Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Odds and Sods for Wednesday, January 2, 2008

So as you can see, I've been redecorating in here for the New Year and gone from basic black to classic white. Why? Well, in the next several days I will be unveiling my new, more colorful website, and I am OCD enough to want the blog to kind of match part of the site...especially since you will now easily be able to access my blog via my regular website and my brilliant new webmaster has set it up so that the first few lines of my latest journal entry will appear on the front page of my new site.

Oh, I am so dying to post a link to it now so you can all see it but it's still under construction.

You had to see what I went through just to change colors. Oh. My. God. If you change templates with blogger, you lose all of your links which would have meant I would have lost every single thing on the right hand side of this blog -- my awards, the photo of Dennis Kucinich (ha)...everything. So I tried to be a lazy smart ass and copy my entire template from the "basic black site" to the new white one, not realizing that the HTML codes for the colors are scattered throughout the entire template. So I actually had to make up a dummy white blog and manually, line by line, compare it to the template of my old blog, and switch the colors one by one...the whole process took me over two hours and I still don't have it quite right (like, I think I somehow lost the thick margin around the header, etc.) but I am so proud of myself for figuring this out myself! As I've mentioned many times, to say that I am technology challenged is putting it mildly.

Also, before I get to the news of the day, I'm just reminding you again about the release of 39 and Holding...Him, for which I had the pleasure of being editor:

"Let's face it, 40 is the new sexy! And Phaze is celebrating with this sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, and always passionate collection of mature heroines who set out to prove that once you crest the hill, you begin to pick up a little speed.

Features stories by Robin Slick, Victoria Blisse, Fenner Jeckyll, Jalena Burke, N.L. Belardes, N, Missy Lyons, Shanna Germain, Rebecca Adamsi, and Belinda Franklin.

Get ready for the second exciting volume in this series: 39 and Still Holding!"

The print version should be out within the next couple of weeks, but for instant gratification for your Kindle, Sony Reader, or just an instant digital read in general click right here.

More importantly, today, January 2, 2008 only, the paperback version of Three Days in New York City and Another Bite of the Apple are on sale for 25% off - to get the discount, enter OHOHOH in the coupon code box when you check out. This goes for all other Phaze paperbacks as well!
Okay, how hilarious is this? As you can see, I found it on the Fender Guitar Forum Board:

This all stems from the fact that guitarist Jeff Beck hired a bassist -- a young girl -- who kind of resembles Julie, and also hired Zappa drummer Vinnie Colaiuta...erm...the similarities to the Belew Trio end there, though...just know both bands are awesome -- but the Belew Trio came first!

Anyway, when I found this via Google and read that guy's remark, I broke out laughing out loud and just had to post it here.

So I have a new link on the right hand side of my blog - it's a fantastic, creative website/journal I visit daily called Cecil Vortex. And as if I wasn't already a fan, Cecil recently published a three part interview with Adrian Belew. Here is part one, here is part two, and most importantly, here is part three!

"...CV: With all the projects you've been working on, what are you most excited about?

AB: Right now the trio that I have has touched a creative nerve, has done something amazing that I can't really explain. It's like it's reinvented my music for me -- the trio being Eric Slick and Julie Slick. Eric is twenty. Julie is his sister; she's twenty-one. Eric plays drums; Julie plays bass. And it's just so incredible to have this newfound canvas, which is the three of us playing music together.

They are young, energetic, unjaded, and just completely ready to do anything, like eager little puppies wanting to do it all. And yet they're so adult in their abilities and the mechanics of their instruments and in their understanding of all music.

Because of their parents, they grew up in their living room surrounded by twenty-five guitars, a set of drums, and three thousand vinyl records. They live in Philadelphia; they still live with their parents. They don't even have driver's licenses yet.

CV: Oh my God.

AB: From age eleven on, Eric and Julie have been learning all the music that I grew up learning and everything beyond that. So they know the Beatles -- and they shouldn't at age twenty, but they do -- they know King Crimson and they know Zappa and they know all the stuff. The end result is suddenly I'm thrown into this wonderful fire with two young, brilliant players, and it's caused me to almost rethink what I do. I have to now take everything I've done and I can put it back into a new form -- a trio form -- with a younger, more aggressive kind of attitude.

CV: What drove you to bring on players that age?

AB: I was looking to form a trio and had tried two different lineups. The first lineup I tried, my thinking was, use someone locally, so we could woodshed here in Nashville where I live and I have a studio. And I tried some local players [but] that didn't work. So my second thought was, okay, I'll go to tried-and-true people that I've known for a long time -- some older players, older friends of mine. And that worked a bit and was pretty good, but it wasn't perfect; it wasn't the right chemistry.

So I was still looking and thinking, “Well, I still really want to do a trio.” I felt that that would help define my current writing as something different from the Bears or from King Crimson or from my past solo work. So it was important to me to get that kind of lineup.

At the same time, Paul Green brought me to his school [The Paul Green School of Rock Music] to be a guest professor for a week. And while I was there he said, "I just have to have you play with my favorite two students I've ever had, the Slicks." And so I did. I played just one song with them and I knew. I just knew, wow, there's something amazing here. It was almost like a chemistry that you couldn't manufacture and you just knew it. They were really wonderful kids, and the more I got to know them, the more I realized, oh, this could really be the trio that I've been looking for.

It didn't immediately work once we stepped out. I mean, every show has been good. But they've all gotten better. And this last round where we just played six shows on the East Coast was almost phenomenal. I couldn't believe it. Every night was just great. Every song sounded fantastic. The tour was happy. Everyone was in good spirits. The audiences were, I think, blown away. And so this is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing….

I'm still in the Bears and I'm still in King Crimson, so it doesn't eliminate those things. It just means that here's another thing that is more my own personal form. And I can really see what I can do with it and how I can take it further and further. So creatively that's very exciting. It's like you've found a new vein in the mine.

The strange thing about creativity in general and being musical and so on -- it's entirely what keeps you young. And this is off the subject of anything you've asked but, to me, that’s one of the best rewards about it. I feel like a twenty-five-year-old. You know, I'm fifty-seven years old; I don't feel that way at all. And when I went to my thirtieth class reunion, I looked like I should have been in a, you know, a different class. [laughs] Because all the people who turned out from my class, they look so much older than me now. And it's not just your looks; it's not that. It's more to do with your spirit. It keeps you so young, to do this for a living.

It's all work. Everything is work. No matter what you're doing there's some work involved in it. It's your livelihood. But I see so many people whose livelihood just burns them out, and the idea of my livelihood being something that really kind of energizes me all the time is -- it's very fortunate. I think it's true and I think it's true of a lot of musical and creative people. It becomes like a bonus. Even if you're not as successful as someone else, you still get the bonus that it keeps you young."

So how cool is that?

And to All Good People on the Yes Forum Board, thank you!

And to Andrew Greenaway, a/k/a The Idiot Bastard, thank you so much for this review:

"ADRIAN BELEW: SIDE FOUR (LIVE) (Adrian Belew Presents, ABP2167)

Track list: Writing On The Wall/Dinosaur/Ampersand/Young Lions/Beat Box Guitar/Matchless Man/A Little Madness/Drive/Of Bow And Drum/Big Electric Cat/Three Of A Perfect Pair/Thela Hun Ginjeet.

Apparently before this was released, some radio station in the US was playing the Adrian Belew Power Trio’s tracks from the Zappanale #17 CD I helped compile. And it’s pleasing that for those CDs we included two tracks not found here: I Remember How To Forget and Lone Rhinoceros. Not listed on the sleeve here is Adrian’s foray into Beatles band’s Within You Without You during Drive. Nice. Adrian and Slick siblings, Eric and Julie, are rightly named the Power Trio – the force of some of their playing can knock you clean off your feets: try the thunderous opener or A Little Madness (renamed here due to dead Mr Katchaturian, and featuring a reference to 21st Century Schizoid Man slipped in by bassist Julie), and see if you can stand still. My favourite track though is the more dreamy and effects-laden Matchless Man – one he unfortunately couldn’t play at Zappanale due to some of his gear going astray. This sure is a fine album, and a great record to start your career with – we’re gonna hear a whole lot more from Julie and Eric, that’s for sure. And if Mr Belew can keep coming up with tunes like those from his back pages covered here and playing as great as this, then he too is gonna be around up for a goodly while longer."

Awesome, Andrew. Thank you!

So today is back to reality, the holidays are over, and normally I am mildly depressed this time of year but there is so much to look forward to I cannot complain. A new website, daughter Julie's 22nd birthday (lunch reservations at Le Bec Fin and dinner reservations at Amada already made), Eric's mini-tour with Delicious at the end of January and then the month long Belew tour in February/March...yep, no reason to be depressed at all!

And there is also lots of writing news as well but this post is already on overload so I will report back here tomorrow with that. Those of you who have submitted to 39 and Still Holding - I hope to have acceptance/rejection letters going out by the end of this week so we can start the ball rolling with that. Cool? Cool!