In a nutshell: "You could do a lot worse than...the heady charm of the young Nick Lowe...waving his AOR/glam flag awful lot of upper middle-class...Peter Pan worship and spirituality...big enough to hold four men...outside of the casinos/strip clubs."


Once Again, It’s That Time Of The Week When We Write About Stuff We Actually Like
Big weekend, kiddies. We got the Final Four Saturday. We got the return of Daylight Savings Time at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, followed a few hours later by strong coffee, the Sunday funnies and, of course, the obligatory three Tylenols. Hey, it won't be long till you've got a shot at driving home from work before the sun sets—but that's only if you still have a job. On the other hand, knocking back that first cocktail in broad daylight does kinda make one feel rather decadent, if not downright dissipated. Marijuana, on the other hand… But enough about life here in the HITS office. Let's get on with the business of pleasure, banged out with characteristic eloquence by our lovable, drooling nitwits.

Duke (33-4) over Maryland (25-10)

Shoot-fire, this here's easy. Anybody that knows ANYTHANG knows dang well, cain't no turtle beat no devil, much less a Blue Devil. You jest gotta go with Coach K, cuz any guy that kin get away with callin' hisself Shu-shev-ski when ever'body knows his name starts with a "K" is bound to have special mojo.

Arizony (27-7) over Michigan State (28-4)
Dang, this here game is jest as easy to pick as the other'n. I'll take a dang Wildcat over any guy that wears sandals—except fer Spartacus, and he ain't playin'. And stickin' to the coach theory, Lute's got the dead wife, therefore, he gets the nod.

Championship Game: Duke over Arizony
Hell's bells, this here is a close one. Ya got the whole coach with the "K" thang against the coach with the "wife" thang, which is a toss-up in my mind. Therefore, you gotta go to the Wildcat-versus-Blue Devil thang. Now, based solely on the "pussy"-cat theory, ya gotta take the Blue Devil.

"Someone Like You":
The stunning Ashley Judd is a young professional living in New York City booking talent for a popular talk show (starring Ellen Barkin) who falls in and out of love with new executive producer Greg Kinnear, only to be forced to move in with womanizing Aussie co-worker Hugh Jackman (who appeared as "Wolverine" in "X-Men"). Jackman provides her with insight into the mind of the male predator, supplemented by her observations of the animal world. Judd is encouraged by women's magazine editor Marisa Tomei to explore her theories with a series of articles that makes her a "Sex And The City"-style media sensation. Of course, she finds love in the most "unlikely" place. The film was directed by actor Tony Goldwyn, who made a promising debut with last year's Diane Lane chick flick "A Walk On The Moon," and produced by veteran Lynda Obst, with a screenplay by Yale grad and "A Little Princess" co-writer Elizabeth Chandler. For all you guys intimidated into taking your girl to a date movie, you could do a lot worse than having to watch Ashley Judd for 110 minutes. For more info, check

"The Tailor Of Panama": Pierce Brosnan and Oscar nominee Geoffrey Rush star in John Boorman's adaptation of acclaimed novelist John Le Carre's book, from a screenplay by Le Carre with Andrew Davies ("The Fugitive") and Boorman, about a "ruthless, seductive" British spy (Brosnan) banished to Panama and the Cockney ex-con (Rush)—who has reinvented himself as a popular tailor to the rich and powerful—he befriends. Rush is famous for his storytelling as well as his suits, and he uses both to give Brosnan his comeuppance. Co-stars include Jamie Lee Curtis and playwright Harold Pinter. Le Carre's Martin Ritt-directed "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" (1965), with Richard Burton, was a classic of the genre, and this black comic meditation promises some clever plot twists in its Mamet-style narrative. Check

"Tomcats": What better way to celebrate Spring Break than with this Columbia Pictures release, where a struggling cartoonist played by Jerry O'Connell (the chubby guy in "Stand By Me" who also appeared in "Jerry Maguire," "Mission To Mars" and "Scream 2") must get his best friend and dedicated bachelor Jake Busey ("Contact") to wed within 30 days in order to win a bet and save himself from financial ruin. Of course, O'Connell ends up falling for the very woman (Shannon Elizabeth of "American Pie") he wants Busey to marry, so a variety of hijinks ensues featuring "SNL" star Horatio Sanz and Jaime Pressley of TV's "Jack & Jill." The film was written by Gregory Poirer, a Hawaii native and onetime theatrical director who also makes his feature directorial debut. Extra points for the promotional boxer shorts that read, "The Last Man Standing Gets The Kitty." See for more.

"Spy Kids": Even my kids are quoting the film's catchline: "My parents can't be spies. They're not cool enough." "El Mariachi" and "Desperado" director Robert Rodriguez is the writer, director and producer of this aggressively marketed adventure about the two offspring of a retired super-spy couple forced to rescue their parents from kidnappers and the world from an army of robot kids. Antonio Banderas helps out old pal Rodriguez as one of the parents, with Carla Gugino as his wife and Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara as the totally adorable kids. Cheech Marin co-stars as weird Uncle Felix and Alan Cumming is Fegan Floop, the diabolical host of a children's TV show who plans world domination, with Tony Shalhoub as his evil sidekick Minion. Advance word is that this is one of those rare films that's fun for the whole family—if your kids aren't too embarrassed to show up at the multiplex with you, that is. is the predictably elaborate website. —Roy Trakin

Minibar, "Road Movies" (Universal):
Listening to this quintessentially SoCal debut, it's obvious why these young Brits made the move to L.A. Minibar's full-throated harmonies, acoustic-electric guitar interplay, pedal steel accents and desert/highway imagery eagerly reference the Byrds, Burritos and Eagles. This record is not marginal in the No Depression sense; on the contrary, the band and producer T-Bone Burnett come on with such unselfconscious assurance, you'd think they were splashing into a marketplace in which country-rock was mainstream. First single "Holiday From Myself" has a buoyant, "Take It Easy"-like tone; the vivid relationship dissection "Lost In The Details" places heartbreak balladry in a fogbound, trip-hoppy setting; and the widescreen-epic title song is an instant California classic. On top of that, writer/singer Simon Petty possesses the heady charm of the young Nick Lowe during his tenure in Brinsley Schwarz—in a perfect world the kid's a star. —Bud Scoppa

Guided By Voices "Isolation Drills" (TVT): Bob Pollard and company know the "drill" by now—punchy, melodic rock with a generally psychedelic bent and periodic excursions into avant-garde territory—but this latest batch of tunes sounds even more fully realized than GBV's last effort, "Do The Collapse." Having at last shed his lo-fi jones (though it's doubtless in the corner, doing pushups), Pollard is liberated to rock the way folks did before the reign of frat-boy angst, waving his AOR/glam flag with aplomb. The lyrics are typically opaque, though delivered with greater emotional directness than ever. Standouts tracks: "Skills Like This," "Twilight Campfighter," "The Brides Have Hit Glass" and "How's My Drinking," which has the naked intensity of a Plastic Ono Band therapy session. "Drinking," like "Skills" and the lyrical "Fine To See You," features keyboards by Elliott Smith. Now when are Pollard and Smith going to make my pop-geek dreams come true by doing a whole album together? —Simon Glickman

"Truth would quickly cease to become stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it." —H.L. Mencken

"Once & Again":
I'm now down to watching only four network series regularly, but this ABC-TV entry (Wednesday nights at 10 p.m.) is one of 'em, a worthy successor to executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick's previous series, "thirtysomething," "My So-Called Life" and the underrated "relativity." You could call this one "fortysomething," and you wouldn't be too far wrong. Like its predecessors, there's an awful lot of upper middle-class sturm und drang (read: whining), but the show rings true in its depiction of the angst in everyday suburban life. The justly praised Sela Ward heads the cast and serves as the series' moral foundation, but every character is drawn from the stuff of real life. Outstanding performances include Billy Campbell's boyishly insecure architect; Marin Hinkle's self-deprecating, victimized younger sister; Julia Whelan's subtle adolescent pain; David Clennon's slyly sardonic reprise of the contemptible Miles Drentell from "thirtysomething," and Ward's pitiable, womanizing ex-husband Jake Nordling, wrenching sympathy out of a character that probably doesn't deserve any. This is compelling soap opera without the suds. —Roy Trakin

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001:
What up, woodie? That'z right, once again it'z that pimp LPzee with your PS2 review of tha week. Before I go any further, I have to give big ups to Lenny Beer for getting me my first set of clubs & makin' me a betta playa. Golf iz a game for tha money, and Tiger Woods gets all tha money—all of it. He'z that dang good, and that golden smile graces a golden game of golf in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2001 for tha PlayStation2 computer entertainment system. Featuring a gorgeously rendered 3D terrain of rolling hills and swaying trees az well az realistically animated pro golfers, tha power of tha PlayStation 2 system easily makes this tha best-looking golf game yet to swing away. EA Sports iz pushing things even farther with innovative golf control that makes full use of tha DUALSHOCK2 controller. To get tha game in your hands early, PGA Tour 2001 iz lighter in tha options than tha full-featured PlayStation console version—more options means more waiting, and who wants that? Still, tha game easily outshoots tha leaderboard with PGA Scenario mode, which drops players into 21 of the worst nightmares a golfer could face, plus three real golf courses modeled down to tha last blade of grass— including the exclusive Pebble Beach Golf Links, which you won't find in any other golf game! Holla ya heard. —Latin Prince

Second Star To The Right: The beauty of the Internet is how it is an equal opportunity enabler. Big corporation and individual alike can find bandwidth for whatever ideas they want to foist upon the masses. Given the know-how and enough time, for instance, a 47-year-old divorced man can create a page that explains his fascination with Peter Pan. This is not a fanciful notion I just dreamt up, but an actual website. This site is more than a simple "vanity" site. It is far creepier, far more hypnotic than that. The odd mix of Peter Pan worship and spirituality (the site opens with a quote from Peter Pan and from Jesus), the man's Peter Pan-inspired daily fashion and his search for a woman (a Tinkerbell, to be exact) combine to create one of the web's great pit stops. —Jeff Drake

Fatal Attraction: Do you ever wonder what to do after you break up with your girlfriend? The first thing that you do is never answer the phone when she calls. The second thing that you do is keep all the messages she left on your voicemail. The final, and key step, is to place those voicemail messages on a website for the whole world to enjoy. The prime example of this can be found at Treat yourself to the anguish of an unsuspecting dumpee who pours out her frustrations, to the guffaws of thousands of visitors. Isn't the Internet great? —Paul Karlsen

William Howard Taft, our 27th president, was born Sept. 15, 1857, in Cincinnati, OH. President Taft was a huge man, weighing more than 300 pounds. A special bathtub was installed for him in the White House, big enough to hold four men. In 1909, Taft gave the White House its first set of "wheels"—converting the stables into a garage for four cars. Taft was also the only man to become President and then chief justice. After the Presidency, Taft served as Professor of Law at Yale until President Harding made him Chief Justice of the United States, a position he held until just before his death in 1930. To Taft, the appointment was his greatest honor; he wrote: "I don't remember that I ever was President." Best Anagram Of His Name: Waft with armadillo.

This week we talked to Train's Patrick Monahan. Here's a little sample of what you'll find when you click here:

"It was really great [working with producer Brendan O'Brien]. We produced the first record ourselves and it was stressful to try to be creative, perform at our best and keep an eye on each other. By having Brendan there, we were able to eliminate keeping an eye on each other. Here is a guy you can have faith in. He knows what he's doing and he really gets the best out of everyone. Better than any of us could, because it's too personal with us. If you were to say to another member of the band, ‘Man, I think you could do that better,' you would get an, ‘Oh, yeah, well I heard your vocal part earlier and you could have…' and it becomes that instead of ‘OK, let me go after it.' Brendan told us he would make a great record with us. And he did."

Upcoming Birthdays

March 30-April 5
30—Eric Clapton (56) & Vincent Van Gogh (would have been 148)
31—Christopher Walken (58)
April 1—Toshiro Mifune (would have been 81) & Ronnie Lane (would have been 55)
2—Marvin Gaye (would have been 62) & Dr. Demento (60)
3—Eddie Murphy (40) & Picabo Street (30)
4—Muddy Waters (would have been 86)
5—Roger Corman (75)

Special Events
1—April Fool's Day & Daylight Savings Begins
2—Children's Book Day
5—National Tomb-Sweeping Day (Taiwan)

Now In Technicolor

I hope you New Yorkers like rain, because that's what you're getting this weekend. Stay inside and watch the Final Four: Friday, there's a flood watch in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday: More rain. Sunday: Cloudy with scattered showers. Temps will stay in the 40s and it will be windy. But you had to move to NYC to further your career, didn't you? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but in Los Angeles the Fri., Sat., Sun. weather will be the same all three days: Partly cloudy, highs in the mid-to-upper 70s, lows in the upper 50s. What could be better than that? Oh, I know, going to Las Vegas for the Final Four. Outside of the casinos/strip clubs it will be even better than LA; Sunny, highs in the mid-80s, lows in the upper 50s. I'll be sure to place a bet for you. And don't forget that Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning, which means Monday has the highest rate of traffic accidents of any day of the year.
—David Simutis, apprentice meteorologist.

Tootie has an identity crisis when her new black boyfriend questions the motives of her white friends at Eastland.

A second sonic Boom (4/18a)
Bunny's hoppin' again. (4/17a)
Hats off to Larry (4/17a)
So many questions (4/18a)
The coziest way to experience the fest (4/18a)
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
No, not that one.
Now 100% unlicensed!

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