Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Epic Blog Post

Okay, so maybe it's not an epic blog post but I have a few days to cover and lots of photos so here goes.

For the first time in what felt like years, Julie, unlike brother Eric who is currently on tour with Project Object...oh, and if you live in the Anapolis, Maryland area you definitely want to check them out at Rams Head On Stage tonight...anyway, Julie was home for the July 4 holiday and decided to come over here and work her food magic.

But first she got me totally wasted on her home made Sangria, which she makes with like 3/4 of a bottle of brandy and a large bottle of white wine, so after two drinks I felt like I was tripping, or could it be it was a reaction to the appetizer, which Julie described for me thusly:

"The cheese is piave vecchio. Also on the plate is purple haze pita pizza with golden raisin-balsamic reduction, olives, and golden cherries (which also made an appearance in the Sangria)."

So I'm guessing it's that "purple haze" pizza which knocked me on my ass. What that really was, though, was an incredible mix of goat cheese and mozarella with a smear of Julie's famous golden raisin balsamic reduction (which gave it an almost figgy taste) on toasted pita with fresh basil. Simple, elegant, and insanely delicious.

We also had deviled eggs, which, in case you did not know it, are the new rage as restaurants look for ways to economize and yet still be cutting edge -- for example, a visit to Supper (a must click for foodies) yields said eggs as follows:

* Black truffle
* Sriracha with peanuts and coriander
* Safron with salt cod and roasted garlic
* Smoked chile with corn-red onion salsa
* Chevre with asparagus
* Pistou with ratatouille
* Horseradish with steak and Roquefort
* Scotch Deviled Egg with country sausage
* Wasabi with uni and crispy nori
* Lobster with dill crème fraiche
* Braised bacon and cheddar
* Curried with cauliflower and mint

Julie made them two ways - traditional (though with a shot of both horseradish and hot sauce which made them a little less so), and my personal now all time favorite, with curry, honey, fresh basil, and another shot of hot sauce.

Ha ha - notice the coffee table - Beatle coasters and the sleeve of the Live California Guitar Trio CD dangerously close to the food but as I said, the CD has been in heavy rotation at Casa Slick so the actual CD was already on the player. And I made/painted the little salsa tray and cup you see there, which is currently being used to store guitar and bass pics like every other available container in this house...

Anyway, between tripping from the pizza and Sangria and eating about 20 eggs, I was already satiated and ready for a nap by the time she started putting plates on the table and my eyes just got wider and wider as said table filled up. And yes, that is not a real baby but an antique, 100 year old doll which for whatever weird reason, makes me very happy to have sitting there dining with me every day and you can also see more Beatle stuff, too...someday I will do a post devoted to the Slick Family Beatle Memorabilia collection...it's that intense and goes back to the very beginning of time...

To give you a detailed description of everything Ms. Julie created, first she brought out grilled marinated farmer's market baby vegetables -- spring onion, eggplant, green and golden zucchini:

Which was followed by red white and blue lemon rosemary potato skewers...

Roasted, herb buttered corn...

Sweet curry and citrus glazed shrimp and scallops which were served over baby arugula with a roasted garlic vinaigrette...

We decided to just put it all on our plates like one big decadent salad (well, except for the corn on the cob) and here's how that turned out...

So while we had fresh berries and the makings for whipped, sweetened almond scented marscarpone topping, we opted out and drank more killer Sangria instead.

I also opted out of the fireworks but Julie watched them from the roof at Rembrandt's restaurant at the end of our block (and where Julie can be found serving/cocktailing when she's not on the road as bass player extraordinaire)...we did, however, catch the pre-fireworks free concert on t.v. rather than live and I'm so glad we did...way too many tourists in the area. One comment about that...how bad did I feel for Sheryl Crow having to go on AFTER the Roots. The Roots, man, they stole the show. I had no idea how fucking good they are. They are INSANE! And someone please tell me how the tuba player has the energy to run with that thing all over the stage. The guitarist/vocalist blew me away altogether, but he was rivaled by the fabulous @questlove (Twitter name - follow him!) on the drums and do I believe my son hangs at their studio and went to a barbecue at Questo's house? His life is so fucking cool it's ridiculous.

But yeah, Sheryl was really lame - she did an hour of her watered down greatest hits, and she was dressed in some hokey white pant suit full of shiny gold stuff like Elvis. As Julie remarked "Just because you can wear white doesn't mean you should!" Ha! Her band really left something to be desired, too, especially after the Roots just killed it before they took the stage. Worst part was when Sheryl played bass on 2-3 songs -- she just played a few notes and we were like "No. Please. No."


In other news, before I launch into how fabulous Project Object/Eric Slick were at World Cafe Live the evening before Julie's great fourth of July feast, you already know I stalk both kiddies on Google and was quite pleased to see a couple of threads on various forum boards as follows:

Over at Talk Bass...

Favorite Prog Bassists

Julie Slick -- Adrian Belew Power Trio!

Also at Talk Bass - Top 5 favorite FEMALE bassists:

Three posts say "Julie Slick!"

From the Live Journal of Derk FZ:

"Project/Object #9 was great. More fun than ZPZ by a mile or three, and way more the price of admission. The 2nd set, in particular, may well be somewhere amongst the best of the 18 sets I've seen them play (not including encores and faux encores.. P/O encores as such are usually just one or two songs anyway) Set list, details, etc. to follow. I have a funny story about meeting Eric Slick. He knew me by name, but not from me introducing myself to him or anyone else in the band."

That blurb seems to be a preface to something bigger which hopefully will pop up today and I'll add it if it does.

On the way into the concert Friday night, we were stopped by a fan who recognized us and told a great (well, at least to me) story about meeting Eric years and years ago when he was a twelve year old student at the School of Rock and performed the music of Frank Zappa on stage at The Troc. He went up to Eric after that show and said "Some day I'm going to be waiting in line for an autograph from you."

Well, that day happened last year when he saw Eric play with the Adrian Belew Power Trio and woo hoo, Ade has updated his website to include the most recent tour news...anyway, he said he knew from the first time he heard him that Eric was a major star and he tries to catch him at every show he's in, no matter what the band. How cool is that!

A couple of other neat things happened at the show - I met original Mothers of Invention keyboard player Don Preston for the first time, and he went on and on about how much he loves playing with Eric and not just what a brilliant drummer he is but what a wonderful human being he is, too...I was kvelling big time all over the place after that. I mean, come on, Don is legendary and has played with some of the best drummers in the world over the course of his decades long career.

Another ultra cool and bittersweet moment occurred when a long time fan and friend of the late Frank Zappa presented Ike Willis with a conductor baton which Frank gave Ike as a gift before his death in 1993. Ike got all choked up when he took it out of the box on stage, and then joked "For seventeen years Frank waved that fucking thing in front of my face...oh how I both hated and loved it..."

And then he spent half the night waving it in Eric's face but Eric of course ate it up and let Ike knock himself out conducting.

Here's some photos from the show taken by Eric's proud father, a/k/a Slickdaddy:

Keyboard player Eric Svalgård:

On bass for this tour but normally a kick ass guitarist, Robbie "Seahag" Mangano, and Eric Slick:

Ike Willis, happily sitting with his "new" baton and on lead guitar/vocals:

A partial band photo, which, for two songs, featured a lovely seventeen year old electric violinist from the Wilmington School of Rock named Grace Dewson, and you will see her featured prominently in a You Tube I have posted below...

Eric Slick, naturally...

Don Preston...

Ike Willis and Project Object's founder and guitarist/vocalist Andre Cholmondeley, appropriately dressed in July 4 gear and oh my God, did they have a back in the day Zappa inspired political blast up there on stage...there was much to giggle about - 'twas the day Sarah Palin announced she had a higher calling (snort...please click that link for one of the best New York Times columns ever on the subject) and of course we had the fabulous Republican Governor of South Carolina, King David Mark Sanford...yep, Ike and Andre really did a number on those two and it was most enjoyable. Yay for the first amendment and the fact that it still exists!

And last but not least, a solo shot of the awesome Andre Cholmondeley...

Finally, here's the You Tube I mentioned above -- the band is smoking on Zomby Woof and I suggest you watch this full screen...for some reason the quality is way better.

So as most of you know, when Andre isn't on the road with Project Object, he is tour manager/tech guy for several other bands, one of which is the Adrian Belew Power Trio. As you also know by now, Ade has released a rare, live recording of the trio performing overseas, and you can pick it up at either iTunes or Amazon where it has been consistently in the top 500 since being released last month.

Here's what some fans over at Adrian's Tribe (Yahoo Group - and if you aren't already a member, please join right here have had to say about this recording...

From Geoff:

"this recording simply shreds. what a performance!"

To which "Blockdog" replied:

"Indeed it does, I grabbed it overt he weekend and it is inshredable. this recording simply shreds. what a performance!"

John says:

"Everyone should grab it. I close my eyes and I'm back at the show."

But my favorite comes from uber fan Mike, who had this to say, in part, but if you want to read the rest, you will have to click on Mike's name and show him some love!

"This is a Rare CD….NOT to be missed!

I am listening to the 13min long version of Beat Box Guitar right now and the sonic attack of the trio surpasses all other past live recordings. When I first saw this I was a bit skeptical because I have heard so many versions of live recordings over the past few years. Often times with this same or similar song lineup. But there is something about this night that set the world on fire!

I cannot believe this song Eric is blasting away on his kit and Julie is bubbling up like a Mt Vesuvius about to erupt! From here they blast into A Little Madness and let me tell you. You will understand the name of this song after hearing the first 15 seconds of it. This is pretty ferocious guitar, bass & drums. We are not talking a lot of fancy ass drums that take up the entire stage here. We are talking just the most basic kit. Yet it sounds like the wildest drums you have ever heard. And Julie and Eric are still talking between themselves. They have a musical brother and sister bond, its some sort of language they use when playing. Like the kind of cerebral language only twins can speak and these two are not twins..."

Again, the rest of Mike's wonderful post can be found right here.

So that's it for my epic blog post but I have all kinds of stuff brewing, as does the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Did I hear a rumor about a possible extensive Canadian and WEST COAST TOUR this fall? Ha ha...that just may be true! As for me...I will have a new column up shortly at The Nervous Breakdown but in case you missed the last one, here's the link and...ahem...I just signed a contract for my latest novel...shhh...naturally, I will be back to talk about that bit of significant news in the very near future though.


So I'm on the lookout for reviews of any and all Project Object shows from the current tour and as always, you can email them to me or post them on your respective journals/blogs - you know Robin Slick, Champion Google Stalker will find them and add 'em in...