It’s hard to recall a record that so fully captures the glorious groove and unbounded musical imagination of P.Funk in its prime, with a little Tribe, Prince and Sly and even some Hendrix thrown in.
——Oxford Boy on "Stankonia"


Diversions And Perversions
For Your Days Off
Welcome to the second installment of our weekend planner, in which our in-house cretins expose their favorite downtime fetishes. Take it away, boyz and gurls.

Playstation 2 Worth Every Penny—All 50,000 Of 'Em
Ok, I broke down and bought a Playstation 2 on eBay. I paid too much; but I have one, and that's the most important thing. The super-hyped machine plays DVDs, original Playstation games and Playstation 2's kick-ass games, including Madden NFL 2001, the finest videogame available for the console. The John Madden-named franchise has a great and deserved reputation, with options ranging from creating and drafting players to playing as an NFL Europe team. With lifelike physics—players running full-tilt continue their momentum—and stunning graphics, playing Madden is damn close to controlling an actual NFL football game. Given the PS2's expandability, next spring I'll be able to play the Latin Prince via modem. For now, I'm just happy crushing my friends' egos—their very will to live—on my couch. Since I'm doing terrible in the HITS fantasy league, it's all I've got. And now that I've written about it, the whole thing is tax-deductible. David Simutis

Outkast's "Stankonia": Get It On Ya
While we've spilled quite a bit of ink on Outkast's mighty sales power, it seems appropriate to take a moment to tell you—if you haven't heard from your funk-loving friends—about the power of "Stankonia" (LaFace/Arista) to move your body. This is, quite simply, one of the most fully realized and innovative records in the history of hip-hop. Unlike most of their peers, Andre and Big Boi add an ambitious pop-song sensibility to their beats, building unpredictable, involving tunes that are almost suite-like in their variety. The rhymes, meanwhile, are stunningly agile and complex. You may already have checked the frantic bass groove of "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)" and the sassy, melodic "Miss Jackson"; now grab the disc and grasp the breadth of the Atlanta duo's achievement. It's hard to recall a record that captures so well the glorious groove and unbounded musical imagination of P.Funk in its prime, with a little Tribe, Prince and Sly and even some Hendrix thrown in. Standouts include the ultra-sweet "So Fresh, So Clean," the "Flashlight"-esque "Gasoline Dreams," the slinky "I'll Call Before I Come," the strutting "Humble Mumble" (featuring Erykah Badu), the majestic "Red Velvet" and the simply mind-blowing "Gangsta Sh*t." Take it home this weekend—if you were impressed by the way this disc rocked the charts, wait until you see what it does for your party. —Simon Glickman

"Sweet and Lowdown": Play It Again, Woody
Sure, Woody Allen was better in his earlier, funnier films, and he hasn't been quite as lovable since running off with Mia Farrow's daughter, but this sleeper, which earned Oscar acting noms for Sean Penn and Samantha Morton, lives up to its title. Penn plays the apocryphal '30s jazz guitarist Emmet Ray, a Zelig-like figure who bills himself as "the second-best in the world to Django Reinhardt." Penn does a DeNiroesque turn as a rather unpleasant, womanizing, self-proclaimed "artist" with a gravity-defying pompadour who meets his match in the mute but cherubic Morton. The music, created by longtime Allen collaborator Dick Hyman, along with guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, is almost worth the price of the rental, as is the elegiac tone, reminiscent of previous Allen gems such as "Radio Days" and "Purple Rose of Cairo." —Roy Trakin

Drugs Are Our Friends
While everyone is making exciting weekend plans, I am deciding which cold medicines to pick up at the drugstore on my way home. Let's see…a little Sudafed for sleeping is always nice. NyQuil used to be my choice, but now after just a few hours of sleep I bolt up in bed like I've suddenly been adrenalized with 20 cans of Diet Coke. I've ruled out any of those medications you mix with water—Thera-Flu or Alka-Selzer—I just can't gag those down. Ick. So maybe just a cocktail of Advil, Comtrex and Motrin (did I mention I have cramps too?) should do the trick. I'll certainly have to pick up a few boxes of Kleenex—the ones with the lotion are a must for the frequent nose-drippage. Nice, huh? Don't forget the Vitamin C, available in the preferred form of Dole's Pine-Banana-Orange Juice, and a couple of movie rentals (maybe last week's "Hi Fidelity" pick from Roy Trakin) and I'll be as good as new on Monday. Yippee skippy. Erika Strada

News In The Nude
If you are reading this, you must be bored and need some spice in your life. Keep in mind I did not say the Spice Channel—but if that perked your interest, keep reading. Leave it up to the Internet to make the news more entertaining by displaying beautiful female newscasters in various stages of undress, mostly the final stage. If you haven't been there already, go check out www.NakedNews.com RIGHT NOW, and feast your eyes on the, er, educational content. Lean back in your ergonomic desk chair and let Victoria, Carmen, Diane and Holly enlighten you every day with international news, weather, entertainment and sports. Don't forget to check each of their bios if you truly want to find out more about them. As its catch phrase proclaims, this site truly has nothing to hide.—Paul Karlsen

Headbanging Hordes Descend On San Berdoo
It's finally here! HELL, YEAH! The first-ever West Coast Metal Fest, "November To Dismember" takes place at Orange Pavilion in San Bernardino this Friday and Saturday (11/10-11). It's Woodstock with balls, is the motto. And it's about time the fest came to SoCal. The list of bands is outstanding, featuring Venom, Enslaved, Testament, Life in a Burn Clinic, Spaceboy, Witchery, Nile, Vader, Incantation, Anal Cunt, DRI, Dr. Know and more than 100 more ripping acts. Day one should be excellent and it will descend into chaos the second day. For the full info, check out www.metalfest.com… Right on! Rich Ortega

Philadelphia +3 Over PITTSBURGH
This is my upset-stomach special. You might say, why tha hell would you pick the Eagles over the Steelers at Pittsburgh? I say, why not? I learnt last week thatcha don't never pick games while runnin' a high fever. My inside sources tell me that Pittsburgh center Dermontti Dawson ain't playin'. Now the Steelers won't be able to run, and them Eagles will blitz the pants off Kordell Stewart. And a man without his pants ain't a purdy sight. This week, I learnt the best way to make picks is when I cain't stand up cuz I'm so tanked up. Actually, I'm sure hopin' Philly don't win, cuz I'm a charter member of the L.A. Eagles Fan Club. Die, Al Davis. (Year-to-date: 0-1)