Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Odds and Sods for Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eric Slick performing with yet another band, Sound of Urchin at the Fire in Philadelphia on Friday, October 26, 2007

"Eric slick played "Spirit of the Radio" with the boys. He "winged" the shit out of the song, truly awesome!!" Photo and comment from the Ween forum board

Happy Mischief Day.

Or is that an oxymoron.

So it's been a couple of crazy days at Casa Slick - in fact, Gary is on his way to the airport with Eric right now at 6:00 a.m. - Eric's got a gig with Delicious (yes, I know, add one more band to Eric's resume) this Sunday in Asheville, North Carolina at Stella Blue.

I kind of picked a bad time to stop blogging for a few days as I just found out I'm nominated for The 2007 Web Blog Awards - Best Diarist -- and thanks to the fabulous Jon Swift for nominating me (by the way, Jon is not his real name and he's someone famous - I think I have figured out who but I'm not saying) anyway, whether I'll make the finalist cut this year (to be announced this Wednesday) I do not know...if I'd had advance warning I'd have posted me doing some lap dances, etc.

Not. And I'm not in an especially festive mood, either...in fact, quite the opposite.

So the weekend started off great - I got a lot of writing in on Friday while waiting for Eric to come home from touring with Project Object - he was supposed to be back from Cincinnati on Thursday night but it was just too long a drive so he stayed overnight at keyboard player Eric Svalgard's house in Wilmington. Then, Eric, Julie and I went out to dinner with my friend Donna and her two daughters who are Eric and Julie's age, both vegetarians, and one of daughters goes to Drexel with Julie; her other daughter works there. So we all had that and much more in common and we had a blast, though naturally I was the village idiot and drank over my limit - that is, I had two beers, not one, and it was Chimay, which I swear is grain alcohol disguised as beer. Poor Eric, though...he was literally home for the first time in three weeks after spending hours and hours on the road and I basically dragged him right out the door for pizza with my pals. We ate at the fabulous Mama Palma's at 23rd and Spruce Streets because they have awesome vegetarian pizza combinations and also vegan pizza with soy cheese, especially cool as Donna's daughter Dana is also a vegan. But I didn't have to worry about Eric being tired - right after dinner he went to a classical Renaissance concert with his pal, Rich, then he headed over to the Fire where he sat in on a song with Sound of Urchin. Hence the above photo, the link for which was sent to me by my cool friend Joe...and you should click the link to his blog because he's got some neat stuff in there - and he even turned me onto a New York City hotel I didn't know about called The Pod which sounds like fun and right up my alley - Julie and I do a NY overnight trip every year during the holidays (and yeah, yeah, I've blogged them all, including my famous Oh My God I think I accidentally just ate a dog panic attack of 2004 and last year's stay at the Hotel of Horrors - see December archives for every year I've had the blog and there's a classic Slick Christmas tale in each...at the moment I'm thinking I should turn them into a holiday novella after a quick re-read and a sobby walk down memory lane).

Getting back to Eric, he then headed back to Wilmington, Delaware for the night because he's now teaching drums while on tour hiatus at Wilmington School of Rock.

He came home from a day of teaching Saturday, jumped into a costume, and then played a Halloween gig at the Black Lodge in Philadelphia and arrived back here sometime in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

I woke up pretty early Sunday morning and he's sitting on the sofa and so is Julie and I could tell right away that something was very wrong. My mother radar was on high alert just looking at their expressions -- and yes, the news was horrific. I don't want to get too personal here but they sadly informed me that someone from Rock School had passed away suddenly over the weekend - this was not only a good friend to Eric, she was also his student and also someone Gary taught/mentored when he was assistant music director at the Rock School Beatle show in 2005 and she was one of his best kids. So our family is heartbroken and while I am sad that Eric is on his way to Asheville now and won't be able to attend the wake/funeral, in a way I'm relieved because I don't care how old my kids are...I try and do anything and everything to shield them from pain, impossible as that might be. Of course the truth is, Eric really wanted to go to her memorial service, so I'm in pain for him in that regard, anyway, as I know how devastated he is and wishes he could be there. There's a very moving tribute on the School of Rock forum board for anyone interested though I have to warn you in advance, it's gut wrenching though yet another example of the extreme closeness and almost other worldly love of the Rock School family.

Then I read a note posted at Zoetrope Studios yesterday that an extremely talented young writer I knew who was battling cancer the last couple of years had passed away this weekend, leaving a daughter and a brokenhearted best friend of many years - another writer from Zoetrope I really love -- so I've basically spent the past forty-eight hours asking myself WHAT THE FUCK.

And why? Why, why, why?

I have no answers. Just the usual advice to myself. Love my family - appreciate every second, every minute I am with Gary, Julie, Eric, and Monty dog...and ugh, cliche coming but it fits...don't sweat the small stuff because it just doesn't matter and I am completely unable to tolerate anyone who does.

Here's to better days ahead...


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later...

Eric Slick gets "pantied" while on stage with Project Object earlier this week in Wisconsin at Shank Hall, which, by the way, was a fictitious venue in Spinal Tap that actually became reality

So as you know, I put up a partial listing of Adrian Belew Power Trio tour dates in my post below - here's the official Jam Base and Pollstar ticket sites so you can buy your tickets directly.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Adrian Belew Power Trio Dates! Tickets go on sale tomorrow for Philadelphia show!

Project Object performing Zomby Woof with Eric Slick on drums, featuring guest star and what a coincidence -- Adrian Belew engineer/vocalist extraordinaire, Biff Blumfumgangne on violin in Madison, Wisconsin on October 23, 2007.

Oh my god, that rocks. Anyway..

Hey hey hey - here's the first of the confirmed Adrian Belew Power Trio tour dates for 2008 -- and note to those of you in Philadelphia, tickets go on sale tomorrow right here!

Eric Slick, Adrian Belew, and Julie Slick, September, 2007

02/19/08 The Triple Door
Seattle, Washington

02/20/08 Aladdin Theater
Portland, Oregon

02/22/08 The Crystal Bay Club Casino
Crystal Bay, Nevada

02/23/08 Slim's
San Francisco, California

02/24/08 The Coach House
San Juan Cap., California

02/26/08 Belly Up Tavern
Solana Beach, California

02/28/08 Rhythm Room
Phoenix, Arizona

02/29/08 Santa Fe Brewing Company
Santa Fe, New Mexico

03/08/08 Tralfamadore Music Hall
Buffalo, New York

03/12/08 World Cafe Live
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

03/13/08 B.B. King's Blues Club
New York, New York

03/14/08 Sunoco Performance Theater
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Cincinnati! (and Kozmic Dreams)

Picture of Eric Slick taken (in Michigan on October 18 either prior or subsequent to his show there) by one of the world's coolest photographers and oh god, she also has the most incredible MySpace site called Kozmic Dreams

Yo, Kozmic - if you are reading this, please send me the full size photo of Eric I posted above - I absolutely love it.

So tonight is the last night of Project Object's tour in Cincinnati (I finally learned how to spell that city) at the Poison Room. I'm sad it's over but I miss my son! (Though of course he's only home for four days before he takes off on tour again...what a life...do you think he'll swap with me?)

From the Zappa forum board:

"project object last night in Milwaukee was awesome. its unreal to have napi do his thing less than ten feet in front of you. the selections from one size fits all and roxy were like taking a trip back through time.

project object is great to see. they really keep the spirit of frank alive. i always have more fun at their shows than the zappa plays zappa shows (not that the zappa plays zappa shows are bad, i love them). project object have a fun and zaniness similar to frank's shows that zpz lacks a bit. the zft should stop shunning these guys and start working with them in keeping frank's music regularly performed EVERYWHERE. im sure there is one point that the fans, project object, and the zft would agree on: we want to hear more of frank's music l-i-v-e. with frank went the official source, so the slandering of those who are doing their part to keep frank's legacy alive is just wrong, on many, many levels."

I know Eric had some pals at the show in Madison last night, one of which is his good friend Biff Blumfumgangne, who had plans to join the band on stage with his violin for what...King King? I dunno but that's what I'm guessing.

Where are all my blogging Project Object fans? Ha ha - I'm spoiled because usually when Eric tours with Project Object or the Adrian Belew Power Trio, I come downstairs in the morning to all kinds of reviews but it's been sparse this time around...what, does Gail Zappa own the media now like the rest of the Republicans? Though I must admit, the only place I'm finding blurbs the last couple of days is in fact the Zappa forum board, so maybe not.

Here's another brief You Tube clip, this time featuring percussionist wizard Joshua Oxford though Eric is certainly prominent as well:

Cool, huh.

In other news...

Yesterday while I was out playing ball with the dog my cell phone rang and it was one of the producers from Hollywood to talk some more about the film/television rights for Three Days in New York City and its naughty little sequel, Another Bite of the Apple, and there I am, trying to have an intelligent conversation while Monty kept nudging me to throw him the ball.

So while I'm trying to collect myself, the producer then proceeds to throw out the name of yet another actress for the role of Elizabeth -- this is someone who once dated Eric Clapton and after I picked my jaw off the ground, how did I respond? I proceeded to pester him about the theme song for the soundtrack because, speaking of tracks, I have a one track mind. The hell with focusing solely my career, I want Adrian and Julie and Eric to do the music.

Hey, if nothing else, I've always had my priorities straight. Play ball with the dog, think about my kids, and talk to Hollywood about film options -- and in that order.

Sadly, though, now that we're talking finances, I had to refer him to my agent so no more fun phone calls I'm guessing.

When I got back indoors, Julie was cooking some vegetarian rice and bean dish that smelled like armpits that were out in the desert for three weeks without deodorant but it ended up being delicious -- but just you wait until she wakes up this morning, she's in big trouble. She used my shower last night - the detachable spray hose, that is -- before she got into bed for the evening and she forgot to adjust the setting back to shower. As a result, I woke up at dawn today to write, got in the tub, turned on the water, and got a full spray of ice water in my face courtesy of the hose. This is the second time it happened this month and I.AM.PISSED. She is going to be officially put on notice that the next time this happens, I am marching into her bedroom with said hose and spraying her awake with a frigid blast and we'll see how she likes it. Okay, so the hose won't reach into her bedroom. But that's what paper cups are for.

Oh, I'm kidding. You all know I love Julie so much it hurts, and I'm thrilled she's dividing her time between our house and her boyfriend's these days while said boyfriend tours with his own band. But I'm surprised that my tortured screams of MOTHERF**KER in the shower this morning, which is a mere ten feet or so from her bedroom, didn't wake her up, let alone the whole neighborhood....though I did hear Gary giggling. (Nah, that's a lie...in fact, Saint Gary actually climbed out of bed to help me even though he was 99% asleep because I was so freaked out I couldn't fix the damn thing and continued to be sprayed non-stop until he came to my rescue)

Anyway, that's about it for me right now -- I have a book to write -- but indulge me while I post another link to the flash I have published over at Tuesday Shorts because I love, love, love that site and whole premise.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Madison!

Eric Slick at World Cafe Live October 14, 2007 (photo bt Gary Slick)

So tonight is the second to the last show on the Project Object Fall Surge Tour, and it takes place at the fabulous Majestic Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. What a beautiful venue that is - and I see Robert Fripp will be performing there in three weeks as well...you gotta love the synchronicity.

Tomorrow the tour wraps up in Cincinnati, and well, more on that later, I guess...I'm still searching around for reviews/articles on the Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago shows but haven't found any yet -- if anything pops up this afternoon or evening I will be back and post them.

In writing news, I had a flash (a story under 100 words) accepted today over Tuesday Shorts and I'm way psyched about it, especially as this is my second appearance there and I'm in esteemed company - some of the other notable authors published include Todd Zuniga, Jim Tomlinson...wait...what am I doing with those guys? (And err...Todd...in case you find this via a Google vanity search...and don't be shy, we all do them...where are the archives for Opium Magazine prior to 2007? I had a hard drive crash and lost two stories you published in 2004 and 2005 or is that 2005 and 2006...anyway...I'm dying to get them back as I have no other copies anywhere)

And err...note to my stalker: Coming to me from other writers' websites doesn't work though I'm impressed at the one you visited yesterday before clicking on his link to me - I would have thought his writing is way above your comprehension -- anyway, just to let you know, I am aware that you are here. I'm flattered, I guess, that you still want to drop in on me daily though as we all know, I'm simply irresistible so I know it's a hard habit to break har har but okay, as long as you don't use my name or habitually steal my "contacts", feel free to lurk and you can even have a virtual glass of champagne with me when I announce any upcoming big news. Cool? Cool!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Milwaukee!

Andre Cholmondeley doing a wicked guitar solo with Eric Slick on drums, Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax/vocals, Dave Johnsen on bass, Eric Svalgard on keyboards and Josh Oxford on percussion, Lancaster, PA -- October 15, 2007

So tonight Project Object performs at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and here's an article that appears today in The Daily Page:

Out of Town
Frank Zappa tribute

When: 10/22/07 @ 8:00pm
Cost: $16
Call: 255-4646
Web: ticketmaster

More Information:
Project/Object with Napoleon Murphy Brock Performing the Music Of Frank Zappa

Napoleon Murphy Brock, lead vocalist and instrumentalist with Frank Zappa for more than a decade, will tour once again with Project/Object, the mothers of reinvention.

Napoleon Murphy Brock is a singer, saxophonist and flautist who is best known for his work with Frank Zappa in the 1970s and 80s, including the albums One Size Fits All, Roxy and Elsewhere, and Bongo Fury. His own most memorable vocal accomplishments are illustrated on Village of the Sun, Inca Roads and Florentine Pogen. His numerous performances include the role of the "Evil Prince" on Zappa's Thing-Fish album. He has also performed with George Duke, Captain Beefheart and others.

As the lead singer and sax player with Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa last year, Napoleon Murphy Brock toured all over the World and received foremost praise from fans and critics alike.

The lineup is rounded out by Project/Object founder Andre Cholmondeley (nee Chumley) on guitar and vocals; wunderkind Eric Slick on drums who is also Adrian Belew's touring drummer; Dave Johnsen, who also performs with the Mahavishnu Project, on bass; and incredible keyboardist Eric Svalgard"

From the Zappa forum board:

"I enjoyed the hell out of the show in Troy, NY...

...This was my first time seeing Eric Slick and you can be damn sure I'll try to see any band he is in when they come to the area. I hope Belew will get over there. Bravo to all of P/O. This was the 5th or 6th time I've seen you guys and thought this was the best playing, sound clarity and setlist that I've heard yet. Everybody just played so well from Eric's enthusiasm and accuracy (and bombast from that little kit!) to other Eric playing some really sweet notes and timbres from the keys to Dave TEARING IT UP on Apostrophe to some really fine singin' and playin' from Andre to HOLY FUCK the percussionist was so damn fine! That Napoleon was remarkable goes without saying (which is in and of itself remarkable).

I've been listening to FZ even more than usual since the show, you guys really set me on fire. I'll be seeing ZPZ in Kingston in a couple of weeks (my 3rd show for them) and can't wait for that either. It'll be my first time hearing Ray White live and I can't wait to hear Scheila and Joe tear it up in particular. It's a fine time to be an FZ fan."

Yeah, so if you are in or near Milwaukee tonight, as I keep telling you, this is an amazing band and should not be missed.

So in typical Eric fashion, after the tour ends at the Poison Room in Cincinnati on Wednesday night, he's driving home and will be back in Philadelphia late Thursday, October 25. He'll be here for a couple of days but then on Tuesday, October 30 he flies to Asheville to do a series of shows with a new band he's involved with, Delicious, from November 1-4; then he heads down to Nashville right after his last show with them for a week long rehearsal with Adrian Belew - Julie's flying down on November 6 -- they'll both be there until the evening of November 11 -- do you think that along with rehearsing, they will be autographing copies of Side Four Live? Ha ha - this is my fantasy, not something I've been told -- but since it's also my blog, indulge me. But one thing I do know - the week of rehearsals is for new material gearing up for the entire month of touring they'll be doing February-March 2008 as well as for a new studio CD.

Speaking of The Adrian Belew Power Trio, someone put up a new You Tube last night of the band performing Big Electric Cat in Jacksonville, Florida this past August and it's pretty cool:

So I think that's it for now - I am slinking away from cyberworld and spending the day writing but should anything momentous occur I will be back.

Oh...and if anyone has any footage of Uncle Remus or I'm So Cute from this fabulous Project Object tour or can take some for me tonight, tomorrow, or the final show Wednesday and post it on You Tube, I will be forever in your debt.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Chicago!

Eric Slick with Project Object at the Chameleon, Lancaster, PA Monday, October 15, 2007

Okay, I am seriously wishing I'd arranged to spend this weekend in Chicago, where Project Object will be performing both Friday and Saturday evenings at Martyrs. The reviews keep coming in, each one more fantastic than the next.

And oh my god, Eric has been great about blogging this tour - he has another new entry right here.

in his latest post, Eric refers to a fan in Troy, New York wearing a "special" t-shirt - I'm taking the liberty of posting a photo because it's too cool for words and because I love Eric's face in this pic:

From the Zappa Forum Board:

"I've been to 3 ZPZ shows, and I must honestly say the Project/Object show Friday in NYC was more entertaining than all three.

The whole band was great, but I was most enthralled with Eric Slick and Andre's playing.

Slick was making faces the whole time, and really enjoying himself while he laid a rock-solid foundation to the songs

Andre was ATTACKING the guitar during his solos, and if i remember correctly his filthy habits solo had my jaw to the floor. He doesn't hold back, and takes chances.

Just as important as the accuracy with which these guys play is the FUN that they have. Much more loose than ZPZ, and they seem to have many more of those "inspired instances" when either the band is totally clicking together, or someone is creating a totally unique and amazing solo.

Someone definitely recorded this show, and I really can't wait until it shows up somewhere on the internet.

ZPZ still rules too"

"My video of the ridiculous performance of Apostrophe on Monday evening."
(and how cool, this person also included another Montana video from the Chameleon as well, so I'll post them both)



Okay, abbreviated post today but I'm still waiting for reviews from the Cleveland and Detroit shows last night and Wednesday so as soon as they pop up, I will come back on line (which I am trying to avoid while writing my new book) and edit this.

I'm ripping through chapters of "Bitten to the Core" and may actually have a first draft within weeks. Ah, it's so easy once the main character is already fully formed via my two previous books...and even easier when a new, wicked plot idea just kind of fell into my lap and encouragement/incentive came from Hollywood...


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Cleveland -- and they've been SPANNERED!

Eric Slick at the World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA on October 14, 2007 - photo by Gary Slick

So what a thrill to wake up this morning to a review from the infamous and spectacular UK 'zine Spannered -- one of their reporters caught Project Object's recent show in New York City, and if this doesn't make you want to see the band in Cleveland tonight, I don't know what else I can do!

Live at The Lion's Den, New York, 12 October 2007
By Martin Longley
Napoleon Murphy Brock & Project/Object In New York

There are two meaningful Frank Zappa cover bands operating In the UK, each of them excellent in their differing ways. But, as you might expect, The Muffin Men and Zappatistas have their equivalent outfits over in the States, and surely the best of these must be Project/Object, formed in New Jersey, back at the beginning of the 1990s. Whereas Liverpool's Muffin Men have toured regularly with original Mothers Of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black (the Zappatistas keep themselves to themselves), Project/Object have magnified this tendency through collaborations with around a dozen Zappa alumni. Their latest spate of dates find them accompanied by singer, saxophonist and flautist Napoleon Murphy Brock, whose key period with Zappa was in the middle 1970s.

Brock has been appearing on the Zappa Plays Zappa tour, fronted by Frank's offspring Dweezil. Project/Object's core five-piece line-up is customarily augmented by other guest players, as was the case for this barnstormer showing at The Lion's Den in Greenwich Village. Andre Cholmondeley plays the FZ role, but isn't tempted into direct reproduction on either the guitaring or vocal fronts. Conversely, the rest of the band have no trouble negotiating the complex high-speed chases of Zappa's pieces, turning in a wondrous glut of authentic mimicry, playing as if the music is freshly inked, so vital is their delivery.

I can't believe the scene as I walk into The Lion's Den. It's the archetypal rock joint, and the band have only been onstage for fifteen minutes, but the crowd is already deep in their grip, a motley bunch in terms of ages, sexes and clans, getting off on the convoluted headbang serialism like it's pop music, which ultimately it is, and Zappa kinda perversely hoped it would end up so. Folks are dancing to the avant garde, and if you've just arrived from a John Cage gig around the corner in Washington Square, this is going to be one of your weirdest evenings ever.

I can't believe this fucking band! Clever contortions, but brutally performed, noodly twists, but heeled in the testes, authentic Zappa reproducing, but including fresh improvisation, and the man's solos, delivered on a fucking electric mandolin, fer chrissakes! Well, on a few numbers, anyway. Cholmodeley takes most of the FZ solos on conventional guitar. Moog maniac Eric Svalgard stares into the face of oblivion, and drummer Eric Slick is the absolute foundation here, a powerhouse of accelerated intricacy. And Napoleon Murphy Brock? He's not around for every number, rationing his appearances out, but when he's there he's singing his high soul croon, or blowing fruitily R'n'B horn, or cool flute jazz-waft.

The Sheik Yerbouti album is clearly a favourite, with tasty versions of Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, Jones Crusher and (best of all) City Of Tiny Lites. Unlike the UK combos, Project/Object are more concerned with Zappa's later, more commercial period. There's not much in the way of early Mothers material here, or even the extended jazzier instrumentals that the Zappatistas enjoy so much. So, there's a neat reading of Tinseltown Rebellion, for instance. But, then it's back to the '70s, for I'm The Slime and Brock's finest moment, Inca Roads. The band play two sets, and the crowd throw themselves deeper and deeper into the music. There's a perfect co-existence of sheer absurdist fun and extreme acrobatic improvisation, and rarely do the four spheres of these, the band and the audience coincide so completely into a beautiful grave-robbing frenzy that's at once nostalgic and supremely of-the-moment.
And here are some wonderful photos taken in Troy, New York on October 11, 2007, sent to me by "Lerch", who also left me a comment on my blog which said:

"I saw Project Object on 10/11/2007 in Troy NY, and it was my first time seeing Eric Play. I had been reading your blog occasionally through my RSS aggregator for a while, and when I mentioned to Eric that I read his mom's blog he said, "NO WAY." What a nice guy and a great player. I've seen P.O. several times and I think this was my favorite show.

I posted on Eric's blog but know you like the pictures so here is a link to the photos from the show! Enjoy and thanks for the great writing; I really enjoy your blog and am delighted to post some pictures and tell you hello!"

Cool! Thanks, Lerch - I really appreciate that.

And there are yet more comments on the Zappa forum board, which are of wicked, wicked pleasure to me:

"Attended the P/O show at World Cafe Live in Philly on Sun night. AWESOME show, very impressed with the musicianship rendered with this line up. I really missed Ike this time but I must say Napolean Murphy Brock filled the task more than adequately. Andre Cholmondeley blew me away on lead guitar, slick was born with hands like a hammer, percussion insane, young guitarist (sorry forgot your name) made a presence and will be our next generation Zappa all star.

Picked up a great CD, Napolean Murphy Brock featuring Gregarious Movement and loved every minute of it on the ride home to NJ. Thanks for the great music Napolean! I look foreward to the next show, long live P/O and the music of Eff Zee."
"I saw Project/Object in Lancaster last night... greatest experience of my life. Too bad there was a poor amount of people who showed up, being a Monday night, but that kind of made it even better for me as a first time live Zappa encounter, as it was so intimate. I got my picture taken with Napoleon, spoke with Andre for a while at the very end (I was the last one out of the club, the 4 security guys were getting pissed at me), and talked to the lovely merchant for a long time also.. bought $45 worth of things. Nap's CD Balls, Cosmik Debris encyclopedia, and the white P/O shirt with Nap and Frank.

I also received a set list from Andre, I'll scan that soon and some photos, video links, etc. Wonderful evening. The concert was about 2 hrs 45 mins in length... 9:30 - 12:30, with a break around 11. I took at least an hour of video. I don't know what else to say. I was astounded. Support these great men and go to the concerts in your area. I know I will see them every time they're here, no matter what. I even regret not going to the World Cafe, as that's not too far for me, and I hear it was an epic night."

In other news, the Adrian Belew Power Trio tour is confirmed and it's a biggie: February 19 through March 16, 2008 and that's just step one in global domination 2008. I will post the venues and cities as soon as I officially have them in my hot little hand but from the original tour schedule I saw a couple weeks ago, it looks like it's a major cross-country deal so a lot of you are going to be very, very happy -- especially those fans on the west coast and those of you in places like Colorado -- but I'd better zip my lip until Adrian and/or Pollstar put up the dates/venues.

I think that's it for now -- stay tuned for some cool news on the writing front!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Wilkes-Barre, PA (and some thoughts about the internet)

Photo of Eric Slick by Gary Slick at the World Cafe on October 14, 2007

Oh man, the show Sunday night at WCL was so freaking fantastic I have no words. If you are anywhere in the Wilkes-Barre, PA area, you absolutely must catch them tonight at the River Street Jazz Cafe. They are so fucking awesome it's ridiculous...and really, there's not much more I can say but courtesy of Gary, I do have photos...some are from World Cafe Live Sunday night and others from Asbury Park Saturday evening:

Percussionist Joshua Oxford with Eric Slick

Keyboardist/mandolin player Jordan Shapiro

Sax player Elliott Levin, Eric Slick, and Dave Dreiwitz - the new Crescent Moon?

The amazing and incredible Napoleon Murphy Brock

One of the best male (ha!) bassists in the universe, Dave Johnsen

Keyboard wizard Eric Svalgard

One of my favorite people in the universe and now one of my favorite guitarists as well, Andre Cholmondeley

Elliott and Dave - who knew Dave could also play trumpet? He rocks!

And here are the obligatory fan reviews:

From the (tee hee again) Zappa forum board

"An awesome show... A few highlights for me were...

The 3 minute bass solo by Dave Johnson during City of Tiny Lights (eat your heart out Dweezil!!), the drum and percussion duet during Don;t You Ever Wash That when Josh and Eric switched percussion set..

And of course Eric singing I'm So Cute was so Bozzioish it was ridiculous... and Ed Palermo's appearance for the encore of Peaches.. And of course everything Napi played was fabulous...even took a couple of ripping solos.. And Andre was amazing...man there were flames shooting out of his fingers at times.. Smile

I think the highest praise I can give is that you hardly even noticed that Ike wasn't there... The boys played like they had something to prove, and boy did they ever..
Andre, we await impatiently for the next tour and your next appearance in the NYC area..."

From the Ween forum board:

"Great fucking show last night. I love that room. Best Crescent Moon set I've ever seen. They had Elliot sit in with them on sax."

"Show was great except I missed all of Crescent Moons set except the last tune (Hammer to the Skull).

Left early to assure work was not missed. I was there physically but totally out of it all day. Def. will be checking P/O again. Slicks parents were there both nights and were fucking awesome folks."

"...I can't say enough about Eric Slick. His playing with P/O was so amazing I shit myself. His sister is a monster on the bass as well.....a family that plays together....stays together."

"... slick is just.... TOO slick!!"


I agree. Eric Slick is too slick for words. He is one of the kindest, generous, most humble and talented people you'll ever want to meet. And some of you have been asking me via email "Why is he taking drum lessons?"

Err...the same reason I constantly attend writing workshops. Because you need to keep expanding your horizons so that you never get stale or stagnate. It's why when I'm not writing myself, I'm reading books by others, in all genres. Eric has the chance to study with one of the top drum professors at Berklee School of Music in Boston. You know what he's actually doing? Taking a twelve hour Greyhound bus ride by himself every chance he gets in between touring at great time and expense just for this privilege.

And good grief, for the last time, he is not the 5th "Beatle" in King Crimson. As Adrian succinctly said in his blog: ERIC IS MINE. No offense to Robert Fripp, but I kinda wish he'd spill the beans already because some of the speculation has not been all that nice and in all fairness, enough time has passed and the natives are getting restless ha ha.

And now some serious words from your sponsor.

When I first started this blog, I had no idea where I was going with it but fortuitously enough, I began it at the end of October, 2004, just as Nanowrimo, or National Writing Month, was about to begin. Nanowrimo is an event I try to participate in every year, in which the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days during the month of November. Believe it or not, I have written four novels using Nanowrimo as a springboard, though naturally what I wrote in thirty days was edited and rewritten many times before they were actually finished novels. And so I used the blog back then as a vehicle to post daily chapters during November, 2004 which I have since removed.

So then the blog sort of evolved into a daily personal diary (and I had to laugh at one of my stalkers who typed on another writing site to which I belong "I am a literary writer - I do not read personal blogs" but my site meter tells me WAY differently...sometimes she spends hours a day here, reading even my comment section over and over again and will even use my blog to further her own interests...i.e., if someone interviews or reviews me, she copies the link and then writes to that person, asking them to review or interview her...only problem is, she's a terrible writer and I don't want guilt by association so now I know to let these people know in advance that once their piece on me is published, they will probably be hearing from her and damn if it isn't true...they write back to me every time and say "How did you know that, Robin - are you psychic?" Nah, I just know human nature har har.)

When I was lucky enough to get a book deal for Three Days in New York City, I then used the blog as promo/advertising for my writing. And I still do...it's a very cool and useful tool to have - just ask Neil Gaiman. (More on him later though not a lot - just the fact that he's friendly with Harlan Ellison and oh boy wait until you see what I link below about Harlan). In fact, Neil stopped by here a couple of years ago and left a comment and I still haven't recovered...but in addition to Neil, I've met several other interesting writers and personalities and we've sporadically emailed back and forth about our books...it's been truly wonderful. You know why? Because this is the internet, not the real world...and our "friendships" end here. In the real world, we have our families...and on a daily basis we deal with the mundane...as well as great joy and horrifying grief just like everyone else. These are things we want to share with the people whom we love in the real world but not necessarily the internet because really, other than what I type here, what do you actually know about me? Let me answer that for you.

Absolutely nothing.

You may think you do, but trust me, you do not.

I only write here what I want you to know...and if you insist on reading secret messages into what I've written or have done a psychological profile on me based on that, you are wasting your time.

Getting back to my blog...

So then Julie and Eric landed their dream gig with Adrian Belew and Eric also with Project Object, Crescent Moon...and countless others. When that happened, this blog became a labor of love for me to promote my kids as well, and I met many fans who comment here and email me and it's fabulous, it really is.

But the bottom line is, and I've tried to say this many times nicely...the reason I gravitated to the internet in the first place is that I am not a social person. Yeah, I have been lucky enough to meet a few writers on line at places like Zoetrope Studios with whom I did click with in the real world -- Susan Henderson, Ellen Meister, Maryanne Stahl,, Jordan Rosenfeld, Kimberly Wetherell, Myfanwy Collins, and many from the Back Space writing community come to mind but the truth of the matter is, I have recently been receiving emails which are way upsetting because they are making me feel like I am somehow hurting people I don't even know because I don't want to connect with them in the real world either by telephone or in person...even though I have tried to tell them it's not them, it's me...just ask my husband, if not for the kids and the fact that I'm a writer and need to earn a living, I would probably never even leave my house unless it's to eat in a good restaurant or travel someplace cool.

I love my house. And I love my family. My needs are very basic, and I guess I'm extremely lucky because I'm happy in my own skin and don't need others around me.

I am also not a therapist.

I understand we all have problems - I have problems of my own - but I can't solve yours and if you must know, when internet strangers tell me their problems, I want to distance myself from them even further because I simply do not have the means or time to help them -- hey, I'm damaged myself -- but despite this, I feel terrible guilt instead of saying to myself "This is the internet, Robin...you don't even have to sign on. Why are you worrying about strangers?"

I use AOL. It got to the point where as soon as I signed on, I would be gang-banged instant messaged. I was only signing on to check my mail in between writing, but instead ended up wasting hours IMing because I felt guilty. Again.

As a result, I've completely stopped instant messaging and don't even sign on to AOL; I've disconnected all of my other instant messaging tools and was shocked to learn that because I have a gmail account anyone can chat with me there so now I don't even stay signed on to that during the day.

Which leaves the blog. I love my blog. I hope it goes on forever and the archives remain even after I've left this planet. Please feel free to visit all day long if you want - I love that you enjoy reading about Julie and Eric and Adrian and even me.

But it has to stop there.

I notice that Neil Gaiman doesn't have a comments section on his blog and now I know why. I enjoy my comments, though - 99% of the time they are lovely and fun and I also enjoy commenting at places like LitPark, so I really don't want to have to disconnect my comments section as well.

Please don't force me to take that step. Read, enjoy, comment in a positive manner about music and writing...tell me a joke...whatever...but remember, this is the internet, and this is a dangerous place...this is a dangerous place (a prize goes to the first person who comments who knows where I got that phrase from).

Remember when I mentioned Harlan Ellison above? Read this, and now you will understand why the internet has lost its appeal for me and why I am rethinking how open I am on line. It's one of the most chilling and fascinating articles on how we are misconstrued on the internet I've ever read, and the fact that someone as famous as Harlan got involved...holy cow.

The Life and Death of Jesse James


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in Philadelphia!

Eric Slick on drums with Project Object performing "Apostrophe" in New York on October 11, 2007.

And I could not help but notice Eric has a new, very touching post up over at his blog today.

ETA #2 (as "threatened" below): Wow. Just found this review from Joe at the Full Catastrophe and click on the link to see a great Eric photo collage - thanks, Joe!:

Project Awesome

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."

What can I say about last night's Project Object show at Asbury Lanes that will properly and comprehensively convey all my thoughts? I can throw out a slew of complementary adjectives...awesome, incredible, mind-blowing, inspirational, invigorating, exceptional. But what does any of that mean to anyone who wasn't actually present in the room to experience it themselves?

It's best to describe a live concert not by the reaction of one, but of the many in attendance. So as I scanned the room throughout the evening, I saw a majority of smiling faces, dancing feet, bopping heads, tapping toes, and just an all-encompassing sense of giddiness and joy.

Calling Project Object a Zappa cover band is way too limiting. They are a group of consummate musicians who play their hearts out. Just watching them perform, you quickly understand that this isn't just about playing music, it's about being passionate about playing music.

I'll admit, the reason I was drawn to this concert in the first place was because of a 20-year-young drummer named Eric Slick. I'd seen him play several times prior in bands that are in some way related to Ween. Bands like Crescent Moon and Chris Harford & The Band of Changes. I would have loved to have seen him play with Adrian Belew, and hopefully I will on the next go around. I'd seen him at the Paul Green School of Rock Music Festival in Asbury Park. Basically, if Eric "the kid" Slick is on drums, I'll go to the show.

On a side note, I also got to talk to Eric's dad, Gary. He's the one that "looks like Jerry Garcia." He's totally cool, it was like I was talking to someone I've known forever, even though we'd only met, briefly, once before during the School of Rock mayhem last summer. We talked about Prog rock bands, Philadelphia neighborhoods, the beaches of Germany, and cheese steaks."

ETA: This just in from the Ween forum board, and I'm sure I'll be adding these "ETAs" all day long today:

"Wow.....just wow.

Me, my friend Jen and Mighty Joe spent most of the show standing on the side of the stage watching the rhythm section . I've seen Eric Slick play on numerous occasions, nothing compared to last night. Holy shit...that kid is one of the best drummers I've ever seen. In Glen terms...."He's Josh Freese good". I've never been a huge Zappa fan but I can appreciate musicianship in any form and they had it. I will gladly punch the Pope in the face or beat a nun with a shovel to get the opportunity to see these guys again. "

So yay! Tonight's the big night - Project Object and Crescent Moon, also with Eric on drums, at the World Cafe Live! Doors at 6:00 p.m. - and they have a decent dinner menu - show starts at 7:30 p.m. I really hope to see a lot of you there and even though I have now officially outed myself as completely anti-social har har, please come up, introduce yourselves, and say hi. But after that, please give me my space and let me just enjoy the music. I can't handle talking while my son is on stage, I just want to soak it all in and enjoy because watching my offspring play their music is my most favorite thing in the world. Okay? Okay!

From the (tee-hee) Frank Zappa forum board:

"Whoa! Incredible show last night in New York. This band is the real deal. Do not hesitate to get out and see 'em if you have the chance. They are all honorary alumni if ya ask me. They exude Frank Zappa from every pore, as if Frank was standing in the wings, pushing them to extremes. And they do it all with such ease it's almost disturbing.

Svalgard was a wildman, a bionic Tommy Mars, but with more charm and less sleaze. Totally blew me away. A real highlight of the show. New guy Joshua Edwards on percussion is a total fucking greaser and would have fit nicely into the original MOI. He told me he has been studying Zappa music for 4 years. You'd think he would be filling your gas tank...the guy didn't miss a trick. Dave Johnson on bass is deceptively brilliant, grounding the band. He serves the music perfectly, in total control (and he has a cute wife, t' boot).

Eric Slick is now my favorite drummer of all time. What more can I say?
Ya gotta see him perform. His style reminds me a bit of the young Robert Wyatt. The ultimate Zappa player.

Jordan Shapiro guested and played some great rock mandolin. It wasn't kitschy or anything like that. Sounded great and pleasant on the ears.

Napoleon was a charmer, as always. He was on stage for about half the show (?).
And...Andre, now the sole guitar player, let it rip. Totally balls out Zappa, just the way I like it. And he even played WATERMELON (with Jerry Cucurullo sitting in on drums). Yowza!

Edit: oh yeah, P/O attracts young, beautiful girls who actually seem to know every twist and turn of Frank's music. Where were these girls when I was a young, single fella? No Fair!"

"DITTO! Cool! Slick is the Man."

"Don't even git me started about eric slick...my no. 1 fave too...i mentioned this in another thread already but check out this month's drumhead mag for a nice article about him and his amazing bass-playin' sister, julie slick!"

"Overall the best show i've seen and i've seen a few, Belew thrice, Claypool thrice, Primus, Rush, Dream Theater, Medeski Martin & Wood, Buckethead etc.

Eric was noticeably great and i'm looking forward to seeing him again with Adrian Belew in march. Dave was incredible on bass, and Eric was entertaining as all hell on keyboards. Jordan was alright, and Napolean ruled. Andre was the man, got to say a few things to him."


So if that doesn't put you in the mood to head out to the World Cafe tonight, I don't know what else I can say.

Yesterday was a totally amazing fun day in my other life as Robin Slick, writer. The incredibly fabulous Stella Price joined me as a panelist where I moderated a Networking/Promo panel for writers on behalf of Philadelphia Stories. At first, we...or maybe it's just me...were totally intimidated by the huge, packed room full of academics. So it made my soul rise to see everyone furiously scribbling down everything Stella and I had to say...because really, the average literary author thinks once they are published, they just have to sit back and wait for the praise and the sales.


Ha ha - Stella and I set them straight and we had everyone laughing. One very scholarly fellow, after I told the group just how important the internet was for book sales, raised his hand and said "Isn't this counterproductive? You are using the internet instead of reading books which is exactly what we as authors don't want...people on line instead of buying our novels."


Again, my girl Stella gave concrete examples of how misguided he was in his thinking and I did as well...he was actually a very nice, attractive fellow who ended up taking our promo stuff with him at the end and I'm pretty sure we've got him on our team now.

Yay, Stella! Yay, me!

Anyhoo...next we headed to Robin's Bookstore for a signing/chat about our books where we were joined by another one of my favorite authors, Bianca D'Arc -- I love Bianca -- met her last year for the first time and we just clicked and have many similar opinions and interests -- Cat Johnson, Philippa Grey-Gerou, Marie Collins...and oh god, I'm sorry...there were a few other writers present and I did not get their names. We had a blast and then headed over to my new favorite Mexican/Cuban restaurant, Mixto, for copious amounts of food and alcohol.

Yeah, I know, I said I'm an anti-social loner but once I force myself to leave the house and hang out with my writer/musician pals, I always end up having a blast. The trick is to do it selectively and maybe once monthly...no more or I'd need meds.

Heh. Just kidding.

Or not.

See you tonight!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Montana! Asbury Park! Philadelphia!

Oh.My.God. That's Eric Slick on drums with Project Object performing Montana Thursday night in New York. This band is so good it's ridiculous - hope a lot of you can get to the upcoming shows - tonight at Asbury Lanes and tomorrow -- where I will finally get to see my first performance by this incarnation of the band -- at World Cafe Live.

So my brilliant film director/screenwriter pal Kimberly Wetherell attended the New York show last night and was so excited she emailed me twice from her Blackberry while at the concert:

"between your son and the zappa, I may effing die right here right now and my life would be complete. oxox -- k"

"This is where I'm standing... This is amazing! Wish u were here. Xoxo"

Man, I wish I could have been there last night, too, but I am so busy it's ridiculous. Speaking of that, just a reminder -- I'm moderating a panel today on behalf of Philadelphia Stories...click on the link for details but to sum it up, I'll be talking about the business of networking as concerns selling your book, and that will be at 1:15 p.m. and run for about an hour, after which I will be at Robin's Bookstore for a reading at 4:00 p.m. - for more details click here.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Project Object on Tour: Tonight in New York City (and why did I post that photo of Eric wearing that particular shirt again...)

Eric Slick wearing the infamous WMMR shirt won by his father over twenty years ago in a contest held by said radio station...I blogged about it a couple of months ago and in case you forgot, here's the link.

So if you are in the New York City area, tonight you must check out Eric on the drums with Project Object at the Lions Den, 214 Sullivan Avenue in the Village. It's going to be freaking amazing!

ETA: Oh my god, I just got this You Tube from last night's show from an anonymous commenter on my blog. I'm sitting here crying like a little freaking baby right now it's so damn good.

And just a reminder that tomorrow night's show in Asbury Park has been changed and will now be held at Asbury Lanes, and on SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY, I will finally get to see this show at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia -- Eric is also the opening band with Dave Drewitiz of Ween, i.e., Crescent Moon.

Err...you can also download Wednesday night's show right here. (I cannot figure out how to do it, though...I mean, I downloaded it but have no idea how to actually play it and after the great hard drive crash of 2007, I'm terrified to attempt anything I'm not sure how to do).

But wait...here's one download I was able to figure out - it's "Echidna's Arf (Of You)/Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?" and oh man, what a tease!

I haven't found any reviews of the Hartford or Troy, NY shows yet so if anyone reading this attended either show Wednesday or last night, I would love to hear from you.

So. Why did I post the pic of Eric in the WMMR shirt, which was actually from the show Eric played with Adrian Belew back in August?

Because last night, Gary and I once again proved that we are uber parent/groupies. More on that in a minute.

But before I begin, congratulations to Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. You can be sure that's one thing that our dangerous, demented dictator in the White House won't be winning anytime soon. Knowing Dubya, though, he probably thinks it's for most books sold at Barnes and "Nobel".

Which is another thing he won't be winning anytime soon, unless, of course, he writes his true autobiography about how the war in Iraq was all about oil..."his oil" har har. I shouldn't laugh. Thousands of people are dead because of his greed. And if you are rolling your eyes and sighing over what I just wrote, why not read this.

Okay, enough of that. I want to talk about yesterday in general.

Some days are just fantastic, you know? Fantastic on a level that doesn't involve publishing or movie deals, agents, big money, blah blah blah...but fantastic because it involves spending one on one time with someone you really love - in this case, let's start with daughter Julie. Eric is on tour as you know, Gary was at work, Julie's boyfriend Matt had a gig in New York with his fabulous band, Cheers Elephant, and so Julie and I decided to have a "date".

We had a fabulous lunch at Seafood Unlimited. Julie had an ahi tuna dish served over a slaw of cucumbers, Asian pears, and who knows what else but it was so good I kept sticking my fork in her plate. I opted for charred Atlantic salmon over mixed greens -- sounds simple -- yet they managed to make it spectacular.

Then we actually went girly shopping - I bought three new black sweaters because god knows 300 black sweaters in my closet are not enough and Julie picked up some awesome tops as well.

Next, we headed to Sianni Salon where Julie got her beautiful curly hair shaped and trimmed and Linda Zatta, the genius who manages to keep my unruly frizzy mop under control, could not resist the urge to put make-up on Julie while she sat in the chair next to me waiting for Linda to finish my hair. Oh man, you should have seen her. Julie, that is. Because she is so naturally gorgeous, she doesn't need make-up and never wears it (that's me saying that, not Julie)...but Linda put this sheer, beige shimmery stuff on her eyelids, curled her lashes, applied a little blush to her cheeks and finished with a rosy lip gloss. To say that Julie looked breathtaking is putting it mildly. So after we finished up there, I insisted on dragging her with me to Sephora so that I could buy her this stuff (which, if you check the PETA website is not tested on animals) but then we looked at our respective watches and gasped when we realized it was dinner time and Julie had to be at the restaurant where she works while the Belew tour is on hiatus. So...sob...we had to run out of there before buying anything and Julie made it to work just in time, but not before casually mentioning to me that "Pierre Robert from radio station WMMR would be there and would Gary and I like to pop over for dinner?

Err...a chance to talk one on one with Philadelphia's most famous rock and roll disc jockey? With a copy of the Adrian Belew Power Trio's Beatbox Guitar and Drumhead Magazine in our hot little hands? What do you think?

So Gary and I double-teamed Pierre and his sidekick, Jason, and handed them the CD and magazine, I introduced Julie to Pierre by saying "she may be your server tonight but she's also Adrian Belew's bass player" and then Gary, who'd met Pierre and Jason at the Ray Davies concert last year with Eric when they sat next to each other, filled them in about Adrian...anyway, we had a blast and went home feeling pretty satisfied with ourselves but wondering, because the restaurant was so crowded, if Pierre and Jason would actually read the Drumhead article and listen to the CD and help us promote Side Four Live when it comes out in the...err..very near future. Gary went out to walk the dog and took his usual route, which is right past the restaurant and saw that Pierre and Jason were still there and the place was empty. So being the uber-groupie dad he is, even though it was late at night and he has work today, said to me "You know what? I think I'm going back and talk to them some more...just so they "get it", you know?"

Yep, I know.

So that's what he did.

We are working on global domination for the Adrian Belew Power Trio and trust me, we're gonna succeed. It's such a labor of love, I can't even begin to tell you.

And if you want to read a really wonderful essay about that very subject, you must visit Susan Henderson's website today. Cool? Cool!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Project Object on Tour -- Starting Tonight! (And Dark Forces = A Woman Scorned)

Project Object on stage in Bad Doberan, East Germany, August, 2007

So tonight Project Object kicks off their two week fall tour at the Webster Theater in Hartford, Connecticut.

And, as you can see by Andre's press Release below, please note that the Saturday night show in Asbury Park has been moved from the Stone Pony to Asbury Lanes:

"This gig was pulled from the flames... and saved... Without getting into details -- certain "dark forces" seek to prevent us - and many others -from performing this music.. they will never stop us, until we are ready to stop and pass the baton. The show will always go on!! Frank asked for fans to PLAY HIS MUSIC and ...we will do our small part."

Asbury Lanes 209 4th Avenue Asbury Park, NJ 07712

(732) 776-6160

Doors at 8pm Show at 10pm $15 adv $20 dos 18+ to get in/21 to drink


(sax/vocals, Mothers/Zappa bands 1974-76, '79, '84, Zappa Plays Zappa 2006)

We are celebrating over TEN YEARS of LIVE Zappa Music...with the amazing people who recorded it!

Other than Frank Zappa himself...we are The World's ONLY band that has featured live onstage ZAPPA ALUMNI --- Ike Willis, Ed Mann, Mike Keneally, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Denny Walley, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Bob Harris, Thana Harris, Jimmy Carl Black, Ray White, Al Malkin, Arthur Barrow, Roy Estrada, and even claymation genius Bruce Bickford (Baby Snakes/Dub Room movies) !!!

Other guests have included Ed Palermo (EP Big Band), Dave Fiuczynski (Screaming Headless Torsos/Kif/Hiromi), Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs/Steve Morse/Joe Satriani), Jerry Cuccurullo (Warren Cuccurullo Band/ L. Shankar/Dweezil Zappa) , Chris Opperman (Shankar, Mike Keneally Band, Steve Vai orchestrator) Tom Trapp (Steve Vai orchestrator), Joe Deninzon (Stratospheerius), Bon Lozaga (Gongzilla), Gary Lucas (Guitar/Captain Beefheart), Jimmy Wilson (Dennis Chambers Band), Jim Loughlin & Chuck Garvey (moe.), Gregg Bendian (Mahavishnu Project, The Musical Box), Adam Holzman (Brave New World, Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Project), Jerry Outlaw (Bogus Pomp), Kilissa Cissoko (Voice Of Cheez), Elliott Levin (New Ghost), and soooooo many more. We thank them ALL for expanding the scope of what we are trying to do to celebrate and promote Zappa's music.

As we look back on this great , fun decade of playing for YOU, the special supportive audience -- we are incredibly touched and honored also that... our audience members have included Candy Zappa, Bob Zappa, Carl Zappa (Frank's siblings), "Bald Headed" John Smothers (Zappa Bodyguard for many years), "Donna U Wanna" & "Janet The Planet" (fr. BABY SNAKES movie), Coy Featherstone (Zappa lighting director for many yrs), Elliott Ingber (Zappa's guitarist on FREAK OUT!), Nick Cave, Bob Musso, Matt Resnicoff (guitar historian, editor of MUSICIAN/GUITAR WORLD), Matt Groening (Simpsons Creator), Gary Green (GENTLE GIANT), Artimus Pyle (Skynyrd drummer)....Paul Kersey (drummer/Max Webster) Mark Wood (Violin Madman), Dave Dreiwitz & Claude Coleman (WEEN), John Ferenzik (keys/Todd Rundgren band), Jimmy Leslie (GUITAR PLAYER mag.)...Bob Moog (MOOG synthesizer inventor/pioneer) and sooo many more. A complete honor and inspiration -- all of it !

Indulge me as I reminisce about what a special ride it has been!! Come celebrate with all of us again.....

12 FRI NYC NY LION'S DEN (special opener - JERRY CUCCURULLO's new fusion band!!)
14 SUN PHILA PA WORLD CAFE' LIVE (opener CRESCENT MOON w/Dave of WEEN & Eric Slick!)

Napoleon Murphy Brock - sax, flute, vocals

Andre' Cholmondeley - guitar, vocals

Dave Johnsen - Electric Bass, vocals

Eric Slick - drums, vocals

Eric Svalgard - keys, vocals

Joshua Oxford - marimba, percussion (sp. guest 10-16 Oct)

Coming in Nov 2007 and beyond ....Look out for DELICIOUS on tour with Andre' and Eric Slick.. psychedelic stoner rock with a twist... Satans Jamband
In case you are wondering about the "dark forces", well, I'd better keep quiet on the subject because it both infuriates and bewilders me and despite all the evil corporate alleged reasons for it, let's just say in my mind it all boils down to "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"....and let's leave it at that...except that the woman in question would do well to use her *snort* clout and energy to fight the real war and evildoers in this country, not snuff out the creativity and careers of dedicated musicians who want to carry the torch of her brilliant late husband's music.

Oh. I see I didn't keep quiet after all. Too freaking bad.

Yo, Adelaide. Take a page out of John Lennon's book: Give Peace a Chance. And belated Happy Birthday to John, who would have been sixty-seven years old yesterday and probably would have kicked your ass.


I just smiled at a mention of the Project Object Asbury Park show this Saturday night on the Ween Forum Board under "reasons to go to the show":

"I'm wanting go to this show for a few reasons.. 1. Eric Slick on drums, 2. I've heard great things about this band, 3. I enjoy live music and new experiences hearing bands I've never heard before, 4. Eric Slick on drums."

By the way, I just noticed those Satans Jam Band shows are November 1, 2, 3 down in Asheville, North Carolina...well, I see the one on November 3 is at Stella Blue and is it a duo of Eric and Andre? Hmm...I will get further details on this one - looks veddy interesting...

Anyway, I need to make this an abbreviated post - I'm in heavy duty writing mode but I do want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who are purchasing my two books off of Amazon. I know those numbers aren't always realistic but both Three Days in New York City and its newly released sequel, Another Bite of the Apple have been doing very well....so well, in fact, that it's totally given me the needed impetus to work on the third book in this series, Bitten to the Core...and could I possibly be doing this for Hollywood? Hmmm...what do you think?

I just noticed that Google Books has a huge excerpt on my author page in case anyone wants a bigger "taste" of Another Bite.

And I will have more on this later today or tomorrow, but it appears I may be actually moderating the panel at Philadelphia Stories Push to Publish this Saturday instead of "merely" sitting in as a panelist...oy...as I just wrote to their editor in chief, does this mean I need to come up with questions instead of just answering them?

I believe it does. And yeah, I'm into that!

Ooh, and I just realized I'm on the front page of Book Tours which is way cool, though whether that will appear on the front page of those not living in my area I do not know...but here's the link that will show up worldwide har har.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Odds and Sods for Monday, October 8, 2007

Julie Slick, Pat Mastelotto and Eric Slick following their September 15, 2007 Adrian Belew Power Trio/TU Seattle show

I just realized the above photo was floating throughout the internet - it must have been posted while I was on vacation; anyway, Eric and Pat are now in the mutual admiration society which is way, way cool.

So Eric left yesterday unexpectedly for the Project Object tour which doesn't start until Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at The Webster Theater in Hartford, Connecticut. Since their vocalist/sax player extraordinaire Napoleon Murphy Brock just flew in from his home in California for the gigs, they are basically holing up at keyboardist Eric Svalgard's house for the next three days and rehearsing 24/7. These shows should really, really be awesome. Napoleon is amazing, and he's fresh off the Zappa Plays Zappa tour and at the top of his game. Though come to think of it, I've known Napoleon for five years and I've never seen/heard him anywhere less than perfect.

But wah! I miss Eric already. I cannot wait until the Sunday, October 14, 2007 gig at the World Cafe Live, and if you click on that link, you can not only buy tickets, you'll see the very serendipitous mention on the website which says:

"As a fan of Project/Object, you may also be interested in some of these upcoming shows:

...Monday, November 5, 2007 - Robert Fripp"

And just a reminder that Eric will be blogging about his upcoming tour on a regular basis right here.

So this is what I'm up to this week, though I'll be reminding you again on Friday, I'm sure - on Saturday, October 13, I'm sitting on a panel on behalf of Philadelphia Stories...click on the link for details but to sum it up, I'll be talking about the business of networking as concerns selling your book, and that will be at 1:15 p.m. and run for about an hour, after which I have to hightail it a few miles away to Robin's Bookstore for a reading at 4:00 p.m. - for more details click here...and at some point either before or after this reading we're all going to do some promo and the aforesaid networking at Faerie Con which should be lots of fun and I think I'm gonna wear my faerie crown to both the reading and the con because, well, it just seems like the right thing to do. And in case you've never seen it...

It was designed by the lovely Taryn of Heirloom Ribbon and Beadworks and she's amazing - I can't wait to meet her at the Con and maybe even buy myself another crown.

Yeah, so I'm going to be talking about networking on the Philadelphia Stories panel and I must admit, I've become an expert at that and you'd never know I'm a recluse who hates to leave her home unless it concerns live music, gourmet restaurants, or interesting travel involving live music and gourmet restaurants...okay, okay, and writing...but I'm a lot more comfortable networking from home as opposed to live events though I force myself to do it and always end up having a total blast. Except for that one unfortunate time I had to read in the dark and had to stop half way through because I couldn't see...and naturally I picked a hip New York art gallery for this to happen with my daughter present and most of my good friends from Zoetrope Studios. Oh, the humanity.


I've been really busy working on a new novel which both is and isn't part of the Three Days in New York series -- it's called Bitten to the Core and while my narrator remains the same, the book is somewhat of a departure from its predecessors...let's just say there's a lot more midlife crisis comedy and other suchlike angst involved. And...deep breath...I'm still sitting on some huge news but I can't share it quite yet so I'd better go before the urge to blab overcomes me and I start to spill...

Oh! One other thing -- you can now purchase the paperback of Another Bite of the Apple over at Amazon...click right here!


Friday, October 05, 2007

Monty and the Roll

ETA: THIS JUST IN: ERIC HAS CREATED HIS OWN BRAND NEW blog! I'd appreciate it if all of my "regulars" would link him. Cool? Cool!

So you might be wondering what Eric and Julie Slick are up to when they aren't on tour. Well, as you can see, they've been teaching Monty the dog how to speak English. Both Eric and Monty are addicted to LeBus brioche rolls and every time Monty sees Eric with one, he goes crazy. We, err, realized that he was trying to say the word "roll" and most of the time, he aces it, so Julie got out the video camera but then Monty got a little too excited and instead started barking, However, if you listen closely, you can hear him form the word a few times and you have to watch his paw action as he gets extremely frustrated when Eric doesn't reward him with a bite or two after he says the word.

What, you don't believe Monty can say "roll"? I guess you don't believe he can say "roof", either. Oh well - you'll eat your words when you see him on Letterman doing Brilliant Pet Tricks.

So, um, this isn't really a blog post - I just wanted to make my husband smile when he sees this for the first time while at work today. I do have tons and tons of exciting news, though -- both writing and music -- but the jinx factor prevents me from blabbing any of it just yet.

Stay tuned...major announcements on the way.


Monday, October 01, 2007

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Part I

Hey hey hey - the new issue of Drumhead Magazine is available in book and music stores across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and as you can see by the above ever-changing photo I lifted from their website, there's a three page article entitled "Too Slick" all about the amazing Eric Slick with additional commentary from Miss Julie Slick and Adrian Belew.

And do I believe the Phillies won the National League East yesterday? It's not that I'm a die hard sports fanatic or anything but my late, beautiful beatnik mom was a huge Phillies fan and I have a soft spot for them because of that. It's funny -- I have outlived my mother age wise -- she has now been dead for more than half my life -- and while with each passing day the memories grow fainter and fainter, there are certain things I will never forget which still make me smile -- like the time she took my friend and me to a coffee house -- not a yuppie Starbucks but a real live coffee house where hipsters played bongos, sang bad folk music, recited poetry, etc. and we drank herbal tea with a side of banana nut bread -- anyway, my friend and I tried very hard to look like hippies even though we were like eleven years old and my mother just about killed us by wearing an earpiece attached to a transistor radio so she could listen to the Phillies game while we were there. She would shout out the score or if anyone got a homerun while my pal and I were trying to act like we were cool, wishing we were old enough to sit by ourselves and smoke cigarettes.

Ah, those were the days. Such innocence. But in any event, I love a good party, so it will be very cool this week to watch the play-offs and maybe have one of our legendary barbecues here.

So in case you haven't noticed, I'm back. Did you miss me? Oh my god, what an unbelievable, fabulous vacation we had.

And while Gary and I were at the beach, Eric was off gigging in so many places it's hard to keep track of them all, but he played an impressive show with some serious jazz musos in New York on September 22 - you can read about it here and here and see some really cool photos here.

At the moment, he's just wrapping up this jaunt with yet another band, Sounds of Greg D:

I was just over at the Ween forum board where someone had this to say about Friday night's show:

"They were super stellar last night.

Eric was ridiculous. Just ridiculous."

He'll be back home later tonight, I think, just in time to start serious rehearsals for the upcoming Project Object tour, and here's the press release for that which includes the cities they'll be hitting but you know me, I'm an obsessive compulsive who feels the need to post them here as well:

Wed 10/10/07 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre/Underground
Thu 10/11/07 Troy, NY Revolution Hall
Fri 10/12/07 New York, NY Lion's Den
Sat 10/13/07 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony
Sun 10/14/07 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Mon 10/15/07 Lancaster, PA The Chameleon
Tue 10/16/07 Plains, PA River St. Jazz Cafe
Wed 10/17/07 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Thu 10/18/07 Ferndale, MI Magic Bag
Fri 10/19/07 Chicago, IL Martyrs'
Sat 10/20/07 Chicago, IL Martyrs'
Mon 10/22/07 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
Tue 10/23/07 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
Wed 10/24/07 Cincinnati, OH Poison Room

The show in Philadelphia on October 14 will feature Eric on double duty -- both with Project Object and as drummer for their opener, Crescent Moon featuring Ween's Dave Dreiwitz on bass. Now you know I'm going to be right down in front for that one, so I'm hoping to say Hi to a lot of you there and will of course post many reminders in the next two weeks.

October 25, Eric flies home from Cincinnati, has a few days of r&r, then both he and Julie fly to Nashville to Casa Belew the first week of November to work on some new material for an upcoming studio recording and a massive, three week tour in February-March 2008 which will have the Adrian Belew Power Trio jetting up, down, and across the country -- both re-visiting cities where they've already wowed audiences last year and new cities/states who will be seeing them for the first time.

Life is good.

And now sit back and let me torture you with tales and pictures from our vacation. You can leave if you want...(we're just jammin', that's all) (extra credit to the first person who posts the name of the person attributable to that quote in my comments section)

So we pull up to our beach house and look - someone painted a "Welcome" sign for me on the pole outside:

"How did they know?" I asked Gary. "And err...should I be paranoid?"

Gary giggled and told me not to worry. Ah, it's nice to have a six foot tall, gentile husband.

Here's the view from our bedroom window - Gary actually got out of bed at 6:30 a.m. to take these pictures but alas these are from my camera, not his...he has the much better Canon but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to upload them so I have to wait for Julie or Eric...in the meantime these will have to suffice but trust me, the sky had way more pinks and purples than this and I will post Gary's photos tomorrow.

We arrived on Saturday, September 15 and literally just spent the first couple of days decompressing. Julie and Eric were wrapping up the Seattle gig with Adrian and didn't get back to Philadelphia until late Monday night and they were too beat to travel to the beach. Julie and boyfriend Matt were finally able to make it down on Wednesday, and they stayed through Sunday morning, which was way cool, especially since Julie took over the kitchen. And because I am insane, I took photos of the meals she prepared - seared scallops over brown rice with caramelized leeks and arugula for Julie and me: a Moroccan style chicken dish for Gary and Matt:

Next up are a couple of shots of Princess Julie with Matt -- along with our other son, Monty -- he's the one with the ball in his mouth -- and Matt, by the way, is an awesome bassist and currently gigging pretty heavily with his own band, Cheers Elephant, and ha ha, if I'm not mistaken, the band photo on that site was taken with Gary's camera which is why I am sure Julie will know how to upload his photos for me...anyway, I do believe Julie was also the producer/recording engineer on the tracks Matt has put up for your listening pleasure...she's just so talented I can't take it. So I forgive her for coming into my bedroom every morning at 5:00 a.m. and making me ride bicycles on the boardwalk in the dark before I even had a proper cup of coffee.

Me: Why oh why are you doing this to me on my vacation, Julie?

Julie: Because it's when it's the most beautiful, Mom - no people, the sunrise, the cool air blowing off the ocean...

Me: Oh my god I'm so tired I'm going to die. My legs and ass aren't used to riding a bike...

Julie: Mom! It's a totally flat ride - no hills, nothing.

Me: Okay, okay, you're right. And it is freaking gorgeous out here.

Julie: So do you thank me for waking you up?

Me: Yes. Thank you, Julie. (Whilst secretly muttering to myself Oh my god, I'm gonna die on the boardwalk in Ocean City...if I don't freeze to death first, I'm gonna pass out...fall off this bike...and assuming my death isn't immediate, I'm gonna wake up to a bunch of 18 year old paramedics pounding on my chest and about one hundred retired people in white shoes forming a circle around me which will thus insure that I have a deadly stroke after all.)

Here's those photos I was talking about:

And one of Gary, Monty dog and me:

Eric had a ton of rehearsals upon his arrival home from Seattle due to all of his aforesaid gigs but we connived him into coming down for just the day on Friday and he had such a great time we talked him into returning the following Tuesday into Wednesday morning...and those three days were basically the only days off he's had all summer. Eric was kind enough to bring us down a copy of Drumhead Magazine and naturally being the crazed groupie parents we are, Gary and I then made a million phone calls to bookstores and music stores everywhere trying to score more copies which was not easy because we were basically at least sixty miles from any major city. We finally found them at a Guitar Center a couple of towns over, so we hopped in the car, picked them up, and even we had to laugh at our extreme devotion...though not so much when we got stuck in the traffic jam from hell due to construction work on the Ocean City causeway.

Here's a couple of shots of Eric - one with Julie and Monty and one with his Dad, who, you will notice, is wearing his most favorite t-shirt:

And not to be left out, Monty also made a friend, though to be honest, as you can tell by the expression on his face, Monty prefers humans:

In fact, Monty prefers human companionship so much that he suffers terrible separation anxiety as evidenced by his behavior every time we left him alone, which, based on his heartbreaking expression, wasn't all that often:

I basically spent two weeks offline, but I did go to the library a couple of times to check my oh-so-exciting email (including one from Neil Gaiman telling me how much he enjoyed an MP3 of the Adrian Belew Power Trio and thus sending me into total convulsions of joy) and I did get a few very interesting calls from LA on my cell phone...but this is the How I Spent My Vacation post and not the Robin The Writer post though you can be sure I'll have a lot to say about that this week, including yet more reminders that Another Bite of the Apple is now available in paperback!


Here is the evening view from our bedroom - these pictures do not do it justice...we had a full moon shining over the ocean in a deep purple sky...ack! Why oh why is it so impossible for me to upload Gary's photos?

Because I am technology challenged, that is why. Oh well, just another one of my lovable quirks.

Anyway, I'm leaving a ton of stuff out but it doesn't matter, I will be back with more pictures and stories later today or tomorrow...and in case you haven't already seen this on one of the many Belew blogs now out there (hey, did you notice my new linkage on the right hand side?), here's a You Tube of the trio performing Men in Helicopters two weeks ago in Seattle - and Eric will kill me for saying this, but about 3/4 of the way through you can catch him doing his best Ringo imitation...you'll see what I mean...I think it's great but I can just see Eric cringing right now so I'll stop...and there is also some gorgeous footage of Julie at the very end....Adrian, as you know, is always gorgeous and yeah, yeah, I know You Tubes aren't great quality but he still gives me the chills every time I hear him perform.