Hello, Friday. Boy, am I happy to see you.
Man, what a week.
But it's all good now. The dog started his new medication on Monday and I started stressing really big time when I read the possible side effects. Why oh why do I do this to myself? Oh, here's another thing. It says right on the box that pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant should not come into any contact whatsoever with these pills and that if anyone at all touches them, wash your hands immediately. It's like those drug commercials where they ask if you are depressed or have social phobias with all this sweet, hopeful music in the background as they offer you their pill to make everything perfect and rosy and then they quickly slip in that it may cause you to poop yourself, have bizarre sexual behavior, or jump out a window altogether and if you think that's happening, call your doctor immediately. Yeah, I know that would be my first thought out while wearing those nipple clamps and cracking that whip. Oy. Anyway, naturally once I read this stuff, I thought Monty was having said bad reaction because he seemed lethargic. I started to freak out but you have to understand, this is vintage Robin. I really wanted to call the doctor but Gary calmed me down and basically told me to stop acting so insane; the dog was fine and of course he was a little lethargic...he's been sick, he's been through multiple testing, and he's on both the medication for Cushing's and a strong antibiotic for a bruise on his foot. Anyway, Monty dog totally turned a corner yesterday and is acting like a puppy with his Cushing's symptoms almost gone, and even better, as if he could read my mind, our vet called to see how he was doing. I thought that was the coolest thing ever so I'm going to give him a shout out - Dr. Steven Radbill - he's been taking care of our dogs since 1973. He talked me down some more even though by then it really wasn't necessary because Monty was back to following me all over the house and asking for treats and wanting to play outside.
Hurrah! And this morning he's hilarious altogether. He slept through the entire night (first time in weeks!) but when he did wake up, he literally stuck his nose under my body and turned me over and gave me a big kiss. I almost wept with relief.
Okay, I did cry. I'm crying now. I love that little guy so much...
Other than that, the rest of the week has been pretty cool. Tuesday night daughter Julie Slick and I went out to what has become our favorite Happy Hour in Philadelphia...cocktails at Fish. Hands down the best. Except for the fact that I foolishly exceeded my two drink limit and had a total blackout afterward - oh my God, I don't even remember the cab ride home but on the plus side, I know Julie and I had an awesome time and I didn't throw up. So there's that. We started with Spanish 75s – Spanish Cava, Gin, and lemon juice and then moved on to something else...can't recall what it was but I do know it came in a martini glass so that explains a few things, I guess.
On Wednesday, I continued on my roll and had another story short accepted for publication, this time for an anthology called "Don't Tread on Me". What reeled me in to write a piece for them was their submission guidelines:
"The focus for this anthology is, at the title suggests, revenge. Stories can run the gamut in terms of genre, point of view, and mood. Think anything from Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” to Roald Dahl’s “A Connoisseur’s Revenge,” Ray Bradbury’s “A Careful Man Dies” to Stephen King’s “The House on Maple Street.” The stories could be told in the first person or third person, by the victim or the seeker. The story could be mainstream, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, or horror. Make the method original, tell the story from an odd perspective, give things a twist, surprise and impress me."
I had seen that call for submissions over the weekend and immediately went to work on a story I had started a couple of months ago but never really fleshed out. By Wednesday I felt I had polished it to where I thought it might have a chance, and again, much to my shock, less that three hours after I subbed it, I received this email:
It's a haunting and very, very well-done story. Accepted with pleasure.
Contracts will be emailed out after the April 30th deadline. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.
Congratulations and welcome aboard!
Man, I love me a good acceptance letter. So my confidence restored, I began attacking my new novel again with fresh energy. Now that the dog anxiety ls lifted, I feel like I could write non-stop for hours. And I may get that chance next month when I'm part of a very special writing retreat. Oh man, try not to be jealous when I give you the details. Hmmm....best to not jinx it. I'll talk more about it as soon as I have my plane ticket firmly in hand and I know for sure it's happening.
Oh, and the reason this post is called "Ohm"? Well, not just because I've had to take deep breaths all week over the dog, but because I've caved, I'm already a vegetarian and now apparently I'm a hipster, too, because yes, much to my own personal shock, on Sunday afternoon, I am taking a beginner yoga class and have signed on for eight weeks of it.
Hey, I think it's an awesome idea. It may even be the first class associated with exercise that I don't quit. And as much as I'm tempted, I'm not going out today or tomorrow to buy a fancy black yoga outfit or my own spiffy mat because if I buy the clothes, you know it'll just be another jinx and as far as the mats go, they have them at the yoga studio and my, ahem, instructor told me I should try out a bunch on Sunday to see which I like best before investing any money.
I'll take the one that feels the most like a bed, please.
In a perfect world, within a few months I will be able to meditate and clear my brain of poisonous thoughts as mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this blog; I will be able to breathe like a normal person, and maybe, just maybe, be a human pretzel, too. And if I can knock off some weight at the same time, well, you can call me hipster pig or whatever you want, but I'm gonna be so fucking happy I'm going to be painful to be around.
Okay, enough. Time to talk music.
Julie is taking pre-orders for her debut solo CD, and I know I've hinted at the special guests in prior posts, but you are going to be freaking amazed at the stellar list of musicians contributing. When Julie first conceived this idea, she asked me for feedback on which musicians to enlist. I simply replied: "Who are your favorite musicians?" She threw out a bunch of names and my advice was this: "Write to all of them. You have nothing to lose."
One person on her list is a legendary megastar. She was so reluctant to approach him but in the end, she gathered up her courage and wrote him an email from the heart, closed her eyes and hit "send". Within hours, this man responded so graciously we were both floored.
The CD will be available for pre-order this weekend; you can also download three tracks available now. If you pre-order the CD, the tracks are free. If you can't wait and want the tracks now, here's the link.
Julie's got some gigs coming up and I'll be promoting these more as the dates approach, but I believe tickets are available now in some cases:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 The Balcony at The Troc
Drugbunny Booking Presents
THE RETURN OF MAD COW
with DION PACI, BRIAN MARSELLA, TOM SPIKER & G.CALVIN WESTON WITH SPECIAL GUEST JOHN SWANA + The Hoagy Wing Jazz Ensemble, The Jass with Dena Miranda and Hoagy Wing, Jason Fraticelli and the Wet Dreams with Tony Catastrophe, Birds for Arms. Julie is going to sit in on bass with Tom and Calvin et al on a couple of songs.
doors 8pm / show 8:30pm / age 21+$10
Friday, March 26, 2010 at 9PM at The Fun House in Bethlehem, PA, Julie will be playing bass with Andre Cholmondeley's band, Hidden Agenda, and I think I'll repost all of Andre's tour info here because these shows look awesome:
MARCH 2010 Tourlette with hidden agenda
trio playing a few covers, improv and music by andré cholmondeley
DRUMS: bob ramos, jon braun(thu/25th)
BASS: antar goodwin, julie slick(fri/26th)
24 WED NJ New Brunswick COURT TAVERN (with Stretch*)
25 THU PA Plains JAZZ CAFE' (with Stretch*)
26 FRI PA Bethlehem FUNHOUSE (with Great White Caps)
27 SAT TBA
28 SUN NJ Asbury Park A BENEFIT FOR CHERI JIOSNE
ASBURY LANES (Cheri Jiosne Benefit #2)
With Silent Auction
The Ribeye Brothers
hidden agenda, DubProof, Mike Haleta Laptop, Alan Gowa, Out Like Lambs & others
Healthy Snacks by Laura Dardi
*STRETCH.....the legendary jazz/rock/funk/fusion trio.
original lineup of Dave LaRue, Glenn Alexander and Bill Elder.
Haha, I know I should be excited about "Stretch" but I have to be honest, I am a hopeless food freak and what caught my eye immediately is "Healthy Snacks by Laura Dardi". I googled her - she's a vegan baker who studied pastry at the New York School of Culinary Arts. If you are a Facebook person, here's her link. And to read more about Cheri and the benefit, please go here and you'll get the background info.
Getting back to Julie, as I've already mentioned, on March 28, which is basically when Eric will finally be back from tour (he left this morning - more on that in a minute), she is playing The Cake Shop with Paper Cat.
All of these details are on Julie's website and she updates that frequently...I also see her blog, which is linked to her website, has also been updated so it's worth a daily look for sure.
Okay, let's get to my superstar son, Eric Slick, who left for 97 tours this morning. Meaning, over the next two weeks, he'll not only be playing two festivals with Dr. Dog, he'll also be touring across the country with the fabulous Hop Along, where he inexplicably plays bass, and his amazing duo with guitarist Dom Angelella, Lithuania. By the way, Lithuania just recorded their first EP and Eric sent it to me yesterday...it blew me away. He sings! The harmonies with Dom are fantastic! So that's something to really look forward to.
Okay, here's the tour schedule for Hop Along/Lithuania:
Ooh, wait: Special shout out to my pal Mike Inman - Asheville show!
Mar 12 2010 8:00P
The Hexagon w/ Dangerous Ponies, Lithuania, and Secret Mountains Baltimore, Maryland
Mar 13 2010 8:00P
The Dull House w/ Dangerous Ponies, Lithuania, P.S. Eliot, and one more T.B.A Richmond, Virginia
Mar 14 2010 8:00P
Cookie LaRue w/ Dangerous Ponies and Lithuania Asheville, North Carolina
Mar 15 2010 8:00P
WonderRoot w/ Dangerous Ponies, Lithuania, and the Long Shadows Atlanta, Georgia
Mar 16 2010 8:00P
The Farside w/ Dangerous Ponies, Lithuania, Curious Animals, and Bastards Out of Carolina Tallahassee, Florida
Mar 18 2010 2:45P
**SXSW** HOME SLICE PIZZA (free day show!!) Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 6:00P
**SXSW**HOUSE OF COMMONS w/ Wild Moccasins, Stunts, The Harlequins, Quiet Hooves, Glasgow, and more! Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2010 6:00P
**SXSW**CASA DE GALLO Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010 8:00P
TBA **SXSW** Austin, Texas
Mar 21 2010 8:00P
TBA tour w/ Lithuania! Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mar 22 2010 8:00P
Spring St Firehouse w/ Lithuania, Aficionado, and King Everything! Birmingham, Alabama
Mar 23 2010 8:00P
TBA tour w/ Lithuania! Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 24 2010 8:00P
Club Cool w/ Lithuania and Paul Baribeau! Bloomington, Indiana
Mar 25 2010 7:00P
Blue Arrow Records w/ Lithuania Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 26 2010 8:00P
TBA tour w/ Lithuania! Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mar 27 2010 8:00P
The Terrordome w/ Lithuania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Back to Eric and Dr. Dog...though I see in looking over the above schedule apparently Eric is going to be cloning himself all over the place at South by Southwest next weekend because he's got a bunch of gigs with all three bands.
This morning he hopped a plane for Florida to play tonight at the Harvest of Hope Festival. Dr. Dog is the headliner tonight and they don't go on until 11:00 p.m., which is a good thing since Eric just called me from the airport and their plane is delayed, which is awful because they got to the airport at dawn. Luckily they are young and strong.
Anyway, Eric plays the gig tonight and then, while the rest of Dr. Dog returns to Philadelphia tomorrow morning, Eric flies to Richmond, Virginia for the Hop Along/Lithuania tour. As you can see, they will all be criss-crossing the country and end up at South by Southwest on Thursday. Dr. Dog has a bunch of stuff going on all weekend, but to me, this party looks to be the absolute best and I'd do anything to be there but, you know, I'm retired from the touring Mom biz..anyway, here's the article as it appears in Billboard Magazine (notice how nonchalantly I say that now? Billboard Magazine, Billboard Magazine, Billboard Magazine. See? I haven't hyperventilated once.)
Rachael Ray Enlists Zooey Deschanel, Jakob Dylan For SXSW Party
"TV cooking queen Rachael Ray is making her annual presence at South By Southwest bigger and better this year. And public.
Ray's third annual Feedback Festival, slated for March 20, is moving to its largest venue yet -- Stubb's BBQ -- with 18 bands playing four stages; Daytrotter.com will be recording performances on one of them. The show, co-sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. T drink mix maker, will be free and open to the public for the first time, and the bash will be filmed for subsequent airing on Ray's syndicated TV show.
"We wanted to be able to accommodate more people and offer as good a time as possible," Ray tells Billboard.com. "We had so many people last year and so many different types a music going on, but you could hear the bleed from a lot of other bands in other clubs. This year we wanted to go somewhere that had more room and...now we get to make it an even bigger party."
This year's Feedback band roster includes She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Jakob Dylan & Three Legs featuring Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, Street Sweeper Social Club, Andrew W.K., Dr. Dog, School of Seven Bells, Justin Townes Earle, Bob Schneider, Local Natives, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Pearly Gate Music, Steve Conte & the Crazy Truth, Freelance Whales, Lawrence Arabia, the Orion Experience, Mishka and Shayna Zaid & the Catch. The Cringe, which features Ray's husband John Cusimano, will also perform.
"I had a great time doing it last year," Schneider says. "She's got a lot of people who are there to have a good time and party, so it's fun. She has really good bands to play, and it's always fun to play on the same bill with bands you like and admire. And they have great food."
Ray, who takes an active role in selecting the bands, has created several original items for the Feedback menu -- Tex-Mex Sliders, Pulled Pork Tortitas, Quesadilla Suiza Stacks, Queso Fundido Taquitos and Albondigas Subs. "I write the original recipes," Ray explains, "and then we bring in an army and they work on mass producing them, making...troughs of them. Thankfully all I have to do is show up and snack."
And this year Ray says she's most curious to see what her crowd looks like at 10:30 a.m., when Feedback gets under way. "I wonder how many people will get up for the early part of it," she notes. "There are some people who are just coming in from the night before, y'know? But I'm excited for it, man. I think it's going to be fantastic."
I think it's going to be fantastic, too. Wah! I wanna be there! Oh well. Such is life.
Going forward, as you can see, after South by Southwest, Eric will once again jump in the van with Hop Along and Lithuania and heads to Baton Rouge, LA for some more cross country touring...he'll be back on the east coast just in time to perform with Paper Cat in New York City on March 28.
In April, all hell breaks loose. Dr. Dog's new CD will be released April 6 and that night they appear on Jimmy Fallon. They are doing tons and tons of promo including radio visits, and oh man, I don't know if I'm allowed to let other stuff out of the bag so I better shut up now and divulge the rest of this info later when I check with Eric that it's okay to blab. But trust me, it's awesome and intense! And then of course they start a huge tour on April 14 which goes straight through until the end of May; then festivals in June and July...sigh...thank God there's cell phones and the internet or I would be needing that yoga deep breathing and meditation big time right now 24/7. I'm gonna miss my son - he's also one of my best friends.
And um, I know he joined the band after the new CD was recorded, but did you know Eric was also on the cover of Rolling Stone this week?
Rolling Stone Magazine. Rolling Stone Magazine. Okay, I admit it. I am hyperventilating over that one. And once again, I am just so incredibly interested/fascinated at the way this band does things. The band, their manager, and publicist really have a pulse on the mess that is the music business in 2010 and they are making things work regardless. Good job!
They are also a feature story in the March issue of Filter Magazine which is available on newsstands, book and music stores now -- very nice pics of the band, too. Beck is on the cover if that helps.
So I already told you about said festivals, but after Eric wraps up the High Sierra Music Festival on July 4, where he'll share a bill with Widespread Panic and The Black Crowes among others, he will at last meet up with the Adrian Belew Power Trio for the Vancouver Island Music Fest July 9-11.
There's so much more stuff scheduled after that I can't even discuss it because this blog post is going to turn into a novella but I know Dr. Dog has a lot more touring planned, the Power Trio is working on some European dates, and all I can say is one thing.