"The most unbelievable record since Oasis’ What's the Story Morning Glory. They should never have to pay taxes again."
——Ryan Adams on the new Coldplay
Are We having a Fun Year or What? Whoopee, Here Comes the Home Stretch
1. The Sopranos, Episodes One and Two (HBO):
The world's greatest TV show takes on the tumbling economy, and the most complex "mob boss" in entertainment history faces shifting loyalties, the ever-encroaching feds and his uncle's trial. But all that's cake compared to dealing with Meadow. (SG)

2. Must-hear new records: Beck, Sea Change (Geffen); Rhett Miller, The Instigator (Elektra); Ryan Adams, Demolition (Lost Highway); Kim Richey, Rise (Lost Highway), John Mayer, Inside Wants Out (Columbia reissue of 1999 self-made album), Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf (Interscope), OK Go, OK Go (Capitol), Steve Earle, Jerusalem (E Squared/Artemis). It’s been an exceptional coupla weeks for quality albums. Meanwhile, I can’t get enough of Coldplay. (BS)

3. Baseball's post-season: After struggling with the demons of their benighted history for the better part of a week, during which time their magic number seemed permanently stuck at one, the upstart Anaheim Angels snapped out of their funk in decisive fashion Thursday afternoon against the Rangers in Arlington, scoring 10 runs and finally securing the wild card. That’ll put the Halos in Yankee Stadium next week for a best-of-five matchup that would’ve seemed preposterous back in April. And you know, stranger things have happened… Aren’t you glad those knuckleheads didn’t strike? (BS)

4. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Last DJ (WB, 10/8): This concept album about the death of the rock & roll spirit is the most corrosive indictment of the record biz since the KinksLola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. With Petty’s fine whine put to good use mourning the good old days, the title track is a thinly veiled shot at a certain radio monolith, “Money Becomes King” is an irony-free indictment of selling out, while “Joe” is a tongue-in-cheek take on the cynicism of the star-making machinery. It would all be too much to bear if it weren’t for the band’s loving, Beatlesque musings, which gently evoke a kinder, gentler, more optimistic past. (RT)

5. What's wrong with the Rams? Whut’s wrong with the Rams? The main thing wrong with these here Rams is they ain’t scorin’ more points than the other team. Elementary, you might say, but the dang truth of the matter is, when whoever is in charge of player personnel let Az Hakim git away, so went the big deep threat that they had all last year. Now, they backs is aginst the wall, with Orlando Pace out and Marshall Faulk hurtin’, these guys is in real trouble. (GWTG)

6. Matthew Sweet, To Understand—The Early Recordings (Hip-O): A terrific companion piece to Time Capsule, Volcano’s compilation of Sweet’s better-known 1990s work. The prequel collects tracks from his Athens group Buzz of Delight, the Golden Palominos and Community Trolls (his acoustic project with Michael Stipe), as well as demos of two key songs that would appear on Matthew’s ’91 breakthrough, Girlfriend. Jeff Calder’s liner notes incorporate illuminating quotes from the man himself, and the package is high-grade. So why didn’t they hire a proofreader? Or was the R.E.M. classic actually titled Murmer? (BS)

7. Heeb magazine: The second issue of this self-proclaimed “New Jew Review” features a fashion spread on “Bubbes of Boca”; interviews with Screw’s Al Goldstein and Todd Solondz; why Joe Lieberman is a dickhead, and Harvey Danger’s Sean Nelson on how reading Philip Roth’s books saved him from corporate rock. (RT)

8. The song in that Levi's commercial: Air, "Playground Love," from The Virgin Suicides (Astralwerks). Wonderfully evocative use of music over visual narrative. But what is it that the guy dives into the water to retrieve from the submerged car? And who is Gordon Tracks, the guest vocalist? (BS)

9. 24 Hour Party People: This film about the evolving Manchester scene sent me back to my post-punk vinyl collection, especially Magazine, whose music isn't heard in the film but whose singer, Howard Devoto, makes a brief appearance. See below. (SG)

10. Michaels & Madden scorecard: Like the teams they analyze, the new Monday Night Football duo needed the preseason to get accustomed to each other, but the sport’s best play-by-play guy and best commentator now seem snug as a bug in a rug. Consistently classy. Have you heard anyone say they miss Dennis Miller? (BS)

Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to The Head (Capitol): "The most unbelievable record since OasisWhat's the Story Morning Glory. They should never have to pay taxes again."

Francoise Hardy, L’Integrale Disques Vogue 1962/1967 (Vogue): "How do you spell ‘babe?’"

Marianne Faithfull, Kissin Time (Virgin): "The record makes me want to wreck my room and wear makeup."

Ryan Adams, Love Is Hell (Lost Highway): “Ha-ha-ha. For me to know and you to find out (what level of suck we're really talking about?). Next year, baby…”

The Smiths, any of their records (Sire): "For sensitive American indie-rock boys. Also makes me want to wear makeup. But after applying the makeup I want to see it smudged all over a pretty girl’s face.”

Dallas +13 1/2 over ST. LOUIS

Holy moley, who woulda ever thought I’d be pickin’ the Cowboys and 13 points against the Greatest Team on Turf in week four, but dang it, them Rams have a lotta dang problems. All of a sudden, these guys are lookin’ straight down the barrel of goin’ oh-and-six. The only question here is, kin mah Cowpokes score 10-14 points. If they kin, I look like a genius.

Miami -3 over KANSAS CITY
Shoot fire, I gots to lay off the likker on Thursdays. Last week I got all juiced up and picked the danged J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets over the Fins. Well, I ain’t likkered up—yet—and even though Priest Holmes looks like the real deal, he’s dang sure gonna have a hard time runnin’ on this here Miami deefense. So I’ll take the Miamis.
—Guy W.T. Goggles
(Year-to-date: 3-1)

For a change of pace on the West Coast, without having to deal with air travel, try your luck South of the Border—fishing! Ensenada is only 80km below San Diego, about an hour drive, and couldn't be hotter for albacore and yellowtail. After crossing the border at San Ysidro, you pass the cesspool that is Tijuana and the endless frat party in Rosarita (although Yaki Taco is the best asada taco on the planet), then get to the cliffs and blue water of Ensenada. Accommodations are reasonable—$115 per night for a junior suite at the Coral Hotel and Marina, and many of the fishing boats leave from there. The hotel is clean, and the spa, pools and restaurant provide enough to do for everyone.

We went out at 4 a.m. with Mike from We Hook 'Em Sportfishing (www.wehookem.com) aboard Schatzi, took on live bait and off we went. Typically, the sport fish are 15-30 miles offshore, although this trip they were out at about 45 miles. We picked up seven albacore on the troll and five more on light tackle with live bait (average weight 20-25 lbs.). Although we lost almost as many as we landed, one school even provided a quad-hook up. Nothing better than four Penn 35s with their drag screaming at the same time.

In addition, any floating kelp patties will hold fish (albies, yellows and dorado) —no matter the size of the flotsam. Mike spotted a strand of kelp no bigger than your leg, we released live bait on free lines and the yellowtail game was on. When a 20 lb. fish swimming at 15-20 knots hits your bait on light tackle, you know it!

By day’s end, we had bagged 12 albacore tuna and seven yellowtail. By the time you get back to the Coral, the fish is filleted and on ice, ready for sashimi and the grill.

If you aren't too tired from the hard work of fishing, there are plenty of great places to eat. My faves are Rey de Sol, with a killer Caesar salad (remember, the Caesar was invented in Tijuana) and fare ranging from escargot to chicken cordon bleu to asada to, of course, albacore. For more tradional Baja California eats, the Taquaria taco bar provides amazing pastor (pork) and fish tacos. Most places in the city not only welcome diners who bring in their own fresh fish, they'll actually prepare it to your liking.

The return to the States doesn't take as long as you might think. Although there is increased security, border crossings move pretty well. If you hit either the San Ysidro or Otay Mesa crossings before noon, you should be able to be back in the U.S. with no more than a 30-45-minute delay. Todd Hensley

Moonlight Mile (Touchstone Pictures): Caspar and City of Angels director Brad Silberling’s story, based on the murder of his girlfriend, actress Rebecca Schaeffer, stars up-and-coming star Jake Gyllenhaal, who overcomes his grief by getting tight with his ex’s parents, played by Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon. The reviews range from “emotional triumph” to “maudlin melodrama,” and the title’s based on a Rolling Stones song, so it could pack some wallop. The Epic Records soundtrack is a classic-rock goldmine, featuring the title track as well as Sly & the Family Stone, T. Rex, Travis, David Bowie, Elton John, Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan and Robert Plant. The website, www.touchstonepictures.go.com/moonlightmile, offers a synopsis, information on cast and crew, soundtrack selections, director commentary, photos, downloads and a streamed trailer.

Sweet Home Alabama (Touchstone Pictures): The second movie release of the week that uses a rock song in its title, this Reese Witherspoon vehicle should go a long way towards telling if America’s newest favorite sweetheart can open a movie. The premise—successful New York fashion designer returns to the South to get a divorce from her good old boy husband so she can marry a millionaire—is just as flimsy as the one in Legally Blonde, and that turned out to be an unlikely box office smash. Patrick Dempsey’s her Manhattan beau and Matthew McConaughey lookalike Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind) plays the bubba she left behind. The movie was directed by TV veteran Andy Tennant (Anna and the King, Fools Rush In), so don’t expect The Godfather. The Hollywood Records soundtrack features Shedaisy’s countrified version of the title track, as well as Avril Lavigne, Ryan Adams, Uncle Kracker, Dolly Parton, Norah Jones, Shannon McNally, Freestylers and George Fenton. The website, www.sweet-home-alabama.com, gives you the story, character bios, multimedia downloads, a trailer, e-cards, a style-shaper game and a quiz that tells you your ideal mate.

The Tuxedo (DreamWorks Pictures): Jackie Chan is a taxi-driver with a wild traffic record who is assigned to chauffeur a suave millionaire who turns out to be a secret agent. When the spy gets hurt, he gives the cabbie a weapons-grade suit that, when put on, turns its wearer into a kung-fu dynamo, with the lovely and talented Jennifer Love Hewitt his sidekick. After the two hugely successful Rush Hour movies, Chan is on the cusp of becoming the kind of superstar here in America he is in the rest of the world. First-time filmmaker Kevin Donovan, previously an award-winning commercial director, reportedly helms the proceedings with a light comic touch. The Varese Sarabande soundtrack features the original score by John Debney and Christophe Beck. The website, www.dreamworks.com/thetuxedo, is an elaborate, kinetic affair with plenty of animation, sound effects, and a cell phone-like devise that allows you to access various features on the film in a clever way.

The Man From Elysian Fields (Samuel Goldwyn): Andy Garcia (who took the project under his wing after receiving a script from the producers) plays a struggling writer living in Pasadena with his stunning wife (ER’s Juliana Margulies) and son. Unable to make a living, he enters a Faustian bargain to become a male escort with none other than a very, very devilish Mick Jagger. The rock legend, looking like his character in Performance aged about 40 years, plays the head of the titular service who yearns to make the recalcitrant Anjelica Huston, the backer of his business and chief client, his wife. James Coburn co-stars as an aging Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (and role model for the Garcia character) who encourages the failed writer to sleep with his wife (Olivia Williams) and help him complete his novel. The tale of love lost and regained was directed by George Hickenlooper, the guy who created the original short film on which Slingblade was based and has been working on a documentary about legendary L.A. scenester and disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer. The website, www.elysianfieldsmovie.com, offers a plot synopsis, cast biographies, film clips and background information.
Roy Trakin

Doug Martsch, Now You Know (Warner Bros.)
: In which the frontman for Boise-based PoMo guitar ravers Built to Spill channels the acoustic country blues by way of slide legend Fred McDowell’s groundbreaking open-tuning technique. The album serves as a primer to the development of the rock guitar, evoking both the bottleneck twang of Leo Kottke (“Offer”) and the Olde English pastoral reel of John Fahey (“Window”). The psychedelic jams his band is known for don’t emerge until the coda of “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind on Jesus),” which starts off petitioning the lord and ends as a full-throttle metal salute, while “Impossible” climbs the stairway to heaven, climaxing in a cathartic wah-wah peak. (RT)

Sondra Lerche, Faces Down (Astralwerks):
This 19-year-old Norwegian writer/artist is a postmodernist in the classic sense—he mixes and matches disparate stylistic elements with a Beck-like impunity, and his cultural roots tend to refract these elements into odd shapes, making Lerche’s debut album that much more engagingly idiosyncratic. On “Dead Passengers,” he employs a bossa nova groove and midcentury “di-di-di-di” female backing vocals to tell a ghost story, while on “You Know So Well,” High Llama Sean O’Hagan’s strings combine with Lerche’s pliant vocal for a lushness reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright. Elsewhere, he purveys Bacharach cool (“Virtue and Wine”) and Frank & Nancy kitsch (“Modern Nature”) with an abundance of affection and a delightful absence of irony.
Bud Scoppa 

A big part of the exhilaration I experienced watching 24 Hour Party People, Michael Winterbottom’s kinetic, funny, wittily constructed chronicle of Manchester’s post-punk music scene, was seeing some musical heroes onscreen. In particular, I never imagined I’d see Howard Devoto in a quasi-mainstream film, and his cameo (commenting sardonically on a scene in which a younger actor plays him in the late ‘70s, caught in flagrante with the narrator’s wife) is a delight. Devoto, a co-founder of the Buzzcocks, left that band in the hands of singer/songwriter Pete Shelley and went off to form Magazine, a cerebral, eclectic group that ended up recording several albums for Virgin. Though given very short shrift in the film, Magazine influenced quite a few PoMo bands. Blending huge, scorching guitar chords with funk grooves and frosty keyboard textures, the band’s sonics formed a stylish foundation for Devoto’s heady lyrics and discursive vocals. That they recorded covers of Sly & the Family Stone and Captain Beefheart songs gives an indication of the band’s copious stylistic range. Naturally, the film sent me scurrying to my collection to revisit my favorite Magazine sides, most of which have been gathered into the strong anthology Rays & Hail. The best albums are probably their debut, Real Life, and the triumphant The Correct Use of Soap, but the live album Play (out of print, but click the link and search the title for vinyl info) is also strikingly consistent. For a much more extensive CD comp, try 2000’s three-disc Maybe It’s Right to Be Nervous Now. Next time: we leave Manchester for a quick visit to the music of Leeds, circa 1978-80. Simon Glickman

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.

: Don’t know why I’m feelin’ like I’m feelin’. Like talkin’. But Eddie’s in one of his moods. Livin’ in his fuckin’ tub.


I saw the body up close. The dude that landed in Duke’s awnin’. His face was calm, he didn’t look dead. All that blood, but he looked like the life was still in him. The kind of thing you’d think would haunt you. His face. But I know, for some reason, I’ll sleep tonight. I thought it’d freeze me up, fuck me up to see a dead body, man, but I’m feelin’ kind of free.


Like maybe it won’t be that bad. To catch that last wild moment, when you hit the clouds, and instead of fallin’, you glide. That’s how dude looked. Like he was glidin’.      

I’m gonna call up my woman. Urs won’t mind if I wake her. She’ll understand that I just gotta hear that voice. My Sweet Bush.


Ursula: Pennie, honey, it’s so late. What time is it?


Penguin: Does it matter, baby? Can I come over?


Ursula: And you think I’m going to get up, drive all the way from Pasadena to Hollywood to pick you up? I’ve got a meeting in the morning, and I’m tired. I just got to sleep. The babe was keeping me up until maybe an hour ago, and you woke us up.


Penguin: I can take the van. Eddie’s asleep in the fuckin’ tub. And I have to go to the bathroom! ’Sides, just ’cause you’re up doesn’t mean the baby’s up. It’s a fetus anyway, blowin’ sleep bubbles in your belly. Feel it? Gurgle, gurgle. Come on, Sweet Bush, lemme come over. Let me slurp you up.

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

Woof! Woof! It’s just another dog day afternoon in the Valley—literally. It’s been hot as hell, and the only action in my life is the dreams I have about a certain bad-boy Hip-hop star from Detroit. As I’m scouring the liner notes of Eminem’s current CD, The Eminem Show, just hoping for a glimpse at his new buff body, a question pops into my head: Who are the biggest dogs of all—men or women? Because, let me tell you, I can hang with the best of them. This week I’m dedicating my cocktail to the inner dog in all of us. This is one of my original recipes that I made it up while bartending in Indianapolis.

Three-Legged Dog
1 oz. Captain Morgan
1 oz. Malibu rum
oz. amaretto
Splash cranberry juice
Splash 7-up
Shake and serve over ice

I think men get a bad rap a lot of the time. Really, have you ever seen Sex and the City? That shit is true! I know men write it, but I have to say they’re right on. If you guys really knew what we tell our girlfriends about you, you would never come out in public again. I’m talking very intimate details, and we’re ruthless. We’ll drop you faster than you can say, “Was it good for you?” based on these intimate details. Recently I was at a party, and a woman I had just met described a man she went out with before she got married. She held up her pinky and said two words—“cocktail sausage”—and I haven’t stopped laughing since. We’re mean, very mean. Don’t get me wrong, I love men! I love your abs, your arms and your five o’clock shadows. But I love talking about your most impressive parts almost as much. You guys might glare at us with your tongues hanging out, and have boyish talks about breast size, but we are definitely the biggest dogs of all, because we name names.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: The Cat and Fiddle Pub and Restaurant on Sunset in Hollywood is the perfect place to have one of these ever-so-intimate sharing sessions. If you go during the week, you’ll be more likely to get a table in their cozy outdoor courtyard. It’s quieter out there—you’ll be sure not to miss a word. You must order food to sit in that section, and the Britannica-style pub grub is wonderful. The weekends are packed with the typical Hollywood pretty people types. Pick one out and create your very own intimate story.

De’s diss of the week: There are dogs, and then there are DOGS! I’m talking about the ones that you’re afraid to walk in front of, for the fear of getting grabbed in places nobody but the guy you’re sleeping next to should grab. This is the feeling I’ve gotten any time I’ve attempted to go in Pat’s Cocktail in Studio City. I went there because I know the bartender, but it’s definitely not the type of place I would send a group of good-looking girls. The crowd is a little “rough.” The men there don’t care if you’re cute; the only requirement is that you have a pulse. The only way a female should ever go in there is if a hockey team accompanies her.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Click on the link below and send me love letters, hate mail, questions, comments, or if you want to help me out with my Eminem infatuation I would be ever indebted. Denise Bayles

A not-so-subtle reminder to fill out that ballot. (10/15a)
The lives behind live music. (10/14a)
The Grammy chief takes our call. (10/14a)
It will rain again this fall--we guarantee it. (10/13a)
First music in 15 years. (10/14a)
Bring your umbrella.
Mulling possible surprises.
Why not wear a mask indoors?
What drugs will help us get there?

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