Archive: August, 2009
|Hey baby, can I buy you a drink?|
When that red button is pushed, Luke and the rest of Godric's liar explode, leaving some dead vampires, humans and scattered body pieces behind. No being of major importance is hurt, thanks partly to Eric who uses his body to shield the vulnerable Sookie. But don't whip out angel wings just yet, for Eric manages to fool Sookie into sucking the silver bullets out of his chest, claiming otherwise he will die. Grateful, but disgusted, she does so, also ingesting some of his blood by proxy. Sookie is thus forever linked to the sneaky Viking vampire (who would have healed fine on his own). It isn't all that bad, as it ensures Sookie another Vamp who will be quick to come to her aide. But for Bill, it's rotten, because Eric now has an emotional ' and sexual ' hold on his darling human.
In Bon Temps, when Tara and Eggs show more concern for their blackouts, and the resulting injuries from last episode's mutual slap-down, Maryann's cool fa'ade breaks a bit. She lectures the two on the beauty of chaos ' how it brings people closer to their God. But the beauty of chaos be damned because all that concerned-cousin Lafayette sees are the bruises on Tara's face. Assuming Tara's the victim of domestic abuse, Lafayette goes after Eggs ' who Tara defends, not realizing Eggs is actually the slaphappy culprit.
Later, Maryann gets the two lovebirds boozed up again, but Lafayette and Tara's mother come to kidnap Tara, fearing Maryann's influence. They manage to escape with the fist wielding woman, but not without first witnessing the transformation of Eggs and Tara into black-eyed zombies.
It's odd that Bon Temps has yet to hear of the Stackhouses' involvement with the Fellowship of the Sun, as the Newlins aren't shy post-Fellowship debacle about taking their trash to TV. But even though their holier-than-though image is faltering, it still creates bad press for the world's Vampires. Godric is thus asked to step down from his post as Sheriff, being blamed as the catalyst for Cowboy Stan's attack on the church and the subsequent suicide bombing in the lair. The ancient one easily relents and also insists that he shall atone for his part in creating trouble.
Back in Bon Temps, Sam Merlotte is in jail as a suspect for Daphne's murder. He hears the arrival of Maryann and turns into a fly, leaving behind a telltale pile of clothes. Maryann, peeved that the shape shifter is so difficult to acquire, stomps into Merlotte's later that night and possesses everyone to go on a search for the missing man.
Back in Texas, Eric, concerned for his sire, follows Godric to the roof of the Hotel Carmilla. There he pleads with his maker not to let the sun burn him to dust, but Godric insists that it is his time, commanding Eric to 'let him go.' Eric weeps genuine bloody tears, proving humanity is not just for humans, but abides by his maker's death wish. And whether by the goodness of her heart or the power of Eric's blood in her veins, Sookie promises Eric she'll stay by Godric's side until the end. And she does, watching and crying as Godric burns ' a look of pure bliss on his un-dead face.
Monday: Angel Taylor performs soulful 'coffeehouse' adult-contemporary tunes. This is highly accessible pop in the vein of Alicia Keys or Vanessa Carlton. With Tim Blane at the World Cafe Live, 30th and Walnut Streets, 7:30pm, $15.
Tuesday: At the 'Heroes of Woodstock' concert you can experience the music that defined your parents' ' grandparents' ' great-grandparents' (I guess 40 years is a long time) generation. The performing acts include Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Ten Years After, and Country Joe McDonald. At the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, $33-$73, 52nd St. & Parkside.
Wednesday: Philadelphia's psychedelic folk group Espers will be performing a free live show in Penn Treaty Park this evening. If you have a taste for freak folks like Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart and/or Akron Family, Espers just may tickle your fancy. With The Oubliette Ensemble, 7-9pm, FREE , Penn Treaty Park, 1199 N. Delaware Ave.
Thursday: One of the creative forces behind Philadelphia pop group Jukebox the Ghost, Ben Thornewill will perform a solo set of carefully composed upbeat ballads on the piano. With Seth Kallen & Alec Gross, 8pm, $10, MilkBoy Coffee, 2 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
Friday: '90s alternative rock group Collective Soul have consistently charted #1 singles since their 1993 hit 'Shine.' With riff heavy guitars and grungy vocals the group defines '90s rock. At the TLA, 9pm, 4th and South Streets
Saturday: New Jersey punk rockers The Bouncing Souls have been around for over 20 years playing their own brand of pop-punk. With 7 Seconds & NoneMoreBlack, at The Trocadero, 7pm, $21, 10th and Arch Streets
Sunday: Nebula play infectious stoner rock, if stoner rock can even be infectious. Meddling solos and spaced out rhythms combined with snotty vocals place the band among other garage rockers like Jay Reatard. With Entrance Band & Backwoods Payback, $12, 8pm, At Johnny Brendas, Frankford & Girard Aves, r5productions.com.
|Guess who's coming to dinner?|
Word around the internet is that the opening episode to Mad Men's third season was boring. Fools.
We are reunited with Don Draper (sigh, how I've missed you!) as he boils milk on the stove and re-imagines his birth to a whore mother and subsequent adoption by his unloving step family. Don's entire MO at the end of season two was rebirth ' go on the road with the Joy-led hedonists or return to the white picket and 2.3 puppies. He ostensibly chose Betty (who just seems to get hotter every season) and the kids but then we see Dick Whitman's birth just how it happened, in all of its unglamorous glory. Is this rebirth or history repeating? Let's not forget he and Betty have also got their own new arrival on the way.
But Don's off to Baltimore, with Sal in tow, to reassure raincoat company London Fog (ironic enough, considering the Sterling-Cooper takeover by the Brits) that everything is going to be just swell in the face of layoffs (astute mirroring of current times? naw, too cheap). This is a result of the firing of head of accounts Burt Peterson, who we never saw much of before but is important because his dismissal leads to two other plot formations:
1. The budding relationship between Queen Bitch/sex-on-a-stick secretary Joan (who I would do unspeakable things to look like) and "limey vulture" Mr. John Hooker, who, despite all of his protestations, is essentially the male Joan. What's that I hear? Is it wedding bells? Or the sound of Joan sharpening her claws? I kind of hope it's both.
2. Wolf-in-idiot's-clothing Ken Cosgrove and ultimate shitbird Pete Campbell (don't let the title fool you, he's one of my faves) are both offered the recently vacated position of head of accounts by Lane, a character I believe I will grow to love if only for his British drawl. Ken wants to work with Pete, but Pete is pissed. There will be no hand-holding between the two parties, Pete assures Ken. What a little fuck Pete is ' see also his later complaint to wife, Trudy: "Why can't I get anything good all at once?" he whines. God, I love him.
While on the plane to Charm City, Don and Sal are mistakenly identified by a perky Southern stewardess who wants on Don like Sal wants on dick ' hard. Don and Sal go to dinner with the lovely lass and her buddies but pretend to be G-Men investigating Jimmy Hoffa. The Great Pretenders put on another facade. Of course, Don beds said stewardess, or tries to by uttering one of those lines that only Don can make sound sexy. After she reveals she's engaged and Don may be her last chances, Don replies 'I've been married a long time. You'll have plenty of chances.' Swoon! Meanwhile, Sal is getting all hot and bothered because his AC is on the fritz. A bellhop fixes the situation but decides to heat it up with Sal in the bedroom (see what I did there? with the heat metaphor? glad you're keeping up). Then the fire alarm goes off and both trysts are interrupted. On the way out, Don sees the scantily clad Sal and his uniformed love thing. Sal sees Don. Uh oh.
Of course, Don doesn't care that Sal is queer, as long as he can get it done. The London Fog meeting goes swimmingly, even when the raincoat manufacturer voices concern about a depleted market share ("There'll be lean years and fat years ... but it will rain').
Back at the office, clients are divvied up between Ken and Pete, and it's made clear that they are equal, unless of course one distinguishes himself. Cooper tries to remain relevant in a company that needs him less and less (although, I've always enjoyed Cooper and hope we get to explore his old man ennui a bit more) by giving a Penn Station account to Pete, while Sterling proceeds not to give a shit about anything but screwing his 20-year-old fianc'e. While the yanks have their powwow, the Brits have theirs. Hooker remarks to Lane that Sterling Cooper is a gynocracy, although Lane says he hasn't noticed. Please see Point 1 above to see why I'm excited by this comment.
We end where we begin, back in the Draper house where the elder Sally asks to hear about her birth. Quite different from the whorehouse experience we saw at the beginning.
Where's Duck? Did we get any mention of him? I loved that when he throws a temper tantrum after Don foils his takeover plan, the Brits were like, "Yeah, screw that guy, he's just a drunk." Wiley Brits, knew the entire time. Also, I need a bit more Peggy Olsen in my life, although she's looking smokin' hot in her new outfits so I doubt my request will go unanswered.
But back to the matter at hand: As much as AMC likes market this show as shocking, it's too carefully plotted and too precisely written to be shocking. Sure, there are certainly unexpected plot points, but in hindsight, all of the episodes prior had been leading up to said shocking moments. Take Peggy's pregnancy: All season, we saw her relationship with Pete develop and devolve, heard about how she was getting gaining weight in her belly and hips and learned about Pete and Trudy's infertility problems. And then BAM! Baby. So, not a lot may have happened in the debut episode of the third season. But by the end, it might be the most shocking episode of all.
So what did you guys think?
If you haven't checked out the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe blog yet, get that sucker on your RSS, like, now, because the concurrent festivals are only a couple of weeks away, and the site is brimming with useful info (and adorable haikus).
Here's a bit of what's up with our former intern:
Why did you start volunteering?
I'm always up for getting free stuff (and particularly free culture) in exchange for a bit of pleasantly-spent time and energy. Also, I was unemployed and bored.
What has been your favorite show in the Festival?
Gatz [Elevator Repair Service's eight-hour real-time staged reading of The Great Gatsby] almost takes the cake, and was certainly an unforgettable theater experience, but that same year's No Dice by Nature Theater of Oklahoma just nudges it out for its even more compelling execution of a similarly simple-yet-illogical premise, sustained over an only slightly less exhaustive running time: three and a half hours, with a break for ham sandwiches. You really needed that long just to acclimate to its bizarreness. It was one of the most utterly unique, thought-provoking and perversely entertaining pieces of art I've ever seen. Gotta give a shout-out to Jo Str'mgren's Convent, as well.
What has been your most "Fringe" moment?
There was the weirdness of getting a package of "successful napkins" in the mail a few weeks after the festival last year, a purchase from Matsune and Subal's Store [not to be confused with kate watson-wallace/anonymous bodies's STORE this year].
Keep a watch on CritMass in the coming weeks ' we'll be sorting out what's what and previewing shows we hope K-Ross will be talking about years from now.
Every other Friday, I'll bring you more from my column Last Chance.
This photograph, Builder, is from David Kimelman's exhibit "Natural World" up at Hudson Beach Glass (26 S. Strawberry St., 267-319-1887) through August 26. Like his other works, it's funny, kinda uncomfortable to look at and questions our relationship with the natural world. When I first scanned through his exhibit (check out images from it in our online gallery), I thought it definitely reflected Kimelmans's concern with environmental issues and disaster. Take Builder, in which we've literally created a symbolic, crappy Earth ' kinda Truman Show-esque, no? But Kimelman says he's not trying to make an environmental statement. Read why in the Q&A below:
City Paper: How'd you arrive at this theme of "natural order"?
David Kimelman: Since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by nature and natural phenomena. As I grew up, I became more aware of how people fit into, and don't fit into, the natural world. My concerns are sometimes about environmental issues, but my main interest is in what our relationship to the natural world says about us, both as a species and as individuals. You can tell so much about a person by how he treats his mom. I feel the same is true of us people, and our mother, nature.
CP: There's a sense of humor in your work. Do you find the clashing of man and nature to be somewhat funny?
DK: Yes, I do. The images certainly raise serious issues, but a lot of the pictures are about the uncomfortable relationship people have with nature, and I think uncomfortable relationships are inherently funny. I also think humor in art makes that art more accessible and enjoyable to look at, and I want my pictures to be accessible and enjoyable to look at.
CP: I keep coming back to those two old people on the beach. How do you they represent the complex relationships between man and nature?
DK: "Long Walks On The Beach" represents the upside of the relationship. It's not all fear and alienation. In this case the subjects' environment, the beach, is fostering a very tender and genuine human moment.
CP: The term "natural order" implies that nature trumps man, and that's kind of a jarring thing to admit as a human. Are you trying to force your audience to realize that's the case?
DK: Nature does trump man, but the pictures are not really about who's stronger. It's about recognizing the role we play by being both a part of nature, and something separate, which often feels adversarial. I want people to look at the pictures and seriously consider how they fit into that role. I'm not trying to make an environmental statement. I'm trying to make people more aware of the larger context of their humanity, and how they fit into the world.
Van Cougar and The BWS are proud to present the world premiere of Rocky Philly, a 90-minute play that weaves personal stories collected from citizens of Philadelphia with the movements of the characters from the classic Academy Award-winning film.
Rocky Philly juxtaposes two forms of storytelling: a cinematic underdog story created as entertainment and the personal stories of everyday people. The show layers one over the other--story over movement--to emphasize the relationship between the way stories are told to us in modern entertainments, and told by us when connecting with members of our own communities.
If you think it's worth the road trip, it's running through Sept. 26 at the Bushwick Starr (207 Starr St., #4, Brooklyn, N.Y., 212-868-4444).
Peep these watercolor, pen and ink pieces from Michele Melcher's new exhibit, "Stomping Grounds," which goes up at Proximity Gallery (2434 E. Dauphin St., 267-825-2949) on September 4. They all depict Philly bars and eateries ' Johnny Brenda's (pictured), Monk's, Pat's Steaks, Eulogy, Standard Tap ' and most have a distinct seasonal feel. (This one, for example, with all its oranges and reds, gets me excited for autumn nights.) Proximity owner Janel Frey tells Critical Mass that original pieces will go for $150-$650, and prints may be available for cheaper. If not, Melcher's got a bunch available on her Etsy site ' for as little as $40. Click for more of Melcher's favorite dives.
"They're wonderful and horrible at the same time": Q&A with movie mocker and Raspberry Brother Jerm Pollet
|MOCK-UPS: The Raspberry Brothers,
including Jerm Pollet (left)
The Raspberry Brothers concept is simple: Take familiar films that are worthy of ridicule and riff off them in a way that plays upon the collective memory. Jerm Pollet, along with his fellow Raspberry Brothers (a group of talented comics and comedy writers that includes Penn alum Johnny McNulty), is in from NYC tonight to serve up two noteworthy '80s films ' Footloose and The Karate Kid ' for mockery. When they play the 941 Theater tonight, all you need to do is sit back and drink while they sit up front with microphones in hand.
CP: What's the history of your show?
JP: I was doing it since 2000 at The Alamo Draft House ' a great atmosphere for our show; they serve a lot of beer. Very fun place. So for about seven years in Austin and in the last year in New York City at Chelsea Cinemas. Just as we did in Texas, we're starting to expand slowly while checking out other cities.
CP: Speaking of bad movies, I recall an evil black puppet movie I reviewed. Definitely funny at times, but it left me feeling robbed of an hour and a half of my life.
JP: That's where we come in. We're sort of like The Avengers. You can't take those minutes away. We take them back.
CP: Mystery Science Theater 3000 did a lot cheesy sci-fi and lousy serials from way back, while you guys take on more contemporary films.
JP: The nice thing is we're not restricted by copyright law since we're doing it live. Hell, I'm sure the producers of some of these films are happy we're paying the screening rights. Doing newer movies [including Snakes On A Plane], it's great to take some of the Hollywood egos down a notch. Anything that takes itself too seriously is fair game.
CP: So perhaps a send up of Michael Bay's explosion plot arcing/shitting on everyone's childhood is in order?
JP: Yea, not to mention this overuse of Megan Fox. There are these robot machines and then this girl's tits show up. Is she fucking the robots?! But I guess it's all about reverting back to your comfort zone. Regressing back into early childhood and beyond.
CP: What is it about '80s movies that you're going after through Footloose and The Karate Kid?
JP: There's a kind of naivet' or innocence about them. It's the fact that writers were getting away with such corniness. And both movies were big sellers in the same year, with '84 being the 'doomed' year. George Orwell come to life. Something about that time, that idea, and writers doing the same thing.
CP: But this is Karate Kid we're talking about. 'Sweep the leg!'
JP: It's not like I want to insult someone, in a way I applaud their attempts. They're wonderful and horrible at the same time. Do you remember the famous scene where Mr. Miyagi catches the fly? You can see the string connected to it. Why didn't they try harder? Sure, no CGI back then, but there wasn't clear string or a way to mask it? And Pat Morita is a great actor, but his accent slips into this horribly racist[laughs] thing that you can't ignore.
CP: But with CGI we get films like Transformers or that awful remake of Beowulf.
JP: [pauses] It is candy isn't it, but in a way, if you think about, it's that reversion again. Think of how big Megan Fox's or Angelina Jolie's tits are when we're in the theater- we're all suckling.
CP: Well done[laughs]. Didn't notice the string you mentioned in Karate Kid. Anything else you guys caught?
JP: Yea, you see the same extras walking by in both directions and you're forced to yell at the screen. [Aside] Keep in mind we watch these movies 10-15 times while preparing.
These movies were also made at a time when product placement was wholly new, with both of them being sponsored by Coca-Cola. We'll notice a Coke can being slammed down on a table right in front of the camera, but it wasn't readily picked up back then. Nikes are everywhere in Karate Kid, along with Volkswagens. Every car in the movie is made by VW. The films are sloppy but also kind of loveable. You feel kind of like a big brother helping the little guy out.
CP: What about Footloose then?
JP: The morals, in both films actually, are very heavy handed: new kid comes to town and he doesn't fit in, he gets picked on, and he flips the town on its head. Both movies are your feet helping you save the day. Kevin Bacon uses his dancing to overcome his anger while Daniel-san uses his kicking to express himself, with both films dealing with [the absence of] father figures. Mr. Miyagi is Daniel's surrogate father; there is no father figure in Footloose. And then they both get the girl. They fit in finally, but the real answer is get the girl. Go to the boobies. [pauses] I swear there are some good fart jokes in there as well; it's not all Freudian analysis. And besides, you're not gonna see much boobs in either movie. . I mean, Elizabeth Shue [in Karate Kid] fills a sweater, but I guess I shouldn't say that since she was 15 at the time'
CP: It's cool.
JP: Awesome, thanks.
CP: How have audiences responded and has anything changed since moving the show east?
JP: We made a lot of jokes about Republicans in Austin that didn't go well, but went well in NYC. The show has definitely gotten better since coming to NYC. It's the people, their sophistication, and the wealth of theater in the city. It made us come up with better jokes, to get more into the psychology of the moment and the films themselves. And the comedians are really good. I went to the Upright Citizens Brigade ' a well established troupe ' and did some scouting on numerous occasions.
CP: Do you ever have problems with the crowd? Any heckling?
JP: Generally people aren't heckling us. At times they're going after the films just as we are, but we usually keep it under control by playing drinking games and through short crowd interaction bits.
CP: Drinking games, you say?
JP: Everytime someone says 'Ren'' DRINK! Everytime you see a VW in Karate Kid ' DRINK!
CP: And that's without dropping the aforementioned caveat to the audience about VWs being all over Karate Kid?
JP: Of course.
The Raspberry Brothers, Fri., Aug. 14, Double Feature, 9pm, The Karate Kid, 11:30pm, Footloose, $10 each, $15 for the Double Feature, 941 Theater, 941 N. Front, 215-235-5603, 941theater.com.
Don't forget about what Carolyn Huckabay told you in this week's Kaleidoscope:
Self-described "rogue taxidermist" Beth Beverly and her cohorts have unveiled Pork Chop, a Fishtown artist collective brimming with ragtag potential. This Thursday they'll host a group art show ($5 to enter), complete with aerial dance, bottomless beer cups and a pi'ata filled with "alterna-treats," whatever that means. They've got a Facebook page, but we suggest you wing it. Just wander up to 1536 N. American St., pop your head in Pork Chop's door and see where the night takes you.
It goes from 7 to 10 p.m. Featured, local artists will include James Coughlin, Jen Procacci, Jimmy Comey, Natasha Mell-Taylor and some others. And whaddya know? One of Comey's comics (pictured) was picked to be part of our Comics Issue two years ago. (Speaking of, have you seen the '09 version?) Click the jump to see images from Procacci and Coughlin.
Though these pieces won't be in the show (as far as we know), but works by these same artists will be, so hopefully they'll give you a taste of what the gallery will be like:
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