Jonny Greenwood hovered over the ancient analog synthesizers like a rabbi poring over the Talmud... You may not be accustomed to spending a 10 spot, let alone 30 bucks, on a record, but... If love is a simple song played with conviction over three chords in B flat, drenched in titanic waves of tube-shattering fuzz, feedback and... He’s definitely hot, and he joined us at the bar... quiet is the new loud... on Friday, Tony Danza will yuk it up at Feinstein’s at the Regency.
In Which We Cop a Feel of the Latest Cultural Developments, Because We Can't Help It
We're not saying we never did anything "inappropriate." But hey, those tushes were just asking to be potched. And anyway, those were wild times, and it was, you know, the entertainment business. We're not saying we're saints. Quite the contrary. Far from it! We did some wild things, some nasty things. We admit that. But these stories you've been hearing are obvious smear tactics masterminded by our enemies.

1. Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl:
Spending Rosh Hashana at the cavernous Bowl wasn’t as sacrilegious as it sounds, even if the thick haze of smoke in the air made it a "high" holiday in more ways than one. The band’s set is a lot like saying kaddish, praying to our forebears with a naïve belief in music’s ability to transcend, as Jonny Greenwood hovered over the ancient analog synthesizers like a rabbi poring over the Talmud. Meanwhile, a frisky Thom Yorke warily faces the future, trying to shake off existential angst like a man either genuflecting or in the throes of St. Vitus’ Dance. It’s prog-rock at its headiest (they are from Oxford, after all), but employs a stubborn DIY apparatus that is connecting with a generation seeking its own Pink Floyd. For a band that specializes in alienation, the performance is all communal activity, never more so than when they reach back into their pop roots for "Creep" and "Karma Police," which sounded right at home next to "Everything In Its Right Place." The latter might well serve as an apt description of this most contradictory of rock bands, who have learned to relax and enjoy their leading role in the current pop-rock pantheon. —RT

2. Recall Arnold? Well, they’ve still got a few more signatures to gather. But in the meantime, the rabble rousers at MoveOn.org have some pretty amusing signs you can grab from their site, including one that reads "Friends Don’t Let Friends Let Schwarzenegger Become Governor." There’s other material to grope, er, review as well. Click here to see. —SG

3. Carnivale (HBO): While not quite yet on the level of The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm or Sex and the City, this brooding, atmospheric tale of a troupe of bedraggled carneys traveling around the Dust Bowl in the midst of the Depression is beginning to sink in. Twin Peaks and David Lynch regular Michael J. Anderson provides what passes for the voice of reason in this overheated tale of good vs. evil as the diminutive Samson. The rest of the cast is filled out with well-worn faces that are far from conventional, including the young drifter played by Nick Stahl (In the Bedroom, Terminator 3), Tarot card reader Clea DuVall and an almost unrecognizable Adrienne Barbeau as the carnival’s matriarchal power. Don’t know where this is headed, probably towards an inevitable apocalypse from the imagery, and don’t know if I’ll be there when it arrives, but with patience, this 12-part series is starting to exert an inexorable pull. —RT

4. Matthew Sweet, Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu (Cutting Edge): For Sweet’s core following, which tends to rate his dark, edgy 1993 album Altered Beast as the peak achievement of the iconoclastic writer/artist, this album—financed by a Japanese indie and cut in a matter of days last year in his home studio—is nothing less than a godsend. While far more upbeat in mood than Beast, the Japanese album is by far Sweet’s most explosive work in a decade, filled with snarling guitars dueling aggressively beneath the billowy clouds of his signature multitracked chorales. These six-string pyrotechnics will sound like the return of a long lost hero to Sweet fans, and in fact it is just that: For the first time since the Beast sessions, Richard Lloyd (Television) is on hand for the entire project, and he’s lost none of the edge-of-control aggression that distinguished his work on Beast and its beloved predecessor, ’91’s seminal Girlfriend. On this intoxicating set, Lloyd locks horns with sideman par excellence Greg Leisz, who toughens up the willowy style that has graced previous Sweet LPs for the occasion, while Matthew contributes suitably forceful bass lines and Ric Menck attacks his drums with the delirious energy of Keith Moon. Casting aside his characteristic perfectionism for this project, Sweet has simply grabbed a dozen especially spirited tunes from his massive archive of demos and let it rip with his three all-star pals, and this newfound spontaneity has resulted in his least deliberate, most accessible album since 100% Fun in 1995. Highlights: the breakneck opener "Dead Smile," the majestic jangle-rocker "Wait," the lush and lovely acoustic ballads "Morning Song" and "Love Is Gone," and the closer "Through Your Eyes," with its platformed hooks. You may not be accustomed to spending a 10 spot, let alone 30 bucks, on a record, but you need to spring for this one (you can find it on Amazon.com). Think of it as an investment in a piece of fine art. —BS

5. TV PS: Thanks to Simutisfar better half, Michelle, I’ve learned that the captivating piece of vocal music over the final scenes of last week’s season premiere of The West Wing (see Planner, 9/26) was "Savean" by Lisa Gerrard, from her 1995 solo album The Mirror Pool. —BS

6. Stew: Praise keeps mounting for this preternaturally gifted singer-songwriter. His latest, Something Deeper Than These Changes (Smile/Image Entertainment) is further testimony to the dictum—which I first heard from eastmountainsouth’s ultra-cool manager, Hugo Vereker—that quiet is the new loud. Stew plays his second and last L.A. show of 2003 at Largo on Nov. 5. Contact [email protected] for more info. —SG

7. Marc Spitz, How Soon Is Never? (Three River Press): One of a burgeoning new literary genre that I’ll term musical autobiographies, as rock critics delve into their past and try to figure out, "How did I get here?" Other examples include Donna GainesTeenage Wasteland, and recent tomes from midwestern metal maven Chuck Klosterman, Neil Pollack’s not-so-cleverly named Never Mind the Pollacks and anything by R. Meltzer. The Spin staffer renames himself Joe Green in the book, and complains how everyone calls him "Mean Joe Greene," as in the football player (instead, of course, Mark Spitz, as in the swimmer). The book begins with a self-loathing portrait of the rock critic as 30-something culture vulture, but flashes back to a bittersweet tale of growing up nerdy on Long Island and discovering the joys of ‘80s new wave and adolescent sex. What follows is a slapstick attempt to reunite his beloved Smiths and, in the process, restore his lost innocence, though, as Morrissey himself might’ve crooned, "Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before." —RT

8. Songs of the Louvin Brothers (Universal South): An all-star tribute to the bluegrass luminaries, featuring James Taylor/Allison Krauss and Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris duets, a spoken-word piece from Johnny Cash and too much more to mention. The playing sizzles—these are the cats, mind you—and the singing is incredible. We’re Louvin this bigtime.— Mark Pearson/SG

9. Smart Is the New Dumb: Our leaders have nary a functioning brain pan between them. Yet we, with our fancy book-learnin' and pop-cultural logorrhea, find ourselves facing our golden years with dwindling prospects. What's wrong with this picture? Nothing. In accordance with the evolutionary imperatives of simian society, the shit-flinging, bone-wielding alphas run the show. We, meanwhile, must admit to ourselves that typing remains our most marketable skill.—SG

10. Cubs vs. Red Sox: Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have won at all? As a fervent Jets/Mets/Knicks follower, I had my magic moment back in ’69, when all three won titles, but for long-suffering followers of the Cubs and Red Sox (hello, Bill Buckner!), it’s been almost a century and nary a World’s Championship to show for it. In fact, it’s been 1908 since the Cubbies took it all and 1918 for the Bosox (when they beat the Cubs), with the curse of the Wrigley Field Goat and the Bambino, respectively, taking the brunt of the blame. With both teams in the playoffs for the first time in memory, a World Series that one of them has to win loomed on the horizon. Alas, the Babe Ruthless Red Sox are already down 2-0 against the A’s, having blown a late-night ninth inning lead early Thursday morning, losing in extra innings 5-4 (hopefully no one in Boston was up at 3 in the morning to see it). That was followed by a relatively painless and routine 5-1 loss yesterday. This way, they won’t even get to be humiliated by their long-time nemeses, the hated Yanks. The Cubs are actually tied with the Atlanta Braves at presstime, but the feeling is that Sosa and company will find a way to blow this the way the wind blows out on a good day at Wrigley Field. But wouldn’t it be nice, as Brian Wilson once sang, to think about a Fall Classic at Fenway and Wrigley as the leaves turn. Even (especially?) a diehard Mets fan like me could appreciate a coupla all-time bad luck teams getting together to play for all the marbles as followers of both get to lose theirs.—RT

School of Rock (Paramount Pictures)
Fired from his rock band, Jack Black takes a job as a fourth grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school, where he schools the young’uns on the spirit of rock & roll, while recruiting a nine-year-old guitar prodigy to help him win a battle of the bands.
Stars: Jack Black
, Joan Cusack, Sarah Silverman, Mike White.
Director: Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Waking Life), with a screenplay by indie stalwart Mike White (The Good Girl, Orange County, Chuck and Buck)
Thumbs Up: Advance word says this is a star-making vehicle for Black and the commercial breakthrough for Linklater.
Thumbs Down: Pardon the rhyme, but will the public flock to a movie about rock? Not since The Commitments
Soundtrack: Atlantic Records album includes classic tracks from The Who, David Bowie, The Doors, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks, T. Rex and The Ramones, as well as newcomers the Black Keys, The Darkness and the film’s own School of Rock.
Website: www.schoolofrockmovie.com has a mock Rolling Stone logo (which prompted a cease-and-desist from the mag, by the way, until a settlement was reached), a trailer, a blackboard with a diagram of the history of rock, a peek behind the scenes, games and downloads, a photo gallery, news updates and the music.

Out of Time (MGM)
A smalltown Florida police chief borrows money from the evidence room to pay for an expensive medical procedure for the love of his life, only to have her die in an arson-related incident, with the evidence all pointing to him as the culprit.
Stars: Denzel Washington, Dean Cain, Sanaa Lathan, Eva Mendes
The always-capable Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress, One False Move, High Crimes)
Thumbs Up:
Franklin and Washington made a dynamic combo in Devil in a Blue Dress.
Thumbs Down: Looks kinda generic, while Franklin’s last film, High Crimes, showed he’s becoming a little too comfortable in Hollywood.
Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande
album includes score by noted Hollywood composer Graeme Revell.
Website: www.mgm.com/outoftime includes a trailer, story synopsis, characters, photos and clips, behind the scenes, and downloads.

Wonderland (Lions Gate Films)
The true story of legendarily well-hung porn star John Holmes and his teenage girlfriends’ involvement with the 1981 killing of four people at a Laurel Canyon house on Wonderland Avenue.
Stars: Val Kilmer, Kate Bosworth, Christina Applegate, Eric Bogosian, Carrie Fisher, Janeane Garofalo, Paris Hilton, Lisa Kudrow, Ted Levine, Josh Lucas, Dylan McDermott, Tim Blake Nelson, Natasha Gregson Wagner
Director: James Cox
in his theatrical feature debut.
Thumbs Up: Another in a gallery of offbeat Kilmer characterizations, and how did they put together such a talented cast for such a grim subject?Thumbs Down: Advance word says it’s no Boogie Nights.
Soundtrack: Epic Records album includes period hits from Jonathan Davis, Billy Joel, T. Rex, Bad Company, The Cars, Joan Jett, Dobie Gray, Gordon Lightfoot, Roxy Music, Terry Reid, Free and Iggy & the Stooges.Website: www.wonderlandthemovie.com includes a timeline featuring Holmes and all the principles, a trailer, message board, soundtrack information, photos, video clips, downloads and production information.

The Station Agent (Miramax Films)
A young dwarf moves to an abandoned train station in rural New Jersey to live the life of a hermit, which is soon interrupted by his neighbors, including a struggling artist coping with the recent death of her young son and a chatty Cuban hot dog vendor.
Stars: Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams
Director: Tom McCarthy
in his feature debut.
Thumbs Up:
Sundance Festival winner, and when was the last time a little person tried to carry a movie (aside from Willow and the current Carnivale, that is)?
Thumbs Down: Might be a little obscure for the mainstream.
Soundtrack: Music created by Hedwig’s Stephen Trask, but there doesn’t seem to be an official soundtrack. Can anyone tell me if there is?
Website: www.miramax.com offers just the bare facts, ma’am.

Mystic River (WB)
Based on Dennis Lehane novel about three childhood friends reunited in Boston 25 years later when they become linked in the murder investigation of the oldest daughter of the police detective investigating the case.
Stars: Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, Laurence Fishburn, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney
Director: Clint Eastwood
, from a screenplay by Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale, L.A. Confidential)
Thumbs Up: Advance word is Penn may well be Oscar-bound.
Thumbs Down:
Some reviewers have said it’s a little too studied and deliberate.
Soundtrack: Maverick Records album includes score composed by Clint Eastwood and conducted by longtime collaborator Lennie Niehaus, with contributions from son Kyle Eastwood.
Website: www.mysticrivermovie.warnerbros.com features the trailer, intros to the characters, plot synopsis, photo gallery, video, desktops, info on the novel and Eastwood.

The Raveonettes, Chain Gang of Love (Columbia/CRG): If love is a simple song played with conviction over three chords in B flat, drenched in titanic waves of tube-shattering fuzz, feedback and Jesus & Mary Chain squall—this Danish duo’s full-length debut will save the world. Opener "Remember" sets the mood with rangy guitars and reverb-soaked tambourine accents supporting deadpan duet vocals expressing impressionistic sentiments like "Girl can this summer turn you on/When you walk inside yourself/And feel the moon has let you down." "Noisy Summer" packs a Motown-like groove, but surrounded by a wall of noise that doesn’t diminish the gorgeous pop instincts of producer Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, Go-Go’s, Marshall Crenshaw, Strangeloves). Other highlights include "Love Can Destroy Everything," and "Little Animal," which superimposes manic fits of distortion over "Duke of Earl" changes. Chain us up. (JO)

The Darkness, Permission to Land (Atlantic/AG): Chart-toppers in their native U.K., brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins polish off the glorious cliches of metal for post-punks with tongues firmly in cheeks and bulges prominent in all their snakeskin-spandex crotch glory. Justin’s falsetto, sounding like his balls are in a vise, comes and goes, sometimes in the course of a single note, while Dan’s fast-fingered riffs partake of the classic AC/DC-Free-Sabbath-Thin Lizzy songbook. The first single, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love," and the anti/pro (?)-drug anthem, "Givin’ Up" walk the thin line between parody and homage, but it’s all in fun—operatic old-school metal, Spinal Tap by Puccini. And the classic Atlantic logo is reminiscent of another bludgeoning English blooze outfit that wasn’t taken very seriously at first, Led Zeppelin. It sure looks like The Darkness will have the last laugh, too. (RT)

Rufus Wainwright, Want One (DreamWorks): The third time’s the charm for this trailblazing singer-songwriter, who has delivered one of the year’s deepest, most satisfying, records. Indulging his enviable flair for Beatlesque hooks with giant, sumptuous arrangements and operatic flourishes (producer Marius deVries helps keep the multitude of sounds in balance), Wainwright catapults to the first rank of contemporary troubadours. Lead single "I Don’t Know What It Is" is a model of melodic grace; other highlights include the madly hooky "Movies of Myself," the rapturous "Go or Go Ahead," the rueful, baroque "14th Street" and, especially, the wrenchingly gorgeous finale "Dinner at Eight." Yes, in a perfect world, Want One would be a chart-topping sensation. More to the point, when it’s playing, the world is perfect. (SG)

Pretty Girls Make Graves, The New Romance (Matador): With one foot in the barbed-wire guitars of Sonic Youth and Fugazi and the other squarely in step with their post-punk/nu-Wave contemporaries, Seattle-based Pretty Girls Make Grave have a sonic assault that is as tuneful as it is aggressive. The band’s sophomore record is the kind of wide-open indi- rock record which takes off in a million directions, similar to …Trail of Dead, though not quite that extreme. Singer Andrea Zollo is the eye of the hurricane, cutting through the disjointed rhythms and herky-jerky guitar riffs with a calm, steady intonation that doesn’t veer into histrionics when the music gets noisy on songs like "Something Bigger, Something Brighter," which could well describe her ascendance to stardom. (DS)

Quote of the Week: Halle Berry
announced her divorce from her allegedly sex-addicted hubby, Eric Benet, one week after the New York Post’s Page Six claimed the Oscar winner was hot and heavy with rap-rocker Fred Durst. Check out the cryptic, musing MTV News feature from just last week: "Someone has come into my life that I really, really bonded with like I've never bonded with anybody," Durst said. The twosome share a make-out moment in the Limp Bizkit’s latest video, "Behind Blue Eyes," off the band’s brand-new album, Results May Vary. The song is featured in Berry’s forthcoming flick Gothika.

New York Minute: This weekend’s a hot one for music in the city, even as the temperatures drop. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band kick things off on Friday when they take over Shea Stadium, but there are more intimate options as well. Roots avatars and critics’ faves Lucinda Williams and The Jayhawks share a tasty bill at the Beacon Theatre (2124 Broadway), while Boz Scaggs plays Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St.) that evening. Also on Friday, Tony Danza will yuk it up at Feinstein’s at the Regency. On Saturday, it’s round two for the Boss, and on Sunday, it’s time to press repeat for Scaggs and Danza, who take the stage at their previously mentioned venues. —Valerie Nome


If it’s 1:30 a.m. and I’m dancing on a bar, it’s a sure sign that a very tough day at work will follow. Today is that day for me. To make things worse, I have to write this column when I can’t think or type, but at least it was a great night—from what I can remember. Everyone here knows there’s a problem if I show up for work sporting sweats and wet hair, because usually I’m a fashion diva. My only saving grace today is my Yankees hat, which partly obscures the huge bags beneath my eyes and blocks out the florescent lights. I know readers assume I’m a party gal, and for the most part they’re right, but not usually on a school night. I try to save my crazy carousing for the weekends, so I can have a much-needed day of recovery. I’m thanking God right now for at least sparing me the headache I should have after last night. We’ve all had those extraordinary nights followed by an extraordinary day of hell. This week’s cocktail is dedicated to everyone who’s bravely borne the dreaded mornings after.

Pain Killer
1 oz. rum
Splash cream of coconut, pineapple juice and orange juice
Serve over ice, sprinkle nutmeg and garnish with a cherry

What caused me to kickstart my weekend a few days early? First off, it was hump day, and if you’re not going to hump you might as well drink. Secondly, I definitely needed a little Martini Therapy. I had been in a foul mood for two days, and my friends were starting to tire of my whining and bitching, so one of my gals decided martinis and gossip were exactly what the doctor ordered. We originally tried Retail Therapy, but it didn’t work. Quite a few hours and six Cosmopolitans later, I had forgotten that I was in a funk and was dancing on the bar at Forty Deuce with my partner in crime and a lot of other drunks. Martini Therapy was a huge success. And, as an added bonus, on our way out last night, my gal friend and I finally bumped into my hot new neighbor who I’d been staking out since I was told that hottest man in the world had moved into my building. I finally had the opportunity to confirm that it was true. He’s definitely hot, and he joined us at the bar. Thankfully, he left before my little stage show began. At the end of the night, I was in a great mood after indulging in some shameless flirting with my cute neighbor, answering the question all of us in my building had been wanting answered—gay or straight. Straight—yes! I’ve listed five ways to tell if Martini Therapy is working for you.

Five Tell-tale Signs You’re Going To Be Hung Over At Work Tomorrow

  1. You are taking part in any or all of the following activities: dancing on the bar, kissing a stranger or twirling any article of your clothing over your head.
  2. You can’t remember what (or who) caused you to indulge in Martini Therapy, where you left your car or the name of the person lying next to you.
  3. When the bartender calls last call, you start chanting "Hell no, we won’t go!"
  4. The nerdy twentysomething guy in the corner suddenly becomes the hottest man you’ve ever seen.
  5. You begin calling every one of your exes just to tell them just how stupid they were for dumping you.

De’s bar pick of the week: I have officially found the ultimate dive bar. The next time you’re in need of a little therapy, check out the Little Joy Cocktail Lounge on Sunset in Echo Park. It’s beyond grungy, and I absolutely love it. I don’t know how this place got an "A" rating. The mismatched ceiling tiles, lack of décor and dirt-cheap drinks ($6 for two beers and one was an import) makes you question if you’re really in Los Angeles County. The joint is always packed with grungy Echo Park locals, so leave your Hollywood attitude at the door.

I hope everyone has a martini-filled weekend. As for me, I’ll be partaking in Hair-of-the-Dog Therapy to get rid of this hangover. Until next week—hugs and kisses.—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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