Sunday, October 14, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Philadelphia!

Eric Slick on drums with Project Object performing "Apostrophe" in New York on October 11, 2007.

And I could not help but notice Eric has a new, very touching post up over at his blog today.

ETA #2 (as "threatened" below): Wow. Just found this review from Joe at the Full Catastrophe and click on the link to see a great Eric photo collage - thanks, Joe!:

Project Awesome

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."

What can I say about last night's Project Object show at Asbury Lanes that will properly and comprehensively convey all my thoughts? I can throw out a slew of complementary adjectives...awesome, incredible, mind-blowing, inspirational, invigorating, exceptional. But what does any of that mean to anyone who wasn't actually present in the room to experience it themselves?

It's best to describe a live concert not by the reaction of one, but of the many in attendance. So as I scanned the room throughout the evening, I saw a majority of smiling faces, dancing feet, bopping heads, tapping toes, and just an all-encompassing sense of giddiness and joy.

Calling Project Object a Zappa cover band is way too limiting. They are a group of consummate musicians who play their hearts out. Just watching them perform, you quickly understand that this isn't just about playing music, it's about being passionate about playing music.

I'll admit, the reason I was drawn to this concert in the first place was because of a 20-year-young drummer named Eric Slick. I'd seen him play several times prior in bands that are in some way related to Ween. Bands like Crescent Moon and Chris Harford & The Band of Changes. I would have loved to have seen him play with Adrian Belew, and hopefully I will on the next go around. I'd seen him at the Paul Green School of Rock Music Festival in Asbury Park. Basically, if Eric "the kid" Slick is on drums, I'll go to the show.

On a side note, I also got to talk to Eric's dad, Gary. He's the one that "looks like Jerry Garcia." He's totally cool, it was like I was talking to someone I've known forever, even though we'd only met, briefly, once before during the School of Rock mayhem last summer. We talked about Prog rock bands, Philadelphia neighborhoods, the beaches of Germany, and cheese steaks."

ETA: This just in from the Ween forum board, and I'm sure I'll be adding these "ETAs" all day long today:

"Wow.....just wow.

Me, my friend Jen and Mighty Joe spent most of the show standing on the side of the stage watching the rhythm section . I've seen Eric Slick play on numerous occasions, nothing compared to last night. Holy shit...that kid is one of the best drummers I've ever seen. In Glen terms...."He's Josh Freese good". I've never been a huge Zappa fan but I can appreciate musicianship in any form and they had it. I will gladly punch the Pope in the face or beat a nun with a shovel to get the opportunity to see these guys again. "

So yay! Tonight's the big night - Project Object and Crescent Moon, also with Eric on drums, at the World Cafe Live! Doors at 6:00 p.m. - and they have a decent dinner menu - show starts at 7:30 p.m. I really hope to see a lot of you there and even though I have now officially outed myself as completely anti-social har har, please come up, introduce yourselves, and say hi. But after that, please give me my space and let me just enjoy the music. I can't handle talking while my son is on stage, I just want to soak it all in and enjoy because watching my offspring play their music is my most favorite thing in the world. Okay? Okay!

From the (tee-hee) Frank Zappa forum board:

"Whoa! Incredible show last night in New York. This band is the real deal. Do not hesitate to get out and see 'em if you have the chance. They are all honorary alumni if ya ask me. They exude Frank Zappa from every pore, as if Frank was standing in the wings, pushing them to extremes. And they do it all with such ease it's almost disturbing.

Svalgard was a wildman, a bionic Tommy Mars, but with more charm and less sleaze. Totally blew me away. A real highlight of the show. New guy Joshua Edwards on percussion is a total fucking greaser and would have fit nicely into the original MOI. He told me he has been studying Zappa music for 4 years. You'd think he would be filling your gas tank...the guy didn't miss a trick. Dave Johnson on bass is deceptively brilliant, grounding the band. He serves the music perfectly, in total control (and he has a cute wife, t' boot).

Eric Slick is now my favorite drummer of all time. What more can I say?
Ya gotta see him perform. His style reminds me a bit of the young Robert Wyatt. The ultimate Zappa player.

Jordan Shapiro guested and played some great rock mandolin. It wasn't kitschy or anything like that. Sounded great and pleasant on the ears.

Napoleon was a charmer, as always. He was on stage for about half the show (?).
And...Andre, now the sole guitar player, let it rip. Totally balls out Zappa, just the way I like it. And he even played WATERMELON (with Jerry Cucurullo sitting in on drums). Yowza!

Edit: oh yeah, P/O attracts young, beautiful girls who actually seem to know every twist and turn of Frank's music. Where were these girls when I was a young, single fella? No Fair!"

"DITTO! Cool! Slick is the Man."

"Don't even git me started about eric no. 1 fave too...i mentioned this in another thread already but check out this month's drumhead mag for a nice article about him and his amazing bass-playin' sister, julie slick!"

"Overall the best show i've seen and i've seen a few, Belew thrice, Claypool thrice, Primus, Rush, Dream Theater, Medeski Martin & Wood, Buckethead etc.

Eric was noticeably great and i'm looking forward to seeing him again with Adrian Belew in march. Dave was incredible on bass, and Eric was entertaining as all hell on keyboards. Jordan was alright, and Napolean ruled. Andre was the man, got to say a few things to him."


So if that doesn't put you in the mood to head out to the World Cafe tonight, I don't know what else I can say.

Yesterday was a totally amazing fun day in my other life as Robin Slick, writer. The incredibly fabulous Stella Price joined me as a panelist where I moderated a Networking/Promo panel for writers on behalf of Philadelphia Stories. At first, we...or maybe it's just me...were totally intimidated by the huge, packed room full of academics. So it made my soul rise to see everyone furiously scribbling down everything Stella and I had to say...because really, the average literary author thinks once they are published, they just have to sit back and wait for the praise and the sales.

Ha ha - Stella and I set them straight and we had everyone laughing. One very scholarly fellow, after I told the group just how important the internet was for book sales, raised his hand and said "Isn't this counterproductive? You are using the internet instead of reading books which is exactly what we as authors don't want...people on line instead of buying our novels."

Again, my girl Stella gave concrete examples of how misguided he was in his thinking and I did as well...he was actually a very nice, attractive fellow who ended up taking our promo stuff with him at the end and I'm pretty sure we've got him on our team now.

Yay, Stella! Yay, me! we headed to Robin's Bookstore for a signing/chat about our books where we were joined by another one of my favorite authors, Bianca D'Arc -- I love Bianca -- met her last year for the first time and we just clicked and have many similar opinions and interests -- Cat Johnson, Philippa Grey-Gerou, Marie Collins...and oh god, I'm sorry...there were a few other writers present and I did not get their names. We had a blast and then headed over to my new favorite Mexican/Cuban restaurant, Mixto, for copious amounts of food and alcohol.

Yeah, I know, I said I'm an anti-social loner but once I force myself to leave the house and hang out with my writer/musician pals, I always end up having a blast. The trick is to do it selectively and maybe once more or I'd need meds.

Heh. Just kidding.

Or not.

See you tonight!