In a nutshell:
"The daffy duo...descend into a noirish nightmare world of cruelty, shattered dreams and...little toy dogs... In a gutsy move...this predominantly sultry...clash of tribes, cultures and...dramatic music...makes you wonder how...I was born in Blacksburg, VA, home of...the fuming headmaster."


Police Question Snap and Pop as Search for Missing Crackle Continues
Now that we're firmly ensconced in the glory that is ROCKtober, we can talk about what's really rockin': the Major League Baseball divisional playoffs. Sure, there's football to consider—and the rockin'-ness that is an inherent part of that fine game—but the NFL season is so young and the baseball season is so full of excitement. Which isn't necessarily to say that any of the teams that we normally pull for are in the hunt. Well, except for the Yankees. But everyone's cheering for them to lose anyway, right? No one really wants them to win it all, do they? Unless that's just the paint fumes talkin'. In which case, I say, keep talkin'.

Oakland +3 at INDIANAPOLIS
Shoot fire, them danged Colts ain't got no dee-fense, but they do have them purdy helmets. And as much as I'd like to see Al Davis dead, I'm takin' the danged Raiders and the points.

Washington + 2 at DALLAS
Finally, a game America's been waitin' for! The Cowboys ain't got no offense and not much dee-fense, but they got enough to whack them losers from Washington. I'll take Dallas. Besides, ever'body knows, the Cowboys always beat the Indians. —Guy W.T. Goggles
(Year-to-date: 1-1)

Bandits (MGM):
A tale of two bumbling bank robbers, a toupeed Bruce Willis and a skinny, almost unrecognizably goofy Billy Bob Thornton in the latest from director Barry Levinson, whom I prefer when he's semi-serious (Diner, Avalon) to when he's trying to be funny (Tin Men, Wag the Dog). The daffy duo make a name for themselves as the "sleepover bandits," taking bank managers hostages while staying the night, then having their prisoners rob their own banks the next morning. The two take time off from their pursuits long enough to vie for the affections of the lovely Cate Blanchett. Depending on your mood, this one looks like it could be mildly amusing or annoying. The Columbia Records soundtrack features Bob Dylan's "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum," Jimmy Page/Robert Plant, Mark Knopfler, Pete Yorn, Aretha Franklin, Five for Fighting, Bonnie Tyler and Tanita Tikaram. The dedicated website at offers a free trip to Cozumel, an annotated map of the gang's adventures set to U2's "Beautiful Day," downloads, a trailer, image gallery and an interactive game that requires you to answer questions about robbing a bank.

Mulholland Dr. (Universal): David Lynch's return to the R-rated, surreal eroticism of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks features newcomer Naomi Watts as a would-be Hollywood ingenue who descends into a noirish nightmare world of cruelty, shattered dreams and unspeakable horror. Laura Harring co-stars as a mysterious woman named Rita, who is involved in a car crash on Mulholland Drive, where two men die and she escapes, only to wander around with amnesia. The plot involves dreams (naturally), a Denny's (no surprise) and makes very little sense. Say what you will about Lynch, when he is on his game, he creates a universe at once familiar and terrifyingly unreal, with plenty of sensuality and shifting identities. This was originally planned as a pilot for an ABC-TV series, and earned Lynch the Best Director nod at Cannes last May. The movie also stars such familiar faces as Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya, Diane Baker and Robert Forster, with an appearance by country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. I apparently didn't have the right plug-ins to get into either of the two websites, or, even with broadband, while the Milan Records soundtrack features longtime Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti, who also appears in the film as a shady Mafia character.

My First Mister (Paramount Classics): Tell you one thing, that Leelee Sobieski is working, as she's currently starring in both The Glass House and Joy Ride. Here, she co-stars in the directorial debut of actress Christine Lahti, who earned a 1996 Oscar for her short film, Lieberman in Love. Sobieski is an alienated, just-graduated-from-high-school teen who strikes up a relationship with nerdy, control freak, ultraconservative men's store manager Albert Brooks reminiscent of the Thora Birch-Steve Buscemi pairing in Ghost World. Sobieski lives at home with her chirpy, musical comedy-obsessed mother, played by Carol Kane and a hippie dad (John Goodman), who moved out a long time ago. She finally begins to find herself when Brooks hires her to work in the store's stockroom, then promotes her to the sales floor. The scenes between Sobieski and Brooks are supposedly filled with the stuff of real life, and the cast includes such stellar character players as Michael McKean, Lisa Jane Persky and Mary Kay Place. The screenplay was penned by Jill Franklyn, who created the moderately amusing, short-lived Seinfeld-esque TV series, It's Like You Know More details are available at the website.

Corky Romano (Touchstone Pictures): The ad campaign asks, "Who is Corky Romano?" and I say, who the hell cares? Yet another of those increasingly irritating SNL-style extended sketch films, this one stars monkey man Chris Kattan and, apparently, one of those little toy dogs. The "plot" revolves around good-natured veterinarian Corky receiving a call from his long-lost father, "Pops" (Peter Falk), an underworld crime lord who has been indicted by a Grand Jury. Falk sends his oblivious son on a mission to infiltrate the FBI and abscond with the evidence against him and, predictably, all sorts of hilarity ensues. Kattan, of course, is an acquired taste, and for me, best in very, very small doses. Some talented farceurs/character actors are on hand, including Vincent Pastore, Chris Penn and Richard Roundtree, all directed by first-timer Rob Pritts. The TV advertising has been nonstop, while the very slim website can be found at, where you can sing along with Corky to the strains of a-ha's "Take On Me."—Roy Trakin

CMJ Music Marathon: This PoMo institution, originally slated for Sept. 13-15, was one of the first events to be rescheduled after the WTC attack. In a gutsy move—especially at the time—the organizers decided to push back the conference a mere four weeks. Nobody thought they'd be able to pull it off, but CMJ has actually managed to book some decent shows this weekend. If you're planning on attending or will be in the city, here are some performers who are not to be missed Friday: Asteroid #4 @ Arlene's Grocery, Rebecca Gates @ Northsix, DJ Assault @ Luntarium, Momus @ Fez, Zero Zero @ Brownies and Tegan & Sara @ CB's Gallery. Saturday: Mary Lou Lord @ CB's Gallery, Bis @ Maxwells, Rye Coalition @ Northsix, Mooney Suzuki @ Bowery Ballroom and Girls Vs. Boys @ Village Underground. On Sunday, be sure to check out the Murder City Devils (this show is not part of CMJ) at the Bowery Ballroom. Rumor has it that they're breaking up, so this may be their last jaunt around the country. As for myself, I'll be headed to the most magical place on earth: Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Heidi Anne-Noel

Shelby Lynne, Love, Shelby (Island advance): I was planning on critiquing the much-anticipated follow-up to last year's I Am Shelby Lynne, which established the reinvented country singer as a world-class artist. Then, just yesterday, I got a note from IDJ publicity explaining that the advance CD I'd been listening to wasn't exactly the album the label would be releasing Nov. 13. The official LP would be pruned from 13 tracks to 10, and the order would be substantially altered. Now, I'm a believer in the notion that less is more, and my initial reaction is that none of the three tracks being removed is essential (although I don't want to be held to that viewpoint). Further, after looking at the new sequence, it strikes me that Lynne's lacerating performance of John Lennon's "Mother" couldn't possibly be placed anywhere but last on this predominantly sultry album, and that's where it has been moved to. That said, I'm not ready to commit an opinion on the revised version of this album—gimme another week to live with it. But I do know one thing: I'm holding onto this advance, no matter how much I can get for it on eBay. That goes for my Strokes advance and my Pete Yorn "official bootleg" as well. Bud Scoppa

Thomas Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem:
If ever there was a time to read Friedman's first-hand account of the Middle East conflict, it's now. Compellingly written in 1989, and subsequently updated through 1995, Friedman's book connects the historical dots all the way to the present, providing a clear and concise picture of a complex clash of tribes, cultures and religions. Friedman's thorough reporting illuminates the past actions of the characters who currently occupy the world's center stage, including Ariel Sharon, Yassar Arafat, Hafez Assad and the leaders of the Hezbollah movement. From cover to cover, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner provides massive insight into the harsh realities of 2001. There is a reason the U.S. is at war right now; Thomas Friedman explains it. READ THIS BOOK. David Adelson

"All through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always." Mahatma Gandhi

Silent But Deadly:
If you played tha first installment of this game, then you will luvvv this shit. Silent Hill 2 returns to tha eerie town of Silent Hill in a new story with all-new characters. Players assume tha role of James, who receives a cryptic letter from his wife beckoning him to meet her in the town, a place that holds great meaning for tha couple. What would normally be considered a comforting, even romantic letter has James scared and confused—his wife has been dead for three years. Tha mystery of tha letter compels him to return to tha surreal horror and all-too-real danger in Silent Hill. Yeah, don't ask why I had to give you all this info, just go buy the damm thing. Set amongst tha dense fog & haunting darkness of tha eerie town, accompanied by dramatic music presented in Dolby Surround Sound (for thoze ballerz who can afford Dolby), Silent Hill 2 pushes tha boundaries of macabre horror. Benefiting from tha advanced technological power of tha PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, tha visual expressions of tha characters, tha weather conditions & tha charnel-house gore of tha game are intensely frightening. Players face over 10 new types of enemies and have access to a variety of new weapons, including a pistol and steel pipe. Latin "Silent" Prince

Lawrence Middle School Band 2001:
Those who despair over the sorry state of public school music programs should look no further than this independently produced record of the seventh and eighth grade Chatsworth, CA, Lawrence Middle School jazz and concert bands. And I'm not just saying that because my son Taylor plays clarinet in the concert band...or maybe I am, but so what—it's our website. Anyway, under the charge of no-nonsense conductor Jeremy Chung, who simultaneously cajoles and terrorizes the 12- and 13-year-old students to be all they can be, the renowned, award-winning band has traveled for command performances as far away as Hawaii and Vancouver. This 75-minute CD features six studio recordings by the jazz band and eight tracks cut by the concert band live to two microphones, but the quality is pro-level all the way. The jazz band rips through its selections with precision, from standards like "My Funny Valentine" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" (with a stunning vocal by future star Katie Thiroux) to relatively modern chestnuts like Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," which swings with an authority that belies the group's youth. The concert band shows similar range, whether it's evoking the epic grandeur of Dimitri Tiomkin's scores for classic John Ford westerns on "Invicta" or the somber classicism of "Music From 'Gladiator.'" The Beatles medley is a personal fave; why couldn't we play "Hard Day's Night" back when I was in the school band? "Seventy-Six Trombones" provides the jaunty climax, which draws an undeniable link between Jeremy Chung's sly charisma and the original Music Man himself, Professor Harold Hill. The difference is, Mr. Chung is no con man but rather a sought-after educator and a real-life Mr. Holland. For a copy, send $12 plus $3 for postage to Lawrence Middle School Band, 10100 Variel Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311. For more information, call 818-882-1214 ext. 259. And no, I don't have publishing. R.T.

Plus Lucky Numbers!
Our fortunes and lucky numbers taste good like a cigarette should.
Your self-confidence shines and makes a great impression on others.
11, 12, 24, 32, 34, 38

The Circle of Life:
A Merced, CA, man called police on Friday after his 200-pound Burmese python escaped from its cage in the city, about 130 miles southeast of San Francisco. The owner quickly located the snake under his house but then realized his 30-pound pit bull was also missing—a mystery that was easily solved. "In the middle of the snake, there was a big round bulge," said Merced Police Department Cmdr. Tom Martin. "(The owner) surmised it was his 9-month-old pit bull." Martin added that it took three hours for the owner and a friend to corral the snake as police officers stood by for safety reasons. "It makes you wonder," said one policeman, "just how insecure you'd have to be to own both a python and a pit bull." Jeff Drake

Upcoming Birthdays
Oct. 12-18
12—Aleister Crowley (would have been 126)
13—Paul Simon (60)
14—Cliff Richard (61)
15—P.G. Wodehouse (would have been 120)
16—Oscar Wilde (would have been 147) & Tim Robbins (43)
17—Arthur Miller (86)
18—Chuck Berry (75)

Special Events
October is ROCKtober!
12—Dia de la Raza
15—Israa W Miraj
18—Persons Day (Canada)

Now in color. Do you remember when it was really hot and all you wanted to do was stand in front of the fridge with the door open? Keep that in mind as we head into winter. Back in NYC, it's CMJ Music Marathon weekend, so people will be out and about, hopefully with some sense of normalcy. The weather will be decent though cloudy, highs in the mid-70s, lows in the upper 50s. Sunday will see scattered thunderstorms. Maybe you'll get a schwag umbrella. In Los Angeles this weekend, it will be just like every other non-summer weekend. High in the mid-70s, lows in the upper 50s. Ye gads, man. Why did I ever live anywhere else? But I did, in fact, live elsewhere. I was born in Blacksburg, VA, home of Virginia Tech. If you find yourself in Southwest Virginia this weekend, the leaves are changing colors and the Blue Ridge Mountains will be living up to their name. Also, there's a good chance of rain—a very good chance of rain. Temps in the upper 60s to low 50s. Did I mention rain? Go Hokies! David Simutis, Senior Meteorology Correspondent

Natalie fabricates her source for an article on a schoolmate's abortion, then risks expulsion for refusing to reveal the non-existent girl's name to the fuming headmaster.

Time to get the hell outta Dodge. (7/24a)
We're impressed but not surprised. (7/23a)
Today feels different. (7/22a)
He's a one-man dynasty. (7/22a)
The score at the half (7/19a)
Who's already a lock?
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
The discovery engine is revving higher.

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