Astronauts who remain on space stations for a year or so age about 1/100th of a second less than people on Earth. Now all we need to do is build a spaceship that can travel close to the speed of light.


Counting the Hours Till the Work Week Ends, Then Counting the Minutes Till the Next One Starts (Dudes, Things Could Be Worse)
Ain’t it funny how kindred concepts so frequently emerge simultaneously in pop culture? Like the remake of H.G. WellsTime Machine (opening today), a pulp fantasy with a metaphysical hook: the universal human desire for immortality. Then, hot on its heels comes the soon-to-be-released Neil Young album (you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the weeks to come), an insightful rumination on the passing of time that finds its protagonist desperately grasping the moment as the present constantly recedes into the past, while the future ominously approaches. We can certainly relate to what Young’s talking about—we, too, dread the approach of Monday. Tick-tick-tick…

Neil Young, Are You Passionate? (Reprise, 4/9):
Young’s new studio opus opens with a quintessentially sultry Stax/Volt groove, courtesy of the Booker T. & the MG’s rhythm section, over which Young’s unmistakable electric guitar hovers sorrowfully. Right there we get the yin and yang of this challenging album, which embraces life while pondering loss. The song, “You’re My Girl,” was written in the days before Young’s daughter was due to leave for college, and its narrator savors the intimacy of a loving relationship while dreading an impending separation. Its underlying power derives from the realization that every loving relationship ends in separation on this mortal coil. What follows is a gripping meditation on life’s fundamental issues—disappointment, regret, the struggle for acceptance of the human condition, the quest for something to believe in.
In the disturbing “Let’s Roll,” Young finds reason for hope in the heroism of Flight 93’s doomed passengers, amid his disbelief that anything positive could conceivably result from such a brutal and horrific event. “Goin’ Home,” a thundering rocker featuring Crazy Horse, presents a dreamscape on the order of Zuma’s “Cortez the Killer,” framed by the classic lithographic image of Custer posing defiantly in what are clearly his final moments. Is Young suggesting that the doomed soldier is about to go home, or that he can never go home again?
Ultimately, the album wrestles with the viability of making a leap of faith—or at least a coming to terms—in what is clearly a treacherous universe. The fable “Two Old Friends” presents the issue most clearly; in it, a preacher has a conversation with Jehovah, in which he asks his Maker to grant him the terminal indifference to pain and suffering that allows Him to go about His business so dispassionately. Eventually, they reach an understanding: “They found faith in the way things are,” Young writes. “And the way things change.”
Ol’ Neil’s hard-earned conclusion would seem to be that, in order to be experienced, good requires evil, beauty requires ugliness, knowing requires unknowing, intimacy requires absence, joy requires sorrow—and to be fully alive requires an acceptance of the Basic Truth that the meter just keeps on running. Those Memphis grooves notwithstanding, Are You Passionate? isn’t Young’s hookiest album, but it may well be his thorniest—and that’s saying something when considering the immense and provocative canon of this deepest of rock auteurs. At the very least, Young dramatically demonstrates the viability of rock & roll as a medium of grown-up reflection as well as youthful rebellion. Long may he run. Bud Scoppa

Lines From Are You Passionate?
We went lookin’ for faith on the forest floor
And it showed up everywhere
In the sun and the water and the falling leaves
The falling leaves of time

The older generation, they got something to say
But they better say it fast, or get out of the way.

The world has changed since I first met you
And the band played “Rock of Ages” in their prime
And the old juke joint was rockin’

All I got is a broken heart, and I don’t try to hide it when I play my guitar.

Haven, Between the Senses (Virgin U.K.):
Damn, is this record good. Hard to believe this Johnny Marr-produced British gem still hasn’t quite found a label home Stateside, since Haven could go all the way. Conjuring some of the same joyously melodic, slightly psychedelic atmosphere of U.K. faves like Travis and Coldplay—but with perhaps even more classic-rock mojo—Haven is also blessed with frontman Gary Briggs’ ravishing voice, gorgeous production and superb arrangements. But all of that wouldn’t suffice to keep it in my player. It’s the home-run hooks in songs like “Beautiful Thing,” “Say Something,” the instant-classic “Lately” and the soaring “Let it Live,” all of which threaten to make a run at #1 on my personal chart. Damn. Simon Glickman

Isn't that the all-American doctrine that's been instilled in our collective brains since childhood? Isn't that why we all thought that our little "eccentricities" could lead to a bright future in, say, the music business? Apparently the idea doesn't run as rampant in certain parts of this country, particularly if you're a heavy-metal loving teenager living in West Memphis, Ark. That's where in 1993, a heinous triple-homicide took place and an almost equally appalling rush to judgment was executed on three seemingly-innocent defenders now referred to as the West Memphis Three. Tonight [Friday, March 8]at the Troubadour, Henry Rollins is spearheading a benefit show aimed to raise money for the legal defense fund of Damien Echols, the most outspoken of the three. Targeted by the prosecutors and labeled a Satanist for wearing Iron Maiden-like T-shirts in his teen years, Echols is facing the death sentence.
Rollins joins a growing list of musicians to come out for the cause and, like most supporters, the reason was that he simply "wanted to get involved." Says Rollins: "If this kind of insanity is allowed to happen in America, then no American is really safe."
The case for the West Memphis Three has had the fortune of receiving a good amount of publicity thanks to a two-part HBO documentary ("Paradise Lost"), a benefit album ("Free The West Memphis Three" [Koch]) featuring tracks by Eddie Vedder, Tom Waits, Steve Earle and Joe Strummer) and the spoken support of bands like Metallica and the Supersuckers and celebrities like Southpark creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. But with an appeal process that's almost a decade-long, no amount of public outpouring can be considered enough. On the bill tonight: Exene Cervenka's new band, the Original Sinners, followed by Wayne Kramer and the Rollins Band. Check out www.wm3.org for more info on the West Memphis Three. Shirley Halperin

This here weekend’s ’Cup race is that there MBNA America Fahv-hunnert, comin’ atcha frum Atlanty Joe-juh. Now afore we git into it, ah jes got ta say holy free speech, Batman. Seems the danged ole fancy-pants edeetor o’ this featurette done tolt me ta cut mah speechification down some. Sez it ain’t nearly as interestin’ as Old Man Trakin’s foofy film previews o’ pitchers what ain’t even playin’ nowheres in America so far as I kin tell. Well okee-dokey. Here goes: Dale Jr. in the DEI #8 Budweiser Chevy. Tony Stewart in the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Home Depot Pontiac. Bobby Labonte in the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac. And of course, don’t forget that sissy Jeff Gordon in the Hendrick Motorsports #24 Dupont Chevrolet (gosh dang ah hate that purdy boy). Them’s the frontrunners as far as ah kin tell. If ah gots ta pick one, ah reckon ahd go fer Bobby Labonte, seein’ as how he jest got induktid into that there Texas Sports Hall o’ Fame. Ain’t no lie. By the way, ah got me one o’ them danged MBNA credit cards, but it’s all filled up—too much gamblin’ and whorin’ in Vegas last week.
—Guy W.T. Goggles

It’s not necessarily what you know, it’s who you know. Proximity to greatness occasionally suffices, which is how I wound up with the American Express Centurion Card (a.k.a. the Black Card). When I called to activate the card, I was introduced to my own “concierge,” who outlined the many benefits. Automatic upgrade to the Concorde when booking a British Airways flight to London! Automatic “elite” status on four airlines (but not American Airlines, damn). Automatic room upgrades at Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons hotels worldwide (which will cut down on my automatic whining at check-in). Private shopping hours at Saks (hey Winona, let’s go!). The concierge offered to find anything I’d been looking for. My sanity notwithstanding (figured I’d start out with an easier challenge), he’s now looking for the William Eggleston photograph I’ve been coveting for years. I’ll let you know how he does. In the meantime, I’m tempted to use the card to purchase the single most gorgeous item of clothing I’ve seen this year: Clements Ribeiro’s black wool kimono jacket with multicolored embroidery, lined with chiffon, from www.net-a-porter.com. Except it’s $2914. I’ll have to contend with the silk, hand-embroidered, mandarin collar jacket I saw on www.pearlriver.com. It’s a relative steal (sorry, Winona) at $85.50. —Ivana B. Adored

The Time Machine (DreamWorks/WB): The drums have been beating since last year for this big-budget remake of George Pal’s cult fave 1960 version with Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux and Sebastian Cabot. This version, authorized by the estate of H. G. Wells, was directed by the author’s great-grandson Simon Wells, whose previous credits include animated features The Prince of Egypt and Balto as well as sequels to Dinosaurs and American Tail. The trailers look promising, with star Guy Pearce (as time-travel inventor Alexander Hartdegen) segueing from Memento, yet another movie that plays with concepts of time. 7-Up spokesman Orlando Jones provides the comic relief, pop diva Samantha Mumba is the exotic love interest and Jeremy Irons reportedly chews some scenery as the evil Uber-Morlock. The Varese-Sarabande soundtrack features the score by Klaus Badelt (Pearl Harbor, The Pledge, Hannibal, Mission Impossible II). The rather elaborate website, www.countingdown.com/timemachine, takes you into the laboratory of time machine inventor Hartdegen, and a virtual time machine in 3-D Shockwave with a 360-degree view which allows online fans to zoom in and out of the model. See below for a comprehensive explanation of time travel.

All About the Benjamins (New Line Cinema): Rapper Ice Cube has become a multifaceted movie star. His latest action-comedy, which he co-wrote and co-produced, is being compared to Rush Hour 2 as Cube hooks up with Mike Epps (How High, Next Friday) in this tale of a bounty hunter (Cube) who pursues a bail jumper (Epps) and gets caught up in a diamond heist. The two team up to foil the thieves as they work out their own personal differences. Anthony Michael Hall and Lil’ Bow Wow are among the supporting cast, directed by Ronald Lang, making his feature debut after previously helming a tour documentary on Savage Garden. The soundtrack, on the newly launched, WEA-distribbed New Line Records, is a who’s-who of rap luminaries, including Cube’s own “100 Dollar Bill Y’All,” Puffy Daddy’s title track (with Notorious B.I.G., The Lox and Lil’ Kim), B.G.’s “Bling Bling,” JT Money’s “Hi Lo,” Trick Daddy/Trina/Tre+6’s “Get The Cream,” Mya’s “Cream Cheese,” Nappy Roots’ “Dime, Quarter, Nickel, Penny” and Petey Pablo & Sunshine Anderson’s “The Come Up.” The website, www.benjaminsmovie.com, offers the trailer, info on the film’s cast, technical crew, story, production, photos and a sweepstakes, while offering a variety of downloadable items, including buddy icons of the cast, screensavers, wallpaper, one sheets and e-cards.

Festival in Cannes (Rainbow Film Company): Director Henry Jaglom’s self-involved cinema is not to everybody’s taste, but his unflinching camera is adept at capturing people at their most embarrassing in movies like Eating, Someone To Love, Can She Bake A Cherry Pie? all the way back to his Dennis Hopper Vietnam vet movie, ‘76’s Tracks. A protg of Orson Welles, Jaglom isn’t afraid to show himself—and others—at their most obnoxious. His latest is a project he’s wanted to do since he first attended the Cannes Festival in 1974, and features Ron Silver as a venal, backstabbing Hollywood producer (is there any other kind?) desperate to protect his own interests while convincing others he’s looking out for them. The movie’s in documentary style and features Anouk Aime, Greta Scacchi, Maximillian Schell and a slew of people playing themselves, such as William Shatner, Jeff Goldblum, Faye Dunaway, Holly Hunter, Peter Bogdanovich and longtime collaborator Zack Norman. It’s apparently a “pretentious, trite” film that perfectly captures the pretentious, trite nature of the event, and world, it covers. —Roy Trakin

Way back in 1905, physics’ main homeboy Albert Einstein laid the foundation of how to travel in time. Even you people in radio have seen the famous equation E=mc2 [Anybody know how to do superscript in HTML?--Ed.], which, among other things, proves that time travel is possible in one direction—though going backward in time is a bigger challenge. The Theory of Relativity shows that time and space are joined in the universe as a four-dimensional fabric called” space-time.” To keep the equation balanced, both space and time warp as mass or speed is increased. Here’s some proof: In 1975, two atomic clocks were synchronized. One was put on an airplane and flown around for a couple of hours, the other was left on Earth. When the two were brought together, the airborne clock had moved a fraction of a second slower. More recently, scientists have been using particle accelerators to speed elementary particles—tiny, tiny, tiny things—close to the speed of light, measuring their decay versus non-accelerated particles’ decay. No, I don’t watch Star Trek, but astronauts who remain on space stations for a year or so age about 1/100th of a second less than people on Earth. Now all we need to do is build a spaceship that can travel close to the speed of light. Einstein said that approaching the speed of light would slow time, traveling at the speed of light would make it stand still and traveling faster than the speed of light would make time go backwards. But he also showed that traveling at or faster than the speed of light is impossible because mass at these speeds becomes infinite. Superstar astrophysicist MC Stephen Hawking has said that traveling backwards in time is impossible. There’s not room here to discuss wormholes in space, but they remain a conceivable way to travel through time, as does taking a DeLorean back to the ’50s to prevent your parents from marrying each other.
David Simutis, Senior Astrophysics Correspondent

Sad you missed The Strokes before they became the shit and started playing places like the Apollo? Don't let this happen to you with New York's latest up and comers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Despite the fact that they seem to play here every other day, their show on
Friday night at the Knitting Factory is extra special, as it's a benefit for the fabulous Bust magazine and the bill also features the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Saturday has The Ladybug Transistor at North Six. Their pretty, colorful pop is the perfect compliment to this spring-like weather. At the Warsaw on Sunday are the Bouncing Souls, who hail from New Brunswick. Hey, I've got to get in some reference to Jersey each week now!
Heidi Anne-Noel

Smuggler's Run 2: Hostile Territory:
OK, before you think that we’re on Rockstar Games payroll, let me just clarify that I have never cashed any of the checks. Seriously, though, this isn’t the newest on the shelves, but it is definitely worth checking out. Sometimes it just feels right to be the bad guy. Haven’t you ever wanted to smuggle “contraband” across the borders of various countries? That’s the object of this game. Picking up the contraband is usually not the hard part; the difficulty is in delivering the goods. Law enforcement is ready for you and they will try anything to make sure you don’t make it to the drop-off. Missions take place in Vietnam, Russia and, oddly enough, Afghanistan—but don’t let that disturb you. The vehicles used in the game are incredibly realistic and react the way you would expect most ATV/suspension vehicles would. Each vehicle is equipped with a different gadget that helps you evade capture, such as oil slicks, bombs, speed bursts and smoke screens (no, this isn’t Spy Hunter). Missions are well explained and easy to follow, the only problem with the game is that after a while it is quite repetitive…but if I really think about it, so is my life. Paul Karlsen

Now with bonus television recommendation. If you live in New York, you’re probably anticipating spring. This weekend offers more of a taste, plus a blast of reality. Saturday will be overcast, but warm, with highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 40s. Sunday will be more winter-like, with highs in the upper-40s, but lows in the low 30s. On the West Coast, baby, it’s going to be a mix of sun and clouds with highs in the upper 60s/low 70s, and lows in the upper 40s/low 50s. And for the love of all that is unholy, make sure you watch The Osbournes on MTV. It’s the new Simpsons—no lie—and the best comedy on television, if not the best show.
—David Simutis, Senior Satanic Weather Correspondent