Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Even though probably three years old, this is still my all time favorite photo of Julie Slick on stage
So my daughter turns 21 today.
Hard to believe...my mind is having a very difficult time wrapping around it.
What a life she's had! Traveling all around the world playing bass first as an All-Star with Rock School, then England with McRad, going to Drexel University where she'll graduate this year with a degree in Music Industry, and now her current gig with The Adrian Belew Power Trio with whom she'll spend the second half of 2007 on tour all over the universe again...and who knows what else. She's also got a bunch of bands lined up to record and is currently producing the new Sweatheart CD.
Speaking of Adrian, I received a personal email about the download of Beat Box Guitar (and if that link doesn't work because I tried something different to get you there directly, simply go to www.adrianbelew.net) featuring Adrian on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, and Julie Slick on bass, which really brought tears to my eyes:
"I purchased the down load yesterday. What a blast it is ordering a down load of Adrian with Eric and Julie. His drumming is so much his own style. Julie too. They both play with flawless execution. I really expect this level after say touring as a member of YES for 20 years, or something like that. But for them to have that "it" thing going at 19, and 21(few days), is remarkable. There are really good musicians, and then there is that unmistakable virtuosity in a musician that is so unique, that it is beyond good. Both your kids have natural talent that is really amazing. I started trying to compare Julie to Tony Levin like some people have, but she sounds nothing like him-she has her own thing. I tried to think Carl Palmer, Bill Buford, Stewart Copeland, or Bozzio for Eric, but him too. He has his own distinct sound, and he owns the drumming. Many drummers are background, and you never really care who they are. The Who without Keith Moon was never the same, although the drummers were good. Whomever Eric sits in will forever have that hole to fill, and that includes Adrian for me.
I was so excited I wanted to share my feelings with you."
Sniff. That was really a birthday gift to me, but I will pass that on to Julie.
I know I've told the story of Julie's birth before, but since I have a bunch of new readers, it's kind of worth repeating because it's a typical Robin and Gary story, so here I go, cutting and pasting from my own archives here:
"I will give you a brief synopsis of this day (ETA) twenty-one years ago. I went into labor, called my doctor, and you know, the contractions were coming pretty quickly and he said get to the hospital. It was the coldest day ever - it must have been fifty below zero, and because I'd been confined to my bed since October of that year because of all kinds of complications, I never bought a winter coat which would accommodate my pregnancy. So I wore this big old black coat with a huge beaver collar (arghhh...don't shoot me, PETA people, it wasn't mine) I'd inherited from my late mother and naturally because I hadn't been outdoors since October I had no gloves, no winter shoes, nothing available. Gary was like "No problem, Rob, we'll park in the inside lot adjacent to the hospital, you'll only be outside for a minute."
We parked in what was the soon to be demolished indoor lot at Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia. There were no available spots, so Gary kept driving up and up and up and up until we were like on the 17th floor of this thing and by now, the contractions are really coming hard and fast and I was starting to freak out. We get out of the car and head for the "EXIT" signs. Only one problem. Every door was locked. We then raced for a sign which said "Elevator"...only, the elevator had a sign "Out of Service". So then we tried to find stairs. Meanwhile, it may have said "indoor parking" but of course it was probably a hundred below zero in there; it was all open and we were up high in the wind...and I was in freaking agony.
We must have walked around that parking lot for a half an hour, me convinced I was going to die in there; Gary out of his mind altogether. Miraculously, we finallly stumbled on the one unmarked door that was actually unlocked and led to a staircase...only to walk down several flights to learn that the door on the ground floor was locked. Gary started pounding and screaming "SOMEBODY HELP US SOMEBODY HELP US!" At that point, we were both frozen solid and I didn't even feel the contractions anymore. Anyway, a pissed off looking attendant opened the door and said "What the hell are you two doing in here" and Gary started cursing at him about the conditions at the parking lot and I'm like "Um...I think I'm dying here" so we rushed into the emergency room and a couple of hours later, Julie made her appearance and life as we knew it would never be the same again and I swore she'd be an only child.
And six months later, I was pregnant with Eric."
Ha ha - I must have known I needed the rest of the rhythm section -- Gary plays guitar and it was jamming in our living room from the time they could hardly walk or talk that the first real Slick trio took flight. I have a couple of early recordings -- one, unbelievably enough, they recorded on tape cassette at ages 7 and 8 -- called "Red", and it's totally ironic, of course, because Red is a famous Crimson song only they'd have had no way of knowing that.
One of the famous lyrics they wrote in that song, which I will never, ever forget is:
"The cow says Moo."
Then there's a bit of silence for dramatic tension.
"It's red, too."
Oh god, here come the tears. I'm currently clutching my hand to my chest and thinking "I'm all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves."
Ha ha - a little Linda Richman for you.
Anyway, Julie and I had our annual birthday lunch at Le Bec-Fin last week, a tradition we've upheld every year since Julie's 12th birthday in 1998, so this made it the tenth time we visited and the head waiter recognized us, knew of the occasion beforehand, and graciously treated us to a glass of champagne and a special appetizer of lobster bisque. They really get into the presentation there...we were presented with two silver domed bowls - we had a waiter on either side of us remove the domes simultaneously, and they contained chunks of what I believe were tempura fried lobster pieces. Then another waiter poured the rich soup out of a special serving pitcher on top of the lobster, ensuring the batter wouldn't get soggy.
It was truly orgasmic.
Julie then had an apptizer of Tartare de thon aux airelles canneberges et raifort
(Horseradish and cranberries tuna tartar); I had Rillettes d’aile de raie à la moutarde violette de Brive La Gaillarde (Skate wing rillettes with French purple mustard) and for entrees we both had the same thing - Filet de loup de mer, panisse et asperges sautées, sauce aigre douce émulsionnée (Sauteed black bass, panisse and asparagus, sweet and sour emulsion)
We were full beyond belief but then they went and rolled that pastry cart over to our table and you can pretty much select what you want.
Yeah, yeah, we pigged out, although believe it or not, amongst all of the gooey chocolate, Julie and I flipped out most over a dish of fresh pineapple slightly poached with basil. I'm serious. It was incredible and we plan on duplicating it here.
(Sorry Gary, sorry Eric - but trust me, you will love it and if not, oh well, more for Julie and me)
Back to music news again, Robert Fripp addresses the cancelled but still very much alive K3 tour in his diary entry of January 24, 2007. To see my son's name as "DRUMMER SLICK" in Robert's diary is more than a little bit surreal.
And I see Adrian has some outrageously cool gear on his blog today - definitely worth checking out and if you are like the members of this family, also eating your heart out over.
Finally, holy freaking cow, over on the Rolling Stone website there's an article asking readers to "Name the Show You'll Never Forget and I just scrolled down and saw at least three references to the Adrian Belew Power Trio's gig at Slim's in San Francisco in November, 2006. Oh my god. I just found that while typing this blogpost and googling the kids on another browser.
Here's just one of the posts I found there:
"Jack Price | 1/29/2007, 5:13 pm EST
For me, hands down, The Adrian Belew Power Trio at Slim’s in San Francisco in November of 2006. Adrian is without a doubt one of the finest living guitar legends and he has a 19 year old drummer named Eric Slick and his 20 year old sister, Julie Slick on bass. They blew the roof off of Slim’s and it’s the first time that Boz Scaggs, who owns the place, stuck around for a whole show. Keep your eye out on Eric Slick. That kid is gonna be a monster."
Oy. Now I have to hit the "find" button and see what else is there. Holy crap.
Okay...that's it for now. I'm under the weather a bit today and tonight we're taking Julie out for her official 21st birthday dinner as a family - destination to be a surprise -- so I'd better recover over my shock from the Rolling Stone blog, call my husband, and take a nap.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I love these black and white photos - this is yet another one courtesy of the fabulous Daryl Barnett taken during the west coast Adrian Belew Power Trio tour of November, 2006 tour
So I think Gary and I broke the world record yesterday for most listens to a single song - ha ha, you'll never guess which one.
Okay, so you guessed. If you haven't downloaded Beat Box Guitar for yourself yet, you are missing out on something quite awesome - click here and then click on "Store Belew".
Every time Gary and I listened to it, we heard something new -- just amazing guitar work by Adrian, making that instrument sound otherworldy, drumming by Eric that puts him into a whole new category of Class A drummers (hey, that's Paiste cymbal's words for him when they gave him the endorsement), and Julie...holy cow...I know she's my daughter and a great bassist but I've never heard her jam like that in my life.
The first review is in, and it goes something like this:
"Wow, it's great to hear the Trio in the comfort zone, able to wander off into unfamiliar territory. It shows that the unit is coming together as one after many days on the road. As always, it amazes me how Adrian dials into so many different tones and sounds with ease."
And regarding Adrian's recent news via his blog, I found the following, which really made me smile, over on the DGM Live Forum Board:
"The Ultimate Triple Bill... ?
Posted by jbricker on January 27, 2007
Raise your hand if you’re interested in this show:
First: ProjeKct 6
Next: Tony Levin Band
Followed by: Adrian Belew Power Trio
Encore: K3, which is Robert, Adrian, Tony +Eric Slick from ABPT.
Get thee to www.elephant-blog.blogspot.com for more info."
Posted by dsdyte on January 27, 2007
"An encore of Robert, Tony, Adrian (The 3 kings of crimson) and Eric Slick playing a half dozen Crimson classics"
I don’t suppose we can vote on which classics they play?
I will be checking and rechecking and rerechecking the net every day between now and the moment I have tickets in my hand..."
And over at Krimson-News:
"‘K3′ and the Adrian Belew Power Trio
And just what might K3 be?
Adrian recently posted up on his new blog that it would be a project involving ProjeKct 6 opening for the Tony Levin Band followed by the Adrian Belew Power Trio, followed by an encore of Robert, Adrian, Tony, and Eric Slick playing some King Crimson classics. In my eyes this seems sort of like H.O.R.D.E. reinvented for KC fans, and certainly not to be missed!
Apparantly K3 was originally intended to roll out this March, however, it looks like it will be sometime after June but no dates have been released yet. I don’t care what it takes, I’m going to one of those shows!
But there is a more immediate Adrian Belew Power Trio show mentioned, and a very fun one at that! There are two dates currently on the schedule for the Adrian Belew Power Trio: February, the 15th and the 17th. The 15th will be in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. The 17th looks like the winner to me though as that show will be used to make a live record, (Side 4). That show is set to be at the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky. I already have some shoes ready for the foot stomping time that will be!
If that wasn’t enough Rhino King news for you, don’t forget that today at some point they are scheduled to release the redesign of the Official Adrian Belew website, so be sure to ping them every once in a while to see if they’ve updated!"
And my pal Andrew Greenaway mentions the upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gigs on his website as follows:
"...FZ will be saluted next month by Red (an orchestra), Ike Willis, Adrian Belew, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The festivities culminate on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 February with a pair of The Importance of Being Zappa concerts by Red at the Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Both shows will feature the same programme, including Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat, Be-Bop Tango, Naval Aviation in Art? and G-Spot Tornado, as well as works by Stravinsky, Varese and Webern. Prior to this (on 14 February), Ike reminisces about his years with Frank and performs with Project/Object; then on 15 February, Adrian Belew gives a talk and performance. Lucky Eric Slick will be playing drums with both P/O and Ade."
Yep, Eric is lucky, alright - but he's also very talented and that, along with luck, has everything to do with it. For an interesting perspective on the art world and luck, read this. I love a lot of the comments - for the most part, they really made me think about certain things/events in a different light.
So now that I've become a huge graphic novel freak, having devoured The Absolute Sandman (and I have one other thing to say about that: Thank you, Neil Gaiman. Seriously. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Susan and I are still not completely recovered. We feel so...special. And I'd be ordering those sushi pillows as we speak but I suspect everyone in the universe has already done so and you know, that kind of makes them lose the coolness factor...although, now that I think about it, the only people who would order them are fellow cool people since they are readers of your blog and mine so okay, I'm ordering, I'm ordering). But anyway, since becoming a graphic novel fan, I've been checking into other writers and artists in that genre and this morning, I'd like you to meet my latest hero, Stephen Bissette, who had this to say about Dubya's recent State of the Union address:
"The most impatient President of my lifetime -- the man who couldn't wait for UN Weapons inspections, who couldn't wait for the United Nations or for "Old Europe" to catch up to his war-mongering faux-cowboy ("Texan," my ass; born and raised Connecticut, this man was) ways, who publicly mocked a born-again Christian who was on Death Row (imitating her born-again statements like he was some spoiled school brat, though we're all supposed to roll with his born-again piety and changed-ways from his wayward youth -- ah, adulthood) -- asked for patience last night.
He's asking for patience, and time for his new strategy to work.
Patience for his so-called "new strategy," which is just an escalation of the failed old one...."
God I love this post. Is it 2008 yet? I'm convinced the only reason impeachment proceedings again Dubya haven't begun months and months ago can be summed up in one word: C H E N E Y.
Click here to read the rest of the article on his blog and learn more about the amazing Stephen.
Okay, and while I'm talking about writers/writing...
Hey, did you know I have my own corner of Cafe Press and you can buy coffee cups, tote bags, etc. emblazoned with my book covers? Ha ha, since my book covers are going to replaced by new and exciting ones over the next couple of weeks (Borders told my publisher that didn't care for the white backgrounds and can you believe they wanted it corrected before stocking them on their shelves?), the items available at Cafe Press will be collectors' items. (Giggling at the very thought, but still). Anyway, if you are interested in having a look or buying something, here's the link.
And also, for the first time ever (I think), over at Publishers Marketplace, my web page was second most visited this week. Uh-oh. I just checked again when I went to retrieve the link and I'm now at #7. Ha ha - do my poor ego a favor and click me back up to the top, okay?
Just kidding, just kidding.
And in case you are wondering, I am still on pins and needles, waiting to hear from various editors, magazines, etc. as concerns my recent submissions tear (oh Tin House, where art thou? Surely I fit the guidelines for your Evil Issue har har) but in the meantime, I can return the favor by asking YOU, hopefully fellow writers and writer wannabes, to submit to the anthology I'm editing...and this will be out in print by December, 2007 so you will have "instant gratification" (those of you in writing world know that it usually takes between one and two years for a book to be published once your work is accepted)...anyway, for submission guidelines, click here, but basically, here's what I'm looking for:
"39 AND HOLDING...HIM: STORIES OF SEX OVER 40
NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS for a literally and figuratively steamy erotic romance anthology for Phaze.
TITLE: 39 and Holding...Him - Stories of Sex Over 40
EDITOR: Robin Slick
TENTATIVE RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2007 (eBook), December, 2007 (print)
SUBMISSIONS DUE: August 1, 2007
NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS FOR THIS ANTHOLOGY PLEASE!
Authors don't necessarily have to be over 40 to submit, the only requisites for this anthology are that:
1) All stories must be primarily heterosexual (my publisher's request)
2) All heroes/heroines must be portrayed as 40 and over (and everybody involved must be of legal age, of course)
All sub-genres will be considered for this anthology: interracial, BBW, comtemporary, romantic comedy, historical, etc. Show us that love and passion are timeless.
STORY LENGTH: We're looking anywhere from 5K-15K. Please visit the Phaze website for formatting guidelines, and when you're ready send your submissions to: email@example.com with OVER 40 STORY SUBMISSION in the subject header. Reprints will be considered if you have complete control of the rights.
Accepted stories will receive the standard Phaze contract for multi-author anthologies, for a share of royalties."
Okay, that's enough blabbing out of me. Now I need to work on about a million things -- editing for Phaze; two columns for two separate print mags, my novel (yeah, yeah, the new novel remains a work in progress...I really do suspect I'll still be editing it even after it's been published)...and oh god, I have wash sitting in the machine since yesterday which I forgot to put in the dryer...meaning, unless I want everyone around here smelling like Dubya's armpits/breath, I'd better throw in some more laundry detergent and do a rewash.
Oh, one final thing. I know I owe a million people responses to their emails -- I haven't even commented back on the remarks made on this blog which is very unlike me...but I've been swamped and well, busy listening to Beat Box Guitar every twelve minutes...but I promise, I will get back to all of you within the next few days. Okay? Okay!
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Another groovy Gary Slick photo of the Adrian Belew Power Trio, November, 2006
Adrian Belew's new, improved website is live!
Man, it's a beautiful thing to see. And the background artwork is also by the incredibly talented Ade. Note to self: I want one of his paintings!
And...you can purchase a download of an eleven minute version of his Grammy nominated, amazing song, Beat Box Guitar, featuring my son Eric Slick on drums and daughter Julie Slick, celebrating her 21st birthday this coming Tuesday, on bass, on his website right here! Well, wait, actually, I just tried that link and it doesn't take you directly there but it's a no brainer - just click on "Store Belew" and you'll see the download section.
Think I'm a little bit excited? Ha ha - I've just listened to it three times. It's freaking spectacular!
Oh, and there's finally an article about the shows at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in February, and as I've mentioned, Eric will be doing double duty on the drums, playing with Project Object on February 14 and with Julie and Adrian as the Adrian Belew Power Trio on February 15. Here's the link.
There's lots more to talk about but it's 1:15 a.m. and I'm whipped.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Eric Slick with Paul and Tyler from California Guitar Trio at NAMM - Eric is wearing nerd glasses he doesn't even need purchased from the dollar store but you know, he's the man, what can I tell you.
Ha ha - remember how I kept saying I had major news but had to keep my lips zipped. Well, now I apparently can talk a bit about what's going on...and this is what you call Cross-Bloggination:
From Adrian Belew's new blog:
"hoots and shouts!
great news...the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be playing on the 15th of February in Cleveland at the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame. then on friday night at Canal Street, a cozy club in Dayton, Ohio. after that,
get ready to have your best hoots and shouts put on a live record!
The AB Power Trio is making side 4 the live record at the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky on February 17th. this promises to be an awesome show for posterity and I'm hoping to see every greater cincinnatian I've ever known in the audience.
somebody bring me some Skyline! this is what I live for.
Posted by adrian belew at 1:06 PM
Cuddlefish or chameleon, you decide.
those of you visiting this site know by now of my propensity to change colors often. and so it is again. I had plans for touring march with something Robert Fripp (forever hereafter known as robert) calls K3. which would involve ProjeKct 6 (me and robert) as the opening act for the Tony Levin Band, followed by the Adrian Belew Power Trio, followed by an encore of robert, tony, adrian (the 3 kings of crimson) and eric slick playing a half dozen crimson classics.
that was the plan, but this is the music business and rarely do things acquiesce to our wishes.
as it turns out K3 will have to wait until the fall. this combined with the need for julie slick to finish out her semester until june caused a New and Improved! plan to be devised. the AB Power Trio will be bach (to quote the governator) post-june. meanwhile...
Lions and Tigers and...
you got it, Bears. who are nearing the finished line on our next as-yet-untitled effort, which we think may be our finest. we plan to have our record available by the last of march in time for a BEARS TOUR sometime through april-may. our agent Joshua Knight has already begun therapy in preparation for the big event. where would we like to play? well, everywhere there are people stupid enough to, no wait, that's not it. let's just leave it at everywhere. so start telling all your stupi, er, all your friends The Bears are coming. you never know, it could be our last tour ever, so let's pretend it is. it will take a few weeks before the dots (pun intended) start to connect (or else Joshua throws some darts at a map and that becomes the tour). but I will blog you to death when I know more."
So now you know one of the reasons I've been so excited. Oh.My.God. My kids are going to record a CD with Adrian Belew on February 17 live at The Southgate House in Cincinatti. And K3 in the fall. Julie and Eric Slick with Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, and Tony Levin. Excuse me while I go hyperventilate.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Another fab photo taken by Gary Slick of the Adrian Belew Power Trio (Julie's there, she's just hiding) in California, November, 2006
So whilst I wait to post some pretty major cool news -- and because I'm a Brit wannabe and I've always wanted to use the word "whilst" -- I figured I'd post a few blurbs, anyway.
Oh, what am I waiting for? Well, in writing world, I went on a submissions tear and sent off short stories to a whole bunch of pubs, the most prestigious of which is Tin House but I'm not holding out hope because two of my favorite writer pals subbed for that same issue (The Evil Issue) and received their rejections already, and since they are much, much more literary writers than I am, I can only assume my story has been used as toilet paper over at Tin House central and I won't be hearing anything at all. But I'm a dreamer and nonetheless have that glimmer of hope because my said rejection has still not arrived...
That being said, I'm sure it will come in the mail today.
Eric and Julie have had a few cool projects lately and we'll see how that goes...all I know is, they are busy, busy, busy and Eric is jamming with some pretty interesting people this week so he can fill in some holes and stay "in shape" while the Adrian Belew Power Trio is on hiatus until mid-February.
Speaking of Adrian -- he's entered blogland! Here's a direct link to his on line diary, aptly named Elephant-Blog, and okay, okay, I'm thrilled because he's listed his first two links on said blog, -- one is DGM Live and the other one is mine! Yay!
And oh man, try not to salivate too much over the guitar Ade has up on his blog -- it's the one which will be for sale on eBay today used during the Laurie Anderson sessions. Arghh....I want it!
I also couldn't help but notice Ade has the following on his website as of last night:
"LIVE BEAT BOX GUITAR DOWNLOAD COMING IN A MATTER OF HOURS
A live 11:08 recording of Beat Box Guitar by the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be available for download soon. This version was recorded at the Triple Door in Seattle Washington on November 14, 2006 and has been mixed at StudioBelew. After we have tested the store thoroughly, we hope to add some Dust particles to it. Stay close!"
Oh, I'm staying close, I'm definitely staying close! I cannot wait! I actually have the DVD from that show courtesy of a lovely fan, and to say that version of Beat Box Guitar is spine tingling awesome would be putting it mildly.
It will be fun to see if Adrian keeps up the blog -- I can tell you from personal experience it's pretty time-consuming but also very addictive. I really look forward to seeing how it all pans out.
So have you noticed lately that this world is getting crazier and crazier?
This happened right around the corner from where I live. I think I may be having heart failure. If it wasn't so close to home, it'd make a great short story:
Growing Concerns After Latest Foot Fetish Assault
Same Suspect May Be Responsible For Seven Attacks
"A sexual assault suspect with a love of feet may have struck for a seventh time. Police said a woman was attacked by the armed foot fetishist in the Fairmount section of the city Sunday morning.
Authorities said a 33-year-old woman took a cab to...on her way home from a night out with friends around 3:35 a.m.
Police said the suspect approached the victim, put a gun to the victim’s head and led her to ..., where she was told to remove her shoes. For some unknown reason, the suspect became frightened and fled the scene after taking $40 from the victim.
The incident disturbed many residents in the Fairmount neighborhood.
"It's just creepy that my husband and I got home from dinner last night and parked just feet from where that happened," said neighbor xxx.
Some in the neighborhood had a more light hearted opinion of the strange suspect.
“Better a foot fetishist than something else, I mean, the gun is really scary though,” said resident xxx.
Investigators are trying to determine if the suspect is the same man responsible for six similar attacks throughout Philadelphia since November 21 of last year.
Police said the first victim was a 21-year-old woman was taken at gunpoint, fondled and robbed on the 3200 block of South Street.
Dr. Ralph Taylor, a Criminal Justice professor at Temple University, said he is concerned the suspect will get more aggressive.
"Armed robbers are dangerous people and the research shows that one of the things that armed robbers like is freaking people out and taking control of the situation and making people really scared,” he said.
If you have any information on this incident, contact Philadelphia Police"
Great. Something new to worry about. A deranged thief in the neighborhood who wants to smell and fondle feet.
Okay, back to talking about positive stuff again -- Eric came home from LA last night exhausted but extremely happy. NAMM was an incredible success for him; in addition to now having the Paiste cymbal endorsement he also may have picked up a drumstick endorsement; he hung out with all kinds of celebrities, went to the Guitar Player Magazine cocktail party...and Marco Minnemann actually did an "I'm not worthy" bow when Eric was introduced to him as Adrian's drummer. Wow.
And have I mentioned my beautiful daughter will be turning twenty-one in a few days? In celebration thereof, and it will be a week long celebration as usual, we are having our annual lunch at Le Bec Fin later this week. This has been our tradition since Julie turned twelve years old; we've never missed a year since. I was kidding her that this time we'd order a bottle of wine with lunch since she's now legal, but um, Le Bec Fin marks up their wine by 500%. I'm sorry, I'm not paying $50.00 a glass for swill.
But...we'll see. I mean, how often does a person turn 21? Then of course we're going out to dinner a few days later with the entire family at an outstanding restaurant which is a surprise to Ms. Julie so I'll discuss it here after it happens; she's got a romantic night out with just her boyfriend the following evening...ah, life is good and I know I've said it before but I'll say it again -- in my next life, I'm coming back as my kids.
In this one, Gary and I will settle for being their tour manager/publicists. Ha!
Okay, time to get this day started. I'm writing up a storm again. Whee!!!!!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Eric Slick playing what else -- Paiste Cymbals
So I talked to Eric -- to say he's having a blast at NAMM is putting it mildly. The people from Paiste Cymbals were ultra-cool to him; they supplied him with a totally awesome set-up of new cymbals which Eric personally selected; he chatted up Chester Thompson, stood there with mouth open as Stevie Wonder strolled by, thought he may have seen Bono walk right past him but wasn't entirely sure so I did some google research and realized it was this guy named Pavel, a famous Bono impersonator who is a legend out in California and who apparently upset some people who were bamboozled into thinking it was really Bono and told him their heartfelt life stories. Now, I'm no U2 fan -- in fact, I put them right up there with Aerosmith as the world's most famous cringe-worthy bands -- but even I know this guy isn't Bono:
I mean, get this:
"That sucks, he had me so fooled. I told him how their album "All that you leave behind" saved me when my son was a runaway. I'm really upset because he saw how thankful I was of him and his work with charities - I was in tears the whole time. He signed autographs and everything. He went into the Fender booth, pulled down an acoustic and sang "One" for everyone. I'm so disappointed."
Ugh. That's really too bad.
So luckily this weekend wasn't a total wash; I did an interview for a brand new print magazine which will be at first distributed on the west coast but will basically make its way everywhere, and I also agreed to do a column for them. I just need to come up with a cool topic...but I've been kicking around a couple of ideas today and I'm pretty psyched.
Also got a nice review of Another Bite of the Apple over here.
So that's about it for now. Basically I'm just hanging out, hoping Eric calls me because he was going to a Paiste Cymbals NAMM after-party at the Hilton Hotel last night and as we all know, I am living vicariously through him at the moment.
Just joking. But I do love hearing these tales from the road, and if I do talk to him and learn anything interesting, I'll be back.
Friday, January 19, 2007
The Adrian Belew Power Trio in California, November, 2006 (photo by Gary Slick)
Okay, okay, I can't take it anymore. I at least have to spill some news.
Eric is currently on a plane for L.A. on his way to The Namm Show. What's that? Here's a blurb:
"Today, a record-breaking 1,535 music products manufacturers from around the world will fill every square inch of the Anaheim Convention Center with the latest innovations in musical instruments at the 105th NAMM Show, the industry's largest annual event in the United States.
The NAMM Show, which opened today in Anaheim and runs through the weekend, is only open to the trade and draws thousands of music products retailers and manufacturers eager to check out the products, attend valuable professional development sessions and network with their peers"
So what does that have to do with Eric?
"The stars come out in force during the NAMM Show. Throughout the show, a steady stream of legendary musicians and celebrities drop by to sign autographs, take photos with fans and check out the latest gear. Past star sightings include Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Dave Navarro, Peter Frampton, Eddie Van Halen, Carlos Santana, Gene Simmons, Kevin Bacon, Keanu Reeves, Kelly Clarkson, Brian Wilson and even Shaq."
Err...no, really, what does that have to do with Eric?
Okay, I'll tell you. Eric has landed an endorsement with an internationally premier cymbal company, Paiste Cymbals. Who are other Class A artists endorsed by Paiste? Oh, just Stewart Copeland, Carl Palmer, Nigel Olsson, Nick Mason, Alex Van Halen...the list is pretty fucking incredible. So yeah, Eric will be featured on their website any day as well as appearing in ads endorsing Paiste...plus he gets to pick himself out a sweet set-up of the cymbals of his choice this weekend at NAMM in return for exclusively playing Paiste cymbals on stage. Ha ha - that should not be too hard as they really are the best cymbals in the world. It's an incredible honor for Eric and he's going to be hanging with some real heavyweights from the music world over the weekend and sitting alongside them, signing autographs. I gave him my digital camera and the cable for his laptop and begged for photos so we'll see if he's able to pull that off. I admit it, I groveled.
The other piece of news is yep, Eric is playing drums with Ike Willis and Project Object on February 14, 2006 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it's just been confirmed that Ms. Julie will indeed fly out the following day, because the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be performing there on Thursday, February 15, 2007. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has not updated their website beyond January, 2007 so I do not know if you can purchase tickets yet, but naturally I'll post a link as soon as I find one.
Following the Thursday night performance, there is a possible chance of a gig in Columbus, Ohio that Friday night, but it's been confirmed that there will be a very special gig for the Adrian Belew Power Trio at The Southgate House in Newport, KY (which is really the border of Cincinnati, Ohio) on Saturday night, February 17 (though right now, the website incorrectly lists it as "February 27" but when you click on "buy tickets" it does give the correct date of February 17). Why might this gig be very special? she asked mysteriously. Err...take a look at the venue and read about it.
Hmm...is that the only reason it's going to be special?
You'll just have to go and find out, won't you. Right now I'm trying to figure a way for Gary and me to both attend this show. Technically it's my turn since Gary did the west coast tour and we have a dog we refuse to put in a kennel which is why we never go anywhere together. But in this case, Gary and I would kill to be there and it's not fair for either of us to stay home (Why? Hahahahaha...I love this intrigue...I can't believe I'm not blabbing, but since I don't want to jinx anything, I am biting my tongue. HARD.) so as soon as I'm done this blogpost, I'm going to see if I can find a pet friendly hotel because we are nuts enough to drive from Philadelphia to Cincinnati with said dog...what the hell, it's only a six or seven hour trip. I do wish the dog didn't always get carsick but oh well, I've had vomit duty since having babies and it doesn't really bother me. Just call me Nurse Robin.
Alright. That's all I have permission to talk about so far. But watch this space. It's only the tip of the iceberg.
In other Eric news, there is an incredible discussion going on over at the Frank Zappa forum board in which Eric not only gets praise from several die hard Frank fans but he participates himself in some highly intelligent and thoughtful posts. He uses his real name, so if you want to read something very interesting about the whole Zappa Plays Zappa/Project Object experience as well as some very cool stuff about Eric and Andre's thoughts on the subject, click right here. This is actually page 2 of this topic; I posted pretty much all of what's on page 1 in prior blog entries as they had to do with reviews of the Project Object shows as they happened last week as well as reviews of Eric's performance, but if you read pages 2 and 3, there is a lot of new commentary, and I have to tell you, I am more than a little proud of both my son's thoughts on the subject as well as his stellar writing. So again, here's the link -- let me know what you think in my comments section or better yet, post your thoughts on the Zappa forum board. But please, be positive and supportive...Eric certainly doesn't want any enemies in the Zappa family or Zappa Plays Zappa band...he toured several times with Napoleon Murphy Brock and considers him a great friend and mentor. If you read Eric's comments, he is a huge fan of ZPZ himself.
Now. This is kind of embarrassing, but I need to ask for your voting help again. Apparently I've been nominated for three independent book awards - favorite author, best short story, and best novel of 2006. Unfortunately this is in the "romance" category (grits teeth and snarls) but I guess they didn't know where else to put me and these days everyone insists on labeling everything. Now this vote is kind of a pain in the ass because you have to leave your name and email address and then they send you an email to verify that you voted which you have to click on so that your vote is counted; this is to prevent people from cheating. So if you wouldn't mind, here are the links -- just don't forget to scroll down and enter your name and email address after voting, okay? Okay!
Best novel: Another Bite of the Apple
Best short story: Buenos Noches, Justine
Favorite author: Robin Slick
Oh man, there's so much more to say but I don't want anyone shooting me and again, I am extremely superstitious...so all I can tell you is, watch this space!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Hey, finally a You Tube you can watch without waiting an hour for a download -- here's a clip of Project Object performing in Troy, NY this past Saturday night. By the way, Eric is going to section off the film clip I posted here yesterday -- which took more like an hour to download than ten minutes -- and I'll download it in Parts 1, 2, 3, etc. on You Tube so that it will make for easier viewing.
So all is kind of back to normal here -- the tour is over, Eric came home Sunday night and promptly disappeared yesterday to rehearse with another band he's in with Julie -- The SZ Trio. I spent the day bumming and surfing the web and then stumbled on a new audio magazine which not only pays big bucks, they want previously published short stories and flash. Ha ha - do you think I had to sit on my hands to keep from sending them everything I've ever written? A little bit, a little bit. Nah, I just sent them two stories and we'll see how it goes. Naturally I waited until I submitted to them before I actually read the submission guidelines and learned they prefer speculative fiction. Speculative fiction, huh. To me that's an oxymoron but yeah, yeah, I know I'm wrong and I'll let you know how it all pans out.
In a perfect world, I'm headed for New York City tonight to KGB Bar for a reading by members of the The Memoirist Collective. I really want to go but some other stuff popped up in the meantime and don't know if I can swing it or not. But in any event, if you are in the NYC area, this is a must see event - click on the link and you'll find out why.
Speaking of writing...last evening and Sunday I watched the two night, four hour premier of "24". Yes, I admit it. As soap opera-y and melodramatic as it gets, I fucking love that show. I just wish I were one of the writers. How can you take actors of that quality, a setting, premise and scenario that are just incredible, and muck it up with soap opera back stories and improbable dialogue? Bah! But still I watch...and will be glued to my television set weekly for the next, um, twenty-four weeks. I'm not a television watcher; other than Sunday animation night on Fox (The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad and yes -- new episodes of King of the Hill are on the way) I avoid t.v.; there's nothing that interests me and when I see commercials for stuff like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars I cringe and pull the covers up over my head in embarrassment that I'm part of the human race responsible for this crap. Ugh - my absolute worst moment came a couple days ago when I saw an advertisement for a new program called Armed and Famous featuring real "celebrities", and I use that word loosely -- very, very loosely -- who are now acting as real policemen. Erik Estrada, LaToya Jackson, and Jack Osbourne (what, did Ozzie cut off his allowance?) are the cast members.
Oh god. Kill me now. Please. I'm begging you.
In other death and destruction news, yesterday I went on the grapefruit diet -- grapefruit is one of the few fruits on earth I don't seriously love -- grimaced as I ate one for breakfast and another for a snack -- then remembered I had a chocolate chip coffee cake in the freezer and just could not get that out of my mind so now we'll find out if grapefruit is in fact a fat burner and will make that cake I ate go right up in flames though I suspect, No, No it won't, Robin, and your jeans will be a little big snugger today, not looser as you'd envisioned when you forced yourself to eat that first sour segment. Then I researched it a little further and learned that grapefruit interacts with certain medications and wouldn't you know it, one of the drugs I take for my blood pressure is on the list though the side effects aren't all that bad so whether I will continue to pursue this remains to be seen.
I'm guessing NO.
Hey, here's something else -- I bought a new painting -- it's the one on the far left, a study in turquoise:
The artist is an incredible 13 year old named Tucker and I encourage you to click on the link and read all about him and maybe purchase a piece of artwork, too. He's an amazing kid. When Eric returned from his tour and saw it, he was like "Wow! Where did you get that painting, Mom? It's fantastic!"
The photo doesn't do it justice. It's pretty spectacular "live".
I think that's it for now; I still can't spill any big news but expect that to change in the next few days...right now I need to sign off and see if I can get it together to go to New York tonight because I know if I don't make it, I'm going to be kicking myself for months; on the other hand, real life is getting in the way and I have other obligations so I need to sit back and make a decision one way or the other...with the first one being Should I or should I not force myself to eat a grapefruit now?
Maybe it will give me super powers and propel me on a train to NYC?
More likely it will send me back to the freezer for another slice of that damn cake, which, if I had any sense at all, I would have tossed in the trash yesterday to cut off further temptation. But oh, it was so, so good.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
A little tease...
Yes! Finally! Some video of the tour -- this was filmed last week in Chicago and watch as Ike Willis has Eric doing impersonations of everyone from Terry Bozzio to Keith Moon. It takes a very long time to download so be patient -- I tried to embed the entire thing here and failed so the link to the performance is right below and again, you have to wait around ten minutes for the entire thing to load but it's worth it, trust me. Click on the tease I have posted above - you'll see what I mean.
Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
Saturday, January 13, 2007
So tonight is your last chance to catch Project Object on tour - they end their winter swing tonight at Revolution Hall in Troy, New York and if you are anywhere in the area, what can I say...THEY ARE AMAZING! GO SEE THEM!
In the meantime, here's a couple of reviews from recent shows:
From the Ween Forum Board:
"Went to the Lancaster, Pa show last night. Pretty good crowd for a Wednesday in the middle of nowhere. Great show as always except not one song from Joe's Garage which is what I really wanted. Ike IS Joe for Gods sake.
He has a great band behind him this tour. Seahag was on as usual but Eric Slick stole the show for me. That fucker can play and its great to see someone so young digging the Zappa stuff."
"Eric Slick is a behemoth. I have not seen someone dominate an instrument like that since Mike Watt. I had to peridocially scoop up and reaply my face because it kept getting melted off."
"I was looking at some of the pictures and I definitely see Eric Slick, that cute little drummer hanging around- Is he playing with Chris H?
Fucking 19 year old virtuoso-type drummer mother fuckers."
"Saw them last night in VT, amazing as usual. BTW, who the fuck is that new drummer? he's like 14, and he's amazing.
I wish it was the Sixties, I wish we could be happy..."
"Eric Slick. School of Rock Grad. Plays in Adrian Belews band and Harford's Band of Changes too. Supposedly distantly related to Grace."
From the Zappateers Forum Board
"Thanks again. This was a great show. Slick and Seahag blew me away.
So yep, Eric's a behemoth alright.
Behemoth: A creature or thing of monstrous power
Hahahahaha - that's going to be my new nickname for my son.
Yo, Behemoth, see you tomorrow. Any special dinner requests? Have I mentioned I miss you?
Well, at least I get to see the behemoth for a few days before he takes off for California. Can't wait to tell you about that next week. Oh.My.God.
Friday, January 12, 2007
...Proving once again that Gary's new camera can take clear shots in even pitch black venues; and for those who have asked me, it's a Canon Digital Rebel XT/EOS 3500 AF SLR with a special lens purchased separately for taking photographs in low light situations
So before I post this article/review I found in a Cleveland newspaper this morning following Project Object's recent concert there, I'm going to have to issue a partial disclaimer as the reporter breaks news that I don't even have and something tells me if it were true, Eric would have called me. And there are some other minor errors in the article (such as Ike did not start Project Object, Andre did, and was thrilled when Ike came aboard a few years later). But okay, the reporter says that "Project Object will make it back for another round, this time at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and museum, February 14th. The band, without Ike Willis, will join Adrian Belew at the Rock Hall two days prior".
Err...Adrian is going to play with Project Object?
It's my understanding that yep, Adrian will be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a seminar two days earlier, but as to whether he's joining the band and Ike Willis will not be there...hmmm...I dunno. It's my impression that the band is being advertised as "Ike Willis and Project Object" for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gig, but Ike is flying back to LA after this Saturday night's final show of the tour and maybe circumstances are preventing him from flying back a month later? As I type this, I'm pretty sure it's inacurrate reporting again, but one never knows. Anyway, without further ado, here's the article, which is still pretty damn cool, and, if you click on that link, offers some nice photos of the Cleveland gig:
"Project Object Carries the Torch for Zappa Fans.
Article and Photos by Allisun Hovater
Thursday January 4th, I escaped the winter drizzle by nine p.m. to walk into a ballroom covered in fold-up chairs. This was an unusual scene seeing as the Beachland usually provides show goers with a naked dance floor. It was going to be comedy stand-up night, with a twisted rock n roll twist. My ears and eyes perked as I prepared myself for a trip through the Cosmic Debris for the resurrection of an obscure rock legend.
Hardcore Zappaheads and new cult members of the like were on hand for an annual Zappafestation at the Beachland Ballroom. Even while seated, the crowd was rip-roaring despite the less than avant-garde arrangement. The lighting was set, and five men took the stage to play out a frantic mathematical musical gallery that would otherwise be dead.
Dead if it wasn’t for front man/guitarist Ike Willis. Willis, while best known for his performance on Joe’s Garage, collaborated with Zappa’s band The Mother’s of Invention from the late 70’s until to early 90’s. As a portion of the Mothers, he decided to keep the ball rolling, carrying on Zappa’s legacy by enlightening others of this obscure sound and doing what he does best with great musical theory and composition. Project Object offers a hand-selected group of musical geniuses, including nineteen-year-old drummer Eric Slick who will probably put Neil Peart to shame in five years. This child prodigy had his own drum set by age four, and has played non-stop since. His amazing skills have earned him to perform with big names such as Napoleon Murphy Brock, Jon Anderson of Yes, Eddie Vedder, Ann Wilson of Heart, Adrian Belew, and John Wetton. Dave Johnsen’s pounding shred-a-rific bass rifts accent Andre Cholmondelay’s spacey guitar with a perfect whipped topping of moog/keys by Eric Svalgard.
The first set opened slowly with Incan Art Vamp, then ran straight into a tune called “Sy Borg,” a tale of an erogenous vacuum machine with many parts that suck and blow. Loud chuckles rumbled through the audience when, in the chorus, the narrator asked “for a blowjob.” Another song, “Baby Snakes” (pink and wet, they make the best kinda pet) was also filled with metaphoric perversion. How delightful and expected at a Project show. Ike and Andre’s distorted voice impersonations were done in sync and with proven spirit.
The best part of the show, the peak of the volcano, came when the band came out in silly plastic noses at the start of the second set to perform “Montana.” As a twist, they sang of being Nasal Floss tycoons instead of the known dental floss tycoon. The only faux pas with the performance of this well-known tune was that the chorus provided no female vocals, as heard on the album Over-Nite Sensation. The set then advanced to the songs “Ms. Pinky”, “ Dog Breath”, “Beauty Knows No Pain”, “Any Downers?”, and ending with “Uncle Remus.” An appropriate encore (as requested by Clevelanders) was, “Keep It Greasy,” this is a gross little ditty that proceeds to say, “So it’ll go down easy.” You can probably gather by the information given what the song may be about.
Project Object will make it back for another round, this time at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and museum, February 14th. The band, without Ike Willis, will join Adrian Belew at the Rock Hall two Days prior (February 12th). For more information on this kick-ass quintet, check out their website at www.projectobject.com."
So I don't know. I will call Eric later and try to get this sorted out but I'm going with my gut instinct that yeah, Adrian is in fact going to be there and in a perfect world, might end up joining P/O for a song or two, in a totally perfect world, Ms. Julie Slick will fly out to the Hall of Fame and the Adrian Belew Power Trio will do a few tunes, but it seems pretty unlikely that Ike will not be there as well.
I also found this review on the Project Object Forum Board regarding the band's recent gig in Pittsburgh:
"Club Cafe Show in Pittsburgh
This is a bit of a delayed post ...The Jan 3rd Pittsburgh show was excellent. I was with 3 other people and we were amazed at both the show and Eric Slick's playing.
Hard to believe he's so young and I can't wait to hear him when he's in his 30's!
Usually, drummers don't stand out so much but it was hard to not notice his playing. Great to hear Zappa's music live.
Nice job. Everyone"
I can't help it -- I'm beaming that everyone who hears Eric play singles him out with such high praise. I just hope he hires me as his official publicist when he hits the big time. Ha!
So the tour landed in Boston last night; they have a gig in Vermont tonight, and end with a show in Troy, New York on Saturday night which will feature the insanely talented Ed Mann. In the meantime, like I said, if I talk to Eric and get any more info or permission from other parties to break any of the totally major news I'm sitting on, I'll be back later.
And yeah, I do have writing news to spill as well but while my kid(s) are touring, I can concentrate on little else but I may not be able to contain myself much longer and yeah, may also come back with a separate post about that this afternoon/evening, too.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Last night was Project Object "nerd night" - hence the glasses on Eric and get a load of the outfit on guitarist Robbie "Seahag" Mangano:
That of course is the insane Ike Willis, bass virtuoso Dave Johnson, and guitarist/vocalist/all around wonderful musician/friend Andre Cholmondeley
And a crazy shot of crazyman keyboardist Eric Svalgard
So last night's Project Object show was everything you could want in a concert and more...plus, Gary got to use his new camera and the photos really rock. It was almost impossible to choose the best ones for this post but fear not, I'll be posting many more over the next several days.
First, let's dispense with the reviews I've gotten via email so far, one of which is because I'm a member of the Adrian Belew Yahoo Group:
"Wed, 10 Jan 2007 14:19:57 -0000
Subject: [AdrianBelew Tribe) Eric Slick... wow!
De-Lurking once again with some "almost" off topic fan-boy raves for the kid on the kit. I saw him last night with Project Object and he blew me away. I mean, my god, i have been listening to Zappa for longer than he has been alive and can't believe how well he has picked up all of the material these guys are playing from all era's of Frank's work. He really holds his own up there.
Anyone on the East coast should go see them tonight (Wed) in Lancaster, PA...tomorrow
(Thur) in Boston or Saturday in Albany (with Ed Mann!!). Check www.projectobject.com for more info.
And, to bring this post back around to Ade, when Andre was introducing Eric, he said "be sure to catch him and Julie this spring with Adrian Belew!!!"
So you know I loved that, and the very next email I read came from my pal Jessica, who comments on this blog as "Peanuts and Planet", (by the way, what does that mean? I dunno but I like it...peanuts and planet, that is) and congrats to Jess because she's now Dr. Jess...she came to the show with her boyfriend and a Frank loving pal and here's a copy of an e-mail from her said pal which she forwarded to me:
"That was freakin rad.
That kid is a fucking insane drummer. He just got sponsored by xxxx (I'll let this one out of the bag in a few days) cymbals.
I felt obliged to tell him after the show, "I've seen Terry play 'I'm So Cute', and i gotta tell you, you brought the thunder!"
Cuz ya know why? It's true. The kid was awesome.
Ike was great.
Everybody was cool. Plus they played not one but TWO songs from Joe's Garage- "Cy Borg" and "Outside Now"- unlike the Zappa Plays Zappa show, which played Zero songs from Joes Garage.
Project Object was on fire last night. Everyone in the band was fucking amazing, and Ike sang and jumped around the stage like he was twenty-five. Seahag is one of my favorite guitarists ever; Dave Johnsen is mind-blowing on the bass, Svalgard kills the keys, Andre is just all around great - vocals, guitar - he does it all and I just adore him. They had a surprise guest join them for a few songs -- very cool local sax player Elliott Levin
Okay, before I post more pics from Gary's outrageously cool new camera, pop over to Susan Henderson's website for a totally awesome interview with author Maria Dahvana Headley. But if you are a writer or even a wannabe writer, scroll down to the post directly below the interview and answer Sue's question of the week, which is, "Half the battle of writing and selling a book, seems to be in the pitch. In two sentences or less, tell me about the book you’ve written or the book you are currently writing."
So yeah, of course I answered in the comments section and oh my god, it took me almost two hours to write my two sentence pitch for my current novel, but my other reason for bringing up Susan is to let her know that she can now worship at the alter of Neil Gaiman without me...I mean, I'm still a major fan of his writing, but I've transferred my pathetic fan girl crush from Neil to the guest keyboard player in Eric's band, Jordan Shapiro. Just call me Demi or Cher. Oh god, I'm totally kidding, but heigh ho -- here you go, Susan, this is for you:
Now, now, you know I'm only joking and trying to give both my son and husband heart failure, but trust me on this, Jordan is a kick ass keyboardist and mandolin player and just one more reason to see this band though to be honest, I'm not even sure if he's with them for the remaining week of the tour but if you are in the New York area, he's worth checking out.
Oh enough. Behave, Robin.
Actually, I'm really excited about Gary's new camera and the quality of the pics which were taken in a very dark venue. It's the first time we've ever been able to get digital photos that clear.
So I'm exhausted and I am still sitting on a ton of news but I have to coninue to keep my lips zipped for now, damn it. We didn't get home until after midnight; I had four hours sleep, and Gary just walked in the door so it's time for "cocktail hour" -- no alcohol involved, it's just our decompressing time upstairs (where the dog manages to squirm between us every time). We've decided to barbecue tonight -- why not, it's been sixty degrees for the past two weeks and this evening is the first time it's dropped down to like twenty below zero and I'm sitting here wearing two sweatshirts and my teeth are chattering.
But you know, that's us, we want to barbecue and so we will and we wouldn't have it any other way.
We did, however, take down our Christmas tree but decided that, as in prior years, we're keeping the colored lights we threaded on our beamed ceilings on all year because they make us happy.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Okay, Eric is performing tonight in Philadelphia with Project Object. Do you have your tickets yet? If not, here's the link. You will thank me for this later, trust me.
More about Eric on the Frank Zappa forum board:
"I went to Friday night's show. Great as always. I sat on the edge of the stage for most of P/O's first set until I couldn't crane my neck anymore. I knew once I moved I wouldn't be able to get back there, hahaha.
The opening show was fucking awesome too. It totally took me by surprise. I didn't know who was playing when I walked in, but soon found out that it was Eric Slick on drums and Dave Dreiwitz on bass and vocals. He plays bass with Ween among other things. I had seen him with Ween, but never solo and he ROCKED! Cool bass fx freakouts among the originals and Pink Floyd's Fearless. Seahag sat in for the last few tunes.
As for P/O, clearly Eric Svalgård is making himself more of a fixture in the band taking harmonica solos and even Lead Vocals. Andre was great, Ike was great, but honestly, I mostly paid attention to Seahag all night, effortlessly playing."
"Caught both shows at Martyr's. On Friday I was right smack dab in front of Ike in the very front, on Saturday I was right in the front but a little closer to Seahag. I've seen them play with Napi before, but both nights, they were on some kind of godly level. Eric Slick is a fucking insane drummer, my favorite Slick moment was during Don't You Ever Wash That Thing when Ike was calling out different drummers and Slick did spot on impersonations of Keith Moon, Terry Bozzio and Steve Gadd (among others). But by far my favorite moment of both nights was on Saturday when Ike did his best Captain Beefheart impersonation and did "Sam With The Showing Scalp Flat Top" in the middle of a monstrous Big Swifty.
Everyone in the band was absolutely on fire throughout. I wish I could see this group with Ed Mann, being able to see that would probably make my life complete."
So yeah, I'm pretty psyched for tonight. Plus, I really miss my son.
In writing news, I was stoked to see Another Bite of the Apple is back in the top five highest rated over at Fictionwise and rated number one for all books published by Phaze. Pretty cool, huh.
I still have much to talk about but I really want people to come to the World Cafe Live show tonight so I don't want to clutter this post with a lot of my usual ramblings. Therefore, until tomorrow...
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Eric Slick on drums with Project Object - Chicago, Friday night
So here is where we last picked up on the Zappa Forum Board as concerns the Project Object tour...and it made me smile so I'm reposting the original comments and then tacking on what followed:
"The 19 year old drummer is fantastic!
So sorry, I can't recall his name right now...."
"Eric Slick! That's the drummer about to take over the world. He's incredible."
"He's only 19, and he knows how to nasty. Wink"
"I've seen more than a few big name bands live and none have had a drummer that impressed me more."
"Missed the first night but just got back from the second nights show. They definitely step it up quite a few notches with Eric Slick on drums and Seahag back in the band. My buddy taped the show on DAT out of the soundboard and his recording sounds phat. I'll have it on CD in a day or two. Also just found out Adrian Belew is playing in the city I live at the end of this month..."
Now this review I found on My Space and it totally cracked me up so even though I usually just focus on Eric when I post these things (and he does a nice job when he talks about Eric, by the way), I could not resist putting up his entire entry:
"Sunday, January 07, 2007
Wow, oh wow. That is one wow for how fucking awesome the band, Project Object, is, and one for wtf is this streak I'm going on?
So first, the back story. Thursday night, Toad and his girl came up and my roomie and them and I went to the Beachland Ballroom to see Project Object. I hadn't heard of them, but I do like Zappa, and Toad assured me that they are the best Zappa tribute band in the land.
Well, it's not as though I've ever seen another Zappa tribute band, but I'm sure that if I had or if I ever do, said bands will not come close to Project Object. Mainly, I was floored by the drummer. This was a 19 year old kid, and he was _Fucking_ outstanding. It turns out that he's a real "up and comer" and is apparently the nephew of one of the members of Jefferson Starship? Dunno nothin' about that, but I do know that the kid was fucking amazing. They had two fucking awesome guitar players, and this 60 year old keyboardist destroying a fucking sweet Korg. Really, just a fucking great night of music.
Now, for those of you who take some joy from my acting like a moron, we get to the rest of the story.
Well, Paulie found a way to sneak onto the stage in the middle of the concert. So, I'm totally grooving, and I look up and see my roommate just standing on the side of the stage. Awesome. He came and showed me how to get up there, and I got thrown off as soon as I took one step on the stage. That's not too surprising, except that Paul did not get thrown off. I guess I just don't have "it".
Next, between sets, I was in the bathroom and there was about four pounds of weed going around. For those of you who know me, you know that I don't handle dope well at all. And, because of this, I haven't smoked in quite some time. Well, I'm not sure what's going on here, because I went on a little pot brownie tear last week, and then I ended up smoking a ton of weed in that bathroom. It actually didn't turn out too badly, surprisingly enough, but it did put me into a massive, monster fog. So, I was pretty well worthless to talk to after that.
We watched the last set, and I was pretty well groovin' along in dopesville, and it was nice. After they finished, we went to the bar that was attached, and there was some pretty cool Rockabilly band playing. I was really enjoying them as well, but I was out of comission, not really much good to anyone.
Sidebar: In college, I rode the campus bus line pretty religiously. Well, throughout the tenure of my days at Kent, I would periodically see this girl on the bus. Now, I was always too big of a pussy to say anything to her, but I started to see her all over the place. It's hard to explain correctly, but I pretty well obsessed over her. I thought of her as my mystery girl. I had a couple of classes with her throughout my time there, but never said a word to her.
Ok, so she was there on Thursday. I really wanted to talk to her, but I knew that I was too hammered to make any good sense. So, like a smart boy, I went and just tried to logically explain to her that I used to see her a lot on campus. The short part of this long story is that I don't believe that I tactfully pulled that one off. It went more along the lines of "Hey! I used to be totally psycho for you!" Surprisingly enough, she was not very receptive.
Anyway, it was a fucking great night and I will definately see Project Object any time that they come to town. You will too, unless, of course, you are a moron."
Ha! Was that not great?
So the band had yesterday and today off while they drive from Chicago to Philadelphia, where, ta-da, they will be performing tomorrow night at World Cafe Live!. Doors are at 6:00 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. I cannot wait and hope to see a lot of you there.
That's it for now - I actually am working on three projects concurrently -- a book review, editing for Phaze Publishing, and...arghh...another revision to my novel, which I will most likely continue to edit long after it's published. My head is spinning so I need to take a deep breath and tackle each thing one at a time.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Chris Opperman on stage with various members of Project Object -- André Cholmondeley, Eric Slick, and Jordan Shapiro in New York City
(Oh, and wait until the Emitt Rhodes song stops playing and then click on the play button of the above film so you can hear/see an amazing rendition of "I am the Slime"...although it's only a minute long film and ends rather abruptly. And am I crazy or is that Gary walking in front of the stage at the beginning of the clip?)
So I finally found a couple reviews of the recent Project Object shows on the Frank Zappa Forum Board:
"I was able to go to this one and planting smooches on Ike and Andre' was the highlight. Of course, the shows was great too.
The 19 year old drummer is fantastic! So sorry, I can't recall his name right now.
The drummer is Eric Slick. Ha!
"Tonight's show at Martyr's was so fucking good. Eric Slick and Seahag totally blew me away. I had never seen them with P/O before. WOW.
Everyone was just incredible and the setlist was gold. Hearing stuff from You Are What You Is was quite a treat. I lost count, but I think there were at least 5 pairs of underpants tossed up on stage by the end of the night.
I enjoyed seeing ZPZ, but I'll take P/O over them anyday. I'm looking forward to night 2"
Oh god. Underpants were thrown at my son. Well, it was just a matter of time, I suppose. Next thing you know women will be asking him to sign their breasts.
If they haven't already.
Eric, if they have, please do not tell me. The underpants thing is quite enough for your poor mother's heart.
And while the management of this blog is very pleased with the above review on the Zappa forum board, we do not share the sentiments of "taking P/O over ZPZ anyday" because both are incredible and I personally know and have toured with Napoleon Murphy Brock during his Rock School guest professor days, Eric adores him and loves playing drums with him, and he is an awesome, awesome musician as are all of the musicians in ZPZ -- I mean, come on, they have Terry Bozzio (one of Eric's heroes) and Steve Vai! So enough of this P/O vs ZPZ stuff. What's fantastic about P/O and ZPZ is that they are both getting Frank's music out there to audiences of all ages and turning both young kids and oldheads (like me) on to the music for the first time.
Yeah, that's right. Me, the biggest rock fan in the world. Every concert I attend where Eric and Julie are performing, whether it's with Adrian Belew or Project Object...whatever...fans always ask me "How many times did you see Frank?"
I am forced to admit "Never".
Gary and I were die hard British rock/blues fans. Ask us how many times we've seen Clapton, The Who, David Bowie, or the Kinks, and we're talking triple figures. Wasn't Zappa that weird guy who sang about dental floss?
And then the kids came home from Rock School -- Paul Green started playing Zappa for them when they were like eleven/twelve years old -- and I heard City of Tiny Lights for the first time and then as baby Rock School All-Stars Julie and Eric performed it and I was like "Oh my god, this is the most amazing song I've ever heard." And then in 2003 the kids performed at Zappanale with Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock and Jimmy Carl Black...
And so it began.
Gary and I now own every CD, vinyl, t-shirts, etc.
By the way, I didn't want to mention it but I feel I must - the newspaper article I posted yesterday had several errors in it - Napoleon is obviously not with Project Object, he's with Zappa Plays Zappa; Eric is not a former member of Project Object who formerly pounded drums with Adrian Belew -- Eric is a current, active member of both bands; Dave Dreiwitz is not a member of P/O but he plays bass with Ween and Crescent Moon, and Crescent Moon, which also features Eric on drums, opened for Project Object last night and tonight in Chicago as well as in Baltimore and NJ and I'm hoping this Tuesday night in Philadelphia...but no, as far as I know, Dave was never a member of P/O.
And um, Ike Willis "jammed" with Zappa? Ike did a hell of a lot more than jam...he was Frank Zappa's lead singer and rhythm guitarist for nearly 15 years. Mr. Reporter, sir, in case you find this blog while googling your name, here's a link for you.
As a writer, I get kind of offended by other writers who do not properly do their research so while I thank this fellow for writing the article and for the most part I enjoyed it -- well, all I can say is, sloppy job, dude.
So speaking of The Who, last night Gary was assistant music director for Rock School's production of Tommy, and it was amazing. Several parents came up to him and told him what an awesome show it was and Mike Sabolick, who was the show's Director, mentioned Gary in the program by writing thanks "To Gary Slick for being a king amongst men".
That is very cool.
Gary will alas not be at tonight's show because his co-worker bought us tickets to see Rain tonight at the Academy of Music and we're actually having a Saturday night date -- dinner and a show with another couple. Ha ha - this is not our usual weekend M.O. but we're both looking forward to a nice dinner out and an evening of Beatle music, which is what Rain is.
I hear it turns into a sing-along, which means I must have copious amounts of wine with dinner pre-show.
Heh. Luckily, Gary sounds like a cross between John and Paul when he sings while I am, at best, an out of tune Ringo who would never, ever sing in public but drunk...well, who knows. What the fuck, I can't be any worse than the late Linda McCartney or Yoko Ono, right? Right.
But err...a sing-along? Make that two bottles of wine with dinner for me, waiter, and let's start with a vodka martini and finish it up with a post-meal cognac.
I'm just kidding. This should be a fun experience.
My writing news will have to wait...I am seriously considering doing two separate posts a day where I isolate writing from music or maybe setting up another "just authors" blog altogether, but while Eric is on tour and the news continues to flow in regarding both kids' career, I'd rather be their unofficial publicist because, well, it's just too, too cool.
Friday, January 05, 2007
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, please...love, Mom.
Zappa-philes -- unite!
BY TIM SHELLBERG
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.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Once again, thanks to my pal, Daryl Barnett, for providing such great photos from the west coast Belew tour -- somehow he managed to animate my son and I must learn how he did this! Daryl? I know you're here...teach me!!!!!
I remember worrying this time last year that I'd never be able to top 2005 -- the premier of the documentary Rock School (in which both a very young Julie and Eric appear throughout), the premier parties on the west coast featuring J&E performing Heart of the Sunrise at the LA Knitting Factory with Jon Anderson and Barracuda with Ann Wilson of Heart at Neumo's in Seattle...pizza in Seattle with Eddie Vedder and then Eric jamming out with him (see the You Tube link on the right hand side)...the print publication of my first novel...and then look what happens in 2006! My next novel published (ha ha...I figured I had to start with that instead of ending the year with it but you can tell where my priorities really rest)...both kids becoming part of Adrian Belew's Power Trio...touring all across America and Europe...well, all I can say is, within the past few days, I've received news of upcoming events for 2007 that are completely blowing my mind and over the next few weeks I will be sharing major news on all fronts, both music and writing.
But for now, if you are in the Pittsburgh, PA area, please go see my son tonight and/or tomorrow night performing with Project Object at Club Cafe.
So I've been trolling for reviews and stuff of the Project Object gigs so far, but I guess the holidays have everyone kind of frazzled and not into blogging. I did, however, find this on a kind person's journal:
"I hope that we all can focus on the tasks at hand. This past weekend I witnessed one of the best shows of my life. It was Project Object featuring Ike Willis at Teaneck, NJ's Mexicali Blues Cafe. The glorious music of the late Frank Zappa was played by some serious virtuosos. 3 guitarists, 2 synths, Mahavishnu Project bass, and Eric Slick on drums. The conducting was incredible in the real efzee style. The Dick Cheney modernization of "Moving to Montana" made my year. Funk flange mandolin and theramin made it to the stage in a big way. Numbers from Joe's Garage had us screaming and dancing "Keep it greasy so it'll go down easy". The show was James Brown themed with encores of JB songs and wild samples of James injected into the beautiful cacophony."
I am also pleased to learn that Eric is keeping a tour blog on the P/O website, but I'll make it easy for you and paste what he wrote here:
Hey, What's New in Baltimore? added by Eric Slick
What a joy it is, to be back on the road again with the one and only Project/Object. We played our first show in Baltimore the other night. I opened up with Dave Dreiwitz (from the almighty Ween) and I'm pretty sure we rocked some balls. I've never played the 8x10 before, it's a funky small place. J-Ro somehow managed to carry the house Hammond B3 down a flight of stairs just so he could have it for the show. Baltimore is great - crazy crowds, decent food, bar fights. In fact after our show (which was very good considering minimal rehearsal time and nervous energy) there was a fight outside the sleazy club next door. I seriously thought we'd see some blood shed, but I was wrong. I just ended up sitting in the van eating Spanky's pastries, and commenting on the balls and spitting lip on them. What does this mean you ask? Only time will tell, so keep reading the blog.
Off to Teaneck, NJ, where the awesome macaroni and chesse pizza place is.
30 December 2006
Here's some cool photos someone took of the gig in Providence, Rhode Island Saturday night.
And finally, for those of you who understand how to download/upload...whatever..BT Torrents, here's a link to the Project Object show in Baltimore complete with many interesting comments:
Anyway, I can understand the lack of blogging...I am kind of feeling that way myself...all pooped out from the holidays and now sitting on my hands because I have such huge news and what good is it if I can't share it?
I've decided to spare you all photos and blurbs of what we all got for Christmas though I will say my family really outdid themselves and I got a desperately needed new laser printer as well as some incredible artwork and photos by the family which Julie professionally framed. We bought Gary a new camera which totally rocks and has a special lens for dimly lit clubs so as soon as he reads the manual which is the size of a phone book be prepared to see some awesome shots.
In the meantime, I will share the Christmas song Eric wrote for me...however, he will not allow me to post the actual MP3 because he feels it's personal and he's right. Besides, this way, if you have your speakers turned on, you get to listen to Emitt Rhodes sing Long Time, No See on my blog, who/which my husband turned me on to many years ago when we were baby hippies...and if you want to read quite a story about Emitt and how cruel the music industry can be...oy vey...click here.
Anyway, Eric and Julie went over my entire blog for 2006 and wrote this song...only I realized that a lot of it was personal; a lot of it was embarrassing...and so...after "red lining" it with my pen, here is what we are left with:
"All I Want for Christmas is a Book Deal
Ho Ho Ho and Hello Robin
I know you've been a good girl this year
Blogging and writing and working very hard
You deserve a special present this year
It's not a book deal, it's even better
A SONG about getting a book deal. Let me reach into my sack of presents:
Well there was Neil Gaiman and Shannon Penn
I went to California to play at NAMM
(and here is where Eric censors me)
But we won't talk about THAT
Community College is where you read
A story about who else...Neil Gaiman
I don't even wanna know what "Sexecution" is
I don't wanna talk about that because this song is for children
All I want for Christmas is a book deal!
In March and April and May there was Project Object
And pictures of your face superimposed with Neil Gaiman
In July and August we were away
And there's a Neil Gaiman post every day
But somehow you managed to finish your novel
All I want for Christmas is a book deal
In September we went down the shore
October was pretty much a bore
In November we went back on tour
In December you lost the blog award
But that's okay because that stupid nudie
girl from Canada sucks anyway
But you still made top #5"
Ha ha - so that's the edited version and trust me, it reads/sounds a lot better unedited and with music but it's my special personal present from my son and he's right, I should keep it that way.
So that's it for now...grrr...there's so much I want to say and so much I can't...but watch this space!