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Courant.com - 7th November 2007
One Way Or Another, Deborah Harry Lives In The Present
Blondie Veteran To Emphasize Her Solo Work, Old And New, At Foxwoods Show
By KENNETH PARTRIDGE | Special To The Courant
For her latest tour, Deborah Harry could have easily rehearsed "Rapture," "Heart of Glass" and all the rest of the hits that made Blondie one of the more memorable and musically diverse bands of the late '70s and early '80s.
Plenty of artists go the nostalgia route, and at 62, Harry has certainly earned the right to let her well-loved, still-relevant back catalog keep her afloat.
The singer is far more interested in giving fans a glimpse of where she is now, in 2007, though, and when she performs at Foxwoods Saturday night, she'll play a Blondie-free set, focusing instead on her body of solo work.
"Most of the time, I'm sort of challenged by what I'm doing today," Harry said in a recent phone interview. "I would hate it if all I had in my life was to be able to look back and say how great my life was. I think I would feel sort of sad about that."
The show will feature selections from "Necessary Evil," her first solo album in 14 years. Released last month, the collection finds Harry in familiar territory, blurring the lines between rock, pop and dance.
"I wanted to make a good, easy-listening kind of record that was contemporary," Harry says. "Because I feel like after doing Blondie for so many years, you sort of I don't get to really do where I'm at today. People are just so interested in the past. They want to hear the old stuff. I sort of feel l really wanted to do something new. I wanted to get some air."
Harry's need for a breather may deny fans a trip back in time, but the singer says her new material will appeal to Blondie's audience. She says she's always been driven by a desire to make people move their feet, and in that way, the dance-floor-ready songs on "Necessary Evil" share a lot in common with those she wrote 30 years ago.
"When Blondie started playing back in the early '70s, the majority of the music that was being played on the radio was not dance music," Harry says. "I always enjoyed dancing, listening to bands and dancing. Just sitting there and listening to bands play always seemed to me sort of strange. Rock is the kind of thing where you should be moving. That was one of our goals: to get people up and jumping."
Another thing that hasn't changed is Harry's lyrical approach. Whether she's singing the sexed-up "Dirty and Deep" or more meditative "What Is Love," both selections from her new album, Harry says she's getting at themes that are timeless and universal.
"I think one of the things I really am conscious of, and I think most people are, [is] most pop songs, most rock songs are about relationships or love or finding satisfaction or sex or something like that," she says. "I think primarily it's sort of about love and finding some kind of love in your life. It seems like it's such an important issue for most people."
While the album has its topical moments "Paradise," most notably, is about a suicide bomber Harry believes escapism isn't such a bad thing.
"I wanted to make a record that was enjoyable," she says. "There are serious things that are written about in it, ideas, but basically, I feel like music should be somewhat entertaining. I don't feel like I should be hammering anything at people. People have enough things to think about in their lives. Music should take you away from all that."
DEBORAH HARRY performs at the Foxwoods Fox Theater at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. Tickets are $44 and $33. Information: 800-200-2882.
Courant.com - 7th November 2007