Sunday, July 26, 2009

Odds and Sods for Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh good morning, good morning, good morning!

Man, check out this video of the Adrian Belew Power Trio performing their brand new material off of their brand new CD in Ann Arbor, Michigan last week. This is a twenty minute clip, and I tried out a new host to upload it, so how long it will take for it to load I do not know but trust me, it's worth it. Oh, and did you notice the e-shirt is also for sale at Ade's store? It's gorgeous...a combination of the fabulous Mark Colman's incredible artwork and Robin Slick's dogged perseverance in finding the highest quality black t-shirt that would accommodate a nine color graphic design. Score one for Mark and Robin!

Okay, that's it for the commercial, now for the show. And P.S., this video does work, it just is a little weird when you first click on it but you guys are bright, you'll figure it out. Just click on the play arrow; it'll skip the advertisement or whatever that thing is. You may have to close a window/pop up tab first but it's worth the two seconds of extra effort.

Just admit it. How freaking cool was that?

In other news, Julie Slick, who must either have ESP or has been reading this thread, where both she and Tal Wilkenfeld are mentioned A LOT over at the Progressive Ears forum board, weighs in on the subject of female musicians:

"July 25 - MT JULIET, TN - An unrelated rant about female bassists
I apologize to my foodie fans at this point, but I just wanna put this out there, since it's been on my mind lately...

I picked up the bass guitar when I was 11 years old because, yeah, the one my guitar-collecting Dad happened to own had four strings (but it was also fretless... and a long scale Gibson Ribber... but that's besides the point). I wanted badly to play music with my drumming brother, because I felt we were moving apart at that age: he was my best friend, and I didn't want to lose him. I had tried to play guitar, but the closeness of the strings and idea of chords and solos didn't appeal to this shy little girl. Of course adults questioned my decision making, "Julie, isn't that instrument going to be hard for you? Aren't your hands too small?" I shrugged, and never even doubted my thought process for a moment: I had no desire to be in the spotlight. I just wanted to have common ground with Eric again, and I thought that picking up the bass would be the best way to make that happen.

Over time, my competitive streak broke through. My Dad taught me Cream songs like "Politician" and "Sunshine of Your Love." He also tried to influence me by putting on Stanley Clarke vinyls (to which I'd sob and shake my head, thinking his lines were impossible to ever play). Eventually though, my competitive streak broke through, and I thought "Why can't I learn this stuff? Why can't I just practice and become just as good at bass as my brother was at drums?" I never saw boundaries - no differences in approaching the bass as a girl. If anything, I wanted to be the best as I could be - female or male. And that's not to imply that I think I'm the best by any stretch - but I'm always working harder..."

You can read the rest of Julie's rant over at her blog right here.

Also, in case you missed the little edit I threw in yesterday's blogpost, Adrian is now on Twitter, and you can follow him right here where he is known as THEadrianbelew. Well of course he is!

Speaking of Twitter, my usual google stalking uncovered a stream of very nice tweets about the man and his band so you, too, can click on that link and not only read some cool blurbs but also follow like-minded people on Twitter who obviously have great musical taste.

Saw this one over at the DGMLive forum board:

"ABPT In Chicago
Posted by SSImuse on July 23, 2009

I had the privilege of witnessing the Adrian Belew Power Trio last night in the intimate confines of Martyr’s in’s the morning after and my jaw is still agape and my senses flattened.

Yes, there was an abundance of Crim-like tidings ("Elephant Talk", Dinosaur" and a few other surprises I won’t give away); but there was also a wonderful smattering of Ade’s solo work as well ("Big Electric Cat", Twang Bar King") along with a killer improv with a rhythm section (Julie Slick on bass and her brother Eric on drums) that is guaranteed to make you wonder where these two young kids learned to blow out power riffs like that.

With the other sonic wonders and delights are a preview of his new (highly recommended) album, "E" that is a sure-fire hit for fellow Adeheads; complete, organized bombast just the way you like it.

if you have the chance to catch the ABPT tour this time around, I strongly recommend it. I personally won’t be able to pick up a guitar for the next three months. Yes, it was that good."

Ha ha, well, I can't argue with that!

So remember the other day when I said "I'm willing to bet money or even my house that Eric will not be taking two weeks' vacation before leaving for tour in Europe with Project Object? Ha ha, I wish someone would have taken me up on my offer. He's gigged every single night since he's been back. Okay, granted, I did know in advance he was playing with Tom Hamilton's American Babies yesterday at the XPONential Festival yesterday -- ooh, and here's a blurb about that:

"2009 - XPoNential Music Festival - Tom Hamilton's American Babies

Day Two is officially here!

Tom Hamilton's American Babies kicked off the festivities Saturday with a rocking performance at the Marina Stage. They mixed the best of the rock n' roll of yesterday with a unique modern twist that got the crowd moving.

Their big vintage rock sound was a hit. Fans piled in front of the stage as the band played, hooping and hollering before and after every song. The set ended with an extended jam featuring blistering guitar solos and big keyboard riffs. The crowd loved it!

A rocking group like The American Babies is just what the doctor ordered to get this day of music started."


So yeah, I knew about that one but this next gig is news to me -- and it's pretty major because as you can see, it even got its own press release:

Fern Brodkin
Post Office Box 302
Phoenixville, PA 19460-0302

July 24, 2009
For Immediate Release

Progressive/Fusion Band Stretch Announces 6-date August Tour
Album Released on CD to Mark 25-Year Anniversary

Guitarist Glenn Alexander and bassist Dave LaRue, the core of the trio Stretch, will reunite for six shows beginning August 4. The tour will include dates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

The instrumental progressive/fusion band Stretch was formed in 1982 when drummer Bill Elder introduced Alexander to LaRue. This was only two days after Alexander moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey. This incarnation of the band lasted about 2 years. About a year later they reformed the band with drummer Van Romaine.

Both Alexander and LaRue have gone on to much more high-profile and lucrative gigs, but the two have remained friends and had discussed reforming the band. Alexander says it was initially LaRue’s idea to get the band back together.

“We had talked about it for years,” says Alexander, ”and then finally Dave took the bull by the horns in getting the CD released because so many people were still requesting (their 1984 eponymous album). After that was done we decided to book some gigs...”

Both Alexander and LaRue have “racked up a boatload of credentials,” says Alexander, in the last 25 years. A major reason that Stretch had such a long hiatus is due to them both being busy with so many other projects.

In addition to having released numerous albums under his own name, Alexander has performed and recorded with Chico Hamilton, Levon Helm, Randy Brecker, the Max Weinberg 7 and many more. Currently he is performing with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the Mahavishnu Project and his own trio.

LaRue has also been busy. He began playing with the Dixie Dregs in 1988 and is a member of the Steve Morse Band. He has also toured and recorded with Joe Satriani, John Petrucci of Dream Theater and others. He is looking forward to the release of the new Steve Morse Band album Out Standing in Their Field and touring in support of the album later this year.

Stretch did a short tour in May of this year with Elder in the drum chair.

“It has been 25 years since Bill, Dave and I have played together and it feels really good,” says Alexander of that experience.

Since 2000 Elder has been touring and recording with Latin-jazz percussionist Ray Mantilla. He has also toured with the Jazz Tribe, Arturo Sandoval, Stanley Turrentine and others. Elder recorded the 1984 eponymous LP album with Stretch and he will perform with Stretch again on August 12.

The first show on this tour, at Silk City in Philadelphia, will feature special guest Eric Slick on drums. It will be his first performance with the band. At only 22, the native Philadelphian has quite an extensive resume. He, along with his sister Julie, is a member of the Adrian Belew Power Trio and also the Frank Zappa tribute band Project Object. He is an alumnus of the famed Paul Green School of Rock and is featured in the 2005 documentary Rock School. He is currently an instructor at the Philadelphia branch of the school.

The Philadelphia show is a cobill with Base3, featuring guitarist Tim Motzer. Motzer is gaining notoriety in Philadelphia and beyond as an accomplished and versatile guitarist, producer and composer. He moves seamlessly though the genres of rock, jazz, hip hop, electronica and experimental music. He is featured in the September, 2009 issue of Guitar Player magazine, on newsstands now. The other members of Base3 are bassist Barry Meehan and drummer Doug Hirlinger.

The bulk of the shows on this tour will feature Romaine in the drum chair. Romaine played with Stretch for several years after the original band split up, and he is featured on a bonus track on the newly released CD. He, along with LaRue, is also a member of the Steve Morse Band. In addition he has performed with such diverse artists as Enrique Iglesias, Blood Sweat and Tears, Kansas, Bernie Worrell and Joan Osborne.

Despite both Alexander and LaRue being busy with so many other projects, Alexander says he hopes that Stretch will become a priority in their lives.

“I think this will become a higher priority as it starts to grow legs, support itself and contribute to the balance of earning a living and doing art,” says Alexander. “ of our primary goals,” continues Alexander, ”is to make a living playing this incredibly high level music.”

Stretch is planning to record a new studio album, though at this point the timeframe is unclear.

“I would say that we have 75% to 80% of the material for a new recording, and several other pieces started, so we are almost there,” says Alexander. “The only thing that will differ (from the first album) is our ability to draw on some of the influences we have absorbed over the years and our knowledge of recording and producing as well. It will still sound like Stretch but even better.”

The following is the band’s August tour itinerary:

Tuesday, August 4
With Eric Slick on drums – this show only!
Cobill with Base 3 (Tim Motzer – guitar, Barry Meehan – bass, Doug Hirlinger – drums)
Silk City
435 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA
doors 9 pm, show 10 pm
$10; 21+

Wednesday, August 5
With Van Romaine on drums.
Rock’n Joe’s
3570 Route 27
Kendall Park, NJ
2 sets – 7 pm and 9 pm
$10; all ages

Thursday, August 6
With Van Romaine on drums.
The Garage at Paul Green School of Rock
484 Century Boulevard
Wilmington, DE
8:30 pm
$12; all ages

Friday, August 7
With Van Romaine on drums.
The Crossroads

78 North Ave. 

Garwood, NJ

9 pm; $8

Sunday, August 9
With Van Romaine on drums.
John & Peter's
96 S. Main St.
New Hope, PA
2 sets – 9 pm and 11 pm
$10; 21+
note: This is a smoking establishment.

Wednesday, August 12
With Bill Elder on drums.
Bergen Performing Arts Center
Opening for Joe Bonamassa
30 North Van Brunt St.
Englewood, NJ
8 pm
$29 - $69; all ages
And that's just the tip of the iceberg - I think Eric has a gig today somewhere and a bunch of others scheduled throughout the next two weeks...I'll post them here as I learn about them but yeah, you can pretty much bet he'll be out and about behind the drums every night. Ha ha, he did not fool me for a minute.

So I would be remiss if I didn't remind you once again that the Adrian Belew Power Trio now also has their own slice of the internet over at Reverb Nation and Julie is down in Nashville with Adrian doing all kinds of cool stuff - they've added a live stream of "e", a single from the CD by the same name, and the way cool video from the Rockpalast DVD -- a smoking version Of Bow and Drum. Who knows what else will appear on that page during the next several days? Stay tuned...

And yes, I do have shout outs about writing and some of my friends who also have some pretty spectacular news and I don't want that to get buried in this post so I guess I'm due for one of those me, me, me blogs over the next day or so...bear with me...I also have some funny stories as usual, too.

But for now, holy cow, I think that does it for today.