Wednesday, May 28, 2008

F.o.C.K. Yeah! Adrian Belew Power Trio tonight in Nashville

So yesterday both Julie and Eric arrived in Nashville - Julie took a flight last evening but Eric arrived with Andre Cholmondeley in the afternoon via car whilst King Crimson was wrapping up their final rehearsal this week. You realize what this means. I will be interrogating poor Eric horribly later, and since I know he reads my blog, he's probably going to be hiding from me big time today. Ha ha - I don't blame him.


(Official tour poster created by Mark Colman)

Anyway, as I have been broadcasting all over the internet, the Adrian Belew Power Trio kicks off the first leg of their summer tour tonight in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge. They'll be introducing some new material and after listening to the recordings of their rehearsals of last week, those lucky enough to be in attendance are in for a treat.

From the Tennessean:

"ADRIAN BELEW WENT BACK TO SCHOOL
AND FOUND HIS NEW BAND"

"Wildly adventurous guitarist Adrian Belew went back to school and discovered his personal fountain of youth.

Perhaps that's not surprising, given that the institution was the School of Rock.

Belew, who lives in Mt. Juliet, is one of the most talented and experimental guitarists in rock music. He began making a name for himself while working with Frank Zappa in the late '70s. The next 20 years brought a flurry of tours and recording sessions with artists including David Bowie, Paul Simon, Nine Inch Nails, Talking Heads and Laurie Anderson. For more than 25 years, he has served as lyricist, vocalist and guitarist of the progressive rock group King Crimson.

In February 2006, Belew conducted a seminar for students at the Paul Green School of Rock Music in Philadelphia. "While I was there, Paul (Green) said, 'I want you to hear my best students I've ever graduated.' " He introduced Belew to siblings Eric Slick, a drummer, and Julie Slick, a bass player. The three played a Zappa song together and something just clicked.

That collaboration quickly led to the Adrian Belew Power Trio, which performs at Mercy Lounge at 9 p.m. Wednesday. They'll play music from their album, Side Four (Live), as well as six King Crimson songs and other music from Belew's catalog.

The three have already performed in Italy, Canada, Germany and Japan, and they've been working on new material at Belew's studio before resuming their tour. This is more than just the latest project for Belew; it's a life-changing musical movement that has re-energized his quest for musical exploration.

"The rejuvenation of my own personal place in music with this trio is astounding to me," said Belew, 58. "I feel like I'm 20 years old. I have really discovered so much on guitar just in this last year or two of working with the Power Trio. I am doing things I never thought I could do, and so the world of guitar is so interesting to me. It is infinitely interesting to me.

"I feel sometimes like I've started all over again, and I have as much energy as ever. A lot of it has to do with playing with young people, but a lot of it has to do with the material. For the first time in my life, I'm really enjoying touring more than I ever have. There's something special going on here."

When asked to describe the trio, he chose one word: powerful.

"All the players have to play extra, in a way," he said. "I don't mean like too many notes. But I mean everybody has to really be great at what they are doing and fill all the holes with just three people.

"For example, playing King Crimson music, some of the music was originally done by six people, and some of it was done by four. None of it was ever done by three, so it's a real challenge. You have to have the right combination of players, and I think they have to be virtuoso players. I just happened to find these two, the Slicks, that are exactly what I needed.

"They still live with their parents. Eric is 21 and Julie is 22. They are phenomenal players. Everyone who hears them just can't believe they can be this good at their age. They are great people, of course, and they are very gifted."

Belew said he has discovered that King Crimson's songs have held up, despite the fickle tastes of popular culture.

"They go in and out of fashion with the players themselves, and maybe even with the public a little bit," he said. "You'll be really hot on one for a couple of tours and then you'll get tired of it. But in terms of how they've lasted as pieces of material, most of them have stood the test of time really well, because they were pretty much ahead of their time.

"Even now, they are a little ahead of their time compared to what most people are trying to do. I have a lot of young musicians who tell me they still don't understand what (King Crimson) did in the '80s. I can understand that. It's tough music to get your head around, but once you do, you really like it because it's complex and it's deep and it has a classical atmosphere to it as well."

The Power Trio takes a fresh approach to the King Crimson songs, but keeps within the original themes so fans can still recognize the compositions. "What I have tried to design with the trio is to allow us to have a lot of room to stretch out," Belew said. "Our concerts have quite a bit of improvising.

"Even though we are playing set pieces of music, there are times when we go out on a limb together, and audiences really like that, too. Then, when you are finished going to outer space and finding some new place you haven't explored before, then you come back to the rest of the piece of music, and everybody loves that.

"It's one of the things that sets us apart. Most bands just go out and play their songs the same way every night."


(Celebrity columnist Beverly Keel can be reached at 259-8073 or beverly@tennessean.com)

Do you think I get the chills when I read stuff like "This is more than just the latest project for Belew; it's a life-changing musical movement that has re-energized his quest for musical exploration.

"The rejuvenation of my own personal place in music with this trio is astounding to me," said Belew, 58. "I feel like I'm 20 years old. I have really discovered so much on guitar just in this last year or two of working with the Power Trio. I am doing things I never thought I could do, and so the world of guitar is so interesting to me. It is infinitely interesting to me.

"I feel sometimes like I've started all over again, and I have as much energy as ever. A lot of it has to do with playing with young people, but a lot of it has to do with the material. For the first time in my life, I'm really enjoying touring more than I ever have. There's something special going on here."

Oh, I get the chills alright. Just a little bit. (Insert smiley face emoticon here)

So you may be wondering about the caption of this blog post, namely, "F.o.C.K. Yeah!"

From Tony Levin's journal:

"May 26, Nashville

F.o.C.K. Primus!
Hmm... I had suggested that the name Friends of Crimson King, for the collection of musicians who will play at the Quebec Festival d'ete in July, might not read well when abbreviated...

Anyway, we will open for Primus on July 8, and our lineup will be very cool: the California Guitar Trio plus Adrian Belew and his Power Trio, plus Pat Mastelotto and me...

Then on the 12th, the Trio, Pat and I will open for YES .... F.o.C.K. YES !!! They'll both be great shows!
"


I love that. I think it's brilliant. How fucking cool is Tony Levin. And yep, it's confirmed I can do both the Ottawa and Quebec shows July 5-8 and I am so excited I will be hard to live with until then. And even worse afterward.

The Quebec City Summer Music Festival, by the way, has their English website up and running...man, if you guys have any extra vacation time coming, this is the place to be.

So it wouldn't be a true post from me if I didn't bring up food. Normally on Memorial Day we go down to Ocean City and eat Brown's donuts, Mac and Manco's Pizza, 14th Street Bakery cheese pockets...arghh...in between mini-golfing and bike/surrey riding so we can at least fool ourselves into believing we are burning up some calories, but this year being what it is so far (and that rotten Julie had to work), we ended up staying home. Not so bad. Julie and Gary went over to Whole Foods Market and did some serious damage. Between Julie in the kitchen, Gary manning the grill outside, and some really prime ingredients, here's our "kicking off the summer dinner":

For Julie and me, baby spinach salad topped with warm seared scallops and shrimp, sliced avocado and spicy pecan praline in a mustard vinaigrette. Does Julie rule or what?



For Julie's significant other, Matt, a porterhouse steak topped with sauteed shrimp and chimichurri sauce, a char-grilled baked potato, and baby spinach salad. Julie also made the chimichurri sauce, which is like pesto made with cilantro. Kind of, anyway:



For Gary, the exact meal as Matt - sans shrimp:



A photo of the table before we went on attack - I really like this pic; it captures our crazy little dinner beautifully:



And finally, in his usual spot during a meal such as this, Monty hoping to score a few scraps. Oh, who am I kidding. The dog had his own bowl with chopped Porterhouse steak and a potato. Hey, he's one of our kids, too - why should we treat him any differently?



For dessert we had this but I was way too stuffed to remember to take a photo. It was fantastic, though - trust me on that.

So that's it for now unless I get to talk to Eric this morning and he tells me something I can actually spill here without embarrassing him or anyone else...in which case I will come back here and edit.

Later,
xo

1 comment:

Tickledrop said...

That was the cake I had at my wedding! I think it was the influence of growing up near the border of Mexico. It's absolutely my favorite!

I think the only people that might relate to how much I would LOVE to be at any of these shows could be you and Gary. I have to figure this out. It's driving me nuts. I need to check the dates again.