Wednesday, February 29, 2012
This one will probably only appeal to the hardcore Blondie fans who read my site -- we know Anthony's not one of them -- but the band's legendary (former) keyboard player made a triumphant return to the stage Saturday night at Joe's Pub, and I'm so glad I was able to cut out of a late-starting gay wedding I was at to catch his set. The second I heard the opening drum licks to "Bad Dreams" -- the lead track off his underappreciated 1981 solo (and sole) album, "Heart on a Wall" -- I knew I was in for a treat, but then it got even better. From there, he did an assortment of Blondie songs that he penned -- Blondiephiles know that he was the wonderful George Harrison to Debbie and Chris' Lennon-McCartney -- beginning with "Accidents Never Happen" ("They will happen quite a bit tonight, we didn't rehearse!" he joked before the band ate the beat a number of times), "I Didn't Have the Nerve to Say No" (one of several songs he had vocal assistance by a cute Lea Michele look- and soundalike named Janet LaBelle), "Fan Mail" (frequently cited as my FAVORITE Blondie song!), and "Atomic," which he gave a shout-out to Nigel Harrison (whose famous bass line makes the song) before starting (both Nigel and Frank Infante were seated near us -- a veritable Discarded Blondie Members Hall of Fame).
He played three new songs I've heard via the Web before -- details HERE -- then closed the show with my favorite solo song of his, "My Little World." (More about that in a second.)
The packed crowd demanded an encore -- Jimmy's wife Robbie had done a great job getting the word out about the premiere gig of Jimmy Destri and the Sound Grenade -- so back out they came, and after claiming they had nothing else up their sleeves, gave "Call Me" a shot. Janet's microphone didn't want to work, but it was fun hearing Jimmy imitate (in a very thick Italian accent) how Giorgio Moroder approached him back in '80 and asked him if he could make various sounds he had in mind for the "American Gigolo" classic.
Afterward I briefly spoke to Mrs. Destri -- she's a fun one, danced throughout the show and even got the crowd up during "Atomic" as her hubby "begged" her to sit down! -- before running into Jimmy on my way back to the bathroom. He was as nice as could be -- no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame attitude here, and he looks damn good for pushing 60 -- posing for a photo and answering all of my fanboy questions. He said he's given up hope of "Heart on a Wall" ever getting a digital release (his wife told me Chrysalis says the tapes were lost, Jimmy says they claim it didn't sell -- so he's focusing on making new music -- yet he sees the LP traded in at record stores everywhere he goes), but more than anything I wanted to know the identity of the small boy singing at the end of "My Little World," someone I calculated would be about 35 now. (Ouch.) Without missing a beat, he explained that it was one of producer Michael Kamen's daughters (oops! not sure which one, Sasha and Zoe are listed online) who was hanging out in the studio and started singing along to the song's "You can follow me" refrain. Moments before, he had dedicated the song to "the great Michael Kamen who died way too young," but I only realized how "big" the "Heart on a Wall" producer was -- and that he had died -- when I got home. It's always been my favorite part of the song -- when Jimmy sweetly says back, "Where you going? Where do you wanna go?" -- it's one of those moments that you couldn't write better.
Here's hoping this is just the beginning for Jimmy Destri and the Sound Grenade. With so many other great credits to his name -- "No Imagination," "Kidnapper," Picture This," "11:59," "Slow Motion," "Walk Like Me," "Angels on the Balcony," "Do the Dark, to name a few -- I wouldn't have the nerve to say no to a chance to see them again. (Learn more about the new band HERE.)
Contact Music reports that Alannah Currie -- formerly of the '80s Brit synth-pop trio the Thompson Twins -- has been commissioned to design a club chair for Blondie singer Debbie Harry's New York City apartment.
Contact says that since the Thompson Twins broke up the early 1990s, Curry "has become an in-demand furniture artist, known as Miss Pokeno, and she is currently renovating an art space in London with her husband Jimmy Cauty, who was once a member of chart-topping band the Klf."
Hadn't heard about this latest career change (when I last I heard she was doing something in New Zealand). But let's hope the chair is a bigger hit than the last time she created something for Deb -- the single "I Want That Man," which failed to make Billboard's Hot 100 back in 1989. Love 'em both -- fun to hear they're still in touch.
UPDATE: A friend who works in PR writes to tell me that the Thompson Twins -- well, Tom Bailey and Alannah -- have just signed to 401K Music:
"I was very keen to work with Tom & Alannah as I think their songwriting was, and is, incredible. You see a Thompson Twins song title and you immediately can sing it -- the songs are that memorable. I would love to help introduce their music to a whole new generation of music fans and build value in their catalog." enthuses Veronica Gretton, 401K's founder.
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 7:22 AM
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|I Can't Believe It Got Better!|
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 7:00 AM
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
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Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:00 AM
Monday, February 27, 2012
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 7:05 PM
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Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 1:55 PM
Call it impassioned hyperbole -- or the stupidest thing anyone's ever said -- but when
when a 27-year-old pedophile in Queens, N.Y., who molested children then shared photos of his disgusting acts with other sickos on the Internet was being sentenced, here's what the prosecuting attorney had to say about it:
“This (defendant’s) crimes are far worse than some who commit homicides,” Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Michael Canty said.
Really? Try telling that to the families of Danielle Van Dam, Etan Patz, Adam Walsh, the victims of the Oakland County child killer, the victims of the Atlanta child killer and the thousands of others who have been abducted and murdered.
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:55 AM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 3:30 PM
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 1:35 PM