Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting closer to the Closer, Sic Alps and Jay Reatard

I don't have broadcast TV out here in beautiful northern New England (we get PBS, but not much else), so I have taken to reviewing DVD sets of current television shows. What can I say? It keeps me off the street. Anyway, this time it was The Closer, starring Ms. Kyra Sedgwick, not bad, not bad at all.

The Closer: The Complete Third Season
Cast: Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Robert Gossett, Jon Tenney, G. W. Bailey, Corey Reynolds
(Warner Brothers, 2005)
US release date: 1 July 2008 (TNT)
by Jennifer Kelly

We’ve come a long way from Murder, She Wrote

The first thing you have to know about Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson is that she’ll do anything to get her confession. She’ll lie. She’ll flirt. She’ll pretend to be your first. She’ll threaten. She’ll lean way over your way with her considerable cleavage showing, and pretend to be far dumber than she is. She’ll even tell you that your little brother has been murdered – she’ll do this right in front of her parents, her fiancĂ© and two of her colleagues—when if fact that little brother is fine and asking about you every ten minutes.

Johnson, as Kyra Sedgwick portrays her, is a bundle of conflicting energies, deeply committed to what she sees as right, but willing to do all kinds of morally questionable things to get there. She is moral without being especially trustworthy, truthseeking but not terribly truthful, and though she seems to care, more or less, about the people around her, she will toss them over the side anytime, anywhere, if it gets her closer to catching the criminal.

It’s kind of a strange part for a Hollywood beauty to be playing, when you think about it.

Read the whole thing, if you want, by clicking here.

Brenda Leigh Johnson would just fucking destroy Jay Reatard, using her Southern charm to get him to confess to things he'd never heard of...but let's hope they never meet up, because first with Blood Visions, now with his Matador singles, Jay is making me believe in punk rock again. Here's my review of the singles comp in Philly Weekly.

Jay Reatard

Singles 06-07 (Matador)
Rating: Excellent, like John Oates’ mustache.
Singles continues what 2006’s Blood Visions started: cranking, short, sharp, desolate punk songs that lodge in your head like advertising jingles. Songs range from synth-pumping stutters to New Wavish to classic oi! band shout-alongs. Regardless of style, Reatard has a way with catchy refrains, lodging undeniable hooks into sped-up, sticks-on-rims implosions. Still, there’s a darkness in these songs, each one taking a belligerent poke at death and alienation. “Feeling blank again,” screeches Reatard in his vintage Richard Hell yelp. And if you stopped slamming, you might feel just the same. (Jennifer Kelly)

Here's Jay playing "Oh, It's Such a Shame"

I also wrote a preview for a Philly Sic Alps w/ Blues Control's show, which seems like it would be wholly worth seeing:

Sic Alps + Blues Control

Fri., July 18, 8pm. $10. With Home Blitz. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

This show was supposed to happen back in May, but Sic Alps drummer Matt Hartman broke a wrist bicycling (wouldn’t you think a guy who used to play in the Coachwhips would know how to fall safely?) and the whole tour got postponed. No matter, this fuzz-crusted, distortion-infected, garage-psych duo returns in triumph, newly signed to the legends-of-noise Siltbreeze and expecting a new album in August. U.S. EZ, their fourth, is unhinged and haunting, loosely strung laments hitched to vintage 1960s guitars. Openers Blues Control take their blues-based meditations in a heavier direction, with ponderous, molten riffs that circle and envelop. (Jennifer Kelly)

Here are Sic Alps playing "Semi-Street"

and Blues Control

Remaining Sic Alps dates:
JULY 16 KNOXVILLE {@ the Pilot Light w/ Three Man Band}
JULY 17 CHAPEL HILL {@ the Reservoir w/ Minchia, & Jokes&Jokes&Jokes}
JULY 18 PHILADELPHIA {@ Johnny Brenda's w/ Blues Control & Home Blitz}
JULY 19 BROOKLYN {@ Death by Audio w/ Religious Knives, Meth Teeth, & Ca-USE Co-MOTION!}
JULY 20 BROOKLYN {@ Union Pool w/ Child Abuse, Flowers of Flesh and Blood, & Stetson-Sawyer Duo}
JULY 21 BOSTON {@ the Abbey Lounge w/ Reports, Black Clouds, & Heathen Shame}
JULY 22 PITTSBURG {@ Garfield Artworks w/ Pink Reason, Harangue & Centipede E'est}
JULY 23 CLEVELAND {@ Pat's in the Flats w/ Scarcity of Tanks & Stephe DK}
JULY 24 COLUMBUS {@ Cafe Bourbon St. w/ Psychedelic Horseshit, El Jesus de Magico, & Necropolis}
JULY 25 DETROIT {@ X! Fest at the Bohemian National Home w/ Tyvek, Terrible Twos, Frustrations, The Mahonies, Fontana, Psychedelic Horseshit, Guinea Worms, Necropolis, & Timmy V Lamp)
JULY 28 ST. LOUIS {@ Open Lot w/ Ghost Ice, Raglani, & Thankful Tree} - *ALL TO BE CONFIRMED*
JULY 29 KANSAS CITY {@ the Pistol Social Club w/ Witch and Hare}

Fall dates with the Ohsees
SEPT 16 LOS ANGELES {@ The Smell}
SEPT 17 SAN DIEGO {@ Bar Pink Elephant}
SEPT 21 AUSTIN {@ Beerland}
SEPT 22 AUSTIN {@ Club 1808 - ALL AGES)
SEPT 23 DALLAS {@ The Lounge}
SEPT 25 MEMPHIS {@ Gonerfest}
SEPT 27 NYC {@ Chris Johanson art opening/TBD}
OCT 1 MONTREAL {@ Pop Montreal Festival}

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