SISTER ACT: ALICIA MURPHY & SE REED ON GREATER LB RADIO TONIGHTBy Greater Long Beach
The frankly quite-remarkable singer/songwriter Alicia Murphy and her remarkably quite-frank sister/manager/ background vocalist Se Reed have mapped out an alternate route to their gig tonight at the Blue Café.
The plan is to cut across the Cal State Long Beach campus to the Student Union, swing through the glass doors on the bottom floor,head straight back to the studios of KBEACH.org radio, cajole somebody with a key card into letting them in, then spend an hour as the featured guests on this week’s edition of Greater Long Beach Radio with Dave Wielenga.
Greater Long Beach Radio, the collaborative production of GreaterLongBeach.com and Cal State Long Beach’s student-run Internet radio station, KBEACH.org, gets deep into the news, issues and people currently shaping Long Beach. Programs like this used to be described as “public affairs,” but we think that sounds weird. Greater Long Beach Radio goes live at 6 p.m. every Thursday during the summer, then becomes available Friday at about noon from the KBEACH.com archives or by downloadable podcast.
When the show wraps up at 7 p.m., Murphy and Reed can get back to the pace of real life, which in the shortest of terms means getting over to the Blue Cafe to continue Murphy’s every-Thursday-in-July residency at the downtown Long Beach club. This week she’s headlining a triple bill that begins at 9 p.m. an will end whenever Murphy decides she’s done running the whim and wordplay of her quirky folk through the complex dynamics of her bamd, the Mandelbrot Set, named after a mathematical set of points named after the first person to ever see it, Benoit Mandelbrot. No acceptable reason exists for missing this show.
Beyond that, Murphy’s to-do list includes serving internships at the Los Cerritos Wetlands and Colorado Lagoon all summer and pursuing a major in hydrology at UC Davis this fall, with a break thrown in to celebrate her 21st birthday before she goes back to classes.
Yep, Murphy is still a kid. That can appear obvious in the giggle of the songs she just can’t stop writing and singing—until the surprising moment when each of them arrives at its place of deeply mattering. The unexpected dawning of poignance in what may have seemed to be Benoit Mandelbrot
jingles at first delivers the rush of personal discovery or interpretation or insight. A few times later may bring the foolish feeling of falling for a card trick, perhaps ignite the challenge of figuring it out. Eventually, however, comes surrender—the concession that this is magic … except the proper term for it in situations such as this is “art.”
Like her younger sister, Reed carries a full and varietal load of talents, interests and responsibilities to corners of a life so far-flung that it’s hard to imagine how anybody in Long Beach could avoid crossing paths with her. She founded [open] in downtown Long Beach at age 23, and since moving it to 4th Street the independent bookstore has become just as important as an arts&culture salon, not to mention a pillar of Retro Row. She has since formed Se Reed Media, which offers web development, social media, e-commerce and marketing consulting for all sizes and types of businesses. She’s a specialty business adviser at the Small Business Development Corporation hosted by Long Beach City College. And, meanwhile, she sings the background vocals and plays the light percussion that give emphasis and dimensions to her little songs.
Reed’s backup role on stage is probably a good metaphor for her wider role in the relationship the sisters share. Murphy sometimes refers to Reed as “my sisterger”—that is, half sister, half manager—and admits that the laugh she emits is reward for wading through and dealing with the assortment of issues that could have derailed their collaboration. That’s magic, too … or art, if you prefer … except the proper term for it in situations such as this is “love.”