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Agenda Newsletter - June 4, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick Catch 'em before they implode
Dinosaur Jr.

The Fillmore at Irving Plaza; June 6–7; 8 p.m.; $25; Tickets

We needn't argue for why you should see these feedback-loving indie-rock gods. But here's why you should see them now: They totally hate each other. Or “did”: Bassist Lou Barlow, kicked out by the power-mad front man J. Mascis in 1989, even released "The Freed Pig," a lo-fi, passive-aggressive dis track, with his band Sebadoh. Should Mascis comment on Barlow's D string being a touch flat, there could easily be an ego-fueled meltdown.


   
Populist Denis Leary keeps a crass promise
Rescue Me: The Complete
Third Season
 
In 2004, Denis Leary told us he wasn’t going to make a show about New York firefighters that was “bullshit”: “Hero worship, what people like to think firemen do.” Leary has kept true to his crass promise, and the show's third season got even darker, with the foul-mouthed, fallible guys coping with the deaths that ended season two. Plus, Susan Sarandon nailed her guest stint as a femme fatale. Sony Pictures
Out June 5
$49.95
Sarandon interview  » Buy it  »

     
Indieist A scandal gets its best treatment
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
 
Now that the Abu Ghraib scandal has been swamped by successive scandals—and waves of presidential-campaign politicking—Rory Kennedy’s documentary, now on DVD, is even more important. The more time passes, the more obvious it becomes that those images have defined views of the American military. There have been angrier denunciations, but no film has laid out the facts and precedents in a more coherent and damning way than Kennedy’s surprisingly even-keeled jeremiad.

HBO Home Video
Out June 5
$24.98
Kennedy interview  » Buy it  »

     
Square Frenzied desire to surface at reading
Ian McEwan
 
On Chesil Beach, McEwan’s latest novel, is a beach read for the anti-chick-lit set: It’s a touching, old-fashioned yarn about a young couple, honeymooning on the Dorset coast, who both nurse private, painful anxieties about consummating their love. McEwan has a masterly sense of the frenzied desires of youth, and his sense of nostalgia never devolves into sentimentality. Warning: As he reads, you may experience a few wistful flashbacks of your own.

The 92nd Street Y
June 5
8 p.m.
$18; $10 for 35 and under
Tickets  »

     
Aesthete Jeff Daniels gives a career performance
Blackbird
 
The work Jeremy McCarter calls “the most disturbing play uptown audiences have seen since The Pillowman stars Jeff Daniels as a man tracked down by the woman he sexually abused as a girl. Plenty of actors would happily sink their teeth into the role. Daniels does something more creative: “Sleeves up, tie down, he tugs frequently on his hair, giving himself a messy, roosterish plume—at once menacing and pathetic.” See him at his very best.

Manhattan Theatre Club
Closes
June 10
Tickets  »

     
Kids Take them to see it already
Shrek the Third
 
Having opened a couple of weeks back, the latest installment of this faintly subversive franchise—which, as David Edelstein points out, also comes with “fart jokes for all”—makes for a low-key weeknight outing. “Computer-generated animated movies with wall-to-wall jokes can be excruciating,” Edelstein says, “but these jokes are the funniest money can buy.” To wit: “Early on, Shrek nuzzles Fiona in bed. 'Morning breath,' he says, laughing. 'Isn't it wonderful?'”

Trailer  » Tickets  »

     
 
 

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Monday June 4, 2007
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