In a nutshell:
"We were just waiting...to declare that ROCKtober... whose questionable methodology blurs the line between legality and...true romance...could well be...pursued by hordes of...piano-driven, midtempo tunes about...
Dutch sex workers...presented donkey-style."


If ROCKtober Isn't Just What the Doctor Ordered, We Don't Know What Is
If you think we didn't notice that September gave way to October, you are mistaken, my friends. We were just waiting for the first full week of October to declare that ROCKtober has officially begun! For the next 26 days, it's all about the rockin'! The movies will be rockin'! The PlayStation 2 game will be rockin'! The weather will be rockin'! And you know that the music will be rockin'! That, of course, goes without saying. Just remember, for this month, the answer to all of your questions, the solution to whatever conundrums life throws your way, the path to enlightenment is through rockin'! So let's break out the Rick Derringer and Ronnie Montrose albums and get this party started!

Tennessee +3 1/2 @ BALTIMORE
Now this here game is a danged ol' experiment in theory. 'N' this here theory is that in the danged ol' NFL, seems to me if two teams is fairly evenly matched, the team that's got its back up against the wall is the one to bet on. The danged ol' Titans cain't lose. F they do, turn out the lights, the party's over.

Carolina +6 @ SAN FRANCISCO
Ever'body up in San Francisco is all happy 'n' shit. They done believe they got a runnin' game. Mebbe they do, or mebbe they don't. I may be a redneck, but even a redneck knows that Carolina is 6-0 against the spread in SF. I'll take the 6. —Guy W.T. Goggles

Training Day (Warner Bros.):
It's hard to tell if a battle-weary public is going to be willing to embrace this tale of a corrupt narcotics cop (Denzel Washington in his first villain role) whose questionable methodology blurs the line between legality and corruption. Washington tests the resolve of his new partner, an idealistic rookie cop played by Ethan Hawke, who has 24 hours to prove his worth to his superior. The movie co-stars Scott Glenn and Tom Berenger as well as Dr. Dre, Macy Gray and Snoop Dogg. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (The Replacement Killers) and written by David Ayer (U-571), the movie's already drawing attention for Washington's reportedly Oscar-worthy performance. Perhaps its biggest selling point is the Priority Records soundtrack, which already includes the Nelly hit, "#1," Pharoah Monche's "F*** You" and Dr. Dre & DJ Quik's "Put It On Me." Also included, P. Diddy and David Bowie's version of the latter's "This Is Not America," along with Gang Starr, Cypress Hill/Kokane, C-Murder/Trick Daddy, the Neptunes and the L.O.X. The website, www.trainingday.net, offers all the usual accoutrements, but the real question is, can Fuqua, Washington and company capture the moral quagmire presented by such past prime examples of the genre as Serpico and Prince of the City.

Serendipity (Miramax): This is the kind of light fare pundits are saying the moviegoing public wants, but from the trailers it looks pretty generic. John Cusack and the always lovely Kate Beckinsale play college lovers who go their separate ways to test that love, and now have to find each other to see if it really was true romance. The catch, of course, is that they are now engaged to others, namely Bridget Moynahan (Coyote Ugly) and John Corbet (Sex and the City, Northern Exposure), with the requisite two wacky best friends in SNL's Molly Shannon and Jeremy Piven (Ellen, The Family Man). The movie was directed by Englishman Peter Chelsom, who started off promisingly enough with '91's Hear My Song but reached a creative cul de sac with this year's generally loathed Warren Beatty vehicle, Town and County. The website, at www.serendipity-themovie.com, offers the usual bells and whistles, but also takes off on the film's theme of chance and fate by eliciting answers that determine the path you travel. The Columbia Records soundtrack looks to follow in the paths of Sleepless in Seattle, with songs by David Gray, Annie Lennox, Evan & Jaron, Heather Nova, Shawn Colvin, Nick Drake, Louis Armstrong, Chantal Kreviazuk, John Mayer and Alan Silvestri.

Joy Ride (20th Century Fox): Director John Dahl has proven a master of economical film noir in such movies as Red Rock West and Last Seduction, while screenwriter J.J. Abrams is the creator of the wonderful Felicity and the highly touted new TV series Alias, so this movie could well be a sleeper. Reminiscent of Breakdown, The Hitcher and Spielberg's Duel, the film stars Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious, Varsity Blues, She's All That) as a college freshman about to embark on a cross-country road trip with object-of-his-affection Leelee Sobieksi. His romantic dreams get a detour when he stops to rescue his ne'er-do-well older brother, played by Steve Zahn, who goads him into playing a practical joke on a lonely trucker over a CB radio. The unseen, terrifying villain, known only by his handle, "Rusty Nail," proceeds to exact his own form of sadistic revenge on the trio. The website, www.joyridemovie.com, contains production notes, bios, photos, trailers and film clips, along with desktops, postcards and screensavers available for download. The Varese Sarabande soundtrack features a suitably creepy original score composed by horror film veteran Marco Beltrami. —Roy Trakin

Spy Hunter: That's right, kidz, Spy Hunter iz back and better. This iz that kind of game that getz you in trouble with your girlfriend, wifey, mistress... So peep game players & playattes, cuz LPzee iz about to break it down: Get behind the wheel of tha G-6155 Interceptor for high-speed, mission-based racing in exotic locales. As tha Spy Hunter, you are relentlessly pursued by hordes of air, ground and water enemies as you battle to accomplish your missions and save tha world from a madman. A remake of the arcade classic, Spy Hunter boasts ultra-realistic 3D graphics, real-world locales and tha only vehicle capable of morphing into a boat, jet ski or motorcycle. Explosive weaponry and impressive defensive mechanisms combine with intense speed and strategy to distinguish Spy Hunter from routine combat racers and traditional action racing games. Prepare to be hunted! —Latin Prince, AKA 007

"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." —George Bernard Shaw

Linus of Hollywood, Let Yourself Be Happy (Franklin Castle/Oglio): Those of you who adore classic, sunny pop in the mode of the Beach Boys (as well as acolytes like Todd Rundgren, Jellyfish and Ben Folds) will be delighted by this L.A. native's latest set. Unabashedly sentimental and melodic, Linus favors piano-driven, midtempo tunes about breakups and makeups. Sure, so do a million power-pop wannabes, but he's got the chops and imagination to mark his own territory within this well-traveled subgenre. And in our era of suffocating rock machismo, he has the balls to pen a tune like "To Be a Girl," a pop geek's ode to the aesthetic wonders of femininity. I'm also partial to swoony gems like "A Whole New Country" and "Every Day I Fall in Love Again." Linus also throws in covers of tunes by Ozzy ("Goodbye to Romance") and the Smokin' Popes (the bossa nova-fied "Need You Around"). An imaginative, satisfying follow-up to his similarly wonderful ྟ effort, Your Favorite Record. —Simon Glickman

D.I.Y. Heroes:
Considering all the crap we've had to deal with of late, I think most of us would agree that we could use a few more heroes. To take nothing away from the real heroes of the fire and police departments, I'm sure none of us would complain if a few comic-book style heroes appeared on the scene to help us in our battle for justice. With that in mind, might I direct you to Hero Machine. For those of us who are completely incapable of drawing—and maybe I'm just speaking for myself—the hero creation interface at Hero Machine is perfect. The site allows you to design your very own superhero, choosing body types as well as costume style and color. You can also choose weapons and color everything to your liking from the interface's palette of colors. Sure, it's geeky. But I'd wager you waste a good part of the day playing with it. Jeff Drake

If there's ever been a weekend where I've stood behind every one of my picks 100%, this is that weekend. Not only do I recommend going to all these shows—I'm actually going to all of them myself. Friday brings the beautiful and talented Bjork to Radio City Music Hall. Yes, I paid for my own overpriced ticket ($70, and I've probably got a seat in the bathroom), but after only seeing her at an in-store once upon a time, I knew that I'd have to shell out the money to see a proper performance at some point. Let's hope she wears that phenomenal swan dress for part of the show. Saturday, you need to sleep in, because your night will be filled with running around trying to make it to three great shows. First, hit the Mercury Lounge to catch husband-and-wife duo the Handsome Family, whose twisted goth-country cheers me up, oddly enough. Right as they're saying "Thank you, good-night," dash over to Brownies to see as much of the Rye Coalition/The Fucking Champs show as you can. If there's ever been a better name change (going from The Champs to The Fucking Champs), I don't know it. After that, head to the Bowery Ballroom to catch Beulah's set—it's shimmery San Franciscan pop at its best. Sunday has k, which is Karla from Ida's solo set at Mercury Lounge. Her brilliant songs, peaceful and calming, are a nice way to wind down the weekend. —Heidi Anne-Noel

Plus Lucky Numbers!
Our fortunes and lucky numbers are guaranteed or your cookie back.
You are transforming yourself into someone who is certain to succeed.
14, 17, 22, 23, 24, 43

Remy Zero
's Cinjun Tate was subjected to the personal probing and prodding of HITS' Steve Hurley. Here's just a little sample:
This is your third album for your third label.
It's the first time a label ever said, "Just go and make the record." That was a combination of having [producer] Jack [Joseph Puig] with us, because he—and our manager—really protected us. It was the first time it felt like the label trusted us to do what we do. It's a good feeling that they are happy with what we've done and we are too. With all of our other deals, it felt like we just slid in the back door. This is the first time I felt like they really wanted us. From the top down, every person that we've been involved with at Elektra has been so cool.
For the full text click here.

Hookers Need Coverage Too!
Dutch sex workers are set to fight for better pay and conditions in the country's thriving brothels and sex clubs by setting up the world's first trade union for prostitutes. The Rode Draad (Red Thread) group, which campaigns for the rights of the country's 20,000 prostitutes, said the initiative was backed by the country's biggest trade union federation. Prostitution had already largely been above board in a country renowned for its tolerance since the French emperor, Napoleon, legalized it in 1815. "A trade union is going to be formed. In about a year it should be up and running," Rode Draad spokeswoman Christy ten Broeke said. Campaigners hoped to start recruiting union members from the world's oldest profession by early next year. "Nowhere else in the world would sex workers be considered full partners for negotiations and intermediation," she said. Dutch brothels are regulated and inspected by local authorities and the country's labor laws apply to prostitutes and their employers. Sex workers are also eligible for invalidity or unemployment benefit, according to a government website. J.D.

Upcoming Birthdays
Oct. 5-11

5—Larry Fine (would have been 90) & Vaclav Havel (65)
7—Yo-Yo Ma (46)
8—Jesse Jackson (60)
9—John Lennon (would have been 61)
10—Martina Navratilova (45)
11—Art Blakey (would have been 82)

Special Events
October is ROCKtober!
6—Black Cowboys Parade (Oakland, CA)
8—Columbus Day & Thanksgiving (Canada)
11—National Coming Out Day

Now presented donkey-style, just as Columbus intended. In Los Angeles, where the weather never changes, according to V2 publicist Sid McCain, the long weekend will be Sunny for three straight days, with temps in the low-to-mid-70s and getting down to the upper 50s at night. Yeah, it is crazy that the weather never changes here. In NYC, where Sid lives and the weather is as unpredictable as my officemate's mood, Friday night will be nice and clear, with a low in mid-60s. Saturday will be rainy with temps ranging from near 70 to the upper 40s. Sunday will be sunny, with a high approaching 60 and lows in the low 40s. Monday will also be sunny, with a high in the mid-50s and lows in the mid-40s. Now Boise, that's a town with some weather. And if you happen to find yourself in Boise this weekend—perhaps you lost a bet—it will be a lot like L.A., only less smog. Temps in the low 70s and down to the low 40s at night, but sunny, sunny, sunny. Take that, Sid! —David Simutis, Senior Meteorology Correspondent

The girls spin a tangled web of lies in their eagerness to prevent Mrs. Garrett's slightly elevated blood pressure from going any higher.