Alexa Ray Joel, daughter of Billy, still gets more respect as a celeb spawn than as a musician. She made her way down the press gauntlet at her father’s $3,000-a-ticket Hamptons concert last Saturday. “Totally gorgeous,” mouthed a People reporter to a colleague. “Okay: We love her.” Last fall, when Alexa debuted with shows in indie venues Maxwell’s and Pianos, the blogosphere (which exists to hail the next big thing) was quiet. Instead, her first rave came from Liz Smith. “Her voice is big, beautiful, and perhaps even more impressive than her impressive dad’s,” wrote Smith, who hasn’t spent that much time down on the L.E.S. cool-hunting in a while. She didn’t have to: Alexa’s mom, Christie Brinkley, personally handed her a six-song EP. Almost a year later, this situation is unchanged. Joel is unsigned, yet her CD, with the same six songs, sells in Target stores nationwide; she walks the red carpets and gives interviews, but her Website doesn’t have a “Reviews” section. “What’s next?” we asked when the People people reluctantly let Alexa go. “Oh, some concerts, then some time off, then heading back to the studio.” She gave a radiant smile, triggering a volley of flashes. “You know: the life of an independent musician.”
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