple is now available in paperback!


Here is the evening view from our bedroom - these pictures do not do it justice...we had a full moon shining over the ocean in a deep purple sky...ack! Why oh why is it so impossible for me to upload Gary's photos?

Because I am technology challenged, that is why. Oh well, just another one of my lovable quirks.

Anyway, I'm leaving a ton of stuff out but it doesn't matter, I will be back with more pictures and stories later today or tomorrow...and in case you haven't already seen this on one of the many Belew blogs now out there (hey, did you notice my new linkage on the right hand side?), here's a You Tube of the trio performing Men in Helicopters two weeks ago in Seattle - and Eric will kill me for saying this, but about 3/4 of the way through you can catch him doing his best Ringo'll see what I mean...I think it's great but I can just see Eric cringing right now so I'll stop...and there is also some gorgeous footage of Julie at the very end....Adrian, as you know, is always gorgeous and yeah, yeah, I know You Tubes aren't great quality but he still gives me the chills every time I hear him perform.



peanut and planet said...

Welcome back.

By the end of the Phillies game we were standing up and yelling at the television. A lot.

I got to spend some time down the shore this summer and your pictures reminded me of how much I miss biking around, eating well and being completely content.

I'll try to make it to the P.O. show at World Cafe, but no promises.

LitPark said...

Robin, I love that story about your mother so much.

scooob said...

Robin, I haven't posted a comment on your blog before, but I read it religiously (for an agnostic). Just had to pipe in with the answer to the "jammin'" quote quiz: Jimi Hendrix, of course (preceded by "You can leave if you want...").

As my prize, can you add a link on your sidebar to the psychodots fan Google group site? Not directly a Belew link, but we discuss Adrian there too, as might be expected given the Bears/psychodots intersection:

David Ash

Scott said...

Welcome back!

Pete Franke said...


RobinSlick said...

Hi, Jess. We actually went down to the corner bar at the end of the 8th inning - I wanted to have a glass of wine and be in a raucous crowd. It was so much fun! Everyone screamed at every strike...I felt like such a jock (ha ha - I am so not a jock, but again, I like any reason to celebrate).

The P/O show is going to be amazing and Crescent Moon you have to see to believe.

Aw, thanks, Sue. Yeah, it's funny how things which mortify you as a kid are bittersweet memories as an adult. I remember it so clearly and yet I can't remember what I had for breakfast today.

Scoob - you win the prize but I would have expected nothing less from a member of Ade's tribe. Nice to know you are reading and yay agnostics!

Your link is up.

Thanks, Scott - and fun emailing session.

Heh - Pete, you are such a groupie. I can so, so relate.

Miztlahui from Mexico said...

Ohh now I understand way you were out for long time hehe.
Thank you for the tales, You have great fotos, July looks beautiful wearing the Rock School music T-Shirt, I hope someday wear one too. You have very nice pictures.
Welcome back home dear Slicks.

Pete Franke said...

Oh, and welcome back from down the shore guys.

I guess Ike Willis isnt making it this fall, huh? Do you know who the lead axe man is going to be for P/O?

Give my best to Eric and wish him a great time. I know how much that poor,confused boy LOVES FZ :-D


Niko said...

Hey Robin,

Just wanted to say that I'm still reading your blog and it's been cheering me up during the worst academic time of my life (52 credit hours/semester of professional health school fun).

My husband e-mailed me last night about Project Object playing Chicago. We're already meeting there that Saturday for the Ween show. In his e-mail he wrote, "I liked P/O better than ZPZ. Before Slick was playing." Ha Ha. He hasn't even seen Eric play yet...he's just been listening to me talk all summer about the shows he couldn't go to (poor guy). I'm hoping I can change my flight and make the Friday night show and watch Eric rip.

Anyhow, thanks for making me smile and keep up the great work...

Dave said...

hey there -

what's the deal with the Project/Object shows? i've heard that venues are getting letters from Zappa Inc. that they will be sued if they allow P/O to perform on thier stage.

the Stone Pony's website has another band scheduled to play the night P/O is supposed to play there.

any insight?

RobinSlick said...

Hi, Dave (is this Dave D?):

Well, as far as I know, the only venue in question was the Stone Pony because they are a Live Nation venue...all of the others have ASCAP rights and sorry, no lawsuit can hurt them.

This is really fucked up and mean spirited, you know? I take it personally because I'm going to be honest here...I was a total British blues/rock person who grew up in the seventies hating Frank Zappa cos' the only song they played even on underground radio was "that one about dental floss". When Eric and Julie came home from Rock School and said they were doing a Zappa show, I said "Ewww...what has Paul Green done, lost his mind?" But then Eric started playing Frank's music for me...songs like City of Tiny Lights and Andie and Zomby Woof and I went out of my mind...I never heard such wonderful compositions in my life and became a diehard fan ten years after Frank's death.

It was via bands like Project Object that I got to experience what I'd missed...and they are passing the torch to a whole younger generation.

I feel sorry for Gail. She obviously has way too much time on her hands. She should out protesting the war or something really important...not the pennies that she might be losing on a P/O tour.

Anyway, I will check with Eric and Andre and let you know the status ASAP.

Dave said...

hi robin -

thanks for the info. it's dave p (the breakfast's archivist; cosmik debris youtube guy). glad to hear it's only one venue, but as you said, it sucks, and i've never heard of such an asinine thing.

i will be in hartford on wednesday, only if the yankees lose tonight. otherwise, it looks like i'll head up to troy for the show on thursday.

thanks again.