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This year’s matchup is as compelling as it is unlikely, especially to the Californians among us, as a pair of ridiculously hot teams from SoCal and NoCal, respectively, square off for what looks to be a slugfest for the ages (now watch the Series turn into a succession of 1-0 pitchers’ duels).
THE WEAKEND PLANNER ANNUAL FALL CLASSIC EDITION
Forget Falling Leaves and Crackling Fires; We’re Talking Full Count With the Bases Loaded
It’s World Series time, and that fact is in itself enough to make us feel deeply nostalgic for those World Series of past years and past decades, when our dads explained the rules of the game to us, pointing at television sets that were far smaller and duller than their contempo counterparts, although they seemed to our child’s eyes as immediate and vivid as anything our adult’s eyes now view on the big screen. This year’s matchup is as compelling as it is unlikely, especially to the Californians among us, as a pair of ridiculously hot teams from SoCal and NoCal, respectively, square off for what looks to be a slugfest for the ages (now watch the Series turn into a succession of 1-0 pitchers’ duels). Because there are partisans among us, we’ve decided to lead things off with a pair of impassioned declarations from true followers of each team. Taking up the banner of the Angels is BMI’s Thunderstix-wielding Hanna Bolte, while the San Francisco Giants are passionately represented by our own always-hopeful, oft-disappointed Mark Pearson. Take it away, sports fans…

WEAKEND POPCULT TOP 10
1. Anaheim Angels:
It ‘s shaping up to be a red October—Angels red, that is. While Michael Eisner is busy making sure he's in photos with the team while he's got them on the auction block, Angels fans are busy buying up as many red shirts, hats and rally monkeys that they can. Time to bring the championship home to OC for the first time. And they've got the old-school uniforms back too. Since they earned their wildcard slot, the Halos have shocked the baseball world, defeating the Yankees and then the Twins. For those who saw the Halos play during the regular season, it's been a steady and strong progression—knocking off opponents inning by inning, strike by strike. For a team that people wrote off mid-season, the Angels org has displayed its smarts by showcasing a team that is strong in every area, from the bullpen to the Molina brothers catching to the offense. They're simply one of the most interesting teams to watch. No billion-dollar babies here and not a lot of controversy, just great players peaking at the right time and playing together as a team. Erstad and Percival have emerged as the leaders of the squad, with solid play from Kennedy (nothing like three homers in one game from the ninth slot), Glaus, Spiezio, Anderson—and let’s not forget 20-year-old pitching phenom Francisco Rodriguez. It's going to be a great shuttle series, with the first two games this weekend at Edison Field, then it's jump a flight on United or Southwest to the city of fog and wine on Tuesday, Wedsnesday and Thursday. —HB

2. San Francisco Giants: In 1962, Bobby Richardson broke the heart of, among many others, a 12-year-old boy living in Sacramento. Playing second base for the dreaded Yankees, Richardson had speared a line drive off the bat of Willie McCovey in Game Seven of the World Series. If that line drive had found its way through the infield—and rest assured that announcer Russ Hodges thought that it was going to when McCovey first smacked it—the Giants would have been world champions. But it didn’t, and they weren’t. I can still remember the photos of unopened cases of champagne in the Chronicle the next day. We wouldn’t make it back to the Series again until 1989, when a combination of an earthquake and a juggernaut called the Oakland A’s would bitch-slap us silly in four straight. I’m ready for the Gi-boys to win one in my lifetime. I shook Willie Mays’ hand in 1958 (the year they moved to San Francisco), and have been waiting for them to win the whole thing ever since. I am ready. This team won’t be around next year. I am ready now. My two sons are 8 and 5—don’t make them wait as long as I’ve had to. Win it now. Win this one. What the hell. Let’s win one. All right? —MP

3. Jackson Browne, “The Naked Ride Home”: Intriguing in two ways, this track, from the just released Elektra album of the same name, captures the hothouse poignancy of Jackson’s great Late for the Sky, while its first scene has the singer getting head in the front seat of his car as he nimbly negotiates the freeway. Inspirational lines: “Across those five lanes not one driver glanced over to see / The beauty known only to me, and a big rig or two.” —BS

4. Blender: Not so much a dumb guys' testosterone strokefest as a music magazine with heightened prog factor, bright writing and a sense of humor. It's not Creem, but it's the most exciting domestic music magazine to hit the market in maybe a quarter of a century. And yes, Mojo—the Brit import—still rules. —HG

5. Avril Lavigne, Let Go (Arista): I realized the other day at the gym, while singing “Complicated” to myself on the Stairmaster, that more of my adult friends (adults, that is, who aren’t above channeling a 17-year-old skater girl) discover that, as soon as they settle on a new favorite Avril Lavigne song, another one comes along to take its place. MCA A&R man Clyde Lieberman would say Let Go is a product of great pop A&R. I say, “Manufactured, yes, but no less inspired for it.” WBOS MD Michele Williams would probably put it in less technical terms—something more like “Avril rules!” Lavigne’s lyrical maturity and squeaky-clean image make other teen divas look vulgar by comparison. This CD, like Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, will define the experience of adolescence for a generation of youngsters. And parents will be thrilled that a free-thinking, 100% wholesome new role model has taken the place of whichever angry, violent or oversexed one held the position previously. What remains to be seen is whether or not Lavigne can develop into a career artist who matures with each album, growing up along with her audience. —MM

6. Inspirational rockcrit quote of the week: In his Village Voice essay on Akron duo The Black Keys, the latest retro “The” band to get a buzz going, writer Chuck Klosterman describes the band and the movement thusly: “It still sounds like the past, I suppose, but that past is now the future.” —BS

7. Pontiac GTO: The legendary muscle car first introduced in 1963 is coming back. The modern version, due in 2003, will be built in the spirit of the original, and if there's no action in the back seat, its standard 300hp 5.7-liter V8 will certainly keep you busy. Kool Keith should be thrilled—he did a track on Black Elvis, "Keith Turbo," with a lyric hook that simply goes "Pontiac GTO"; maybe they'll use it for the commercial. —JO

8. Notre Dame at Air Force (ESPN): Who woulda thunk at the beginning of the season that these two unranked and little regarded teams would sport matching 6-0 records for what has turned out to be the game of the week in college football? After witnessing Air Force slaughter BYU in Colorado Springs last Saturday night, this Notre Dame alumnus is a bundle of nerves. The Irish have been living on big plays on defense and special teams, having shown little proficiency thus far with coach Ty Willingham’s West Coast offense. If they can’t stop the Falcons’ faster-than-lightning option attack—and nobody has come close so far this season, I dunno how the Irish can possibly score with them. Kickoff at 7 p.m. PDT Saturday. Can’t wait. —BS

9. The New Yorker, Oct 14-21 issue: Nicholas Lehmann's "Without a Doubt," a profile of the always opaque National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice that explores her political evolution and past as perspective and personal history; Susan (The Orchid Thief) Orlean's "The Congo Sound," Parisian record store and African music; and Alec Hanley Bemis' "Pop Music," beautiful writing that tackles Beck's latest. —HG

10. Rally Monkey update: www.powerpop.org/rally —HB

RETURN OF THE MAC
Do I really need to reiterate the importance of Fleetwood Mac’s music to recent pop history, especially with evidence of their stylistic influence all over the charts? So a two-disc comp of the band’s finest work (in the Buckingham-Nicks era, that is, not the compelling but less successful Peter Greene and Bob Welch periods) hardly seems extravagant. Which is why The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (Reprise) is so welcome. The consistent power of the band’s writing, playing and singing continues to astonish, from the megahit Rumours tracks to their recent reunion. And isn’t it time "Tusk," "Gold Dust Woman," "The Chain," "Second Hand News" and other stunning compositions—including "Landslide," which will soon dominate the airwaves once more as a Dixie Chicks cover—were all in one place? Plus, Disc One features a Quicktime EPK with video of the band (sans Christine) working on a new studio album, due in 2003, and a link to further footage on the band’s site.
Simon Glickman

GUY WITH THE GOGGLES' NFL PICKS OF THE WEEK
San Francisco +2 1`/2 at NEW ORLEANS

Holy po’ boy! Them danged ol’ Saints is fer real. All you gots to know is that Frisco has done lost their danged ol’ strong safety, Zack Bronson, and trust me, this here guy makes a difference. Besides that, with the danged ol’ Giants in the World Series, and the 49ers winnin’ lots of games, somethin’ bad is bound to happen. Anyhoo, I hate them danged ol’ NoCal batt’ry chuckers, so I’ll take the Saints give the two-and-a-half.

Tampa Bay +3 at PHILADELPHIA
Now, this here game could be a danged ol’ preview of the NFC Championship. Most ever’thang points to the danged ol’ Bucs. Them Eagles is oh-and-three comin’ off a bye week, ever since Andy Reid was their coach. But shoot, I don’t think the dang Bucs have played nobody with a deefense like the Eagles. This here one is gonna be close, but I’ll take Philly and give the three.
—Guy W.T. Goggles
(Year-to-date: 7-3)

DIY FALL COMPILATION CD
It’s that time of year to crank up the atmosphere and the nostalgia quotient, and, thanks in particular to Coldplay and Beck, I’ve got plenty to work with this autumn.

Indian Summer
1. Steve Earle, “Amerika v. 6.0” (from, 4:19): What better way to kick things off than with a sneering Stones chugger? So what if it isn’t actually the Stones? Earle’s track has more in common with “Street Fightin’ Man” than with “Don’t Stop.”
2. Beck, “The Golden Age” (Geffen, 4:34): This positively mystic evocation of the Stones at their most torn and frayed also echoes their cosmic L.A. cousins, the Flying Burrito Brothers.
3. Mackenzie BC, “The Great Escape” (3:44):
I count myself fortunate to have a burned advance copy of the self-titled Epic debut from Canadian one-man band James Renald, cuz I haven’t heard anything about it and suspect that it won’t be coming out until 2003. But if you’re a smart-pop fan, remember the name of the band, because this record brilliantly revisits 1970s California pop in all its melody-rich, closely harmonized glory.
4. Coldplay, “Daylight” (5:26): It’s hard to pick an individual track from A Rush of Blood to the Head because the album plays so seamlessly, but I love the propulsive piano, the burbling bass riff and the spatial atmosphere of this aptly named song.
5. Kim Richey, “Without You” (4:14): Exotic and sensual. Reminds me of the siren’s song from Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid.
6. Maroon 5, “Must Get Out (3:59):
This track might have the fattest hook of all on a remarkably hook-heavy album.
7. Phil Roy, “Melt” (3:47):
Speaking of hooks, I’d never heard of this singer/songwriter till a week ago, but the guy’s arrangement and performance make for a parade of drop-dead transitions in tone and intensity, from Leonard Cohen through Coldplay, before the melody opens up into a gorgeous hook. Impressive popcraft.
8. Clinic,
“Harmony” (4:01): Haven’t spent much time with this record, but I love the punk-enabled art-snob vibe, which pilfers the Stranglers, Supertramp and Laurie Anderson while holding on tightly to its own winning insouciance.
9. Rhett Miller, “Come Around” (3:41): I was torn between this midtempo gem with its big melodic hook and Miller’s wry “This Is What I Do.” In this context, the hook wins.
10. Aimee Mann, “This Is How It Goes” (3:47): In which the Mistress of Melodic Melancholy unexpectedly channels Karen Carpenter in the chorus, and it turns out to make all kinds of sense.
11. Coldplay, “The Scientist” (5:09): Chris Martin
seems to have no problem revealing his appreciation for Paul McCartney on this piano ballad/anthem whose subtle build-up resembles that of “Let It Be.” So restrained, but what a finish.
12. Taxiride, “This Time” (3:23): The most dramatic track on the young Aussie band’s delightful second album, with Beach Boys flavorings setting off the grandeur of the payoff. I can’t believe they still don’t have a U.S. deal.
13. Mackenzie BC, “Little Things” (2:55): Man, what magic this guy can make with multitracked vocals and an acoustic guitar.
14. Lynn Miles, “I’m the Moon” (4:59): I know nothing about this writer-singer except that she’s Canadian and records for the Okra-Tone label, but this track, which opens the album Unravel, picks up where Emmylou Harris’ brilliant Wrecking Ball left off.
15. Tom Petty/HBs, “Can’t Stop the Sun” (4:58): Beatlesque verses, symphonic choruses and an incendiary rave-up climax by America’s greatest rock & roll band make this track a tour de force. Bet it sounded awesome live the other night.
16. Rolling Stones, “No Expectations” (3:57): Beck has been doing this stoic lament from the great Beggars Banquet onstage, and the song seems to directly inform Sea Change in general and “The Golden Age” in particular.
17. Beck, “Sunday Sun” (Geffen, 4:44): It’s songs, arrangements and production like this shimmering, expansive track that make Sea Change the leading candidate to wind up as my album of the year.
18. Ryan Adams, “Dear Chicago” (2:12): In which the terminally romantic Ryan tortures himself with vividly recalled details of a special weekend that can never be relived.
19. James Taylor, “September Grass” (4:50): Suffused with nostalgia. A fall classic, like Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” or the World Series. Bud Scoppa

PIECE OF HIS HEART
The Heart and Soul of Bert Berns (Universal):
Who knew Doug Morris had the heart and soul of a rock critic? This 10-song tribute to his songwriting mentor places the spotlight on a Russian kid from the Bronx who played classical piano and wrote and produced some of the most gut-wrenching soul classics of their day. In a dynamic seven-year period that culminated in his untimely death from a bum ticker at the age of 38 in 1967, Berns collaborated with the likes of Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Solomon Burke, the Isley Brothers, the Drifters and the McCoys. His trips to pre-Castro Cuba and swinging ‘60s London inspired such compositions as "Piece of My Heart," popularized by Joplin with Big Brother, though originally written for Aretha Franklin’s older sister Erma. "Twist and Shout" was covered by the Beatles, but its Latin-flavored beat colored his production of the song for the Isley Brothers. Morris bypasses Berns’ more well-known pop hits such as McCoys’ "Hang On Sloopy" and the Strangeloves’ "I Want Candy" in favor of the longing and pain behind Freddie Scott’s "Are You Lonely for Me Baby," Garnett Mimms’ "Cry Baby" and Solomon Burke’s "Cry to Me." Berns’ incredible palette comes across on Hoagy Lands’ sub-three-minute masterpice "White Gardenia," complete with its bullfight sound effects and mournful horns, bursting out of its grooves in anticipation of the wide-screen scope of modern rock & roll. On The Heart and Soul of Bert Berns, Morris makes a good case for this now-forgotten musical giant as a worthy candidate for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He won’t get any argument from us.—Roy Trakin

VEGAN PUPPETS?

Eyes Adrift, Eyes Adrift (spinART): Though composed of alumni of three monumental PoMo bands—the Meat PuppetsCurt Kirkwood, Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic and Sublime’s Bud Gaugh—Eyes Adrift sounds less like a supergroup burdened by history than a joyful confab of inspired music freaks. Kirkwood’s psychedelic, melodic songcraft is as beguiling as ever, notably on the trumpet-garnished “Sleight of Hand,” the riff-driven “Alaska,” the lovely “Blind Me” and “Solid.” Novoselic, meanwhile, lends an appealing drawl to “Dottie Dawn & Julie Jewel” and two other tracks. Gaugh’s drumming lends consistent punch to this trippy, inventive disc. —SG

 

HEBE-HOP HOPEFUL
MC Paul Barman, Paullelujah! (Coup D’Etat)
: This celebrated Jersey shlomie, Brown grad and MC is a regular renaissance man, an accomplished illustrator, puzzlemaker and palindrome expert whose hebe-hop prog-rap wordplay has been nurtured by De La Soul producer Prince Paul. His full-length bow includes a graduation address about educational reform set to Handel’s "Messiah" (the title track) and a Ken Nordine-style free-jazz spoken-word piece ("A Somewhat New Medium"). The single, "Cock Mobster," based on the B-52’s riff, checklists a series of fantasy celebrity sexual conquests, including writer Cynthia Ozick and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, along with a confession he’d "jizz early inside Liz Hurley." Alternately highbrow and unabashedly vulgar, Paul Barman is a geek, and he’s not afraid to show it. —RT

IN THE CHANGER
Chris Mays, GM/PD, KMTT, Seattle
Mark Knopfler, The Rag Picker's Dream (Warner Bros.):
"A little on the folky side, but I LOVE the first four songs!"
Various, Authenticity (Blue Note): "A great collection, with Norah Jones’ ‘Come Away With Me," Cassandra Wilson's version of [Dylan’s] ‘Shelter From the Storm’ and a cool track from Soulive featuring Dave Matthews."
Steve Earle, Jerusalem (E-Squared/Artemis): "The best Steve Earle in a long time, maybe ever."
Neko Case, Blacklisted (Bloodshot): "Haunting melodies—a beautifully crafted CD."
Shawn Colvin, Cover Girl (Columbia/CRG): "Dragged this out a couple weeks ago. Great versions of classic songs, especially Tom Waits’ "Heart of Saturday Night" and Dylan’s ‘You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome…’"

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Auto Focus (Sony Pictures Classics)
Premise:
The secret life of seemingly mild-mannered Hogan’s Heroes star Bob Crane, who was surreptiously filming his series of kinky sexual liaisons; based on the Robert Graysmith book, Auto Focus: The Murder of Bob Crane.
Stars: Greg Kinnear plays Bob, with Willem Dafoe as his video-technician cohort, Kurt Fuller as Werner Klemperer’s Colonel Klink and Mrs. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, as Crane’s wife.
Director: Paul Schrader in another one of his dark modes, a la Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, with producers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who penned biopics on similarly edgy, fringe celebs like Ed Wood, Larry Flynt and Andy Kaufman.
Thumbs Up: The critical buzz is pretty good, insisting this is an unflinching, stylized look at sexual hypocrisy in the ’70s.
Thumbs Down: Crane’s son, who has put many of the photos his dad took on www.Bobcrane.com, insists the movie takes liberties with his father’s life.
Website: http://www.sonyclassics.com/autofocus/index_flash.html offers the usual information in a spinning roulette wheel of fortune, with links to a Hogan’s Hero site
Soundtrack: Sanctuary release includes vintage songs from Count Five, the Sonics, the Four Tops, Barbara Mason, Spirit, B.T. Express and Brass Construction, more recent material from Clem Snide and Buster Poindexter and original score excerpts by Angelo Badalamenti.

Abandon (Paramount Pictures)
Premise: A psychological thriller about a university student (Katie Holmes) experiencing strange visions of her ex-boyfriend who vanished mysteriously with an inference that she’s somehow involved, as a newly sober detective struggling to pull his life back together (Benjamin Bratt).
Stars: Holmes, Bratt, Zooey Deschanel, Fred Ward, Will McCormack.
Director: Traffic, Rules of Engagement and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer screenwriter Stephen Gaghan’s feature debut.
Thumbs Up: Gaghan’s previous work includes scripts for NYPD Blue, The Practice and Shaun Cassidy’s short-lived, but creepy supernatural thriller, American Gothic, proving he’s at home with this genre.
Thumbs Down: Holmes and Bratt look good, but do they have what it takes to carry a film by themselves?
Website: www.Abandonmovie.com lets you explore the various locations around campus as it sets up the plot machinations.
Soundtrack: The Silverline album features the Clint Mansell score.

Formula 51 (Sony Pictures)
Premise: A designer-drug chemist’s grand scheme for one last score unravels in a series of double-crosses set against the Liverpool “rave” scene.
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty), Meat Loaf.
Director: Ronny Yu (Bride of Chucky), with a screenplay by first-time writer Stel Pavlou, who was working in an English liquor store when he penned the script, which he sent to Jackson, who agreed to produce and star.
Thumbs Up: Jackson is usually good, even if the material isn’t.
Thumbs Down: The guy who did Bride of Chucky ?
Website: www.Sonypictures.com features Dub Pistols’ “Official Chemical” and a plot synopsis by the numbers.
Soundtrack: Strangely, for a film set in the acid house scene, none.

The Ring (DreamWorks)
Premise: Pegged as a combination Sixth Sense, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby, this surrealistic horror movie about a female journalist who discovers a disturbing underground video with a bizarre history—everyone who’s seen it dies within seven days—is based on a Japanese novel by Suzuki Koji, which became a film.
Stars: Mulholland Drive’s alluring Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson (Windtalkers), Brian Cox.
Director: Gore Verbinski (The Mexican, Mouse Hunt, Pirates of the Caribbean).
Thumbs Up: Rick Baker does the makeup effects, and the dreamscapes reportedly resemble the paintings of Salvador Dali.
Thumbs Down: Can it really bring anything new to the ghost genre?
Website: www.dreamworks.com/Ring presents plot elements in a suitably creepy manner, while the site, at http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/374/374128p1.html, allows you to see the cursed video itself.
Soundtrack: None.

The Grey Zone (Lions Gate)
Premise: The story of Jews forced to work in the crematoria at Auschwitz, as one such group discovers a 14-year-old girl who has survived the gas chambers and plans the first armed uprising in the concentration camp.
Stars: Harvey Keitel, David Arquette, Daniel Benzali, Steve Buscemi, Natasha Lyonne and Mira Sorvino.
Director: Tim Blake Nelson, who starred in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and previously directed the controversial O, the high school takeoff on Othello. Nelson wrote the screenplay for the film, based on his play and the book, Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, by Miklos Nyiszli.
Thumbs Up: A gripping, brave account of a little-known part of Holocaust history, focusing on what people will do in order to survive.
Thumbs Down: Could be terminally depressing.
Website: www.thegreyzonethefilm.com expresses the moral dilemma in no uncertain terms.
Soundtrack: None.

Real Woman Have Curves (Newmarket Films)
Premise: An East L.A. story about an overweight Mexican-American teenager struggling to break free of expectations and find some measure of self-esteem as she balances the conflict between college and having to go to work in the sweatshop where her sister and mother work. Based on the play written by Josefina Lopez, who co-wrote the screenplay. An HBO Films production whose success at Sundance led to a theatrical release through the company that distributed Memento and Donnie Darko.
Stars: America Ferrera as the girl, the great Lupe Ontiveros (so good as the woman with the dog in As Good As It Gets and the fan who kills Selena in Selena) as her mother, Ingrid Oliu as her sister and George Lopez.
Director: Patricia Cardoso in her feature debut.
Thumbs Up: The trailers are sublime, and the film a sleeper in the mode of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Thumbs Down: Will Anglo audiences relate?
Website: www.RealWomenHaveCurves.com offers just the facts.
Soundtrack: A rollicking Latino-flavored record on Jellybean BenitezJellybean Recordings that mixes old and new, with Aterciopelados, Banda Llaneros, Perez Prado, Marisela, Eliades Ochoa, Ozomatli and Lila Downs.

THE RENO DUET
by Lisa Teasley

This serialized story, which runs weekly in this space, is about two boys from Reno, Eddie & Penguin, who come down to LA to make it with their band. They're 21, 22-ish, one's white, one's black, they're funny & witty, and have been close since they were 10.

10)
Eddie
: Pen and me, we’ve known each other since we were ten. He was sitting on the step in his backyard of dirt, looking all Southern and shit. He saw me staring at him from the alley but pretended I wasn’t there. I suppose he was waiting for a “person”—his code word for black. But he finally said a couple words to me, and I was shocked to find out he was from San Francisco.

 

I remember the day he discovered the two old persons living on the opposite corner of Quincy Street, that’s when I saw his first real smile. Mom, that sorry little bitch, was on my ass about pal-ing ’round with a nigger. Fucking whore for a mother, and she thinks she’s got standards to live up to. Never regretted kicking her sorry ass out. I could make just as much money as she ever did, and I took care of the bills from the time I was 11 anyway, so why the fuck would I need her?

 

Pen thinks I don’t know which casino she works at. Thinks she cleaned up her life and all, but I know she’s still pulling tricks on the side. Pen is always so lucky when he drops a quarter in the slot but he’d never go more than twice. He could always pass for 21, and I remember him talking about the woman with “the name” who dealt him a killer hand. The second one he lost, of course, but he still tipped her hard. “Tip ’em hard, Pen’s always saying.

Visit www.lisateasley.com to read past excerpts you might have missed.

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL
YEE HAW!!! This Midwestern girl has once again found her roots, and I’m not talking about the grown-out highlights in my hair—which desperately need touching up, but that costs money. Although this is a great gig, I’m not getting rich writing this column. I will, however, accept donations to the “Denise Needs Pampering” fund that I’m setting up on my own behalf.

My best friend came to visit last week, and it’s taken me all week to recover. We tore it up like we were 21 again. The problem is that we’re not that young anymore, and I can’t bounce back like I used to. She was such a good sport: Although she’s not a country fan, she attended the KZLA Country Bash with me on Saturday. We ate greasy food, drank multiple 16 oz Coors Lights and received numerous catcalls and propositions. I swear—cowboys are the horniest bunch of men, especially after a case of Coors Light. This week’s cocktail is dedicated to beer drinking, bull riding, country music and all of those horny, drunk cowboys who were the butt of my jokes last Saturday. Cheers!

Horny Bull
1 1/4 oz. tequila (nothing fancy—cowboys will drink the cheap shit—they’re real men)
Fill glass with ice and orange juice

There was something annoying but adorable about those inebriated cowboys stumbling around in their cowboy hats, boots and skin-tight Wranglers spitting chewing tobacco and slurring sexual innuendos. Believe it or not, they didn’t even irritate me. Instead, I laughed and made fun of them, knowing they were harmless—unlike the slim balls I encounter at Hollywood clubs. These guys, generally, are gentlemen. They know the two magic words, let ladies go first, hold the door and call me “ma’am.” Usually I hate being called “ma’am,” but it’s OK if they’re wearing a cowboy hat. They don’t know any better; that’s what their mamas taught them. Plus, there’s something unusually sexy about a man who can tame wild horses and ride enormous, angry creatures with sharp horns. I’m a little wild—do you think a cowboy could tame me? I’m always up for a challenge. Knowing myself, I’m sure the novelty would wear off as soon as I mention that it would be nice to see him in an Armani suit, prompting him to look at me like I was speaking a foreign language. I think I’ll stick to the urban-types and leave the cowboys for all of the two-steppin’ gals out there.

De’s LA bar pick of the week: It’s almost impossible to find “real live” cowboys in Los Angeles—for the most part they don’t exist. Finding a country bar is like finding a cocktail for under $10 in Hollywood—difficult, but if you’re determined you can find one. I have found what I believe to be the only country bar in close vicinity. Crazy Jack’s Country Bar & Grill in Burbank can be described as nothing less than out of the ordinary. This joint is a little bit country and a little bit rockabilly. When I walked in, I thought I was back home in Indiana at the Moose Lodge. The crowd was eclectic, older and definitely interesting to observe from the sidelines. The dance floor was small but packed with swingers and line dancers. If you looking for more of a “typical” boot-scooting type of place and don’t mind driving, then try Montana’s in San Dimas. The place is huge and packed with line-dancers and cowboy hats. Gals—you’re sure to find your very own cowboy to take home and try to tame. No matter what, it’ll be a fun ride—even if it’s only for eight seconds.

De’s diss of the week: How dare anyone call himself or herself a country music fan and leave during the performance of a country legend—Willie Nelson? This happened at the Country Bash last weekend. Fifteen artists performed, Willie being the last. It was pretty late when he got onstage, and over half of the amphitheater cleared out when he started performing. What a slap in the face for him after such a long career. Even worse, those who did stay didn’t stand up, cheer or sing along when he played “Mama, don’t let your babies…” Come on!!! It’s a classic. I stood up and cheered loud enough for everyone, which is the reason I didn’t have a voice at the beginning of the week. Since nobody else was appreciating him, I weaseled my way down to the fifth row and cheered him on properly, like a true fan.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Send your compliments, love letters and general admirations to my e-mail link below. Until next week—hugs & kisses.
Denise Bayles

Contributors: Denise Bayles, Hanna Bolte, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Guy W.T. Goggles, Mike Morrison, Jon O’Hara, Mark Pearson, Lisa Teasley, Roy Trakin

Editor: Bud Scoppa

 

DIGITAL DRIVES WMG'S FISCAL Q3
Steve Cooper explains. (8/4a)
STREAMING PROVIDES BRIGHT SPOT FOR SONY MUSIC
Feeling the full COVID-19 effect. (8/4a)
COUNTRY STREAMING IS A THING
It's more than just Luke Combs. (8/4a)
NEAR TRUTHS: A HEALTHY MARKET
Star power. (8/1a)
GRAMMY CHEW, ALBUMS: 30 FOR EIGHT
Thoughts while noshing six feet apart. (8/4a)
BTS BRINGS IT
They're so dreamy.
VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
IS IT CHRISTMAS?
No, but we're thinking about cookies.
WOKE MUSIC
Protest songs that sound like now.
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