Deborah Harry " coolness without effort |

Deborah Harry " coolness without effort

Stewart Oksenhorn
Aspen, CO Colorado

Deborah Harry, lead singer of Blondie, performed with her own band Friday night at Belly Up Aspen. (Stewart Oksenhorn/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN ” In the middle of singing an acoustic version of Blondie’s 1980 hit “The Tide Is High” ” a song about patience and perse­verance ” Friday night at Belly Up Aspen, Deborah Harry asked, “What does time mean to some­one who lives in these moun­tains?”

Harry, still the lead singer of Blondie but who was perform­ing under her own name in Aspen, doesn’t live in the moun­tains. She’s a New Yorker through and through ” in fact, for many, she is the personifica­tion of a particular New York, the seedy but electric downtown Manhattan of the punk/ New Wave era. But for Harry, too, time seems to be something that has simply passed her by, with­out leaving much of a mark.

In her Belly Up gig, backed by four much younger musi­cians, Harry didn’t seem far removed from the Blondie hey­day of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Her clothes were tight and skimpy; her mood was vampy, playful and full of good humor. She moved as well as anyone on the packed dance floor, whose occupants leaned more toward the current crop of clubgoers than those looking for a nostal­gic hit of the New Wave days.

Harry, at 62, wears her cool­ness without effort. There is no striving here to replay the old days. The first handful of songs were all new, from her outstand­ing album “Necessary Evil,” released in September, and the crowd responded to them as though they were the Blondie radio hits that still endure. The songs, too, don’t give a hint to being aware of the singer’s hav­ing aged. The chorus to “Two Times Blue,” the captivating dance single that opens the album, finds Harry as confident as ever: “I know, yes I know/ You’ll be two times blue if I go.”

It’s just as Harry promised nearly three decades ago: She’s not the kind of girl who gives up just like that. Nope. She’s not giving up at all.

Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail is

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