Liz Smith Drives the Downeaster Alexa

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One of the Post's antique gossipers is suddenly giving Pitchfork Media a run for its money. In today's column, Liz Smith breaks an obscure new singer who's just had her first show at Pianos. Who's this up-and-comer? Well, it's 20-year-old Alexa Ray Joel, spawn of Billy, and her first CD was personally fed to the columnist by her mom, Christie Brinkley — but otherwise Liz's excitement over discovering a hot unsigned artist is palpably bloggerlike. "Her voice is big, beautiful and perhaps even more impressive than her impressive dad's," Smith writes. But there's a problem: "She doesn't have a label yet."

Poor, unsigned girl. But wait! Somewhat unlike your typical self-released debut EP, however, young Joel's has already been picked up for exclusive nationwide distribution at Target stores. She is also paying her dues on the road, "slowly building her career," as Liz puts it. A jog over to Alexa's MySpace page does reveal a full touring schedule, albeit one filled with Northeastern dates marked PRIVATE; her next gig after Pianos is something called the Princess Grace Awards. Wasn't that TV on the Radio's big breakout moment?

Young Lady Is Hot! [NYP]
Alexa Joel [AlexJoel.com]
Alexa Ray Joel [MySpace.com]