Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Adrian Belew Power Trio: You Tube Heaven

Okay, this morning I woke up to three new You Tubes of the Adrian Belew Power Trio in Ann Arbor last week -- I know the one I posted a few days ago gave people problems and two of these You Tubes cover the same brilliant, new material from the brilliant, new CD, e, and the third You Tube is a totally smoking version of Futurevision.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

Odds and Sods for Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh good morning, good morning, good morning!

Man, check out this video of the Adrian Belew Power Trio performing their brand new material off of their brand new CD in Ann Arbor, Michigan last week. This is a twenty minute clip, and I tried out a new host to upload it, so how long it will take for it to load I do not know but trust me, it's worth it. Oh, and did you notice the e-shirt is also for sale at Ade's store? It's gorgeous...a combination of the fabulous Mark Colman's incredible artwork and Robin Slick's dogged perseverance in finding the highest quality black t-shirt that would accommodate a nine color graphic design. Score one for Mark and Robin!

Okay, that's it for the commercial, now for the show. And P.S., this video does work, it just is a little weird when you first click on it but you guys are bright, you'll figure it out. Just click on the play arrow; it'll skip the advertisement or whatever that thing is. You may have to close a window/pop up tab first but it's worth the two seconds of extra effort.

Just admit it. How freaking cool was that?

In other news, Julie Slick, who must either have ESP or has been reading this thread, where both she and Tal Wilkenfeld are mentioned A LOT over at the Progressive Ears forum board, weighs in on the subject of female musicians:

"July 25 - MT JULIET, TN - An unrelated rant about female bassists
I apologize to my foodie fans at this point, but I just wanna put this out there, since it's been on my mind lately...

I picked up the bass guitar when I was 11 years old because, yeah, the one my guitar-collecting Dad happened to own had four strings (but it was also fretless... and a long scale Gibson Ribber... but that's besides the point). I wanted badly to play music with my drumming brother, because I felt we were moving apart at that age: he was my best friend, and I didn't want to lose him. I had tried to play guitar, but the closeness of the strings and idea of chords and solos didn't appeal to this shy little girl. Of course adults questioned my decision making, "Julie, isn't that instrument going to be hard for you? Aren't your hands too small?" I shrugged, and never even doubted my thought process for a moment: I had no desire to be in the spotlight. I just wanted to have common ground with Eric again, and I thought that picking up the bass would be the best way to make that happen.

Over time, my competitive streak broke through. My Dad taught me Cream songs like "Politician" and "Sunshine of Your Love." He also tried to influence me by putting on Stanley Clarke vinyls (to which I'd sob and shake my head, thinking his lines were impossible to ever play). Eventually though, my competitive streak broke through, and I thought "Why can't I learn this stuff? Why can't I just practice and become just as good at bass as my brother was at drums?" I never saw boundaries - no differences in approaching the bass as a girl. If anything, I wanted to be the best as I could be - female or male. And that's not to imply that I think I'm the best by any stretch - but I'm always working harder..."

You can read the rest of Julie's rant over at her blog right here.

Also, in case you missed the little edit I threw in yesterday's blogpost, Adrian is now on Twitter, and you can follow him right here where he is known as THEadrianbelew. Well of course he is!

Speaking of Twitter, my usual google stalking uncovered a stream of very nice tweets about the man and his band so you, too, can click on that link and not only read some cool blurbs but also follow like-minded people on Twitter who obviously have great musical taste.

Saw this one over at the DGMLive forum board:

"ABPT In Chicago
Posted by SSImuse on July 23, 2009

I had the privilege of witnessing the Adrian Belew Power Trio last night in the intimate confines of Martyr’s in’s the morning after and my jaw is still agape and my senses flattened.

Yes, there was an abundance of Crim-like tidings ("Elephant Talk", Dinosaur" and a few other surprises I won’t give away); but there was also a wonderful smattering of Ade’s solo work as well ("Big Electric Cat", Twang Bar King") along with a killer improv with a rhythm section (Julie Slick on bass and her brother Eric on drums) that is guaranteed to make you wonder where these two young kids learned to blow out power riffs like that.

With the other sonic wonders and delights are a preview of his new (highly recommended) album, "E" that is a sure-fire hit for fellow Adeheads; complete, organized bombast just the way you like it.

if you have the chance to catch the ABPT tour this time around, I strongly recommend it. I personally won’t be able to pick up a guitar for the next three months. Yes, it was that good."

Ha ha, well, I can't argue with that!

So remember the other day when I said "I'm willing to bet money or even my house that Eric will not be taking two weeks' vacation before leaving for tour in Europe with Project Object? Ha ha, I wish someone would have taken me up on my offer. He's gigged every single night since he's been back. Okay, granted, I did know in advance he was playing with Tom Hamilton's American Babies yesterday at the XPONential Festival yesterday -- ooh, and here's a blurb about that:

"2009 - XPoNential Music Festival - Tom Hamilton's American Babies

Day Two is officially here!

Tom Hamilton's American Babies kicked off the festivities Saturday with a rocking performance at the Marina Stage. They mixed the best of the rock n' roll of yesterday with a unique modern twist that got the crowd moving.

Their big vintage rock sound was a hit. Fans piled in front of the stage as the band played, hooping and hollering before and after every song. The set ended with an extended jam featuring blistering guitar solos and big keyboard riffs. The crowd loved it!

A rocking group like The American Babies is just what the doctor ordered to get this day of music started."


So yeah, I knew about that one but this next gig is news to me -- and it's pretty major because as you can see, it even got its own press release:

Fern Brodkin
Post Office Box 302
Phoenixville, PA 19460-0302

July 24, 2009
For Immediate Release

Progressive/Fusion Band Stretch Announces 6-date August Tour
Album Released on CD to Mark 25-Year Anniversary

Guitarist Glenn Alexander and bassist Dave LaRue, the core of the trio Stretch, will reunite for six shows beginning August 4. The tour will include dates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

The instrumental progressive/fusion band Stretch was formed in 1982 when drummer Bill Elder introduced Alexander to LaRue. This was only two days after Alexander moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey. This incarnation of the band lasted about 2 years. About a year later they reformed the band with drummer Van Romaine.

Both Alexander and LaRue have gone on to much more high-profile and lucrative gigs, but the two have remained friends and had discussed reforming the band. Alexander says it was initially LaRue’s idea to get the band back together.

“We had talked about it for years,” says Alexander, ”and then finally Dave took the bull by the horns in getting the CD released because so many people were still requesting (their 1984 eponymous album). After that was done we decided to book some gigs...”

Both Alexander and LaRue have “racked up a boatload of credentials,” says Alexander, in the last 25 years. A major reason that Stretch had such a long hiatus is due to them both being busy with so many other projects.

In addition to having released numerous albums under his own name, Alexander has performed and recorded with Chico Hamilton, Levon Helm, Randy Brecker, the Max Weinberg 7 and many more. Currently he is performing with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the Mahavishnu Project and his own trio.

LaRue has also been busy. He began playing with the Dixie Dregs in 1988 and is a member of the Steve Morse Band. He has also toured and recorded with Joe Satriani, John Petrucci of Dream Theater and others. He is looking forward to the release of the new Steve Morse Band album Out Standing in Their Field and touring in support of the album later this year.

Stretch did a short tour in May of this year with Elder in the drum chair.

“It has been 25 years since Bill, Dave and I have played together and it feels really good,” says Alexander of that experience.

Since 2000 Elder has been touring and recording with Latin-jazz percussionist Ray Mantilla. He has also toured with the Jazz Tribe, Arturo Sandoval, Stanley Turrentine and others. Elder recorded the 1984 eponymous LP album with Stretch and he will perform with Stretch again on August 12.

The first show on this tour, at Silk City in Philadelphia, will feature special guest Eric Slick on drums. It will be his first performance with the band. At only 22, the native Philadelphian has quite an extensive resume. He, along with his sister Julie, is a member of the Adrian Belew Power Trio and also the Frank Zappa tribute band Project Object. He is an alumnus of the famed Paul Green School of Rock and is featured in the 2005 documentary Rock School. He is currently an instructor at the Philadelphia branch of the school.

The Philadelphia show is a cobill with Base3, featuring guitarist Tim Motzer. Motzer is gaining notoriety in Philadelphia and beyond as an accomplished and versatile guitarist, producer and composer. He moves seamlessly though the genres of rock, jazz, hip hop, electronica and experimental music. He is featured in the September, 2009 issue of Guitar Player magazine, on newsstands now. The other members of Base3 are bassist Barry Meehan and drummer Doug Hirlinger.

The bulk of the shows on this tour will feature Romaine in the drum chair. Romaine played with Stretch for several years after the original band split up, and he is featured on a bonus track on the newly released CD. He, along with LaRue, is also a member of the Steve Morse Band. In addition he has performed with such diverse artists as Enrique Iglesias, Blood Sweat and Tears, Kansas, Bernie Worrell and Joan Osborne.

Despite both Alexander and LaRue being busy with so many other projects, Alexander says he hopes that Stretch will become a priority in their lives.

“I think this will become a higher priority as it starts to grow legs, support itself and contribute to the balance of earning a living and doing art,” says Alexander. “ of our primary goals,” continues Alexander, ”is to make a living playing this incredibly high level music.”

Stretch is planning to record a new studio album, though at this point the timeframe is unclear.

“I would say that we have 75% to 80% of the material for a new recording, and several other pieces started, so we are almost there,” says Alexander. “The only thing that will differ (from the first album) is our ability to draw on some of the influences we have absorbed over the years and our knowledge of recording and producing as well. It will still sound like Stretch but even better.”

The following is the band’s August tour itinerary:

Tuesday, August 4
With Eric Slick on drums – this show only!
Cobill with Base 3 (Tim Motzer – guitar, Barry Meehan – bass, Doug Hirlinger – drums)
Silk City
435 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA
doors 9 pm, show 10 pm
$10; 21+

Wednesday, August 5
With Van Romaine on drums.
Rock’n Joe’s
3570 Route 27
Kendall Park, NJ
2 sets – 7 pm and 9 pm
$10; all ages

Thursday, August 6
With Van Romaine on drums.
The Garage at Paul Green School of Rock
484 Century Boulevard
Wilmington, DE
8:30 pm
$12; all ages

Friday, August 7
With Van Romaine on drums.
The Crossroads

78 North Ave. 

Garwood, NJ

9 pm; $8

Sunday, August 9
With Van Romaine on drums.
John & Peter's
96 S. Main St.
New Hope, PA
2 sets – 9 pm and 11 pm
$10; 21+
note: This is a smoking establishment.

Wednesday, August 12
With Bill Elder on drums.
Bergen Performing Arts Center
Opening for Joe Bonamassa
30 North Van Brunt St.
Englewood, NJ
8 pm
$29 - $69; all ages
And that's just the tip of the iceberg - I think Eric has a gig today somewhere and a bunch of others scheduled throughout the next two weeks...I'll post them here as I learn about them but yeah, you can pretty much bet he'll be out and about behind the drums every night. Ha ha, he did not fool me for a minute.

So I would be remiss if I didn't remind you once again that the Adrian Belew Power Trio now also has their own slice of the internet over at Reverb Nation and Julie is down in Nashville with Adrian doing all kinds of cool stuff - they've added a live stream of "e", a single from the CD by the same name, and the way cool video from the Rockpalast DVD -- a smoking version Of Bow and Drum. Who knows what else will appear on that page during the next several days? Stay tuned...

And yes, I do have shout outs about writing and some of my friends who also have some pretty spectacular news and I don't want that to get buried in this post so I guess I'm due for one of those me, me, me blogs over the next day or so...bear with me...I also have some funny stories as usual, too.

But for now, holy cow, I think that does it for today.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

e is here

Okay, as noted by the billboards posted all over the internet, yes, the long awaited studio album debut by the Adrian Belew Power Trio is available today. Catch the live stream of the title track right here.

Cover art by Mark Colman

Pick up a copy at Store Belew today!

Just an amazing, amazing work of art.

And follow Adrian on twitter right here. In case the link malfunctions, he's @THEadrianbelew.


Today at 12:30 p.m. - Eric Slick with Tom Hamilton's American Babies

Okay, sorry for the late notice though I know I have posted this previously, but Eric Slick will be taking the stage at 12:30 p.m. eastern today at the XPonential Festival with Tom Hamilton's American Babies (Eric is taking over the drum spot for the legendary Sir Joe Russo on this gig so you know how good this band is...Scott Metzer of Rana/Particle is on guitar...amazing stuff)...anyway, if you click on the link I gave you for the festival, you can listen live!

Eric just twittered the above photo (@mrericslick if you want to follow him) -- what a gorgeous place for a festival.

Anyway, I have a ton of news so I'm going to come back in and edit this post this afternoon, but the most important of which is: The Adrian Belew Power Trio's first studio CD e is now available for purchase!

And there's going to be a huge, fantastic, spectacular record release party here in Philadelphia -- yes, Mr. Belew will be in attendance -- more on that in a few hours. I just want to get this post up now so you all have a chance to tune in to XPN and have a listen.

P.S. Ha! Eric just tweeted this photo. I mean, really. If you can't use those words, you may as well not talk.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Adrian Belew Power Trio: Chicago, July 22, 2009

***ETA: Immediately after posting this, I've already found a new review, added at the bottom***

From the Ween Forum Board entitled "Post a Reviewof the Last Show You Saw"...

"Adrian Belew at Martyr's in Chicago. 7-22-09

The guy is not human. Played a full 2 hour set (complete with Elephant Talk) and smiled just about the whole time.

Eric and Julie Slick were great as well."

From Talk Bass:

"Saw the Adrian Belew Power Trio last night. 23 year old Julie Slick rockin on a Lakland P bass and putting down some serious rawk. Cute girl too."

And another:

"Saw the Adrian Belew Power Trio again last night and Julie Slick is just a great player. The band really has a lot of synergy and has a lot in common with the last 70's lineup of King Crimson."

He he - and this one, which is a thread on best women bassists:

"I love the pathetic whining envy these threads continue to bring. But hey, share the love, you guys with withered, uh, sensibilities. Get generous! There's that Julie Slick who's playing with Adrian Belew too, you know."

From Harmony Central:

"So, I went to the show. Skipped out of work early and hauled ass downtown.

Where to begin... Belew is beyond words. Honest to god, the looping he did during most of the songs was just scrambling my brain as I tried to process it all. He had so many things going and sometimes it would take a little while for the picture to come into focus, but once every track was laid down and they were perfectly in sync with the drums and bass-- it was breathtaking.

Highlight for me was Elephant Talk. Adrian said it was the first time they'd played it in 18 months. He also played 3 songs off his new album that is titled "e". They played "a" "b" and "e" (they skipped c and d). All I can say about the new stuff is that I dont know how he pulled it off live. The guy is a wizard with all his gear.

Part of me was absolutey inspired by what I saw, but I think a bigger part of me was telling me to sell all my gear because I'll never be able to do what this guy can do."

"The things he does with his guitar and effects completely boggled my mind. The fact that he could opperate everything so seamlessly and have it sound so good with aparently very little effort... I just can't imagine having that ability. And the best part was that he was smiling and laughing like a fool the entire night, through every song.

I've seen Jeff Beck in person and been floored by his complete control of the instrument. Belew is like that, with the addition of what seems to be an obession with looping and out of the ordinary guitar tones and effects."


More from Bass Geek:

"Michael Maier Says:
July 20th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Hi, I was at the ABT show Saturday too. What a collection of monster players. Julie grooved and kicked major booty. Eric slammed and was thunderous on the freaking FOUR PIECE! (shaking head). Adrian, well he’s okay..."

So that's all I've got for now but it's still early in Chicago and hey, you know me, if I find more, I'll be back.

Eric is flying home today so that he can play at the XPONential Festival this Saturday with Tom Hamilton and The American Babies...then he swears, but I do not believe him...that he's taking a vacation for a week before leaving for Europe with Project Object on August 6 where he'll be performing in Prague, Netherlands, Germany...and get this...a 3,000 seat soccer stadium in Spain.

But who wants to bet me some money that Eric will probably be playing gigs while he's back home...I know him...he'll never be able to go more than two days without playing somewhere. Hell, I will bet the house on it.

And as for Julie, she is headed back to Nashville with Adrian today where she will spend a week on maybe a couple of surprises? Who knows. But you know me, when I find out, so will you.

But one this I do know...the trio's first studio CD, e, will be available on July 25. That's in two days! Hurrah!

Okay, must resume internet stalking...

ETA: Well, this one is interesting - can't say I agree with all of it but there's a lot to like, too:

"By Jeff Sabatini
July 23, 2009

The Adrian Belew Power Trio at The Ark
Ann Arbor, Michigan, July 20, 2009
Reviewed by Stephen Macaulay and Jeff Sabatini

Adrian Belew will turn 60 this year. Why should you care about an old guy with such a ridiculous name? Probably because he is one of the most technically capable and imaginative guitar players, far more adept at what he does than any number of people half his age. And able to keep up with people a third his age. Let's put it another way: Adrian Belew is who the guy playing that self-indulgent solo at Guitar Center thinks he is.

Hit up Wikipedia for Belew's bona fides: King Crimson, Talking Heads, Bowie, Zappa. For someone with his capability, it might be surprising that the Adrian Belew Power Trio performs at venues like The Ark, a hall that's smaller by half than a high school gymnasium. But the reality of it is that those with a particular talent -- and make no mistake, his is a particular talent -- tend to find themselves reaching an audience the size of which has an inverse relationship to what they can do.

Speaking of high school gym, a word is in order about the other members of the Trio. Julie Slick (bass) and brother Eric (drums) are barely twenty-somethings, making the balding dude on stage between them seem even more the creepy uncle to their cherubic youth. One wonders whether Belew is employing them as interns. That they're even willing to hang out with the likes of him is somewhat surprising because the talent level of the young duo seems unbounded.

Belew is obsessive about working what he can manage to get out from his Parker Signature guitar, to the extent that there are at least two possible reasons why he is playing with the Slicks: His contemporaries might be less willing to cut him so much slack as he is nudging it; his contemporaries might have a profoundly difficult time of keeping up with him. There is something to be said about working with these talented young musicians, musicians he met at the Paul Green School of Rock in 2006. There is something to be said about, well, education.

But before we allow this review to be hijacked by the Slicks -- as they threatened to do throughout the show -- let’s turn the focus back where it rightfully belongs, to the mad professor. His experiments with the guitar are legendary, and such dabblings in effects and processing to make his instrument sound like all manner of animals and mechanical beasts were on full display. Particularly interesting was a lengthy solo piece in which Belew chased the kids off the stage, then sat down to jam with himself, literally, on a cover of George Harrison’s “Within You Without You.” Belew also debuted some material from his forthcoming album, e, which will be available on his Web site on July 25, or so we were told.

What's interesting about Belew's music is that in some ways it is like a fabric, a tapestry, one that he's been weaving for several years, but in a way that it is all of a piece. That is, he opened the performance with "Big Electric Cat" from his debut solo album of 1982 and closed it, in the encore (of course) with King Crimson's "Three of a Perfect Pair" from 1984's eponymous album, yet even though there was the new material from e, someone would be hard pressed to delineate the musical differences between now and then, or even between then ('82) and nearly then ('84). You can't see (or hear) the gaps or changes in the stitching. The experimentation never seems to have started, nor has it stopped.

Yet for all the weirdness, noise, and creativity that distinguishes Belew’s sound, perhaps the best aspect of his current touring arrangement is that it delivers a tight and polished rock performance, with much more than the meandering guitar wankery that has always been prog rock’s Achilles heel. This was much appreciated by the crowd, which broke into a veritable sing-along during the encore. Though let's be straight -- as much as "Three..." represents the high-water mark for King Crimson's accessibility, this was a far cry from what presumably went down at the nearby DTE Energy Music Theater, where Asia and Yes were playing on the same night.

Even before the encore, the Power Trio had received a standing ovation, albeit one that was premature and seemed to genuinely surprise Belew, who noted that the show wasn't over, as though it wasn't something that often happened. And before the band finally exited the stage, he said that while they've traveled quite extensively, they'd not been to Ann Arbor (although years earlier, in his post-pre Crimson life [i.e., left the band, reunited with the band, all part of the fabric], he'd performed at a nearby ballroom with The Bears), he thought, given the reception, they'd "found a home there." Which is undoubtedly true, not because of the generosity of the crowd, but because Adrian, Julie and Eric paid the rent in advance."

Oh, and if you haven't picked up the Trio's Live Overseas Rare MP3, maybe this Amazon review will twist your arm:

"This version of Adrian Belew Power trio has reenergized Adrian's playing. If you are a fan of Adrian Belew, the freedom that has emerged in Adrian's playing is a direct result of the Slick siblings. Julie and Eric Slick are a brother and sister team. They have been playing together since they were little kids and it is if they are connected. Eric Slick on drums has a unique sound of his own-sort of a combination of Stewart Copeland meets Keith Moon, or Terri Bozzio meets Carl Palmer with a bang. Julie plays barefoot, beautiful/humble, and there is a reason she has shared a stage with Tony Levin. This young woman can play with the best of them whether it were filling in for Chris Squire or any of the other prog greats like Greg Lake if given the chance. She has it all. But the two of them coupled with Adrian Belew, and songs Adrian did 20 years ago sound as if they were written yesterday. Pick this up or side 4 and you will just be waiting for the release of e."


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adrian Belew Power Trio - a review from last night in Cleveland

ETA #1 - First newspaper review in!

"Concert Review: Adrian Belew at the Grog Shop, 7/21
by Vince Grzegorek on Wed, Jul 22, 2009

(Photo by Faith Cohen - see credits below)

Adrian Belew is out on the road again — this time with friends. Adding Eric (drums) and Julie Slick (bass) to form the Adrian Belew Power Trio in May 2006, Belew's take on funk/boogie has never sounded better. Five cities into their fifth tour in three years, the Trio have the energy and chops of a more veteran band.

There were some technical difficulties, though. Midway through the nostalgic opener, “Big Electric Cat,” Belew’s gear went dead and he had to come up with new ways to entertain the crowd, throwing a few dance moves into the mix.

Supporting their new album e, Belew and the Slick siblings flowed as easily as cold beer on a hot day. They played two songs from the new album, “a” and “b” (guess what the rest are titled), which, on the whole, sound like exercises in musical technique and jazz-funk.

One of the featured techniques was Belew's much-celebrated “playing with himself,” where he records himself performing measures and then looping them back again as new creative sections. This musical onanism made the simple trio sound much bigger than they were. Especially enthralling was Julie's bass playing, which were put to the test on Belew's old King Crimson bandmate Tony Levin’s complex parts.

After playing with Talking Heads, Frank Zappa and Nine Inch Nails, Belew's electro-funk soundscape seems more musically pure. He performed with the intensity of the younger greats, not someone coming up on his 60th birthday. He slipped easily into King Crimson's “Dinosaur” and “Young Lions,” throwing on the gas after “Neurotica” into “Of Bow and Drum.” The core set finished with another track off the new album, this one called “e,” a wonderfully calibrated road boogie.

An encore of the eminently jammable “Futurevision” capped the 105-minute set.

Local jazz-funk trio Cuda, Renko, & Cuda — manned by Chris Cuda (guitar), Steve Renko (drums) and Tony Cuda (bass) — opened and, for the most part, kept the audience entertained. Sounding like a incoherent mix between Dream Theater and Joe Satriani, they displayed a technical knowledge of boogie but weren’t quite polished. Their strongest number was their last: "Safari," a sprawling, polyphonic, quadra-signature opus. —Gerard Nielsen"

That was a very cool read - thank you, Gerard.

Okay, I'm not feeling 100% today and I have some great photos to post once I'm able to hopefully get my act together, but reviews of the Adrian Belew Power Trio are coming in from Cleveland so let me post that in the meantime...

Oh hell, I can't help myself. Before I launch into more words, here are some photos from Radio, Radio Saturday night, taken by the lovely and very talented Faith Cohen:

And also, very important - the trio play the last show on this first leg of their summer/fall tour tonight in Chicago. They'll be at the fabulous Martyrs, and I believe tickets are still available right here!

Okay, now on to the review...and once again, assuming I am not in the fetal position this entire day, I will be editing to add new items as I hopefully find them or even better, people email them to me...

"It's about 3:15 am. I've been home for maybe 20 minutes or something. Here's why.

Tuesday afternoon at work, I made the spontaneous decision to take Wednesday off and go see Adrian Belew in Cleveland, at the Grog Shop, to be exact. I had previously wanted to go, or at least thought about going, but then ended up not requesting a vacation day from work or anything. All of the sudden on Tuesday around lunch time, they posted a sign-up for voluntary days off. I pondered it for about a half hour and decided "You know what? Let's do this thing."

I got home from work, got gas, had dinner (Hardee's) at like 4:30, took a shower, never did get a nap or anything. Drove up to Cleveland. Picked a good time to leave and arrive, as the opening band (Cuda, Renko & Cuda, who also opened for Project/Object last Sunday) was doing their last song.

In addition to its titular leader, the Adrian Belew Power Trio consists of Eric Slick (erstwhile Project/Object drummer and apparent occasional reader of this journal, or at least the ridiculous P/O show reviews) and his sister Julie Slick on bass.

I'm glad I decided to go. Man was it worth it. It was an evening of truly insane, wild guitar, mesmerizing powerhouse drumming and bong-rattling ($1 to Homer Simpson) boot-up-your-ass bass.

They played some brand new stuff ("a", "b" and "e" from the forthcoming e), cool Belew solo stuff ("Big Electric Cat", "Young Lions", "Of Bow and Drum", "Futurevision"), and a couple Crimson jamz ("Dinosaur", "Neurotica"). I'm mostly able to recall this because I scribbled down what was on the set list (I didn't manage to grab one of the three, but someone was kind enough to let borrow their's for a moment to write it down), though not everything on said list was played ("Thela Hun Jingeet" was listed in the encore area of said list, but was so very sadly not played.) Belew also laid down an unaccompanied solo guitar excursion at one point, and Eric got to whip out a badass drum solo, rocking so fierce as to dislodge the mallet from his bass drum pedal. This wasn't the only technical difficulty of the evening, as the opening "Big Electric Cat" got a little extended vamp while Adrian and he whom I assume was a roadie tried to figure out why the guitar signal was lost (original diagnosis: dead 9v battery. actual cause: dunno).

My only regret is that I didn't wear earplugs to this show. I intended to (I still have two pairs of earplugs from when me and Sharon and Mary saw My Dad is Dead at Now That's Class that one time, where I got said earplugs just because it was so damn loud in there and the sound was so godawful fucking horrible), then when I was in Canton somewhere, I realized I never pocketed them. Aside from being, you know, LOUD, I think I would have been able to hear and appreciate a good deal of Belew's insane playing were the sound a little filtered before hitting my ear drums. He and it was still great, though. He was obviously having loads of fun on stage. And man, what a gee-tar player. Hell, what a kick-ass band. They put the power in power trio. CORNY. But seriously, those three musicians in conjuction did things that just kick my brain in the ass and kick my ass in the, um, ass, I guess? Since I was, to be honest, only familiar with a certain portion of the stuff they played, I couldn't completely discern which parts were more structured and which were more improvised, but it was all good. There were obviously improvised moments (but still structured, as such, if that makes any sense, which it doesn't, and I know because I just read it and it doesn't say what I'm trying to say, but I can't find the words to say it better) that kind of degenerated into wild, screaming, pounding abandon. Not in a bad way, obviously. In such a way that you think if it goes an inch or two farther, it will collapse into total chaos, but the band just snatches the stream of ear-pummeling sound from the abyss and throws all their fierce energy and forward motion behind it.

How poetic.

I hoped to get to chat with Eric Slick, as I guess we're acquainted in some fashion now (see previous entries) and I did, at a later point after the set. Prior to that, after seeing the Trio return from the backstage area, I retreated to my car to fetch a little something and returned to stand over by Adrian Belew and several people he was chatting to and answering questions for. I just wanted to introduce myself to him, tell him the show was great and everything and maybe get him to sign something for me. But as is so often the case, I didn't want to be too intrusive, since he was talking to other people. But Eric came over, gave me quite a friendly greeting and sort-of-in-a-sense introduced me to Adrian, adding "this guy writes the most insane, in-depth Project/Object show reviews".

Somewhat predictably, the item I wanted Adrian to sign for me was King Crimson's Discipline lp. That record came out the year I was born, my dad had a copy of it which he played often when I was a wee lad, and I've more or less loved every minute of that record since I was a kid in freaking grade school. I told Adrian this as he signed the record cover for me. If I had a decent digital camera, I would take a picture of said cover for this journal entry, just cuz I think it's pretty rad. (Maybe one day I'll have to do a little collection of stuff I have signed and make a facebook photo album of it or some such rot.)

As Eric was breaking down and packing up his drums, I went over just to say hi again, wish him well and tell him I was going to be on my way, but we ended up standing on the stage, talking for like 20 minutes, about Project/Object, drummers, Zappa Plays Zappa, Joe Travers and other such things. Have I mentioned it's very gratifying to me that he reads and has read my show reviews and enjoys them and finds my descriptions and opinions interesting? Tis. At this point, I guess I mostly do the big P/O show posts because it's sort of an obligation now, but I try to make them amusing, if only for myself half the time, because I know the number of Zappa fans and people who would be interested in the least on my friends list is a pretty limited one. But I still do them. Eric, if you happen to be reading, I very much appreciate the kind words. I'm glad you enjoy the posts and that you (as far as I'm aware) haven't been somehow bothered by criticisms of the shows and, in fact, even agree with me on some of those things. So, yeah, thanks.

It's now about 4:15 am. In an hour and fifteen minutes, my alarms will go off. I should sleep at some point."

So a fun write-up of the Cleveland concert, and it comes to you courtesy of this guy (ha ha - thank you, kind sir).

And yes, Derek, Eric does read your reviews, so does Julie, and so does Adrian Belew and Andre Cholmondeley of Project Object. You can thank ME later. Ha!

Anyway, must go stretch out in bed until my head stops pounding. But there will be more...


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adrian Belew Power Trio in concert July 18, 2009

Oh man, you have to see this. Thank you so much, Faith Cohen, who also sent me amazing photos I will post tomorrow along with a link to her website...

(ETA: I did not realize this until a few minutes ago (2:20 p.m. on Monday) but the clip I have below is incomplete. I am trying to fix it but in the meantime if you want to see the whole thing, you can friend me on Facebook or better yet, friend the Adrian Belew Power Trio on Facebook because the whole clip -- all 18 minutes of it -- is there courtesy of the lovely Faith Cohen.)

ETA 2: Yay! Faith send me the right code - it is now fully operational! Therefore...

Ladies and Gentlemen, from the about to be released CD performed last night at Radio, Radio in Indianapolis, Indiana...and make sure you click it to large screen for the full experience!

ETA3 - Ha ha, apparently I'm a superstar, too. Here I am reading my piece for The Nervous Breakdown in New York City last week!

ETA4: Just found a review of the Indiana show from Bass Geek:

"Bass Highlights From The Weekend

Aside from a little more practice time than I’m used to this weekend, the bass highlights come courtesy of a couple of live shows. The first was one I wish I could have made live – The Low Show at the Rutledge in Nashville, TN as part of the summer NAMM show. Bryan Beller, Doug Johns, and many more. Luckily, there’s a UStream feed that caught some of the performance for posterity – check it out here. Superb playing all around.

The other show was just down the street – Adrian Belew at Radio Radio. Most of my familiarity with Belew’s work comes from his time in King Crimson and the odd solo album I’d run across in the student radio station. This show found him accompanied by a powerhouse rhythm section with Julie Slick on and her brother Eric on drums. Brother Slick was a wonder, but it was Sister slick and her raw, muscular tone that stole the night for me. Effortless riffing and raw power – what a fantastic show. No live tape for this one, but see the show if it comes near you."

Oh, and I had to add this from Derek, who just posted this great journal entry after seeing that I linked him in a couple Project Object posts...we have a history now...anyway...this is a really cool story so here you go:

"Previous Entry Add to memories! Tell a Friend! Next Entry
Ok, I mentioned this in passing the day after it happened, then never got around to elaborating on it. I noticed that Robin Slick, mother of Project/Object and Adrian Belew drummer magnifique Eric Slick, akshuly quoted that post and linked to this here journal in her blog and I figured I should get around to telling the tale.

Let's go back to the 7th time I saw Project/Object, on 10/17/07. The last song of the show was "Peaches en Regalia". Now I will quote myself.

Peaches en Regalia ended the show as pseudo-encore (they never left the stage, but the Village suite was intended to be the proper end of the second set, as it almost always is). The ending of the song was performed in the faux-Devo manner, as heard on "Peaches III" from Tinseltown Rebellion. In fact, I noticed (and was kind of amazed by the fact that) Eric Slick was playing the weird drum line from Devo's version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" behind the music in this section. Makes me want to listen to the Tinseltown version and see if Vinnie was playing it like that back in the day.

About 15 months later, I saw them for the 8th time. This time the first song of the show (after an opening guitar solo, which I think was over the E-Flat vamp) was "Peaches en Regalia". And here I must quote myself again.

Peaches en Regalia was most like "Peaches III" from Tinseltown Rebellion. As before, I noticed Eric Slick playing the drum part from Devo's version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" during the weird fake-Devo-esque part that differentiates and identifies this as the "III" arrangement. I wanted to ask him, as before, if the "Satisfaction" thing was his idea or what and if people ever picked up on it, but I didn't get a chance to talk to him. It might be that Vinnie Colaiuta played that little bit on the Tinseltown version, but if that's the case, it's not at all obvious to me, as I've listened to that album hundreds of times and just can't pick out whether he's playing the little "Satisfaction" bit or not.

Ok. The first time this happened, I laughed. Out loud. Because, you know, what an awesome thing to do, right? The drum part from "Satisfaction" during the "fake Devo" part of "Peaches". Brilliant. I didn't think it was important enough to mention to Eric, but as you can see, I was curious how it came about. Now, when it happened a second time? Yeah. I was dying to ask him. He was talking to / surrounded by several people at the bar, however, and I didn't want to intrude to ask him about something so goofy.

Of course, I saw P/O again two weeks ago. And this time there was no damn way I wasn't going to mention this to Eric Slick. After the end of the show and after talking to Andre Cholmondeley for a minute or two, I walked back to the bar and saw Eric there talking to someone. I didn't want to intrude or interrupt, I just waited for an opprotune moment.

I sort of tapped him on the shoulder and, without bothering to introduce myself, I guess, said "Eric, Hi. I have a Music Nerd Question for you. Now, the last two times I saw you, you played Peaches, and..."

I got no farther into my question than that before Eric interjected "Yeah, and I played Satisfaction. You're Derek."

I was pretty much at a loss. I can't recall what, if anything in particular, I said, but the sentiment of it was "Wow, how did you know that?" Needless to say, he had seen my journal entries (whether seeing them himself or just having had them passed along to him from his mom, who has commented on said entries before, I'm not sure, but I guess it doesn't matter.) and correctly assumed that a question about "Peaches" was going to involve "Satisfaction" and somehow I was the only possible person to be posing this question at this moment. Kind of weird, but really cool!

To answer my long-burning question, the "Satisfaction" drum part was his idea (he described himself as "a huge Devo nerd") and just something that came up in rehearsals when maybe Andre asked if he was familiar with the "Peaches III" arrangement. To put the cap on this discussion, Eric told me "Nobody's ever noticed that. Nobody's mentioned it." I'm sure someone, somewhere, at any one of numerous shows at which P/O has played "Peaches" in the last couple years MIGHT have noticed Slick playing "Satisfaction", but no one else has ever mentioned it to him and, I guess, nobody else bothered to mention it on the internet somewhere at least twice where he or his would happen to read it. :cP

And now you know.. the REST of the story.

Just for the record, Derek, you're a really good writer. You ought to do some reviews for websites like Jam Base. Just sayin...

Anyway, see you guys tomorrow with more news I'm sure...


Saturday, July 18, 2009

What the Adrian Belew Power Trio Does Prior to Going on Stage...


Tonight, in real time...right before they take the stage at Radio, Radio in Indianapolis...see the Adrian Belew Power Trio in pre-show warm-up mode...hahahaha...can you feel the love?

Sent via the genius of Julie's new iPhone...

***ETA***First review in:

"Adrian and the Slick siblings (Eric on drums and Julie on bass) took the stage well after 10pm and proceeded to kick major booty. Adrian's fluid screaming guitar, Eric playing thunderously on a small but massive-sounding FOUR piece kit and Julie sounding grooving and slinky on that bass. They do a sort of jammy funky progressive rock thing. I can't wait to order their live CD.... was obvious the AB Trio was enjoying themselves too. I bought a t-shirt and got the band to sign it and said hi and stuff.

It was great to see a packed house for this sort of obscure artist. Indianapolis needs more nights like that if we're to attract better artists in the smaller venues.

Anyway, if you like King Crimson or good fusion type music, check the linked site for more dates. I think you'll enjoy yourself."

From Progressive Ears:

"Took in the trio last night at The Canal Street Tavern in Dayton Ohio in their opening show of the midwest tour....Ade's in perfect form and the kids [Julie and Eric Slick] are on fire as well...not sure what the complete set list was but they closed with 'Three of a Perfect Pair' and 'Thela Hun Ginjeet' and they both absolutely smoked....his 'solo' improv midway thru the set was awe inspiring...highly, highly recommended show if they play near you!!!!"

(Note from our author: The "set list" is their new about to be released CD, e!)

From the Talk Bass forum:

"Adrian Belew was a lot of fun. Miss Slick lives up to her namesake."
"Adrian Belew concert tomorrow at Radio-Radio. Julie Slick is bad-a$$!!"

And another:

"Very good player. Her and her brother Eric on drums killed as the rhythm section for Mr. Belew tonight here in Indianapolis. I had about zero idea of what to expect and was gladly blown away.

Sadly, she was mixed too low in the mix at first. But what I could hear I loved. And as they pumped up the volume later in the show I could hear her much better. She sounded slinky and groovy.

The show was a blast, catch them if you can."

From Ade's blog, comment section:

"Adrian said tonight @ the Indy show that it (new CD e) will be out before the end of July. Heard A, B & E tracks tonight and it sounds like it will be an album to definately play repeatedly. Was a great show, never had a bad Adrian show. You can tell they are really comfortable with each other and played around on stage...."

And finally, just so you know, you really get some glamorous breakfasts while on tour. See?

Ha! Will add more reviews as I find them today...

Ooh ooh - like this one, from Faith Cohen, just received via email:

"Oh Robin, I had Too Much Fun last night.... Just about the first person I saw was your darling Gary, who is sweet as sugar. The club was full, and the show was fabulous. Your kids were amazing...It is such a joy to see adrian's eyes when he plays with them. I have seen him play with a lot of folks, but playing with Eric and Julie, he is "home". You can tell he is in awe of the musical souls packed in those young kids. Really, it is so obvious that their virtuosity and taste come from a different place than any school of Rock. My best friend, Jo Ann and I were up front all night, right in between Adrian and Julie, and she was amazing to watch..... I could not get over the ease and the beauty of it all...."

Ha ha - even though this was just added to my comments section by Jennifer Johnson, I had to post it here, too:

"I went to the Dayton and the Indy show and both were amazing. I also ditched my Paul McCartney tickets to see the Power Trio."

Whoa...she ditched Paul for the ABPT Trio! That one just had me reeling!

Also just in...and this made me laugh out loud...Gary called me and told me a guy came up to him and said (about Eric, obviously): "What did you feed that boy? Bruford Juice?"

Whoops - one more thing - a newly discovered Project Object review, which is too long to post in its entirety so click on the link...but this cracked me up:

"Project/Object in the summer of 2009 happens to be:
Ike Willis on guitar and vocals
Andre Cholmondeley on guitar and vocals
Eric "Sluggo" Svalgard on keyboards, mini-Moog and theremin
Robbie "the Seahag" Mangano on bass and backing vocals
Don Preston on keyboards and synthesizer
Eric Slick playing drums at 20-something better than you ever will"



Friday, July 17, 2009

Moving on with Zappa, King Crimson on resume

From M Live:

Moving on with Zappa, King Crimson on resume
by Kevin Ransom | The Ann Arbor News
Thursday July 16, 2009, 11:30 AM

Over the years, progressive-rock guitarist Adrian Belew has unleashed more than his share of bristling, complex, incendiary guitar bursts. And he's always been in bands that gave him plenty of room to pursue his ambitious and restless guitar muse.

Early on, in 1977, he played with Frank Zappa, getting "schooled" in Zappa's precision-plus brand of progressive-jazz-rock fusion - and spraying his now-signature guitar sound all over Zappa discs like "Baby Snakes" and "Sheik Yerbooti."

He did stints with David Bowie and as an unofficial member of the Talking Heads, and also recorded with Laurie Anderson. But since 1981, he's been most well-known for the mind-bending art-noise he's created with King Crimson.

But in recent years, Crimson has not been a full-time endeavor - they only tour or record when the mercurial Fripp feels like it, which, lately, has been "not very often." So, in 2006, Belew put a new band together, the fittingly named Adrian Belew Power Trio, which comes to The Ark on Monday.

Joining Belew in the Power Trio are the young monster rhythm section of brother and sister Eric and Julie Slick on drums and bass, respectively. For the band's live shows, Belew wanted to perform not only new material, but also selections from some of his acclaimed solo albums - as well as knotty classics from the Crimson songbook, which can be maddeningly tricky.

"They're very special people and players - they amaze me all the time," Belew told "They've got to be the best young players in the States right now, in my opinion. I just don't know where you could get a better bass player-drummer duo - they're just really gifted people. They've absorbed so much music, more than a lot of grown, mature musicians that I know."

Belew has been prolific lately. In 2005 and 2006, he released three experimental solo albums, with the minimalistic titles "Side One" through "Side Three." He followed in 2007 with the also-functionally monikered "Side Four Live." His new disc, titled, simply, "e," was scheduled for mid-July release.

In August 2008, Belew embarked on a Crimson mini-tour.


Adrian Belew Power Trio

• What: Progressive-rock guitar hero, backed by young, bruising but proficient rhythm section.

• Where: The Ark, 316 S. Main St.

• When: Monday, 8 p.m.

• How much: $25.

• Details: 734-761-1451;

On Tour Tonight: Adrian Belew Returns to Canal Street with Power Trio

In today's Dayton Daily News:

Serendipitous siblings: Adrian Belew returns to town with talented twentysomethings

By Don Thrasher

Contributing Writer

Friday, July 17, 2009

Adrian Belew has worked with some of the biggest names in music, from Frank Zappa and David Bowie to Talking Heads and King Crimson. However, he's also formed projects such as The Bears and his new Power Trio with lesser-known musicians.

"With The Bears, we were friends early on and that was a different situation from Eric and Julie, which was serendipitous," Belew said during a recent telephone interview. "I had written a lot of material with the idea of the Power Trio and I had arrangements of some of my old material, but I couldn't find the right people. When I was just about ready to give up on that idea, I accidentally met Eric and Julie and everything just fell perfectly in place."

The latest incarnation of Belew's Power Trio features the Slick siblings, sister Julie (age 23) on bass and brother Eric (22) on drums.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "It was like something dropped out of the sky. It wasn't so much that they were undiscovered, it was simply that musically and otherwise it works so perfectly together. It still does."

The talented team made their recording debut with Belew on the album "Side Four Live," which was recorded at Canal Street Tavern in 2007. Their studio debut is the new Power Trio album "e," an ambitious five-part piece derived from a 16-note chromatic figure that can be played forwards and backwards in various keys.

"It is very difficult, but I think it's nice," Belew said. "It's thematic. It's kinda like a symphony for a rock trio. I think some people will really like it ... I hope. We were playing three of the pieces live before we recorded. We just rehearsed a few days on the extra pieces and, you know, Eric and Julie are just amazing.

"They played the stuff just really perfectly. It was pretty impressive. I thought I would trip them up a little bit more than I did, but they're too good for me. They're pretty special, as everybody will see when they come see them play. They're mature beyond their years, that's for sure."

The Adrian Belew Power Trio returns to Canal Street Tavern on Friday, July 17.

"We really like playing at Canal Street," he said. "It's a great vibe. I think we're going to have a great audience as usual. And it will probably be the first night anyone can buy 'e.' Somebody there might buy the very first copy. Wouldn't that be something?"

* WHERE: Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St., Dayton [Map]
* WHEN: Friday, July 17. Doors open at 8 p.m.
* TICKETS: $22
* MORE INFO: (937) 461-9343 or


So I just wanted to get this post up early...I have much more to say...will be back...


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Odds and Sods for Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good morning!

So today Julie and Eric boarded a plane for Nashville - they will spend the day rehearsing for the first leg of what is shaping up to be a very nice extended tour and possibly dropping in on NAMM at some point but at this time plans are up in the case you haven't heard from other sources, the Adrian Belew Power Trio suffered a loss in their family this week...tour manager/techie extraordinaire Andre Cholmondeley mourns the sudden passing of his mother on Tuesday and will not be able to join the gang at least initially...I believe an angel of mercy arrived in the form of Tony Levin's engineer so fingers crossed...anyway, the first show of the tour kicks off tomorrow night in Dayton, Ohio right here.

But seriously, please send Andre your best wishes...this was a devastating loss for him and his family and Andre, if you are reading this, please know that you have been in my thoughts non-stop since I heard the news. Having lost my own mother years ago and Gary having lost his mom last year, there are few things more terrible and we feel your pain. It does get easier with time, but it's rough, man.

In much better news, last night, Julie and Eric began what may be the start of a beautiful relationship with the great Robbie "Seahag" Mangano on guitar at John and Peters in New Hope. I was unable to make it but Slickdaddy showed up, took a couple of photos, and even joined the band for their final jam of the evening with his trusty Gibson SG...hopefully someone will send me some photos of that, but in the you go...

The place was packed and enthusiastic and the "tip bucket" filled to the top! Yeah!

Ooh, and I just found some cool comments on the Ween forum this one:

"oh man, what a treat~ first time I ever saw Julie play...she's awesome!

Eric ruled per usual, & Robbie, well....I've never seen him play like that~
he was on fire...

they just improvised the whole time, but it was great.

glad we decided to go after all...hope they do it again sometime.

almost forgot to mention Eric & Julie's dad......he came up & played a song & rocked out! what fun for a wed. night~"

"So good!! I too hope it happens again...and it was taped, Toad. Gary Slick joined his "kids" at some point, it was sweet to see them play together."

Oh man, you really need to click on the Ween forum link - the person who made the above comment put up some really fantastic photos! To make it easy, here it is again!

Yep, it appears they will "do it again" and there are also plans to record. I was teasing/texting J&E last night pre-show that they should name their band "Seaslick" but Julie texted me back "You're sick!". Heh...yeah, well, who doesn't know that?

Speaking of sick, Tuesday night I was in New York City to read a piece I wrote for The Nervous Breakdown and here's a photo of me pre-show, at an absolutely incredible sushi restaurant on east 4th Street called Jeollado...I really don't know how I decided on what to have so I ended up with an assortment which absolutely rocked...but as you can see, I was pretty stymied when I first saw the selection...

And of course notice I am again wearing the brand new Adrian Belew Power Trio tour shirt which will be immediately available to the general public beginning tomorrow night in Ohio...anyway, I had a way cool thing happen to me in New York on the way to the reading. I was standing at a trash can, unwrapping a fake Barbie and a fake Ken and making them naked while being watched warily by two K-Mart employees standing there having a cigarette who were wondering what the hell I was up to...but of course if you read my piece over at the Nervous Breakdown you will know exactly what I was doing...anyway, as I was standing there undressing two crappy dolls, I hear someone shout "Adrian Belew!" (the back of the t-shirt says "adrian belew power trio" in bold white letters) so I spun around, and there's this guy...he reminded me of Tommy Chong...well, Leo, the long haired burnt out hippie he played in That 70's show...

So anyway, the Leo look-alike is driving one of those rickshaw cabs and he halted in the middle of traffic to talk to me and didn't once look at my naked Barbie. Instead he was gushing "Adrian you like him? I'm seeing him here in New York at BB Kings on August 28!"

Me: "Ha ha, yeah, me, too. He plays with my kids."

"Leo": "No. You're lying!"

Me: "Nope. My 22 year old son is his drummer and my 23 year old daughter is his bassist."

Leo: "No!"

Me: "Yes!"

Leo: "No!"

Me: "Yes, really."

Leo: "You're lyin'"

Me: "Why would I lie?"

Leo: "No way. No fucking way. For real?"

Me: "Yep. I'm wearing the shirt, aren't I? It's the logo/cover of their new CD...they'll be performing it when you see them...all new music."

Leo: "Man, I can't believe it. How freaking cool. Well, I'll be there."

Me: "I know. You told me!"

Leo: "Adrian Belew. I can't believe it. Wow. Far out..."

And then, after about 1,000 cars started illegally beeping at him because he was like blocking traffic in front of Penn Station at rush hour on a Tuesday...ha!...he pedaled off, leaving me smiling and the two K-Mart workers standing there with their mouths open. They didn't realize that the lunatic standing next to them at the trashcan undressing Barbie/Ken dolls was a celebrity.

Okay, the mother of celebrities.

Oh alright, so I am sort of a celebrity - I write essays for The Nervous Breakdown and yeah, yeah, a couple of books...

Ooh, speaking of that, I have a new cover for Bitten to the Core, which will be published this coming December by Mundania/Phaze Press. I'm really liking this - it's a total departure from the other books in the series...the cover, that is...the book of course stars "Elizabeth" once more but includes a whole new cast of characters...and dare I use the word "cougar"?

I think that cover is was designed by the fabulous Stella Price, who also designed the cover for Daddy Left Me Alone with God.

Oh, getting back to the reading, man, was it fabulous. The other readers were brilliant and Kimberly M. Wetherell did an amazing, amazing job of hosting/organizing the event. I am not going to link anyone or any of their stories right now because I understand there will be You Tubes of the reading up shortly so I will tempt you with that in the meantime...but trust me, as soon as they are available, I will post them here.

Anyway, I think that's a wrap for now but if any more photos/comments from last night surface, I'll be back to edit.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tonight in New York City: Me

Well, according to the below announcement, it appears I'm back in New York again tonight...all hail New York City and The Nervous Breakdown!

Ladies and gentlemen in or around the Big Apple: Please join us at D-Lounge on Union Square on Tuesday, July 14th for live readings, ice cold beverages, and general weirdness. TNB contributors Tao Lin, Robin Slick, Kimberlee Auerbach, and Marni Grossman will perform for your entertainment pleasure. As always, our hostess with the mostess will be the incomparable Kimberly M. Wetherell. Show starts at 8:30pm. 101 East 15th Street. $10 cover. All proceeds benefit TNB live events of the future! Spread the word. Bring friends. Live large. (Poster art by underground sensation David Lineberger.)

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Epic Blog Post

Okay, so maybe it's not an epic blog post but I have a few days to cover and lots of photos so here goes.

For the first time in what felt like years, Julie, unlike brother Eric who is currently on tour with Project Object...oh, and if you live in the Anapolis, Maryland area you definitely want to check them out at Rams Head On Stage tonight...anyway, Julie was home for the July 4 holiday and decided to come over here and work her food magic.

But first she got me totally wasted on her home made Sangria, which she makes with like 3/4 of a bottle of brandy and a large bottle of white wine, so after two drinks I felt like I was tripping, or could it be it was a reaction to the appetizer, which Julie described for me thusly:

"The cheese is piave vecchio. Also on the plate is purple haze pita pizza with golden raisin-balsamic reduction, olives, and golden cherries (which also made an appearance in the Sangria)."

So I'm guessing it's that "purple haze" pizza which knocked me on my ass. What that really was, though, was an incredible mix of goat cheese and mozarella with a smear of Julie's famous golden raisin balsamic reduction (which gave it an almost figgy taste) on toasted pita with fresh basil. Simple, elegant, and insanely delicious.

We also had deviled eggs, which, in case you did not know it, are the new rage as restaurants look for ways to economize and yet still be cutting edge -- for example, a visit to Supper (a must click for foodies) yields said eggs as follows:

* Black truffle
* Sriracha with peanuts and coriander
* Safron with salt cod and roasted garlic
* Smoked chile with corn-red onion salsa
* Chevre with asparagus
* Pistou with ratatouille
* Horseradish with steak and Roquefort
* Scotch Deviled Egg with country sausage
* Wasabi with uni and crispy nori
* Lobster with dill crème fraiche
* Braised bacon and cheddar
* Curried with cauliflower and mint

Julie made them two ways - traditional (though with a shot of both horseradish and hot sauce which made them a little less so), and my personal now all time favorite, with curry, honey, fresh basil, and another shot of hot sauce.

Ha ha - notice the coffee table - Beatle coasters and the sleeve of the Live California Guitar Trio CD dangerously close to the food but as I said, the CD has been in heavy rotation at Casa Slick so the actual CD was already on the player. And I made/painted the little salsa tray and cup you see there, which is currently being used to store guitar and bass pics like every other available container in this house...

Anyway, between tripping from the pizza and Sangria and eating about 20 eggs, I was already satiated and ready for a nap by the time she started putting plates on the table and my eyes just got wider and wider as said table filled up. And yes, that is not a real baby but an antique, 100 year old doll which for whatever weird reason, makes me very happy to have sitting there dining with me every day and you can also see more Beatle stuff, too...someday I will do a post devoted to the Slick Family Beatle Memorabilia's that intense and goes back to the very beginning of time...

To give you a detailed description of everything Ms. Julie created, first she brought out grilled marinated farmer's market baby vegetables -- spring onion, eggplant, green and golden zucchini:

Which was followed by red white and blue lemon rosemary potato skewers...

Roasted, herb buttered corn...

Sweet curry and citrus glazed shrimp and scallops which were served over baby arugula with a roasted garlic vinaigrette...

We decided to just put it all on our plates like one big decadent salad (well, except for the corn on the cob) and here's how that turned out...

So while we had fresh berries and the makings for whipped, sweetened almond scented marscarpone topping, we opted out and drank more killer Sangria instead.

I also opted out of the fireworks but Julie watched them from the roof at Rembrandt's restaurant at the end of our block (and where Julie can be found serving/cocktailing when she's not on the road as bass player extraordinaire)...we did, however, catch the pre-fireworks free concert on t.v. rather than live and I'm so glad we did...way too many tourists in the area. One comment about bad did I feel for Sheryl Crow having to go on AFTER the Roots. The Roots, man, they stole the show. I had no idea how fucking good they are. They are INSANE! And someone please tell me how the tuba player has the energy to run with that thing all over the stage. The guitarist/vocalist blew me away altogether, but he was rivaled by the fabulous @questlove (Twitter name - follow him!) on the drums and do I believe my son hangs at their studio and went to a barbecue at Questo's house? His life is so fucking cool it's ridiculous.

But yeah, Sheryl was really lame - she did an hour of her watered down greatest hits, and she was dressed in some hokey white pant suit full of shiny gold stuff like Elvis. As Julie remarked "Just because you can wear white doesn't mean you should!" Ha! Her band really left something to be desired, too, especially after the Roots just killed it before they took the stage. Worst part was when Sheryl played bass on 2-3 songs -- she just played a few notes and we were like "No. Please. No."


In other news, before I launch into how fabulous Project Object/Eric Slick were at World Cafe Live the evening before Julie's great fourth of July feast, you already know I stalk both kiddies on Google and was quite pleased to see a couple of threads on various forum boards as follows:

Over at Talk Bass...

Favorite Prog Bassists

Julie Slick -- Adrian Belew Power Trio!

Also at Talk Bass - Top 5 favorite FEMALE bassists:

Three posts say "Julie Slick!"

From the Live Journal of Derk FZ:

"Project/Object #9 was great. More fun than ZPZ by a mile or three, and way more the price of admission. The 2nd set, in particular, may well be somewhere amongst the best of the 18 sets I've seen them play (not including encores and faux encores.. P/O encores as such are usually just one or two songs anyway) Set list, details, etc. to follow. I have a funny story about meeting Eric Slick. He knew me by name, but not from me introducing myself to him or anyone else in the band."

That blurb seems to be a preface to something bigger which hopefully will pop up today and I'll add it if it does.

On the way into the concert Friday night, we were stopped by a fan who recognized us and told a great (well, at least to me) story about meeting Eric years and years ago when he was a twelve year old student at the School of Rock and performed the music of Frank Zappa on stage at The Troc. He went up to Eric after that show and said "Some day I'm going to be waiting in line for an autograph from you."

Well, that day happened last year when he saw Eric play with the Adrian Belew Power Trio and woo hoo, Ade has updated his website to include the most recent tour news...anyway, he said he knew from the first time he heard him that Eric was a major star and he tries to catch him at every show he's in, no matter what the band. How cool is that!

A couple of other neat things happened at the show - I met original Mothers of Invention keyboard player Don Preston for the first time, and he went on and on about how much he loves playing with Eric and not just what a brilliant drummer he is but what a wonderful human being he is, too...I was kvelling big time all over the place after that. I mean, come on, Don is legendary and has played with some of the best drummers in the world over the course of his decades long career.

Another ultra cool and bittersweet moment occurred when a long time fan and friend of the late Frank Zappa presented Ike Willis with a conductor baton which Frank gave Ike as a gift before his death in 1993. Ike got all choked up when he took it out of the box on stage, and then joked "For seventeen years Frank waved that fucking thing in front of my face...oh how I both hated and loved it..."

And then he spent half the night waving it in Eric's face but Eric of course ate it up and let Ike knock himself out conducting.

Here's some photos from the show taken by Eric's proud father, a/k/a Slickdaddy:

Keyboard player Eric Svalgård:

On bass for this tour but normally a kick ass guitarist, Robbie "Seahag" Mangano, and Eric Slick:

Ike Willis, happily sitting with his "new" baton and on lead guitar/vocals:

A partial band photo, which, for two songs, featured a lovely seventeen year old electric violinist from the Wilmington School of Rock named Grace Dewson, and you will see her featured prominently in a You Tube I have posted below...

Eric Slick, naturally...

Don Preston...

Ike Willis and Project Object's founder and guitarist/vocalist Andre Cholmondeley, appropriately dressed in July 4 gear and oh my God, did they have a back in the day Zappa inspired political blast up there on stage...there was much to giggle about - 'twas the day Sarah Palin announced she had a higher calling (snort...please click that link for one of the best New York Times columns ever on the subject) and of course we had the fabulous Republican Governor of South Carolina, King David Mark Sanford...yep, Ike and Andre really did a number on those two and it was most enjoyable. Yay for the first amendment and the fact that it still exists!

And last but not least, a solo shot of the awesome Andre Cholmondeley...

Finally, here's the You Tube I mentioned above -- the band is smoking on Zomby Woof and I suggest you watch this full screen...for some reason the quality is way better.

So as most of you know, when Andre isn't on the road with Project Object, he is tour manager/tech guy for several other bands, one of which is the Adrian Belew Power Trio. As you also know by now, Ade has released a rare, live recording of the trio performing overseas, and you can pick it up at either iTunes or Amazon where it has been consistently in the top 500 since being released last month.

Here's what some fans over at Adrian's Tribe (Yahoo Group - and if you aren't already a member, please join right here have had to say about this recording...

From Geoff:

"this recording simply shreds. what a performance!"

To which "Blockdog" replied:

"Indeed it does, I grabbed it overt he weekend and it is inshredable. this recording simply shreds. what a performance!"

John says:

"Everyone should grab it. I close my eyes and I'm back at the show."

But my favorite comes from uber fan Mike, who had this to say, in part, but if you want to read the rest, you will have to click on Mike's name and show him some love!

"This is a Rare CD….NOT to be missed!

I am listening to the 13min long version of Beat Box Guitar right now and the sonic attack of the trio surpasses all other past live recordings. When I first saw this I was a bit skeptical because I have heard so many versions of live recordings over the past few years. Often times with this same or similar song lineup. But there is something about this night that set the world on fire!

I cannot believe this song Eric is blasting away on his kit and Julie is bubbling up like a Mt Vesuvius about to erupt! From here they blast into A Little Madness and let me tell you. You will understand the name of this song after hearing the first 15 seconds of it. This is pretty ferocious guitar, bass & drums. We are not talking a lot of fancy ass drums that take up the entire stage here. We are talking just the most basic kit. Yet it sounds like the wildest drums you have ever heard. And Julie and Eric are still talking between themselves. They have a musical brother and sister bond, its some sort of language they use when playing. Like the kind of cerebral language only twins can speak and these two are not twins..."

Again, the rest of Mike's wonderful post can be found right here.

So that's it for my epic blog post but I have all kinds of stuff brewing, as does the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Did I hear a rumor about a possible extensive Canadian and WEST COAST TOUR this fall? Ha ha...that just may be true! As for me...I will have a new column up shortly at The Nervous Breakdown but in case you missed the last one, here's the link and...ahem...I just signed a contract for my latest novel...shhh...naturally, I will be back to talk about that bit of significant news in the very near future though.


So I'm on the lookout for reviews of any and all Project Object shows from the current tour and as always, you can email them to me or post them on your respective journals/blogs - you know Robin Slick, Champion Google Stalker will find them and add 'em in...