You won't find richer drama than the conclusion of the World Series, as Arizona trots out aces Randy Johnson and (maybe) Curt Schilling to try to derail what appears to be a team of destiny.


This Week's Planner is Bloated After Too Many
Bite-Sized Snickers and Krackle Bars
When you finally come out of your sugar coma from the caramel apples, candy corn and fun-size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups you gobbled down on Wednesday night, you may be pleased to find out it's a whole new weekend! And, by the way, why were you eating all that candy in the first place? Shouldn't you have been giving it out to the kids in the neighborhood? What did you hand out to them? Something lame? Like gift certificates? Or did you just walk away from the office with that big box of old Sisqo EPKs and hand those out instead. Man, that's lame. We oughta send Gene Hackman over to your place to rough you up. If you don't think the 71-year-old actor poses a threat, just ask the Volvo driver who started a tussle with him at Sunset & Crescent Heights earlier this week. Seriously. It was an Oscar-caliber smackdown.

The World Series:
Will the miracle that is the New York Yankees' postseason come to its seemingly inevitable conclusion this weekend in Phoenix's Banc One Ballpark, or will we witness some unexpected twist, as the D'backs sleep in their own beds and rediscover their mojo and their self-belief, after going from a two-games-to-none lead to a three-to-two deficit? Either way, you won't find richer drama this weekend, as Arizona trots out the aces that brung'em—Randy Johnson for Game Six Saturday and Curt Schilling for Game Seven (if necessary) Sunday. You'll find the action on Fox, with the telecast(s) starting at 4:45 PST. Bud Scoppa

The Countdown Continues:
HITS is collecting artist, celebrity and weasel Top 10s of 2001 for the mag's year-end issue. We're willing to accommodate a broad definition of the term— not just albums, but TV shows, movies, books, world events, food, whatever. The issue will come out in mid-December, and our deadline for receiving lists will be the week of Nov. 19—we can't guarantee that Top 10s received after that will get in. e-mail or fax to Roy Trakin at 818-906-3797.

Monsters, Inc.
(Pixar/Walt Disney Pictures): This, of course, is the eagerly awaited new animated feature from the people that brought you Toy Story and A Bug's Life. It tells the story of two working-class guys, Sully (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (a wise-cracking Billy Crystal as a lime-shaped creature with arms, legs and one big Cyclops eye), who live in a parallel universe named Monstropolis. Fueled by children's screams instead of electricity, the titular company is suffering from a power shortage. While Sully is on the verge of becoming the factory's top fright-producer, a human toddler named Boo enters their world, causing a panic because in their toon town, people are poisonous and anyone found harboring one is banished. Disney takes dead aim on DreamWorks' $434 million-grossing Shrek for the year's top cartoon feature as well as the Academy's first animation Oscar. The Disney Records soundtrack album includes two versions of Toy Story composer Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You," one a duet between Crystal and Goodman. The website, www.monstersinc.com, offers glimpses into the story and characters, a trailer, an interactive tour of Monster Inc. facilities ("We scare because we care") and enough M.I. merchandise to fill a parallel universe.

The Man Who Wasn't There (USA Films): The Coen brothers return to the film-noir roots of their very first film, Blood Simple. It's a gleaming, black-and-white (thanks to Roger Deakins' cinematography) homage/update of films like Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, as well as author James M. Cain. Billy Bob Thornton plays the nondescript title character, a barber in post-World War II Santa Rosa, CA, whose wife (Frances McDormand) is cheating on him with Tony Soprano himself (James Gandolfini). The hapless haircutter meets up with an itinerant huckster (played by Coen regular Jon Polito), who convinces him to take part in a sleazy business venture, which, predictably, leads him down the road to doom. The Decca/UMG soundtrack features the authentic Carter Burwell score as well as classical music from Beethoven and Mozart. The website, www.themanwhowasntthere.com, captures the film's eerie ambience, with a trailer, synopsis, cast and crew information, photo gallery, ticket information, a concentration-style memory game and downloadable screen-savers.

Domestic Disturbance (Paramount): Director Harold Becker (The Onion Field, Taps, Sea of Love, Mercury Rising) knows his way around a thriller, as he tackles this John Travolta vehicle, which looks equal parts The Stepfather, The Nanny and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Travolta is divorced from Teri Polo and the only one who believes his son's (Matthew O'Leary) claim he witnessed his new stepdad, a creepy Vince Vaughn, commit a murder. The trailers to this one basically tell you the whole story, so it's up to Becker to work in some suspense. There's a cameo appearance by the always-fine Steve Buscemi, so all is not lost, but Travolta seems to have given up the last shred of good will he's received from filmgoers since his unlikely Pulp Fiction comeback. Looks like it's time to get back with Tarantino, though. The Varese Sarabande soundtrack features score by Mark Mancina. The website, www.domesticdisturbance.com, looks as generic as the movie, with story, cast, behind the scenes, trailer, stills and a quiz that asks, "How well do you really know someone?"

Focus (Paramount Classics): Based on Arthur Miller's first novel, Neal Slavin's directorial bow is an allegory about anti-Semitism. Set in Brooklyn during World War II, William H. Macy plays a personnel clerk who sparks the suspicions of those who think he looks like a Jew when he dons spectacles, even though Macy may be one of the least semitic-looking actors around. Local thugs (led by Meat Loaf, of all people) start harassing the actual Jew (David Paymer—now that's more like it). When Macy marries racy, outspoken blonde Laura Dern (who looks about as Jewish as Doris Day), the two are forced to learn tolerance the hard way, after the requisite crises of faith and mounting paranoia. An admirable topic, to be sure, but why does Hollywood always cast gentiles as Jews? How about Billy Crystal and Sandra Bernhard for the leads instead and then you can turn it into a comic fable? The Milan soundtrack features score by Mark Adler while the website at www.paramountclassics.com/focus promises "everything is about to become clear," with a plot synopsis ("In Focus"), cast bios ("Identities"), filmmakers and crew ("Alter Egos"), a photo gallery ("Self Images") and trailers ("Projections").

The One (Columbia Pictures): Hong Kong chop-sockey icon Jet Li (featured opposite the late Aaliyah in Romeo Must Die) stars in a dual role in this film version of a hyperactive video game. He plays a master criminal who travels to several parallel universes to eliminate other versions of himself until he is faced with his ultimate doppelganger—a true-hearted L.A. cop. The film's got a heavy metal backdrop, featuring Drowning Pool's "Sinner," though there is no soundtrack. Screenwriters Glen Morgan and James Wong (who also directed) are veterans of TV's The X Files and have a penchant for the unusual, and it's apparently a kick to see Jet Li fight himself. The website, at www.sony.com/TheOne, is suitably high-tech and offers criminal dossiers, agent files, surveillance footage, agent authentication, criminal search and a handheld game which allows you to defeat 124 challengers from alternate universes to become "The One." —Roy Trakin

Baltimore +1 at PITTSBURGH

Let me start by sayin': Fuck the Jets—J-ET-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. I feel better now. This here game is goin' to be a battle royal. The Steelers have a killer dee-fense, and the Bus is in overdrive. But I think the Raven dee-fense will shut the Bus down, leaving Kordell Stewart to have to win this game. I ain't buyin' it. I'll take Baltimore.

Dallas +11 at NEW YORK GIANTS
This here game is a no-brainer. The dang Giants lost to those mofo Redskins last week, and they are goin' to be pissed. Eleven is a lot of points, but hell's bells, Dallas only had 94 yards passin' last week. I cain't believe they have a chance. I'm takin' the Giants.—Guy W.T. Goggles
(Year-to-date: 3-5)

Radiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings (Capitol): A live record seems like an obvious way to cash in on a reputation as a damn fine live band that hates to tour—put "Karma Police," "High and Dry," "Fake Plastic Trees" and "Paranoid Android" back-to-back as the centerpiece and it would rival the best live discs ever. But once again, Radiohead goes against the grain of convention, releasing an eight-track EP with songs from its past two records—ignoring even the marginal "hits" from Kid A and Amnesiac—along with a live version of the previously unreleased "True Love Waits." Sometimes the bigger the risk, the better the payoff. Recorded at various locations on Radiohead's last world tour, there is a warmer sense of humanity in the live performance than on record. I Might Be Wrong is a snapshot of the quintet right as the band is hitting creative height. As such, there's plenty of energy, with the stuttering beat and angular keyboard rhythms of "Morning Bell" crashing against the stun guns of guitars, and singer Thom Yorke shifting from an angelic falsetto to muttering and stuttering beneath the music as the song collapses. Throughout the disc, Yorke remains the focus, whether delicately singing on "True Love Waits" or howling on "Dollars & Cents." The highlight is the crescendo of Yorke's manipulated and looped voice at the end of "Everything in Its Right Place," with the honey of the melody folded and wrapped on top of itself, sounds like buzzing bees. It just might be right. David Simutis

Freedy Johnston, Right Between the Promises (Elektra):
Longtime fans of Johnston's trenchant writing and achingly lovely vocals will find this 10-song set his strongest work in years. But this time, the Freedster has a good chance of benefiting from the post-O Brother demand for adult-oriented, tradition-minded pop. The winsome "Arriving on a Train" is pure honey, its lyrics reflecting Johnston's eternal struggle between cautious hope and pungent sadness; the rootsy minimalism of "Radio for Heartache" blends bluegrass and Beatles; a cover of the chestnut "Love Grows" rivals his previous take on "Wichita Lineman" rockers "Broken Mirrors" and "Waste Your Time" are textbook examples of melodic craft. If you're dying for real songs, believe in "Promises." Simon Glickman

"Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don't move." —Satchel Paige

James Bond inAgent Under Fire: Shit, 007, or Mr. Bond, we've been expecting you! 007 finds that tha most powerful high-tech tool in his arsenal iz a PlayStation 2 game console with his newest game, James Bond in...Agent Under Fire. Tha man's got it all: advanced weaponry, exotic cars, smooth game play, sophisticated looks, action-packed driving races, tense missions, thrilling multi-player action and beautiful new Bond girls. James, we envy you. I'm makin it short and sweet cuz I'm in tha middle of a game, getttin my freak on, kids, so get busy and go get it, or you'll get deez nuts on ya ass.
Latin Prince, AKA Agent Double-O Hip-Hop

Village of the Damned Kittens: In case you didn't get your fill of scariness at midweek, we'd like to direct your browsers to a site that apparently pits the psychic powers of three gray kittens against one another. Just what is going on with this site is a bit of a mystery. I mean, the interpretation that it is a three-sided battle is strictly my own. But isn't that the beauty of art: that each viewer brings his or her personal experience to the piece and uses those unique perspectives to color the interpretation. Or something like that. Hey, at the very least, you can be the first into the office, put everyone's computer on the site and then turn off the lights. Oh yeah. Now, that's creepy. Jeff Drake

As hated by Rupert Murdoch and Morty Zuckerman: Rumors of more terrorist attacks may make some people opt for staying home this weekend, but if you're heading out, here's a few stops to make along the way. Friday has Solex at the Knitting Factory and Man or Astroman? at the Mercury Lounge. My vote would be for Solex, since it seems like MOA? play here every other week. If you weren't lucky enough to score overpriced tickets to see Beachwood Sparks as the opening act for the Black Crowes, you're in luck, as the Sparks are playing a non-Crowe show on Saturday at North Six. Granted, you've got to haul it out to Brooklyn, but the Sparks are worth it. Sunday brings mass confusion to all the kids, who are forced to choose between currently-hot-but-is-he-worth-the-hype Dashboard Confessional at the Knitting Factory or consistently-decent-standby Burning Airlines at Bowery Ballroom. Decisions, decisions.
Heidi Ann-Noel

Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, MA, on July 17, 1744. As vice president for President James Madison's second term, Gerry was the sixth man to serve in the office. Gerry was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, a U. S. congressman and a governor of Massachusetts before becoming veep. In 1797, President John Adams appointed Gerry, Charles C. Pinckney and John Marshall members of a diplomatic mission to France. It was during that mission that French Foreign Minister Talleyrand and the Directory had refused to negotiate with the three men unless they would first pay a substantial bribe. President Adams reported the insult to Congress, and the Senate printed the correspondence, in which the Frenchmen were referred to only as "X, Y, and Z." When an amicable settlement appeared to be impossible, Pinckney and Marshall left Paris, but Gerry, fearing that his departure would further estrange the two countries, decided to prolong his stay four months. He died in office, in Washington, DC, on Nov. 23, 1814. Best Anagram of his Name: Red grey gerbil.

They Don't Advertise But They Get Great Word of Mouth: After pleading guilty to having oral sex in a bush with a 22-year-old, Wolfgang Seifarth, a 65-year-old German tourist, was sentenced to six years in a Zambian jail with hard labor. Interestingly, Pumulo Mbangweta, the Zambian woman who performed the sex act on him near the small town of Mazabuka, was not charged. Also interesting was the fact that the magistrate told Seifarth he had been lenient because it was his first offense—the Zambian morality law that outlaws "unnatural" sex acts provides for a maximum jail term of 14 years. Zambia is by law a Christian nation and frowns on any form of unconventional sex or sexual relationships. Magistrate Aloysius Mapate told Seifarth that oral sex was "a gross abomination against Zambian laws." He added, "Customs of other countries, which are an abomination here, must not be allowed to be practiced by tourists or anybody. Besides if I ain't gettin' any, ain't nobody getting' any." J.D.

Plus Lucky Numbers!
Our fortunes and lucky numbers are better for you than stale candy.
The joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days.
7, 8, 15, 20, 35, 37.

Upcoming Birthdays
Nov. 2-8
2—Daniel Boone (would have been 267) & k.d. lang (40)
3—Charles Bronson (79) & Roseanne (49)
4—Walter Cronkite (85)
5—Sam Shepard (58)
6—Mike Nichols (70)
7—Joni Mitchell (58)
8—Bonnie Raitt (52)

Special Events
3—Sadie Hawkins Day
5—Guy Fawkes Day
6—Saxophone Day & Election Day

Perfect for Those Stubborn Stains: It's freezing on the West Coast, brrrrrrrrr. Oh, wait, it's sunny and in the mid-70s, it's just that for some reason the air conditioning is cranked up in the hitsdailydouble.com world HQ. In NYC, there's a decent chance that the weekend will be nice. Partly cloudy with highs in the upper 60s on Saturday, sunny with highs near 60 on Sunday. Both nights will see lows in the mid-to-upper 40s. Here in the land that the air conditioner repairman forgot, it's another ho-hum weekend of mostly sunny skies and temps in the mid-70s and upper 50s. Oh, darn. Those of you thinking of jetting off to the Caribbean for the weekend should reconsider; Tropical Storm Michelle could gain hurricane strength before the weekend is over.
—David Simutis, Senior Meteorology Correspondent

 Blair and Jo, perennial enemies, take a good look at themselves during a vacation reunion with old friends.

Maren! Luke! Carly! (4/19a)
Who's next? (4/16a)
"RAPSTAR" is accurately titled. (4/16a)
It's exclusive, but you're invited to come on in. (4/19a)
"Fearless" takes flight. (4/16a)
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?

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