Natasha Bedingfield

BELLE ADELE --- It might be a bit early in the year for anyone to pick the best song of the year; but, for this writer, right now, it’s unequivocally Adele’s blistering new single, “Rolling in The Deep.” It’s one thing to have such a sublime song (I mean, both the writing and production are just off the map) but, she’s also seemed to have coined a new term for the masses: rolling in the deep … you know, down deep in the muck, as it were. And, who can't relate to that? I well remember attending the Tom Cuddy/WPLJ Up Close And Personal concert way back at the much missed China Club, and meeting her before she essentially debuted before the East Coast cognoscenti, she was a little overwhelmed, as the soon-to-be-stars usually are, but betrayed a real care and knowledge of the music. I was immediately impressed. Needless to say, when she hit the stage and performed, with her debut single “Chasing Pavements” was just beginning to shine, she was nothing short of miraculous. I believe when I wrote about it then, I recalled she reminded me vocally of Alison Moyet from the wondrous Brit-group Yaz (1982) all those years ago. But, no question, she was the real deal. It’s funny, I was driving home last night when a Natasha Bedingfield song came on, and though I love her, on this record, the song itself was a tad too hooky and as such, paled by comparison to “Rolling In The Deep.” In Natasha’s song, the song itself was the hook; with Adele …she’s the hook. I still have yet to receive the CD, I guess SONY is cutting back on servicing the media, but, without a doubt, this is the song of the year … so far!


Constance McCardle

The McCardle Difference --- One of a kind, wearable art? Is it possible? For designer Constance McCardle, it certainly is; she’s been doing it almost her whole life. She created her first dress at age 8; she was taught how to sew and design by her mother and every neighbor in her hometown of Virginia. She first became fascinated with string; and all its applications, including needlework, embroidery, macramé, lace making, and crochet. She started creating artistic fiber art pieces using various needlework techniques, and these initial designs were later exhibited in museums and galleries. She opened her first store in Lexington, VA in 1977. “The only spots back then where you could find really cool vintage pieces to wear were either the Salvation Army or Good Will. A lot of what we're doing right now I would call inspired by vintage clothes and though there is a definite revival afoot, it’s really few and far between. There was a definite architecture of design back then.” Relocating to New York, she formally studied fashion at the Traphagen School of Fashion and created clothes that were sold at Henri Bendel and other boutiques in NYC. She officially launched her CMC label; catering to her growing clientele and started a flagship store in Cold Spring on the Hudson River (1983-1995). She then became the head designer at NYC’s UES boutique The Gallery Of Wearable Art (1995-2002) and designed one-of-a-kind gowns and art wear coats/jackets from vintage museum quality textiles; some of the collections were for private customers. CMC re-organized and continues today stronger than ever, while she has moved her base of operations to her studio in Westchester, she loves designing still with vintage embroideries and trims; new imported designer fabrics; and, hand-painted silks. Her designs for special events; her designs have been worn to every major red carpet event; including the Oscar’s; Emmy’s; and, the Grammy’s. She also designed a gown worn to the Millennium Ball with Bill Clinton. “My approach to designing clothing is more like art. I build each one like a painting. I mix new with old; therefore they have a nostalgic feel to them. The silhouettes are feminine and classic. Background in vintage clothing is a major influence is my designs. Right now, we've been selling item faster than we can get them made. It’s a good time.” Check CMC out.....


Robert Funaro

SHORT & SWEET --- Director Darren Aronofsky, who recently pulled out of the planned second sequel to the X-Men’s Wolverine … according to Deadline Hollywood’s Niki Finke, will make an estimated 5 million against 5% of the gross; which could result in an 8-figure bonus. Personally, I loved his 2008 The Wrestler and wondered why he'd do a sequel in the first place; especially after the first one did less than expected business but clearly, the deal was made before the unexpected success of Swan; which has grossed worldwide $270 million. See, there’s still deals to be made in Hollywood … Robert Funaro, late of The Sopranos and American Gangster is set for several episodes of the next cycle of Denis Leary’s F/X series Rescue Me; which returns in the Spring; PR-pasha David Salidor, who celebrates his 27th year in business this week, is pitching his first ½ hour, original scripted comedy in Hollywood this week … Anyone check out last week’s Inside The Actor’s Studio with James Lipton? His guest was his most successful graduate yet, Bradley Cooper. I've watched the show and found it usually always very profound and very informative; but, this show was stunningly terrific. In addition to a very wry sense of humor, Cooper is also somewhat of a rather brilliant mimic and his impersonations of Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken had me on the floor. I've always liked this show as it gives a very real behind-the-scenes look at many of the greatest actors we have there out there and Lipton’s questions are downright succinct and well thought out … he does do his homework! His show with Robin Williams was a marvel! If you get a chance; check the Cooper-episode out … The Hobbit has finally begun filming in New Zealand under the direction of Lord of the Rings-director Peter Jackson. Though the film was delayed by almost everything possible (medical; business; casting) it is finally a GO … and, they're shooting the two 3D films simultaneously! The tentative titles are The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The films are due to be released late 2012 and 2013, respectively … Though it happened faster than anyone thought possible, former SONY/BMG Pooh-Bah Barry Weiss has assumed the top seat at UMG/Universal Records. Weiss is the son of music-veteran Hy Weiss and is one of the few remaining people in the business who actually knows ALL the ins and outs. When he worked at Jive, he was directly responsible for the success of both Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys. He’s the real deal; talented, knowledgeable, and fun to be with. All the best Barry! …What is it with England these days? They've been systematically delivering these fantastic female voices: Adele; Duffy; Amy Winehouse (???), Natasha Bedingfield (by way of New Zealand) … and, now, get ready for Jeese J. She was on SNL two weeks back and really rocked the house. Our old friend Jason Flom has engineered the deal and the CD is out in two weeks. Get ready! Elton John hosts and performs on SNL on April 2 … should be Captain Fantastic!

Photos By: RD/Kirkland/Derek Storm/Retna