Today is Blog Silence Day.
Therefore, I will be back tomorrow with a full glowing report on the RT Convention.
Be warned I am taking a new approach here...WWNGD, or What Would Neil Gaiman Do. Meaning, he never trashes anyone or anything in his journal unless he is really provoked by someone/something outrageously wrong. While it would be fun to tell you about some of the horrors I endured this past week at RT, I also met some very cool writers and readers and will concentrate on that instead.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Me practically inhaling a glass of wine at the Lit Lounge in New York City after spending the day shopping on the Upper West Side with Julie
So as I talked about here a few days ago, I'm leaving tomorrow morning for five days at the RT Convention where I will be cavorting as a faery one night and on another evening as the-more-likely-of-the-two-scenarios -- a vampire.
Kill me now. Please. I'm begging you.
Oh, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
Sadly, I'm not taking a laptop with me because even though for once I was organized enough to ship a lot of books and other assorted things to the hotel by UPS, I ended up forgetting a lot of it so I've already got a huge stuffed carry-on bag and something I hope passes for a handbag or I'm screwed and will have to check one of them in.
Anyway, what this means is, unless the hotel has a place where I can go on line for several minutes uninterrupted, I may not be back here until Monday.
Yes, I know. You are all heartbroken.
But I will try. I'll have my camera with me and it would be a blast to blog live from this thing...you know, posting photos of half naked male cover models vying for the title of Mr. Romance...middle aged women in vampire outfits...
Oh god. Please kill me. I'm not kidding this time.
Yeah, I am.
I do have some cool writing news before I leave. I was graciously invited by Mark Bastable and Karen Dionne to be on a panel called "Writing the Edge” at the BackSpace Writers Conference which is held at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Authors Marlys Pearson, Jackie Kessler, and yours truly will address gay Regency romance, paranormal steamy romance, and my specialty, humorous erotica...and what it's like to be outside of the mainstream. I believe tickets are still available for this conference and you can order them via the above link.
Sounds like a lot of fun, and we kick off with drinks on Wednesday, May 30 through Friday June 1, 2007.
Wait. We won't be drinking straight through those three days, we'll be working.
We'll be drinking through the night.
Oh, I'm kidding again. These are just my "Oh my god I have to get on a flight tomorrow morning headed for Houston, Texas where I must dress as a faery and vampire" nerves.
In the event I do not find my way back online until Monday, in the words of the great Neil Gaiman, please don't break the Internet while I'm gone.
Monday, April 23, 2007
6:30-8:00: SOR All-Stars w/Skunk Baxter
4:30-6:00: The Benevento/Russo Duo
3:00-4:00: Stinking Lizaveta
1:30-2:30: The Mike Keneally Trio
12:00-1:00: Local Branch Upgrade (?)
11:00-11:45: PGSORM Shred Contest Rd 1
8:30-10:00: Bad Brains
6:30-8:00: SOR All-Stars w/Vernon Reid
5:00-6:00: The Bouncing Souls
3:30-4:30: The Adrian Belew Trio
1:00-1:45: Rudy and Blitz
11:00-11:45: PGSROM Shred Contest Finals
So yeah, there's supposed to be a big press release with this but someone from the Ween forum board just gave me a heads up that the news is officially "reportable" because the announcement and poster was made in their forum by Ween's manager...so...here's the deal.
Originally, the Saturday line-up was the Sunday line-up and The Adrian Belew Power Trio was playing with Benevento/Russo, Mike Keneally, and Ween as the headliner. Which worked well for Eric Slick, drummer, as he is also drummer for the Mike Keneally Trio, which features Bryan Beller on bass. But then the Bad Brains were added as a headliner and they could only do Sunday, so the line-ups were switched.
Problem was, the Adrian Belew Trio had already worked a short east coast mini-tour around the SOR Fest, and are playing at the Sellersville Theater on Saturday night. So the trio decided to stick with the Sunday schedule and yep, play on the same bill as McRad (and to make this a little more incestual, Julie occasionally sits in on bass with them and whether she will at the festival is still up in the air but she'd do it in a heartbeat if asked) and Bad Brains.
But let me tell you what this means for the Slick family. Eric still wants to play with Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller on Saturday.
So. Here's what we must now do to make all of this work. The Belew trio's first night of shows on this tour is Friday, June 22 at Rams Head Live in Anapolis, Maryland. We'll be at that show and then take Eric home with us and head out to Asbury Park early Saturday morning so that he can play with Keneally. Then, when he's done, we will then drive 100 miles to the Sellersville Theater where he will do a show with Adrian that night. As if that's not enough, he will return to Asbury Park Sunday morning, because he's doing a side stage gig there with Dave Dreiwitz of Ween in the band Crescent Moon, followed by his gig with Adrian. While Eric is playing with Crescent Moon, Julie may very well be on another stage playing with McRad...but again...McRad does have a regular bassist so that part of the deal may be moot.
Still with me? After Eric and possibly Julie get done their side stage gigs, they play 2 hours with Adrian, then head to BB Kings in New York City for a show there with the Belew Trio on Monday night.
I figure we're going to log about 500 miles on our car that weekend, but who cares?
MUSIC IS THE BEST!!!!!!
(Regarding the above posted line-ups: The bands are obviously listed in reverse time order. I'm still giggling over someone at the Ween forum board thinking Ween is playing at 8:30 A.M. Errr...no.)
Alas, we will not be accompanying the Belew Trio to Japan. We have a beach house and will go there for two weeks and most likely stare catatonically at the walls for a couple of days before we can decompress.
P.S. I do believe that those of you lucky enough to attend will be treated to an Adrian Belew/Vernon Reid jam...and how freaking funny, someone on Adrian's blog just asked him in the comments section if they are friends...I mean, they asked him a couple of days ago before anyone knew about this show, which is way freaky.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The always beautiful Julie Slick with the Adrian Belew Power Trio
Yep, the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be playing five nights at the Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan, from July 17-21.
And err...did I say anything about Quebec the week before? Stay tuned...still trying to get confirmation but it is looking good.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Brilliant violinist Katie Jacoby, Slide guitarist extraordinaire Sarah Zimmermann, Best Female Shredder Guitarist Ever Courtney Cox, Amazing bassist Andy Zimmerman, and the insanely talented drummer Eric Slick -- all of whom will someday appear on a Hard Rock Park Mountain of their own and I am really stoked by the park's choices of John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix. (Okay, so I'm not an Elvis fan...but yeah, yeah, he deserves to be there)
The park actually has an entire section devoted to the British Invasion and there's my lucky son and gang crossing Abbey Road.
And outside the Magical Mystery Tour Bus (this is the bus which picked them up in Philadelphia, complete with beds and large screen TV).
Here they are about to immortalize Rock School.
Eric, I love this picture of you:
Oh my god, how cool is that...Eric is like one of the first drummers ever to get his own "Stick of Fame" at Hard Rock Park.
And finally, for my good pal Paul Green, the man who made all of the miracles happen:
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So that would be Eric and Julie at Zappanale last summer, and if you look in the background, there's Adrian talking with Gary. The reason I am posting that photo today is because when they played at both the Zappa festival and the Herzberg Festival in Germany the following week, also on the bill was the incredible Soft Machine featuring legendary guitarist John Etheridge.
Here's a photo of John at Zappanale with his sax player:
Anyway, yesterday morning, as we were having our coffee and reading the newspaper, Gary said to me, "Oh look, John Etheridge!" and he pointed to John's pic and an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer which talks about John, who will be performing tonight at the Kimmel Center.
Naturally, Gary befriended John at Zappanale (Gary befriended everyone on the Belew tour from the California Guitar Trio to Paul McCartney's rhythm guitarist, who, by the way, has one of the coolest websites ever. I am so, so jealous...heh...not of Rusty's website, but of my husband's effortless ability to make cool friends)..anyway, he finished reading the article and remarked to me "Ha ha, if John were to bump into Eric today, he'd know him right away and say Hi and hang out with him."
I was busy drinking my coffee trying to wake up and also idly wondering who sent me email at 7:00 a.m. since I heard the "You've Got Mail" thing go off on the computer so I really wasn't paying attention, I just said Yeah, Yeah, Oh really? and went to check my mail which turned out to be an inquiry as to whether I'd like a visit from the Big Dick Fairy. (Only if it's someone bringing me the head of Cheney on a silver plate but that's another story)
Anyway, I went about hitting the "spam" button, Gary went upstairs to get dressed for work, and we went about our respective days.
I got home around 3:00 p.m. and Eric was packing, getting ready to leave for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (see post below). The Hard Rock Park people ended up sending a luxury tour bus, complete with beds, to pick up Eric and the rest of the band at 9:00 p.m. last night, delivering them to VIP suites at the not-even-opened yet five star Hard Rock Hotel...but in the meantime, Eric said to me, "Hey, Mom, I think I'd better go to 8th Street Music, (which is about a twenty minute walk from our house in downtown Philly), to pick up some new drum sticks."
Oh. By the way. Eric just obtained another endorsement -- this time for for drumsticks -- from Vader but alas they won't here for a couple of days so he wanted to stock up for this performance.
So he left the house at around 4:00 p.m., which was only about an hour or two before 8th Street Music closed for the evening. 8th Street is one of the few remaining mom and pop style privately owned music stores still around -- as you know, the world is now dominated by the Sam Ash Music and Guitar Centers of the world -- still very cool places, but you know me, I really do have that anti-corporate mentality.
Gary came home from work and we were doing our usual non-cocktail cocktail hour, meaning, at 6:00 p.m. we crash upstairs and watch the Simpsons, in between rehashing the respective horrors of our day. Just kidding -- but Gary will talk about work, I'll talk about writing, we'll both talk about the kids and the dog...and mainly, what do we feel like eating for dinner. All of a sudden, my cell phone rang.
"Hi, Eric. What's up?"
"You'll never guess what just happened."
"What?" Naturally I was immediately alarmed because, well, it wouldn't be me otherwise.
"I'm at 8th Street music right now (where, Eric will be mortified to read this but it's true, he's a bit of a local celebrity because most of the guys who work there are drummers and love Danny Carey, who played with Adrian Belew on Side One and Side Three along with bassist Les Claypool before Ade hired Julie and Eric as his new bassist and drummer) and we're talking about Adrian and my show tomorrow night and you are not going to believe this..."
By the way, here's a pic of Julie I just found on the Zappanale web site from the same set of shows and she's so freaking gorgeous I have no choice but to interrupt what I was telling you and post it now:
Okay, back to the story.
"So you're talking to the guys at 8th Street about Belew and the upcoming tour and the Myrtle Beach Show and then what?"
"This man, who was buying a pedal, pointed to me, like 'Hey, it's you! I know you!'...and I looked at him, he was so familiar...but I couldn't place him for a minute."
"And then he realized I was trying to figure out where I knew him from, and he said, "I'm John Etheridge. We played together in Germany. You're in Adrian's band!"
So Eric was completely freaked out, all of the guys working at 8th Street Music were freaked out, and Eric ended up talking with John for an hour. John asked Eric for both his phone number and email address (ha ha, I wonder why, though Eric is so modest he can't admit to himself that maybe John wants to do a future project with him because he's such a great fucking drummer but in a way, I'm extremely glad Eric is so grounded and humble...a lot of twenty year olds would let all of this go straight to their heads and not handle it nearly as well).
So Eric is telling me all of this on the phone and Gary is right next to me in bed and hears the entire conversation and he's practically speechless.
"What did I say to you this morning, Rob?"
Err...I don't know. What did he say again?
"I said if John were to bump into Eric today, he'd know him right away and they'd end up hanging out."
"That's right! You did!"
I handed him the phone and he told Eric the story, and Eric was really stunned because, as he said to me, "what were the chances we'd be in that store at the very same minute...I could have gone any time that day but I waited until the place almost closed because I spent all day learning the songs for the Myrtle Beach set list and practicing."
By the way, in case anyone is going to that show tonight, the set list is phenomenal. They're doing a free form insane version of Zappa's King Kong with Katie Jacoby doing an unbelievable electric violin solo and I am seriously hoping someone is there with a video camera and at least part of this concert ends up on You Tube...it's going to be that good.
Back to John Etheridge and Eric, it turns out that John and Soft Machine are touring Japan throughout July, and while I can't confirm this now for sure, after talking about the respective venues in Japan, it appears that Soft Machine may be joining the Adrian Belew Power Trio for part of their far eastern tour but I'm not positive so I will wait for the official word out of Camp Belew.
All I know is, I'm starting to get really excited. And wait until I'm able to post the press release coming this Monday about that major show in June I hinted about yesterday. There may be a change in plans...Adrian, Julie and Eric may be playing more than one show on June 23 at two different venues and the June 24 date may be wrong...but you are all just going to have to wait until Monday to find out what the hell I'm talking about.
Trust me. It will be worth it.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Ching Pea* and me (and yeah, yeah, I eat, sleep, and shower in that Gaiman t-shirt...it's become part of my body. The little sweetheart in the photo is Jai, Ching Pea's beautiful daughter)
So I've been running around like a crazy person, getting ready for the book convention next week, writing, editing, making goodie bags to hand out (see post below)...as advertised in said prior post, I really have lost my mind.
To add to my hysteria, I have had the head cold from hell all week (this has not been a good year for me healthwise...bleh) and we are currently in the middle of a monsoon/ice storm on April 16 in Philadelphia, so for those of you who doubt the effects of global warming...get real. Good lord, I just looked out the window. There's two inches of snow on the ground right now!
I'm just glad we didn't fill our flower boxes yet. Sheesh.
Anyway, I do have some cool music/writing news so I thought I'd take a break and blog today.
My insanely talented, world traveler son Eric Slick will be in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 playing at Hard Rock Park, opening for The Marshall Tucker Band, who are famous for that song "Cant you see, can't you see...what that woman...been doin' to me", which I'm sure would be my husband's theme song if he didn't dislike most southern rock har har, and Sister Hazel who, I must admit, I've never heard of before in spite of being a self-proclaimed musicologist because, as we all know, I am a Guitar God woman.
Joining Eric for this show will be the fabulous Sarah Zimmermann on slide guitar and Courtney Cox, on truly awesome shredder style lead guitar and no, no, please do not confuse our Courtney with that anorexic chick from Friends who danced with gah...the Boss (double gah and gag, too) when MTV still showed rock videos. Here's a news blurb about both the park and the show on the 18th.
Speaking of Eric, and daughter Julie, yay! Another two months and the Adrian Belew Power Trio takes to the road again on the heels of their soon to be released new CD, Side Four Live. Dates so far are as follows:
June 22, 2007: Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, Maryland;
June 23, 2007: Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, Pennsylvania
June 24, 2007: TBA - Major announcement coming via press release one week from today!
June 25, 2007: BB Kings, New York City
July, 2007: Tokyo, Japan
In other Belew related news, and I'll be posting this link again on Saturday, as I've mentioned before, Gary and I befriended Jeff Menke, an ultra cool old school underground FM d.j. who has a show at WNKU Public Radio from midnight until 2:00 a.m. on Saturday evenings. Anyway, I sent him an MP3 of "Madness" from the fourth time the Power Trio ever played together live at Zappanale this past summer -- and it was a pretty amazing show considering that the airline lost all of Adrian's equipment, pedals, effects, etc. and he basically went on stage with just a guitar and a then nineteen year old drumer and a twenty year old bassist (who is now twenty-one and drinking shots of tequilla at a recent Doctor Dog concert -- heh -- I have eyes everywhere, Julie) so they had to cut certain songs and do free form, extended jams on others. In listening to this incredible MP3, which Jeff is going to play on his radio show this coming Saturday night, you would think that they'd been together for years and years and performing under ideal circumstances. And if you like what you hear, you can order the CD/DVD package from the Arf Society website .
In writing news, as I've also mentioned before, I have an essay entitled "Psychotic Reaction - Blog Trips for the Wordly Writer" which appears in the new print issue of N.L. Belardes' Noveltown Review, and I have to say N.L. has one of the more interesting blogs I've come across. While looking for his post on a recent mixer he held for the debut of Noveltown (where is that post, Nick? I want to read it and I want photos!)...I found this and ooh, does it make for some dishy reading. And if you read the comments section, you will see an extremely intelligent remark from *Ching Pea, who is Nick's business and life partner and yep, the one kissing me in the above photo.
Seems to me I have more news but I can't think of it at the moment so as usual, if I can remember what the hell I was going to say or get inspired, I will be back...
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So as I frantically try to get my act together for the RT Convention where I will be for five days, two weeks from today, networking, partying, signing, and selling books, I have a couple of new additions to my wardrobe courtesy of my publisher and my very own Cafe Press Store, also known as "Phazed and Confused". This, and some of the cool promo stuff I'll be handing out at the convention, would not have been achieved without the help of 2006 Eppie Award winner Alessia Brio.
Here's the shirt she designed for another bite:
So yeah, you can purchase these cool t-shirts, tote bags, coffee cups, posters, by clicking on the above link to my little shop on the web.
Alessia received my frantic e-mail this past weekend as I struggled to upload jpgs of my business card and book covers and turn them into bookmarks, shiny postcards, giftbags, magnets, etc. as promo to give out at the convention along with some other goodies which I'll post below just so you can see for yourselves that yes, it's true, I have lost my mind.
But first things first. So if you click on the link for the RT Convention provided above and have a look at the parties, the first night we have a vamp/Moulin Rouge decadent chocolate party sponsored by megapublisher Ellora's Cave. The following night is the Faery Ball, followed by Friday evening's Wild West Vampire affair (yeah, I know...vampires in cowboy hats...wait...isn't that our President?)...and finally, on Saturday, something with which I can at least identify a tiny bit - Dorchester Publishing's Immortal Rock and Roll party. Yep. Immortal rock and rollers. Ha ha - that's an oxymoron for you, huh.
Anyway, these are all costume events. Now, I've made it pretty clear how I feel about costumes. I don't even wear colors -- if it's not black, forget it. Basically I was planning on wearing my above two new t-shirts. So I started asking around -- I talked to other authors, friends, and they were all like, "Okay, I guess you can skip the costume, but you still need to wear something "after six" to the Ellora's Cave party and pretty much "nice slacks" or "fancy dress" to the others...
See what I'm saying here? Either way, I was screwed. The only party I had an outfit for was the final one on Saturday night -- rock and roll immortals -- where I'd just wear my usual black jeans, t-shirt, black leather jacket and shades.
Okay. I took stock of my wardrobe. I opened my closet and hoped for a miracle. Let's see. Four long sleeved black blouses. Several long sleeved black polos. About a hundred black t-shirts. Three pair of black jeans. Three pair of Lucky Jeans (trust me on this -- once you go Lucky you will never go back)...and one very sad looking black suede skirt from the eighties.
I sighed. Soo...it meant I had to go shopping -- something I loathe unless it's for cool art, books, or CDs -- and buy three new black dresses which I'd probably never wear again. I started looking around on line, threw my hands in the air, and said "This is freaking ridiculous. I could fly to London and have a nice vacation for what this is going to cost."
Because naturally I didn't have shoes to go with any of this formal wear, either.
In the meantime, I started emailing with some more authors attending, one of whom I met at RT in 2005 and really, really love based on our mutual adoration of music and the fact that she's from England and had a very special connection with the late Chas Chandler. In case you are too lazy to click on the link, Chas played bass on the Animal's House of the Rising Sun and We Gotta Get Out of this Place in addition to managing Jimi Hendrix and introducing Hendrix to Clapton, thus giving Jimi a chance to play with Cream on stage.
Anyway, it turned out that she was not only dressing up, she wrote "As I'm on the Faery Court, I've got a very elaborate, wickedly expensive ball dress. Do not imagine you can compete with this number! We have lots of immortals as well as the usual non-human critters. How about, though, acting as a character from one of the books?"
Oh man, she threw down the gauntlet. Now I wasn't merely screwed, I was ultra screwed. Subsequent emails edged me on a little more.
I realized that for me, buying a dress and actually wearing it was technically a costume, so why not really go for it after all? I started googling faery costumes, vampire costumes, and what do you know? I found all this goth stuff! Not only all black, even the faery stuff, but way cooler than any dress I could have found at, bleh, The Gap and suchlike places.
As I researched just what does a faery wear, I learned that there are several different kinds, and I would need to accessorize.
No, no, I wasn't going to carry a magic wand, but I did need a headpiece. I went from website to website. Nothing appealed to me -- everything I found would make me either look like an escapee from a mental institution or a bride who found her veil at Wal-Mart.
And then I found this:
Isn't that the coolest faery crown ever? I mean, it's gorgeous, it's handmade, and cost about the same as a hardcover book. I found it at Heirloom Ribbon and Beadwords where I've already bonded with the two beautiful owners, Taryn and Pamela, and you really need to visit their site, say hi, and maybe order some other cool stuff they've got available...they really are terrific and sweet and are bending over backwards to accommodate me.
"Do you make these in black?" Ha ha - my first question.
"If it's custom made, will it be ready and at my house before April 24?"
The answer was yes to both, but in the end, I decided to go with the one pictured because it matches a beautiful crystal necklace I own -- which I already know is a must to wear with a faery dress. Get it? Faeries - magic crystals?
Oy. I really have lost my mind. Anyway, wanna see my faery dress? Here's a pic:
Don't worry. I'm bringing a camera with me to RT and I wouldn't miss this photo opportunity for the world. Fear not -- I will get someone to take pictures so you can see for yourself how I look as both a faery...and...gasp...a vampire, because guess what, I found this number and bought it as well:
Okay, so now I'm covered for the Faery Ball and the Vampire thing (by the way, I'm wearing black cowboy boots which I already owned with the vampire dress because in my mind, how else would a Wild Wild West Vampire dress?). I still needed an after six Moulin Rouge outfit. Now that one was difficult. So I decided to hit Ebay, because really, if you can't find it there, it doesn't exist.
Much to my shock, I found a $225.00 brand new Betsey Johnson dress for $35.00 in my size! Only one problem. There were four hours left to bid, and eight bidders. I wanted that dress! It was mine! It was black, it was ultra cool, it was an incredible bargain. Luckily, Julie and Eric taught me how to be Ebay savvy. I made sure the highest bid was $35.00 and waited until there was one minute left to bid. Uh-oh, someone bid $40.00. $41.00. 35 seconds left. I figured, screw it. I'll go as high as $50.00. With ten seconds left, I threw up my bid, gulped, and waited.
I won! I won! Here's my Betsey...the only dress I think I've ever really been excited about:
I sat back in my chair and breathed a deep sigh of relief. Done, done, done. Now. All I needed was my promo stuff, and as I said, Alessia helped me big time. Here's my new business card, which, as you can see, is taken from the logo on my website which was designed by both daughter Julie and me and executed by my lovely webmistress, Glass Slipper Web Design.
These business cards were also turned into shiny, laminated, two sided bookmarks and ultra cool magnets.
Alessia also made me these high gloss postcards of both the front and back covers of all of my books -- here's Another Bite:
Anyway, now all I needed was additional goodies to put into these really cool red mesh and satin drawstring gift pouches I'd purchased. So each one will have, in keeping with the apple theme, a few of these:
That's premium chocolate, baby, with a gooey caramel center. I will have buckets and buckets of those to give out at my signing table as well.
I'll also be handing out these in my goodie bags -- I actually bought several different types but here are a few examples:
So that's my RT Convention story. Now my latest worry - for once in my life I'm totally prepared, but there's no way all of this stuff is fitting in a carry-on bag so I'm going to be forced to use real luggage (I also need five days worth of regular clothes to wear to various meetings and workshops held 9-5). So naturally I'm already hyperventilating that the airline is going to lose it all.
Oh well. If that happens, I really will lose my mind so it won't matter.
If you have managed to reach it to this section and I've actually held your attention with all of the above RT ramblings, let me quickly switch to music news, which is way exciting and deserves its own separate post. But seeing as I'm not sure I'm allowed to announce it yet, here's a hint:
The Adrian Belew Power Trio, which, as you know ad nauseam features my son Eric on drums, daughter Julie on bass, and the legendary Adrian on vocals and guitar, has begun to make their summer touring plans. Can you say east coast swing with one particular incredible show featuring a few megabands and son Eric doing double duty on the drums with at least two other megastars?
Can you say Canada?
Can you say...JAPAN???????????????
Ahem. That's all I'm saying for now. Sit tight. A formal announcement will be forthcoming which will blow your minds.
But for now, I leave you with this, which a friend with a very wicked sense of humor was kind enough to send me.
As you watch this and have a giggle (or in my case...this actually made me cry...but then again, I'm a raging hormonal mess these days)...please click on their The Zimmers Band MySpace site and read about them. It's actually both uplifting and tragic at the same time.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
That totally cracked me up. Ho ho ho. Oh. Wait. Wrong holiday. Oh well, as we all know, I don't believe in Easter, however, I am thrilled for any excuse to eat chocolate. Therefore, I would say it's time to decapitate another bunny about now...
Friday, April 06, 2007
Sorry for the gross photo if you are a vegetarian (see below)...but for some reason, it's cracking me up and wtf, they are links, aren't they?
So it's Friday, a holiday weekend, and I've been buried with writing, editing, and getting my head together in time for the book convention in three weeks, so I thought I'd post some cool links to sites where I've been playing during my now precious little down time.
This is a cool one for writers -- it's a genie where you paste in a portion of your work, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, or a blogpost -- and the genie will tell you if you are a man or a woman. I tried to trick the thing like 50 times (hmm..maybe I do have too much time on my hands) and I couldn't do it...it's deadly.
So, for your Friday challenge -- see if you can beat the Gender Genie.
Then, for a total waste of time altogether but lots of fun nevertheless, you can upload your photo and dress yourself in various disguises and then be part of an on line gallery courtesy of Andy Barker, P.I.
If you want to see how I look in a tie dyed shirt with raven colored dreadlocks, click at your own risk here. I think you may have to use Firefox as your browser to see that -- Netscape didn't work, but that could be me. And yes, I know, I did a terrible job...I am going to try it again later and have more fun with it, like, dress myself in a police outfit with those dreadlocks instead of trying to be "pretty". Heh. I just wish I could figure out how to lift the photo and post it here but it's not letting me.
If you are a Monty Python fan -- and hopefully everyone who reads my blog is one or I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to go away, you will be totally addicted to the insane Spam-A-Lot Game.
You may also be interested in knowing just how lusty you are, but if that doesn't appeal to you, how about:
How sinful are you?
Are you a tortured genius?
Could you be a vegetarian?
Maybe you'd be more interesting in learning whether or not you are a paranoid schizophrenic? (I personally am afraid of taking that quiz)
Yeah, I'm better off sticking with Which artist should paint my portrait?
Nah, scratch that -- I'd rather know "What kind of rocker are you?"
Okay, that quiz I had to take now.
Oh good fucking lord...
|You Are an Emo Rocker!|
Expressive and deep, lyrics are really your thing.
That doesn't mean you don't rock out...
You just rock out with meaning.
For you, rock is more about connecting than grandstanding.
Expressive and deep, lyrics are really your thing.
That doesn't mean you don't rock out...
You just rock out with meaning.
For you, rock is more about connecting than grandstanding.
Well, the description fits, even if the music doesn't. Christ, how in the world did that happen? Sadly, I was completely honest when I filled out the form so it must be true.
I don't even know any Emo rockers. I figured I'd get "cranky jaded cynical hippie". Oh. Wait. That's probably not even in the answers. Oh well. At least I'm not Gwen Stefani. My God. She grates on my nerves like you would not believe. I actually saw her on television the other day doing a song where she yodels while dressed in a little Catholic school uniform (err..Gwen...forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't you pushing 40? Ugh, between your choice of music and those Britney dance moves you make me want to hurl a year's worth of food)
Anyway, that's it for now. I'm taking off for breakfast with my son at what looks to be a most interesting restaurant - Cafe Lift.
Hopefully my hardest decision today will be deciding between the scrambled eggs and lump crab meat on a toasted English muffin topped with hollandaise sauce or the Challah bread dredged in a cinnamon vanilla custard, baked & then topped with fresh seasonal fruit, served with homemade whipped cream and real maple syrup.
Yikes -- I just saw this one: Bananas and a chocolate hazelnut spread with homemade whipped cream in a Italian style crepe.
Hopefully my doctor doesn't read my blog -- I'm supposed to be eating lettuce leafs and brown rice, joining a gym, and...ugh...it's too depressing to think about. Luckily I love my doctor and he's very kind - he just looks at me sadly and I know what he must be thinking: "Robin has a death wish".
No, I do not -- in fact, Dr. X -- when you see me this morning (prior to breakfast out with Eric) -- you will be thrilled to learn I've lost ten pounds since I visited you last -- which is why I may allow myself the above mentioned treat. Or, you just may guilt me into having the veggie fritatta.
Whatever. It's all good.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
...and that would be with a backing band of Ween -- Gene and Dean Ween on keyboard and guitar respectively, Dave Dreiwitz on bass, and former Particle guitarist Scott Metzger.
This You Tube is from the NPR/World Cafe Live show on December 8, 2006.
You can listen to the rest of the concert, which includes the hauntingly beautiful "What We Do Not Know" and "Teach Me", right here.
Ahh...I love waking up to presents like this.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The beautiful Hyatt Hotel, where I'll be attending a book convention and signing in three weeks
So since there is a rare lull in music news in the Slick household and it's suddenly occurred to me that I'll be traveling across the country in a few weeks to party, network, sell and sign books with authors and fans from literally all over the world for five crazy, fun-filled days here, I thought I would point out a few authors who are really, really special and talented and make my soul rise. But before I do that, oh god, I just realized that because we are assigned alphabeticallly to "signing tables" at the book fair, I will be sitting next to the infamous Christina Skye. She's a most interesting woman with thousands and thousands of fans so while people snake in long lines for her autograph, I can only hope I pick up her overflow. Note to self: Buy lots of chocolate to hand out. I'm serious. Christina is terrific and it's kind of humbling to watch her fans approach her one by one, some unable to speak because they're so choked up over the profound effect her books have had on them. Cool, huh?
Anyway, back to some friends of mine.
First of all, I make no secret that I'm a big Theresa Boyer fan and I was thrilled to nominate her brilliant story, Waxing Razal for the Million Writers Award. Seriously. Read that story and learn from a master. Or mistress. Ha. Whatever.
Also, had she not already been nominated, I would have also put in a vote for Kat Denza and her incredible piece, Snake Dreams. Another must read and I see it was the lst runner up in the Storyglossia Fiction Prize, 2006.
Another amazing story comes courtesy of Richard Grayson entitled La Difficulte d'Etre. After you read Richard's short story, click on the link to his bio where I guarantee you will be completely spellbound.
Some of my pals have been interviewed lately as well.
Author Kelly Spitzer interviews Dave Clapper.
Dave is the editor/founder of Smokelong Quarterly, which, as I've said on many occasions, is probably one of the finest 'zines out there, along with Juked. Both Dave and John Wang, editor of Juked, have an incredible eye for literature and can tell the difference between talent and "unstructured, ungrammatical, airheaded shit". (I'm quoting a friend who shall remain nameless because he threatened to kill me if I mention him in my blog. Just kidding...but he knows I love his lines and steal them whenever I can)
While you are on Kelly's website, please also read her sparkling conversations with four of my other favorite writers -- here are the links:
Interview with Ellen Meister;
Interview with Alicia Gifford;
Interview with Kathy Fish;
Interview with Mary Akers.
These are not only brilliant women but extremely classy ones -- people who neither flaunt their talent nor whine about themselves or the publishing world -- they are graceful, lovely people and it's a joy to know them and read their work.
Also interviewed this month is my usual favorite suspect, Susan Henderson, who gives us yet more insight into her incredible mind over at Insolent Rudder, and while I was lifting that link, I saw that the insanely fabulous Jeff Landon is the author spotlight this quarter and let me tell you, that is one funny man and one hell of a terrific writer. I strongly suggest you google him, as well as the others mentioned like Alicia Gifford, Kathy Fish et al and read a lot of their work. You'll not only have a wonderful read but again, you may even learn something.
I know I've left some people out -- take a look at my reading recommendations on the right hand side, for one thing -- but it's early and I've got to fly for now -- so there will definitely be "The Awesome Writer Post - Part II" coming your way in the very near future. Count on it!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Photo of the band taken by Gary Slick on Friday, March 30 at the Black Lodge
There's Eric Slick on drums/percussion (which included everything from a ladder to PVC pipe to pieces of sheet metal), Elliott Levin on sax...and the names of the rest of the band members are listed in the below review, which, naturally, gave me the chills:
"ELLIOTT LEVIN and The Black Lodge Ensemble
Finally, and with great effort, The Black Lodge has a working ensemble.
The purpose of this working group is to develop original material, perform with special guests and to go where no band has gone before. The first fruits of this project were performed onstage Friday night with Elliott Levin.
Elliott Levin is a Philadelphia native, published author and renowned performer on saxophone, flute and spoken word. Elliott has performed throughout the US and the world with many groups, including: Cecil Taylor’s Unit Core Ensemble, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Scram!, New Ghosts, Atzilut (Fourth World) and Talking Free Bebop.
Elliott graciously joined our project approximately one month ago
at the request of Eric Slick. We then did a series of live improvised radio broadcasts from the studios of wdcdradio. These included solo performances and ensemble improvisations with Rock School students alumni and quests.
This workshop stressed improvisation, extended technique in all instruments as well as the use magnetic tape loops and pre-recorder Reel to Reel tape and studio as instrument applications to live performance.
Friday night’s performance was a seamless forty-five minute exploration of avant-free form music, delivered with energy, wisdom, humor and confidence. A mesmerized crowd of mostly students (about time!) and guests cheered Elliott and company to The Black Lodges first ever encore.
Hands Down, the best performance I have ever seen in The Black Lodge.
For this project The Black Lodge Ensemble was:
Elliott Levin – Saxophone, Flute, Spoken Word
Eric Slick – Drums, Percussion, Sheet Metal, Ladder, Organ
Dylan McConnell – Bass, Guitar, Tape Loops, Keyboards, Magnetic Tape
Dominic Angelella – Guitar, Percussion
Daniel Nitz – Guitar, Water Bottle, Percussion
Gina Gleeson – Guitar
Foster Longo – Keyboards, Prophet 5
The Black Lodge Ensemble’s next project will a be:
Works by Dylan McConnell, Eric Slick, wdcdradio
Anyone interested in joining The Black Lodge Ensemble need only an open mind.
BLACK LODGE PRODUCTIONS
For more reviews of the show including those of the other bands that performed, visit this link.
Yeah, that performance was really something and so is the new Rock School -- Dylan McConnell is not only the Philly music director he's the national Art Director for the school as well -- and he did an amazing job on both the exterior and interior of the building. It was totally cool to learn that the new, improved location has even a better vibe than the first school at 13th and Race. It even has that music "smell"...like, when you go to a music store or CD store or a venue where musicians are playing...I can't explain it, it's intangible. As far as visually, Dylan blew up Thom Lessner posters and other photos of Rock School shows and decoupaged them to the walls to make this simply amazing wallpaper which. I admit it, I'm going to steal the idea and do the same in my own hallway which means that when you come over my house now, you won't have to worry about banging into all of the paintings I currently have crammed and hanging everywhere in that narrow space. My mind has been boggling with the possibilities all weekend - besides owning several of Thom Lessner's posters myself, I can blow up huge black and white posters of photographs Gary and I took of Julie and Eric playing with everyone from Adrian Belew to Eddie Vedder to Jon Anderson, Ann Wilson, blah blah blah. I am psyched!
Here's one of the early Lessner posters from a Rock School show and I'm going to have to double check with the kiddies on this but I do believe that is a drawing of both Julie and Eric on either side of Zappa great Napoleon Murphy Brock, back in the day when they were like two of only twenty All-Stars nationwide.
Ah, time flies. That poster is at least 3-4 years old...Julie "graduated" Rock School in 2004 and I think that's the last time Eric wore his hair that short and he used to wear glasses...
So in other news, for two straight years I was the victim of an April Fool's joke after managing to go my whole life without ever being tricked. Last year as you may know, I was totally bamboozled by Howard Glassman, who allegedly digested the "compleat works of Neil Gaiman" and Sue Henderson was not only fooled as well, she went after him for an interview and I was so jealous I hadn't thought of that first!
Anyway, this year's blockbuster Let's See What An Idiot Robin Is and How Easy She is to Fool came courtesy of a good pal who knew about that writer who rankles me (big surprise, she rankles her, too), read the comment I had in my last post about yet another writer who wanted to smack that person with the flat side of a shovel, and she sent me an email which was a fake copy of a Publishers Marketplace announcement of a huge book deal for said shovel in the face recipient. I almost hurled my breakfast -- she totally fooled me -- but then, being the masochist I am, I went to Publishers Marketplace to see for myself and couldn't find it anywhere -- so then I did an actual deal search -- came up empty again -- and in a flash realized what day it was. I admit it - I'm usually thrilled about people I know getting book deals but this one had me sitting groaning with my head in my hands. I did get back at my friend, though...I know she's a saint, a really good person, but along with that heart of gold she suffers from tremendous guilt so I wrote back to her "Oh no. I want to kill myself. I just had to take a second blood pressure pill." And the poor gal got alarmed that I over-medicated myself because of her prank because as I figured, she had no idea that you can't arbitrarily double your blood pressure medication, which is why I didn't write back "You made me drink a Bloody Mary at 10:00 a.m." instead.
Then of course I sent her joke off to two other writers, both of whom were fooled as well, but now I'm nervous one of them took me seriously because he didn't write back and I just hope he's not swinging from the rafters in his attic right now.
I'll tell you what else really made me laugh. This:
That would be Chocolate Jesus, brilliantly named "My Sweet Lord", sculpted by artist Cosimo Cavallaro, which was to have been displayed from Monday at Manhattan's Lab Gallery. But apparently, the lovely Christian right wing had a problem with this and as usual, fucked everything up.
"The Lab gallery's artistic director, Matt Semler, has offered his resignation, saying the decision to cancel the exhibition was a result of "strong-arming from people who haven't seen the show, seen what we're doing."
Yeah, no shit. It's the typical behavior I've come to expect from those right wing morons -- and woo hoo, these are the people currently running our country.
To read the rest of the article, click here (the BBC News version since I wouldn't dare post the Fox news version of this debacle).
And so to wrap up this post nicely, I think, I offer you the following:
Song and Lyrics by Tom Waits
Dont go to church on sunday
Dont get on my knees to pray
Dont memorize the books of the bible
I got my own special way
Bit I know jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more
I fall on my knees every sunday
At zerelda lees candy store
Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Keep me satisfied
Well I dont want no anna zabba
Dont want no almond joy
There aint nothing better
Suitable for this boy
Well its the only thing
That can pick me up
Better than a cup of gold
See only a chocolate jesus
Can satisfy my soul
When the weather gets rough
And its whiskey in the shade
Its best to wrap your savior
Up in cellophane
He flows like the big muddy
But thats ok
Pour him over ice cream
For a nice parfait
Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Good enough for me
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Good enough for me
Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Keep me satisfied
By the way, Passover begins this evening at sundown. Have I mentioned my Christian husband makes the absolute best chicken matzoh ball soup in the universe? Unfortunately, I forgot what today was and we've already got a pork tenderloin marinating in the refrigerator for tonight's dinner which is kind of funny. But you all know how I feel about religion -- I wish it would go away -- but the food, man, I'm all about that for sure. So I'll probably have back to back meals this weekend of my aforesaid soup on Saturday followed by a honey glazed ham and chocolate bunnies on Sunday.
Sad but true: Last week Gary's mother gave us a box of matzoh an elderly neighbor bought her -- her neighbor mistakenly thought they were like Saltines and Gary's mom actually thought we could make matzoh balls out of them.
Gary also makes the best fried matzo so all was not lost. And yay, even Eric ate some because it was vegetarian. Ha ha - he should only know how my grandmother made it - with schmaltz. In fact, if I ever describe schmaltz to him, he'll probably throw up, especially if I tell him we had it in a mayonnaise jar in the refrigerator at all times when I was growing up and my parents used it like butter...