In a nutshell:
"In a Kansas trailer park...with an uncertain future... 140-plus acts... provide the soundtracks for creationist god-game...[and] raging hormones."


Where It Discovers High Bacteria Counts in the Water, but Only After Swallowing a Mouthful
All right, we’ve got the first month of summer officially under our belts. How’s everyone feeling so far? Still sharp? Still ready for some action? Let’s not let our guard down too much just yet, we’ve still got 60 fun-filled days until the cool drink of water that is fall. To keep you on top of your summertime game, we offer you this planner—extra weak and extra lame, just how you like it. We’ve packed it full of vitamins and minerals. In it, we shamelessly use the phrase "formalized the synergy of summertime and rock & roll." Honestly! And we use it without smirking or anything. Keep your eyes peeled for "that hyper-melodic blend of jangle, bash, harmony and swoon," also said without even the tiniest fragment of self-satisfaction. OK, maybe we’re a bit satisfied with our own cleverness. I mean, after all, we did squeeze Daniel Clowes, Ultimate Fighting and an elephant in a shower all into one story. That is pretty cool. Even for us.

America's Sweethearts
(Columbia Pictures):
This showbiz satire looks like a sitcom gone Hollywood with a vengeance. John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones play a beloved superstar couple who split up just as their new movie comes out, at which point personal assistant Julia Roberts and PR exec Billy Crystal—who also co-wrote the screenplaytry to bring them back together. And, as you can imagine, much hi-jinks ensue. Directed by veteran producer Joe Roth (returning to filmmaking after a 10-year absence), the movie features such talented farceurs as Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci and Christopher Walken, but the trailers look even broader than David Mamet's recent State & Main, so buyer beware. This is one of the industry's three big hopes to close the summer on a high box-office note, along with Jurassic Park III and Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, but not even Julia Roberts, America's real sweetheart, looks like she can save it. The Atlantic Records soundtrack, supervised by Kathy Nelson, features the Corrs' "All the Love in the World" and Kelly Levesque's "Some Hearts," and the website at has all the requisite photos, video streams, behind-the-scenes info, etc.

Jurassic Park III (Universal Pictures): In the third installment of Spielberg's sagathis time directed by Jumanji's Joe Johnston—the dinosaurs have apparently won out over the actors, led by a returning Sam Neill, the perpetually furrow-browed William T. Macy and Mrs. Duchovny, Tea Leoni. The dinosaurs have gotten smarter (the raptors apparently read from Proust this time around) and the humans have gotten dumber (that's the only way to explain why they return to the damned Island of Isla Sorna). The action scenes, with thousands of CGI-created dinos, make the first JP, from way back in '93, look primitive, and Johnston proved an adept action director in Jumanji, so that much is promising. It's a telling sign that people are looking to this movie to "restore" Spielberg's box-office reputation after the disappointing response to A.I. The Decca soundtrack features John Williams' score, new music composed and conducted by Don Davis and the song, "Big Hat, No Cattle," by Randy Newman. The website,, is kinda fun to navigate, with lotsa downloads, cast and crew info, several games and contests.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Fine Line): Many are saying this film version of the off-Broadway musical about an almost-transsexual who fronts a rock band is the sleeper of the summer. The movie stars and was directed by the original creator, John Cameron Mitchell, who got a chance to do things his way, with composer/lyricist Stephen Trask. The film's leads recall such genre-bending rockers as David Bowie and Jayne County in this story of a German boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig. Hansel reluctantly submits to a botched sex-change operation (which leaves him with the titular "angry inch") in order to marry an American G.I. and escape over the Berlin Wall to freedom. Fast forward to Hedwig now high, dry and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, where she tries to form a rock band, only to meet up with her lover/protege, Tommy Gnosis, who eventually leaves, stealing her songs to become a huge pop star himself. Hedwig and her band, the Angry Inch, stalk Gnosis' stadium tour, performing in near-empty chain strip-mall seafood restaurants for bewildered diners and a few die-hard fans as Hedwig pursues her dream of rock stardom amid screaming tabloid headlines declaring she's Tommy's ex-lover. The story's told using a variety of cinematic elements, including animation by renowned cartoonist Emily Hubley. The Hybrid Recordings soundtrack features such cuts as "Tear Me Down," "Wig in a Box" and "Midnight Radio," all of which are available as downloads on the film's very clever website at

Ghost World (MGM): The third film (but first non-documentary) from Crumb director Terry Zwigoff looks like it could be an entertaining Todd Solonz/Wes Anderson-style black comedy. Based on the underground comic book (hence the Crumb connection) of the same name by Daniel Clowes (who also co-wrote the film's screenplay with Zwigoff), the film's about a pair of graduating high school seniors, neo-cool Enid (played by American Beauty's Thora Birch) and smart-girl Rebecca (The Horse Whisperers' Scarlett Johansson). Faced with an uncertain future in the outside world, the two decide what they want to do when they grow up. When Enid takes an interest in eccentric jazz/blues 78 record collector Seymour (played by always-entertaining indie-film vet Steve Buscemi) and Rebecca focuses on their mutual romantic fixation, Josh (played by 18-year-old Brad Renfro, star of Larry Clark's Bully), the duo's close friendship is put to the test. Illeana Douglas plays the ex-hippie art teacher who encourages self-exploration, while veteran comic actors Bob Balaban and Teri Garr play Enid's estranged parents, who make her increasingly uncomfortable with their attempts at reconciliation. The vintage bluesy/world-music Yazoo/Shanachie soundtrack, incorporating Seymour's rather specific tastes, features Skip James, Blueshammer, Lionel Belasco, Jaan Pehechaan Ho/Mohammed Rafi and Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks. The wonderful website, which incorporates Clowes' drawings, can be found at —Roy Trakin

White Stripes, White Blood Cells (Sympathy for the Record Industry): Detroit's Jack & Meg White claim they're brother and sister, but their neo-classic garage blues-grunge is closer to the husband-and-wife roiling of the Cramps and Human Switchboard than it is to the sibling pop of the Carpenters. Referencing Robert Johnson, the Kinks and Cole Porter, the peppermint-colored guitar-drums duo scrapes rock & roll down to its raw nerve endings. A rockcrits’ wet dream, these great White hopes are the missing link between Led Zeppelin (the Citizen Kane-inspired "The Union Forever"), N.Y. punk-rock ("I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman"), McCartneyesque pop (the "Blackbird"-like nursery rhyme of "We're Going to be Friends"), the fuzz-tones of the Kinks klassic "You Really Got Me" ("Expecting") and the country charms of the same band’s "Muswell Hillbillies" ("Hotel Yorba"). —Roy Trakin

Fans of power-pop—you know, that hyper-melodic blend of jangle, bash, harmony and swoon you rarely hear on the radio anymore—will descend on L.A. clubs beginning this weekend for International Pop Overthrow, a gigantic festival of joyous songcraft that kicks off Saturday night at Lush in Glendale and closes a week later (Aug. 4) at the Troubadour. The 140-plus acts performing at 10 venues during the week include stalwarts of the L.A. pop scene, national stars and international visitors. Those game enough to leap into the fray can stay occupied all this weekend. Acts like Steve Barton (formerly of Translator) and The Andersons play at Lush on Saturday night, Twenty Cent Crush and Cosmo Topper are among the performers Sunday afternoon at The Gig on Melrose and P. Hux, Summercamp and Bat Country highlight Sunday night's festivities at The El Rey Theater. Later in the confab, look for Jason Falkner, The Sugarplastic and Beach Boy Al Jardine, among many others. For more info, check out the IPO Site. —Simon Glickman

William Jefferson Clinton, our 42nd president, was born Aug. 19, 1946, in Hope, AR. Clinton was the first American president chosen through a winner-take-all tournament of Ultimate Fighting. After defeating Ken Shamrock and Mark Kerr, Clinton avoided facing undefeated UFC champion (and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master) Royce Gracie by making him his vice president. One of Clinton’s first orders of business was to finally unite North and South Dakota into one state eventually known as Greater Wasteland. Clinton was best known for holding annual pie-eating contests in the Rose Garden, contests the president would normally win. Clinton was the first president to father more than a dozen children out of wedlock. Best Anagram Of His Name: I’ll eject firm flow, a non-sin.

Boobs On The Net Other Than The HITS Staff:
Just over a month ago, we directed our faithful readers to the wonderful humor site, hyping, as we did so, the library of "flashing" photos also contained there. As if we caused it, just days after we posted that story, ILoveBacon removed its extensive library of girls baring their breasts from the site. Considering our upbringing, we figured we were to blame. After our obligatory paroxysms of guilt (and, as I recall, the Paroxysms of Guilt are playing the Troubadour in August), we forgot about it—thanks mostly to a delicious mixture of Patron and Vicodin. In addition, we also sorta forgot about the site. I mean, why go there if there are no boobies, right? Well, as promised when the nudies were originally scrubbed from Bacon, a separate site dedicated solely to the flashing photos formerly found on ILoveBacon has cropped up. And as a public service to our dedicated readership—both of you!—we would like to invite you to revel in the topless joys of There’s no frills here. No bells, no whistles, no gee-gaws, no whirligigs. Just… well… bobblers. Enjoy them in good health. Prost! —Jeff Drake

Pet Sounds:
Even before the Beach Boys formalized the synergy of summertime and rock & roll in the early ’60s—that’s 40 years ago, kids—transistor radios were as ever-present as the aroma of Coppertone on American beaches. Summer music isn’t just about beachscapes, though—it’s also about headin’ on out the highway, as Steppenwolf so eloquently put it. Whereas I once depended on radio to provide the soundtracks for my summer weekends and journeys down the Parkway to the Jersey Shore, in recent years I’ve had to take that responsibility into my own hands. I mean, killer Arbitron book, Kev, but you’re clearly not programming for the likes of moi. So, until the majors start copy-protecting their releases, I’ll keep burning CD-Rs of what strikes me as the really good stuff, for my own personal use (in the common parlance) and to turn on my friends. Here’s the sound of my summer in 80 minutes.

Paradise Cove: A 2001 Summer Soundtrack
1. Travis "Side"
2. Pernice Brothers "Bryte Side"
3. Shelby Lynne "The Killing Kind"
4. Lucinda Williams "Are You Down?"
5. R.E.M. "I’ve Been High"
6. Radiohead "I Might Be Wrong"
7. Chris Whitley "To Joy"
8. Nikka Costa "Everybody Got Their Something"
9. Travis "Sing"
10. Weezer "Island in the Sun"
11. Whiskeytown "Paper Moon"
12. Lucinda Williams "Out of Touch"
13. Nils Lofgren "Black Books"
14. R.E.M. "Beat a Drum"
15. Pete Yorn "Just Another"
16. Chris Whitley "Radar"
17. Pernice Brothers "Our Time Has Passed"
18. Minibar "Cool Water"
19. Radiohead "Hunting Bears"
—Bud Scoppa

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself." —Oscar Wilde

Dark Cloud: That’z right, kidz, daddy LP iz back for sum more action sheeeeittt. I want to dedicate this one to my dead homies. Entire worlds await your command to rise up and bristle with life in Sony Computer Entertainment's fascinating new adventure, Dark Cloud. Part world-building creationist god-game, part heroic action-adventure and part epic role-playing game, all nestled inside a striking graphics showcase of splendor, tha lands of this game are unlike any you've encountered. Tucked away in dank dungeons are tha remnants of Atla, tha last fabrics of what was once your homeland, devastated by a dark genie. Tha hero discovers he has been empowered with magical properties and tha courage to retrieve these lost fragments and restore his village. Dark Cloud 's exciting action segments plunge the sword-bearing hero into dangers in an effort to collect the scattered Alta from terrible boss guardians. Along tha way, he meets dozens of bizarre and interesting characters that aid his quest in untold ways. And with tha wonders of tha advanced Georama engine, tha brave boy will get to unleash hiz Alta however he sees fit and rebuild the town however he wishes—and as soon as a building has been constructed, it exists and can be explored immediately. Be careful, however, with your actions in this game—the world you make is much more complex than you might imagine. —Latin Prince

On Friday, take a step back to the early ’90s and opt for either the Blake Babies at Bowery Ballroom or Rebecca Gates (ex-Spinanes) at Mercury Lounge. Saturday brings the Siren Music Festival to Coney Island. What's the Siren Music Festival? No one really knows, but no one really cares that they don’t know as the festival has some of the best bands confirmed to play. The fabulous lineup includes the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Guided By Voices, Superchunk, Man or Astroman?, Quasi, Rainer Maria, Peaches and Enon. Don't forget sunscreen and extra money for those big bags of cotton candy! Sunday is the day of extreme opposites with Craig David at Central Park Summerstage or Blink-182 at Jones Beach. Pick your poison. —Heidi Ann-Noelle

One Danger Of Showering With Elephants:
A Malaysian movie star elephant gave his trainer an apparently over-amorous hug and snapped one of his ribs, a Kuala Lampur newspaper said on Tuesday (7/17). While taking his daily shower, Adun broke one of trainer Abdul Rahim Abbas' ribs and injured his lungs when he wrapped his trunk around the man and lifted him off the ground. The elephant, whose credits include a role in "Anna and the King" and several TV commercials, had no history of throwing superstar tantrums, Malacca zoo director Mohammad Nawayai Yasak told the Star newspaper. The reason may have either been raging hormones, since the 17-year-old elephant was nearing mating age, or that Adun might have been uneasy with Abdul Rahim, who has worked at the zoo for only two weeks. Ironically, this same thing happened to Marlon Brando’s handler just three months ago. Jeff Drake

Upcoming Birthdays
July 20-26

20—Natalie Wood (would have been 63) & Carlos Santana (54)
21—Marshall McLuhan (would have been 90) & Don Knotts (77)
22—George Clinton (61) & Albert Brooks (54)
23—Raymond Chandler (would have been 113)
24—Amelia Earhart (would have been 103)
25—Walter Payton (would have been 47)
26—Stanley Kubrick (would have been 73)

Special Events
21—Prince Lot Hula Festival (Honolulu)
25—Chincoteague Pony Penning

The girls take Mrs. Garrett in hand when a financial setback makes her despondent and indifferent to her responsibilities.

VRRMMMM (5/17a)
Celebrity death match underway on album chart (5/17a)
Another talented journalist trapped in the career cul de sac (5/17a)
Cornering the market on surefire headliners (5/17a)
A genre mash-up at the home of the Cowboys (5/17a)
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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