Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Absolutely Fabulous Post

It's been a brilliant two days (Thanksgiving followed by Slick Daddy's birthday) and in other absolutely fabulous news, Julie and Eric are leaving in a few hours for Australia!

Ade is already doing a ton of interviews for radio, television, and newspapers and here's one of the first to appear, where he discusses his love of writing new music and touring with J&E. As the reporter notes "He is very excited about the Adrian Belew Power Trio and if he had been in the room with me and not on the phone, I think he would have been jumping up and down on the couch."

Written by Paul Busch

"You may know him from King Crimson. Or you may have stumbled upon him while he was wailing away with the Talking Heads during the Remain In Light sessions and tour. Or maybe you tripped over one of his many solo records like Lone Rhino or Mr. Music Head or the underrated Op Zop Too Wah from 1996. Wherever you found him, once you have heard him, you know the distinct sound of one Adrian Belew.

Adrian Belew was once a struggling guitarist in Nashville, Tennessee, until a bit of luck found him. Luck in the form of the genius-composer, Frank Zappa. Let Adrian tell the tale in his words.

“It seemed like out of the blue when I was at my lowest point and was thinking that maybe I won’t have a place in the music business. I really was a starving artist, as they call them. Frank called me and asked me if I could audition. He had heard me play in a little night club and then months went by and he never called, so I figured it was just a fluke. Then one day, he suddenly called again,” recalled Adrian.

“It changed my life on a dime. It put me into hyper-professional mode, where I suddenly had to play catch-up. I had to be in a touring band, playing Frank Zappa’s music, going around the world. Can you imagine that? From being in a band where you are playing to 15 bikers swilling beer in Nashville to being onstage with a hugely complex operation called Frank Zappa,” laughed Adrian.

Not that Adrian has any regrets about the way this changed his plan on becoming a professional musician, it was just not the way he envisioned it. But is there really a blueprint?

Adrian continues, “And it seemed from that point on that all the dots fell into place. Brian Eno heard me and he called *David Bowi*e and he asked me to play with him and the Talking Heads hear me with Bowie and they ask me to play with them and then Robert Fripp hears me along the way and he asks me to form the new King Crimson with him. It was just head spinning for me. I had no idea what to do. I was there hanging on tight.”

“It was certainly not the plan that I had. I had thought that eventually I would get recognized by a record label for the songs that I was writing and maybe get a record deal. It never happened that way for me. I came in through the backdoor. But very happily for me, cause as you say, when I look back on it, it is almost a story you would not even write it sounds too fantastic,” recalls Adrian.

Today at the age of 59, Adrian Belew is still creating and will be bringing his latest musical project to Australia for the Adelaide International Guitar Festival which runs from November 29th until the 7th of December. He is very excited about the Adrian Belew Power Trio and if he had been in the room with me and not on the phone, I think he would have been jumping up and down on the couch.

Adrian said, “I am having such a great time with them and they are fresh breath of air for me as. They are young and they are inspired and their energy level is off the charts and they happen to be able to play the music very well. In many ways it has rejuvenated my whole catalogue and what I am doing now. I have begun writing new music for this trio and we have had a lot of experiences in two years. We have been around the world.”

And the next part of the world for them to visit is Australia. The Power Trio is Adrian Belew on guitar and 2 former students of The School Of Rock in Philadelphia. The rest of the trio is Julie Slick on bass and Earl Slick on drums. Earl is no relation to the other Earl Slick who I think took Belew’s place in Bowie’s band if my memory is working. (Note from our author: SIGH.......IT'S ERIC! ERIC! NOT EARL, NOT EARL'S SON, NOT EVEN EARL'S GRANDSON OR NEPHEW! ERIC SLICK, SON OF GARY SLICK AND ROBIN SLICK, NOT GRACE SLICK, NOT GRACE SLICK'S GRANDSON OR NEPHEW...NOT THE SPAWN OF EARL AND GRACE...SIGH...)(Oh, I'm kidding when I use all caps...I think the whole Earl/Grace things pretty funny, actually)

So what can we expect from the Power Trio in Adelaide and their other shows in Australia?

“Well we play different things from some of my various solo records. We play six pieces from King Crimson and I might even throw in a Bears (another of Adrian’s bands) song. We also play some new pieces I have written for the band specifically. They are quite energetic and nice and long pieces with improvising sections built into the middle of them. I think the nice thing about the band is their energy and their power. The name Power Trio really does suit us and it is one of those trios that nightly sounds different. We don’t sound the same ever. It has been one great wonderful ride so far. Eric and Julie never cease to amaze me and audiences have been very impressed,” gushed Adrian.

The pedigree of Adrian Belew and his amazing ride through the music industry seems to have been given a jolt of adrenalin with the addition of these two young players. Adrian has spent quite a bit of time making records and he loves that process and the creativity, but it appears that the bug of playing live is what drives him today.

“You know I feel like the thing that is more important then ever right now is live music and that just suits me fine. Live music is the one thing that they can’t download, they can’t burn and they can’t get it for free and can’t steal it from you. If you want to see Adrian Belew’s Power Trio you come to see us play. My strong point right now is playing live with this band. Of course I can make records all day long and I love that creative process, but right now it is an age where people want to come out and actually hear people who can actually play again. That is a real turn of events. It seemed to me that there was a real glut of bands that really weren’t very good for so many years, but they were very popular. But now we may be getting back to a time where you can be popular and be GOOD ”, said Adrian.

So it will be well worth your while to see Adrian and his Power Trio when they play at the Adelaide International Guitar Festival in a fairly intimate environment. This is someone who has been fortunate enough to tour with Zappa, Bowie, The Talking Heads and King Crimson and you will be lucky enough to experience his playing in the lovely and intimate environs of this fantastic festival."

So that's what's popped up so far on ye olde internet and I'll be posting these interviews as I find them...check back as I'll probably just add them to this post.

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for. What did we have for our Thanksgiving feast?

Julie actually had to sit here with me and dictate the various descriptions. I apologize that I do not have a photograph of our dessert but I think Julie wants to use some of the pics for her own blog. And truth to tell, the one photo I do have needs some serious photoshopping as it includes things like a balled up napkin sitting next to the plate and some spilled gravy on the table no one noticed. Anyway, without further ado, our meal:

Bruschetta infused with walnut oil; Spanish spring olive mix; sweet paprika and cumin spiced almonds; Cheeses: Uniekaas reserve from Holland (aged gouda) and Campo De Montalban from Spain (sheep and goat milk cheese)

Bounty of fresh and local produce - heirloom carrots, rainbow chard, green beans, celery

Preparing the stuffing: Mirapoix sauteing in locally cultured butter

String beans

Brined free range turkey breast basted with orange rosemary butter

Final plating - including fresh cranberry sauce with dijon and thyme, roasted garlic Yukon gold mashed potatoes, medley of truffled Swiss chard and crimini mushrooms, green beans with black walnuts and caramelized shallots, toasted baguette, potato, and vegetable stuffing, and of course the turkey with orange rosemary gravy.

For dessert - homemade apple streusel pie topped with pistachio gelato from Capigiro and Chilly Philly vanilla ice cream.

All ingredients, except for the cheese, were local.

And of course an assortment of wine and champagne - Julie found me the Cava I enjoyed so much at Tria Wine Bar.

Anyway, what a freaking outrageous meal that was. The best Thanksgiving ever, I think, though a tad bittersweet. It's probably the last one here...Julie is about to get her own place and is already making plans to be the official hostess in 2009.

The following day was Gary's birthday. We low-keyed it and Gary did what he loves best - he started in earnest the annual baking of Christmas cookies and yes, Ade, some are headed to you in Australia provided Julie and Eric can make room in their suitcases so if for some reason those cookies don't make it, they'll be waiting for you in Nashville when you arrive home.

We always have a bon voyage dinner prior to Julie and Eric leaving on tour so to combine it with Gary's birthday was way cool but even cooler was the restaurant we chose, Joe's Peking Duck at its new location at 108 Chestnut Street. Hands down the best dinner out we've had as a family in all of 2008 and we are a family who eats out a lot and in Philadelphia's best restaurants. Sadly, I did not have the camera with me but next time...which will probably be next week because I can't wait to go back again...I will bring it because every dish is a work of art - for example, my main course contained a piece of melon carved into a dragon. And it truly vegetarian heaven for the non-meat eaters in our group as well (though Gary completely "ducked out"...more on that in a minute). First, here's a little about Joe:

"Meet Master Chef Joseph Poon - Nutritionist, culinary instructor, and creator of the famous Wok ‘N Walk Chinatown tour. Chef Joe welcomes you to savor a unique selection of duck, lobster, and seafood specialties. From your first bite to your last, this “Outstanding World of Tastes” will refresh and excite your palate. Authentic Asian-Fusion Cuisine created by our favorite Celebrity Chef will keep you coming back time and again for exquisite culinary fare.

Your creative and philanthropic host, Chef Joe, offers dining designed for you. If you prefer to order from the lunch menu during dinner hours, you are welcome to do so. Each item you order from the lunch menu at dinner time will cost an extra .38 cents. This spare change for you will mean survival for others because it is donated on an ongoing basis, to cancer organizations and the Joseph Poon Scholarship Foundation at SUNY in Oneonta. You enjoy the food you like when you like it, while helping others in need. It’s a winning program for everyone!"

How freaking cool is that?

When we -- and we included Julie and Matt, Eric and Katy, and Gary and I -- sat down and ordered, we were immediately offered complimentary wine and beer (right now the restaurant is a BYOB but they do have a fully stocked bar so I'm guessing they are awaiting a liquor license.) Matt had a lovely Chinese beer; Eric and I had white wine, and Julie had Shiraz.

Our appetizers were amazing. We ordered a round of vegetable spring rolls for the table - they came in martini glasses with various dipping sauces...mmmm. Gary had roasted duck and wonton noodle soup in such a huge bowl he gladly dished out tastes for Matt and me in the extra bowls astutely offered by our charming waiter.

Joe himself visited our table at that point, and recognized us from years past - when we brought Julie and Eric as babies to his former restaurant on Race Street and as young teenagers to his place across the street from The Troc when they frequently played said Troc whilst still students at the School of Rock. So that was way cool and naturally I had to tell him all about J&E's travels with Adrian and that they were leaving for Australia the following day.

"You have to go play in China," he advised them. And he was dead serious. Apparently China would be an absolutely awesome "venue" for the trio so Ade and Andre, if you are reading this, talk to Julie and Eric!

Moving on, I decided to forego my own vegetarian leanings for the moment because I could not resist Joe's fantastic Malaysian skewers - salmon, duck, pork, and chicken - again served with absolutely fabulous dipping sauces. And Matt ordered a small plate of Crispy Coconut Shrimp Puff in Thai Coconut Curry Essence - Julie and I are exremely grateful that Matt was in sharing mode because ooh baby, did we lunge his plate for that one!

As usual, Julie behaved and ordered a salad as her main course, but what a salad it was: Artichoke, Asparagus, Black Bean and Jicama with Vietnamese Nuoc Cham Spicy Vinaigrette. I didn't realize it until Thanksgiving but Katy is now a vegetarian, too, so both Eric and Katy ordered my personal favorite of the night...though it's really hard to say that because every single item was spectacular...anyway, they had a Paella "Clay Pot" which featured saffron rice and Wok Toasted Tofu with Artichokes, Leek, Asparagus, Shitake and Okra in Thai Curry Sauce. Matt ordered a truly wonderful poultry dish - Marinated Chicken with Japanese Eggplant in Spicy Demi Soy Wine Essence - and Gary went the poultry route as well - Joe's famous Peking Duck with pancakes, hoisin sauce, and scallion. I saw a handsome fellow standing near the bar and was advised he was the sushi chef and a true artist. That was all I needed to hear. I ordered a barbecued eel and avocado roll which was unlike any traditional "dragon roll" I've ever had...and it came with wasabi cream dipping sauce artfully drizzled on my plate along with the aforesaid carved melon dragon.

Without even ordering it, dessert arrived on long rectangular individual platters - strawberries, a miniature slice of pumpkin ginger cake, and Joe's famous almond shortbread cookies...oh, and each plate was decorated with a hand drawn chocolate animal. I had a panda and Katy had the pig...ha ha...I think they meant to serve that the other way around. Oh, I'm kidding...but our absolutely fabulous waiter (yes, I know I already told you that but it bears waiter ever) overheard it was Gary's birthday and then presented him with his own WHOLE pumpkin cake decorated with icing and strawberries - he then sang Happy Birthday to him -- and realizing we were stuffed beyond belief, told us he would wrap the cake for us so we could enjoy it at home without our even asking.

What an amazing, amazing meal. Run, do not walk, to this restaurant. I do not know if this link will work because it's a PDF file, but here's the complete menu. If not, just go to the main website and download it yourselves. I am salivating just reading about what Joe has in store for the holidays...

After dinner, Eric told us about an awesome music store two blocks over called A.K.A.. How is it that I never heard of it before? Especially as they carry Side Four Live! Well, $220.00 later, Gary walked out of there with CDs for which he's literally been searching for years and we barely dented the surface. You should have seen their prog section! Ha ha - they had three shelves devoted to King Crimson, and one whole shelf filled with recordings by David Sylvan. It was astonishing. They have blues, jazz, vinyl...basically everything you could ever want and for really reasonable prices, even the imports.

Yes, we still love CDs and vinyl. That will never change. I feel bad for people who are so into downloading they don't get that thrill going into a music store and finding that rare CD you never knew of my life's pleasures for sure.

So that's basically it. It's 8:15 a.m. and I am waiting for the mad rush of J&E packing and running about the house making sure they have everything they need for Australia, where it is currently summer...sigh...anyway, they need to be at the airport in about four hours and I'm hoping one of them connects my new wireless router before they leave because guess what, yesterday I treated myself to an absolutely fabulous brand new mac laptop! Yay me!

Let me give you fair warning now. I'm gonna be dangerous with that webcam.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The obligatory I Am Thankful Post

Today is my favorite holiday (which should be obvious if you are a regular reader of this blog but let's just say I'm more than a little food obsessed), and yes, yes, I will be posting our Thanksgiving menu along with photographs either later today or tomorrow morning, but in the meantime, despite the fact that this has literally been the year from hell (just read my archives for 2008 for full details), it has also been one of amazing, amazing happenings as well.

So in no particular order, here are some things, other than my family, which make me thankful to be alive.

For one, The Adrian Belew Power Trio...wait, that is my family...but you know what I mean.

I am also extremely grateful to wake up to an email like this:


Thanks so much for the kind words on my interview with Ade. Would Julie and / or Eric ever feel like sitting down to have their brains picked by me for All About Jazz?

Here is the pitch for the website -

1. We're the largest internet site for jazz, 13 yrs old and winner of the Jazz Journalists Association "best website devoted to jazz" for the past six years straight.

2. We have approx 1.5 million visitors a month, and nearing 7 million page impressions.

3. We're considered, in the jazz world at least, to be an online "cousin" to hardcopy periodicals like Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz...except we have a more international reach;

4. While jazz is our primary purview, we do go much farther afield into progressive rock, jam bands, etc.

Anyway, it would be excellent to set something up with the two of them. As a fellow musician, they have impressed the hell out of me and my fellow bandmates. We've seen them with Ade at 2 different performances at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville. Their utter reinvention of parts tracked by legends like Tony Levin and Bill Bruford just blows my mind. Listening to Side Four... you know, it's almost like an improvement on songs like 'Three of a Perfect Pair'. Mind blowing. And the 'Planet E' tune I got to hear this last time? Excellent. Can't wait for their studio album that Adrian refers to in the interview! I've hit Martha up about possibly scheduling a follow-up discussion since the last one has turned out so well. I would really love to discuss the '90s 6 piece Crimson more in depth with Adrian, as well as has views of things post-Crim reunion.

My next assignment for AAJ will most likely be a discussion with another Nashville based Zappa alumni - drummer Chester Thompson. I am sure Eric has checked out his work with Zappa and very possibly with Weather Report and Genesis.

I've been reading your blog and enjoying the heck out of it. If I had more time off of my day job and touring around with Vinyl Soup every weekend, I would love to write one myself. Maybe someday!

Hope you and your incredible family have a perfect Thanksgiving.

Justin M. Smith
Nashville, TN"

Yep, we certainly do know who Chester Thompson is and you are one lucky and talented writer, Justin. And you'd better believe Julie and Eric will be more than happy to sit down with you!

And while I am on the subject, I am ecstatic to read Adrian's latest post over at his

"what's done is done. time moves on and so must I.

early tomorrow (turkey day) I'll be boarding a flight
for 26 hours of flying to australia.
in 1979, the first time I went to australia with david bowie
the flight took a total of 36 hours.
some things do get better with time.

eric, julie, and andre will follow a few days later.
I have several days of TV and radio press to do first.
we are sooooo excited about playing australia.
our first show is at The Corner Hotel,
the place where the audience body-surfed me around the room.
I have visions of them handing me out the back door this time.

the people of OZ will love the slicks.
just like everywhere else in the world.
it amazes me how seemingly overnight the power trio
became a bonafide international touring act.
japan, mexico, canada, russia, hungary, switzerland,
italy, germany, lithuania, the netherlands, austria, and spain
all in the last 18 months!
it's been a lovely ride so far.

thanks to all of you.

happy thanksgiving.
love, adrian

I can't believe Julie and Eric leave for Australia on Saturday. How freaking lucky are they?

Speaking of Australia, this just popped in an Australian newspaper this morning (which is actually already Novembr 28 in Australia!):

"An everywhere man finds a home

November 28, 2008

The much-travelled Adrian Belew feels reinvigorated, writes Sam

It'S not uncommon for a musician to spend their entire musical life ensconced within the one entity, whether it be an orchestra, a band or in the solo vein, and with this there is no shame. On the flip side, there are musicians who seem to spend more time "everywhere else" than in any one guise, and a fine example of this is American artist Adrian Belew.

Belew, whose career spans more than three decades, is perhaps best known for his role as guitarist for '70s prog-rockers King Crimson, whom he joined in '81, but this claim to fame is the tip of the iceberg.

"I've done so much, travelled so much, met so many people, had such an accelerated kind of lifestyle, it feels like I've led two or three lives at once," Belew, 58, says with a laugh down the phone from Lithuania, the last stop on his current European tour with the Adrian Belew Power Trio.

To put this in perspective, in addition to KC and the Power Trio, Belew has been involved with, among many others, Frank Zappa, who "discovered" Belew in 1977; David Bowie (for his Stage and Lodger albums); Paul Simon (on the Graceland record); Laurie Anderson; William Shatner; Crash Test Dummies; Talking Heads; the Bears; Nine Inch Nails … you get the picture.

"It's hard to say what was the best; for me it's all been one experience. It would be like looking back on your life and trying to pick which was the best day," Belew says. "It's all been so fortunate for me. All those people, they're all brilliant, they're all innovators, they're all people that anyone would love to work with, and that's been very important to me."

However, despite the myriad projects Belew has been involved with over his career, including his own solo work that has yielded 14 records over 27 years, it's with this new Power Trio that he is most at home these days, and with which he is most excited.

"This is the trio that I've always wanted for my own music," he enthuses about the group, which he formed in mid-2006 with the rhythmic duo of Eric Slick on drums and Slick's sister Julie on bass.

"It's something you've gotta see; it's very high energy, and also there's the ability to just think together, which is the essence of improvisation. And it leaves a lot of space for me as a guitarist; I play more guitar in this band than I've ever played in any band. I've been able to stretch out — I'm enjoying every minute."

So as King Crimson, for one, winds up after 40 years, it's with his Power Trio that Belew will keep striding forward. "I think right now is the perfect time for good live music," he says. "I think people want to see great players, to see them stretching out, improvising; so it's the perfect time for us to be doing this. It works really well for this band."

The Adrian Belew Power trio play the Corner Hotel on Wednesday."

Continuing on, I am incredibly grateful that I have not one but two new novels coming out in 2009, and I just got the book cover for Bitten to the Core yesterday. I am really psyched. Isn't it gorgeous? "Bitten" is the third book in the Three Days in New York series but it does stand alone and while I'd love for you to read all three books, if you are new to my writing, this will be an excellent place to start and then you can backtrack. (Insert smiley face emoticon here)

I've posted the cover for my other new book, Daddy Left Me Alone with God, in an earlier post but it knocks me out so I'll post it again:

And yes, I will be talking about both cover artists and my new publisher in a future post...I am way, way excited.

Speaking of that, I am grateful for my fabulous and erm, patient writer friends, all of whom I've been ignoring lately and I apologize to them profusely, but as some of you may know, I've had a major lifestyle change this summer and while I do not want to discuss that here, it's caused me to refocus and rearrange my schedule so I'm not hanging out on line nearly as much and I'm trying to spend whatever free time I do have working on my first ever Young Adult novel. Now whether it will actually turn out to be a YA novel is going to be interesting as I really prefer writing about dysfunctional adults and it's hard to keep things PG-13. But hey, there's always the parents...

I am INCREDIBLY thankful we have a new President but of course I am still wishing his first act after being sworn into office would be to have Bush and Cheney arrested for war crimes and for destroying both our economy and the environment...though hey, hey, you never could happen...

I also have deep gratitude to Andre Cholmondeley for not only all of his hard work with the Adrian Belew Power Trio and basically orchestrating the recent European tour, but for the brilliant show Project Object put on at the World Cafe Live last Sunday. Gary took some really great shots of the band but for some unknown reason, Photobucket is not cooperating with me and I can't get them to post right now. So as soon as I can figure out wtf is going on I will immediately either come in here and edit or make it a separate entry. Anyway, it was a fantastic concert and everyone was at the top of their game...Ike Willis, Ed Mann, Robbie "Seahag" Mangano, Eric Svalgard, Dave Johnsen, Andre, The Slickster...I keep hoping someone puts up a You Tube so that I can give you a little taste.

Speaking of You Tubes, here is Eric and Dave Dreiwitz in a show that took place on August 14...are they awesome or what?

And with that, I must sign off and start cooking! Okay, I'm lying. I must wake Gary...Julie just woke up, too...and get them both in the kitchen. I am merely the one who says "Ooh" and "Ah" you can't possibly get any luckier than that, right?


Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Odds and Sods for Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm back.

Man, I've been hearing all of these great things about the Project Object tour and I am kicking myself for not catching them in New York on Monday night but oh well, I'll be finally seeing them at World Cafe Live this Sunday night (doors open at 6:00 p.m., the concert starts at 7:30)

Here's my little darling leaving for tour last week and yeah, you have to know your Zappa music to understand the outfit. Erm...nice tail, Eric:

While I haven't found much in the way of reviews on line, there was a very nice comment in my blog yesterday from "Herr Brain Pang" and he said this:

"Great show last night in NYC. Interesting that some of the improv jams had a bit of a David Allen Gong meets Zappa vibe, which is just fine by me. Ike seriously killed with his all-powerful vocal and scorching guitar. His hair looked better than usual, too, heh heh. The Slick kid had my friend's jaw on the table. Rare that I ever want more at a show, but I could have took a couple more numbers. Only complaint: Andre didn't do "San Ber'dino." Based on the previous time I saw him play, he now OWNS that song. Food complaint: the BBQ chicken was so full of water that it was like eating air."

Ha ha - yeah, the food at BB Kings seriously sucks, is incredibly overpriced, and I know I've voiced my opinion about that many times here along with the fact that you are required to eat (food minimum charge) when all you really want to do is watch the show...and there is nothing worse than waiters blocking your view and clattering silverware and plates when you are trying to listen to some really fine music.

Oh well. It is what it is and other than the food, I do enjoy when J&E play there.

I also saw a journal entry here written by "Jai" which made me smile:

"Speaking of tributes, last night i went to see Project/Object - the Frank Zappa tribute. Dweezil Zappa has his own tribute to his dad, Zappa Plays Zappa, they're pretty damn good, but Project/Object i feel is somewhat better. i think it's because P/O has Ike Willis (one of Frank's singers from over the years). never saw P/O before, always meant to, and i am so glad i finally saw them."

I'm glad you did, too, Jai. Thanks!

Then there was this note, sent to the band via their website:


Saw you guys last night at the Iron Horse and was blown away along with my 17 year old son!

Bravo to you folks, fuck Dweezil!

Keep up the good work and we will see you again soon. Maybe even tonight at Toads! :-)"

Pretty cool, huh.

ETA: This just in from Andre. Man oh man...

"Due to Adelaide Gail Zappa and her incessant, worldwide legal attacks on fans honoring Frank Zappa's music, and attempts to negate his request (according to the Zappa hotline, Dec 1993) to "Play My Music", the Project/Object show for Fri 21 Nov 2008, at Bill's Bar in Boston, has been cancelled.

Stand by for further details on the threatening letters. All other shows, have proceeded fantastically or are proceeding as planned, since what we do is 100% legal under US law. It's sad that lawyers are being enriched every year by this useless letter-writing campaign (all clubs also get threat letters).

FYI - The band Ugly Radio Rebellion, who you'll remember was under attack for Dec. 2007 shows, just had to cancel all their Nov 2008 shows due to a couple of clubs' unfounded fears of Adelaide Gail Zappa suing them. Bogus Pomp in Florida also recently was attacked for celebrating this music. Artists in Germany also continue to be attacked. What a waste of good money that could be used to release more Zappa music......

We are not breaking any laws and we will continue to perform Frank Zappa music for you. And maybe even a little of the music of Mozart, Stravinsky, Gustav Holst, The Seeds ('Pushing Too Hard' used in 'Sy Borg'), Yes (1984 'bamboozled' solo section), The Beatles (medley played on 1988 Zappa tour), Richard Berry (Frank quoted "Louie Louie" DOZENS of times), Herbie Hancock (riffs quoted in 'Greggery Peccary'), Culture Club ('I'll tumble for ya'), The Doors ('The End', 'Light My Fire')..and on and on and on....

I am conducting research into where and when Frank Zappa got permission to perform, record or parodize ALL of these and many, many other various artists' music. Of course sometimes he sought permission, and when RECORDED and RELEASED, he certainly paid mechanical royalties. But certainly many times he didn't.

For a guy who has a LARGE part of his art based on USING THE MATERIAL OF OTHERS, his estate is strangely, hypocritically opposed to any one else doing the same!

Thank you
Andre Cholmondeley

You know, I read an interesting comment at I think Kill Ugly Radio. A fellow who owned a record store said "Whenever Zappa cover bands played in my area, the next day I sold a ton of Frank Zappa CDs."

Yeah, well, guess who gets the money for that? Not Andre and Project Object, that's for sure. And in speaking from personal experience and as a total musicologist, and I know I've said this many times before, but up until the time Julie and Eric came home from the School of Rock in 1998 and played Zappa for me, and up until the time I saw Project Object perform live around the same time, I did not own one Zappa album. Gary and I were into British blues/rock and we thought Zappa sung weird songs about dental floss. We had no idea of his brilliance. So yes, yes, yes, once we were turned on to them and went to Project Object shows, we went out and bought Frank's entire catalogue.

I just wish all of this shit would stop, I really do. Musicians are supposed to be all about peace, love and understanding. It shouldn't be a fucking "business" where your creative soul is raped and pillaged.

But let me add that while I am copying and pasting comments from fans, I personally enjoyed watching Zappa Plays Zappa in Canada and really wish this didn't turn out to be a competition but rather a collaboration...but the animosity is just mind blowing. And to have a sweetheart like Adrian involved in this convoluted war...BLEH!

And speaking of Ade, switching gears real fast to the Adrian Belew Power Trio, now this REALLY made me smile - a whole thread devoted to Side Four Live posted yesterday at Progressive Ears, another favorite cyber hang-out of mine:

"This cd has been out for about a year now so I'm sure it's been discussed before. Anyhow, I just bought a copy last week and I'm enjoying the hell out of this one!

I've hesitated on most of Belew's studio output due to pop orientation of many of his releases and because of some of the cheesy artificial sounds he prefers in the studio.

None of that on this fabulous live trio recording. Just three great musicians playing their collective asses off with loads of energy and attitude. Definitely worth the pricey website only edition at this point. Anybody else enjoying this one?"

I saw these three perform in July. They were awesome."

"Sides One, Two, and Three are fantastic, as well. Run, don't walk, dude."

"Loved the Power Trio at the Iron Horse (Northampton MA) and digging a good-sounding recording of the Buffalo show from a few nights before."

"I saw the power trio earlier this year and picked up the live CD right then and there on the spot after hearing them play. Fantastic stuff!"

"This fabulous live trio recording...

....I was there that night...braved ice and snow and windy conditions, but I made it!!! saw them the previous night in Dayton, OH, as well...if you get a chance, by all means get to one of their shows!!"


Yeah, that really made my day and very cool that a year after its release, the CD is still getting a lot of attention. Oh man, I cannot wait for the studio release next year!

So while I didn't go to New York on Monday night to catch the Project Object show at BB Kings, I did have a girlie date with Julie and after doing some shopping (bleh, I hate to shop but with Julie it's cool and somehow I ended up buying myself knee high black leather boots that go with absolutely nothing I own but for which Julie has the perfect dress and is going to wear on Saturday). Actually, I can wear them with jeans but I kind of look like a deranged middle-aged dominatrix or worse, a total lunatic with an imaginary riding crop wandering the streets of downtown Philadelphia and approaching strangers asking "Where's my horse? Have you seen my horse? He must be somewhere...otherwise I'd never be wearing these boots, right? Right?"

Nah, I'm kidding. The boots are way cool and I will probably buy myself some *gasp* skirts which will work much better and Julie can share anything of mine any time she wants.

But that's not what we really did Monday night. Well, we shopped and I bought inappropriate boots but that wasn't the fun part. We spent over three hours camped out at Tria Wine Bar. Oh. My God. I'm in love.

I started out with a lovely glass of ROSÉ CAVA "ARIA," SEGURA VIUDAS, NV (Penedès, Spain), described as "Festive Catalan sipper with deep strawberry and red berry fruit from local Pinot Noir grape". Julie had MALBEC BLEND "DON TIBURCIO," BODEGAS BENEGAS, '04 (Mendoza, Argentina) "Structured yet classy blend aged in French oak with plum and cassis flavors from small producer". Yes, we got nicely toasted but the real star was the food...small plate after small plate of total gems.

Our first course was "Warm Poached Black Mission Figs with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto di Parma" only of course we asked them to "hold the prosciutto di Parma" and they did, and awesomely deducted the cost from our tab accordingly. With that we munched on Spiced Almonds. We put ourselves in the hands of Antonio, our most knowledgeable and charming server, who then recommended a cheese board. At his urging, we had a trio of the most sublime cheese ever - LA TUR (Piedmont, Italy · Goat, Sheep & Cow-P).

"Carefully whipped blend of three milks, shaped like a cupcake and heavenly as a cloud".

Wait. What is Cow-P? Ha ha - I don't want to know.

The LA Tur snuggled up to SOTTOCENERE AL TARTUFO (Veneto, Italy · Cow-P).

"Fragrant and smooth, while sexy slivers of black truffles lie under the ash", and next to that was my absolute favorite, EWEPHORIA (Friesling, The Netherlands · Sheep-P).

"Sweet, crunchy, caramel starburst of addictive butterscotch flavor".

But that's not the best part. Each cheese sample came with a tiny pot of dipping sauce. The La Tur was accompanied by honey with pieces of real honey comb; the Sottocenere paired up with pureed squash, and the Ewephoria with fresh cranberries.

We weren't through yet.

Out next came "Bruschetta with caramelized onion with feta", and the absolute show stopper of the night, "Truffled Egg Toast with Fontina Cheese", which was actually a lightly toasted brioche dusted with shaved truffles, fontina cheese, and topped with a sunny-side up egg and fresh cracked black pepper. You have never tasted anything so sensual in your life.

And yes, the wine continued to flow. At this point we changed our selection but damn if I can remember what we had. I think...but I am not sure...that I had PROSECCO, BELE CASEL, NV (Veneto, Italy) "Effervescent thirst quencher; sunny peach and nectarine flavors and a dry finish" and Julie may have had MARCILLAC "LO SANG DEL PAIS," DOMAINE DU CROS, ’06 (Marcillac, France) "Obscure gem from SW France displaying red fruit and peppery spice using local Fer Servadou grape" but after three or four glasses, I can't vouch for that and will have to double check with my daughter the wine diva.

Antonio was not through with us yet, urging us to have a "light dessert". Good freaking lord, that was yet another highlight of the evening. A plate of cookies - fennel wafers and toasted pine nut confections that came with a dipping pot of fresh lemon curd.

I could seriously eat at Tria every day of the week.

Except that I tend to eat that well at home, too. I was going to take a photo but I haven't seen my camera since J&E took it with them to Europe - I'm sure it's in a backpack somewhere but I keep forgetting to ask. But yeah, Gary was feeling frisky last night and made porcini mushroom filled ravioli swimming in a lovely sauce of really good olive oil, roasted garlic, shallots, mushrooms, chopped tomato, and white asparagus.

Yeah, yeah, I'm food obsessed. So what?

Speaking of that, I may as well share yet another pathetic Robin story. Despite all of the eating mentioned above, I have been trying to watch my weight and I swore I would stay away from the Christmas cookies Gary is already baking...he started early this year because Julie and Eric are leaving next Saturday to go back out on tour in Australia. He made old fashioned buttery sugar cookies and he put them in a big tupperware cake dish to keep them fresh.

Oh, how I wanted those cookies. But I am an addict when it comes to sweets, and I knew if I just tasted one, I'd end up eating twenty-seven. I refrained, I refrained, I refrained, until finally, I couldn't take it anymore. So when no one was looking, I lifted off the lid and saw a cookie with my name on it. It was huge and misshapen and since Gary makes these cookies by using a drinking glass dusted with sugar as a "cutter", I figured he had enough batter left for more than one but not quite two cookies so he made one by hand with what remained. I closed my eyes and dreamily bit into it, expecting to be assaulted by the taste of butter and browned sugar. So imagine my horror when I bit into something weird and doughy and salty. Wtf?

And then I recalled a conversation Julie had with Gary.

"Dad, if you put a piece of sliced bread in with the cookies, they'll stay fresher."

Well, we didn't have sliced bread, but we did have whole wheat hamburger rolls and Gary took the top half of one and stuck it in with the cookies.

So that's what I sunk my teeth into instead. A weird soggy half of a hamburger roll that had been hanging out with cookies.

Needless to say, it was a total buzz kill. I spit it out and left the cookies alone. I figured it was some kind of divine message to go upstairs like a good girl and not eat anything so fattening before bedtime.

But I was so, so bummed.

The end.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tours, tours, and more tours

Hi there:

So Eric is currently on tour with Project Object, and I hear that despite the fact that Andre and Eric barely got home from the Adrian Belew Power Trio European run in time for any lengthy rehearsals, the first night of the show went amazingly well and Ike Willis is back, baby. Tonight's show is in Anapolis at Rams Head on Stage, and you can purchase tickets right here.

Tomorrow they will be at BB Kings in New York, and I have to tell you, I am half-tempted to hop a train and make this show. I hear percussionist Ed Mann is simply brilliant (as always) and I don't know if I can wait until Sunday's show at World Cafe Live. But we'll see.

Here's an old shot Gary took last year of Eric, Ike, and Dave Johnsen last year at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck. I love that's just so cool. And have I mentioned I loathe the new Photobucket thumbnail non-option? It's like, either post a thumbnail which will blow up into a large photo or post a large photo that covers the whole right hand side of the blog and links. It really sucks!

Anyway, all I know is, Project Object has two Zappa alumni with them this time around and you never know, there's always the chance someone else "interesting" may join them on stage so here's what was lovingly referred to as the "Blue States Tour" by someone on a Zappa forum board somewhere. Except...ha ha ha happy happy joy joy...they all pretty much turned out to be Blue States, didn't they? Yay, America! (Christ, when is the last time I said that? Erm...never?)

Sun 16 Nov Rams Head Annapolis MD - 22.50 21+
Mon 17 Nov BB Kings New York NY - $18/$20 All
Tue 18 Nov Revolution Hall Troy NY - $18/$20 18+
Wed 19 Nov Iron Horse Northampton MA - $17.50/$20 All
Thur 20 Nov Toads Place New Haven CT - $15/$17 All
Fri 21 Nov Bill's Bar Boston MA - $17/$20 18+
Sat 22 Nov Asbury Lanes Asbury Park NJ - $15/$17 18+
Sun 23 Nov World Café Live Philadelphia PA - $18 All

ETA: Hey, I snagged me a set list:

zooot allures
magic fingers
t'mershi duween
advance romance
ez meat (1978 version)
jones crusher
big swifty


cruisin for burgers
tryin to grow a chin
blessed relief
broken hearts are for assholes
king kong
packard goose
i'm the slime
village of the sun
echidna's arf
don't you ever wash that thing

zomby woof

Oh, I am loving that selection. Now I really can't wait!

In other news, my other favorite bassist, Tony Levin has updated his Stickmen MySpace page and he's sure got something exciting in the works...

(It should be noted that this photo was the correct size when I lifted it from Tony's MySpace page so it wasn't subject to the Photobucket thumbnail rule. Tony and drummer Pat Mastelotto look great in this pic, don't they? So does Michael Bernier, while I'm on the subject)

Stick Men
A European Tour for March/April/May 2009 is being booked presently for the Stick Men...we will keep you posted as we have confirmations. Stick Men are tentatively booked as the opening band for Eddie Jobson’s UKZ debut performance in NYC in Jan 2009! When Eddie confirms we will let you all know,Cheers! Stick Men

Oh, if that happens in NYC in January, we will so, so be there. There is also something exciting brewing for the ABPT in January, 2009 but I do not want to jinx it so I'll just leave it here as a tease and as soon as I get definite confirmation, you will all be the first to know.

And that's the news for today.

P.S. Julie has updated her blog and I wish to clarify something. That is not my kitchen and that is not my stove. She cooked at a friend's apartment. Not that she likes my stove any better, mind you, the little gourmet snob... (God I love her)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I want...

Okay, so I'm drinking tonight and in my last lucid moment before passing out face down on my desk, I will tell you what I want.

I want that idiot, Sarah Palin, to go away. I do not want to be reading this.

I want someone in Hungary to translate something for me. Apparently Julie is the headline of the Hungarian Zappa Society. If you speak/read Hungarian, please go to this website and tell me what the hell it says in the comments section here.

Yeah, there's a lot I want, but at least in this particular case, I got my wish:

Continuing on...

I want to post a chapter from my new novel but I'm scared and shy. So I will have another drink or seven and see if that helps and if so, check back later. If not, I promise to post something by the end of the weekend. I'm starting to get really psyched.

I do not want to be twenty again but I want to look twenty. Is that wrong?

I want everyone I love to be happy. Now that I know is not wrong.

I want Project Object to have the best tour ever -- how can it not happen with Eric Slick on drums -- and while I won't be at the Wilkes-Barre opening show this Saturday night, I sure as hell will be at World Cafe Live next Sunday and if you want to join me, purchase your tickets right here!

I want to write a coherent blogpost. But you cannot do that whilst drinking.

The end.


Monday, November 10, 2008


I'm sorry, I haven't been in the mood.

Maybe it's the post-euphoria of the election, the Phillies' World Series victory, the finale of the Adrian Belew Power Trio European tour, but sadly enough, I find myself with nothing much to say. I've been struggling with National Novel Writing Month because my heart just isn't into writing it quite yet (in other words, I want to get to the meaty, humorous chapters and maybe I should be attacking it that way - writing those first and working them in later)... and yet I know...I know I can do this and I know I'm funny...only I don't feel very funny right now and I just can't force it. I'm not unhappy...don't get me wrong...but I just feel kind of bleh. Hey, it happens.

But then I find something like this on line and I'm smiling again. When the Adrian Belew Power Trio were in Moscow, Ade broke a string and Julie and Eric had to wing it and do a spontaneous jam while repairs were made. I love this!

And then the mailman came and brought me the coolest gifts ever -- a total surprise from huge Adrian Belew fan Tickledrop...said parcels contained a download DVD of the King Crimson Festival in Moscow, a Splinter Group DVD featuring one of my favorite guitarists, Peter Green, a book called This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin which looks absolutely incredible, and speaking of absolutely incredible, homemade goodies in mason jars which I have not identified yet...I am waiting for clarification from Tickle as to what each is and will open them when the whole family is present.

Anyway, I'm kind of in blog transition land. Last night Julie made us a fantastic dinner but took photos for her own blog so my talking about that is probably out; as far as tidbits from the European what do I do now? Well, I know one thing. I have lots of friends who are writers and have really awesome novels out right now. Do I enter the world of book reviewer? Or should I use this weird, uneasy period of time to solely work on my new novel and maybe post excerpts here? Bah! I do not know what I want or what to do.

You know what? I need to be writing. I need to stop blogging and whining right this second and work on my novel. It's the only way I'm going to feel human again.

Wait: How excited am I to read this in the newspaper just now:

"WASHINGTON – President-elect Obama plans to use his executive powers to make an immediate impact when he takes office, perhaps reversing Bush administration policies on stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas.

John Podesta, Obama's transition chief, said Sunday Obama is reviewing President Bush's executive orders on those issues and others as he works to undo policies enacted during eight years of Republican rule. He said the president can use such orders to move quickly on his own.

"There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that," Podesta said. "I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change."

Okay, I started the above post on Saturday. It's now Monday morning. Look what I just came downstairs to - an incredible, all-inclusive interview with Adrian at All About Jazz. I'm not even going to post excerpts - go read the whole thing - the title is "Adrian Belew: Power Trios and Crimson Heads".

Oh, and another date has been added to the Adrian Belew Power Trio tour, which will run from April to June, 2009...and that would be Shank Hall in Milwaukee, WI on April 17. It's not on their site yet but it's up on Pollstar...keep a look-out for a lot more dates across the United States to be added. And if you want to hear a brilliant version of Young Lions recently recorded in Switzerland, Eric has now put that up on his own MySpace page.

Oh man, maybe I'm not feeling so bleh after all. Yeah!


Monday, November 03, 2008

Odds and Sods for Monday, November 3, 2008

Have I mentioned lately how much I miss Julie and Eric Slick? Thank God for You Tube:

There's the Adrian Belew Power Trio performing the title track off their new soon-to-be-recorded studio album, "E", a couple of nights ago in Den Haag, Netherlands.

So a couple of cool things.

There's an awesome article/interview with Adrian written by Matthew Shapiro over at State of Mind Music Magazine.

Here's some great quotes from the article:

"Q: What was your intention in putting together this trio with Eric and Julie? It's so interesting to see a musician of your caliber recruiting these two young players and together tackling some incredibly complicated music.

A. As usual‚ it's form follows function. I had written some music‚ which I felt was real suitable for a power trio. I really liked the idea that I was free to play whatever I wanted and I could play a lot more guitar than I normally do. I tried a couple of different combinations that didn't quite work out. It just so happened that I went to the School of Rock to do a seminar for their kids. The founder of the school‚ Paul Green‚ said‚ "You have to check out these two students of mine who already graduated‚ Eric and Julie -- a brother/sister team that are just the best players." So‚ I said to bring them in and we'll play a song together. Really‚ it was just so perfectly timed with what I had in mind. I would have never guessed that I would be so lucky to get such great players. They're so young and their energy level is amazing‚ yet they're so mature that their confidence and competence is there.

Q. Yeah‚ they're phenomenal. And not just for their age.

A. Yeah‚ for any age.

Q, I think you touched on the key word: confidence. They're so on top of their game. Julie throws it down so hard‚ and Eric's drumming‚ his touch and his feel are so beyond his years.

A. He is exactly what I'd like to be if I was a drummer. And it's the same with Julie as a bass player. They really know what to do in my music. They've studied the King Crimson stuff‚ my solo stuff‚ the David Bowie stuff‚ the Talking Heads stuff‚ Frank Zappa‚ so they've grown up on stuff that I was involved in. That was their education. It's just really serendipitous that here I am playing with someone who actually knows my music‚ but they're 21 years old....

Q....That's great. It's must be really cool to see them grow‚ not only as musicians‚ but also as people. And also‚ to see the communication between the three of you grow. They have the sibling communication…

A. Sure‚ that unspoken thing that siblings have. But I think now‚ we are a trio. Their father‚ who was here tonight and has seen a bunch of shows‚ said we sounded like one person tonight. It's really become that way. And as people‚ they're truly gifted. I don't think of them as kids at all. I forget they're so young because they know so much. And they're gifted in so many other ways‚ not just music. They're terrific people to be with and travel with. We just have a ball. We have a real‚ unique closeness. It's just so much fun. All of our shows are good. They never let me down. Not even once. I can't say that about a lot of the bands that I've played in‚ and I can't say that about a lot of the experienced musicians I played with that I admire. Sooner or later they're going to fall on their faces. Eric and Julie haven't done that. They're just super...

...I've got something so powerful and precious now‚ and Robert (Fripp) loves it too. I'll tell you the quote he gave me after he saw this band. He said‚ "King Crimson would have a difficult time following this power trio." [laughs]...

Anyway, this is a four page article complete with photos...please click on the link and read the rest...keeping in mind that this interview took place before the summer and certain things may no longer be "current".

So the list of cool people who came out to see the European shows continues to grow. I already told you about Markus Reuter Also attending shows were Theo Van Rock, Chris Harford, and, featured below, Reinier Parengkuan of Cucurullo Brullo Brillo.

Hey, also, don't forget about Andre Cholmondeley's new tour blog. I love the way he incorporates a music lesson into each post - he really gives his blog a different spin than the rest of us though I cannot help but cut and paste a bit right here because it really made me smile:

"...another great show!! I was fooled - we all were- with this place when we got there and saw the little stage...the small's a jazz club (Bill Frisell coming up next week...) and that always wigs us out a bit...right away we were considered TOO LOUD ..and that is usually the case..... also the sound system is usually waaaaay inadequate built no, this system was actually pretty ballsy...

but as i let the posters and listing on the wall sink in, I realized it was more diverse than "just jazz" -- they had funk bands, pop stuff, electronic...and the main floor area was open/no seats, so that was a good sign.

Sure enough - they crowded in there and were a rocking crowd!! It got pretty packed....

here as in in NL, some super-Crimson freaks were flipping out when they hit those numbers...and I was even surprised by the RARE appearance of "Elephant Talk"..very cool..."

And then there's this:

"what a killer show!! I'll keep saying it -- the band thrives-- like any good live band - on a rabid, involved and engaged audience. And this show, closing out the Dutch Trilogy (Groningen, Den Haag, Eindhoven) was just memorable stuff...

Started out with a spirited soundcheck, including trying out some parts for the "e" recording sessions coming up..."

Man, Andre's blog really rocks and to see photos of Chris, Theo, and to read a really touching tribute to the late Jimmy Carl Black, you really need to read the whole thing. Here. Let me make it easy. I'll repost the link.

Jimmy's website now says the following, which made me a bit teary-eyed this morning:

"Jimmy passed away peacefully last night Saturday 11/01/08 at 11:00 o'clock pm. Jimmy says hi to everybody and he doesn't want anybody to be sad."

Here's my Jimmy Carl Black story. I met him for the first time in East Germany in the summer of 2003 at the first Zappanale festival Eric and Julie ever played, when they were sixteen and seventeen years old. After Eric performed, Jimmy walked over to me.

"You're his mother?"


"You did good, woman. But only one problem."

"What's that?" (And you have to understand, I'm completely starstruck. For the first time, I'm meeting and hanging backstage with Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock and we're talking Zappa and John Lennon...drinking beer...etc. etc.)

"The problem is," said Jimmy looking over at fellow drummer Eric Slick..."How the hell do I go on stage now and follow that kid?"

He hugged me hard and smiled that big, happy grin.

Anyway, Jimmy does appear, along with the aforesaid very young Eric and Julie, in the documentary, Rock School. I do not remember if he's in the trailer I just linked or not...I will have to check it out and if not, do some snooping around as I do know some footage of him from the movie exists somewhere on line.

I keep having the same image of him, though. There was a really cool outdoor cafe in Germany we all hung out at...and no matter what time I passed by, there was Jimmy, with a whole bottle of whiskey in front of him...smiling, shaking hands, signing autographs...

Wow. It was just a little over five years ago but it feels like a lifetime. my favorite waiter once told me, "Time fries, Lobin."


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Oh. My. God.

Well, I hope everyone downloaded the Swiss radio show link I posted yesterday because I still haven't recovered from that.

But for now, here's my first Oh. My. God. moment of today:

Eric, you sound like you are sitting behind a 50 piece kit. I think this is from Thursday night's show in the Netherlands.

And in my next Oh. My. God moment, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I mention Jeff Menke a lot and I have to tell you, his radio show on Saturday evenings is one of the best in the entire United States. It's called Rainbow Bridge - it starts at midnight, and tonight he'll not only be playing a "surprise" from the Adrian Belew Power Trio, he'll be playing promos the trio did for the radio station as well. Here's the link to listen live!

But yeah, I did say it was another Oh. My. God moment and that's because Jeff sent me outtakes from the promos. And here they are -- truly hilarious (and that's a photo of Jeff on the far right)

And finally, for those of you who might be wondering: "Why is Robin blogging right now? Isn't this the start of National Novel Writing Month? Doesn't she have a minimum of 2,500 words to write today?"...the answer is Why yes, it is and I do. I started earlier this morning, am up to 1,100 words, and the name of my new book (which took me most of today so far to decide but I'm really, really pleased) is "Sparrow Rising". I will be posting a link to the work in progress tomorrow...though I am tempted to post the synopsis now...maybe I'll come back in, edit this post, and add it...