Showing posts with label ALEXA GREEN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ALEXA GREEN. Show all posts

Friday, September 12, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Justin Bieber

FASHION ROCKS FLOPS --- Onstage and onscreen, CBS’ Fashion Rock (hosted by Ryan Seacrest) had its high notes (and flat moments), but the Tuesday night telecast -intersecting sound and style- had more going on behind the scenes, including reminders to cheer, a slew of giveaways and a performance that started to clear out the Barclays Center audience.

Several sources recount 11 things seen and heard inside the arena and on the red carpet of the CBS event:

1. When the live broadcast began at 9 PM ET, the seated audience — composed of both devout fashion believers in notable heels, trendy hairstyle and labeled pieces, and music fans in jeans and clubwear — was only about 80% filled. Still, they gave 100% of their shouts for show opener Usher.

As the show started, pictures of Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Pitbull triggered the biggest cheers during the opening credits.

2. The first performer to actually evoke a palpable energy from the live audience was Iglesias, who sang "Bailando" with Sean Paul and Gente de Zona, and were introduced by Tommy Hilfiger and the most popular model of the evening, Naomi Campbell. They hit the stage over half an hour into the event — maybe the beers started kicking in?

3. Hunger Games actress Willow Shields, who arrived in a Kate Spade-floral ensemble, got really enthusiastic when we asked her about the one song that gets her dancing when no one's watching. "I would dance to any song if nobody was watching," she said. "Right now, I have "Riptide" by Vance Joy. I've been listening to it for a while and now it's becoming really popular, which I'm excited about." 

4. After taking photos on the carpet, J. Lo was rushed into the venue — but not before giving a royal wave to fans and reporters, who were longing to have a few seconds with before the show started. 

5. While designer Steve Madden's look hasn't changed in years (a white tee and baseball cap), he noted that there's one part of his wardrobe that is different: "I think my jeans are baggier now." As for the musicians whose style he digs? "Iggy Azalea is great. I love T.I.'s music and his style. I like Ja Rule's style, too." Thanks Steve!

6. Justin Bieber prefaced the Calvin Klein (with the designer himself in the front row) fashion show by stripping down to his boxers, which were Calvins. Though he was welcomed by an overwhelming slew of boos from the audience, he started flexing, and the high-pitched screams drowned out the haters.

7. Afrojack told us he's a big fan of shoes — so big a fan that he owns more than 300 pairs. 

8. Before MAGIC! performed their breakout hit "Rude," the group was introduced by New York Giants' Victor Cruz, who also got a ton of boos — or did he? No way. The fashion and music crowd thought the sports fans were hating, but they were just chanting his last name. which apparently sounds less pleasant in an arena than a stadium.

9. Following her "Booty"-bouncing, black-and-white spectacle, Lopez — in a shimmering Versace silver minidress and high ponytail — received the longest post-performance applause and loudest cheers of the night.

10. As Nicki Minaj also touted her bum during "Anaconda" in denim shorts and an embellished bra, the cameras kept panning to a seated Lopez, who wasn't enthused by the former American Idol judge's performance as Carmen Electra, who was dancing in the audience. A noticeable-enough percentage of the crowd started to clear out of the arena after Minaj's moment.

11. Event sponsors Maybelline, Garnier, Calvin Klein and others hosted pop-up beauty booths and selfie stations around the arena lobby. Attendees were given lengthy program books with bios on each performer, plus beauty and style inspirations for each of the evening's genre. Garnier gave out facial scrub samples as guests scurried out to catch Ubers and subways.

The ratings were a bust … no pun intended. I wonder if they'll be another Fashion Rocks next year?

Donnie Kehr With Alexa Green

ALEXA DEBUTS --- We've seen literally hundreds of shows in our years of reportage; from glittering cabaret outings to soul-selling rock and roll, so we're fairly secure that when we see something really unique … we know and feel it. Last night we saw Alexa Green (at NYC’s 54 Below), from two West Coast productions of Wicked, and she totally astonished us. Petite and precocious, with sort of a Mae West-ish-ness about her, her voice was just totally unique and she totally delighted us. 

With a crack band (and, I mean really superlative) and an SRO-crowd (with Jersey Boys’ Donnie Kehr in attendance) she wowed the crowd over and over. The show was titled My Shining Hour (the Harold Arlen song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer), and was chock full of terrific song selections, including Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” and Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” 

She, and her director Mitchell Walker, have fashioned a tight, beautifully realized show. While performing one song, she'd often break into another … a tact which worked wonders; especially when she sang Harry Nilsson’s “Guess The Lord Music Be In New York City” interspersed with the Joel-song. 

She immediately commanded the crowd with a presence and dexterity that was totally impressive.

One of the best performances I've seen this year … no question, a star was born.

LED SCHLEP --- As Led Zeppelin's reps prepare to fight allegations that they stole the introduction to "Stairway to Heaven" from the Spirit song “Taurus,” they've turned to a top entertainment industry lawyer.

Business Week reports that attorney Helene Freeman, a partner at the New York firm Phillips Nizer, is on the case — and although Freeman may not be a household name, her work is very familiar to music business insiders; in fact, she was responsible for helping *NSYNC wrest themselves from their rookie recording contract in the late 90’s.

“Taurus” composer Randy California passed away in 1997 — founding Spirit bassist Mark Andes filed the suit on behalf of his late bandmate’s trust — but in an interview before he died, he publicly admitted to thinking “Stairway” ripped off his composition, calling it “kind of a sore point” and adding, “Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it.”

Businessweek’s report notes that Zeppelin’s lawyers have until Sept. 22 to respond to the suit. Neither Freeman nor anyone involved with the band or its corporate label parent, Warner Music, have responded to requests for comment, but as we previously reported, Zep-guitarist Jimmy Page has gone on record as finding the allegations “ridiculous.”

CLOSING NOTES --- Speaking of 54 Below, it was the first time I had been there and loved it. It’s intimate, the sound and sight lines were terrific and loads different than when I was there last … as the basement of the infamous Studio 54. Suffice to say, it did look a bit familiar …

Alt porn pioneer Joanna Angel is headed back to New York City as the star entertainer at Sapphire New York Gentlemen’s Club Friday, September 12th for one night only, with a stimulating live performance at 12 midnight, followed by a photo and autograph meet-and-greet with her fans.

“New York is home to me!” said Angel. “I want all my East Coast fans to come out for this one."

Angel will also have Burning Angel DVDs and her line of clothing and T-shirts available for purchase during the show.

In addition to feature dancing, Angel has been keeping busy, directing, writing and starring in her Burning Angel movies while also acting in mainstream films (this year’s indie drama Scrapper), hosting her weekly radio show on and singing in her band Joanna Angel & the Gigolos.

"Sapphire is such a fun club; I always look forward to my appearances there,” said Angel. “I am only there for one night and I only have one performance – so don't miss it!”

Wednesday, September 03, 2014



Story By: G. H. HARDING
Diamond Star Willie Nelson

GO GREEN --- 54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club (and, the old Studio 54 basement!), will present Alexa Green in A Shining Hour on September 11th, 2014 at 9:30PM.

A Shining Hour is the solo debut of one of the most exciting new voices to come to NYC, soaring through a catalog of songs ranging from Harold Arlen to Mariah Carey. With a jazz ensemble backing her, Alexa successfully bridges the genres providing a vitality and freshness and making her mark on these timeless classics.

Mitchell Walker is the Director/ Creator of A Shining Hour. Mitchell made his directorial debut last year at 54 Below with A Brass Act starring Broadway's Michelle Dowdy (Hairspray). This year he brought Once In Love with Amy Toporek to the 54 Below stage. Joining him will be Dylan Glatthorn (Republic, A Brass Act) as musical director/ arranger and on piano as part of a four piece jazz ensemble featuring Daniel Bailen (Bass), Andy Rinn Martinek (Drums), and Syberen Van Munster (Guitar). 

Green is a Manhattan- based singer, actor, dancer and recording artist best known for her turn as Glinda in the Los Angeles and San Francisco companies of the hit Broadway musical Wicked.

After playing to sold out audiences for nearly two years, she went on to appear alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone in the international cinematic release of Stephen Sondheim's Company with The New York Philharmonic live from Lincoln Center. She has also toured both nationally and internationally as an actor and singer, known for her wide vocal range and expressive musical flexibility.

LYNCH AND DURAN --- David Lynch's 2011 concert film on Duran Duran will be hitting the big screen for the first time next week, appearing in more than 300 theaters for one night only on Wednesday, September 10th.

The film, shot at Los Angeles' Mayan Theatre and featuring guest appearances by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, the Gossip's Beth Ditto, Mark Ronson and Kelis, utilizes Lynch's singular style, as the director superimposes images of his interpretation of the band's lyrics over footage of the group onstage.

Lynch and the band released a new, predictably eerie, trailer to celebrate the upcoming screening, which found the director re cutting the film after watching the footage again (The band also remixed the audio for the upcoming release). In the trailer, screening info is projected over a nebulous, round object. In the background, a low, throbbing hum blends with a high-pitched squeal before giving way to a snippet of the group's 1982 hit "Hungry Like the Wolf."

"David is a visionary artist, his work is always surprising and beautifully strange - so it was a surreal dream collaboration for us to work with him and to become the subjects of one of his films," keyboardist Nick Rhodes said in a statement. "When we first discussed the notion of working together, we bonded over a shared desire to create a truly unique live film. I felt confident we could rely upon David to conjure up something stylish, experimental, handmade and innovative. He surpassed all of our wildest expectations."

Filmed in conjunction with the band's 2011 album All You Need Is Now, the movie is part of American Express Unstaged, the series that pairs musicians with filmmakers including Pharrell/Spike Lee, the Killers/Werner Herzog and Maroon 5/Gary Oldman.

The two-hour, 19-song set blended Eighties hits with the new album, as the core quartet of vocalist Simon Le Bon, Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor were joined by four other musicians and a four-piece string section. While the show itself relied on minimal lighting effects, the online concert featured Lynch's flourishes, including wisps of smoke and fire and dead animals superimposed over the band.

As a huge Lynch and Duran Duran fan, cannot wait for this one. Should be superb!

A SURVIVOR PASSES --- Jimi Jamison, lead singer of Survivor, died on Sunday night from a heart attack. He was 63.

Although born in Mississippi, he and his mother moved to Memphis the day after he was born and he considered that city his home. He learned how to sing and play guitar and piano at a young age and was already in a band in middle school.

Starting in the late 70's, he fronted a number of bands including Target and Cobra along with doing studio work as a background vocalist for the likes of ZZ Top and Joe Walsh.

In 1984, after the breakup of Cobra, he joined Survivor who were already international stars based on their hit Eye of the Tiger. The lead singer for that hit, Dave Bickler, had suffered from vocal problems and was forced to leave the band, opening up the position for Jamison.

Survivor had a number of hits with Jamison in front including “I Can't Hold Back (1984 / #13),” “High On You (1985 / #8),” “The Search is Over (1985 / #4),” “Burning Heart (1985 / #2)” and “Is This Love (1986 / #9).”

Late in the 80's, the band's success started to fade leading to the members going on an indefinite hiatus. Jamison began recording solo, including the 1991 album When Love Comes Down. It was that album, which didn't chart, that kept him from accepting an offer to become the lead singer of Deep Purple when Ian Gillan was let go from the band. The record company forced him to pass on the offer to promote the new record.

Jamison would later write and sing “I'm Always Here,” the theme from the TV show Baywatch, and release another album under the name Jimi Jamison's Survivor, Empires.

Survivor reformed in 1993 but with Dave Bickler back on lead. When he was fired from the band in 2000, Jamison returned and stayed with the group for the next six years. After once again leaving in 2006, he rejoined in 2011 and, in 2013, Survivor became a two-lead band with the return of Bickler. 

CLOSING NOTES --- So, the so-called maverick- Malkin Brothers who own The Empire State Building and several others units (including the great Fisk Building on West 57th Street and Broadway) didn't let their any of their buildings go gold for last night’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, with the caveat that the request didn't come from a group, but, rather from an individual. Take it from me, this wild cap pair have done more harm than good … all over. I've been privy to several of the so-called innovations at several of their rentals and it ain’t fair or good. I'm not going to call them crooks ... but, a second or third look into their operations needs to be done here. Shame on them … 

Larry David to Broadway? A Fish In The Dark, starring David, will premiere in February. Curb it Larry! …

If you missed Rolling Stone's recent interview with iconic legend Willie Nelson; go back and find it. Writer Patrick Doyle did a superb job on perhaps the most original artist of them all. Required reading for sure ...

Just started the new book from Idea of March-er-Jim Peterik (Through The Eye Of The Tiger), written with Lisa Torem. Am loving it so far ...

SIGHTINGS --- PR-pasha David Salidor at Wo Hop in Chinatown; WOR's Tom Cuddy hustling in Tribeca; Jack Nicholson and Barry Diller at Sandy Gallin's end-of-summer fete in Amagansett; and, Chris Martin wandering the beach, also in Amagansett.