Will Shaq rap? Will the Zen Master get all philosophical? Will Jerry Buss’ coiff get deconstructed? Most crucially, will Mad Dog reprise his Mormon fertility dance?


In Which We Slow the Pace and Work on Getting Through the Next Two-and-a-Half Months
The high drama of spring has ended with the conclusion of the NBA Playoffs. We now return to the lazy, hazy days of summer, when once again we come to grips with the languor of baseball, catch up on our reading, slather on the sunblock, throw another steak on the barbecue...and wait for football season to start.

1. R&R Convention:
Where the hookers at? Got any bump?

2. Supertramp reissues (A&M/UME): One decade’s guilty pleasure is another decade’s godhead. So it is with the arty/poppy British hitmakers of the 1070s, whose four best longplayers—Crime of the Century, Crisis? What Crisis?, Even in the Quietest Moments and Breakfast in America—have just been reissued. Start with the hearty Breakfast and work backward. In retrospect, this band sounds Hall of Fame-worthy.

3. Insomnia: With the NBA Playoffs concluded, couch potatoes everywhere will be venturing back to the cineplex. But what to see? Christopher Nolan’s big-budget follow-up to Memento may not have the audacious inventiveness of that landmark film noir, but the Al Pacino/Robin Williams starrer beats the bejeezus out of anything else in wide release at the moment.

4. Scrubs (NBC): The dreaded time of reruns and ever-sleazier reality shows is upon us, but there is some respite from the vidiocy. It comes in the form of this audacious hospital comedy—the most cynically intelligent sitcom you’ll find on a major network. It’s no wonder NBC has slotted Scrubs in the golden 8:30 Thursday slot on its fall lineup. In the meantime, catch up on the series’ consistently sharp-witted first season. Tuesdays at 9:30.

5. The U.S. Open: No, Bethpage Black isn’t Betty Page’s daughter or a former member of the Pixies, it’s the lengthy and intimidating public course on Long Island where the world’s best golfers are going at it in one of the four major tournaments—the ones that Tiger Woods has come to own. Will he do it again? NBC sure hopes so, especially after the anticlimactic NBA Finals.

6. Design your own Nike running shoe: The Nike site has a very cool offer if you’re into running or just cruising around in remarkably comfortable sneaks. For 90 bucks, you can design your own version of the terrific Air Pegasus 2000—pick the width, type of traction, degree of cushion and color scheme (there are six variations, which you can preview before you choose). You an also opt for a personal ID of up to 10 characters (no thanks). Order now and they’ll show up at your door in early July.

7. Laker Parade highlights: Will Shaq rap? Will the Zen Masterget all philosophical? Will Jerry Buss’ coiff get deconstructed? Most crucially, will Mad Dog reprise his Mormon fertility dance? All will be revealed on ESPN Sports Center and every L.A. newscast on Friday and beyond.

8. Minority Report: Cop Tom Cruise busts folks for future crimes in Spielberg's sci-fi actioner. It's likely to give John Ashcroft ideas. Remember, if you ask questions, the terrorists win.

9. Blood on the Tracks live: Not with Dylan, not even an amazing simulation, but a big-hearted homage to the 1974 classic performed by New York-based Mary Lee’s Corvette, fronted by Mary Lee Kortes and featuring veteran axeman Andy York. The band recorded a performance of the album at Arlene’s Grocery and will undoubtedly be selling copies Saturday night at Joe’s Pub, where they’ll do it again. With the Mike Hunt Band performing Exile on Main Street. Thanks to Sony music hound Keith McCarthy for the tip.

10. Subway Series: It’s payback time at Shea Saturday, when Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens comes to the plate and we all find out what retribution the Mets have in store following the infamous splintered-bat-throwing incident with Mike Piazza in the 2000 World Series. Retaliation is dictated by baseball’s unwritten rules; wonder if Clemens will show up wearing Barry Bonds-style body armor…

So while Laker fans watched Chick Hearn botch Robert Horry's introduction, U.S. soccer fans were celebrating Team U.S.A.'s move to the second round of the 2002 FIFA World Cup—as well as hoping to catch up on their sleep. This year's World Cup is being held in South Korea and Japan, making live coverage something of an after-hours event. So, while the U.S. lost to Poland in their final first round match play (3-1), that's a good thing, as now South Korea will play Italy and the U.S. plays Mexico in the second round. I'm putting my money on the U.S.—let's go Landon! The U.S.-Mexico game is Sunday (6/16) at 11:30 p.m. PST followed by Brazil vs. Belgium at 4:30 a.m. on Monday (6/17) (Brazil should kill them). Second rounds start tonight w/Germany vs. Paraguay (I'm taking Germany to go to the final four) at 11:30 p.m. (PST), followed by Denmark vs. England (Beckham's Mohawk says it all) at 4:30 a.m. (PST) on Saturday. Prepare your coffee, beer, tequila and pizza, it's
going to be an exciting second round—and who says L.A. goes to bed early? —Hanna Bolte

Venerable Hollywood dream factory MGM has its financial sites pinned on this John Woo-directed World War II movie. Nicolas Cage stars as an Army officer whose hesitation under fire caused several deaths in his former platoon and is reassigned to protect a Navajo whose secret, unwritten code is vital to the war effort in the Pacific. The studio pulled the film back from its planned opening last November in the wake of Sept. 11, so a lot is riding on this reportedly $100 million-plus production. Advance word is the action scenes are spectacular, and the acting Oscar-caliber. The supporting cast includes Adam Beach as the young Navajo code talker, indie stalwarts Peter Stormare (Fargo, Chocolat), Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show) and Mark Ruffalo (You Can Count On Me) along with Christian Slater. The RCA Victor soundtrack features the James Horner score. The website, www.mgm.com, offers actors’ on-set journals, a contest, soundtrack info, a prop auction, the history of World War II radio communication, information about the Navajo Code and an interactive map of the Pacific which details significant dates and events of WWII.

The Bourne Identity (Universal): Rumors of on-set trouble have plagued this Matt Damon-starring spy thriller based on the Robert Ludlum novel, with indie director Doug Liman (Swingers, Go) reportedly making an uneasy transition to big-budget action filmmaking. Hope it’s more coherent than Michael Lehmann’s Hudson Hawk…or John Woo’s M:I2 for that matter. Damon plays an amnesiac (never a good sign) who is found floating unconscious off the coast of Italy by some local fishermen. Nearly dead, he has no memory of who he is (shades of Memento), but soon discovers an implant in his hip which holds the numbers of a Swiss safe-deposit box, where he conveniently retrieves cash, a gun and several passports with aliases. He also finds out he’s multilingual, has serious fighting skills and people are trying to kill him. Oh, yeah, and he keeps getting annoying on-set phone calls from someone named Ben Affleck. Franka Potenta is the love interest, with Chris Cooper, Clive Owen and Brian Cox providing the grizzled character roles. Still, this one looks like a real long shot to fight its way through the summer clutter. The Varese Sarabande soundtrack features the music of composer John Powell (I am Sam, Rat Race, Evolution, Shrek, Chicken Run). The website, www.thebourneidentity.com, offers a trailer, a game where you can help Jason Bourne discover his identity, a photo gallery, downloads, cast and crew info and production notes.

Scooby Doo (WB): Pre-release chatter on this mix of animation and live-action based on the venerable, 30-year-old cartoon is that it’s pitched pretty young by editor-turned- director Raja Gosnell (Big Momma’s House, Home Alone 3), who apparently has eliminated much of the double-entendre drug humor. Pitched somewhere in between (on the “high” end) The Flintstones and (the low end)The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Scooby Doo is plagued by the fact there really hasn’t been a successful live-action/animated mix film since The Adventures of Roger Rabbit. Heartthrobs Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar play Fred Jones and Daphne Blake, while Matthew Lillard (Summer Catch, She’s All That, SLC Punk!) is “Shaggy,” all members of the Mystery Inc. detective team, brought in by bug-eyed Rowan Atkinson to discover what’s haunting his Spooky Island resort. If you’ll excuse the expression, if it barks like a dog and rolls over and begs like a dog… it’s got to be a dog. R-r-r-r-rough. The original soundtrack on Atlantic Records features, who else?—Shaggy—along with rap/rock collaborations featuring OutKast/Killer Mike/Sleepy Brown, Lil’ Romeo/Master P, Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker/Busta Rhymes, Kylie Minogue, Little T and One Track Mike, the Baha Men, MxPx and the Atomic Fireballs. The website, www.scoobydoo.com, offers rundowns of the major characters, buddy icons, photos, a game, screensaver, soundtrack info, product tie-ins, e-cards, puzzles, an online store with featured goods, trivia, history, etc.

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (ThinkFilm): Jodie Foster produced and plays a small supporting role as a one-legged nun in this indie film, based on the coming-of-age graphic novel by the late Chris Fuhrman. Taking place in 1974 Savannah, GA, Catholic high-schoolers act out their aggressions by creating a comic book where they are portrayed as superheroes and their teachers as villains, only to be punished for showing priests and nuns having sex. Kieran Culkin is one of the students and Vincent D’Onofrio is the teacher/soccer coach, as the group decides to play a prank on Foster that will make them school legends. The film was directed by Peter Care, making his first feature after helming R.E.M.’s 1996 tour documentary, RoadMovie. There are animation sequences from Spawn’s Todd MacFarlane. The movie’s official website is at www.dangerouslivesofaltarboys.net, which offers a flavor of the pop art feel of the film itself. Roy Trakin

Howie Day, Australia (Epic):
This 21-year-old singer-songwriter prodigy from Maine (whose version of "Help" appears on the I am Sam ST) takes his place in Sony’s stable of young classic pop-rock troubadours like Mayer, Yorn and Ondrasik. His throaty vocals convey the intimacy of Jeff Buckley (the first single, "Ghost"), the preening majesty of Bowie ("Slow Down") or the urgency of the FursRichard Butler (the rocking "Everything Else"). This DIY efort proves less is more, with naked acoustic guitars couched in a techno-enhanced Anglophile production that evokes the Walker Brosthers by way of Tony Visconti. "I want to taste love," croons Day seductively with a palpable yearning you can almost reach out and touch. —RT

Guided by Voices, Universal Truths and Cycles (Matador):
The discography of Robert Pollard’s loose musical confederation is too vast to describe here, but almost every album has a few of those moments—you know, when garage intensity meets arena grandeur in a flash of timeless rock bliss. And amid a score of brief, kaleidoscopic sketches, Universal has more than its share of songs that hit those rarefied heights. Perhaps the most giddily wonderful is “Cheyenne,” with its ravishing refrain and flashy riffage. Then there’s the churning, vaguely Celtic “Back to the Lake,” the insistent, Kinks-y “Everywhere With Helicopter” and the sweetly pithy title track. Pollard is a true heir to the great generation of ambitious pop-rock, and his superb band matches him in fury and conviction. Simon Glickman

You know that it's getting to be summer when all the free concerts start happening in the parks around the city. This Friday, get up early and head to Bryant Park, where Usher will be performing a free concert at 8:30 a.m. for Good Morning America. Not an early riser? Then head to Jones Beach that evening and catch him with Nas, Faith Evans and Mr. Cheeks on the Evolution 8701 Tour. Saturday, stop at the Knitting Factory to check out up-and-comers !!! (pronounced chik chik chik) whose Clash-meets-James Brown sound always makes for a killer live show. Openers Zero Zero are worth arriving early for as well. Sunday, local faves Rainer Maria are at Brownies with opening act Miracle of 86. Since Kyle of Rainer Maria has been busy with his solo album and Bill's been working on a new project, they might not have any new songs, but since their live shows have been few and far between over the past year, it'll be nice to see them playing all the old favorites again.
—Heidi Anne-Noel

Now riddle me this, JimBob: This Sundy’s race is whatchu call the danged ole Sirius Satellite Radio 400, comin’ atcha from the 2-Mile High-Banked Asphalt Oval of Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. How come is it, then, that them brainiacs over at Sirius are sponsorin’ Winston Cup race number 15 of 36 when them boys at NAYSKAR done made a exclusive-type dealio fer broadcastin’ races with Sirius’s only die-rekt competitor, XM Satellite Radio? Yep, sumbuddy done did them some “Sirius” skullbonin’ on this here sitcheeayshun. Whut’s innerestin’ is that Sirius is pitchin’ that whole new-fangled sattylite radio thang to race fans by sponsorin’ the race, but if’n folks git a wild hair and look into it even a little, it ain’t gonna be long befer most of ’em figger out that XM’s the one with the NAYSKAR channel. So who ya think all them race fans is gonna sign up with, if’n they sign up at all? Seems to this here objectificated observationist that Sirius is doin’ XM’s work for ’em when it comes ta markitin’ they services to race fans, but mebbe them folks know some kinda tricky bidness stuff that’d shoot raht over mah head what makes it all make sense. Shit howdy, buckwheat, all’s I know is sumbuddy’s lookin’ like a chump—but then agin it ain’t really any o’ mine. So how’s about some ackshul perdiktin’? Ah bleeve ah’ll jes’ go raht out onna limb here an pick Casey Atwood in the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge, under the tenacious wrench o’ Tony Furr, ta win it. Ah figger if they kin put them there sattylites inta space, they oughta be able figger out how ta win a dang car race. And ah know that Bud-swillin’, dope-smokin’ whippersnapper Dale Jr. ain’t no rocket scientist, but he knows a thang or two ’bout turnin’ left, so ah’m lookin’ fer the #8 Budweiser Chevy to be raht up ther in the front too. Nuff sed. —Guy W.T. Goggles

Going yard (7/11a)
I.B. will be your guide. (7/15a)
On your Marks, get set, go. (7/8a)
Half of Island's one-two punch (7/15a)
These two are tight. (7/15a)
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.

 First Name

 Last Name


Captcha: (type the characters above)