Thursday, January 6th, 2005

Model Spy

Last night’s season premiere of Alias didn’t amount to a reboot of the series as much as it did a rewind, likely to put as much distance between this season and the last, which started promisingly enough but was an utter mess by the time it wrapped last May. Plausibility is essentially thrown out the window for the purposes of setting up the new scenario, which is very much a deliberate throwback to the first season. While on one hand, this could be seen as a “back to basics” approach, taking the series back to what they know works, but it’s also really familiar – formulaic, even. And for a show that got attention for being fresh and surprising, that could be deadly. This is not a show that can get away with spinning its wheels.

To recap: Sydney has daddy issues. Sydney has mommy issues. Sydney dresses up in lingerie and kicks some Eurotrash guy’s ass. Sydney executes daring heists. Sydney doesn’t trust Sloan, but has to work for him. Jack goes to extreme measures to protect his daughter. Sydney cries. Vaughan is intense but perplexed. Marshall is a dork. Been there, done that. Even the addition of Mia Maestro as Sydney’s equally ass-kicking half-sister spy is yawn-inducing. For a while I thought they were going to have an Asian big bad this season, and that might have been interesting, but no – he bites it. Unless J.J. Abrams has some real rabbits up his sleeve (am I mixing metaphors?), I’d have to imagine they squeezed as much blood from that particular stone as they’re ever going to. What, is Sloan going to betray them? Again? I’ll certainly give the show some time to prove that it’s still got some fresh ideas, but based on the premiere, I have my reservations. Better they would take the lead of 24 (which premieres this Sunday with a two-hour episode, and then another two hours on Monday), who have cast aside almost all the supporting cast from the first three seasons for the upcoming one in an attempt to revitalize the show. Of course, they’ve neglected to write any sort of story yet, but you can’t have everything.

BBC1 has some video footage from the Keeping It Peel tribute concert to the late legendary DJ, including a set of classics by the newly-reformed Peel favourite, The Wedding Present. Their new album Take Fountain is out officially February 15 and is aleady apparently making the P2P rounds (though the band would really prefer you didn’t go this route – they’ve stated as much on their message board). From Bradley’s Almanac.

Catbirdseat points us at an mp3 from the new Low record, The Great Destroyer out January 25. The word on this album was that it was much heavier and more rock than anything Duluth’s favourite Mormons have put out before and if “Monkey” is any indication, that’s true. See what signing to SubPop can do to a band?

And while we’re previewing forthcoming releases, go here to stream a few new songs from Ivy’s In The Clear, out March 1.

Emm Gryner celebrates the release of her new album Songs Of Love And Death January 17th with a show at the Top Of The Senator – $10 reservations, no advance tickets. No, I don’t know what that means but I suspect you’re going to have to have a meal or something if you wanna see the show.

CMJ. Arcade Fire. Blah blah blah.

eye submits their picks for local bands to watch in 2005. The only act I’m really familiar with are The Great Lake Swimmers, who I concour are quite good. I didn’t know they’d signed an American deal with Misra, though. Labelmates with Centro-Matic – that’s pretty cool.

np – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / The Best Of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

By : Frank Yang at 9:10 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. david says:

    The new Low record is really good, probably only behind the Crooked Fingers release in 2005 albums I’ve heard so far.

    Keep bringing the Centro-matic love, they are woefully under-appreciated.

  2. Michael says:

    Solid assesment of the Alias premiere. They had a lot of cleaning up to do and I’m glad they knocked it out in one 2-hour block instead of stringing it out over 3 weeks. That would have been much worse.

    I was also bummed when the bad guy got his. I was hoping he would be around for a while.

  3. Paul says:

    Wow david, you actually like that Crooked Fingers record? It’s the most disappointing thing I’ve heard in a long, long time.

  4. Maria says:

    Did you notice the addition of soft pop Dawson-creekish/Felicityish music to Alias?

  5. mike says:

    Hey Frank,

    No doubt you’ve got you BSS ticket. Happen to have an extra? ;-) I forgot all about it this morning, AGAIN. Ticketmaster seems to be sold out.

  6. Frank says:

    hey Mike

    sorry, just the one. It occurred to me AFTER I’d completed my transaction that I should have gotten some more…

  7. the dirty canuck says:

    Frank –

    If you’re interested, Great Lake Swimmers are playing Jan 21st at the 360 as part of a fundraiser for a new indie festival that’s due to hit Toronto in September 2005.


    Hit me back if you’re interested in more details.

    Love the site, btw.