Story By: G. H. HARDING
Sofia Coppola

PHOENIX RISING --- From the moment I heard about Her, Spike Jonze’s enormously enjoyable and emotive production, I wanted to see it. Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation remains a favorite of mine and it turn out that when Jonze was married to her, he began writing the screenplay for Her. So, many of the same notes are here: From Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Theodore who is mourning a recent divorce and becomes obsessed (literally) with a newly installed operating system on his wireless device. Far-fetched? Perhaps, but these days, perhaps a most plausible option. 

Voiced by the transcendent Scarlett Johansson, her Samantha, is like a growing child … and, grows fast she does. This movie is not for everyone; emotive, thoughtful … but it’s a wild ride from beginning to end. Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara make short, but strong appearances; most poignantly in Wilde’s defensive response to Theodore’s overtures after a date. Amy Adams is Theodore’s close friend Amy; they both dated early on, but went onto other relationships but remain close friends. The more I see Wilde, the more I love her. Phoenix is exceptional as well; he makes Theodore someone you want to root for even as he embarks on a journey which cannot even come close to what he wants.

My favorite line of his, that he voices to Samantha is, “I don’t want to feel just lesser versions of what I've already felt.” And, from Amy: “We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.” 

Tremendously original in tone and word.


DAYME RETURNS --- I just heard three new tracks from Dayme; who has resurfaced with a vengeance in the last several months. Working with a slew of West Coast-names (producer Eric Johnson and writer Delisha Thomas), she has fashioned a new, vibrant sound that seem pitch perfect for radio and the clubs. 

I met up with her at photographer’s Deborah Rothenberg’s launch party for her new book, Bruce Spingsteen in Focus – 1980-2012, at the 131 Gallery in NYC. She told me that her manager is working with several re-mixer to engineer the correct sound. Shopping a new deal let me tip all to Dayme. 

Adam Lambert

QUEEN ADAM --- When Brian May recently said that "We're up for one more swing out there", speculation immediately started on who would front Queen if they chose on tour.

In an interview with VVN Music (to be published this weekend), Paul Rodgers indicated that his time with Queen was done which was confirmed by May in an interview with the BBC 2. "Paul has a career of his own and he can't do the Queen thing indefinitely."

The guitarist then went on to address the main rumor about the tour, saying "We've been talking to Adam Lambert, you know we've already done some gigs with Adam, who is amazing."

Lambert was the runner-up on the 2009 season of American Idol and has had some success as a solo artist, but his most high profile work since that time has been a number of appearances with Queen where his flamboyant style fit perfectly.

It also appears that the band are planning dates in the U.S. "I think we'll be doing some more stuff this summer in fact, probably in the States."

CLOSING NOTES -- Kenny Aronoff, who was just splendid as the house drummer on CBS’ Beatles’ Anniversary, has played with just about everybody. PR-pasha David Salidor recalls when he first met the drummer in 1989 in L. A., when he came up to him and said he'd love to play with Debbie Gibson, who he was repping back then. They've remained friends since …

Are you sad about Fox canceling Simon Cowell's X Factor after three lackluster seasons? 

Fox chairman Kevin Reilly praised Cowell, pointing to his decision to leave the judging table as reason for the axing. “To all of us at Fox, Simon is more than one of the most prolific TV personalities of our time – he’s part of our family. Unfortunately, there is no X Factor USA without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life. We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.” 

Reilly also was caught off-point saying, that even American Idol is winding down. Are all these competition shows doomed? Yes. Music-mogul Irving Azoff said recently, “All these shows, Idol, X Factor, The Voice … can you name 3 artists who have really gone onto fame and fortune?” Maybe Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson … but, do you ever hear about Fantasia or Ruben Studdard anymore? They were cute, low-budget shows to do …. But, their time has come … and, gone.” ...

How about former-Nickelodeon and Spike chieftain Albie Hecht heading up HLN? Good guy, we wish him all the best ...