Story By: G. H. HARDING

Joan Hamburg


CRUISE ON THE EDGE --- We went last night to see the new Tom Cruise’s new movie Edge Of Tomorrow (directed by Doug Liman) and loved it. Based on a Japanese-novella entitled All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Cruise plays a PR-officer for the military (William Cage) is who is suddenly (and, probably illegally) thrust into combat against Earth’s deadliest new foe. Killed within minutes he finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop –forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over … but, each time with more and more knowledge about what to do next. It’s a hook for sure, but once that works far better than you would expect.

The wondrous Emily Blunt also stars as Sgt. Rita Vrataski, the resistance’s greatest warrior. Her role as the somewhat mystical- warrior is pure Japanese-legend, and works terrifically well. It’s her first action role and she acquits herself perfectly with her perfectly yoga-toned physique.

Say what you will about Cruise (a movie star for three decades), but his movies usually deliver. I don't really want to know (or care) about his off-screen proclivities, I just want him to deliver on screen … and he always has. His last two movies, Oblivion and Jack Reacher were great … not classics, but totally enjoyable. In this one Cruise acts ... I mean, really acts and it's delicious! I'd love to see more of that.

The terrific Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson also star and are each every, very strong. This is a terrific, engaging story with great, tight writing (Christopher McQuarrie who wrote The Usual Suspects), some exceptional special effects and formidable and affecting performances from both Cruise and Blunt. I predict it will do very, very well. This could be the surprise hit movie of the summer.

COLDPLAY CRUSH --- We've been listening pretty much non-stop to the new album from Coldplay, Ghost Stories, for the past several days and after a rough load-in, we’ve grown to love it. As we noted here right before and after their appearance on Saturday Night Live, Chris Martin and company seemed to have toned way down their music … in fact, both songs they performed on SNL were more noticeable for their somewhat downward mood than anything else. Their last album Mylo Xyloto (their 5th) was in fact, somewhat over the top and the comparison with their newest is somewhat jarring. Now, I'm not going to get into Martin’s recent conscious uncoupling with actress Gwyneth Paltrow (as I'm not fully sure I even understand it myself), but this album is almost like a song cycle of music to her.

There are only 9 tracks, but “Midnight” and “A Sky full Of Stars” stand out as the album’s highlights. Someone once introduced Coldplay as the last great rock band in the world, and while that’s quite some statement … I'd buy it.

Interestingly, several reviews I've read suggested listening to this album in headphones …. I did and it was indeed worth it. Tough to get into, but once you're there, you'll love it.

COURT IN SESSION --- Last September, King Crimson mastermind Robert Fripp stunned the music world by announcing a new seven-man, triple-drummer reinvention of his seminal progressive-rock outfit, promising to play shows after one year of rehearsals. And his intuition was spot-on – their first performances will be a trio of New York City shows, September 18th, 19th and 20th.

The new Crimson lineup features Fripp reuniting with bass god Tony Levin and drummer-percussionist veterans Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree). The trio will be joined by eclectic drummer Bill Rieflin (R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails), guitarist-vocalist Jakko Jakszyk and woodwind legend Mel Collins. The latter two musicians collaborated with Fripp on the 2011 LP A Scarcity of Miracles, and Collins played on numerous early Crimson albums (including 1974's iconic Red).

Fripp recently elaborated on the band's schedule, saying they planned to rehearse in England before shifting to the U. S. in August or September 2014. "There is a plan to include the UK in the tour dates," he said, "but it depends on a number of circumstances. Right now the primary geographical focus is the United States."

All of this news was (and remains) surprising, given Fripp's distaste for the music industry. He more or less announced his retirement in a 2012 profile with Financial Times, saying, "My life as a professional musician is a joyless exercise in futility."

King Crimson was a major band in the 80’s; certainly as much for their innovative music as for their individual member's talents. It'll be interesting to see how they fare in the new millennium. These days, it’s hard to even find a progressive-rock station. Stay tuned.

CLOSING NOTES --- All things must pass: Longtime News-Talk WOR host Joan Hamburg has exited the station. Hamburg, who was a fixture in midday's on the station since the 1970’s had been with WOR for 35 years. Cindy Adams reports that Hamburg will announce her new home quickly. Reportedly Hamburg was asked to leave right before her show started last Thursday – read more

Check out Kent Kotal’s Monkees-review in today’s Forgotten Hits .

Tom Jones will receive the 2014 Silver Clef Award from the Nordoff Robbins charity for the second time. He joins Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox, Take That, and, the Who as two-time winners.

The 73-year-old Welsh singer is being honored for his nearly half-century career as a performer, going "from strength to strength, sustaining his popularity as a live performer and recording artist for more than four decades. He has lent his voice to every form of popular music from gospel to country and from dance to rock, selling over 100 million records in the process." Jones previously received the award in 2001.
Jones said of the award "To be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award is a great honor, and to be included amongst the other fantastically talented artists is a real pleasure." ...

And, before we get too far away from it, NBC's Hannibal, which was renewed for a third-season, had its season finale two weeks back and delivered on every level. Creator Bryan Fuller is a true visionary. Though their ratings weren't stellar this season, here's hoping that more get into it next season. As they say, the hunt is on for Hannibal. Great TV for sure.