Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ho Ho Ho 2009

So what a year, eh?

For our family, it's been twelve months of some neat transitions and some not so neat, and I suspect that trend will continue even more strongly in 2010. I'm not complaining. Hey, I even made it through my first full year as an empty-nester. Though admittedly I continue to stalk/harass both Julie and Eric daily - that will never change unless they tell me they actually mind. I personally think they enjoy it. And I expect that contrary to what I proclaimed in an earlier post, their musical lives will be providing most of the excitement in this blog in 2010, but fear not, I have a few tricks left up my sleeve as well. I'm working on a new novel which is a modern day version of Bonnie and Clyde meets the Beverly Hillbillies but with the usual rock and roll back story because this is me we are talking about. Not to be an egomaniac or anything, but I've been cracking myself up writing it. I started out with something totally different - I even had an outline this time! -- but somehow, some way, this other story wormed its way into my brain and once I went with it, well, it just took off. I'm stoked!

Anyway, tonight is New Year's Eve, a night which I loathe so we made a pact years ago to never go out and have awesome food delivered instead. This evening we'll be having dinner brought to our door courtesy of an Asian fusion restaurant where I will be dining on delights such as mushrooms stuffed with black beans, miniature steamed spinach dumplings, and curried shoestring potatoes. Eric is of course playing a gig -- in his words via Twitter: "by the way: new years at the ox (2nd and oxford). we'll be doing a chronological review of the decade in music. expect some miley hits." -- and yes, I know, Eric is hilarious...if I didn't hate going out on NYE so much, I would definitely have to catch him drumming to Miley but I'm sure he's kidding...right, Eric? Right? -- after which he'll head over to Julie's apartment, where a major party will be underway and oh man, I wish I could get Ms. Julie to deliver the food here from that soiree instead - her menu sounds amazing but I'll let her blog those details...I'm sure she will, along with recipes.

But I have dibs on telling you about Christmas, and what better way than to show you via Gary's amazing photos. Our tree is exceptionally gorgeous this that Eric's drum kit is no longer in the living room (sob sob) we had space to buy a bigger tree and place it in a prominent spot. Both Julie and Eric were here for Christmas Eve dinner, and spent the night so they could relive their youth (Gary did not dress up as Santa, alas, and I wish I had a scanner so I could show you a photo of when he did...hahahaha..he had a cheap ass outfit and he also had a mullet -- hey, it was the eighties -- which stuck out of his crappy white wig and still Julie and Eric believed he was the real thing until, like, sixth grade har har)...anyway, Julie was in charge of the food, Gary was her sous chef, and we unanimously decided our meal would be a series of small plates like the ones we've been enjoying at Tria Cafe and Village Whiskey.

So, without further ado, here are the first set of photos, and the food shown is as follows: Deviled eggs two ways (curry/honey and sesame/wasabi); caramelized onion bruschetta with Bulgarian feta; steamed spinach with roasted garlic; swiss chard and red onion saute; a selection of imported and local cheeses; charred marinated cherry tomatoes; homemade apricot fig mustard; crostini; spiced almonds with brown sugar, paprika, and cumin; fresh blackberries. By the way, thanks to Faith Cohen, a truly cool and talented woman I met through the ABPT, for sending our family a very fitting and lovely holiday gift which you will see in said photos - a bottle of incredible Fig Balsamic Vinegar from Artisanos Oils, and man, that shop looks amazing! Oh! While I'm at it, let me also extend a very special thank you to Rena Davis for the luscious chocolate truffles and to Mike Inman for sending absolutely unbelievably photos he took of Julie and Eric and printed out on exquisite paper...I cannot wait to have them framed and hanging up here so I can show you! Again, I met Rena and Mike through the trio as well, and believe that no matter what the future holds, the four of us will always be friends.

Oh yeah, here's those pics I mentioned 89 paragraphs ago...jeez, I go off track a lot, don't I? Ha! What can I say...there's a lot to talk about!

I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious it was. I adore eating this much more fun than traditional appetizer, entree, dessert. Food is so sensual - every meal should be an adventure. Exhibit "A" of why I loathe chain restaurants so much! (Though that might be Exhibit "B" with Exhibit "A" being the fact that chain restaurants are all owned by evil, ugly, Republican corporations)

So we went to bed stuffed and you'll never guess who woke us up Christmas morning...the dog! He absolutely, positively knew it was Christmas, and the minute the early morning light came streaming through the window, he tried to physically lift me from the bed, burrowing his nose under my body. When that didn't work, he barked and woke up everyone, and then raced downstairs, where he somehow knew exactly where his presents were! We had to chase after him pre-coffee because he seriously would have unwrapped everything himself:

Since they wanted a traditional Slick Christmas, I insisted that Julie and Eric wear their holiday headgear, which, as you can see, thrilled them to no end -- and note that Julie is wearing her Fairmount Sports Association Most Valuable Player t-shirt which she won for her work in the All-Star game. Yes, in 1997, Julie was the MVP of her softball team, for both pitching a near perfect game and for getting the winning hit in the bottom of the last inning! I totally lost my cool that day and I'll never forget it. I stood behind the dugout dressed in a Rolling Stones t-shirt, jeans, and Doc Maarten boots (yeah, total soccer mom apparel) screaming "MY DAUGHTER IS MVP! MY DAUGHTER IS MVP! MY DAUGHTER IS MVP!" in case the umpire and coach didn't already notice (as if). Back in 1997, I honestly believed Julie was going to be a "major league" pitcher and would go to Princeton on a softball scholarship. Okay, so every once in a while, my Mom vibes are off, but not often as both Julie and Eric will tell you. I am scarily accurate, in fact. But I digress. Here's the photo I was talking about before I went off on yet another tangent:

Now this made us all laugh out loud...Eric and Gary are both gift wrap challenged, and not only did Eric face the struggle of cutting paper and applying scotch tape, he made the mistake of buying Julie's gifts at Anthropologie, who gave him the added enjoyment of having to construct his own gift box out of a ridiculous piece of cardboard with absolutely no assembly instructions. Hence Eric's notation on said box:

Now both Julie and Eric asked for the same exact item as one of their gifts -- something which made absolutely no sense to me at all and to be honest, I choked at the price considering what they appeared to be (i.e.., useless) until they opened them on Christmas morning, tried them on, and showed me how they worked. Too freaking cool! There's a flap on the palm of these fingerless things which comes up and turns them into mittens if it's really cold out. But by wearing the gloves without the flap, they are able to play drums/bass in chilly rooms or at outdoor festivals (hint hint) in snuggly comfort:

I could not wait for Julie to open this one, because she just acquired a new bar for her apartment and I knew this would be a perfect accessory to hang above it...and as you can tell by her expression (and Eric's), it was a huge hit:

But the gift that got the most attention -- and out of everything he got, and he got tons, Eric's most favorite present ever was one recommended to me by Dan'a Chamberlain, wife of uber drummer Matt Chamberlain (oh, here's Matt's bio, and I adore how he wrote it: "Hi my name is Matt Chamberlain--I play drums and have been involved in various projects over the years with friends and have also had the privilege of touring and recording with some of the most amazing musicians/people ever such as Bill Frisell,Tori Amos, David Bowie, Fiona Apple,The Finn Brothers, David Torn, Elvis Costello ,The Master Musicians Of Jajouka, Jon Brion, Robert Fripp, Morrissey, Elton John, Brad Mehldau, Garbage, Dido, Pearl Jam, Mitchell Froom, T-Bone Burnett to name a few. ... . I have a solo CD that is now out, a project with Bill Frisell called Floratone, The Slow Music Project with (Bill Rieflin, Robert Fripp, Peter Buck, Fred Chalanor, Hector Zazou), and Critters Buggin (Brad Houser,Skerik,Mike Dillon)."...anyway, Dan'a turned me on to this site and thanks to her, Eric Slick is now a Beardhead!

Eric tells me that his beardhead is taking Philadelphia by storm and I believe him. True and funny story. Dan'a showed me that site weeks ago and I didn't realize they were sold out and backordered until February, 2010. I knew Eric had to have one. I tried eBay, where I found one going for $300, and soon realized this cap was not only more than a passing fad, it was a fucking social phenomenon. I spent hours and hours on line looking for one and finally, after an assortment of dead-ends which would not take my credit card info because they were sold out though the site did not say that...I kept thinking something was wrong with my card; I tried paypal and that didn't work either....ugh...I was never so frustrated...anyway, finally, hallelujah, I scored probably the last legally priced beardhead in the entire free world. Seriously, Julie, Eric, and Gary got tons and tons of gifts and this was the one I knew would be the winner and I was right, though I hardly expected it to also be the one that took the most time to procur!

Julie, of course, could not resist trying it on, but I somehow think she's going to take a pass on actually owning one:

By this time, Monty has now eaten way too many of his gifts while our attention was directed at Eric, meaning we were bent over double laughing our asses off, so he just kind of sighed and took a nap while Julie and Gary went into the kitchen to make breakfast.

Eric was so enamored with his beardhead he attempted to drink his orange juice whilst still wearing it but soon realized it was not the best idea...(probably when I started screaming "Don't ruin it; it'll get all sticky, it took me hours to find it, you'll never be able to replace it blah blah blah....)

Julie decided to go with a Christmas theme for our morning oh man, this had to be the world's best frittata, made with the left over red and green vegetables from Christmas Eve's dinner and served with multi-grain toast and fresh blackberries. Sublime!

I do not have photos of dinner - Julie does, and hopefully she will send them to me or post them herself. We were talking about Christmas dinners before we all went vegetarian, and I totally forgot (and how this is possible I do not know, since when it comes to food, I forget nothing!) that our standard meal was always buffalo wings and hand cut french fries! It was always our favorite fun meal, so instead of doing traditional ham or turkey dinners, we did that instead. When I started to get all teary eyed and sappy remembering, Julie said "Don't worry, Mom. I'm going to make us a vegetarian version of that meal and you won't even know the difference."

And she did. We had buffalo wings made out of tofu (she even cut them into wing like shapes) which she dipped in panko breadcrumbs, baked, and smothered in a lovely hot sauce/butter combo and yeah, yeah, we had hand cut fries along with them. In order to mitigate the damages and make ourselves at least feel a little healthy, we also had roasted broccoli on the side. Oh my God, did you ever taste roasted broccoli? It's insane! Julie roasts it in the oven smothered in olive oil and garlic and the garlic roasts right along with the broccoli, making it so sweet and delicious you can't believe it. It's my new favorite food, I swear.

ETA: She sent me a pic! See? How cool is that!

Sooo...that was Christmas, 2009. I think it was one of the best, ever.

I definitely have some music and writing news to tell you about, but I think I will save that for my next post. One thing I do want to mention, though, is that I'm now the Administrator of the Facebook page for Paper Cat...please friend the band and I'll try and figure out how to be aggressively creative with the page...I am Facebook challenged but I am resolving to learn how to work it correctly with a little help from my friends.

And with that, it's time to kiss this decade goodbye. Unlike Time Magazine, I can't really say it was the worst decade ever though if you click on that link, dear God, they sure do make a valid point; but in any event, not to be selfish or anything, the past four-five years have brought me some of the happiest moments of my all over the world, listening to my kids make what is up there with the greatest music I've ever friends...oh God, I just realized this is the decade that brought me into cyberworld (I was a late bloomer...didn't go on line until 2000) and it's because of said cyberworld that I've made said friends, published six or is that seven books, tons of short stories (hey, my website is currently being updated...nudge nudge to Scott if you are reading this...I have more stuff for you to add...hope you liked the cookies!)...and well, what else can I say? Here's to a happy, healthy New Year for all, and an even more amazing 2010 for Julie and Eric Slick and everyone we love.

Ho, ho, ho.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Just a quick note to let you know that Julie, Eric, and Robbie, a/k/a Paper Cat, will not be performing at the Mercury Lounge in NYC tonight. Something came up beyond their control but I will be back tomorrow with lots and lots of photos and all the news you can use!

So I won't wish you all a Happy New Year yet...sit tight and stay tuned for info on what promises to be the most stellar year yet!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Ketchup Time

Okay, it's time to play serious ketchup.

First, let me apologize for the canceled book release party on Saturday night. We had a "crippling blizzard" here that day...a 23 inch total which just never happens in Philadelphia; I had wonky internet service and all kinds of craziness at Casa Slick. Just to give you an idea, here's a photo of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is basically down the street from where I know those famous steps that Rocky ran up?

Yep, that was how it looked yesterday. And that's nothing. Cars were covered to their rooftops and our poor dog couldn't even go out for a proper walk...all you could see was his head sticking out of a mountain of snow. It was painfully hilarious.

The book release live stream party will be rescheduled. I will let you know within the next few days.


When I last left you last Friday, I was headed for the Philadelphia debut of Paper Cat at the Khyber and I'll have a lot to say about that in a minute but I think it will be better if I start with today and backtrack since this has been an incredibly eventful week!

Okay, first of all, tonight Eric has a really interesting jazz gig with some amazing heavy hitters in the music world and A.D. Amorosi wrote about it in this week's City Paper!:

"►There’s a double shot of Lillie Ruth Bussey going around this week and it’s sweeter than H1N1: The missus of hot-mess electronica does “Treble Without A Boss,” Dec. 17, at Slingluff Gallery with our favorite filmmaking Latino folk rocker Les Rivera (still waiting for that Creep records single, Les, the one with the Count Skotchula illustration on the front). Ruth’s band — with lanky skronkmeister Stephen Buono and Birds for Arms (featuring Eric Slick on drums) — opens for the Buono-booked extravaganza celebrating genius guitarist Rick Iannacone at Tritone Dec. 21."

And if you scroll down when you click on Mr. Amorosi's link, you'll also see this mention, which may very well have a bearing on future news here at ye olde blog and that's all I'm saying..

"► Boy did Andy Hurwitz step into a pile of gold. First, he takes over Mad Dragon Records (aka Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design’s coolest homework project) right when that label scores eight Independent Music Awards nominations (from a 2009 judge panel that includes Zooey Deschanel, Pete Wentz and Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus; you can vote at Second, Hurwitz still has another label, Ropeadope, that’ll celebrate Christmas at Marbar Dec. 23 with Leana Song and Oud Blues. Why Marbar? Hurwitz just took over its booking schedule. “Fits into my West Philly connection,” he says. He officially starts in January with a world music weekly featuring a live house band starring Pablo Batista and two Elliots, Garland and Levine"

So what might this mean? Maybe nothing; maybe something spectacular. Stay tuned!

Now on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, Eric has an outrageous gig at Johnny Brenda's:

"Aron Magner & Tom Hamilton, Acoustic Again - (Set time: 10:00 PM)

A yearly tradition during the early 2000's, Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits) and Tom Hamilton (American Babies, Brothers Past) would take one night a year to dig through each other's catalogue and interpret their songs into an acoustic environment. After a few years off the duo will be starting the tradition anew at Philadelphia's Johnny Brenda's. As with previous years one can expect several guests and Beatles covers to pop up throughout the night."

Who might those "guests" be? Well, Eric is the drummer for the evening, but hmm...who else is stopping by? Another biscuit or two? A surprise bassist (not Julie, though hopefully she'll be with me in the audience)? All I know is, this is going to be a MAJOR amazing way to kick off Christmas in more ways than one. Eric shared the set list with me and I had one of those OMG moments. I'm not telling his Dad...I want to see his face as it happens. But, erm, a few Beatles' covers did you say?

Okay, now I've brought you up to date on what's happening tonight and this coming I can backtrack.

On Saturday, as I already told you, we had a blizzard. Eric, of course, had a gig in New York City. We talked about different options (me: Oh my God, it's a nightmare out there, stay home!)(Eric: It's not even snowing in New York, I'll be fine! And by the way, erm, I am 22...)(Me: Yeah, yeah...okay)(Me to Gary: "Oh my God, I'm going to be awake all night worrying!)

Anyway, this was his NY gig (and I notice from googling there were many other articles written about this evening as well)...he obviously made it home and back in over a foot of snow, had a total blast..and was really glad he didn't listen to his insane, neurotic mother:

"Saturday December 19

Location: West Village, NYC
Bands: Pop Rocks! Get Tickets Here
Show time: 11 PM
Venue: Sullivan Hall
Food: Tortilla Flats
Drink: White Horse Tavern
Miscellaneous: Magnolia Bakery

Ever wanted to see the Velvet Underground? Check out the next best thing as Scott Metzger's HEROIN plays the music of The Velvet Underground. Joining them are Eric Slick spinning vinyl, the art of Jess Pfohl, an installation by Chuck Frye, and the launching of Dinner before a show like this should be just as awesome. Check out Tortilla Flats. The food is Mexican and delicious, but it’s the insanity within (bingo and hula-hoop nights) that is the real calling for this place. For drinks afterwards, hit the White Horse Tavern, a great bar and the old haunting grounds for Dylan Thomas. If you somehow have time before all of this, stop by Magnolia Bakery for some of the best tasting cupcakes in the city."

Hmm...if I had known about those cupcakes, I might have braved the snow along with my son....

Oh, I'm kidding.

Continuing on...

On Wednesday, Julie, Eric and I went Christmas shopping, visited Dickens Village where I fought back tears like crazy remembering Julie and Eric as toddlers when I used to take them there and their eyes and mouths widened in they accused the mannequins of dirty dancing while Scrooge looked through the window like a peeping Tom...oy...we laughed like maniacs; J&E took a ton of video footage with their iPhones, none of which they are sharing with me, sob (I think they are using some as samples har har) and no, I could not trick them into sitting on Santa's lap so I could get a picture but...but...but...they did kindly agree to having our portrait snapped right as we entered Dickens Village and if you think I get all glowy and happy whenever I'm around Julie and Eric Slick let alone at Christmas, well, here's the proof:

By the way, you should click through all the photos of Dickens Village. It really is amazing and too bad they don't have the soundtrack to go with it like they do when you visit in person...oh's the dirty dancers..

I'm not going to tell you what we bought on our little spree but we had an absolute blast and there will be plenty of photos showing you on Christmas morning when I post my yearly Slick holiday blog. But after we finished shopping and visiting Dickens Village, it was now time for Happy Hour so we headed for what has to be the best happy hour in the entire City of Philadelphia (though Julie and I have one more to try on our list...we may go tomorrow so I'll report back with the results if we do)...anyhoo, best happy hour to date in our opinion is Tria Cafe at 12th and Spruce. I cannot tell you the name of the wine we drank (only that we had seven (7!) glasses) but here's what we nibbled on from the menu:

Spicy Crab and Chickpea Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Lemon-Pepper Vinaigrette
Tuscan Three Cheese Potato Chips with Smoked Paprika Aioli
Fennel Spiced Almonds

Caramelized Onion with Feta
Gorgonzola with Fig Jam
Artichoke Puree with Grana Padano and Fennel Seed

And then of course we had two cheese plates which came with lovely fresh honey comb and apricot mustard dipping was just a superb, superb meal.

Loved the ambience there as well, and the servers are all super friendly and knowledgeable. It's going to be hard to top this, but the place Julie and I have in mind is not only supposed to have a comparable happy hour, oysters are involved.

I'll let you know.

On Tuesday night, Eric played yet another gig at Johnny Brenda's, this one with Ape School, and I had no idea that "Ape School" is the brainchild of Michael Johnson, a professor at the University of Arts in Philadelphia nor did I know that this band caught the attention of Pitchfork Magazine! Read all about it right here!

Sunday, I found myself at Julie Slick's lovely apartment where the two of us baked, oh, about 1,000 cookies while at our house, Slick Daddy was busy making another 25,000. Then Julie and I headed back home so I could pass out and Julie and her father could bake some more.

Here are Gary's pride and joy - chocolate chip peanut butter cookies topped with a miniature Reese's cup:

Trust me, that's just the tip of the iceberg - there are several other varieties, each sicker than the next. So those of you fortunate enough to be cookie worthy, they are all out via UPS as we speak -- happy munching!

But man, when in my life did I ever think I'd be mailing out cookies to Tony Levin, Marco Minnemann, John Medeski, John's engineer, David Kent, Saul Zonana, Adrian Belew, Michael Bernier (they are on the way, Michael, but probably not until next week)...not to mention all of the incredible fans/friends we've made along the way.

I tried to snap a few photos of Julie and Gary working feverishly in the kitchen but trust me on this, Annie Liebovitz has nothing to worry would be nice if I could ever take a pic without cutting off someone's head but nooo....

Oh yes, Julie also cooked us dinner in between. I kid you not - we had spaghetti and beanballs.

Let me say this right now. As hilarious as it sounds, beanballs are freaking delicious. Like meatballs without the dead cow, gristle, and calories. She made them out of beans, chopped nuts, and bulgar wheat (I think)...anyway, what an outrageous meal that was. (But the hot out of the oven cookies for dessert afterwards were even better)

Oh, and you'll notice I mentioned John Medeski and his engineer got cookies because well, as it turns out, they are more than cookie worthy! Julie had an awesome week recording at John's studio, and the story changes yet again...yes, Julie laid down bass tracks at John's studio for this truly wonderful singer/songwriter/guitarist from the UK...but then John arrived back home from tour two days into the project and dubbed in his keyboard parts over what was already recorded so yes, yes, yes, it appears Julie Slick will appear on a brand new recording with John and if you would like a sample of the music and to watch John and the mystery man in the studio, I have a video posted on my Facebook page which will not embed here so you may have to friend me on Facebook; I'm not sure. I did hit the setting where my profile should be visible to everyone and here's the link but if it won't let you go there, you can friend me - I'm there under "Robin Slick" (d'oh, though believe it or not, I think there are four of us but I use the same profile photo there as here)...I will usually friend anyone unless they are known stalkers and ugh, yeah, I do have a few but hopefully they've finally gotten the message not to screw with me and stay in lurker mode.

So yeah, Julie bonded with John because he's a fellow foodie, and she was all set to hang out with him December 30 when he has a gig with "The Word" at The TLA with...Good freaking lord, this is the first time I'm seeing this...."The Word is a blues/jam/rock collaboration between Robert Randolph, The North Mississippi Allstars and John Medeski"...but something else popped up.

Holy Crap, I really want to see this...except...except...what is the one thing that would keep me (and Julie, Eric, and Gary) away from a show such as that one?

It would have to be a show in which Eric and Julie Slick are actually performing, right? You guys know me by now...nothing could keep me from that. So December 30, 2009 will find me not in Philadelphia bopping out with The Word, but in New York City, where I will be attending the New York premier of Paper Cat at the Mercury Lounge...they are opening for the Dirk Quinn Band and not on the venue's website yet but expect that to change any second (ha).

Speaking of Paper Cat, they finished recording their brand new EP and there's a hint in this blog post about where that might be going...or not...but I have amazing news about Julie and Eric's great friend and Paper Cat's brilliant, brilliant guitarist, Robbie "Seahag" Magano. A few weeks ago, Robbie got "the call" from Tom Morello to fill in for Carl Restivo, who, are you following this?, is currently on the Rhianna tour (and he was on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, which was awesome! I met Carl on the Belew west coast tour in October...he came to the Redondo Beach show outside of LA and he told me J&E are so awesome they need to move out to LA immediately and he'll have them gigging every night there but I just put my fingers in my ears and started going LALALALALALALALALALALALALA) (just kidding - I want whatever is best for everyone. In fact, if you ask me for my biggest wish for 2010, it's that everyone I love be happy and that everyone I know get exactly what they deserve!)(Muhahahahahahaha....)

Tom Morello and his band and Robbie were a good fit and how sick would it be if Robbie does more work with them in the future?

Paper Cat is a band with a pedigree already!

Here's Robbie's take on the Morello gig.

By the way, hurrah Tom Morello!

Seriously, Paper Cat is especially great because all three musicians in the trio write the songs and are really into composing their own material, which they don't get to do with most other projects. It's pretty obvious to see this is where their talent also lies and where their careers are's the next obvious step for musicians of this caliber and I'm sure 99% of the world has already noticed this. It's that remaining, clueless 1% who mystify me....hahahahahaha...oh, I'm just messin' with you, but you know, someone has to buy all those other CDs....

I mentioned I wanted to talk about their show at the Khyber last week. How about that it was sold out? And that the audience went basically crazy over the music? Who said there's no audience for intelligent songwriting and high caliber players? I loved reading Robbie's summary:


PAPER CAT GIG in Philly Thoughts
Well, it's been a long time since there's been an exciting opportunity for me to play what I truly want on stage and really speak my musical mind comfortably. Last week, Julie Slick, Eric Slick, and I played our first show as Paper Cat and debuted all of our new songs and improvised as well to a sold out crowd. Needless to say, it was a great time. The crowd reaction --- oozing with loud applause. We really enjoyed ourselves and are psyched to do it again.

Our next gig is December 30th at Mercury Lounge in NYC. More to come on that detail. We are due for another video conference meeting. That's next on the agenda! 2010! We're psyched!


I should also mentioned that I was happy to read in Bert Lam's blog that the California Guitar Trio is busy mixing their new CD, and I believe Julie and Eric will appear on three tracks; Tony Levin will appear on one as well...anyway, here's what Bert says:

"Sunday, December 20, 2009
Mixing in Louisville, KY, day 2...
Two more pieces mixed today(Cathedral Peak and Portland Rain, featuring Eric and Julie Slick on bass and drums, and Dilek Engin on viola), and we started work on a third: Hazardous Z.
This album is already turning out to be quite different than anything we've done before. Tomorrow we will get started on Chacarera, a piece by Paul, and a series of improvisations"

So that is yet another awesome thing to look forward to in 2010.

I already wrote in a previous post that Julie is going to NAMM in January and may have some possible gigs coming her way from that which I'll shout from the rooftops as soon as anything is verified, but Eric, who is a four time veteran of NAMM and jaded (ha), may have other any event, to those of you who have asked, no, Eric will not be on the winter Project Object tour...he is on indefinite sabbatical which Andre talks about in his shiny, brand new totally fantastic website! Hey, Andre, if you are reading this, the site looks great! Welcome to 2010...I adore that it's interactive and very, very user friendly. Great job! And best wishes to Jim Ruffi, a Project Object alumni, who will, I'm sure, joyously retake his seat behind the's hoping for a great tour and 2010 for P/O, who will always have a very, very special place in my heart along with Andre, who gave Eric his very first break. Our family will never forget his kindness and his willingness to take a chance on an unknown 18 year old who had the balls to play Frank Zappa music on stage with the likes of actual Zappa alumni Ike Willis, Denny Walley, Robert Martin, Don Preston, and Napoleon Murphy Brock!

As for me, I am still basking in the glow of being, at least six words worth, a Harper Collins author:

"It All Changed in an Instant
More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure
By Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser

Price: $12.00
On Sale: 1/5/2010 PRE-ORDER HERE!

“A perfect distraction and inspiration, and a collection that begs to be shared. Be warned, though. If you plan to lend out your copy, start out with two. Once it leaves your hands you’ll never see it again.”

—Denver Post (on Not Quite What I Was Planning)

The editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning are back with its much-anticipated sequel, It All Changed in an Instant. With contributions from acclaimed authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Frank McCourt, Wally Lamb, Isabel Allende, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, and James Frey, and celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Suze Orman, Marlee Matlin, Neil Patrick Harris, Ann Coulter, and Chelsea Handler, It All Changed in an Instant presents a thousand more glimpses of humanity. . . six words at a time. In the vein of the popular Post Secret books, It All Changed in an Instant, in the words of Vanity Fair, “will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.

"Dear Robin Slick, Six-Word Memoirist extraordinaire,

Congratulations! Your Six-Word Memoir, "xxx" from SMITH Magazine is being published in the new book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, on sale January 5th. (But available for pre-order now!) Thank you and welcome!"

There are two readings in connection with this - one on January 5 in Brooklyn and one in late January in New York City...I will try to make both but I'm leaning toward the end of January as my "definite". I'll let you know as soon as I get the details. Naturally, the website for Smith Magazine is down right now but no worries, I have more than enough time to post the usual billboards.

Okay then. I think I've brought you all up to date on most things.

(1) Try and get out to see Eric do his jazz thing at the Tritone tonight;
(2) For sure be at Johnny Brenda's this coming Wednesday to see Eric, Tom Hamilton, and some Disco Biscuits and/or other local and national luminaries perform an uber special show;
(3) Absolutely positively be at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on December 30 to witness the New York debut of Julie Slick, Eric Slick, and Robbie "Seahag" Mangano, a/k/a Paper Cat...and maybe there will even be a brand new EP at said just never know.

I'll be back here before Christmas...there is still much to discuss but I want to save it for...


Friday, December 11, 2009

Odds and Sods for Friday, December 11, 2009

Okay, lots of amazing news and excitement this morning!

Like, there's this new book coming out, published by HarperCollins:

Here's the synopsis over at their website:

"It All Changed in an Instant
More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure
By Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser

Price: $12.00
On Sale: 1/5/2010 PRE-ORDER HERE!

“A perfect distraction and inspiration, and a collection that begs to be shared. Be warned, though. If you plan to lend out your copy, start out with two. Once it leaves your hands you’ll never see it again.”

—Denver Post (on Not Quite What I Was Planning)

The editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning are back with its much-anticipated sequel, It All Changed in an Instant. With contributions from acclaimed authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Frank McCourt, Wally Lamb, Isabel Allende, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, and James Frey, and celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Suze Orman, Marlee Matlin, Neil Patrick Harris, Ann Coulter, and Chelsea Handler, It All Changed in an Instant presents a thousand more glimpses of humanity. . . six words at a time. In the vein of the popular Post Secret books, It All Changed in an Instant, in the words of Vanity Fair, “will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.”

Book Description
Funny and bittersweet, witty and wild, or downright tragic, these addictive life stories are both monumental and miniscule. Six-word memoirs have become a global phenomenon, offering anyone and everyone a telling peek at humanity and a chance to find the writer within."

And the reason I am so excited?

"Dear Robin Slick, Six-Word Memoirist extraordinaire,

Congratulations! Your Six-Word Memoir, "xxx" from SMITH Magazine is being published in the new book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, on sale January 5th. (But available for pre-order now!) Thank you and welcome!

This book is as much yours as it is ours, and in the coming weeks, we hope to include you all in the process of hyping, buzzing, promoting, publicizing, proselytizing, and singing the six-word gospel to the high heavens. And, you know, invite you to parties.

Thing 1: We can't wait to send you your very own author copy!

Thing 2: Book tour!
We're bringing the Six-Word Love train to New York, Milwaukee, Austin, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The full schedule is here:
Will you be in town? Let us know if you'd like to appear in a reading. If not, let your friends know we're a-coming.

Thing 3: Spread the word!

Feel free to write back with any questions, concerns, ideas or inspirations. There will be more news soon. For now, we're just so excited to join you in sharing stories and spreading the joy of six.

Rachel Fershleiser ("Morning: national television. Afternoon: bookstore bathrooms.")
Larry Smith ("Now I obsessively count the words")

Ahem. What is this you speak of? Parties? Book tours? (Okay, for me that means a reading in New York, but still!)

Someone please pinch me, I'm in a book with Amy freaking Tan and Sarah freaking Silverman? (I am going to overlook the Ann Coulter factor. What the hell were her six words? "Well, Jews are good with money"?) And more importantly, will Sarah and Amy be at the parties? Ha ha, just kidding, who cares, I already know more than anyone that it's better to NEVER meet your heroes, but hey hey I'm on a roll with Smith which is way cool because I love, love, love everything about that magazine. In fact, I thought I already had my fifteen minutes of fame with them on Thanksgiving when I was the Six Word Memoir of the Day and then on Tuesday they shocked me altogether by mentioning me in a new six word competition they are having in conjunction with New Year resolutions for 2010. I mean, how thrilled was I to see this on their website!

"Contest: Six-Word Resolutions (and a chance to be on “Lopate”)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
By Larry Smith

We have a new Six-Word Challenge and an especially cool prize. The challenge: your Six-Word Resolutions. Tell us your plans, hopes, dreams, motivations and mistakes you hope not to repeat in 2010 in just six words. The Prize: Six people will win an advance copy of our newest book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. We’ll also invite some of our favorite resolution writers to talk about their six words live on The Leonard Lopate Show on Tuesday December 29 at 12pm.

To be considered to go on air, you must submit your Six-Word Resolution by December 22 at Here at SMITH, we’ll keep submissions open to win the book until December 28. Please head over to the Six-Word Resolutions project to submit on SMITH.

Here’s one we love already, from Robin Slick of Philadelphia:

“I promise to tolerate one hipster.”

And for whatever reason, the same blurb also appears on The Hired Guns.

Understandably, I was over the moon when my usual vain, obnoxious Google vanity search revealed that one!

Haha, but guess who also vanity googles himself? Ralph Fiennes! He was on my blog a couple of times this week, reading the excerpt of my new novel, Bitten to the Core! Don't ask me how I know this, but trust me, it's true, and Ralph, if you are reading this today, rest assured that said excerpt is the only place you appear in the was just your alleged sex appeal which launched the opening scene.

So are you all busy reading Bitten to the Core, too?

If you haven't purchased it yet, the links are below, but even better, if you own a Kindle, it is now available over at Amazon.

In music world, Julie has been in Woodstock, New York since Monday and she has sworn me to secrecy on what she's up to. All I'm allowed to tell you is that she's been staying at John Medeski's house this week working with a musician from England and she had a beer with Tony Levin Wednesday night.

Gah! I hate not being able to blab stuff.

But enough whining out of me because I am really psyched about tonight -- Paper Cat and Cheers Elephant are sharing a bill over at the Khyber!

Now that is the nice poster I started to make for Paper Cat but I say "started" because that's as much as I could figure out how to do...when it came to adding text, I totally screwed up because I am embarrased to say I've never learned how to use Photoshop properly...but it's cool, no one asked me to make a poster, anyway, I was just sitting here bored while taking a writing break and was all impressed with what I accomplished without knowing what the hell I was doing...but whatever, here's the offical and much cooler advert:

Paper Cat should go on around 10:00 p.m. and Cheers Elephant some time after that so I will be drinking a pot of coffee around six to stay awake (hopeless, I know) and can't wait to see this band play! I am not sure if the new EP is ready or not; I am guessing "not" because Julie stayed in Woodstock longer than anticipated and I don't know when she had time to work on it but we all know Julie is SUPERWOMAN so who knows...maybe she'll have something new ready; if not, I know there are copies of their debut CD, Paper Cat Live at John and Peters, still available so maybe that will make an appearance at the show. I guess we'll all find out together.

There was some discussion of Paper Cat over at the Adrian Belew Yahoo Group and here's what "Scott" had to say in reply to "Geoff", who must have noticed the band on line somewhere (like here, maybe? Ha!):

"My copy of this is signed by Julie and Eric.

This rivals e in its adventure. Everyone should give it a try
. - S."

--- In AdrianBelew@ yahoogroups. com, "Geoff" ..> wrote:

Robbie "Seahag" Mangano - guitar
Julie Slick - bass
Eric Slick - drums

http://robbieseahag .blogspot. com/
http://papercat. bandcamp. com/

So yeah, I like the comparison of Paper Cat's debut CD to "e"...not too shabby, huh!

Eric signed on with artist data so here's the official links from them to the Khyber show as well as something else pretty special:

"New show announced in Philadelphia, PA at Khyber on December 11, 2009 - Paper Cat and Cheers Elephant - buy tickets here!"

"New show announced in Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda's on December 15, 2009 - Ape School (with Eric Slick on drums)".

So obviously Eric is finally getting his physical and mental health back after all of 2009's insane touring, and no one was happier than me to see him tweet this yesterday "@mrericslick is finally starting to feel normal. playing at the khyber, 10PM tomorrow night. i'm gonna make it through!"

(I downplayed it, but I have been sick with worry, utterly destroyed, over Eric's health for the past two months. His symptoms were so fucking scary; he looked horrible, sounded horrible, and I could not stay away from WedMD where I diagnosed him myself and walked around frozen in fear while we waited for his blood work results...only to have them lost, then delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday...then another long wait until we finally got the "I dunno, it must have been a virus" from the doctor. I mean, the kid had night sweats, fevers that came and went, terrible headaches, horrible, deep coughing, and absolutely no energy. Google those symptoms and then you'll know what I was thinking and I don't think anything in my life terrified me as much. The other possibility was that he had mono but now it's out of his system, which is my theory, too, because I had mono myself many years ago and I looked and felt pretty much like he did but of course I didn't think of that whilst on WebMD where they had much, much scarier scenarios. Oh, the joys of motherhood. I thought once they grew up the worrying would stop but ho ho ho, guess what, it gets way worse.)

Getting back to the now healthy Eric, I think he also has a couple of interesting gigs coming up but I do not have links yet - he's playing a warehouse gig in Fishtown on December 13 (I am willing to bet it's this because they are all Eric's pals but if I'm wrong, I'm sure Eric will let me know. Also, I think he has a gig on December 23 where he's special guesting with someone major but I don't want to jinx things until I know for sure it's happening...I mean, I found the link, I found the gig, I see the "players", but I just want to confirm with Eric for sure that he's part of this..

Back to Julie. So yeah, she's still in Woodstock but it's only a four hour ride from there to Philly so I guess she'll be home by this afternoon, just in time to get ready for tonight's Khyber gig. Then...and I'm really excited about this...on Sunday I'm going to her place armed with pounds of butter, sugar, nuts, and imported chocolate and yep, we will be making boatloads of our famous Christmas cookies, known as "JEMS" (Julie, Eric, Mom "Slick"), which are the only cookie Gary does not bake...they are the Russian tea cookies we roll around a chunk of most excellent chocolate and double dip in confectioners sugar...and yep, the cookies will start going out via UPS this coming Monday to our friends all over the universe because whilst Julie and I are baking at her apartment, Gary will be doing the same here - his shortbread, almond cookies, Reese's peanut butter confections (you don't even want to know how many calories are in those!), sour cream chocolate tarts, lemon bars, macaroons, and this year, for me, because I'm not supposed to eat butter, an assortment of meringues. So far we are looking at brown sugar pecan and chocolate chip walnut...but I guess we'll do some without nuts as well for people with allergies. Then, and I haven't told Julie this yet nor Eric so I hope it's cool, but after our baking marathon, I figured we'd come back here and trim the Christmas tree Sunday night but d'oh, I just realized I posted a link for Eric and he's got a gig...but in a perfect world, he will still be able to somehow make it. Hey, I'm flexible - I don't mind tree trimming at midnight.

Okay, I'm lying. I'll be long passed out by midnight, especially if I'm going to Julie's house (snort), but we'll figure something out. Tree trimming here still manages to be a family affair despite the fact that we're empty nesters...we have traditions like, we always play all of the Beatle Christmas music while we decorate the tree and not the canned ones - Gary was a member of the Beatle Fan Club back in the sixties when he was a little baby hippie and has all of the original Christmas albums sent to said fan club members in pristine condition and why oh why do things like that no longer exist?

Stupid internet. I remember how exciting it was to actually receive things in the mail that you could read without a magnifying glass.

And the anticipation of waiting for a new album by a band you loved and having to save your babysitting or newspaper delivery money to buy it as a kid...bah...don't even get me started. This world sucks now.

Okay, yes, stupid internet I know...but what the fuck would I do without it? It's how I've met all of you!

And how would I have found this? Yes, once again, here's another urgent article that every musician should read and get through their thick heads: "Getting Past The 'But Artists Should Just Be Artists' Myth". Here's one key sentence: "if artists just want to be artists then they need to do one of two things: either not expect to make much money or partner with someone who can focus on the business model and social networking side of things."

Yeah, no shit. And that's all I'm going to say on the subject. I'm blue in the face trying to get through to people on this, and yes, it certainly applies to writers today as well. Why do you think I am so active here, on Facebook, Twitter....and you guys don't even know the half of it. Because thousands and thousands of books are published each year, and unless you get out there and promote, promote, promote, no one is ever going to know said book is out there and the only people who will buy it are your handful of close friends and fans who are savvy enough to keep an eye on you. But most fans are not that motivated, trust me.

This goes triple...for musicians.

And it's no fun playing empty clubs, just like it's no fun reading to empty rooms.

Ah well, bitchfest over. This is the GOOD NEWS POST, DAMN IT!

So. Everyone put on their Santa hats, literally or figuratively, and get in great moods for the rest of the holiday season...and if you can make it to the Khyber tonight to see the Philadelphia debut of Paper Cat, well, I'll see you there!


Monday, December 07, 2009

Available Today: Bitten to the Core

Hurrah! Wondering whatever became of Elizabeth, heroine of my first published novel, Three Days in New York City and its naughtly little sequel, Another Bite of the Apple? Well, this burning question can be answered today, which marks the digital release on the third book in the trilogy, Bitten to the Core.

(Cover by Debi Lewis)

And how cool is my publisher, offering a special discount for the holidays!

Enter the discount code SANTA when you check out your purchases to receive 20% off your entire order. Sale runs through New Years Day, January 1, 2010.

I also wanted to mention that Bitten to the Core is also available at the fabulous All Romance Ebooks, and I see they are giving away a cool promotion as well - a free download from Harlequin Books. I also could not help but notice that they posted the PG version of an excerpt from "Bitten", and that being so, I will post it here...and how cool, it is a portion of the opening chapter!

"There are at least three things I should be doing right now.

If I were a normal person, that is.

For one, I should be painting. I spent two days setting up my studio in Tom Hunter’s screened-in porch and I have yet to do anything there besides stand in the middle of the room and admire my art supplies.

Or, I could be a really good person and go back to New York and run Rob’s restaurant, but I’ve been a really good person my entire life and look at where it got me.

Which brings me to my third and most important alternative. If I had half a brain, I’d be in Paris fighting for Rob, the alleged love of my life, but nope, I’m not doing that, either.

Instead, I ran away.

I packed my bags and rented a house with an open-ended lease in my favorite place in the entire world, a seaside town where I vacationed as a child—Ocean City, New Jersey. Long white beaches, deep blue water, an old fashioned boardwalk, and one hundred fifty miles from New York City. Of course, I had to pick the middle of winter when absolutely nothing is open except a library and a cafĂ© swarming with candy freak church ladies, but what the hell, it made perfect sense.

Because as we have already established, I am not a normal person.

For me, going back to Ocean City was the equivalent of returning to my parents’ home and sleeping in my childhood bedroom while my mom stroked my forehead and told me everything was going to be all right. Except my mother died twenty years ago and my childhood home is now part of a strip mall housing a Denny’s and a Bed, Bath and Beyond but, oh well, this is the best I could come up with.

So, rather than take any kind of affirmative action, I pace the house like an over-caffeinated zombie until I run out of steam, plop down on the sofa, and turn on the television.

It seems that several weeks of unplanned celibacy have taken their toll. After only a few minutes of watching Ralph Fiennes on a syndicated talk show, I am sent into a total carnal frenzy.

Did I mention that I am a mess?

Not to use a cliché, but oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Two years ago, I was haughtily patting myself on the back, thinking I had somehow managed to successfully turn my life around. With my youngest son in college, I walked away from the roles of dutiful wife in a loveless marriage and cog in an unfulfilling corporate career. I packed my bags for New York City to pursue a career as an artist—something I had put on hold when my two boys were born.

But all did not turn out exactly as I planned.

For one thing, I fell in love. Apparently with the wrong person. And now I am minus one husband and one supposedly great boyfriend.

Alone again…naturally.

I sigh and turn my attention back to the television.

“So, Ralph, you were voted Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. What are your feelings on the subject?” the pretty young interviewer asks.

The enthusiastic audience cheers. I merely salivate.

“Sexiest Man Alive? You don’t say. I was not aware of that.” Ralph grins and leans back in the chair, crossing his legs in what he has to at least know is the Sexiest Man Alive position.

“You don’t read People?” she asks him in surprise.

“Afraid not, love.”

“Then I guess you don’t know that they also said you are a member of the Mile High Club.”

“Oh yes, that I did hear something about.”

“Care to spill the beans?”

He looks at her with a wicked glint in his eyes.

“I really can’t comment. The lady in question is in litigation with her employer.”

“She was a stewardess on the plane, according to People.”

“Well if it is printed in a magazine, then I suppose it must be true,” he says, clearing his throat for emphasis.

There’s a few seconds of dead air after that, but good old Ralph, smirk firmly in place, breaks the silence.

“Let’s move on, shall we? I have a new film to promote and I do believe you have a clip to show your viewers here and at home.”

No, no, your viewers at home want to hear about the Mile High Club! Come on, be a sport, Ralph. So you did it in the bathroom on the plane? You bad, bad boy.

That has to be hot as hell. I wonder if the lavatory in first class is different than the tiny metal closets used by us plebs in coach. Though really, the thought of being crammed up in such an enclosed and forbidden place with Ralph Fiennes makes my knees go weak.

There’s something just so nasty about that fantasy, between the motion of the plane, the idea that hundreds of people are just a few feet from the door—maybe someone is even standing directly on the other side, waiting for his or her turn and they can overhear everything…

Oh my.

I shiver while I rock back and forth on the sofa, both to keep warm and for devilish reasons I’d prefer to keep to myself.

“One more question before you give us a synopsis of the movie clip we are about to see, Ralph. Now I don’t want to go breaking any hearts here, but I also read you are no longer single. Care to comment?”

“I’m seeing one woman exclusively, yes.”

The audience and I groan simultaneously.

“Do you want to share her name with us?”

“Not particularly. She is an artist and isn’t in the business so you would most likely not know her, anyway.”

Oh, God. She’s an artist? I’m an artist, too! Come to me, Ralph. I’m here all by myself and available. You know you aren’t monogamous. No one in the “business” is.

“I understand that she turned down your sexual advances for two months before finally agreeing to sleep with you.”

Ralph stares at her like she is something he would normally scrape off his shoes, and I’m embarrassed to be even watching this program, but at the same time I am practically jumping up and down waiting for his answer.

“Was that in the magazine as well?” He arches an eyebrow and cocks his head. Between the British accent, his sweptback hair, and magnificent face, I am losing it.

“Yes it was, along with juicy side dish that you finally enticed her by doing impossible yoga positions while naked.”

“Good lord, did someone have a webcam in my room?” To his credit he laughs, but his host isn’t letting him off the hook just yet.

“So you are telling us this is something you do?”

What? What does he do? Use a webcam? Naked yoga? Naked yoga with a web cam and his artist girlfriend? Can I find it on the Internet? Is it on YouTube?

“Well, if one is to look at the actual definition of yoga, which is the conscious state of harmony of body, mind, emotions, and inner self, then it would make perfect sense that I practice it while nude.”

And then he slides off his chair and assumes the tree position while never taking his smoky, sensual eyes off the camera.

I run upstairs like a wild woman. "

Now of course if you want to keep reading this excerpt, which includes *cough* an x-rated scene, you can find that over at my publisher's website -- but you're going to see a "Warning" notice first which says "The blog that you are about to view may contain content only suitable for adults" and you'll have to click on "Yeah, yeah, I know, but this is just the kind of thing I live for so bring it on!" (a/k/a/ "I wish to continue")


And of course my books are also all available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon as well as All Romance eBooks (link above) and Fictionwise though Bitten to the Core is not available yet at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Fictionwise though I expect it will pop up over there either later today or within a few days. But hey, I'm all about supporting independent businesses, so please make your purchase via my publisher and take advantage of that cool discount or give the nice folks at All Romance e-Books your love -- hey, they threw probably the best party I've ever attended at any Romantic Times Convention I've ever attended. I see RT this year is scheduled in Columbus, Ohio, from April 28 to May 2. I do not know if I will be able to attend or not but if there's any way I can, I will.

Funny thing, not to talk about music (ha ha, when don't I), I am in the middle of reading Eric Clapton's autobiography which I will discuss in a future post. First, I wish to register a complaint. I'm not mentioned anywhere in it. Ha! You would think as his biggest *fan* back in the day...well, I'm going to save all of that for later but I'm laughing because who the hell would have ever known that Eric is now living at least part of the year in Columbus, Ohio? It's where his wife's family is from so he bought a house there and that's where his kids go to school. Hey, Eric, you can come visit me at my table at RT assuming I can make it because unlike your autobiography, I included you in "mine" (ha!) so I have a book for you to read and good freaking lord, I just realized it's in the top 200,000 at Barnes and Noble (which is amazing considering they sell millions and millions of books), I'll post the direct link! Wow...if just a few of you pick up Daddy today at Barnes and Noble, you can send me into best seller territory!

But um, make sure you purchase Bitten to the Core first. I promise you'll like it.

(In visiting Eric's site just now, erm, he has an actual gift shop where he sells expresso sets with his name on it? Jewelry? Designer clothing? Clearly I need to brush up on my promo skills. Hell, I want an expresso set with my name on it, too!)


As I remarked in a prior post, I am going to have an official release party for Bitten to the Core, and it's is going to be a live stream broadcast from my house. The date is officially Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. eastern. I have never, ever ventured into this territory before so I'm still busy coming up with all kinds of ideas and goodies for this event, and if it is even remotely a success, I will repeat it on a weeknight and maybe even a day during the week so that I can go global with it and include all time zones.

Should be a blast.

Now. Enough out of me. You guys have some reading to do!


Friday, December 04, 2009

Holy cow! Go Julie! Go Eric!

Erm...not that this is a freaking awesome review or anything *cough*...but...

"...Julie and Eric Slick don't have promising vocations in music because they play in Belew's band, but because they play like they belong in it. e represents the continuation of a long, notable career of one musician and the beginning of what will likely be long and notable careers of two more." (click on link to read entire article - it's amazing!)

(By the way, that's the cool flyer for next week's Paper Cat gig at the Khyber -- ticket purchase link and info in post below -- and Julie, Eric, and Robbie are busy recording their first studio CD as we speak...)

Oh yeah, here's another review of "e" which also popped up:

..."The most recent release from Belew, titled "e", is more than a solo piece. It is a work by three musicians; the other two of which are equally as skilled as Adrian himself (you have to be in order to keep up with the man). The other two musicians are Eric Slick on drums and his sister Julie Slick on the bass. What the three of them have put together musically for this release is nothing short of impressive...."

In other news, well, it's been an interesting week at House of Slick but after a rocky start, things are looking least today, anyway. Eric is feeling better physically - in fact, he's got not one but two gigs tonight before going back into the studio with Julie and Robbie for the rest of the weekend - but mentally, he's still whipped from all the touring and is taking a hiatus from the road for an undisclosed period while he sorts a few different things/offers out...but in the meantime, I know I mentioned a very cool jazz recording earlier this year -- one of the tunes, "Kosher Klash", a track from the Ayler Records release "Brotherly Love In Philadelphia" featuring Elliott Levin on saxes and voice, Eric Slick on drums and percussion and Jair-Rohm Parker Wells on basses and electronics" is a free download today over at All About Jazz so go on, help yourself, and enjoy!

Eric is also a disc jockey, did you know that? Here's the link to the article over at, but I'll paste the pertinent here for your convenience:

"RANA/American Babies’ Scott Metzger has put together a onetime only Velvet Underground tribute band for a gig at New York’s Sullivan Hall on December 19. Scott Metzger’s HEROIN finds the guitarist playing alongside A Big Yes and a Small No/Fat Mama’s Kevin Kendrick (vibes/guitar/vocals), Fat Mama/American Babies’ Jonathan Goldberger (bass/guitar) and RANA/Sam Champion/Sean Bones’ Ryan Thornton (drums). The night will also include art installations and a DJ set by Eric Slick..."

Eric as a DJ should be incredible -- there aren't too many people around with his musical taste and knowledge. I'm trying to drag Julie to come with me and make a night of it..i.e., Christmas shopping and general food debauchery in New York City and a nice hotel...should not be too hard to convince her, eh?

In other news, while "e" was on the Grammy ballot for rock instrumental performance of the year, it didn't make the final cut. Here's the five official nominees:

A Day In The Life
Jeff Beck
Track from: Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's

Warped Sister
Booker T. Jones
Track from: Potato Hole

Playing With Fire
Brad Paisley
Track from: Play

Mr. Surfer Goes Jazzin'
Brian Setzer Orchestra

Now We Run
Steve Vai

I predict Jeff Beck will win it but hey, it's a great fucking song, he should. "e" should be among the nominees, but realistically, not that many people knew about it; its not available on iTunes or brick or mortar stores, and other than a few blog reviews like the two posted above, it was virtually unnoticed by the press. Oh well. Not to do a sour grape routine or anything, but this is the Grammys we are talking about and the "Nominee Announcement Show" on Wednesday night was an abomination. Any concert which continually pans to Nick Jonas in the audience...ugh..what more do I need to say...other than on a night where Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift ruled the we really care if the Adrian Belew Power Trio did not get nominated?

No, we do not.

But it would have been nice.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Odds and Sods for Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, Andre forwarded this to me with "copyright infringement?" in the subject line, and I laughed out loud.


I like how they advertise this: "Be eSlick. Take your documents on the go."

Yes, you, too, can be like eSlick and always have your documents because God knows, you need to have those documents on you at all times, damn it!

And hear that, Eric? You will now have legions of followers.

Well, in any event, eSlick could not have come at a handier time, because my publisher sent me the following eMail:

"Mundania is running a Holiday Sale for all imprints. Entering the Discount code SANTA when checking out gives a 20% discount on the entire order.

This runs from now through New Year’s Day, January 1, 2010 on Mundania, Awe-Struck, and Phaze Books."

This is especially great news to me because I have a new book coming out next month called "Bitten to the Core" which is the third novel in the Three Days in New York City series so now is a great chance to pick up Three Days and its sequel, Another Bite of the Apple, so you'll be all caught up for Bitten -- here's the link for my author page at Phaze and if you are so inclined to order the eReader or have a Kindle, etc. of your own already, Daddy Left Me Alone is also available digitally right here.

So you can pretty much guess whenever I'm silent on the blog, it's for a reason. In a perfect world, it's because I'm writing, so yeah, that part of life is awesome -- I wrote my first short story in a while and put it up in an online workshop where its gotten some amazing reviews so now I have something to submit to a literary magazine or contest which is way cool; plus I continue to work on the new novel.

I was going to tell you all about Thanksgiving, but Julie Slick trumped me and her Thanksgiving blog post pretty much says it all with detailed pictures - by the way, I suggest you keep checking back because she's going to be putting up all the recipes. All I can say is, vegetarian or not, it was the absolute best Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. I mean, I didn't have turkey but Gary did so we did roast one, but the side dishes were to die for. Julie and Gary really outdid themselves as you can see by Julie's photos.

I do feel an explanation for this photo is in order, though:

That's me holding some kind of freaking brussel sprout tree that Julie and I bought from a "sustainable local farm stand" because we are good little yuppies (Oh, I'm kidding...we really do take our sustainable shopping seriously!)...and me drinking a lovely sparkling something that Julie picked out at the liquor store...but in case you are wondering, they had to be the absolute best brussel sprouts I ever really do need to stalk Julie's blog for the recipe. I don't know what she did to them, but she took something I spit out and hid as a kid and turned it into something better than a French fry. (This is the highest praise I can give as I am Potato Woman!)

Also, if you haven't been following Julie's blog, she has some funny pics and stories about her recent tour of Russia and Turkey. Here's the straight link to everything. You'll also see photos of last weekend's prep for the first Paper Cat studio CD, featuring Julie, Eric, and Robbie "Seahag" Mangano. Paper Cat returns to the studio again this weekend, and then of course they will share a bill with Cheers Elephant at the Khyber Pass in Philadelphia on Friday, December 11. Buy tickets right here!

Right after next weekend's Paper Cat recording session, Julie heads to Woodstock, New York to the studios of Medeski, Martin and Wood for a top secret project...and as I was just grabbing this link, I laughed out loud reading the band bio because of this passage: "Communal, on-the-road living has broken up many bands, but true-to-form, MMW thrived in this potentially treacherous situation. Their secret was a unique combination of individual personalities, with each band member taking on additional roles that suited their own aptitudes and interests. As always, nothing was planned out; it just happened.

John, with his love for cooking, was the band's chef, preparing incredible meals that made life on the road more bearable. Billy, who worked well with his hands, could fix anything up to and including the band's RV. And Chris, with his head for business, took care of the group's accounting. As it was with the music, Medeski Martin & Wood balanced each other out perfectly."

Ha ha, sounds like John and Julie have something in common, huh.

But do not be misled - Julie is not recording with MMW, she'll merely be at John Medeski's studio in Woodstock, playing her bass and recording with someone else, a male guitarist from England, and that's all I'm saying.

Eric right now is just utterly exhausted from six straight months on the road. We were talking the other day and he counted that he's been home in his own bed exactly three weeks since July. So while he's in for the Paper Cat gig, he's taking some time to chill, write music, and of course both Julie and Eric will be traveling to California in mid-January for The NAMM Show - Eric will be there as an endorser of Paiste Cymbals and Julie will be there as an endorser of Gallien-Krueger Amplifiers, and I see that Julie is not on their site yet as this is a pretty new endorsement for her -- all I know is, those amps sounded AMAZING on the west coast tour last month.

What does Julie do after NAMM? Hmm...could be another secret project. Gah! I hate being so mysterious, but I'm also superstitious and besides, this will be Julie's news to share if and when...

While Eric gets some much needed rest and relaxation, do not expect silence from his corner. I do not know if I mentioned it, but I assume it's okay to tell you that he won a very prestigious scholarship to study composition, which is his true love, and he'll be spending the month of July in France taking master classes. More details on that to, when I ask Eric and he gives them to me. I keep forgetting because I've been so damn worried about how wiped out he's been feeling. But he did see a doctor and had some blood drawn so we're on it and hope he starts rebounding soon.

We actually had dinner with Julie and Eric last night to celebrate Gary's birthday and I really need to take photos of the cards they gave him - as usual, both were hand made and they both manage to top themselves every year. Honestly, one of their cards is better than any gift you could buy for any amount of money. But Eric gave Gary a totally cool present, too - a magical device which turns albums into CDs. This has been Gary's dream invention for the past twenty years (I knew it was out there but when I checked years ago, it was a freaking fortune) so to say he's happy is putting it mildly. I bet I know the first album he turns into a CD -- it's by this band for sure! (Gary, if you are reading this, you should click on the link - there's an unreleased demo track streaming). Julie is giving Gary her specialty - a meal of his choice cooked at her place (so she gets to clean up) - I believe that is one night this week before the Paper Cat sessions and her trip to Woodstock.

By the way, we just heard through the grapevine that Eric is in the January, 2010 issue of Guitar Player Magazine. Since Guitar Player was at the October 18, 2009 show at Slim's in San Francisco and put up these great interviews and film clips of the trio on their website, I am guessing that the print issue also includes Julie and Adrian as well but who knows? Ha ha, all I can tell you is, I'll be at the store today buying my copy so I'll report back.

Anyway, I guess that's it for now and I'd better start writing. Unfortunately, cookie baking season has started in Casa Slick, and this means BIG trouble for me because I'm home alone today with two huge plates of freshly baked confections, all involving chocolate. ARGHHH. In case you are a new reader to this blog, you should know that Gary's Christmas cookies are internationally famous, and we do mail out tins to selected friends, so if you think you are cookie worthy, shoot me your home address via email and I'll see what I can do (please be sure to mention any allergies like nuts, etc.). He makes at least ten different kinds if not more, and I honestly cannot say which ones are my favorite -- maybe the butter almond sugar, or the toffee shortbread...did I say ARGHHH? Oh, God, I should just get a hotel room and stay away for the next month. I have no willpower at all. None. Though if I give up all other food this month and just eat cookies, maybe I can mitigate the damages?

Oh how I wish it worked that way...


ETA: I just received this email from my pal Robert, and it's important. I'm actually sitting here shaking as you can be SURE I'm in 100% agreement with Mr. Moore. We need to take action TODAY!

Today at 9:16am
An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That's the way General Washington insisted it must be. That's what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. "You're fired!," said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in' hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea -- "Let's invade Afghanistan!" Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There's a reason they don't call Afghanistan the "Garden State" (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan's nickname is the "Graveyard of Empires." If you don't believe it, give the British a call. I'd have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev's number though. It's + 41 22 789 1662. I'm sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you're about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the "war president." Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line -- and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn't have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush's Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you're doing it so you can "end the war") will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you've said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone -- and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout "tea bag!"

Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can't take it anymore. We can't take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of "landslide victory" don't you understand?

Don't be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn't be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can't change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can't be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it's time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don't need health care, we don't need jobs, we don't need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, 'cause we don't need them, either."

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that's what they'd do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam "might" be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish -- the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn't expect miracles. We didn't even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn't even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God's sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON'T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother's son.

We're counting on you.

Michael Moore

P.S. There's still time to have your voice heard. Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or email the President.