In a nutshell: "This is the second installment from the team that brought you...the recent season finale, during which...playas & playettes...ride around a fantastically realized version of...four international locations...a flock of sheep...and two-dozen attack dogs. Whoo-hoo!"


But That Only Means There’s More
Of Its "Weak"-ness To Go Around
Nothing says summer is here like the arrival of June. Sure, summer doesn’t officially start until the solstice (June 21), but just the very mention of the month sounds summery, doesn’t it? All right, maybe it’s just us. Whatever your feelings on June, you must agree that it’s the perfect month to set aside as Gay Pride Month, the perfect month to celebrate dads (Father’s Day, June 17) and the perfect month for some non-denominational flag-waving (Flag Day, June 14). So, whether you celebrate by staging a marathon reading of Cornelius Ryan’s WWII classic "The Longest Day" (remember D-Day on June 6!), by renting Philip Kaufman’s Henry & June (or even the Johnny Depp vehicle Benny & Joon), by enjoying a handful of Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons (with June Foray as the voice of Rocky), by taking in an exhibit of artist Nam June Paik or even by listening to the sweet, sweet sounds of Stan Kenton vocalist June Christy, just remember one thing. Wear your sunscreen, coz it’s getting hot out there.

The Animal
What hath Adam Sandler wrought? If his own movie career wasn't lowbrow enough, he's now serving as executive producer for his one-time SNL pal Rob Schneider, the making-copies Xeroxmeister himself. This is the second installment from the team that brought you Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo, and I gotta admit, the trailer made me laugh, though whether the jocularity holds up for 90-odd minutes is another story. Seems Schneider, who wrote the script with Tom Brady, is a bumbling police file clerk who gets involved in a near-fatal car crash, only to have his organs inadvertently (is there any other way?) replaced by transplanted animal parts. This, naturally, leads to a series of reverse Darwinism yucks, which includes running alongside a car like a rabid dog and attempting pillow talk with a goat. The film co-stars Survivor's Colleen Haskell as the love interest and Ed Asner as the grumpy straight man wondering how far he's sunk to humiliate himself. Perhaps The New York Times will do a Freddy Got Fingered and declare Schneider the new avant-garde comic genius. Or maybe France will deem him the perfect embodiment of America's vulgarity. The Hollywood Records soundtrack features Tribe Called Quest's Ali Dee, Quad City DJs, Tone Loc, Wailing Souls and Marvin Gaye, among others. Check www.mediatrip.com/theanimal/home/index.html for more than you ever wanted to know.

What's The Worst That Could Happen?: Without anyone really noticing, Martin Lawrence has become—according to ticket sales, at any rate—this country's major African-American comic actor, topping even Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor in his prime. Lawrence plays a thief who is caught burglarizing headstrong, stubborn billionaire Danny DeVito in one of those mismatched odd-couple movies along the lines of Twins or 48 Hours. DeVito then tries to steal Lawrence's "lucky" ring in retaliation, while the latter vows to stop at nothing to get it back, since it's supposedly his girlfriend's, linking the two's fates. The ubiquitous John Leguizamo co-stars as Lawrence's partner-in-crime, a goofy thief who is Costello to the latter's Abbott. The film's director, Sam Weisman, has helmed theater and TV shows like Family Ties, Moonlighting, L.A. Law and the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Bridge, earning several Emmy award nominations in the process, as well as the feature films George of the Jungle, D2: The Mighty Ducks and The Out-of-Towners. The movie's based on a novel by acclaimed crime writer Donald E. Westlake, one of a series of his "Dortmunder Books," written over the course of a Elmore Leonard-esque 30-year career, in which a petty gesture of revenge quirkily escalates into a full-on war of wills. The Interscope soundtrack features the hit Erick Sermon-Marvin Gaye single, "Music," as well as tracks from Snoop Dogg, Craig Mack & Frank Sinatra and Queen Latifah, among others. Check the National Enquirer-type website at http://www.mgm.com/whatstheworst/ Roy Trakin

Dominic Chianese, Hits (Suite-102 Music):
Sure, I dig the title, but there’s more than that—and the artist’s sterling work as Uncle Junior on The Sopranos—to recommend this disc. Fans of the show were set up nicely for this disc by the recent season finale, during which Chianese, in character, crooned a heartbreaking "Core 'ngrato." While the song doesn't appear on Hits (you can find it on the recent Sopranos soundtrack album Peppers & Eggs), it will give you a strong sense of the album's flavor. With a nuanced but supple style and profound sensitivity, Chianese assays a challenging range of material—Kris Kristofferson’s "For the Good Times," the Cuban standard "Guantanamera," the Italian ballad "State Vicino A Me" and "Amazing Grace," among others—and even demonstrates impressive chops as a tunesmith. While numerous actors have delivered forgettable (or worse) albums as a sort of sadistic wish fulfillment, Chianese immediately establishes himself as a credible performer here; Hits would be a solid, charmingly romantic offering even if it didn’t come from someone already known as a boss. —Simon Glickman

Pernice Brothers, The World Won’t End (Ashmont): In the midst of what’s starting to sound like a symphonic-pop renaissance (Duncan Sheik, Doves, Chamber Strings, R.E.M. [see below] and a chunk of Travis, with a new ELO hitting 6/12) comes this string-augmented beauty from the prolific Joe Pernice (Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquiddick Skyline, the solo Big Tobacco). Reconvening his pop-rock posse to follow up the engaging Overcome by Happiness (Sup Pop, 1998), Pernice employs lush string arrangements to deepen the nostalgia quotients of such grandly bittersweet songs as "Our Time Has Passed" and "Bryte Side" (a Nick Drake reference?). And while the album was made on a shoestring, it sounds like a million bucks, as the sawing violins complete a surging melange of chiming guitars, twinkling keyboards, dramatic drum fills and choirboy harmonies, with Pernice’s aching lead vocals in the foreground, for lump-in-the-throat passages that evoke the deliriously romantic pop of decades past—"A Summer Place," anyone? The World Won’t End has the idyllic resonance of a summertime classic—you need this gem when you go on vacation. Help Joe pay the string players by ordering a copy from pernicebrothers.com. —Bud Scoppa

R.E.M., Reveal (Warner Bros.):
I know you don’t have enough free time to listen closely to every CD that crosses your desk. Be that as it may, not every exceptional album is slam-dunk, one-listen ear candy. There are some CDs that warrant your attention and deserve an extra listen or two before you pass final judgment. With that in mind, I’m wondering if you’ve spent any time with the new R.E.M. album? Admittedly, my own expectations weren’t especially high given the, ahem, "experimental" nature of the last record, Up—but Reveal turns out to be a stunner. Listen to "All the Way to Reno," "Beat the Drum," "I’ve Been High" or "I’ll Take the Rain," and it will be clear that R.E.M. is back in full swing with an album of fresh, upbeat music that’s on par with Automatic for the People and Out of Time. In other words, it’s right up there with the best of their work as a mature band. Live with it for a weekend and find out for yourself. —Mike Morrison

"The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything." —Oscar Wilde

Crazy Taxi:
Yeah, OK, so I sold out. I have to give props to my boy Dave Simutis for turnin’ me on to this game, even though I was hatin’ on it before. So playas & playettes, get ready for anutha hottt game that’s goin to blow your mind. You've got to be crazy not to luvvv Crazy Taxi. Seriously, if you don’t become a fan of this wildly careening racing game, get your head checked. Sega's arcade hit has been licensed for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system by tha good people over at Acclaim, and what a wild ride it iz! Tha object of tha game iz simple: You're a cabbie, and you want to make money, so you drive around the city and take people from one place to another. Collect your fare. Oh, but just driving around would be too boring. Crazy Taxi iz anythin’ but boring—these drivers find tha freaky people in town who love driving fast and getting airborne, and tha more of a thrill you give them in their rides, tha more they'll tip you. Of course, they still need to get to their destination on time, so it's a mad dash, avoiding traffic and ignoring all tha rules of tha road—before tha clock runs out. Gamers ride around a fantastically realized version of a city much like San Francisco, with rolling hills to bust your taxi off its wheels and shopping districts just wide enough to shortcut through. All those dodging and diving people you almost run down on your way? They're not paying, so don't be listening to their complaining!
—Latin Prince, AKA Daddy Sucio

You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’:
What’s better than going out dancing? Well, if you answered "sitting on my ass and watching somebody else dancing," then you are certainly the right demographic to revel in the joys of Dancing Paul. So, just who is Paul? Well, you can find out more about the person behind the dancing, but aren’t you more interested in the answer to the question "What is Paul?" Like Tina Turner once sang, Paul is your private dancer. You can choose the song Paul dances to. A little James Brown perhaps? Some Bee Gees? Ween? Vanilla Ice? You can also choose Paul’s backup dancers from four choices—the Frock-Rockin’ Femme, the Solid Gold, Supah-Dupah Jen and (the finest of them all) the Euro-Dance Bastard—as well as four international locations. Once all those pieces are in place, simply choose Paul’s dance moves. The best part is, you can make his torso and his legs move independently. Or, if you so desire, simply let Paul stand there defiantly, in front of the Taj Mahal if you choose, while Billy Idol sings and the backup dancers work it.
—Jeff Drake

Woodrow Wilson
, our 28th president, was born Dec. 28, 1856, in Staunton, VA. In the three-way election of 1912, Wilson received only 42 percent of the popular vote but an overwhelming electoral vote (435) and defeated two former presidents: Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft. During Wilson's first term, a flock of sheep grazed on the White House lawn. Their wool was sold to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I. Wilson is the only American president to have two first ladies. His first wife Ellen Louise Axson Wilson succumbed to Bright’s disease on Aug. 6, 1914. And just over a year later—on Dec. 18, 1915—Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt, herself a widow. And speaking of widows, Best Anagram Of His Name: Worn Oslo widow.

Upcoming Birthdays
June 1-7

1—Marilyn Monroe (would have been 75) & Ron Wood (54)
2—Jerry Mathers (53) & Charlie Watts (60)
3—Josephine Baker (would have been 95) & Allen Ginsberg (would have been 75)
4—Mitch Miller (would have been 90) & Bruce Dern (65)
5—Spalding Gray (60)
6—Dalai Lama (66) & Dwight Twilley (50)
7—Tom Jones (61) & Prince Rogers Nelson (43)

Special Events
June is Gay Pride Month

1—Donut Day
2—Eel Festival (Denmark)
4—Mawlidul Nabi (Prophet’s Birthday)
5—Full Moon
6—Anniversary of D-Day

It Tastes Like Burning: If there was ever a time to get your ass off the couch and into the fresh air, it would be the weekend after a three-day break. Get in the SUV and head to Standpoint, ID, and help those kids in their standoff. Clean air and water, open skies…and kids with shotguns and two-dozen attack dogs. Whoo-hoo! It’s gorgeous this time of year: sunny and bright during the day, with highs in the low 70s, and crystal-clear nights with lows in the mid-to-upper 40s. You can even see stars. If you can’t be bothered to get out of the city, here’s your N.Y.C. forecast: Friday night looks like rain, with a low in the upper 50s. Saturday, more rain, with an accumulation of an inch or more and a high of 70, lows in the upper 50s. Sunday, isolated thunderstorms and a high in the low-70s. In Los Angeles, see last week’s weather…or next week’s.
—David Simutis, apprentice meteorologist

Tootie runs off to Manhattan, where she's confronted with teenage prostitution.

Dynamic duos (12/3a)
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
Adele is money. (12/3a)
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)

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