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George’s swan-song album shows that the Quiet Beatle had much to say, and I’m listening! So I'll give it 4 1/4 turbans (out of a possible 5)—I didn't care for the album cover.
——Guru Prem
A FULLY STUFFED FOUR-DAY
WEAKEND PLANNER
Are We Having Fun Yet? Actually, Yes
Man oh man, is it ever time to get outta Dodge or what? Happily, the four days ahead contain myriad diversions apart from eating and shopping, though there’ll certainly be plenty of both as well. With diversion and diversity in mind, our gala Weakend Planner offers a pair of very special new sections. Ivana B. Adored, our own Prada Princess, offers her expert advice on hammer-down holiday-season shopping, and Guru Prem, massage therapist and spiritual advisor to the stars, begins a series in which he drops some Eastern science on contemporary recordings, beginning (not surprisingly) with George Harrison’s final album. Guru won’t contribute every week—only when the spirit moves him.

As you enjoy the time off, please keep in mind that the best thing about banging your head against the wall is when you stop. Have a relaxing, life-affirming Thanksgiving, kiddies.

WEAKEND POPCULT TOP 10
1. The Emperor's Club
: I loved this movie, which takes some surprising twists and goes in a different direction than expected. Kevin Kline is always great, and Jesse Eisenberg from the excellent Roger Dodger (who’s the older brother of Halle Eisenberg, the little Pepsi girl) is once again terrific. —LB

2. Far From Heaven: Todd Haynes’ rapturous homage to the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk is more than an accurate period piece, it’s the year’s most gloriously beautiful movie, a visual symphony of autumnal reds and golds. Julianne Moore’s anxiously restrained performance is as brilliant as the critics have asserted, 48-year-old Dennis Haysbert (24) is a late-blooming star and Elmer Bernstein’s neoclassic score is the musical equivalent of the falling leaves that flutter poetically throughout the movie. —BS

3. Frida: Yeah, the reviews haven't been great, and Salma Hayek isn't what we'd call a nuanced actress. That said, this film is visually as intoxicating as Baz Luhrman's best work (think Romeo & Juliet or Moulin Rouge), and it captures a lost moment, an artist struggling with her doubts and pain and trying to transfer it all to canvas and self-expression. This was a life writ large, and if it's been a bit Hollywoodized (muralist/twice husband Diego Riviera was a great source of pain and betrayal), there is enough here to inspire further research. —HG

4. Stones live in Lost Wages: The Rolling Stones are playing two shows in Vegas this weekend. Friday they perform at the Joint, the club in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The band goes from intimate to grand, literally, when they segue to the MGM Grand Arena, a venue is larger than the Staples Center, for a show on Saturday. I’ll let you know how it goes next week. —MP

5. Stephen Davis, Old Gods Almost Dead (Broadway Books): The Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith biographer’s workmanlike chronology of the Stones is nevertheless exhaustive, and makes a nifty companion piece to the current spate of reissues, setting them in time and place. I’m just about halfway through, when the doomed Brian Jones, by far the most interesting Stone, is about to drown in that swimming pool, which seems in retrospect for the band like Elvis going into the Army. —RT

6. Rolling Stones, 40 Licks (Virgin): Greedy geezers, trolling the earth like hedonistic dinosaurs, reaping and raping what they can till it’s time to die? Or greatest rock & roll band ever? If the thought of 60-something rockers leaves you pale, consider the body of work. All gathered here: from the blues-based, revved up rhythms to disco frolics to honky-tonk simmers to reggae-flecked rock, 40 Licks reveals that even when we weren't cognizant of the moments, the Stones’ full-immersion musical witness captures the past x-number of years with shocking clarity—for an often blurred and whirling reality that was as much what we were as a culture as it was who they were as a band. —HG

7. Notre Dame at USC: The slogan of the resurgent Irish, an improbable 10-1 and #7 in the BCS in their first season under Ty Willingham, is “Return to Glory,” and the phrase could just as accurately be applied to the 9-2, #6 Trojans in Pete Carroll’s second year. Apart from the 1988 game, which pitted two undefeated teams (ND won 27-10 to take the national championship), this ancient intersectional rivalry, which concludes the regular season for both teams, hasn’t been so meaningful, so packed with drama, since the era of Ara Parseghian and John McKay three decades ago. USC, which has won six straight, looks to be a coupla touchdowns better than Notre Dame, which has been struggling since whipping Florida State a month ago, but anything can happen when these two storied programs lock horns. One thing’s for sure: The Coliseum will be crowded for a change come Saturday night (5 p.m. PT, ABC). Go Irish. —BS

8. The BCS Nightmare: What if Miami loses one of its last two games and Oklahoma loses one of its last two. Does that put Iowa against Ohio State (the Big Ten dream match-up that didn’t take place in the regular season) in the Fiesta Bowl? And if that happened, who would play in the Rose Bowl? Here’s where it gets really interesting… —LB

9. A Tight-Fitting Tribute: The nine-minute online short A Hard Day’s Day is a recreation of a certain madcap rock movie. But it takes as its subject a Beatles cover band, as this mock-Liverpudlian foursome is subject to such indignities as climbing from car to car only to wait for a bus, or wailing through “Hava Nagila” at a Bar Mitzvah. The flick, currently hosted by ifilm.com, has some clever bits and will charm most Beatlemaniacs. —SG

10. Beck and the Flaming Lips at the Universal Amphitheatre: I’ve fallen prey to Sea Change’s seductive gloom, and I’m a huge fan of the Lips’ loopy charms, so I found this an inspired pairing a la Dylan and the Band, with flamboyantly Flaming frontman Wayne Coyne the perfect foil for the deadpan Beck. Stark but melodically rich songs like “The Golden Age” and “End of the Day” are fully fleshed out by the band’s lush, gloriously languid strokes, reflected in L.A. artist Jeremy Blake’s large-screen watercolor projections. With an electrofunky “Loser,” the Prince-like rhythm of “The New Pollution,” the James Brown splits punctuating “Nicotine and Gravy,” the faux-metal jack of “Devil’s Haircut” and the gospel rave-up in “Where It’s At,” Beck, resplendent in a white-striped, glow-in-the-dark jumpsuit, is clearly Gen X’s consummate, all-around entertainer. —RT

GURU LAYS HIS HANDS ON THE HITS
George Harrison, Brainwashed (Capitol):
George’s final studio recording is a warm, witty, affirmational album, solidifying his stature as great musician and a man of depth and perception. The songs inspired me to get my guitar and play along.  Brainwashed expresses George’s personal experience of worlds seen and unseen. The first track, “Any Road,” with many memorable lines (“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”) hooks you in immediately. On “Looking for My Life,” George sings of longing and redemption, without  self-pity or fear. Rebounding from the spiritual depths of the first seven tracks, the whimsical “Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” reveals George, at his most lighthearted. The album finishes with the title track, as George reminds us what life is about and how we have gone astray, but with such honesty that it is not sanctimonious or preachy. George colored many of his songs with his personal experiences, and this entire album reflects a life of searching and deep love, captured by melodies and arrangements that exemplify George’s musical talents and explorations; you’ll enjoy his sitar-like slide guitar work. Credit must be given to Jeff Lynne and son Dhani Harrison for honoring George without leaving their footprints in the process. The arrangements are exciting, supple, and fun. Brainwashed is a classic album, all songs serving the whole.  George’s swan-song album shows that the Quiet Beatle had much to say, and I’m listening! So I'll give it 4 1/4 turbans (out of a possible 5)—I didn't care for the album cover. —Guru Prem

YEAR-END TOP 10 ALERT
Last chance Texaco for submissions to the artist top 10s section of out year-end issue (out Dec. 11). We lay it out next week, so if you want to do something thoughtful for that special artist in your life, have his/her list of 2002 faves appear in the pages of our sorry excuse for a trade rag. The two examples below should suggest the wiggle room we allow artists in their lists.

Dido
Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head
David Gray, A New Day at Midnight
Coldplay live at Wembley Arena
Six Feet Under finally being on TV in England
Gosford Park the film
Foo Fighters, One by One
Andy Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern
Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
NSYNC & Nelly, “Girlfriend” single
In the Bedroom the film

Chris Martin (Coldplay)
Film:
Sweet Sixteen
Albums:
Sigur Ros
, ()
Sparta, Wiretap Scars
Royksopp, Melody A.M.
Foo Fighters, One by One
Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Ron Sexsmith, Cobblestone Runway
Singles:
Ashanti, “Happy”
Nelly, “Hot in Herre”
Feeder, “Come Back Around”
U2, “Electrical Storm”

IVANA’S HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS
This is the first in a series of holiday shopping guides, aimed at alleviating the stress of gift giving. This is not the year to be frivolous or extravagant. Don’t waste money on baskets of bath products that will never be used, spa gift certificates with an expiration date, or coffee table art books that will never be read. Think of practical (yet lavish) gifts the recipient would never spend money on for themselves:

  • Calvin Klein towels in a neutral color
  • George Foreman grill
  • Cashmere scarf and gloves from www.bananarepublic.com (already on sale!)
  • Subscription to their favorite U.K. magazine (Mojo, British Vogue, Heat, Tatler, etc.)
  • Movie passes to the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood (www.arclightcinemas.com)
  • Gift certificates (Target, Home Depot, Amazon.com, Amoeba Records, Sephora)

 I’ve divided the remaining suggestions into three price ranges: PLATINUM—for those who just signed a new four-year deal or have back-end points on Jackass: the Movie, GOLD—for the gift-giver with some modicum of job security or points on Jackass: The Movie soundtrack, SILVER—your company has been merged with another and your boss suggests you might want to study for your real estate license.

GIFTS FOR YOUR SPOUSE, BEST FRIEND OR CLOSE RELATIVE:
PLATINUM—
An iPod from www.apple.com ($500 for 4,000 song capacity, $400 for 2,000 song capacity). Now made for both Mac and PC users. Have the iPod laser engraved with a message for $19.99. To make it the BEST GIFT EVER, download hundreds of their favorite songs into the iPod. This is ultimate mix-tape. Of course, if she’s expecting a diamond ring from Neil Lane and you give her an iPod, this might not be as romantic as you hoped. And she’s definitely not the girl for you.

GOLD—
A black leather iPod case designed by Hedi Slimane for Dior Homme, sold exclusively at Colette in Paris. The coolest iPod accessory you can buy. Get it for approx. $175 at www.colette.fr.

SILVER—
A compilation CD from www.amazon.co.uk. I recommend Acoustic Vol. 1 and Acoustic Vol. 2 on V2 Records (import), featuring everyone from Nick Drake to Travis. This is a great gift for siblings and friends outside of the music business.

GIFTS FOR THE STRESSED:
PLATINUM—
For some reason, I sleep much better in a hotel room than I do at home. Although moving into the Four Seasons isn’t an option for most of us, did you know you can buy one of their beds? Call the Purchasing Coordinator of the Four Season Hotel in Beverly Hills (310)-273-2222 and they’ll fax you a Bed Order Form. The prices range from $1500 for a Queen mattress/boxspring/frame to $1800 for a Cal. King. The mattress without the boxspring and is 65% of the cost. Pillows, bedding, duvets and other accessories are also for sale. Delivery is within four weeks.

GOLD—
A weekend at a local Four Seasons. Visit www.fourseasons.com for locations. When booking the room, ask for the Sony rate, which is usually the best ($250/night for the Four Seasons in Bev. Hills).

SILVER—
A copy of Hip Hotels: Escape, Hip Hotels: City, Hip Hotels: Budget, Hip Hotels: Ski, all by Herbert Ypma, and available at most book stores. Many of my friends have used these books to plan their vacations.

GIFTS FOR GUYS:
PLATINUM—
Let him be the first on his block to own a Segway Human Transporter by reserving it today from www.amazon.com. The cost is $4,950, with a $495 deposit due immediately. Delivery is expected to begin in March.

GOLD—
The Trikke is a three-wheeled vehicle that looks like a Razor scooter but is more like skis for pavement. Watch the demonstration video on www.trikke.com and order one for your favorite X-treme sports enthusiast. It costs $250 and comes with an instruction video. Emergency room fees are extra.

SILVER—
MTV
’s Jackass Vol. 2 and Jackass Vol. 3, featuring the best of the second and third seasons of the MTV series, available in stores and from www.mtv.com after Dec. 5.

GIFTS FOR THE DIVA:
PLATINUM—
An appointment with a make-up artist before a big industry function. Every record label publicist has a list of freelance makeup artists they can recommend. Surprise your favorite diva with a pre-scheduled appointment at her house the night of an awards show. Or call your local MAC store for recommendations. Cost: $100 and up for an in-home visit.

GOLD—
The 12-piece brush collection from famed (and recently deceased) makeup guru Kevyn Aucoin. These are the most beautiful makeup brushes I’ve ever seen, and are available from www.kevynaucoin.com. Cost is $350 for the set.

SILVER—
Makeup application and lesson from any major store. Casually ask which brand of makeup they love and contact the makeup counter for that brand at either Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Bendels, etc. Most stores offer private lessons for a nominal fee (usually a minimum product purchase). From my experience, the employees of Stila tend to be the nicest and most accommodating.

Next week: Gift ideas for the person who has everything.
—Ivana B. Adored

GUY WITH THE GOGGLES' NFL PICKS OF THE WEEK
New England 6 at Detroit
Great gobs of giblet gravy. This here game looks like the mismatch of the danged ol’ year. Ever’ single thing you look at sez New England is gonna blow this team out. I mean, Good Gawd almighty, the danged ol’ Dee-troit coach pulled the bonehead move of the season last week, and you’d figure the team will quit on this clown. But—and it’s a big but—this is Turkey Day, and you gotta remember, all kindsa crazy thangs happen in this here game ever’ year. So I’m gonna take Dee-troit and the 6, jest cuz.

Washington 1 1/2 at Dallas
Holy Clint Longley. Once agin, ever’thing sez ther danged ol’ Redskins should win this here game. I mean, fer Gawd’s sake, the danged ol’ Cowboys have swept Washington two years in a row. You gotta figger that’s gotta come to an end. Mebbe it will. But whut kinda respectable Texan would dare pick the stinkin’ ’Skins over Gawd’s Team? So back up the pickup truck, bust out the beer and celebrate another Cowboy win on Turkey Day. It’s the Cowboys all the way. —Guy W.T. Goggles
(Year to date: 12-8)

HO-HO-HO—A CHRISTMAS MOVIE
The Quiet American (Miramax):
Vietnam is like a drug. I first got hooked during a visit in 1991 and still can’t get it out of my system. Equally addictive (see a pattern here?) is reading Graham Greene’s 1955 novel, The Quiet American, during each of my journeys to Southeast Asia. It’s my own sick trip—meandering modern Saigon as Greene simultaneously puts me at the same restaurants, hotels and street corners of the early 1950s capitol. He nails it like no one else (also try wandering around Cuba with Greene’s 1958 novel Our Man in Havana). But Greene’s graphic physical portraits are just part of my addiction to Vietnam and The Quiet American. The book’s monumental achievement is its immense insight into the Indochina of the 1950s, as France was losing its grip on a long and brutal colonial rule. Greene's characters, like crusty, veteran London Times reporter Fowler, convey a larger world order, which history would prove correct. His portrayal of the young, nave American Pyle was nothing short of prophetic. That said, when I heard Harvey Weinstein was releasing director Phillip Noyce’s version of The Quiet American, starring Michael Caine as Fowler and Brendan Fraser (ouch, dude! He was George of the Jungle) as Pyle, I immediately panicked. Studios are still holding back films that might run counter to the current red, white and blue fervor that abounds among the perceived consumer base. Could they have fucked this film up so much that flag-waving patriots would stop hating Muslims long enough to see it? Nope. They nailed it. The Quiet American is a beautiful film. Caine plays Fowler as if he’s the only one who could. Fraser’s Pyle remained ferociously loyal to Greene’s vision—something that can also be said of the film’s director. Noyce crafted The Quiet American as if he were taking direction from Greene himself. Like I said, they nailed it.
—David Adelson

A HARD-ON FOR HITCHCOCK
Femme Fatale (Warner Bros.):
Some critics are calling this an auteurist return to form for Brian de Palma. And while its Parisian machinations recall the Hitchcockian flourishes of Dressed to Kill and Body Double, the half-hearted caper plot is closer to the dry technical exercises of Mission: Impossible and Snake Eyes. Which is not to say the film doesn’t have its voyeuristic charms: The humiliation De Palma puts pouty star Rebecca Romijn-Stamos through shouldn’t happen to Tippi Hedren in a room full of birds. Still, the erotic content of an opening lesbian encounter set against a jewelry robbery at a Cannes Festival screening is some of the kinkiest stuff the director has done since the quasi-porn of underground movies Hi Mom! and Greetings. And while De Palma’s swooping, intrusive camera mirrors Romijn-Stamos’ feline sensuality with its obvious debts to blonde/brunettes Kim Novak of Vertigo and Grace Kelly in Rear Window, a befuddled Antonio Banderas lacks the aw-shucks charm of James Stewart or the sophisticated wit of Cary Grant. De Palma has adopted Hitchcock’s fetishes without the humanity, so his film is all Maguffin and no denouement. We’re left with no one to care about, and no moral center, as De Palma’s idea of redemption is simply to press rewind and let fate play itself out to a happier, but by no means more satisfying, ending. Roy Trakin

IN SPACE, EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU QUIP
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 1 (Rhino Home Video):
Either MST3K’s non-sequitur of a central gimmick—human astronaut and sarcastic robot companions in deep space crack wise at dumbfoundingly awful B movies—appeals to you or not. But for those geeky types whose love/hate relationship with trash culture finds perfect expression in the acid commentary of Crow and Tom Servo, it can be bliss. Nobody understands this better than Rhino Home Video, which serves up The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 1, a four-DVD set of egregious flix that can be viewed with or without MST commentary. The films were the top-requested features from the show’s fans, which tells you a lot about the show’s fans. They are: Bloodlust, a pirates-and-cannibals romp starring Robert “Mike Brady” Reed; Catalina Caper, a teen-romance “adventure” with Tommy Kirk and (probably to his eternal regret) Little Richard; the alien-eats-slow-moving-couples epic The Creeping Terror; and the suspense-free thriller The Skydivers. If you’re looking for mindless holiday entertainment, look no further.
Simon Glickman

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Adam Sandler’s 8 Crazy Nights (Columbia)
Concept
: Animated comedy about a party animal sentenced to doing community service as a youth basketball referee.
Stars: The voices of Adam Sandler, Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider, Norm Crosby, Jon Lovitz, Tyra Banks
Director: Seth Kearsley
Thumbs Up:
At last, a holiday movie with a Hanukah theme.
Thumbs Down: Isn’t Sandler a cartoon to begi with?
Soundtrack: The Columbia Records soundtrack includes Sandler’s new version of his popular “Chanuka Song.”
Website: www.EightCrazyNights.com offers a lively intro and a tour of the town of Dukesberry, where you can access a series of “webisodes.”

Solaris (Fox)
Concept
: Remake of director Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 Russian film (also being re-released this week) based on the 1961 sci-fi novel by Stanislaw Lem about occupants of a space station who experience an unsettling dementia. Described by director Steven Soderbergh as “2001 meets Last Tango in Paris.”
Stars: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Jeremy Davies, Viola Davis.
Director:
Soderbergh (who also wrote the screenplay); produced by James Cameron
Thumbs Up:
Top director, top cast, reported glimpse of Clooney’s naked butt; has to be better than Full Frontal.
Thumbs Down: Wish it were McElhone’s naked butt. Will it be more Schizopolis than Aliens ?
Soundtrack: The score, by onetime Red Hot Chili Peppers member Cliff Martinez, is on the the Superb label.
Website: www.Solaristhemovie.com allows you to explore the space station and learn about the movie.

Wes Craven Presents: They (Dimension)
Concept
: Craven as the modern-day Hitchcock returns to Elm Street with this psychological thriller about a grad student who keeps returning to the chilling nightmares she had as a child, only to discover—don’t tell me—they might be real.
Stars: None.
Director: Robert Harmon (the 1985 cult film The Hitcher; this is his first since 1993 Van Damme vehicle Nowhere to Run)
Thumbs Up: There’s a Bunuelian surrealism to the TV spots that mirrors Craven’s love of plumbing the depths of the subconscious.
Thumbs Down: Scary Movie has made it impossible to watch anything like this with a straight face, as if you ever could.
Soundtrack: None
Website: www.theymovie.com
suggests childhood fears can lead to adult schizophrenia as it allows you to clinically dissect the film’s story. Kinda creepy. —RT 

HORS D’OEUVRE
Saint Etienne, Finisterre (Beggars Banquet): You may recall this eclectic U.K. band’s major-label efforts in the ’90s, but their electronic pop sounds hipper than ever. Spanning cosmopolitan neo-disco (hypnotic opener and lead single “Action”), charming Brit-hop (“Soft Like Me”), artful chill-outs (the ravishing “Language Lab,” “Summerisle”) and Bacharach-esque bonbons (“Stop and Think It Over”), the set is united by an unerring flair for arrangement and Sarah Cracknell’s winsome vocals. Strung together with evocative spoken introductions, Finisterre weaves an enchanting spell of lilting strings, crackling beats and purring synths. This is the record you’ll hear banging at next year’s coolest parties. —SG

WINE
Tahiti 80, Wallpaper for the Soul (Minty Fresh):
Like their countrymen in Air, French quartet Tahiti 80 ignores stylistic boundaries in its wholly non-ironic embrace of all things pop. The group’s second album, produced by Ivy’s Andy Chase, is an aural collage of taste treats from the Top 40 playlists of past decades, carbonated by the fizz of contempo electronics and drawing its ingenuous personality from the feathery tenor of Xavier Boyer. After opening with the loopy, ambient title cut, the band sways into Barry White territory on “1,000 Times,” with the soulful elegance provided by the Urban Soul Orchestra, then shifts into the strum and honk of “Separate Ways,” which nails the sound of late-’60s two-hit wonders the Buckinghams. Yup, they’re all over the place, but they somehow get everything to flow like Beaujolais nouveau. Bud Scoppa

SALAD
The Wallflowers, Red Letter Days (Interscope):
“I need a bed nobody’s slept in,” sings Jakob Dylan on the rueful “When You’re On Top,” the first single from the band’s fourth album. It neatly encapsulates the dilemma of being Bob Dylan’s son, who goes a long way toward establishing his—and his group’s—identity by refusing to bow to expectations. “How Good Can It Get” mines Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, while the apocalyptic “Everybody Out of the Water” is pure riff-rock and “Closer to You” a hushed ballad with sinewy strings. Actually, Dylan fils doesn’t much sound like Dylan pers until the unmistakable nasality of “Feels Like Summer Again,” an ode to rebirth that reflects his optimism in the face of a world desperately in need of some. —RT

MEAT & POTATOES
Audioslave, Audioslave (Epic/Interscope):
It may be only the second year in, but we already have the heavy metal album of the millennium. Chris Cornell and three-fourths of the former Rage Against the Machine hit the bull’s-eye, forming a perfect whole without sacrificing a shred of their individual genius. The album’s cover suggests a subtle nod to Zeppelin (remember Presence?), as does the music: Without aping Zep, the ’Slave blissfully channel their Hammer-of-the-Gods vibe (thanks in large part to drummer Brad Wilk’s Bonzo-esque pocket). From blistering opener “Cochise” through moody closer “The Last Remaining Light,” two things are revealed: Cornell is still the best rock vocalist on the planet, and the former Rage power-trio is a stunningly great band, now unleashed to melodic, head-banging glory in ways unimagined on even the best Rage records. Flawless. —JO

STILL BREAKING HEARTS
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
at the Forum, L.A.: There’s no tighter American arena-rock band in the land this side of Springsteen’s E-Street gang, and they didn’t disappoint with this large-scale, greatest hits version of the The Last DJ show they put on at the Olympic Auditorium last month, backed by Jon Brion conducting a 40-piece orchestra. The band pulled out classics like “Refugee,” “Free Fallin’” and “The Waiting” to please the decidedly unhip crowd of aging hippies and rowdy frat boys, as the group’s “won’t back down” espousal of countercultural ideals makes them the current choice of displaced Deadheads. Guitarist Mike Campbell is the underrated key to the band, and his solo on the group’s cover of George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity,” which they’ll play at this Friday’s tribute to the late ex-Beatle in London, transcended homage. Petty’s anachronistic long hair and sepulchral, Ichabod Crane gait make him look decidedly geezer-like, but the vintage rock this lovingly played—paying tribute to its roots in the Byrds, Beatles, Dylan, the Stones, Creem and the Dead—is no small pleasure in these trying times. —RT

STROKING THE STROKES
The Strokes/Jimmy Fallon at the Mizner Park Amphitheatre, Boca Raton, FL: What better way to open the brand-spanking-new Mizner Park Amphitheater in glorious Boca than with RCA buzz band The Strokes, the modern-day teen’s answer to the Velvet Underground, still preaching to the black-and-blue-jean choir as they wind their way around the States. The hip-huggered, rail-thin teenage girls prowling the grounds purred with anticipation as SNL news anchor Jimmy Fallon came on, promising he’d make the half-hour before the headliners go quickly. Needless to say, it didn’t. After 45 minutes and several impersonations, Fallon was off and The Strokes came on to the squeals of the pubescent hordes. They threw themselves into their hit “Last Nite” like it was, well, the last night. The sound was state-of-the-art crisp and clear. You could even hear Julian Casablancas, sporting an Iggy Pop-style black blazer, sing the words. The tight, 50-minute set featured most of the stuff from the album: “Is This It?,” “Alone Together,” the notorious “NYC Cops,” which was taken off the record after 9/11. “Hard to Explain” was a highlight, and then there were some new tunes, one called “Meet Me in the Bathroom.” I strummed my air-guitar with the rest of the assembled multitudes. The band displayed a bit of their Noo Yawk-styled arrogance by not performing an encore, but no one seemed to mind too much. The trendies drove off in their parents’ Mercedes, leaving this alte cocker rocker with a clear, cool taste of Florida-style fountain of youth, courtesy of some cocky prep-school punks who have succeeded in updating old-school adolescent angst for the postmodern age. Janet Trakin

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL
Thank God it’s a holiday weekend! I’m definitely in need of a few days off—especially after I bust out this column a day earlier than I had expected. I’m on a very short deadline, so I’m going to get right down to the nitty gritty. It’s the holidays, and I’m feeling the pressure. I’m broke, single and alone for Thanksgiving, and I’m feeling a bit desperate. I was away at a convention last weekend and found myself attracted to those I would usually not give a second thought to. What I perceived as chemistry with someone could quite possibly have been a last-ditch attempt to find someone I can cuddle with through the long, cold Los Angeles winter. I’m sorry to say that my cocktail of the week will be the only thing keeping me warm this Thanksgiving weekend.

Turkey Shooter
1 oz. bourbon
oz. white crme de menthe
Shake with ice and strain into a brandy snifter.

In my usual style, I found myself being pulled toward two different types of men this past weekend: the unavailable and the “are you kidding me?” The first type I’ve mentioned repeatedly—the ever-famous unavailable type, men who are married, have girlfriends, live across the country…or all three combined. How could I experience the most amazing chemistry with someone who’s already wearing a wedding ring? Now, before everyone starts to freak out, I would never—and I repeat, NEVER—even think of going there! I believe in karma way too much. Nonetheless, why is it that I found myself wishing the person in question was single, or that I could at least meet someone like him who was single? Would I be as attracted to him if I knew he was available? I’ll never know, but it sure frustrates the hell out of me.

The other type will probably make most of you chuckle. I just want to ask you guys one question: How young is too young for a 31-year old woman to date? I’ve dated men who were 10 to 12 years older than me, but what’s too young? I found myself reasoning that as long as he acts older, it’s OK, and he might be really “experienced,” even though he’s barely old enough to drink. Probably not, but asking the question just proves once again that I’m becoming desperate. Instead of living with this frustration, I’m going to get into the real spirit of Thanksgiving and look at what I’m thankful for.

L.A. bars that I’m most thankful for: The Casting Office, for it’s simple and cheesy dcor that I love so much, and even more so, Moses, the charming Boston bartender. By the way, if you need to escape the family on Thanksgiving, Mo will be more than happy to sling a few drinks your way. Make sure you bring him some leftovers. Also, Timmy Nolan’s for having the hottest bartenders in L.A.—Michael, Dennis, Steve, Cory and Don. Timmy’s also has, by far, the most amazing group of regular customers, some who paid my rent with their tips for almost two years—all of you guys rock! There are many others bars I’m fond of, but no others hold up to these two. See you guys on Thanksgiving.

De’s diss of the week: I am not going to be a bitch this week—stop the presses, because this is a first! I love everyone this week. But make sure you’re nice to those of us who will be alone and frequenting your establishments this holiday weekend, or you’ll be my diss next week.

Most of all, I want to thank all of you who continue to read this crap week after week. I love your responses and support! Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Dave Adelson, Kevin Badami, Denise Bayles, Lenny Beer, Karen Glauber, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Guru Prem, Guy W.T. Goggles, Marcc Pollack, Janet Trakin and, of course, Roy Trakin

Editor: Bud Scoppa

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