Monday, October 30, 2006

Music is the Best!

So since tomorrow is going to be spent packing and running around like maniacs for an early morning Wednesday flight to Texas, Julie, Eric and I decided to have a "Have an Awesome Successful West Coast Tour" lunch together at Morimoto, the ridiculously cool restaurant featured above. Damn I wish I had a photograph of the huge hologram on the wall as you enter to post here, but, you get the idea just by looking at the interior where we ate.

What can I say. There's a reason Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton and the like dine at Morimoto when their tours bring them to Philadelphia. It's like nothing you've ever seen; the food is INSANE. And um, yeah, for those on a budget, forget it...lunch for the three of us, without alcohol, was triple digits. But oh my God, so, so worth it.

Eric, who is hardcore vegetarian, started off with the cold vegetable and creamy tofu salad, which was like eating a veggie cheesecake without the dairy. It was so sick Julie and I kept reaching over the table with our chopsticks and stealing bites. Julie and I were actually less adventurous which is very rare -- we split a roasted eel and avocado roll which we deemed to be the absolute best we've ever had, and that counts stellar restaurants we've visited in both San Francisco and Seattle. Julie, who is a vegetarian who eats seafood (yeah, I know), ordered a smoked bronzino salad, which was a huge heap of greens with not only fresh raw fish but smoked strips of bronzino that actually looked and tasted like bacon. Eric's main course was udon noodles with ginger, sesame, and scallions in a home made soy based sauce; I wimped out on anything more adventurous because they had fresh artic char which I adore and it was it came with miso soup which included that creamy, in house made tofu in huge was a like a warped version of french onion soup. But it was the dessert that really got us...Julie had a slab of fudge topped with brown sugar gelato, chopped banana ganache, and a banana tuille...I had marscapone wasabi tiramisu (don't even try to picture it...just know that it was the best dessert I've ever had in my life)...Eric had a chocolate caramel parfait which was really two thick Belgian chocolate cookies held together with frozen chocolate mousse and green tea caramel, dotted with a blood orange drizzle.

Right now I'm so full I may never eat again.

And if you believe that...

Okay, what else. Let's see. For the past week, I've been struggling to write my first CD review, and if this were the old days, I'd be surrounded by a thousand sheets of crumpled papers. I suck as a music critic. I don't know how to do it without coming off like a pompous poseur. I only know that I'm a music fanatic and every once in a while -- though alas a lot less these days thanks to the music industry being what it is -- a CD comes along which moves my soul to the point where I want to listen to it exclusively...and even better, it makes me want to write, have sex, call all my friends and make them buy it...and well, that's my gut reaction to View by Bryan Beller. By the way, please click on the link for View even if you aren't flush right now, because it's got great sources for ordering CDs on line.

Anyway, as I struggled to find the right words to describe the CD and sound like the hell I know what I'm talking about (musically, that is), I went to Bryan's site to see if I could read any prior reviews which would help me out, and I ended up instead reading what Bryan himself had written about the CD...and trust me, I'm not taking the easy way out...what he had to say is so fucking interesting I'm posting the link here...and just to whet your appetites, the following excerpt:

"Writing and recording a solo album was the absolute last thing on my mind in the summer of 2002. I'd just hiked Mt. Whitney and was thinking about buying a house - that's how far away my mind was from any kind of creative musical output. But like a lot of good things, it all came to me when I wasn't looking for it.

I was down in San Diego in August of 2002, doing some recording for Mike Keneally's upcoming 2004 release (working title: Dog). Since I was down for the weekend anyway, I brought my bike along with me and decided to go riding in the hills of a small mountain town called Alpine. Somewhere along the ride, a melody popped into my head. Ten minutes later, there was a second part to go along with it. I turned around and headed back to my Motel 6 to see if I could remember what I'd heard.

I had my Taylor acoustic/electric with me. I also had a little microcassette recorder I carried with me, in case I got any literary ideas I wanted to capture. So I turned the thing on "record" and played the melody. Then I played the harmony while the melody played back through the worst little speaker you've ever heard. The idea became the core for the first track on the record, "Bear Divide."

It suddenly hit me that I was going to have to buy a digital multi-track recorder and see if this was an isolated incident or not..."

And if for some strange reason I haven't tempted you to click on the above links, well, here's a photo of the extremely good looking Bryan:

Still undecided? Well then, go have a listen and get yourself a free download right here.

Let me know what you think, okay? Bryan's a kindred spirit and I'm hoping to catch him playing in person sooner rather than later.

I actually met Bryan in cyberworld via my son, Eric, who recently played a gig with him and Mike Keneally (another musical monster and more on him in a future post). Which brings me to my next comment - how cool it is to have a blog which connects me with incredible people all over the world.

My latest acquaintenance comes via my usual daily blog stalking. I saw that the same blog which I linked a few days ago and called me a Rock and Roll Mama (ha) picked up the Wal-Mart piece I wrote last week and here I am again!. I really like his treatment of my story but I got nervous over his'll see what I mean if you go over and have a look. Anyway, the fellow who runs the site emailed me to give me a heads up and of course I wrote back and told him I'd already found it...anyway, after a few emails it turns out we have bizarre things in common ...but more importantly, don't just read the article about me...he's got incredibly cool things in his blog, even a recipe I printed out for chick pea curry.

Anyway, he's one of "us"...I'm just happy there are some of us loving liberals -- you know, people who would like to see Rush Limbaugh and his listeners hanging by their testicles in Times Square. (Well, testicles if applicable...if not, use your imagination)...I know I'm a week late to this controversy but don't think I haven't been ranting and raving for days that said asshole is still on the radio and not in jail and worse, that he's got an legion of idiots tuning in and nodding their moronic heads in agreement.

Oh, and by the way. I hope all of you are boycotting CBS. Don't know why? Google the Dixie Chicks. And for god sakes, go see their new documentary. I don't like country music as a rule, but Natalie is my hero.

Oh well. More tomorrow. Still waiting for approval of my domain transfer (still don't know what I'm talking about but I'm quoting an email I got) so the new site still isn't ready to go live but I have the link for the mock-up (if that's the term) and it's so awesome...I'm really excited.

But...I'm really gonna miss my kids. The next time I see them again after tomorrow will be like Thanksgiving. Arghhhh......


Friday, October 27, 2006

Of Dominatrix Spiders and Autographed Breasts...

Julie Slick, Eric Slick, and Adrian Belew in Germany -- July, 2006

Hard to believe how the summer flew by, but the Belew Trio is taking off in a couple of days for a very cool west coast tour -- here are the dates and venues:

● Nov. 01 - Granada Theater - Dallas, TX
● Nov. 02 - Cactus Cafe - Austin, TX
● Nov. 04 - Santa Fe Brew. Co. - Santa Fe, NM
● Nov. 05 - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ
● Nov. 07 - Belly Up - Solana Beach, CA
● Nov. 08 - The Vault 350 - Long Beach, CA
● Nov. 09 - Slim's - San Francisco, CA
● Nov. 10 - Villa Montalvo - Saratoga, CA
● Nov. 11 - The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
● Nov. 13 - McDonald Theatre - Eugene, OR
● Nov. 14 - Triple Door - Seattle, WA
● Nov. 15 - Aladdin Theater - Portland, OR

Alas I will not be tagging along this time because I have serious writing and editing to do, but Gary is joining the tour in Phoenix and will remain for its entirety, so if you can make a show, by all means go up and introduce yourself -- he's doing the merch -- and hey, pick up some of Adrian's incredible solo CDs which he'll be happy to autograph for you after the show.

In other news, Julie and Eric's project with guitarist Sarah Zimmermann was such a hit in NYC over the weekend that they spent last night in New York again -- this time at an audition -- at the request of an A&R guy and another executive from a record company and no, I haven't talked to them yet, have no idea how it went, and I shouldn't even be saying anything here because it could jinx things so pretend you didn't read this blurb.

Speaking of Eric Slick, here are some fun comments following Mike Keneally's blog post which I posted here a few days about the St. Louis show he did with Eric...scroll down and have a read...but yeah, okay, I'll paste one of the remarks here because it cracked me up:

"Your comments regarding Eric are dead on the mark. Saw him recently in Philly playing with Mr. Belew and his sister on bass. It was unbelievable and I'm certain I will be listening to him for years to come...and chasing shows where I can see him and talk to him again.

Even his parents were there...and it prompted a strange "thank you" from me...thanks for procreating because your children are INCREDIBLE".

Ha ha - yep, I remember the man who made that remark, and I also remember getting all teary eyed. Heh heh...but I won't say it's the first time I've ever been thanked for...never mind.

Oh, admit it. You know you've missed me these past few days. I've been in blogger hell - I've lost two posts and ended up saying Screw it; my new website isn't ready -- not because of my new webmistress, who is absolutely wonderful and has indulged every one of my vain, silly nitpicks -- but because I transferred domain and hosting servers. I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, my webmistress -- and I just love saying that makes me think of a dominatrix spider...has been handling it and apparently my prior domain was "locked" and Eric, former webmaster, had to authorize the transfer...and as I write about it now, I find this whole thing hilarious (my repeated use of techie words which have absolutely no meaning to me at all). So I was going to try and post again the other day even though the new site isn't ready and I haven't finished the CD review I promised...well, I haven't finished it to my liking because I want to get it right and do it justice...but then, while doing the rather unglamorous domestic goddess task of taking out the trash, I bent down the wrong way and twisted my back. Sitting at the computer yesterday was sheer torture and I ended up going to bed at like 8:00 p.m. all stoned on Advil and Pinot Grigio. I'm still not up to snuff this morning and find I have to keep getting up out of my chair and walking around, damn it, but it's too early for wine at the moment though I suppose I could pretend I'm in England where it's now lunchtime. I sob at that thought because exactly one year ago today, I was in London following an outrageously fun evening in Leeds with a fellow writer I've known for years in cyberworld but I'd never met him in the flesh prior to that time and don't believe what they say about internet friendships...they can be the coolest thing ever...well, if you aren't a psycho and have built in psycho-radar, that is...I do believe I reported my very first cyber experience here..but if not, suffice it to say I met someone in an on line writing community who enjoyed water sports and suffice it to say I almost had a heart attack when I realized he wasn't talking about boating.

Okay, where was I. Right. Getting back to Eric, who seems to appear on forum boards all over the world daily, here's something I found on Mike Keneally's Google group where a member had this to say:

"...Stayed for the show Friday night at Off Broadway. The bar is located across the street from the now defunct Lemp Brewery and the oldest building in the US still standing that brewed beer. I ran into Dan Kinney at the clinic and he was promoting the show so I offered my services to help him in whatever capacity he needed in so I could sit in on rehearsal Friday afternoon. The guys showed up at around 3 and since this was Eric's first chance to play live with the guys they went thru pretty much the whole show. The sound man wasn't anywhere to be found so they just went with stage sound, no vocals and played for 2 1/2 hours. Quite a fantastic experience might I add. Mr. Slick is obviously a tremendously talented drummer - they dove right in to Breakfast and where all the crazy-assed 13/4 time changes are were a little rough at first, but after 10 minutes he had it down. I was amazed at how well he executed on the material after just listening to various shows and CD's. Watching someone 19 years old play for the very first time with Mike and Bryan was a genuine treat. Around 6pm Bryan and Scott took off to get coffee and Mike started playing Zombie Woof with Eric which was also a great treat....

Someone was videoing and Dan Kinney has a soundboard so I hope to have a copy of this show to trade soon. Here's an incomplete setlist (again, listening rather than obsessing on details....)

Pencil Music
Supermarket People
My Dilemma
1988 / Dolphins Suite
Pride is a Sin
Cause of Breakfast
Inca Roads
First 90 seconds of The Entertainer
Secret Word - "Lemp" - Mike would make a rock gesture and the crowd was instructed to yell LEMP!

Never seen Mike in trio format and very much enjoyed it. All three definitely went "balls the the wall" and I was staggered that after having his first rehearsal with the guys 8 hours earlier Eric NAILED the show. What really amazed me most is that the kid didn't sweat - every drummer I know has to change shirts during set breaks - this kid walks off stage after shredding thru a marathon 2 hour Keneally show bone dry.

All in all a great 48 hours even though I am absolutely shagged. I drove back from St Louis at 6 am Sat morning (3 1/2 hours) after getting about 3 hours sleep, picked up my family and headed to Omaha (3 hour drive) for a housewarming party and then drove back to KC this morning in the rain. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

Aw, thank you, kind sir. Eric will blush when I show him this.

Jeff Duke over at Krimson News had this to say about Slick brownies and the upcoming Podcast he did with Julie and Eric which will be broadcast on the site next week:

"It is SO Monday…
23 10 2006

A good weekend. Got to make Slick brownies with my sister in law which was mucho fun!..."

Hooray for the Slicks!
20 10 2006

This evening we did a really fun interview with Eric and Julie Slick from the Adrian Belew Power Trio. They were absolutely too cool and went to great lengths to fit the interview into their schedule. Three cheers to them and Robin, their mother, who helped get it all setup. It’s always a pleasing to me when we do the podcast. It reminds me what’s fun about it. The rest is just work. The interview itself is generally fun.

I have one more part to the interview with the Redundant Rocker which will be out next week. I had to take another week off due to some further personal needs. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on making this a habit, but I’m sure you all understand.

This week has been productive in many ways, and tomorrow should provide some completion in that respect.

More Later-

Slick Brownies
16 10 2006

First, sunrise from last Friday @ 8:23AM:

Sunrise 10-13-06

Big thanks to Julie Slick who cleared up a confusion point for me regarding the “Slick Brownie” recipe of delight, terror and torment. The recipe calls for a 12×18 baking sheet. I’d never used a cookie sheet to make brownies before, and since I needed to split them anyways, I went with two 12×9 inch pans.

Although I have not yet tried them, they look perfect, half went with me to work, half went with Laurie to work, both intended for our respective bosses. Of course we’ll have to assist them in eating.

The recipe is insane, I could almost imagine the Fonz jumping the brownie batter with a motorcycle. ;)

I can’t wait to try them, but my boss is stuck downtown today in meetings. Hopefully she’ll be back soon...."

Ha ha, I've spoken with Jeff and yep, he loves Julie's brownies...I guess so if he made them again with his sister-in-law and let me tell you, besides the massive quanity of ingredients, those things are hard work so good on you, Jeff. Hey, if they are good enough for Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, and Porcupine Tree...

Okay, enough about my kids.

Writing news time. My daily google stalking has yielded a find: Joyfully Reviewed had very nice things to say about Another Bite of the Apple (which is still highest rated in erotica over at Fictionwise -- here's an excerpt of their review:

"...Another Bite of the Apple is a truly captivating story. This triangle of friends and past lovers will hold your attention to the very end. I couldn’t put this book down until I was done. Elizabeth’s emotions ring true to her character, and you’ll be hoping that this good girl gets the right guy in the end. Rob is a hot character who really just makes Elizabeth sparkle. I love Another Bite of the Apple and will eagerly look for more stories from Robin Slick!"

So thanks to the readers over at Joyfully Reviewed...I really appreciate that.

Finally, of course it wouldn't be a true Robin post without a blurb or two about Neil Gaiman.

Okay, first of all, I read in his journal that he participated in the six word writing contest over at Wired Magazine. This contest was based on a Hemingway story which was merely this: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Brilliant, isn't it? If I have to explain why, go away. Ha. Anyway, Neil's contribution to this was pretty damn cool...

"I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss … ?"

What's funny is that I remember doing this very contest as an exercise a couple of years ago in a real world writing workshop I belonged to at the time...I did a bunch of them but think they are on my old computer, damn it, which had a very ugly crash two years ago and I was remiss in backing up. I do remember this one I wrote, though, because it was my favorite:

"My husband was wearing a negligee."

I dunno, I kind of like that. Too bad I didn't know about the Wired thing...or...err...wasn't solicited. Ha. As if.

And now for Susan Henderson, who had the world's coolest question on her blog this week...and if you haven't answered yet there's still time (and it's about music!) is the latest from the private sick Slick Gaiman photo album:

First, we have Neil looking very Neil-like (sigh...) at Icon, where, at first, it appears he's doing a question and answer session and nothing seems amiss.

But wait. What's that you see up there, Neil?

Blimey! Are they what I think they are?

Why yes. They are. What's that? You want my autograph where?

Well, okay. I guess I can do that. I'm a very obliging guy.

Ha ha...seriously, he's so sweet and easygoing it's insane. But I wonder what that's really like for him as a man. I mean, obviously, those are very nice breasts. And um, one can't help but notice he did a lot more than merely sign his name...

So here's what I want to know. After millions of what has to be similar requests and many years of marriage, is Neil now like a doctor? Immune to that sort of thing?

God I hope not.


Monday, October 23, 2006

The high/low post...or...seeing your kids perform an awesome show and then being pulled over by a State Trooper

The Sarah Zimmermann Trio featuring the amazing Sarah Z on guitar, Julie Slick on bass, and Eric Slick on drums...and yeah..finally some good pics of Eric with his Gaiman haircut and um, Eric, who is now "available", is a freaking chick magnet and I'm glad he's not home to read this or he'd make me delete it but like, you know, I refuse to be censored.

Hi, Eric.

Julie and Sarah trading licks

The beautiful Julie Slick, playing, as usual, with pic in mouth.

So last night was unbelievable...this trio of Paul Green School of Rock Music All-Star grads decided to form a band, had a total of four practices, and courtesy of Paul, landed gigs over the weekend at three separate venues -- one in Philadelphia Thursday night, one at the New York Knitting Factory Saturday night, and last night at the Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where I'd never been, by the way, and was chuffed to be right around the corner from the infamous The Stone Pony.

Sigh..the Stone Pony is where Bruce Springsteen got his start, and not to go off topic, but those of you who know me are aware that I am not a Bruce fan (well, I thought his first 2-3 albums were decent when he had David Sancious on keyboards and there was some good song writing...but when he did the Born in the USA CD he lost me totally and I became a huge non-fan). Which leads me to my next off-topic topic: Our local pseudo-intellectual public radio college radio station out of University of Pennsylvania, WXPN, has been running a countdown for the past few weeks of the top all time 885 artists (their station is FM 88.5) and right now we are up to #10, Joni Mitchell. Anyway, click on the site and have a look at the list so far. I'm having heart failure over the listeners' votes. are all such geeks! Oh, there's a surprise. Anyway, I'm outraged at how far down some true musical heroes are on the list and what crap singer songwriter lame-o stuff made the top 50. And I'm gritting my teeth right now because I just know Springsteen is coming in at #3 or #2, beating out just about everyone.

Here's my guesses for the remaining 8: Beatles, Stones, U2, Dylan, Springsteen, Neil Young, and are they really going to do this but...oh god, I don't think they played John Mayer yet and if he beats out everyone from David Bowie to Lou Reed to John Lennon I may take a bullet to the head; and The Grateful Dead (kill me now, please...I hate few bands more than I hated the Dead).

Anyone want to send me a quick email and make a wager? Cos' you know these are the remaining eight bands. How original.

Don't get me started.

Anyway, back to the show. So Saturday night the SZ Trio played the Knit to an ultra hipster crowd who came up to them after the show and told them they're going to be famous. Julie and Eric are both deferring to Sarah in this project and neither one are advertising that they are currently in Adrian Belew's band. They didn't have a huge crowd but it was an enthusiastic one, which is basically what they had last night at Asbury Lanes. What an awesome venue that was, as you can see by the photos I hope. A bowling alley straight out of the late fifties. And there had been a wedding (yeah, I cool) there the night before so the way cool chef who runs the snack bar there took out all of these huge shrimp and crabcakes and pasta and not only heated them up, but he made like dijon sauces and scampi and we felt like we were at a black-tie event stuffing our faces with all this fantastic food before the doors opened to the general public.

These kids rock. They played a mix of originals but since they are such a new band, did a couple covers -- Message in a Bottle, Third Stone from the Sun, and Traveling Riverside Blues. They freaking brought the house down. This guy behind me was going nuts. "There should be a million people here to witness this...this band is fucking amazing!" When they launched into an original tune, he lost it altogether. "Listen to this! Listen to this! I'm going to be singing this song all night. I'm never going to get it out of my head. This is unbelievable."

And then he took like a hundred pics of them with his cell phone. It was like he knew he was witnessing something really special. So Gary goes out to have a cigarette with him and spills the beans about J&E being in Adrian's band and the guy just about pooped himself. He ran back into the venue and reported back to all of his friends, who then swarmed the band after the show and shook their hands, etc. was an awesome night, except for one thing. We got pulled over by the State Police on the way home. I'm still shaking and even this morning, still not over it. God Bless America (snort).

Julie and Eric had opted to go home with Sarah so that they could have another practice today at Julie's studio in Downingtown. So Gary and I are driving down the New Jersey Turnpike. We drive a wussy Jeep Liberty because we've needed to have SUVs ever since it became obvious that we were J&E's roadies. In other words, no more fun MG convertibles and Camaros and the like which we used to own...we were forced to be grown-ups and get a huge gas guzzling car big enough to cart drum sets and amplifiers around. Gary sets cruise control for 65 mph. First of all, that car can't even go any faster without shaking; secondly and most important, before ditching my full-time job to write, I worked for two decades as a personal injury paralegal and spent my days looking at photographs of hideous accidents and bruised and battered victims. So no way in hell would I allow Gary to speed. Though he's not a speeder anyway.

But here's what Gary does do. He smokes cigarettes (a habit he started at age 30 when he stopped drinking!) and has shoulder length hair. It's my guess that the State Troopers saw a long haired hippie with something lit hanging out of his mouth driving a Jeep; it was late at night; and we were the subject of age old sixties' discrimination.

It was just a week or two ago that I blogged here about sharing Alfred Hitchcock's irrational fear of policemen. When I saw those flashing blue and red lights behind us, even though I'm the one who had the two beers and not Gary, I started to shake uncontrollably. Naturally, after getting pulled over, I'm the one who had to roll down their window. I could barely get a coherent sentence out. There were two officers. The first one said "New Jersey State Police. Please give me your license, registration, and insurance card."

Gary starts fumbling through his wallet. Of course he'd just removed his registration card from his wallet two weeks ago when he had the car inspected and I was acting like such a nutcase he couldn't remember where he put it. He had me empty the glove compartment in my lap and I started dropping stuff everywhere.

The other trooper glares at me and says "Where are you coming from tonight!"

"Asbury Lanes," I stuttered.

"What were you doing there?"

Huh? When did I leave America? Oh right. This is Bush country.

Okay, here's where I should tell you that Gary is still a hard core hippie and I could see a snarl starting to form on his face. Oh dear god, Gary, I silently pleaded...please don't.

"We went to see our kids play in a band," he barked back, barely disguising his hatred.

"They're in a famous rock band," I blabbered.

"How old are your kids," asked the completely humorless trooper, who, by the way, looked young enough to be my son. The other one had meanwhile returned to his car to do a computer check on big bad Gary.

"19 and 20" Gary replied, because by now of course, I was having a complete nervous breakdown wondering if Gary'd received any parking tickets I'd neglected to pay and we were going to end up in jail. Another horrible thought I had was that the troopers were going to pull us from the car and handcuff us and Julie, Eric, and Sarah would be driving by at any moment and witness this.

Have I mentioned we were completely innocent??? I mean, I could see if they pulled us over in 1977...yeah, yeah, we both would have had cans of beers between our legs and lit joints hanging out of our mouths, but Jesus Christ, those days are long, twenty years gone. But they made me feel so damn guilty and terrified (just call me Mrs. Hitchcock) I acted like we were hauling 18 kilos of cocaine in our yuppie-mobile.

Gary then says "How could I have been speeding? I'm on cruise control at 65."

"You were also cruising in the left lane, Sir. The left lane in New Jersey is for passing only."


Oh god, Gary, please don't argue with them, I again begged him subliminally. Sadly, I was very close to losing control of my bladder. (Damn those two beers and the two hour ride home)

And then, in a completely bizarre joke by my twisted higher power, and I swear to God this is true...we were listening to the radio and Pink Floyd's "PIGS" came on. I looked over at Gary completely mortified because I knew exactly what he was going to do: He turned it up!

(Okay, by this time, trooper #2 had also gone back to his vehicle...I guess they needed to figure out what to do with us. Gary the rebel and Robin sitting there with eyes like saucers and drool dripping from the side of her mouth)

Anyway, after making us sit there for twenty minutes, they returned to our car, gave us a ticket for speeding at 83 miles an hour (totally fucking impossible and we're going to fight this like you would not, get this, they no longer put the amount of the ticket on it; I have to go on line this morning to get the amount and I'm guessing it's going to be like $300.00 in which case I'm going to have a stroke altogether).

So that was my night.

Gary made me calm down and started laughing.

"Look, Rob, would you rather they think we're middle-aged grandparents? Be happy we still look cool enough to be pulled over by the cops."

Right. I'll remember that when I have to go to court with you and again come face to face with those horrible, horrible Nazi State Troopers.

Actually, Gary is correct and I am so glad we still look young and hip and are going to fight "The Man"...our hearing is scheduled for November 2, but that's when Gary and the kids are going to be on tour with Adrian out in California and they won't be back until November 16. So I'm going to have said hearing continued until January, 2007 I hope. Have I mentioned I'm going to be all alone here for 16 days? I'm so excited I can't stand it, but it did occur to me that makes me the sole caretaker for the dog, which means early morning and late night walks (arghhh...) and feeding myself. I'm a really great cook but for the past couple of years, Gary and Julie have been having some sort of gourmet battle every night, and while I've been the lucky recipient of their incredible efforts, I've lost control of my own kitchen and if they aren't around, I forget to eat.

So one of two things will happen. I'm either going to lose ten pounds while they are away or order take-out every night and it's going to be stuff like Thai food and pizza. Here's hoping for the former, not the latter.

Anyway, in other news, and yeah, yeah, there's more, my new website will launch later today -- should it be ready this morning I will come in and edit this post -- and I'm going to do my first bonafide CD review tomorrow -- something I seldom do because I'm not a music critic but a music lover who will do exactly what a writer isn't supposed to do and start it out with "I love this CD!" But this is a special one and warrants some serious attention and so I will leave you now so that I can work on it and give it the justice it deserves.


Friday, October 20, 2006

What the F*ck Is Up With Eric Slick?

Another cool pre Gaiman haircut Eric I found on the desktop just now (Eric! Please share these cool photos with your mother so I don't have to snoop around! If you have any more, throw me a bone and email them to me, will you? Ha.)

From the brilliant Mike Keneally's MySpace blog:

"And to those of you who made it to the electric gig in St. Louis, I know you share my sentiments, in fact you virtually mouth along with me, "what the fuck is up with Eric Slick? How can he possibly be that cool and amazing?" Not only did he learn all of my shit, he MEMORIZED it in a month and played it all without charts at the gig and ate it and smiled. Beller and I were astonished. BB and Slick and myself ran around under the St. Louis arch the night before the gig and it rained down its magical archy mojo on us. I figured that the shared experience would cause us to play 6% better at the show, but I'm upgrading my estimate to 14% because it was just that good. Many love bubbles floated to Dan Kinney for making the gig happen and to Fazio's for the use of the rockin' gear we used."

That just made me really smile.

Here's something that decidedly did NOT make me smile -- a forwarded e-mail I received from my fellow Frank Zappa fan Dave down in Florida:

"Dear David,

This week something truly incredible happened.

When we first walked into the office Monday morning, everything seemed totally normal. We talked about our weekend. We talked about the baseball game. And, we went to go get coffee.

But, things were far from normal at a Wal-Mart store near Miami, Florida. At 9 a.m., over 200 employees of that store walked out (the first time in Wal-Mart's history) and protested Wal-Mart's unfair policies which cut their hours and wouldn't let them tend to a sick child.

These courageous workers not only got their hours restored, but demonstrated why it is so important for us to build public pressure on Wal-Mart to change into a responsible, moral employer.

Sadly, though, while Wal-Mart's own employees were protesting how bad conditions have become, Wal-Mart's executives in Bentonville were planning a full-scale attack on Democratic leaders who have called on Wal-Mart to treat its employees better.

Wal-Mart's planned attacks are a disgrace and, on behalf of those 200 employees in Florida and every hard-working American, we are not going to sit back and let Wal-Mart try and "Swift Boat" real leaders so that it can continue to mistreat its employees, eliminate health care options, ship American jobs overseas, oppose a living wage, and even lobby against strengthening America's national security.

Please check out our new TV ad and send it to at least 5 friends:

Video Clip

Starting Monday, October 23rd, we are launching a major new voter education campaign because we think every American needs to know that when you shop at Wal-Mart you are helping George Bush and the right wing take America in the wrong direction.


Because, Wal-Mart has contributed 80% of its campaign money to George Bush and right-wing politicians, and Wal-Mart supports a political agenda that hurts hard-working families.

This isn't about whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. This is about whether or not you are going to allow a big, powerful corporation like Wal-Mart to use our democracy against the best interests of the American people.

While Wal-Mart's political agenda may be good for Wal-Mart's rich executives and George Bush, it is bad for hard-working families and America. But, this Election, with over 278,000 supporters, we have the power to stop Wal-Mart's right wing agenda and turn the frown upside down.

Go to TurnTheFrownUpsideDown to learn more.

Thank you for all that you do,

The Team

Now you know this is what I've been saying since 2000, when that sick, evil moron stole the election. I refuse to ever set foot in a WalMart again...even if they do offer $10.00 CDs and cheap light bulbs. In fact, their $10.00 CDs, which are under-priced to lure you into their fucking piece of shit store, are the reason several mom and pop CD stores have gone out of business...hell, even Tower Records bit the dust. Yeah, yeah, I know there are those of you will blame downloads, but WalMart and their ilk contributed to the downfall bigtime.

Please, please, please do not forget to vote this November and show our Real Axis of Evil that we don't want his pals in office anymore.

Okay, stepping off my soapbox now, here's what's up for next week:

(1) I have finally broken down and hired an official webmistress to completely overhaul and the new site should be ready by next week;

(2) I'm hoping to debut my new book covers here in a couple of days;

(3) Julie and Eric did a PodCast for Krimson News which should also be up very shortly...don't worry...I'll post billboards as soon as it's available;

(4) Julie and Eric along with Sarah Zimmermann, a/k/a the Sarah Zimmermann trio, performed their first gig last night in Philadelphia. I hear it was great but since it was their first time playing together and were a bit nervous, I did them a favor and stayed home but their dad went and said they truly rocked...however, if you are in the New York City area, they will be playing tomorrow night at The New York Knitting Factory -- the show starts at 6:30 p.m. and they'll be performing in Asbury Park, New Jersey at Asbury Lanes on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.

I also have a lot more music news about my talented duo but I'll be needing their permission to blab it, and since they won't be awake for hours...

This may or may not be it for now. We'll see.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Odds and Sods for Thursday, October 19

This is the current cover for Three Days in New York City but ta-da, for its release into bookstores all over the world, both Three Days and Another Bite will have brand new spanking covers, which I hope to debut here tomorrow or next week. Julie and I worked out the new design ourselves but both books are now currently in the hands of a professional hired by Mundania...I'm curious to see if she uses our ideas at all or scraps them entirely. In the meantime, I still can't get over this, Three Days in New York City is now #7 best selling at Amazon in Canada? And #93 in the UK?

I am still not recovered from yesterday, the official DAY FROM HELL, which, to make a long story short, stems from my not listening to advice I got over forty years ago: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it. I made fun of someone whom I actually like very much, not knowing that he was anywhere within miles of me...and it turns out he was inches away and overheard the entire conversation. I am so mortified that I hurt this person and worse, that he possibly thinks I don't like him when it couldn't be farther from the truth. I attempted some damage control last night and will continue trying to make it up to him for probably the next six months, but I've learned a valuable lesson here.

Anyway, have you all got a chance to visit my interview over at brilliant author Susan DiPlacido's website? You know, the one where I only mention Neil Gaiman twenty seven times?

I seriously advise you to have a look at Susan's stories and novels while you are there...she is one hell of a writer and it's just a matter of time before she hits the bigtime.

One final note: Please check out Eric Slick, Julie Slick, and Sarah Zimmermann tonight for the debut of the Sarah Zimmermann Trio as follows:

l5O8 Brandywine
Thursday Oct. l9 8pm
The Sarah Zimmermann Trio
Featuring Eric and Julie Slick
With: **PRFSR**DRSZ**
Cheers Elephant

Too funny. Eric plays drums with the trio, Prfsr Drsz, Lithuania (a duo compromised of Eric on drums and a fabulous guitarist, Dom L. (cannot spell his lastname) he met while a freshman at University of Arts...and finally, Cheers Elephant features Julie's boyfriend, Matt, on bass, and I've heard their demo CD (recorded by Julie) and it is really something special.

So if you are in the Philly area you can check out these amazing bands for the low, low price of $2.00. Or is that $5.00. I'm not sure. Either way, a true bargain.

Very blurry photo of Eric I took before he caught me and cried out in horror. But the resemblance with that new's still cracking me the hell up.

This one he mugged for on purpose. Sheesh. Everyone in this family makes fun of me all the time.

I wonder why.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rebel Yell!

So like today was a rough one. I don't want to go into it...there are just some days when you shouldn't even get out of bed and this was one of them. Maybe I'll be able to talk about it tomorrow...but anyway, the one bright spot for October 18, 2006 was that the lovely talented Susan DiPlacido, my fellow finalist in the 2006 USA Best Book Awards, interviewed me today on her blog.

I was brutally honest, I was hopefully witty (ha), and well, I was me.

And I only mentioned Neil Gaiman's name twenty-seven times.

Later (sob...I hope)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cool News All Around...

So how cool is this. Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction, in which I have a short story, was #1 finalist in the Best Book Awards 2006, Fiction and Literature Anthologies. Which really makes me happy, especially as that is the anthology which includes the short story Daddy Left Me Alone with God...the basis for and name of my current novel.

Here's the official press release, which states, in part:

"“The 2006 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States. As an executive in the publishing PR and marketing industry and president of both and, I wanted to create an awards competition that recognized books in their publication year rather than months after the original launch window. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of BBA, this year’s winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the upcoming holiday retail season.”

Winners and finalists traversed the publishing landscape: Simon & Schuster, Warner Books, New American Library a division of the Penguin Group, Red Wheel Weiser and Conari, New World Library, and hundreds of independent press titles contributed to this year’s outstanding BBA competition. Bowen adds, “BBA’s success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise.”

Also, my reign as Off Color Empress of Cyberworld (heh) is back on track over at Fictionwise, where yes, yes, Another Bite of the Apple is once again #1 highest rated in erotica.

Here is a fan's review of the Mike Keneally Trio featuring Eric Slick on drums and Bryan Beller on bass, which includes a You Tube of dancing guy (alas he is not dancing for the Keneally Trio in that clip, but rather for the opening band, Fatback). If you click on the link for the review though, not only will you read this woman's gushing comments about the show, you will also see a couple photos of the Keneally Trio on stage.

Speaking of Bryan Beller, I had a really lovely email exchange with him yesterday, and here's a snippet of our conversation:


Hello there, Robin, mother of Eric and Julie, and published erotica authoress. I'm Bryan Beller, bassist and sometimes writer. Nice to meet you. And what a cool life you've got, with such talented kids and an opportunity to engage in the arts yourself.

I have to say that Eric is really, really, really good, and worldly beyond his years. He's also still a kid in all the right ways. Believe you me, when I was 19 I knew less and tried to act older to hide it. No fun. Mike and I had an absolute blast playing him, and we look forward to doing it again..."

As it turns out, Bryan is not only an amazing bass player, he's a very talented writer. He directed me to his on line novella, The Life of Bryan, and I have to say I had an extremely enjoyable time last evening reading this highly compelling and very well written autobiography of a brilliant, sensitive artist torn between the trappings of the corporate world and his music. I was freaking fascinated and could not tear my eyes away from the computer screen. I highly recommend that you have a look...I'm willing to bet that like me you will be sucked in and read the entire thing in one sitting.

And I guess because Bryan and I exchanged the dreaded MySpace stuff (why oh why do I still struggle so with that site...but here's the thing...all of these really cool people keep inviting me to be their friends despite my insistence that I cannot or will not I'm caving. Big time)...I then got an email from this incredibly cool guy...ha ha...when I just went to collect the link I see my son is one of his friends...Eric, I'm sorry, I promise I will not stalk you around the internet but I can't help it if we have the same musical taste...anyway, here's what he wrote to me as well:

"Thank you so much for trusting me with your son over the past weekend. Eric is a special kid like no other I have ever met. His enthusiasm is unbeleivable.And his playing, words can not describe. He will be a giant at some point. I hope I helped. You can tell he has wonderful parents. I should know I am trying to raise two children in this crazy business as well. Again thank you, and if there is anything I can ever do to help please feel free to call.

Dan Kinney
Sound Mind Productions
(Off Broadway Promoter)
1906 McCausland
Saint Louis, Mo. 63117"

And if that wasn't enough, Steve Vai's brilliant keyboard player, Chris Opperman, had this to say in his My Space Blog last night:

"Monday, October 16, 2006

Waiting for the Charles....

Hello, hello.

I'm feeling quite cheerful and I have a few extra moments to spare, so I thought I'd say hello. Just had a nice conversation with Mike Keneally (he had a great time playing with Eric Slick in St. Louis) and I'm really looking forward to his show in San Diego Saturday. He's performing an entirely improvised set with Scott Thunes, whom I've never gotten to see perform live before, so that'll be pretty exciting, and the drive to San Diego will be nice.

Right now I'm waiting for playwright Andy Mitton to arrive. We're going to hopefully finish "The Charles River Love Song" tonight so I can arrange it for the Halloween show, which is coming up like a freight train. We have so much new music to learn for it (and which I have to finish writing all the charts for) that I'm feeling a little overwhlemed.

Went to Largo Friday night and saw Sean & Sara Watkins w/Jon Brion, Gillian Welch, Benmont Tench, and a bunch of other people. Every time I see Benmont perform it always makes me go home and practice for like 8-10 hours because he's just such a great player with the kind of instinct that only comes from someone who is constantly practicing and perfecting their craft. It was actually one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen. By the end of the show, I really thought that ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING could happen. It was total magic.

Speaking of total magic, I picked up the Deluxe Edition of Sonic Youth's "Dirty" album Friday and my Sonic Youth obsession is in full swing. Their music is endlessly fascinating to me and I think it'll be a good influence when we go in the studio on November 4th (Thanks to Mr. Vai!) to put the finishing touches on "Johannah" and "White Willow." Not that either of those songs sound anything like Sonic Youth, but whatever.

We may record a section or two of "The Porpentine," I figure maybe at least the movement called "Thessaly Calls Down the Moon" because I'm still trying to decide whether we're going to do it with MIDI or use real instruments. I just don't know where I'm going to find a tuba player, 4 trombones, an entire woodwind section, chimes, string players, blah blah blah, but I can be quite the resourceful lad when I put my mind to it.

And that's where I'm at. Gotta get back to arranging now.

Music is the best."

Okay, even though I wasn't going to do it, how can I let this go by without a comment? Chris has been writing the Porpentine since I met him last July when Eric performed with him at the Lion's Den in New York City, and now that I am the proud owner of Neil Gaiman's Absolute Sandman, I realize that Chris named his piece Porpentine after a quartz amulet in the Sandman series.

Speaking of that, yep, the reason I own it is because when it first became available as a pre-order on Amazon, Neil kindly mentioned on his blog that it was inexplicably (more like HUGE MISTAKE on Amazon's part) for sale at the unbelievable price of $14.00, instead of its list price of $99.00. I must be honest, since I've never been part of the graphic novel scene (not because I don't like it; I was just oblivious and busy having babies and raising them when Sandman and I guess the inevitable copycats were first published), because of the $14.00 price I grabbed it. Apparently I was one of the lucky few because a day or two later Amazon realized its error, rescinded the offer, and in a lot of cases, did not honor the sales of those who were able to sneak in and purchase the series at that low, low price. But because I read that blurb in Neil's blog like a minute after it was published and headed straight to Amazon, I guess I was one of the chosen ones. Anyway, I had a quick cursory first read yesterday, fell madly in love with it, and here, in the event you, too, have been living under a rock and have never read The Sandman series, let me give you the official blurb:

"THE SANDMAN, written by New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, was the most acclaimed comic book title of the 1990s. A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, THE SANDMAN is also widely considered one of the most original and artistically ambitious series of the modern age. By the time it concluded in 1996, it had made significant contributions to the artistic maturity of comic books and become a pop culture phenomenon in its own right.

Now, DC Comics is proud to present this comics classic in an all-new Absolute Edition format. The first of four beautifully designed slipcased volumes, THE ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 1 collects issues 1-20 of The Sandman and features completely new coloring, approved by the author, on the first 18 issues, as well as a host of never-before-seen extra material, including the complete original Sandman Proposal, a gallery of character designs from Gaiman and the artists who originated the look of the Sandman, and the original script to the World Fantasy Award-winning THE SANDMAN #19, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," together with reproductions of the issue’s original pencils by Charles Vess. Also included are a new introduction by DC’s president Paul Levitz and a new afterword by Gaiman. "

You realize I have to hide this from Gary. I'm already accused of being "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpsons. Because as readers of this blog know, Gary despises computers and I am the never ending butt of his computer geek jokes. He is fully aware and only mildly amused that everytime something cool happens in this family I rush to shout it out on my blog. So he'll tease me in his best Simpson's Comic Guy voice -- and he does a killer version -- "Oh...I must immediately report this magnamimous event to my friends on the internet!"

I can't get mad at him; it is kind of funny because he's right -- but if he actually sees me reading a comic book...err...I mean, graphic novel...I'm toast. Next he'll be buying me a short sleeved button up shirt equipped with a pocket protector full of mechanical pencils and a pair of glasses held together with bandaids and scotch tape.

Then I'll have to counter that by dying my hair black and going Goth...because those are the REAL readers. Um...or so I'm told.

So because I am in a most excellent mood today, here ya go, Sue:

Yep, you have a photo of Neil driving his fabulous convertible Mini Cooper to add to your collection. You can thank me later, Susan.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Rock and Roll Mama

Mike Keneally on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, and Bryan Beller on bass in St. Louis Friday the 13th of October

Yeah, google stalking 101 redux -- this morning I find out I'm a Rock and Roll Mama. Read all about it here. I don't know who is responsible for that, but hey, whoever you are, I thank you kindly.

From Bryan Beller's blog

"I'm in St. Louis right now. The gig with Eric Slick on drums is tonight. He's cool. I'm thinking it's gonna sound good. If you're in St. Louis, get your ass on down..."

From Mike Keneally's website

"ST. LOUIS, MO, October 13, 2006: For the final gig of their three-week Taylor Guitars tour of the midwest, Mike and Bryan decided to maximize the volume by debuting a new trio format with drummer Eric Slick (Adrian Belew, Paul Green's School of Rock "All-Stars). Slick spent weeks boning up for the show and didn't miss a beat, as rockingly attested to by the ubiquitous Dancing Guy (front). Many thanks to Off Broadway promoter Dan Kinney and cohorts, who heroically made this magic evening possible."

From Spyder Monkey, one of the bands who opened for the Keneally Trio Saturday night...

"Last Updated:
Sunday, October 15, 2006

MIKE KENEALLY is a baaaaad man!!!
Current mood: accomplished
Category: Music

Well, just back from our whirlwind visit to the Lou, that's St. Louis my friends and let me tell you nothing could have been finer than to open for none other than legendary ZAPPA guitarist Mike Keneally and his power trio!

The man's record speaks for itself, so enough said there. But to see him in action .....(a gift we have never beheld) was dizzying! Pure tones. Flying up & down the fretboard effortlessly. Fast breaks morphed into sweet long bent notes. It was nothing short of sickly skilled compositions that these fellows churned out with amazing precision. If you don't know what I mean, I highly suggest you run dont walk to his page just for a tiny taste of what was going on. We had to shake off the chills and shut our gaping mouths many times in disbelief! We will never forget this man, his band or that night at Off Broadway in early Autumn!"

Three Days in New York City is still on the bestseller list at Amazon UK which has me completely stymied. It's now like #67 but who cares...I've been jumping around the house like a lunatic ever since I saw that last week. Also, I just learned that trailers are being made for both of my novels by a company whose said trailers are seen in movie theaters. They are anxious to blurb new authors so I sent them my proposal information...they responded almost immediately that I'd be highlighted mid-November. This is a free service which is pretty amazing...I'll provide a link once they're live.

Mundania/Phaze has also recently published an audio book company so Yes! Three Days and Another Bite will be in an audio format soon, and yeah, yeah, I'll be doing the reading because I have a very sexy speaking voice. Oh, okay, I have a big bad Philadelphia accent but I know how to do sexy and am already practicing. Ha!

And um, I'm sitting on some possible major news as concerns both my books and Julie and Eric and you're just going to have to keep watching this space...these respective announcements could end up being HUGE...but if I even give you a hint now I'll jinx it all so I'm staying quiet.

But I do want to remind everyone that Julie and Eric's project with insanely talented guitarist Sarah Zimmermann, The Sarah Zimmermann Trio, makes their debut this Thursday night at the Black Lodge in Philadelphia...Saturday night at the Tap Room at the New York Knitting Factory, and Sunday at Asbury Lanes. Yep, it means I get to spend another weekend in New York. What a pity. (heh). I'll put up links and posters probably tomorrow or Wednesday.

Finally, for all of my writer/musician/artist pals, Susan Henderson has a most interesting Question of the Week -- and I encourage anyone reading this to go over and tell your story -- anyway, her question is: "What do you when the art you create doesn’t easily fit within a particular commercial label? For those of you who are out-of-the-box, tell me your story.

Writers often hear this kind of feedback from publishing houses: We love your book, it’s compulsively readable and I finished it in one night! But, sadly, we have to turn it down because we wouldn’t know what shelf to put it on at the big, chain bookstore, and we’re not sure if we should market it as memoir or a parenting book."

I know a lot of you will have very interesting stories to tell in that regard. I have a huge one myself and don't know if I want to burden Sue with the whole sordid tale so I'm working out an abridged version which I'll post later today or tomorrow...but again, I encourage you guys to go play over at Sue's site...she's a gracious host and fun to get to know.

And speaking of Sue, because she was kind enough to sit with me last week and endure that lovely public radio show in hopes of hearing Eric (well, she at least got to hear Eric's name), I promised her Neil Gaiman with furry arms and glasses. Damn it, Sue, I had furry and I had glasses, but not together. Hope this will suffice:


Friday, October 13, 2006

Google stalking 101

A great pre Gaiman haircut photo of Eric Slick I just found on the desktop in a file I never knew existed: Eric's pics. Woo hoo, a treasure trove in there.

Speaking of treasures, Google stalking has provided me with a freaking chest of them this morning.

First, I am stunned and overjoyed to see a mention today in Robert Fripp's diary as follows:

"An enjoyable performance. Probably, we played well, but I have no idea...

Visitors: Hellboy Tom with Mrs. Hellboy & one Hellgirl. Also Adrian’s Slick new rhythm section with their Parents, bearing Brownies of wonderment, terror & delight."

Okay, now I can get over feeling like a stupid, babbling git when meeeting Robert backstage. Whew. (Right. Like there's any chance of that. But still...)

See yesterday's post for a link to our recipe for said brownies of wonderment, terror, and delight. Ha. I think that will now be their official name.

Next, and trust me, I know how these things go with Amazon and by this afternoon it will probably be gone, but at this very moment, Three Days in New York City is inexplicably #5 on the Amazon UK best seller list?! Are you kidding me? I almost fell off my chair when I saw that.

Also, I learned that Rebellion, New Voices of Fiction, an anthology in which I have a short story "Daddy Left Me Alone With God" and which is the name and basis for my new novel, is up for a USA Book News Best of 2006 Independent Press Award. I may have already mentioned that Another Bite of the Apple is nominated for an Eppie Award so that's pretty cool -- finalists will be announced the first week of December so I've got my fingers crossed, white candles lit, etc.

Here's a link to a Dutch review of the Adrian Belew Power Trio's concert in the Netherlands...I tried using Babblefish to translate it and it's funny as hell but hard to make sense of...if these things are important to you, go for it, if not, just click on the link and look at the great pictures of Adrian, Julie, and Eric on stage.

Speaking of Eric, special thanks to Susan Henderson, who was kind enough to endure the torture of a truly bizarre public radio station from St. Louis (which streamed live on line) with me yesterday in hopes of hearing my son on the radio with Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller. As it turned out, Eric did not make it to the radio station in time because his flight was delayed. Why was it delayed? Because Air Force One, carrying our (gag) illustrious leader, was landing at the same airport and Eric's plane was forced to stay in the air in a holding pattern for thirty minutes. As I told Sue, it's a good thing I wasn't on that plane because I surely would have lost it and would currently be front page I'm not on enough subversive lists already har har. (I am a voracious letter writer...starting with Watergate when I was a baby hippie...escalating big time when I was convinced the CIA killed John Lennon...and well, if you think I've changed now, forget about it...especially with the power of email. And I wonder why I'm pulled out of line for searches in every airport I visit. Yeah, that's right. Big bad me.)

Anyway, as it turned out, Mike and Bryan mentioned Eric's name three times and said he was an absolutely phenomenal drummer so at least I got to hear that...and if you would like to have a listen at just what Sue and I had to go through yesterday and trust me, I'm not exaggerating, it was pure torture, the radio show is archived right here. Actually, let me take that back. Mike and Bryan were brilliant and did a totally awesome live performance on air which you can also hear by clicking on that link. It's the DJ with his rather idiotic statements and his choice of music which made us both queasy. Sue made me laugh out loud when she emailed me during all this and told me she was carefully marking down the artists and names of songs this bozo played on his show so that she could present me with a gift next time she saw me.

Thanks, Sue, and in return I will be presenting you with a special flash fiction collection...never mind...I'm getting myself in enough trouble here as it is.

Happy Friday, everyone.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just call me the Domestic Goddess...

Julie Slick and Adrian Belew on stage this summer in Chicago

ETA: This just in -- Eric will be interviewed on the radio this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. eastern time with Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller right's a live stream!

ETA 2: Well, apparently Eric's plane didn't make it to St. Louis in time enough for him to get to the radio station, but I heard Mike and Bryan interviewed and they said Eric's name more than once and used the word "phenomenal" when describing his drumming. Anyway, these shows are archived right here every week, so check back tomorrow or next week and the interview will be up then.

So many thanks to Sid Smith over at DGM Live, who sent his many readers over to me as concerns my review of the Projekct 6 show Saturday night and also published the recipe for Julie's fabulous brownies -- you know, the ones she baked for Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp Saturday night (ha ha - while you are over at DGM checking it out, click on "Forum" and read some of the remarks about that. Anyway, one of Sid's readers commented on my blog that he'd also like the recipe for our family's peach cobbler (which Julie baked for Adrian during the summer tour) if you look in the comments section here, you'll see how she put that together as well. But yeah, if you want the brownie recipe, you'll have to click on the DGM link...normally I'd cut and paste it here but I really want you guys to visit Sid and say hello. He's a very cool guy and it was very kind of him to humor me when I was bugging him about what to bake for Mr. Fripp.

Yeah, yeah, Julie and me...domestic goddesses.

So this is also kind of cool -- when I was doing my usual google stalking this morning I stumbled on the Projekction Forum Board (and I hope that link works for you...I had to join the site to be able to read the whole thing)...but in case it doesn't, here's what it says as concerns the aforesaid Projekct 6 show we attended Saturday night:

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:00 am

"Holy shit! I was sitting directly behind (2 rows) the Slicks at the show. I thought it was them, but I wasn't sure, so I didn't say anything. Now there's no mistaking that haircut.

Damn, I wish I had taken the opportunity to congratulate them on the show back in August."

So yeah, it was neat to read that...and crazy that someone was sitting two rows behind us wondering if we were the "ones". Ha! Yep, it was, and sorry if Eric's new Gaiman haircut threw you off.

Eric left this morning for St. Louis for the gig with Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller and he had a layover in Chicago...he just called me from the airport to let me know that it's snowing there! Julie in the meantime is busy recording Sweatheart for their new CD so I'm actually home alone and I should be working on what I hope is the final draft of my novel but I had an epiphany of sorts the other night and now I want to delete a 5,000 word passage which means...oh god...I need to write 5,000 new ones.

Oh well, a piece o'cake, right? (Cake seems to be the theme here today, huh)

I'm already getting submissions for the 39 and Holding Anthology (sex after age does happen and it's good, trust me har har) so if you are thinking about it, even though the deadline isn't until next year, send me your finest. Actually, no, you need to send it to Phaze as per their guidelines. I'm trying to snag a major, well known writer to contribute to this book as soon as I work up the guts to write to that person and flat out ask (or drink enough alcohol, whichever comes first) and I'll keep you posted as to how it pans out. What's the worst that can happen? I'll get a no and lose the remaining shreds of dignity I have left. No biggie. I've been down that road before.

But hey, Another Bite of the Apple is up for an award, is still rated #2 in erotica over at Fictionwise, and sales of all three of my books seem to be brisk so I really can't complain.

I don't have any other news at the moment and really want to work on those 5,000 words, so I leave you today with something you may have seen on the Daily Show the other night; if not, you MUST watch it now in its of the funniest skits ever about our illustrious and not so funny fearless leader:

What exactly is the President's job?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Odds and Sods for Tuesday, October 10

So the above is the poster for Eric's show with Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller this Friday night in St. Louis. Eric is in circle #3 pre-Neil Gaiman haircut (see post below) -- man, this is going to be such an awesome show, I wish I could be there. He flies to St. Louis early Thursday for two days of rehearsals and then returns to Philadelphia Saturday night...then two weeks later takes off for Texas with Julie for the west coast portion of the Adrian Belew tour.

What a life, huh.

My beautiful, talented friend Ellen Meister is having quite a week, too. First, her book gets a mention via our mutual beautiful, talented friend Jordan Rosenfeld on NBC!

(Go to the NBC site and click "Play" -- Jordan does an amazing, amazing job talking up Ellen's book!)

If that's not cool enough, Ellen is interviewed at Novel Journey...and I just had a look at some of the other authors interviewed...holy cow, Ellen!

I'm just so freaking proud of my friends. Not only are they incredibly talented authors, they are generous, caring women who somehow find the time to offer support and kindness to fellow writers (while simultaneously taking care of their families..ha ha...I know Ellen personally of course and don't know how she manages the interview and you'll see what I mean).

And...another Ellen interview on Jennifer Prado's site...Jennifer has also interviewed a couple of other great authors like Roy Kesey and Jim Tomlinson, who have both written "must read" books...check out their interviews as well. Good stuff.

Sue Henderson has a brilliant, provocative piece at The Huffington Post today. It will be very interesting to monitor her essay for comments and I hope that some of my readers will weigh in, too.

So that's it for now. I still have the head cold from hell and want to assume the fetal position but I have my own book to work on and have already received a submission for the anthology I'm editing which I cannot wait to read. I'll talk more about that and some other projects I'm working on later in the week when I'm feeling more coherent.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

You Must Be The Mother

Eric Slick shocked us all by coming home with the above new haircut on Friday...I absolutely love it and if you are a daily reader of this blog, you probably already know what I'm going to say in that regard.

Anyway, that's Eric last night following the Projekct 6 show at the Keswick Theater in Glenside. We had dinner at Athena Restaurant across the street and it was one of the best Greek/Mediterranean dining experiences I've had in the Philadelphia area. Five stars, especially their vegetarian appetizer combo platter for good we inhaled one and ordered a second.

But you don't want to hear about the food. Let's talk music. Projekct 6 is OUTSTANDING! Adrian was kind enough to provide us with tickets and backstage passes and yes, yes, we got to meet Robert Fripp after the show.

It was one of the more interesting concerts I've attended in the recent past. Kind of disconcerting to see Adrian behind the drums at first but he's one of those musicians who is magnificent at whatever instrument he picks up (or sits behind as the case may be) and I was sucked right in. He was brilliant! Robert Fripp is a fucking genius. Just an amazing, amazing guitarist. They walked out on stage together, sat down, and started to play music which was startlingly unique -- sometimes haunting and beautifully melancholy, other times rocking and hard-to-sit-still-in-your-seat stuff -- certainly nothing like I've ever heard before. Both musicians made their instruments sound otherworldly.

They didn't speak to the audience, simply played their set, stood up, and took a bow together. Extremely classy. There was a strict no camera policy at the venue so I'm sorry to disappoint with no photos of the event and I wasn't about to pester Robert and Adrian backstage...I was bad enough babbling to them about Julie's cake, thereby once again doing what I try to avoid most...coming off like a pushy obnoxious stage mother. Ack! But it's love that makes me do it and I can't help it. I'm just so insanely proud of both Julie and Eric that sometimes when I'm in their presence with musicians such as Belew and Fripp I turn into a gushing, blubbering idiot.

Oh alright. I'm always a gushing blubbering idiot but most of the time I manage to keep it within the confines of my family.

Anyway, about Julie's cake. So if you do read this blog, you'll know that while on tour with Adrian this summer, Julie baked him a peach cobbler, and if you haven't read my rather comprehensive report about that, here's the applicable blogpost where I told the whole insane story.

In furtherance of the peach cobbler episode, Julie wanted to bring Adrian a special dessert to the P6 show last night and even though he'd flipped over her peach cobbler, she wanted to do something different but couldn't decide on just what to bake. I thought about it and after also coming up blank, said, "Let me write to Sid Smith over at DGM Live and see what Robert enjoys in the sweets department." So I did that and Sid was kind enough to humor me with an email that told me anything with chocolate.

Since Julie is famous for the world's most decadent brownies, which are really not brownies at all but more like dense gooey fudge squares, it was a no-brainer. And as it turned out, they were a huge hit with not only Adrian but everyone else backstage, too. I took a pic before we left the house for the show but it doesn't do them justice:

Anyway, Adrian introduced us to Robert backstage (he's a good looking guy. Love the way he dresses...Robert and Ade both)...Robert was extremely cordial and smiled at Julie and Eric and then I had to start the above mentioned brownie babbling...but not before Robert looked at me and said in his lovely, lovely accent:

"You must be the mother. I've seen your blog."

Oh god oh god oh god.

I also met Porcupine Tree backstage -- they were great but alas we could not stay for their show because Julie wasn't feeling well -- we've a head cold running through the family -- and all she really wanted was to go somewhere and have a bowl of soup (for those interested, white bean vegetarian at that fabulous Athena...she swooned). Julie had a fun conversation with their guitarist who plays barefoot just like she does - they talked about the benefits (pedals and laughingly joking about feeling "grounded" in an organic sort of way).

Anyway, Robert had old friends visiting him backstage so he took off and it was extremely cool to hang out with Adrian and see and hear how psyched he is about the upcoming tour with Julie and Eric (I can't believe they leave for the west coast in three weeks!) as well as just joking around with him and making small talk -- he's just a terrific, terrific human being and my kids are so incredibly lucky to be in his band I continue to pinch myself daily. But what's even nicer is that it's pretty apparent Adrian feels the same way about them.

Have I mentioned how much I love my life?


Okay, I can't stand it. I have to say something. With his new haircut, my son is now a dead ringer for Neil Gaiman.


Friday, October 06, 2006

39 and Holding...Him

So remember a few days ago I mentioned I was solicited to edit a new anthology? Here's the official press release (and ignore that comment I made earlier where I said I probably wouldn't be writing any more erotica. Ha!)

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS for a literally and figuratively steamy erotic romance anthology for Phaze.

You won't truly experience a hot flash until you get a hold of HIM!

TITLE: 39 and Holding...Him - Stories of Sex Over 40
EDITOR: Robin Slick
TENTATIVE RELEASE DATE: August 14, 2007 (eBook), October, 2007 (print)

Calling all heroines over 40! We want to read your most vivid fantasies, live vicariously through your smoldering passions, and delight in your continued defiance against gravity. Authors don't necessarily have to be over 40 to submit, the only requisites for this anthology are that:

1) all stories must be primarily heterosexual (M/F, but if a gal can get two hunks for the price of one orgasm or do more than flirt with the lady next door, we'll take a look at that, too!)

2) all heroines must be portrayed as 40 and over (and everybody involved must be of legal age, of course), and

3) all stories must burn longer than than the hottest flash.

You know the poem that goes "When I'm an old woman I will wear purple?" How about turning HIM purple? How about taking Demi and Ashton to the next level? How about stories of reunited passion with a high school sweetheart after spending decades apart? How about rekindling the fire with hubby on your 30th anniversary? The kids are gone, the pets have run away, it's just you and him. Make the most of it, then tell us about it!

All sub-genres will be considered for this anthology: interracial, BBW, comtemporary, romantic comedy, historical, etc. Show us that love and passion are timeless.

STORY LENGTH: We're looking anywhere from 5K-15K. Please visit the Phaze website for formatting guidelines, and when you're ready send your submissions to: submissions@ with OVER 40 STORY SUBMISSION in the subject header. NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS FOR THIS ANTHOLOGY PLEASE!

Reprints will be considered if you have complete control of the rights.

Robin Slick is the author of Three Days in New York City, Another Bite of the Apple, and "Buenos Noches, Justine," erotic comedies published by Phaze. Robin's short stories have appeared in print and on the web everywhere from heady places like In Posse Review and Slow Trains Literary Journal to give-heady places like Clean Sheets. She lives vicariously through her rock star offspring Julie and Eric Slick, who were featured in the Picturehouse Films documentary, Rock School, and are now members of the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Visit her online at www.robinslick. com and www.inherownwrite. blogspot. com.


One thing I want to add to this is that I'm pretty selective and will be choosing work that is way over and above the usual formulatic romance/ must also be literary in nature. By that I mean your writing must be of the highest quality and either make me smile from your brilliance and wit...or make me, um, run upstairs unable to remember my name (ha). (But no, I will not accept a story just because you write a love scene with me and Neil Gaiman in it so don't even try)

Ha ha - that's another photo of Neil during his visit here in Philadelphia

Anyway, I'm putting out the call to all of my friends and colleagues, those of you from Zoetrope Studios as well...let's make this anthology something incredibly special. I also want to add that Phaze Publishing is a subsidiary of Mundania Press -- with one of their sci fi authors being the fabulously talented Piers Anthony -- and has undergone major changes with a brand new editor in charge. All of our print books will now be carried by not only Borders but Barnes and Noble, Chapters, and many independent book sellers as well.

In other writing news, Susan Henderson comes clean about her obsessions over at Lit Park today and I swear, Sue really is my long lost sister. Sue, I will admit this to you here and Eric, if you are reading this, I advise you to stop now before you turn purple. Okay? Okay. You want to talk about obsessions? When I was fourteen years old, I was so obsessed with a boy (Gary II...I had like seven Garys in my life...I think their mothers were all in love with Gary Cooper and it was "the name" of the fifties and sixties) our first date was my accompanying him on a night of crime. Yep, he was a fourteen year old hoodlum who took me on a rampage with a piece of metal pipe which he used to crack open everything from parking meters to the change machines at the local laundromat, after which, when we scored $5.00 in quarters, he treated me to a can of warm beer he'd been hiding in his jacket all night and a gave me my first hickey on the counters where you fold your clean clothing. I not only saved the piece of pipe in my memory box, I saved his cigarette butts.

And now you know how sick I really am.

Ha ha - I just remembered something I haven't thought about in years. After I got that hickey, I was so paranoid I wore turtleneck sweaters for a week, even to bed. My way cool mother never ever raised an eyebrow at me and I'm sure she knew what I was hiding, but for some reason, it was important to me that she didn't see it.

I would however be humiliated by my said mom at breakfast a few years later when Gary III and I were dating and she innocently replied "Oh, by the way, Robin, I washed Gary's handkerchief -- I found it on the basement floor".

Ahem. I don't suppose I need to go into any details here about that, huh.

Ah, my old basement with the ratty sofa and black and white t.v. Gary III and I held the world's record for getting our clothes back on the minute we heard footsteps approaching the stairs.

I'm gonna cry.

And to wrap this post up before I do start sobbing, I just learned that Another Bite of the Apple and Buenos Noches, Justine received a couple more great reviews -- right here and here.

"Robin Slick has created a lighthearted, yet realistic tale of a woman who’s in search of herself....I really enjoyed this story with its fast pace, its convoluted twists and turns, and the first person point of view." (from review of Another Bite)

"...Intimate encounters are well detailed and adventurous, and the reader is kept guessing as to who will be Justine's sexual partner. For a quick steamy read, pick up Robin Slick's Buenos Noches, Justine today!

That's pretty cool...and much to my surprise and pleasure, Another Bite, Justine, and Three Days in New York City -- which is almost two years old! -- continue to dominate the erotica best seller list which is why I've changed my position and will continue to dabble in that genre. Truth to tell (ha ha - I have Gaiman's American Gods on my mind still, which to me had many highly erotic scenes in it)...I do enjoy writing it because I know I break out of the typical genre and incorporate real writing and a lot of humor in my work. Because really, if you can't laugh and/or smile at certain sexual situations, you aren't having a good time. Or you aren't doing it right. (Ha ha - American Gods again)

Happy Friday.