"I know Karen must get burned out more than once in a while, she must get a little jaded here and there; so how is it that she seems like a white-hot beacon of positive energy every time I see her? I'm not kidding, even though Karen is probably rolling her eyes right now."
——Dan Wilson
of Semisonic
Are We Having Fun Yet? Yeah, Baby, Yeah!
August would be our least favorite month were it not for one very special day: the birthday of our beloved Ivana B. Adored. Starting at HITS as a lowly seamstress back in the late ’80s (she came to the magazine because of its glorification of music), Ivana diligently worked her way up through the ranks, eventually attaining the rarefied title of President. This was an important promotion, because at long last she was empowered to OFFICIALLY boss everyone around. Sure, she can be infuriating, but Karen—as her friends have come to call her—makes up for it with her infectious laughter and an utter lack of cynicism. Because of our unconditional love and admiration, we’ve started assembling a sort of virtual birthday party for our girl as she turns…um…29. Watch this space throughout the day as additional gala, extra-special stuff accumulates.

Karen, we hope that you have a truly wonderful birthday!  We appreciate all your support throughout the years and thank you for that from the bottom of our hearts!  Hope your birthday is a special one, and we look forward to seeing you again soon! 

Jon, Chris, Steve, Alan and Rick of Yes

Some of my first memories of knowing Karen (I think maybe we spoke on the phone once during Buzz of Delight?) are from the late ’80s, when I signed to A&M. I was still finding my way, scared of everything and everyone, and Karen was one of the first "cool" people I met at a record company—such an amazing person, knowledgeable, passionate about music she loved, and funny as shit to boot! I'll always remember going out to sing and play acoustic guitar at KCRW in Santa Monica during that time, with Karen and some other A&M folks. I was so scared, and well, embarrassed to have to do it in front of record company people, not really knowing what they thought of me. But I remember like it was yesterday how encouraging Karen was about it, so nice and supportive, totally respectful. She even got excited about it, when I didn't even know how to respect myself! She somehow turned a stress-filled situation in to a fun event. Happy Birthday, Karen! I'm proud to say you're my friend!

Matthew Sweet

I don't know how she does it. Almost everybody I meet is tired, everybody has problems, everybody gets burned out and jaded; on the road you meet new cases every day. But every once in a while you run into somebody who just blasts all those things out of the way. I know Karen must get burned out more than once in a while, she must get a little jaded here and there; so how is it that she seems like a white-hot beacon of positive energy every time I see her? I'm not kidding, even though Karen is probably rolling her eyes right now. She's been a serious pick-me-up for me and a lot of other people too many times to count. Thank you for everything, Karen, and as you enter your third decade, I have all the highest hopes and best wishes for you and anybody you say I should like. Happy Birthday!

Dan Wilson

My twin sister
Neil Armstrong
Maureen McCormick
(Marcia Brady)
Jonathan Silverman (The Single Guy)
Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys)
Pat Smear
Lonnie Anderson
Patrick Ewing
Jake Alejandro Silva
(son of John Silva)
Kurt St. Thomas (ex-WFNX PD)

IVANA’S FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SUMMER 2002 (in no particular order)
Phantom Planet at Madison Square Garden
The Hives at the Roxy
The Who at the Hollywood Bowl
OK Go’s "Get Over It"
Doves at Hammerstein Ballroom
Ash on tour
Pete Yorn at the Wiltern
Steven Sprouse for Target
Todd Oldham
for Target
Alexander McQueen’s Fall Collection
Jackass: The Movie
Moby’s restaurant TEANY
The Strokes
at the HFStival and KROQ Weenie Roast
Morning X Bobbleheads
The House restaurant in LA (Melrose just east of Vine)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Modifying the Atkin’s Diet to include Krispy Kremes

American Idol
Big Brother 3
Beat the Geeks
Fashion Television
/Videofashion/Fashion File
While You Were Out
Changing Rooms
Tracey Ullman’s Visible Panty Lines
MTV’s Sorority Life
Anna Nicole Smith’s E! show
Sex and the City

Odyssey & Oracle
Dusty Springfield Dusty In Memphis
Big Star Big Star and Radio City
The Who Who’s Next
Todd Rundgren Ballad of Todd
Beach Boys Pet Sounds
Dwight Twilley Sincerely
Television Marquee Moon
Talk Talk Spirit of Eden
Gram Parsons Grievous Angel
Only Ones Special View
Blue Nile Hats
Daryl Hall Sacred Songs
The Clash London Calling


Porcupine Tree
(not technically new, but their U.S. debut is coming out on Lava)
Marc Copely
Andrew W.K.
Maroon 5
Dead Meadow
30 Seconds to Mars
Sahara Hotnights
The Liars

Assembling a musical mix that will please Karen is a daunting task, cuz the girl has some strongly held opinions, dig? Consequently, I’ve played it safe for the most part in putting together the sequence below; in fact, the only shot in the dark is the Taxiride track from the band’s new WEA Australia album. To be honest, this CD-R doesn’t actually exist yet; I’ll have to borrow a handful of CDs from Karen to complete the task.
Bud Scoppa

Girl From Another Planet
01. Big Star, “The Ballad of El Goodo”
02. 801, “Third Uncle”
03. Matthew Sweet, “Wind and the Sun”
04. Semisonic, “Down in Flames”
 05. Todd Rundgren, “Boat on the Charles”
06. Phantom Planet, “Anthem”
07. Only Ones, “Another Girl, Another Planet”
08. Pete Yorn, “Knew Enough to Know Nothing at All”
09. The Who, “I’m Free”
10. Yes, “I’ve Seen All Good People”
11. Moby, “Great Escape”
12. Daryl Hall, "You Burn Me Up I'm a Cigarette"
13. Raspberries, “Go All the Way”
14. Taxiride, “Stronger”
15. Trip Shakespeare, “Unlucky Lady”
16. Cousteau, “(Damn These) Hungry Times”
17. Soft Boys, “Queen of Eyes”
18. Arthur Alexander, “Every Day I Have to Cry Some”
19. Jellyfish, “I Wanna Stay Home”
20. Television, “Venus”
21. Utopia, “Love Is the Answer”

a. Hers Is No Disgrace:
Those of you who know Karen are familiar with her passion for progressive rock, and Rhino’s latest box set seems tailor-made for her birthday. In a Word: Yes (1969- ) is a fittingly extravagant celebration of the British prog institution, with five discs and a lavishly illustrated, slavishly annotated 95-plus-page booklet (maybe we should just say “book”). Disc One showcases the earliest incarnation of the band, with representative tracks from its eponymous debut and half-great sophomore effort Time and a Word. Appropriately enough, though, there are five tracks from breakout album The Yes Album, the 1971 release that saw Yes truly come into its own with epic excursions like “Yours Is No Disgrace,” “Perpetual Change” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” and “Starship Trooper.” These last two are suites, with titled subsections lettered a-c.

b. The Truth of Sport Plays Rings Around You: Now you know what you’re dealing with as we get into Yes at its sublimely self-indulgent peak. Discs Two and Three feature standout tracks from mega-hit record Fragile and arguable artistic pinnacle Close to the Edge, as well as the still-divisive double LP Tales From Topographic Oceans, the underrated Relayer, Ivana fave Going for the One and the less-than-compelling Tormato. Admirers of later Yes incarnations will dive happily into the final two CDs, which include cuts from the Buggles-infused Drama, the Trevor (Horn and Rabin)-driven hit machine behind “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and the various reunions of the last decade.

c. Total Mass Retain: The singing and playing of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman (when he didn’t tumble into self-parody), Alan White, Bill Bruford and others continue to inspire, and the lyrics are as hilariously hippy-dippy now as when Anderson first scrawled them across the cosmos. There are a couple of unreleased cuts, the whole thing (with some re-mixing by Howe) sounds great, and it weighs a ton. It’s the perfect gift for your favorite geek. Simon Glickman

I am Trying to Break Your Heart
(Fusion Films):
An alt-rock, PoMo version of Spinal Tap, this feature-length Wilco documentary offers a completely up-to-date view of the current gridlock between art and commerce as it grinds to a halt amidst a shrinking music industry. Artfully filmed in black and white by photographer and commercial director Sam Jones, the movie offers a Let It Be-styled look at a band in the eye of their own creative storm. The convenient narrative arc includes the firing of a founding member and getting dropped by their record company, only to find themselves at the center of an absurd bidding war. There are plenty of industry witnesses offering their own two cents, too. A smirking Rolling Stone rockcrit David Fricke explains the obvious discrepancies between a corporation with an eye on quarterly results and an album that only reveals itself over time. Bemused ex-Reprise head Howie Klein, who championed the band, only to see them hand in their new album the day he left the company, insists, “If I was still head of the label, Wilco would never have been dropped.” Finally, the voice of reason is offered by Nonesuch’s David Bither, who signed the band after hearing 30 seconds of the album in question, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. One of the best inside looks at the process of making and selling music you'll see, this is both an ironic take on the innocence of making art in a capitalist society, and a celebration of music for music’s sake. Band leader Jeff Tweedy goes from being unable to scrape up more than $6 to buy his kid food in a convenience store to signing a contract in which the band receives three times as much from the very same conglomerate whose label just dropped ’em. If a band this faceless has a movie as compelling as this one in them, the possibilities are endless.
Roy Trakin

(Touchstone Pictures):
Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan tries to rebound after the rather pedestrian Unbreakable with a tale of crop circles which mysteriously begin to appear in the middle of a Pennsylvania cornfield, causing much tzuris for residents of the farm. These include lapsed reverend Mel Gibson (who lost faith after his wife died in a gruesome car crash), his younger brother Joaquin Phoenix and two kids. There’s plenty of dark humor—at one point the family don tin foil hats to keep out alien transmissions—and lots of stuff that goes bump in the night. Advance word says Shyamalan might be ready to sell movies on the basis of his own name, a la Hitchcock or Spielberg. The trailers look suitably spooky, and the ending is supposedly more transcendent than cathartic, with a deep-felt performance by Gibson. The website at www.signs.movies.com offers cast and crew information, exclusive stills, a chat with the director, a trailer and downloaded remixes from Paul Oakenfold and Crystal Method. The Hollywood Records soundtrack album features highlights from the James Newton Howard score.

Full Frontal (Miramax): Steven Soderbergh takes a break from the world of big-budget filmmaking to go back to the indie roots of his groundbreaking sex, lies and videotape, with this digitally shot roman a clef about the foibles of Hollywood. An all-star cast, including the likes of Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Blair Underwood, David Duchovny, Catherine Keener and David Hyde Pierce, prove their allegiance by agreeing to the kind of low-budget, no-frills, guerilla-style production that this film itself is a send-up of. The movie follows a single day in the life of a group of celeb types trying to figure out the meaning of it all. There’s an actress who forces her personal assistant to break up with her boyfriends for her (Roberts); a writer for Los Angeles magazine who envies the homeless their full heads of hair (Pierce); and even a Harvey Weinstein figure (played by Curb Your Enthusiam’s Jeff Garlin). There’s also a variety of cameos from the likes of director David Fincher, producer Jerry Weintraub and Terence Stamp. This is the Soderbergh of Schizopolis, an iconoclast with a satirist’s savage edge. The website, www.fullfrontal.com, features behind-the-scenes footage, a week-by-week production schedule, a sweepstakes contest offering a complete digital filmmaking package, a journal from Stamp, a message board, a slideshow featuring the major characters as caricatures.

A Master of Disguise (Columbia): Some wag recently pointed out the difference between Dana Carvey and Mike Myers is Austin Powers. Talented mimic Carvey hasn’t quite found his trademark character in movies, and in this film, he plays 36 of them. Carvey plays an Italian waiter with the unlikely moniker of Pistachio Disguisey who uses his inherited powers of disguise to rescue his parents (played by James Brolin and Edie McClurg) from an evil criminal mastermind (Brent Spiner) bent on stealing the world’s most precious treasures. Among Carvey’s 36 different creations are a turtle character which could have some legs. The film marks the directorial debut of production designer Perry Andelin Blake, who previously collaborated on several Adam Sandler films. The website at www.sony.com/MoD features a number of interactive games, including “Slapping Dummy” and “Memory,” centered around Disguisey’s hidden workshop, along with all the regular cast and crew and production information. The mostly Urban-oriented Sony Soundtrax album includes tracks from Destiny’s Child, Vitamin C, Solange Knowles, Strong and Play with Lil’ Fizz.

Martin Lawrence Live: Runteidat (Paramount): This MTV-produced live concert film looks to dupicate the success of Kings of Comedy, but let’s face it, Martin Lawrence is no Cedric the Entertainer, let alone Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy. Still, my 14-year-old kid can’t get enough of Big Momma’s House, so what do I know? The website, www.martinlawrence.mtv.com, gives an inkling of what to expect, from Lawrence’s “piercing look at life,” as he deals with the dangers of smoking to the trials of relationships, unleashing a “nonstop litany of raucous anecdotes, stinging social commentary and personal reflections.” It also includes stills and performance clips that can be downloaded. —RT

I’m tired! After a month of indulging, this weekend I was in need of a little R & R. I was going to go postal if I had to endure one more night out being targeted by lame guys with lame lines who were trying to get laid.  What I needed was a “girls’ weekend.” I’m talking about gathering my four girlfriends and having cocktails by the pool, barbecuing and telling dirty little secrets about the men we’ve dated. A girls’ weekend” wouldn’t be complete without this week’s cocktail of the week. There’s one thing girls like as much as shopping and gossiping—CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Cake
1 1/4 oz. Stoli Vanilla
3/4 oz. Frangelico
Lemon slice

This is a shot, and the idea is to chill and shake the Stoli and Frangelico as if you were making a martini. Then you pour it into a shot glass and put the sugar on the lemon.  Finally, you suck on the lemon and do the shot.  YUMMY! It takes just like German chocolate cake. What more could a girl ask for—girlfriends, gossiping and chocolate cake. If you’re also tired from a summer of endless BBQs and partying, a girls’ weekend might be just what the doctor, or bartender, ordered. After this weekend, I feel up to par once again, which is very important because I have to take on Sin City in less than a week. Once I return, you’ll get a special section detailing all of the trouble you can find in Vegas.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: This week, my suggestion is to try something new and a little more subdued—comedy mixed with alcohol. The Improv Olympic West in Hollywood offers both of these to the tired, summer fun-seeker. It’s effortless. You get to relax in a dark, air-conditioned theatre drinking cocktails while eager comedians try to make you laugh—quite often laughing at themselves in the process. In the theater lobby there’s a small bar that is open before, during and after the show, and the drinks are reasonably priced. This weekend take a break from the bar scene and have a good laugh.

De’s diss of the week: Last weekend I was all about the subdued and against the overrated, overdone Hollywood nightclub party scene. My girlfriends and I attended a party last week for Ciclon liquor at the House of Blues. Free alcohol and half-naked girls brought out all of the vultures, and my friends and I had to deal with the repercussions.  I swear to God we were walking targets for these drunk and very desperate guys.  It was pathetic and reminded why I disliked Sunset Blvd. nightclubs so much. Do yourself a favor—next time you get the choice, pass on the “Hollywood scene” and opt for something more mellow, like a little comedy. —Denise Bayles 

Mestel walks like a man. (10/22a)
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
A Swift return to #1. (10/22a)
The Rumours are true. (10/22a)
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/22a)
Bring your umbrella.
Mulling possible surprises.
Why not wear a mask indoors?
What drugs will help us get there?

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