Friday, March 30, 2007
The only thing creepier than the actual man is his impersonator...
Ugh. So I read in Rolling Stone that Bono was knighted yesterday.
This calls for another excerpt from "Daddy Left Me Alone With God", my highly touted but as yet unpublished newest novel har har:
Once I said those words, I realized they were true, spoken from the depths of my deeply damaged heart, and at that moment I really did feel like vomiting.
“Ouch,” Mick said.
“I’m horrible, aren’t I? I’m a wicked fucking witch. That was a dreadful thing to tell you. If I believed in hell, I’d say I was going to burn in it though in my own personal version I’ll probably be stuck in a Wal-Mart for eternity being forced to listen to U2 CDs twenty-four/seven.”
Mick laughed. “And she’s funny, too. What have you got against U2, anyway? Bono’s a nice chap. He does lots of brilliant work for charities and suchlike.”
“I know, I know. But it’s his voice, you see. He somehow manages to both moan and sound arrogant at the same time. It’s quite extraordinary, really -- worse than chalk on a blackboard. And as for Edge – has there ever existed a more one dimensional guitarist?”
Hmmm...I need to change "chalk on a blackboard" - I can't believe I used a cliche and didn't catch that on one of my million read through/edits.
Err...speaking of "God", Happy birthday Eric. Holy shit, he's sixty-two today. I can't handle that.
Hey, EC, in surfing through Google images for a good photo, I have to tell you -- you need to take a page from Neil Gaiman's book and grow your hair long again because: (a) You look younger with long hair; (b) The hair you are currently sporting makes you look too much like an old fart American jazz musician from the fifties. So that's why I posted the above and not one of your current pics.
See what I mean? Oh, and for more on Gaiman, visit LitPark today for some very cool photos and comments where I am encouraged by Nathalie, who met Neil in Paris last week, to write a short story entitled "I Want to Be Neil Gaiman's Pussy".
Well, as you can see by my remarks there, it was my idea - she just wants me to act on it.
And Nathalie, thanks for the link to your photos, but if you must know, Sue and I found them on Monday and we've been stalking your blog all week. I'm afraid I didn't pay attention to your warning that "The copyright for all pictures (photos and ePaintings) in this blog is mine unless otherwise specified. Consider yourselves warned." because I figured you wouldn't mind if I lifted a few for my own, err, personal use. But I promise to give you credit. Hey, everyone - that pic I posted on Wednesday of Neil in Paris? That was taken by Nathalie!
Susan has really created an amazing oasis for writers at her site and I've made some great friends over there, but as in any large group, there always has to be someone who rankles me and I was joking about this person with another author who not only agreed with me, he gave me what had to be one of the best lines of 2007 and made me literally spit out my morning coffee:
"I have history with Ms. X. I'll tell you some time. Leave us say only at this point that I am not a violent person but I would willingly do six months on a chain gang for the pleasure of smacking her in the face witb the flat side of a shovel."
Oh god, I need to steal that line. And now you all know I'm not as nice as Sue, who has a heart of gold and a high tolerance level for fools. She truly is my hero.
Finally, in other, kinder, gentler news, just a reminder about my son's show tonight -- which I'm really looking forward to because it's an atypical jazz fusion jam and I just realized as I was about to name the musicians involved that we have three D's and 2 E's -- Dan, Dom, and Dylan on guitars and bass respectively and Elliott and Eric on sax and drums. They're the headliners so even though the doors open at 8:00 and the show starts at 8:30, they most likely won't go on until at least 9:00 but I'm not sure -- anyway, get there early because the other acts on the bill look interesting, especially those featuring Matt H and Nero, who are both incredibly gifted musicians.
BLACK LODGE PRODUCTIONS
ELLIOTT LEVIN - 'flautist-sax-ist-spoken-word-ist' extraodinaire backed by the dynamic duo Eric Slick and dmc*...special surprise guests, too!
CETUS - Avant Metal from the Gutter fronted by Rock School graduates Nick and Matt H. You saw Matt H peel the paint off the walls last month, now see him thrash this place fo real!
The Trio Nero - instrumental excursions into the heart of darkness starring our own Nero Catalano.
Women - Bill Rooney is the Man, The Musical!
m*callen - secret solo project (guitars, wailing, laughter, etc)
Friday March 30 8pm @ The Black Lodge
1508 Brandywine st.
$2 admission records & cds for sale!
So that's it for today, I think, but you never know. Now. I'm off to read through my novel yet again in search of any more dreaded cliches.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Hey, thanks to my pal Mike Grosvenor from Zoetrope Studios who flew on Delta airlines, read Sky West magazine which is distributed on all of their flights going out west, and noticed an article about Paul Green School of Rock Music which mentions its two most famous graduates to date, Adrian Belew Power Trio's Julie and Eric Slick which he lifted off the plane and snail mailed to me. Yay! Another one for the old scrapbook.
Okay, I don't keep a scrapbook but I should, huh. But hey, that's what this blog is for -- otherwise I would have abandoned it long ago.
So yesterday I had jury duty where I wasted an entire day because I didn't get picked -- I knew that was going to happen for a number of reasons -- but since I was assigned to a criminal trial with a pool of sixty jurors, each one of us had to be interviewed individually and I was at the end of the list. It truly sucked.
Luckily I had a judge who let me say more than yes or no when he questioned me and since the case involved a hand gun, I was allowed to tell him how I thought there should be zero tolerance and they should be illegal and I'm pretty passionate about it so the defense attorney was practically on his feet screaming like Get her out of here before I even left the room while he and the prosecuting attorney deliberated.
One funny thing did happen. When I was dismissed, I was given instructions to return to the juror waiting room, where, if you can believe this, I might have been subjected to another trial but as it turns out, I was the only one left and all they wanted me for was to give me my huge $9.00 check for "serving". Anyway, this guy comes over to me and says "Robin Slick?" and I'm like "Yeah", thinking he's going to give me my money so I can get the hell out of there, and then he says "Um, don't think me forward for asking you this, but would you happen to be related to Gary Slick?"
"Well, yeah, he's my husband."
The guy does a double take, makes kind of an angry face, and stares at me like it's not possible. Here, my usual first thoughts would be (1) he knows Gary from his guitar playing days; (2) He knows Gary because I write about him; or, (3) he knows Gary is father to rock star extraordinaires Julie and Eric Slick.
And then, as I witnessed the range of not so pleasant emotions cross over this guys face, I realized what it was. My Gary has a distant cousin who isn't really a cousin - it's a step-cousin by marriage thing -- with the same exact name, only this Gary Slick did time for grand theft auto, robbing a Seven/Eleven -- you name it and it's against the law, he's done it.
"I'm his parole officer," he said to me.
"He skipped out on me and has the audacity to call me from wherever he is and taunt me. But we'll get him."
"Err...well, I never met him; he's not even really related, but I guess I'd better mention to my husband that there's an all points bulletin out for someone with his same name."
And then would you believe I launched into a whole explanation of who my Gary really was, including husband of novelist Robin Slick (har har), distant cousin to Grace, father of 2/3 of the Adrian Belew trio -- and this guy stared at me like I was from Mars because like, what the hell did Robin Slick write, who the hell is Grace Slick, and Adrian who?
All he was interested in was catching his criminal and I came off like some crazy broad.
Sigh...nothing new about that.
The only good thing about being sent down to the waiting room was that they had big screen televisions (yeah, I know - our tax dollars at work) and there was a rerun of Monday's Entertainment Tonight on and what do you know, they made a huge deal out of showing Neil Gaiman's Stardust trailer except instead of on a small computer monitor, I got to see the whole thing on big screen. Oh my god, it looks amazing. Clare Danes, Sienna Miller, and Michelle Pfeiffer have got to be the three most gorgeous actresses out there and they are perfectly cast - the costumes and setting are to die for. It's been a long time since I've been anxious to see any new "blockbuster" but woo hoo, for this one, I may even do an opening nighter.
Speaking of gorgeous...sigh...Neil last week in Paris:
That's for newly signed author, Susan Henderson, who has an incredibly interesting interview up on LitPark today, and said interviewee just happens to be a friend of mine, Daryl Darko. Okay, that's not really his name, but read Sue's interview and you'll see how he came to use it. When I say "two Daryls" in the heading of this post, it refers to the fact that Daryl is bi-polar and has two distinct personalities which are totally fascinating.
And yeah, I'll take credit for this because I met Daryl through my blog during the Adrian Belew west coast tour -- he saw the band, took these awesome photos, and then when he mentioned to me in an email that he wanted to attend the show the following night and take more pictures, I got him on the guest list and a beautiful friendship was born. And when I found out he was an aspiring writer, I sent him to LitPark...and I suspect he won the Neil Gaiman picture contest because he reads my blog and Susan's and actually pays attention to what we write and knew about our fan girl crushes on Neil.
Sooo...that's this morning's news...I may post some other cool stuff this afternoon when I am more coherent.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Crescent Moon, featuring Dave Dreiwitz on bass and Eric Slick on drums, performing Saturday night at Luna Lounge in New York
Eric and Dave got a nice review of their show in the Jersey Beat:
"...Crescent Moon turned out to be my old buddy Dave Dreiwitz, one of the most talented and innovative bassists in the history of NJ indie rock; his credits include Tiny Lights, his own two/man bass/drums nerdcore band Instant Death (who were HUGE in New Brunswick for many years,) and of course a long stint in Ween. Like Instant Death, Crescent Moon is a drums/bass duo, but more sincere indie-rock, not that goofy arch pseudo-metal stuff. Dave told me that his 19-year old drummer was a prodigy who also plays in the Adrian Belew Trio, but when the kid started clanging the cowbell for a particularly funky tune, Crescent Moon just sounded like great rock n' roll. Dave's bass is so dynamic and versatile that he can mimic guitar leads and power chords as well as providing a grooving funky bottom. This is definitely an act you have to check out."
And there were some nice blurbs on the Ween forum board:
"Eric Slick will be the featured drummer with Crescent Moon
That kid is a motherfucking great drummer.
This show ruled.
Crescent Moon Rules. Dave rocked monsterously hard. Eric Slick ate 3 Marshmellow Pies before the show and played fast fills on request. Greg D was badass. Some of his songs I thought should never end. Props to ryan for keeping the bouncy beat throughout the whole Greg D set. Great night out!
I expected Crescent Moon to be really good when I saw them about a year ago. I was wrong. They were really really really fucking good. I mean I know Dave is great and all, but holy shit. That man packs quite a bit of rock."
So that was cool, and then I wandered over to Adrian's blog and saw this:
"Yesterday was a good day.
Saul Zonana* and his wife Nicole are visiting.
He and I spent 5 hours digging through the hard drive containing the Power Trio performances earmarked to be Side 4.
By five o'clock we were listening to rough mixes of Dayton and Newport. The rough mixes were unadorned, raw as sushi, but they sounded powerful, charged with energy.
Wow! Eric and Julie are just awesome!
Finally I can hear them without being preoccupied dancing on a pedalboard while singing in one time signature and playing in another. We have a beautiful trio portrait done by Mark Colman and I've begun designing the artwork, so now I can rest assured we have a Live Side 4 on the burner.
*some of you may remember Saul Zonana as our opening act or you might just have his record I was part of 42 days (a good idea). Saul has been listening since the inception of the mike and mike trio and throughout the growth of this awesome trio with Eric and Julie. I can't think of a better person to partner with for the mixing of this, my first live solo record."
I'm sorry...every time I read that I get the chills. I mean, I knew they recorded Side 4 Live but between the band going on a short hiatus this spring so that Julie can graduate college and the flurry of excitement associated with The Bears new release, it sort of became a dream where you ask yourself Did this really happen? And naturally Gary was just thinking about Saul and was going to call him -- they really had a blast together during the two week west coast tour in November.
So yeah, all is fabulous in this household right now. Eric is still flying from Saturday night's gig and is really, really looking forward to his jazz show this Friday night with sax great Elliott Levin...I'll post show info and links again toward the end of this week.
So Sue Henderson fills us in with the details of her book deal today, but here's the announcement as it appeared over at Publishers Marketplace:
"23 March, 2007
Susan Henderson's TAP ROOT, a coming-of-age novel set in the 1970s about a young girl who believes her mother has gone missing and, after finding her living in a secret room in their basement, must come to terms with their irrevocably changed relationship, to Regina Scarpa at St. Martin's for publication as a Griffin trade paperback original.
That is so freaking cool!
And hey, I got some pretty good news myself. More and more mainstream and independent bookstores are carrying Three Days in New York City, and I received a snail mail letter on Saturday which says:
"Dear Robin: We have reviewed Three Days in New York City and would like you to join us in displaying your book in our bookstore cafe. We are delighted to have you as one of our great authors.
...At this time, we request that you send ten newly printed copies of Three Days in New York City available for display and purchase in our bookstore cafe, which will open for business summer of 2007."
Anyway, this is a new indie store located in Chicago and I'm really, really excited. Now let's hope they schedule a reading! But getting that letter made me realize something: I miss snail mail! As much as I love the excitement of a good email, there's nothing like reading good news in print...which is the same way I feel about my books.
Speaking of which...is Daddy Left Me Alone with God actually finished? Have all of the revisions and rewrites at last turned it into the book I've waited my entire life to write? Ha ha - finally, Agent Kate. Stay tuned...
Friday, March 23, 2007
Eric's new Paiste cymbals are just too awesome, aren't they? Photo by Gary Slick taken last month at the Belew Power Trio show in Dayton, Ohio.
Okay, the cat's out of the bag -- the author who scored the deal with her brilliant debut novel is the one and only Susan Henderson. Not only that, it's her birthday on Sunday. As I just told Sue, not only is she a remarkably talented writer, I really do believe karma played a role in her successs - she is one of the most unselfish people I've ever met -- a tireless advocate for other authors -- and if you are a regular visitor to her above linked website, LitPark, you are already aware of that and are as thrilled for Susan as I am.
So congratulations and Happy Birthday, Sue!
In other writing news, thanks to another incredibly gifted writer and die-hard Zappa fan, Theresa Boyar, for linking my blog entry containing the Cosmik Debris You Tube with son Eric on drums, Ike Willis on vocals, and Tim Palmieri of The Breakfast on lead guitar. In reading Theresa's post, she also mentions that it's nomination time again for the Story South Million Writers Award for best fiction published on line during 2006. I took a look at the nominees so far and was thrilled to see that one of my personal favorites, Snake Dreams by Katrina Denza has already been nominated at least twice. Like Theresa, I take these awards very seriously and am currently seeking out my favorite writers to see if they have anything over 1,000 words published last year which would qualify. Right off the top of my head, if Theresa, Myfanwy Collins, Jordan Rosenfeld, or Kathy Fish, who is too modest/humble to have a website even though she's got a book coming out herself chock full of her brilliant flash fiction are eligible, I will be nominating them later today.
I was also slightly amused to see that there were authors who actually nominated themselves. Oy. If you are one of those writers, see my comment about Susan above and learn. But not before you self-flagellate yourself first, you egomaniacs, you. Ha!
Nah, no one that narcissistic visits my blog. You guys are all so cool it's ridiculous.
And now for the exciting music news I know you've all been waiting for. While I obviously have already known about this for weeks, I was waiting for the powers in charge to announce it, and now that I see that Mike Keneally, guitarist extraordinaire, has it on all of his websites as well as his newsletter which I've cut and pasted below, I guess it's okay to blab it to the world:
"KENEALLY TRIO @ PAUL GREEN SCHOOL OF ROCK FESTIVAL
With WEEN, ADRIAN BELEW AND BENEVENTO/RUSSO DUO
The location of the Paul Green School of Rock Festival on June 23 and 24 is Asbury Park, NJ. Still don't know the venue. Again, we're (we being me, Bryan Beller and Eric Slick) playing on the 24th, on a bill being headlined by Ween, and also including Adrian Belew and the Benevento/Russo Duo, as well as the School of Rock All-Stars. A thoroughly fantastic day of music! Can't wait. As usual, more details soon."
Okay, here's what I do know. Yep, Eric will be kicking off the Sunday, June 24, 2007 portion of the festival in the afternoon sitting in on drums with the brilliant Mr. Keneally and the equally brilliant Bryan Beller on bass, followed by a performance by...yay!...the Adrian Belew Power Trio featuring Eric on drums again and Ms. Julie Slick on bass. So basically my son gets to play three hours straight with two of the best guitarists in the world - both Zappa alumni. How freaking cool is that? And yep, their performances will be followed by Benevento/Russo, Ween, and the School of Rock All-Stars with a "special guest"...don't know who that is but you can bet it's going to be someone awesome. I'll be posting his/her identity here as soon as I know. Also, this is just a wild guess, but I'm thinking that the venue is either Asbury Lanes or the adjoining Baronet Theater. However, both locations are one block from the boardwalk/beach, so whether this will be an outdoor event I have no idea...though it would seem to me that with unpredictable weather, it would be more prudent to have the big acts play indoors but again, I will let you know as soon as I have official word.
But can you imagine that? All of those amazing bands playing together in one day? I haven't seen the Saturday line-up -- I can't wait to find out who it is but trust me, it's going to be equally incredible.
Also, I believe this Asbury Park appearance will kick off at least part of the Belew Trio summer tour -- perhaps an east coast swing but I really have no idea -- and the release of Side 4 Live. Stay tuned...
Okay then. Back to work for me. I am concurrently working on several projects, all pretty damn exciting...and again, I'll share the details as soon as I am able.
Eric, with nerd glasses and bass...yeah, he plays that, too
So yeah, yeah, I didn't blog all week because I am concentrating on my novel and something new and all kinds of stuff, really, while J&E are on hiatus from touring. I've gotten so used to being "exciting" that if I don't have anything cool to say, I'd rather say nothing at all.
But suddenly things have gotten very cool.
Just a tease -- someone who is a regular "feature" on my blog has sold her novel to one of the major publishing houses...she's announced it over at Publishers Marketplace today but will make it official either tomorrow or soon after I should think.
Oh, and before I forget -- Eric will NOT be at the North Star this Saturday night because the Crescent Moon show at the Luna Lounge in NYC has been pushed up to 8:00 p.m. and there's no way in hell Eric can do the show and get back home to Philly in time to go on at 11:00 p.m. But the good news is, The Breakfast will be back at the North Star on May 3, and Eric will sit in with them then. Cool? Cool! But if you are in New York Saturday night and want to see a kick ass show featuring Eric on drums and Dave Dreiwitz of Ween on bass, then you really need to be at the Luna Lounge at 8:00 p.m.
I will be back later with more stuff -- I promise.
Monday, March 19, 2007
So thank you to Dave at The Breakfast who enabled embedding on one of my all time favorite You Tubes -- Project Object performing Cosmik Debris with Eric on drums and special guest Tim Palmieri from the Breakfast on lead guitar. In fact, I love this You Tube so much I've made it a permanent feature on the right hand side here. Also note that I've added some new reading recommendations over there as well -- I highly suggest you check them out.
And why do I bring up The Breakfast? Because they'll be performing this Saturday night at the North Star Bar, and Eric's sitting in on two songs -- Cleetus Awreetus Awrightus by Zappa and Big Bottom by Spinal Tap. What's crazy is that Eric's only able to do this because The Breakfast isn't going on until 11:00 p.m. and they're playing two sets because at 7:30 p.m. that same evening, Eric's doing a short set with Dave Dreiwitz in New York City as follows, as per the Ween Forum Board:
Crescent Moon Live in Brooklyn March 24 (early show)
"Crescent Moon will be performing at the new Luna Lounge in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn...any folks coming in for the Gene een shows have something to do Saturday night...it's an early one:
7:30 Crescent Moon
8:30 Half Cleveland(w/chris butler ofr the waitresses)
930 Sounds of Greg D
11:30 TK Webb
Eric Slick will be the featured drummer with Crescent Moon
The Luna Lounge 361 Metropolitan $8"
"Crescent Moon! YAY!"
Reply: "Quote: Eric Slick will be the featured drummer with Crescent Moon"
Yeah, so Eric's basically gonna play the gig with Dave in New York, immediately hop on Greyhound, and get to Philly just in time to jam with The Breakfast.
His kind of night! And yeah, yeah, his groupie parents (ha) will attend because thankfully the North Star is only six blocks away from our house. Yeah!
Eric's also got this coming up:
BLACK LODGE PRODUCTIONS
ELLIOTT LEVIN - 'flautist-sax-ist-spoken-word-ist' extraodinaire backed by the dynamic duo Eric Slick and dmc*...special surprise guests, too!
CETUS - Avant Metal from the Gutter fronted by Rock School graduates Nick and Matt H. You saw Matt H peel the paint off the walls last month, now see him thrash this place fo real!
The Trio Nero - instrumental excursions into the heart of darkness starring our own Nero Catalano.
Women - Bill Rooney is the Man, The Musical!
m*callen - secret solo project (guitars, wailing, laughter, etc)
Friday March 30 8pm @ The Black Lodge
1508 Brandywine st.
$2 admission records & cds for sale!
So that's the news in my son's world -- daughter Julie, thank God, takes a few finals this week and then goes on a belated Spring break where I hope to get in some quality time with her -- okay, what I really mean is that I really hope the two of us get to hit some cool new restaurants together but naturally the ridiculous has happened -- I got hit with jury duty again next Tuesday. That's twice in two years and absurd, especially since I'm automatically disqualified once they learn (again, for like the 5th time in five years) I'm not only a writer, I worked as a legal assistant for over two decades and know practically every lawyer in Philadelphia as well as having some definite opinions about the legal system, meaning, in civil cases I'm 100% pro Plaintiff and in criminal cases, man, if I think you ever even held a gun in your idiotic little hand and have the slightest feeling you would use it, well, let's just say you do not want me as your juror and I thought I made that perfectly clear to the judge the last time I was on the proposed juror stand...but oh well, this is what I get for being a registered voter in Philadelphia.
The worst part of the experience is that they are under the assumption that all prospective jurors are illiterate morons (well, they probably aren't too far from the truth) so they make you watch a film that tells you step by step how to answer each query on the juror questionnaire as if you can't read or write, and the last time...and this is completely awful...they had some one hundred year old, retired judge warm us up first by cracking some really lame and pointless jokes. It was like being in the audience at the Jerry Springer Show.
Or how I imagine that would be, anyway. Sigh...
So to save it from being a completely wasted day because trust me, I'm going to be left for eight hours to sit in the waiting room while others are assigned to trial, I'll print out a copy of what I hope is my finished novel and go over it again all day with a red pen and probably end up wishing I was in fact an eligible juror.
The only good news is that there are lots of great restaurants near the Criminal Justice Center and they do give you two hours for lunch, so Julie? Don't make any plans for next Tuesday afternoon.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Hey, I thought I'd celebrate St. Patrick's Day today with copious amounts of alcohol while watching You Tubes starring my son. And what better clip for today than Baba O'Riley? Featuring Eric on drums and the always incredible Katie Jacoby on violin -- LA Knitting Factory, January 2006.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Hey, I got another present from the almighty You Tube -- a two minute clip of the Adrian Belew Power Trio performing Beat Box Guitar in Villa Montalvo on November 10, 2006. And if you think it sounds cool, well, click on the banner under the heading of this blog and download the entire song...
And I shivered a bit to see my kids' names mentioned/linked with Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, et al right here.
In writing news, one of my favorite flash fiction authors, The High Priestess of Flash Fiction, Kathy Fish, has a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant piece up at groovy Juked. If you're a short story writer, read this and learn from the master. Kathy would never describe herself that way...she's far too humble...so I will do it for her.
Also, you really need to read the latest edition of Smokelong Quarterly which contains stories by two of my favorite people -- the amazing Myfanwy Collins and the scarily talented Tom Saunders. Actually, Smokelong is one of the best lit mags out there -- their editors are incredibly author friendly. Just have a look at the artwork (by the magnificent Marty Ison) author interviews, assorted links...it's just a beautifully done publication and I'm proud to say I once had a story and interview in there myself.
And err...speaking of interviews, Nick Belardes interrogates (heh) me today on his website and I've been laughing my ass off since I saw it. Nick asked me to send him some cool, creative photos to accompany his piece and I had a really hard time with that so I ended up giving him the URL for my photobucket site and Oh.My.God what a mistake that was. Ha! Between the photoshopping and the captions, I may have to go into hiding for a while.
Just kidding - he did a fabulous job and once I can stop laughing, I'll probably start worrying that people will find that image of me kissing the dog via googling beastiality and I'll have yet a whole new crop of weird, disturbed readers.
Bring 'em on!
And I know I got an email from Word Riot that my story, Beautiful, was going live today in their 5th anniversary issue, but so far they have not updated their site. Maybe later tonight? Keep clicking on the link...
That was myself I was talking to...I'll probably click on that damn link 1,000 times before crashing face down on the desk tonight. Lots to do...and it's all good.
ETA: Yes! Word Riot did in fact come through...you can read my story right here! And oh man, I just realized what stellar company I'm in...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Cosmic Happenings by Richard A. Waters
Okay, I was going to start this blogpost off totally differently but still with the topic of Cosmic Happenings because, well, freaky coincidences have been occurring in the Slick household over the last few days that are beyond weird.
I was about to put up one of the Belew Trio photos from my collection at the top of this post because a lot of the serendipity concerns Adrian, but I decided, on a whim, to google Cosmic Happenings to see if I could find a suitable matching image.
Not only do I find the above isn't-it-incredible artwork on Google Images, but it leads me to the website of its artist, Richard A. Waters...and it turns out that this same guy invents incredibly cool drums and other instruments.
I mean, really. My son just happens to be a drummer and I know this is going to really interest him...but okay, that's not even the tip of the iceberg as far as what's going on.
But I'll get to all that in a moment.
Did I say I wanted an acceptance letter to make myself feel physically and emotionally better? Look what was in my mailbox late yesterday!
We really dug your submission and would like it to appear for our fifth anniversary issue, which is scheduled to go live on March 15.
Please let us know if it is still available and provide an updated bio.
Publisher, Word Riot"
Yeah! So I wrote back, yep, the story, Beautiful, is available; it's yours!
Anyway, when it's published tomorrow, naturally, I will link it here. With accompanying graphics of fireworks and pretty balloons.
So anyway, let me tell you the whole weird story. On Saturday, Gary works for a few hours and is always reliably home by 12:30 p.m. I was sitting here writing, and I notice 1:00 p.m. comes and goes, next thing I know it's 1:45 p.m. and I think Hmmm...maybe I should call him and make sure everything's okay. It was just too out of character for him to be that late without touching base with me. So I dial him up on his cell and he says "Don't worry, I'm right outside, I'm late because I was bad."
Gary bad? Ha ha, I don't think so. I knew exactly what he was saying.
He meant: "I went to Sound of Market after work and dropped a lot of money on some rare CDs we were missing from our collection." (Stuff we already had on vinyl...which we not only never threw away but still play and love and for which we even bought a new turntable).
He also knew that this is precisely the kind of thing that would not make me mad...well, nothing really ever makes me angry except the religious right, Republicans, and narcissistic writers who lack talent but never shut up about themselves and their work...but anyway, here are just three of the stack of CDs he came home with:
Adrian Belew's Young Lions.
"This is really hard to find -- it's early Adrian," Gary told me...and check what I said above, this is one we did not have on vinyl, cassette, eight track...nothing. I grabbed at it eagerly.
He also bought this:
Now this is totally cool - it was recorded at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia and was on our turntable non-stop throughout most of the seventies into the early eighties.
"Oh my god," I said, looking over the track list which at one time I had committed to memory. "1984! When was the last time we listened to that song? Wow...I remember when a day wouldn't go by without us putting that on...and remember Doobies?" (More on Doobies in a minute...it's another piece of this weird cosmic puzzle.)
And finally, he also had this in his little bag:
No Answer, which is the very first ELO album and the only one with brilliant musician Roy Wood.
"It must be twenty-five years since I've heard this," I said when he put it on. We were like two little kids over this bounty (and wasn't I just so kind to provide you all with links to purchase them?) and each and every song brought back all kinds of memories...this was all stuff we listened to pre-Julie and Eric...when we were both kids ourselves. The Bowie especially, like I said, was a staple in the early years of our marriage, and as we were listening to 1984, I turned to Gary and said:
"Yeah, like I'd ever forget that place," Gary said.
Doobies is a bar in downtown Philadelphia which still exists though it's been...hmmm...how old is Julie?...over 21 years since we've been there. Back before we were even legally old enough to drink, we'd go to Doobies just for the juke box and macaroni and cheese with beef and tomatoes..and okay, okay, I cannot tell a lie, they never asked us for age I.D. so we got our beers there, too. Lots and lots of them. Doobies had (and maybe they still do have) the best juke box in Philly because the owner's daughter, who was just a few years older than us, was a total David Bowie/Lou Reed freak and she was in charge of the music.
Cooking the macaroni was a girl our age give or take a year or two older named Maureen who was also a big Bowie nut and lived in an apartment over the bar with a roommate named David who always had the most amazing thai stick. (Now, now, this was years and years ago, before Gary was sober, when we used to party instead of changing diapers, going to Muppets on Ice...and so on and so on) Back then, we'd develop a little routine of eating and drinking at the bar until late and then going up to Maureen and David's apartment. Maureen and Dave weren't a romantic item; in fact, David was gay and sadly, one of the first people I knew diagnosed with AIDS back in the mid-eighties. We really thought he was cromagnum man for a while and would conquer that dreadful disease but he finally succumbed around ten years ago, I guess.
Anyway, Maureen had a boyfriend named Dennis...the two of them would later marry and throughout the past twenty years, we would always get together at least once a year though of course we meant to do it more often because Gary and I are anti-social as a couple and Dennis and Maureen are two of the only people in the world where all four of us can have an enjoyable evening out based on our mutual love of music and food.
In fact, the last time Eric played with Project Object, Dennis, whose car was in the shop, actually took two busses to come and see him.
While we were listening to Bowie's 1984 on Saturday, I went on a whole inner head trip about Dennis and Maureen and thought to myself, man, it's been like a year since I talked to them -- they probably don't even know about Julie and Eric being in Adrian's band -- they're going to flip out -- I should call them.
Anyway, we spent all Saturday afternoon listening to music, and then I went downstairs to check my email (big surprise) and while I was on line, I clicked on Adrian's blog to read of his latest exploits, and almost had a heart attack when I read his entry for Saturday, March 10, 2007. Now you really need to click on that and read the whole post because it's so fucking interesting it's ridiculous because it talks about Adrian meeting Paul McCartney for the first time, but here's the part which caught my eye and almost made me have a seizure as I ran upstairs to tell Gary:
"...Paul McCartney was staying on the top floor of the hotel in the Presidential Suite and he told me the room number.
I called. Paul answered the phone.
"Hello is Paul there?"
"This is Paul."
"Is Paul there?"
"This IS Paul".
Gulp. "I'm David Bowie's guitarist and I was..."
"Well, David's here right now, why don't you come up for tea?".
When the elevator door opened on the top floor there stood a man in a suit and headset, looking very FBI-like. At the end of the long hallway stood his twin brother agent in front of a grand looking doorway with the words "Presidential Suite" etched over top. Walking down the long hall I heard them whisper in their headsets,
"Guitar player. Bowie."
I knocked on the door. Paul answered it.
"What's that you've got behind your back, luv?
David said he'd be mad at you if you didn't bring your new CD".
From inside the room I heard laughing.
It's true I had brought the meager offering of my newest CD Young Lions which I sheepishly handed over."
I mean, if you look at Adrian's discography, he's got like a gazillion CDs, and he just happens to write about the one that Gary had just come home with and we'd just spent the afternoon listening to. We both had total goosebumps.
So if that's not weird enough, on Sunday morning, I pull up Adrian's blog again so that I can copy the above and tell you guys that story...when what do I see but a new blogpost dated Sunday, March 11, 2007, which literally caused me to topple over backwards and go running, screaming for Gary to come downstairs immediately so that he could see it for himself. Again, click the link and read the whole thing, but here's the pertinent part:
"Back in the dreadful seventies when I had no work except to play drums in a Holiday Inn band I had purchased my first decidedly cheap-o-cello. Cello ranks high on my list of favorite things. The first ELO record had a guy named Roy Wood who played most of the instruments including cello and I figured with enough practice I could hack away at a cello about as well as he had..."
Gary and I were incredulous. I mean, come on. How many of you have even heard of Roy Wood? We're talking about a CD that came out over thirty years ago...that Gary had just come home with and we'd listened to the day before. To say we were stunned would be putting it mildly.
Think that's the end of the story? Thing again.
Gary is in the car on Monday listening to our college station, WXPN. At 5:00, they do a theme thing with a series of songs centered around said theme. Monday's theme was songs with years in them. Do I have to tell you what happened next?
You can double check me on this -- here's the official playlist, but have a look:
Paolo Nutini - New Shoes
M. Ward - Chinese Translation~
The Sundays - Here's Where The Story Ends
Kristoffer Ragnstam - Man Overboard
Bruce Hornsby - White Wheeled Limousine
Norah Jones - Sinkin' Soon
Peter Bjorn And John - Young Folks
Sting - Consider Me Gone
David Bowie - 1984
John Cale - Paris 1919
Gary almost went into shock. I mean, when's the last time you heard 1984 on the radio?
I'd like to tell you that's the end of it, but this you can't believe altogether. We're still talking about this an hour later Monday night when my phone rings.
Yep, you guessed it. It was Dennis and Maureen, whom I hadn't heard from in over a year.
I started gushing the whole story to them, but I could tell something wasn't right, and unfortunately, my ESP was still on overdrive because Maureen began to tell me stuff I didn't want to hear...they'd found a tumor on her liver...she's receiving chemo in hopes of shrinking the tumor so that she can hopefully have a transplant which is really the only hope....oh god, please light a candle or whatever it is you all do for my friend...she's having a really, really rough time.
So that was pretty sobering and once again a reminder for me not to sweat the small stuff (yikes, I hate cliches but that one really is something to live by) and spend each day smelling the roses instead of worrying that I'm going to be scratched by their thorns.
Anyway, are those cosmic happenings or what? Holy cow, I can't even describe how Gary and I are still feeling a few days later. We are completely freaked out.
Finally, my google stalking yielded this today -- The Detroit Metro Times has a pretty cool article about Adrian, and of course the second paragraph caught my eye right away:
"Probably best known as King Crimson’s guitarist, Adrian Belew is also a skilled multi-instrumentalist who has worked with everyone from Frank Zappa and Paul Simon to Trent Reznor, Tori Amos and William Shatner. He also attached midi effects and other synthesized elements to a guitar to create sounds ranging from wild animal calls to soaring string sections.Oh yeah, and the whammy bar, thus the 1982 Belew solo record, Twang Bar King.
Musically, he’s blended humor, pop and experimental styles into such quirky songs as “Elephant Talk,” ‘Fish Head,” and “Big Electric Cat.” The last two years have also seen the release of three albums recorded with Les Claypool (Primus) and Danny Carey (Tool), and recently he’s been touring in a power trio comprised of Paul Green’s School of Rock graduates, siblings Eric and Julie Slick. Metro Times spoke with Belew about his career and what he’s doing now in anticipation of his show with jam band Umphrey’s McGee."
Read the rest of the story here.
Okay, I think that covers today's news and hopefully makes up for my lack of blogging for a couple of days, but I'm happy to announce my lack of blogging means I've been doing "real" writing. Yay!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
This is how I know I really am a dork. I saw this on someone's live journal page and lifted it because I think it's cool.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm not just a mere dork, I'm an uber geek. Oh well. It could be worse.
Okay, first let's dispense with the writing stuff.
I personally find the following hilarious, but with all due respect, maybe you have to actually be a writer to fully appreciate them:
A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."
A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.
"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"
"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."
Sinclair Lewis arrived at Harvard - drunk, as usual - to talk about his craft.
"Hands up, all those who want to be writers!" he yelled. Everyone's hand went up.
"Then why the hell aren't you at home writing?" he asked, and staggered off the platform.
Q: How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: I can't tell whether you mean 'change a light bulb' or 'have sex in a light bulb.' Can we reword it to remove the ambiguity?
Q: How many editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Only one. But first they have to rewire the entire building.
Q: How many managing editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: You were supposed to have changed that light bulb last week!
Q: How many art directors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Does it HAVE to be a light bulb?
Q: How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: The last time this question was asked, it involved art directors. Is the difference intentional? Should one or the other instance be changed? It seems inconsistent.
Q: How many marketing directors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: It isn't too late to make this neon instead, is it?
Q: How many proofreaders does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Proofreaders aren't supposed to change light bulbs. They should just query them.
Q: How many writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: But why do we have to CHANGE it?
Q: How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Three. One to screw it in, and two to hold down the author.
Q: How many booksellers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Only one, and they'll be glad to do it too, except no one shipped them any.
A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside.
“What happened, honey?” the man asks.
“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is--”
“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”
Thanks to one of my favorite authors, Maryanne Stahl, for turning me on to these.
And speaking of my extraordinary writer pals, here's something I received in my email from Ellen Meister, and my only regret is that I'm exempt, though how weird is this, my name is already a character in a Canadian play...I tried to find the link on Google which I discovered around six months ago but gave up...anyway, that Robin Slick was a man and I remember something about him being "greasy" which naturally did not exactly thrill me but I stil couldn't get over it.
Oh what a surprise, I went off track for a change. Focus, Robin. Okay.
Here's what Ellen has to say:
"Hi! I'm happy to announce a new promotion I'm calling the ...
"I Want A Freaking Character Named After Me!" Drawing
At last, the opportunity to curse like an angry housewife and have a chance to be immortalized in print ... all with one simple email.
Anyone who's read Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA will have an easy time entering. Here's how it works ...
1) Send an email to me at win(at)ellenmeister(dot)com
2) In the subject line, type in Maddie's favorite multi-syllable curse
3) In the body of the email, type in your name as you'd like it to appear in my next book
That's it! After May 31, 2007, all entries with the correct curse phrase will be entered into a drawing. One lucky winner will get a character named for them in my next novel.
Good luck ... and happy cursing!
P.S. One entry per person, and you must be 18 or over.
Ellen Meister, author of Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA. Visit my website at www.ellenmeister.com."
I think Ellen's contest is absolutely brilliant, don't you?
You know, I've said many times that I hate religion and profess to be a heathen but there is more and more growing evidence that I do in fact have a higher power, and his/her humor just keeps getting more and more twisted. I have absolutely nothing lined up until the summer in both writing and I'm-a-groupie-for-my-kids world except a book convention on the other side of the country from April 25-29, which I mentioned here on Friday. So what do I read in Neil Gaiman's journal this morning?
"Seeing the Village Voice has just leaked it, and a few of you have written to ask about it, yes, I will be a Guest at the PEN World Voices Festival at the end of April. I can't give you any other details right now, but the curious should go here and sign up for the Festival mailing list for more information."
Naturally, this is from April 25-29 in New York City, an hour and fifteen minutes from my house. Sob...and you can bet that all of my New York writer pals -- like the currently missing in action Susan Henderson will be there sipping martinis and hanging with Neil while I'm on the other side of the country partying with faeries and vampires.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Speaking of Susan, man it's been a long week without her. Poor baby has been on a five star Caribbean cruise as per her website, which, thank God, says she'll be back tomorrow where I suspect it will be business as usual with the ever so coy Susan not giving us any details as to where and why.
Finally in writing news, a HUGE congratuations to fellow Phaze author Alessia Brio, who took top honors last night at Epicon, winning best erotic e-book of 2006. Actually, I see a lot of Phaze authors on that list so...yay!!!!
Eric has some jazz gigs coming up...one with amazing sax player Elliott Levin and something else with someone fairly major in jazz world that I'm not allowed to blab about yet because while it's pretty much a done deal, it's not entirely official yet so Eric asked me to keep quiet.
But yeah, Eric is also playing Bonnaroo and looking over that list, I'm not sure who he is playing with...I only know it involves bongos and belly dancers and his all access backstage pass enables to hang out with all of the bands mentioned.
"Oh, hi, Sting, nice to meet you but please do me a favor and put that fucking lute down before I crack it over your head and shove the splinters up your nose, okay?"
That's me speaking, not Eric. Eric is far too polite and kind.
You may have noticed I haven't mentioned Julie lately...that's because she's finishing her senior year at Drexel U and is buried deep in her thesis/senior project. In fact, I haven't even seen her for a couple of days but my straight A student/rock star also works at a fabulous restaurant a few nights a week so I think Gary and I may pop in on her tonight -- she takes really good care of us and I admit it, I get a vicarious thrill having her wait on me for a change.
Finally, congratulations to Scott Abernethy, who won the honor of having his artwork appear on Adrian Belew's Dust CD Collection and here's his award winner:
Pretty cool, huh.
So that covers it for today, I think, but who knows...as usual, if I get any interesting news, and trust me, I'm waiting on several things (again, as usual), I'll be back.
Friday, March 09, 2007
This is one of my "rare gems". If you've seen the movie Rock School, the film culminates with the Rock School All-Stars, who, at the time were twenty kids, two of whom were a 16 and 17 year old Julie and Eric, going to Germany to perform at Zappanale, a festival held every summer to pay tribute to the music of Frank Zappa. I tagged along with the kids that year -- it was 2003 -- and here's a pic I've posted before where I'm posing in the town square with a couple strange guys looking on, and which town square, instead of having a bust of a war hero, has this:
Anyway, this You Tube is part of a film that follows the legendary Ike Willis on tour through Europe that summer, and if you look closely, there I am drinking beer in the background right after Mike Keneally was interviewed; you can briefly get glimpses of Julie and Eric...and then a nice large chuck of Eric playing the vibes on stage.
So when I first met Ike that year backstage, the two of us bonded right away and when he heard Eric play with Rock School -- and Eric had just turned 16 -- he looked at me and said "That boy is on the list. You mark my words."
"The list?" I asked, because, well, in spite of my claim to fame as a musicologist, I had no idea what he meant.
"It means someday your boy and I are going to be in a band together. He's going to be my drummer."
I grinned from ear to ear like the proud groupie/stage mother I am and strutted around Germany for four days on a total high from that statement, but who could have predicted that it would come true. Because as well as being drummer for the Adrian Belew Power Trio, Eric is also drummer for Project Object featuring Ike Willis on guitar and vocals, and in a perfect case of synchronicity, will be performing again at Zappanale this summer. This is the fourth time Eric will be there -- he played the festival in 2003 and 2005 with Rock School, 2006 with Adrian Belew, and in 2007 now he returns for what's actually a ten day tour throughout Europe with Project Object. Adrian was kind enough to schedule his summer touring with Julie and Eric around the Project Object tour so that Eric can do both. Pretty damn cool life my son has, huh.
And that would be Eric and Ike in Germany during the summer of 2005.
And that would be Eric and Ike/Project Object at Martyrs in Chicago on January 5 of this year.
Anyway, if you are interested in buying some or all of the CDs or DVDs associated with any of the Zappanale festivals I mentioned above, just follow this link. Or this one.
So I guess apologies are in order. Sorry. The world's 5th best blogger, diarist, has not felt like blogging this week. I'm sick of winter, sick of having what I still feel is an unfinished novel, and well, I still feel sick in general. Even almost two weeks after the great stomach virus of 2007, I don't have my appetite back and without good food, I'm miserable. So I'm trying the high octane stuff like veggies and fish but really, I think I'm currently a head case who is better off burying said head under a pillow until this passes.
Let's see. What would help. An acceptance letter from somewhere. An award? A spike in my Amazon ratings for sales of Three Days? Actually, my Amazon ratings did spike, and for one glorious day last week, I was at like 66,000. Now I'm back at 500,000 or something. But I am still number one best seller here.
Oh, this helps, too.
Eric has a gig with Ween's Dave Dreiwitz in his side project, Crescent Moon at the Luna Lounge, 371 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York on March 24.
Here's a picture Gary took the last time Eric played with Dave in Crescent Moon back in December, 2006 at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, New Jersey. Do they have the coolest stage or what?
In writing news, I am pleased to give you a sneak peak of an exciting new print mag, Noveltown Review, in which I am proud to have a regular column and even prouder to see my name on the cover next to such luminaries in the writing world. (Note to founding editor N.L. Belardes: My column for Issue Two is almost done and I should have it to you by the end of the weekend).
Speaking of N.L., there are two things you should know:
One, please ask to be his Noveltown Review MySpace friend. They are going for a record 10,000 writers/fans/pals. And as I recently wrote to Nick, or N.L., that's one hell of a MySpace site and why oh why am I not able to do anything so creative with mine?
Secondly, you really need to buy Nick's book, Lords, Part I. I just received my copy and am currently being blown away. He's got other books for sale on his site as well but Lords is the first one I've purchased...you can be sure that as soon as I'm finished, I will be checking out any and everything else. Nick also keeps the world's most awesome blog right here -- in fact, he recently did an interview with yours truly and is probably still waiting for me to send him those "new, creative photos" he requested before he posts it so I guess I'll have to figure out something today. Both my kids shudder at the thought of taking my pic because I am so NOT photogenic I hate them all and make them keep re-taking them much to their mortification. Nick kind of let me off the hook and said, "Well, Robin, they don't have to be photos of you, they can be cool photos of stuff around your house," but then that would mean I have to straighten up around here today and I'm not sure if I feel like doing that or not.
We shall see.
In other writing news, I'm sad to be missing Epicon (a book convention in Virginia Beach) this weekend but am thrilled to be part of the RT Convention from April 25-29 and will be signing books all day long on the 28th. Check out what I get to do during this five day span:
"Experience seven concurrent educational tracks, with 125 workshops for readers, authors, aspiring writers, independent booksellers, publishers, book distributors and chain bookstore buyers topped off with lots of fun parties.
What sets the RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION apart from any other convention? We understand the productive impact of mixing business and networking with fellowship and fun.
Begin each morning with a meet and greet mixer hosted by various authors and publishers. Then choose from a rich variety of over 125 informative workshops for readers, writers and booksellers. Cap off the afternoon with a fun-filled stimulating networking party. At dark, it's time to get ready for our sumptuous evening events.
Our Theme Events Include Magnificent Costume Balls and Dance Parties:
A Bevy of Authors Host The Medieval Faery Ball
Heather Graham's Vampires of the Wild, Wild West Dinner Theatre and Dance
Ellora's Cave Fantasy Moulin Rouge Party
(Yes, I will come dressed as Nicole Kidman. All I have to do is lose 100 pounds and the err..Jewish face)
Dorchester Publishing's Immortal Extravaganza
Harlequin's Paranormal Party for Their New Line, Nocturne
Other Events Include:
Romantic Times Giant Book Fair - with over 300 authors signing their latest books. Our much anticipated Mr. Romance Competition - where fans will cheer on 10 romantic hunks as they compete for the 2007 title in several areas of competition: looks, pose-down ability (for a cover) and aptitude for romance; Romantic Times Awards Luncheon presented by Triskelion Publishing and their authors - and the Best Books of the Year.
(Excuse me? Mr. Romance Competition? Oh god, I'll be at the bar getting drunk during that one...as far away from that thing as humanly possible.)
The final day of the convention is Psychic Sunday which offers fascinating demonstrations that explore our spiritual pathways and psychic skills. Attend the talks and classes presented by energy healers, channelers, and psychics, some of whom are familiar authors. Learn meditation techniques that deepen your intuitiveness and creativity. There will be opportunities to meet privately with psychic mediums.
(Now that I am into. But only if they tell me 2008 will see me with a best-selling book and traveling the world)
New Concepts Publishing celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the Sunday night Pajama Party with snacks, drinks, karaoke, dancing and loads of fun."
(Ahem. Karaoke? Aha! The chance to sing in public without my family wailing and putting their hands over their ears? I'll do that after sitting at the bar for a few hours, too...what a shame it's not right after Mr. Romance is crowned.)
So while not all of this is my typical cup o'tea so to speak, it is a lot of fun though whether I'm showing up in costume for any of this stuff is pretty much a no brainer: THE ANSWER IS NO. I mean, this convention basically covers all genres of "romance" from chick lit (me) to paranormal stuff so a lot of authors dress as fairy princesses, vampires, you name it. So what I might do is switch out of black t-shirts and jeans to...gasp...a black dress, because that's as close to stepping out of my usual persona as I can do without compromising my integrity.
Har har. What integrity, you ask? Yeah, I know, I asked myself the same question, but seriously, there's no reason for me to dress up because even in my novels, my characters wear all black, too, so technically I'm following the rules and am attending in said character.
And with that comment, let's call it a wrap. Does this blogpost make up for my disappearance this week? Is it meaty, big, and bouncy enough?
Hope so. If not, I hope to have a lot more...
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Some fun stuff arrived in my e-mail today:
"...I came across your story "Daddy Left Me Alone With God" and I was absolutely blown away by it...,my question is: Would you agree to let me use your story as a basis for my short film?
...I will give you full credit as author of the original story and if the film gets into festivals then, who knows, it may lead to something. Of course I will let you have a DVD of the film once it is finished. I hope you are agreeable and will let me use your wonderful story in this way. I look forward to hearing from you.
Pittot Films, Melbourne
0411 22 73 70
So that was a nice thing to wake up to.
Next, a couple of days ago I mentioned that there's a great radio station, 89.7 WNKU with an outrageously brilliant taste in music disc jockey named Jeff Menke who does a show every Saturday night at midnight called Rainbow Bridge. He sent me an email today as follows:
"Robin and all,
I think I have a pretty good show prepared for tonight and hope you can listen in. Beside the Lennon/Zappa song, there's Argent, Oingo Boingo, Billy Cobham (for Eric), King Crimson live from 1982 and more. I may also play an Adrian Belew tune with his band from the 1960's, The Denems"
Yep, you'd better believe I'll be listening in at 12:00 a.m. He also wrote to me in a prior email that "I plan to play Cold Turkey performed by John Lennon and Frank Zappa and The Mothers this weekend from the Fillmore in 1969 in your honor."
Here's the link to listen live. And I bet if you're really into the music, Jeff won't mind if you call him up and say Hi.
Okay, still waiting on some news, still writing up a storm, and currently contemplating whether it's finally safe to eat something other than toast or oatmeal for dinner tonight.
P.S. The photo I posted today has something to do with Daddy Left Me Alone with God and that's all I'm saying.
Friday, March 02, 2007
The Adrian Belew Power Trio performing Madness at the Southgate House
And here's a review of that show:
"The Adrian Belew Power Trio at the Southgate House in Newport: On one hand, it was a homecoming for guitar dynamo, pop stylist and instrumental innovator Belew, who was born in nearby Covington. On the other, the show was a celebration of the moment, as it was recorded for an upcoming live album to be titled Side Four. There even were a few Bears loose in the audience (specifically guitarist Rob Fetters and bassist Bob Nyswonger, who will be teaming up with Belew for a Bears reunion this summer). But the biggest thrill was getting to hear the guitarist's current trio in action. Over the past year, Belew has worked with a pair of industrious young siblings. Bassist Julie Slick, 21, and her drummer brother Eric, 19, attacked the monster funk of Writing on the Wall and Ampersand as well as the deep-pocket groove of Madness with a mix of youthful might and profound technical prowess. Such tunes gave Belew's poppish preferences a Red Hot Chili Peppers makeover, but the guitarist had plenty of other stylistic cards to play. Drive was a one-man-band carnival of pedal effects, echo devices and music that shifted from eerie twang to whammy bar-induced ambience. There also were nods to Belew's 25 years with King Crimson (a beastly Frame by Frame), early solo career delights (the big-beat guitar crunch sing-along Big Electric Cat) and forgotten gems (the percussive, almost tribal sounding title track to 1990's Young Lions) that were pumped up and delightfully mangled by the very un-slick sounding Slicks."
So that's cool. Delightfully Mangled. I like that name for a book. I think I'm going to use it for the next one, which I'm already plotting even though I'm still not feeling confident that Daddy Left Me Alone with God is finished. But yeah, Delighfully Mangled. I'm serious. It totally fits.
While I'm talking about writing, I learned I won this today from Rites of Romance for Another Bite of the Apple:
Best New Author 2006
Stella and Audra Price
Honorable Mention: Jacquelyn Frank
Best Artist 2006
Honorable Mention: Stella Price
Best Paranormal Book 2006
Sugar and Sin -Stella and Audra Price
Honorable Mention: Pack Challenge- Shelly Laurenston
Best Shifter Story 2006
Border Lair - Bianca D'Arc
Dark Side Of The Moon- Sherrilyn Kenyon
Honorable Mention:Kitten Mychael Black
Best Contemporary 2006
Tequila makes her clothes fall off - Cara North
Honorable Mention: Another Bite of the Apple- Robin Slick
Best Cover 2006
The Ice Dragon- Bianca D'Arc
Honorable Mention: Sugar and Sin- Stella and Audra Price
Best Erotica 2006
Sex Slave - Skylar Sinclair
Honorable Mention: A Bit of Rough- Laura Baumbach
Best Alt. Lifestyle 2006
Crimson Ambrosia- Sabrina Luna
Honorable Mention: Twice the Cowboy- James Buchanan
Best Book 2006
Michael Barnette Apocalypse Dance
Honorable Mention: Jacquelyn Frank Jacob
Best Publisher 2006
Honorable Mention: Phaze
Best Paranormal Author 2006
Honorable Mention: Christine Feehan
Best Vamp Story 2006
Midnight Sun-Rene Lyons
Honorable Mention: Hunting The Hunter by Shiloh Walker
So that's cool. My publisher won an Honorable Mention, too.
Also, I entered a fun contest today sponsored by Smith Magazine:
Everyone has a story. Can you tell yours in six words? Sure you can. Submit yours to be considered for SMITH's book of six-word memoirs, published in 2008 by HarperCollins, with short, short life stories from Dave Eggers, Moby, Mario Batali, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen J. Dubner--and maybe you.
Here's what I entered:
Babyboomer wonders: What the hell happened?
There are entries from some pretty cool authors on the website -- some of whom are friends of mine so to be honest, I'll be honored if they merely put mine up on the webpage.
Okay, I'm lying. Of course I want to be in the damn book. Wouldn't you?
I'm waiting on some other writing news - okay, a lot of writing news. I may be back if I hear anything.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Ha ha - I figured I didn't want to drive everyone nuts or worse, bore you to tears with daily photos of my kids and Adrian Belew (not that Adrian could ever be boring...oh my god, I hope you all read his blog every day -- he really does rock in every way possible) so I went shuffling through my various photo sites and found this one from a couple of years ago in NYC which I've probably posted before but I can't remember. The beautiful redhead planting one on my cheek is my "fellow" writer pal Maya whose dad was in the Allman Brothers so like, we have that in common (musician fathers from whom we are alienated har har) and no, no, it's not what you are thinking. We were talking books, shopping, and err...you know what? I think we might have been hamming it up for Ellen who at that time was telling us about this new novel she'd written and how she was trying to find an agent. Basically, that's what we talked about all through breakfast -- agent queries. And now look at us. A couple of years later and we're all like, an agent, ha ha, that's just step two out of a thousand more. Oh. Step one is actually writing something worthwhile. After that it's a total free-fall altogether.
By the way, notice I am wearing my black Nano t-shirt...that year I actually did complete a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I did it three times...four if you count my current book, but then again, that's taken me two Nanos' to finish so I'm not sure if it counts or not.
Anyway, as you can tell, I've rejoined the living and apparently do not have anything fatal after all, though on Sunday you could have fooled me. I mean, Saturday night I was fine...in fact, I was better than fine, I was awesome. Why? We went out to dinner, it was good, I had one glass of a really fine wine...then at midnight we tuned into radio station WNKU 89.7 and listened to the world's coolest disc jockey, Jeff Menke. He was at the Adrian Belew Power Trio show in Newport, KY for the recording of Side Four Live and he met up with Gary there, gave him his card, and told him he'd be playing Beatbox Guitar on his show this past Saturday and that we could hear the show via the internet. He said he was so blown away by the trio that he'd be talking them up on his program so that was all I had to hear -- I didn't even care that his show ran from midnight until 2:00 a.m. when I am usually dead to the world. Jeff is my new hero. Get a load of of what this man's got on his playlist:
The Beatles Come Together 1
The Zombies Time Of The Season Best Of The Zombies
John Lennon #9 Dream Walls And Bridges
Don Byron Bounce Of The Sugar Plum Faries / Powerhouse Bug Music
Todd Rundgren / Jeff Baxter Something To Fall Back On With A Little Help From My Friends
Queen Bohemian Rhapsody A Night At The Opera
David Bowie / Rick Wakeman Space Oddity Changesbowie
Ric Hickey And The Loose Wrecks Afterthoughts 2006
Adrian Belew Power Trio Beat Box Guitar Single
Gentle Giant All Through The Night Civilian
The Mothers Of Invention The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet Freak Out
Frank Zappa Drowning Witch Ship Arriving Too Late...
Pink Floyd One Of These Days Meddle
Dread Zeppelin I Can't Quit You Babe Un-Led-Ed
Primus My Name Is Mud Pork Soda
Colosseum II The Inquisition War Dance
10cc Blackmail The Original Soundtrack
Todd Rundgren Eastern Intrigue / Initiation Back To The Bars
The Allman Brothers Band Stormy Monday The Fillmore Concerts
Dixie Dregs Jessica California Screamin'
The J. Geils Band First I Look At The Purse Anthology
Edgar Winter's White Trash Tobacco Road Roadwork
Z Z Top Thunderbird Fandango
Frank Zappa Big Swifty / City Of Tiny Lights Make A Jazz Noise Here
Yes And You And I YesYears Vol. 4
King Crimson Frame By Frame B'Boom
The Who We're Not Gonna Take It / Summertime Blues Woodstock 1969
Dread Zeppelin Heartbreaker The Song Remains Insane
Man, look at those awesome tunes. And to think I've probably slept with half of the musicians in those bands....
Ha! Just kidding. But someone from a indie newspaper emailed me again about this little Robin Slick/Pamela DesBarre/Bebe Buell groupie article and no, I'm not going to give you the Hungarian translation again...okay, you twisted my arm, it says I'm still cool even if they've been unable to unearth a plaster cast with my signature on it.
Okay, they didn't say I was cool, they said I was coy.
Anyway, getting back to the fabulous Jeff, he did in fact play Beatbox Guitar, then went on to say that he has been around music for a long time (in fact, in a subsequent email, he told me he had tickets to see the Beatles but oh my god, they were cancelled due to inclement weather)...anyway, yeah, he's a fellow musicologist and he said very little comes down the pike today which makes him speechless and that's the way he felt when he saw Julie and Eric play with Adrian. He said he literally walked around for three days unable to talk because he was on such a high from the show. Funny story -- when he first started talking about the kids, he said "I, um, think they're from Pittsburgh" and of course Gary and I could not let that one pass so I said to Gary, "Hey, why not call him and say Hi and tell him that Julie and Eric are from Philadelphia! Gary does not have to be asked something like that twice, so like at 1:00 a.m. he called Jeff up and it was so totally cool - the two of them talked; Gary put me on the phone because Jeff reads my blog all the time (yes, I know. I'm not only right up there with Pamela DesBarre, I'm also giving Arianna Huffington a run for her money). After we hung up, Jeff not only told his listeners about our call, he went on to talk up the Belew Power Trio even more...and even gave everyone the name/link to my blog.
Trust me on this -- listening to Jeff Menke on Saturday nights at midnight is going to be a new weekly tradition in this house. Unfortunately, his shows are not archived but his set lists are and oh man, why isn't he here in Philadelphia? Our radio stations truly, truly suck. Well, I guess if you are into Blue Oyster Cult, rap music, or that idiot Rush Limbaugh you're in good shape, but if you have any taste at all, you are shit out of luck here. Which for a major city is just pitiful. Oh wait. That's the U.S. in general these days, huh. So lacking in good taste it's embarrassing. At least you get to hear some tasty indie stuff on internet radio but it would be nice if there was still such a thing as "underground F.M.". And if you know what I mean by that, well, you are probably, like me, sob...born before 1970.
Here's the link to listen live.
So yeah, we were totally stoked that night; we went to bed around 2:30 a.m., I felt great, and then an hour later, I woke up...oh my god, I thought I was dying. I literally could not even hold down a glass of water and every joint in my body ached beyond belief. As I tossed and turned, I considered the possibilities. Flu? Yeah, but usually you have some warning about that...like a scratchy throat the day before or a bad headache. Food poisoning? Nah, I didn't eat anything weird, and like I said, I only had one glass of wine. So it's now like 4:00 a.m. and I've now thrown up like six times in an hour and I figured this was it...you don't even want to know the morbid fantasies I entertained. But you know I was deathly ill if I was too sick to even go on line all day Sunday and check my email...plus, I didn't want to start looking up my symptoms on the internet because I was positive the web would confirm what I already knew -- I had something fatal and my death would be quick but not painless.
Anyway, Gary was a fucking prince. He stood over me while I was sick and kept handing me fresh buckets lined with plastic bags while he wiped my forehead with cold compresses and asked every five minutes if I wanted to go to the hospital. No, I did not want to go to the e.r.; I preferred to die in my own home.
To make a long story at least a bit shorter, I was still sick as a dog on Monday but able to check my email, where I learned that one of my favorite magazines was advertising Three Days in New York City on their front page...and that magazine is Juked. If you didn't go there last week and read Myfanwy Collins' phenomenal story, do yourself a favor and head over there this instant!
Speaking of Myfanwy, I lifted this quiz Who Is Your Inner Rock Chick? off her blog...and as I told her, Oh god, that was sobering. You know why? None of those questions really applied to me. Not the clothes, not the hair, not any of the lyrics. There were no categories for "dresses all in black" "long wild blonde hair" and "As soon as you're born, they make you feel small" (Working Class Hero, John Lennon). Anyway...after answering the questions as best I could, here's what it said:
You Are Avril Lavigne!
A bit hardcore on the outside...
But sweet and sensitive on the inside.
"It's a damn cold night
Trying to figure out this life"
Okay...if they say so.
While I'm still talking about music, sort of, and it's been what, a few paragraphs since I mentioned Adrian Belew, here's an extremely cool contest he's running at the moment: Have You Ever Wanted to Design An Album Cover?
Come on. You know you want to enter. Hey, if I wasn't connected to the band, I'd submit something for sure.
Okay, now that I've totally lost my train of thought...getting back to Monday, so yeah, I was starting to feel a little better but the room was still spinning and I still couldn't eat, which, if you know me at all, just doesn't happen. I can always force a little something down. To say I'm a foodie is putting it mildly. But I did walk away from the computer without going to Web M.D. and then the next thing I know, Eric looks at me and I notice he's white as a ghost.
"Mom...I don't feel so good..."
And so it really began in earnest...Eric all Monday night into Tuesday...and then Tuesday, an hour after leaving for work, Gary came bursting through the door in a cold sweat which later turned into the fever from hell (it's funny how this thing manifests itself differently in everyone it hit...Julie came down with it as well but with her it was more of an ache-y headcold kind of thing)...he'd hurled into a dumpster behind his office before coming home but that was it...and he was able to hold down liquids thank God which helped the fever. But you should have seen the three of us. We were really a sad, sad bunch.
The only good news is, as quick as this plague came upon us, it's gone, and we're all really skinny. I am determined to make this weight loss stick this time though to be honest, nothing rich or fattening really appeals to me at all...I'm fine with brown rice and steamed veggies.
Did I just say that? Holy cow, it's worse than I thought. I wasn't really sick; an alien entered my body. Help! I'm a pod person! Next thing you know, I'm going to be reading the Wall Street Journal, dressing in bright colors, and doing aerobics to seventies disco music.
So let's see. What else do I need to tell you. Oh yeah, for those still reading (both this blog and in general), I got a very nice review of Another Bite of the Apple from the Romance Studio which I seriously think helped in my recovery this week. I am hoping to see Another Bite out in paperback with its brand new, incredibly cool cover out in the near future and of course will be posting the usual billboards across the universe when it does.
And just a reminder that I'm still accepting submissions for 39 and Holding...please don't be shy. The anthology is starting to fill up nicely...I've gotten a few stellar pieces, one from a very well known author, so you know you want to be a part of this incredible anthology, right? Right!
Finally, I know I don't have to remind anyone how much I love Lit Park, but you should really head over there this week...not only is there an interview with fabulous author Amy Wallen, there's also some really funny, funny stuff courtesy of author James Spring and a hilarious trip through Trader Joe's. Make sure you read the comments section for the posts on both Monday and Wednesday -- they alone are worth the price of admission.
What the hell did I just mean by that? Damn if I know. Okay, I'm starting to babble, which means it's time for me to go.
Oh. One final cool thing. I bought Julie a necklace from my new favorite jeweler, Natalie of Pashupatina who I met via the Fabulist, an incredible, incredible site which I was turned on to by...okay, give me a break, I haven't mentioned him in weeks, Neil Gaiman and I am linking his journal because he's had a very interesting dialogue going on this week about librarians and the right wing which is more than a little disturbing. Anyway, getting back to my original comment, when you click on the link for Pashupatina, on the left hand side you'll see another link for "customer photos". Click on that...and have a look at the very first photo you see.
Yes. I know. That is one gorgeous necklace. And one gorgeous daughter.