Belew, plus two
This is the kind of thing that you can't help but wish happened to you.
Back in 2006, Adrian Belew -- one of the most revered electric guitarists of his age, a man whose beautifully idiosyncratic musicianship elevated the art forms of such icons as Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson while simultaneously sparking a body of solo work that is jaw-dropping in its intensity, consistency and creativity -- stopped by the Paul Green School of Rock in Philadelphia.
The school -- the inspiration for the Jack Black film "School of Rock" -- is an institution built on the concept that the serious study of rock music is good for kids and can enrich and enhance their lives, even if they never "make it big."
While he was there, Belew met the brother-sister rhythm section of drummer Eric and bassist Julie Slick. Both were prodigies, and it didn't take Belew long to figure out as much. So he did what any self-respecting musician in his position would have done -- he talked them into joining his band. Not that it took much cajoling, I'm sure. In the world of progressive music, Belew's name is a holy one, and certainly, the Slicks were familiar with his body of work.
So two world tours by the Adrian Belew Power Trio ensued, and a stop inside the Tralf Music Hall -- where this very band performs this evening at 8 -- proved that Belew knew what he was doing when he hired the Slicks. The siblings ("kids" sounds like an insult, since both perform like they've been doing so over the course of several lifetimes, but they are so young) brought an edginess and freshness to Belew's music, and the guitarist was visibly having the time of his life. A live album, "Side Four," followed, and any lingering doubts that all of this might have been a one-off were shelved.
Now, the Power Trio is touring in support of its first studio album, the cryptically titled "e."
Interestingly, the gifted singer Belew has forgone any vocalizing this time around; "e" is an instrumental affair, essentially a suite of interrelated themes with expositions and improvisations acting as connective tissue. It's mind-bending, brilliant stuff, and if the work Belew did with Robert Fripp on the interlocking guitar figures at the heart of the "Discipline" album is echoed here, it is also reinterpreted via the capable hands, hearts and ears of the Power Trio members.
So. See you at the Tralf tonight? Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 (Ticketmaster).
Peter Mulvey, a singer-songwriter hailing from Milwaukee, has officially kicked off his third "Bicycle Concert Tour."
Yes, that means exactly what it suggests -- Mulvey, atop a bicycle rigged to accommodate his guitar and a modest amount of luggage, will bike his way from gig to gig. Most of these between-show rides will exceed the 50-mile mark.
When Mulvey arrives in Buffalo on Tuesday for a show inside the Ninth Ward, Babeville, he will have logged 305 miles between his last show in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the "house that Ani built" at the corner of Delaware and Tupper. Don't know about you, but I'm suddenly feeling like a real underachiever.
Mulvey's Ninth Ward show starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $8 (tickets.com). Visit www.babevillebuffalo.com for more information.
Emmure, Evergreen Terrace and Stick to Your Guns play Xtreme Wheels at 6 tonight.. . . Princeton and Maps & Atlases play Mohawk Place at 9 p.m. Saturday. . . . Trivium, Darkest Hour, Dirge Within and White Chapel play the Town Ballroom beginning at 8 p.m. on Sunday . . . Truth & Salvage, fresh from dates with the Black Crowes and riding a substantial industry buzz, stops by Mohawk Place at 9 p.m. Tuesday.