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You know how you hear the yelling and cheering in your neighborhood after a big play during the World Series, Super Bowl, or any major sporting event? Well, I'm pretty sure I heard cries of both pain and joy the other night, when Trista chose Ryan over Charlie on The Bachelorette.
THIS WEAKEND PLANNER COULD USE A REALITY CHECK
This Week, We Focus on Certain Examples of Sports for Boys and Sports for Girls
You'll have to excuse us if, after the climactic finales of Joe Millionaire, The Bachelorette and Surreal World, the premieres of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, Are You Hot? and the hottie-girl-tribe-vs. buff-boy-tribe Survivor, along with a half-dozen Michael Jackson docmentaries, we feel the need to scrub away the tabloid grime in a nice, hot bath...preferably with the cell phone turned off, aromatherapy votives burning and a copy of the brand-new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue close at hand. Isn't it good, Norwegian wood? Hey, wait a minute... Can you blame us if we're suffering from a mild case of gender confusion?  

WEAKEND POPCULT TOP 10
1.
White Stripes, Elephant (V2): Call it the Stripes' White album. My esteemed colleague Simon Glickman waxed—pun intended—about this epic work several weeks ago, and even though I wasn’t able to round up a turntable, my burned CD from the promo vinyl will do just fine, with its audible surface noise most welcome. Aside from the martial first single “Seven Nation Army,” which should please Stripe fans turned on to the band by “Fell in Love With a Girl” and “Dead Leaves,” there's not a duff cut in the batch, the first truly great rock record of the year. The whisper-to-a-primal scream “Gimme Some Truth” Lennon bite of “There’s No Home for You Here” and the Rod Stewart circa Gasoline Alley slide guitar-flavored winsome young man blues of “I Want to Be the Boy…” are first to stick and hold. It’s the album’s final track, though, the folk-country roundelay, “It’s True That We Love One Another,” a menage a trois with Brit singer Holly Golightly, that’s the revelation, a coy game of sexual triple-entendre that extends the group’s sibling rivalry/romantic tension to new heights of aw-shucks beauty. With any luck, the Stripes and The Strokes will turn into the Beatles and Stones of their g-g-g-eneration. —RT

2. Dubious Auction Item of the Week: Thanks to the seemingly limitless imagination of eBay auctioneers, Bobby Zimmerman’s very first bathtub, yanked from the lavatory of his Hibbing, Minn., boyhood home, can now be yours. Amazingly, the original bid of $99.99 still stands, with just two days to closing. Does A.J. Weberman know about this? Thanks to Sony Music’s sharp-eyed Keith McCarthy for making us aware of this rare opportunity. —BS

3. Hawaiian Hootenanny: Michele Clark’s “Sunset Sessions,” which this year took place on the Kona Coast of the big island, offered highlights beyond the obvious good times and relaxation inherent in a high-end resort. The live debut of the Thorns, an APM supergroup featuring Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge, was indeed a treat, their CSN-like harmonies made all the more ironic by Mullins’ crack, “This is our first gig.” I was moved to interject, “…and we’re scared shitless!” in reference to the comment made from the stage during CSNY’s Woodstock set, but thankfully restrained myself. We also feasted on a bunch of new Pete Yorn music during a late-night performance that inspired the attendance of R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, who popped over from his island home on Kauai for the occasion. But it would be tough to match the once-in-a-lifetime intimacy of Jack Johnson’s solo acoustic performance. For an artist who generally shies away from industry functions, Jack was gracious and charming, effectively expressing heartfelt gratitude to a group of programmers who’ve been wildly supportive of his music. —MM

4. Sun Records 50th Anniversary Box (Varese Sarabande): It all started in Memphis. Jerry Lee Lewis. Roy Orbison. Johnny Cash. Elvis Presley. Rockabilly cats. Blues hounds. People merging and blurring the color lines, pushing race music toward white America, creating a sound that would ultimately bring people together—in the name of the beat, the heat, the increased pulse and the throbbing wherever it might happen. This three-CD set, divided into The Hits, The Blues and The Red-Hot Rockabilly, unearths obscure gems, reminds us of songs that struck a chord and puts the legacy into one place. This is where the rubber maybe didn't meet the road, but coalesced into something that was whole and had a future. And if you love "Mystery Train," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Breathless," "I Walk the Line," "High School Confidential," "Dixie Fried," "Hoppin' The Blues" and "Guess Things Happen This Way," you're just scratching the surface. —HG

5. A.M. Homes, Los Angeles (National Geographic): Homes has written an intriguing page-turner detailing an outsider's view (and a rather quirky one at that) of Los Angeles, spending much time and detail on the nuances of the famous and mysterious Chateau Marmont hotel, which she uses as her home base. It’s the expected dark/cynical overview of the city, combined with a novelist's best storytelling talents, revealing much detail that this 29-year resident still found new and constantly interesting, spiced up with tons of gossipy underbelly innuendo. Short at 170 pages, easy to read and highly recommended. —LB

6. The Truth About Charlie (Universal Home Video): It’s hard to know how to begin to explain where this Jonathan Demme remake of Stanley Donen’s classic Charade went wrong. Maybe the idea that Mark Wahlberg could stand in for the original’s oh-so-debonair Cary Grant, or that a woefully inept Tim Robbins could approximate the sleazy double-cross of Walter Matthau, though the least of the film’s problems is fetching newcomer Thandie Newton in the Audrey Hepburn role. And while some of the set-pieces form a loving valentine to the city of Paris (including cameos by Charles Aznavour, Anna Karina and Agnes Varda), the sense of danger and intrigue in the original is completely dissipated, despite a surging techno soundtrack. A special DVD reissue which includes the original Charade should make the difference between the two even more clear. —RT

7. Site of the Week: Wanna know what the lawsuit really said? Who was zooming who? Just where that salacious bit of whatever came from? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you thesmokinggun.com. This is the site where the briefs (legal) get posted, the briefs (literal) get dropped on more than one occasion, and it's all kept brief and to the point. Wanna know about the Liza Minnelli/David Gest legal face-off with VH1? How 'bout Joe Millionaire's modeling pictures? Diana Ross' extreme DUI? Winona Ryder kicking her drug problem? Any of the rest of the frivolous and trivial that keeps our whole fame-obsessed culture mesmerized? The real-deal bottom line's all here. No frills, no mercy, just the facts ma'am—and plenty of 'em. —HG

8. What’s spinning in spinning class: Among the tracks played this week by spinning instructors at the Sports Center in Toluca Lake were James Brown’s “Sex Machine,” the Doors’ “L.A. Woman,” Van McCoy’s “The Hustle,” Elvis Costello & the Attractions’ “Oliver’s Army” and “(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” Roxy Music’s “Love Is the Drug,” the Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These,” B.B. King & Tracy Chapman’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” Taxiride’s “This Time,” the Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and St. Germaine’s “Sure Thing” (the one with the John Lee Hooker sample). Suggestion to spinners: If you want to hear motivating music during your sessions, burn a compilation and give it to your instructor. —BS

9. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: Kate Hudson is her mother's daughter with an inner beam and a gift for comedic tenor as the by-product of a sunny disposition. Matthew McConaughey is dashing and glimmering as the rogue ad exec playing hunter-getting-trapped-by-the-quarry. But more than anything, this skewering of everything that goes wrong between the sexes offers up a bromidic payoff that is strewn with riotous moments, sweet truths and a happy ending that'll melt a cynic’s heart. —HG

10. New Music-Biz Paradigms Dept.: Here’s a fascinating view of the future from Peter Spellman of the Berklee School of Music, who posits that the music business is in the early stages of transforming itself into the musicians’ business. Thanks to Derek Sivers of CD Baby for making us aware of it.

REALITY CHECK, PLEASE
We all know that baseball is right around the corner. There's the thrill of opening day, then you settle into the season, keeping up with your team's stats, praying your team makes it all the way and wins the championship. It's the same with reality TV. The network gets you hooked in the beginning, you pick your favorite and then you watch the series play out until the big finish. Oh, the networks are gooood. Some might call it evil; I call it genius.

The big home run.
You know how you hear the yelling and cheering in your neighborhood after a big play during the World Series, Super Bowl, or any major sporting event? Well, I'm pretty sure I heard cries of both pain and joy the other night, when Trista chose Ryan over Charlie on The Bachelorette. As for me, I screamed at my TV and scared the crap out of my dog (she's already recovered; four jerky treats took care of it). I, being a big Charlie fan, was truly pissed off until I watched the interview the following night and saw that Trista and Ryan were really suited for each other. Ryan is the sweet and dopey romantic doormat she's been looking for her whole life. If I were truly adventurous, I’d be in my car heading down to Hermosa Beach right now to get me some of that hot Charlie. But I’m not, so I mapquested the South Beach area for my roommate. I'm sure I wasn't the only woman to do so.

The strike-out:
I'm not saying it was a total disaster, or unwatchable, ’cause ya know I was so there, but the Joe Millionaire finale ended with a big fat thud. You will never convince me that Evan and Zora can or will be able to keep up a conversation, let alone a relationship. He grunts, and she just looks stunned, sort of giggles and looks away. I was really hoping for a big blowout, but there was nothing. Nobody even went off on him for lying to them—and the check for half a million at the end didn't quite make up for the flaccid finish. What the f…! Note to producers: Next time get a guy who is not so, how do I put this… charm-free.

The theory that reality TV is for women what sports is for men might be true, but if it is, why do I hear so many guys discussing the dilemma of which to watch, Survivor Brasil or Corey Feldman's nuptials on The Surreal Life? In any case, now that the Joe Millionaire and Bachelorette seasons are over, I will trade in my jersey for a buff, head down to Brasil and see who survives the big bad jungle. This oughta be good. —Nicole Tocantins

TWO FANS’ NOTES
The New, Improved Lake Show:
On Jan. 31, two Lakers fans voiced their grave misgivings in this space, as they and the team were reeling from a three-game losing streak and a seemingly lost season. But then something very special began to happen: Without warning, Kobe Bryant leapt to another level, and he’s remained airborne ever since. Now the two fans are feeling a bit better.

Says Elektra’s Joel Amsterdam, on the team’s improved prospects: “Like always, it's gonna be up to the Big No Heart, ‘I’m TOO FATT’ Shaq. We go only as far as he's willing to take us. Not doubting he's hurting, but if he had gotten surgery earlier and come into camp in shape, we wouldn't be in this mess. What can you say about #8, though? I'm so glad he's shoving it up all the Kobe-haters' asses right now. He's just playing at such a high level, it's fun again. When Magic retired, I didn't think I'd ever get as much enjoyment from a Laker again, but Kobe has proved me wrong. I love knowing he's got at least 10 years left, and he's going to get better and better...WOW!”

And I reply: “Not only that, but in all likelihood this team will eventually be built around Kobe, and it will look much different than this squad, which has been put together to complement Shaq. That should mean the Lakers of the late '00s will look something like the Bulls of the 1990s, and that oughta be a whole lotta fun to watch. Actually, the last two games have provided a kind of foreshadowing of that possible future, with the supporting cast getting to loose balls, hitting open shots and generally matching their fearless leader’s intensity. And man, was it ever a thing of beauty. No way were they gonna beat the Jazz at home less than 24 hours after having to go double OT to beat Houston. But they did—and even Jazz fans were seduced as they witnessed this little miracle. Can you believe fans in Salt Lake shouting "Ko-BEE! Ko-BEE!”? Whoa. Far cry from ‘Beat L.A.’”

The Lakers host the Blazers Friday night, and Shaq is expected to play. Bud Scoppa

THREE SITES FOR SHIRKERS
Every so often, one may find oneself with a curious desire to deliberately loaf. It is said that fulfilling that desire sooner, rather than later, is best since the actual loaf time elapsed tends to be shorter and the getting back to work quicker than if one “puts off” procrastinating. To that end, here are three websites that offer the advantage of making one feel one has really wasted some time, without taking very long to achieve the effect:

  • Homestar Runner: Don’t think about this too hard, just soak up the weirdness.
  • Flash Mindreader: A simple deception, once you figure it out. Shouldn’t take long.
  • Rondellus: Dude! Black Sabbath sung in Latin by Estonians! Performed on medieval instruments! Sung in a church! Shyeeeaahh. Jon O’Hara

THEY’RE BAAAAACK
Spring must be on the way—at least here in L.A. After all, we’re being treated just now to the return of two gifted singer/songwriters whose work some years back on major labels, though impressive, didn’t connect commercially. But both have grown creatively and are thriving in indieland. Kim Fox, whose DreamWorks debut, Moon Hut, was one of the great unsung pop-rock records of 1997, has a new album due out next month on Franklin Castle/Oglio. Return to Planet Earth finds her in a more exuberant mood than she displayed on the evocative Hut; it’s as though removing the burden of big-time expectation has freed her inner popgeek. Yet “I’ve Got Music” has one of those slam-dunk choruses that make weasels drool, while “Something Just as Good,” “I See Too Well” and “Little Piece of Heaven” demonstrate Fox’s mastery of an array of idioms. Her girlish voice, meanwhile, soars with a previously unimagined power—while retaining the nuance and intelligence that characterized her earlier work. Producer Linus of Hollywood deftly balances classic and contemporary elements, and L.A. pop stalwarts Jon Brion, Roger Manning, Ben Eshbach, Stew, Margo Guryan and Andrew Williams, among others, add flavor. Keep an eye on Fox. And while you’re at it, keep an eye peeled for Jonny Polonsky. He was just a sprout when Pixies founder and PoMo solo artist Frank Black heard his demo and decided to produce his debut disc. Though it didn’t dent the marketplace, 1996’s Hello My Name Is Jonny (American) was twenty-something minutes of alterna-pop bliss. Polonsky recently reemerged with an EP, There Is Something Wrong With You (Eggbert), as well as a batch of as-yet unclaimed material. His new tracks are deeper and ballsier than before, and his singing less jejune. Among the standouts: “Let Me Out,” “Even the Oxen” (not the Grant Lee Buffalo song) and the scorching “Live for the Light.” Both Polonsky and Fox have been winning over crowds around L.A. with their new material. She’ll be doing an intimate set at the Hotel Cafe on 3/17; he recently opened for Phantom Planet and will have more shows to announce soon.
Simon Glickman

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Old School (DreamWorks)
Premise: Animal House 2003… Three guys in their early 30s try to relive their glory college days by forming an “unofficial fraternity,” where they can enjoy partying without worrying about educashun.
Stars: Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, 24’s Elisa Cuthbart, Andy Dick, Craig Kilborn, Howard Stern comic Artie Lang, Juliette Lewis, Jeremy Piven, Seann William Scott, Harve Presnell.
Director: Road Trip’s Todd Phillips is becoming the king of frat hi-jinks gross-out comedy, with executive producers Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock.
Thumbs Up: Wild comic cast, hilarious trailers, Wilson and Ferrell are talented farceurs.
Thumbs Down: How lowest-common-denominator comedy can you go?
Soundtrack: None I could find, but how could that be?
Website:
OldSchool-TheMovie.com gives you a chance to join a fraternity and a pledge name, a poll, Frank the Tank’s Streak-O-Matic, interviews, cast and crew information, multimedia files, a photo gallery and a Snoop Dogg video from “Mitch-a-palooza.”

Dark Blue (MGM/UA)
Premise: Drama set within the LAPD during the week leading up to the verdict in the Rodney King trial, and subsequent riots. Story follows two officers investigating a racially charged, brutal robbery/homicide.
Stars: Kurt Russell, Scott Speedman (Ben from Felicity), Ving Rhames, Kurupt, Brendan Gleeson.
Director: Ron Shelton’s first non-sports film since Blaze (Tin Cup, White Men Can’t Jump, Cobb, Bull Durham, Play It to the Bone). Screenplay is by David Ayer (Training Day) from a story by James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential), who wrote the lead role with Russell in mind.
Thumbs Up: Could be Sidney Lumet, L.A. style.
Thumbs Down: Another dark, brooding policier by the genre numbers.
Soundtrack: Soundtrack features score by frequent Spike Lee collaborator, jazz musician Terence Blanchard.
Website: www.mgm.com/ua/darkblue/
offers a flash intro, production notes, a trailer and information on the lead characters.

The Life of David Gale (Universal Pictures)
Premise: A Texas professor and advocate for the elimination of the death penalty is falsely accused and convicted of the rape and murder of another activist and ends up on death row, where a lone reporter takes up his cause.
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Laura Linney, Kate Winslet, Gabriel Mann.
Director: Alan Parker (Angel Heart, Mississippi Burning, Angela’s Ashes, The Commitments)
Thumbs Up: Coming attractions look like it’s a suspenseful movie with big ideas on its mind.
Thumbs Down: Coming attractions basically tell the entire story, and why was the movie’s opening postponed from its prime Oscar slot in early fall to the middle of February?
Soundtrack: The Decca/UMG Soundtracks CD, featuring the original score by Alan and son Jake Parker is enhanced, containing both regular audio tracks and multimedia files.
Website: TheLifeofDavidGale.com has a plot synopsis, cast information, production notes, behind the scenes, clips and trailers, downloads, an image gallery and streamed soundtrack selections.

Gods and Generals (Turner Pictures/WB)
Premise: The prequel to the original TNT production of Gettysburg and the second in a proposed Civil War trilogy, as Ted Turner continues his obsession with the era, featuring the true stories of the battles of Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, using a mix of historic and fictional characters.
Stars: A cast of thousands, including Robert Duvall as General Robert E. Lee, Stephen Lang as General "Stonewall" Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner, Billy Campbell, Jeff Daniels, C. Thomas Howell, Malachy McCourt, Mira Sorvino, Sen. Robert Byrd, David Foster, etc.
Director: Ron Maxwell, whose previous credits include Gettysburg and The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.
Thumbs Up: Is it Ted’s Gone With the Wind?
Thumbs Down: Is it a waxworks theme-park ride?
Soundtrack: The Sony Classical album includes a new song by Bob Dylan, two cuts by ex-October Project vocalist Mary Fahl, along with the original score by John Frizell and Randy Edelman.
Website: GodsandGenerals.com offers information about the film, a trailer, photo gallery, downloads, cast and crew information, book and soundtrack information, message boards, links and resources and an interactive 3D action-shooter game which allows you to engage in Civil War combat. Roy Trakin

SHINY ROUND THINGS
We’re a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones (DV8/Columbia): On this labor of love conceived and carried out by The Firm’s Andy Gould, ex-manager Gary Kurfirst, Johnny Ramone and Rob Zombie, 15 bands prove how hard it is to improve upon perfection. Metallica must slow down to catch up to “53rd & 3rd,” Kiss’ “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio” shows what they’d sound like if they could write a hook, and by accenting the other beat, the Chili Peppers turn “Havana Affair” into a brooding mystery dance. But it’s the Pretenders (“Something to Believe In”), Pete Yorn (“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”) and newcomers Rooney (“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”) who nail the romantic heart at the core of the bruddas’ comic-book nihilism by inscribing their own epitaphs onto punk’s Rosetta Stone. —RT

Richard Ashcroft, Human Conditions (Hut/Virgin): The former Verve frontman is far too contemplative to write a simple love song; he seeks a larger context. On “Science of Silence,” from the middle of Ashcroft’s second solo album, he intones, “We are on a rock, spinning silently/Won’t you please get close to me?”—and that couplet sums up the theme of the record. On Human Conditions, Ashcroft is part refined soul man, part Celtic shaman, and he puts across the dense verbiage with an incantatory fervor that draws on the Van of Astral Weeks and the Marvin of What’s Goin’ On? His mesmerizing vocals, set off by elegant orchestrations over unhurried grooves, keep the vibe percolating, from the metaphysical-epic opener “Check the Meaning” to the closing “Nature Is the Law,” graced by a heavenly chorale arranged and sung by Brian Wilson. How cool is that?
—BS

The Music, The Music (Capitol): Anyone looking for a fresh fix of Britpop psychedelia along the lines of masters the Stone Roses need look no further than this Leeds foursome, who whip up a gripping mix of tripped-out guitars spiked with the occasional synth oscillation. Amid the resulting heavy atmospherics, familiar blues riffs sometimes reveal themselves, while a nasty slide solo here or flanged dobro there suggest a nod to Led Zeppelin’s bluesy bent. Meanwhile, single “Take the Long Road and Walk It” takes a page from Cream’s “Crossroads,” further expanding the historical vibe, as does singer Robert Harvey’s Vince Neil-inspired vocal on groover “The Truth Is No Words.” Taking it to the next level. —JO

Massive Attack, 100th Window (Virgin): This U.K. band helped shape the contours of modern electronic pop and practically invented trip-hop; Window shows they’re still pushing the envelope. The new disc melds disaffected voices, minimalist beats, roiling, dubby bass lines and frosty keyboard textures into a sonic evocation of this tense era. Sinead O’Connor contributes vocals on three tracks, notably the hypnotic “Special Cases,” while Horace Andy and Robert "3D" Del Naja assay the narcotic, dystopian funk of “Butterfly Caught,” among others. With most of these moody tracks extending well beyond the seven-minute mark, Window ain’t no disco party, not by a long shot. But for those “orange-alert” days, it’s just the ticket. —SG

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL…WITH ALEX MICHEL
A question for all of you: Are butterflies overrated? No, I’m not talking about those beautifully colored flying creatures. I’m referring to that feeling you get in your stomach when the guy (or girl) you’ve just started seeing kisses you for the first time. It’s that feeling we strive for, but usually leads to heartbreak. Recalling my past dating experiences, butterflies have almost always ended in tears shed. But, is continuing in a relationship with a person who doesn’t elicit the “butterfly” feeling tantamount to selling out—settling for less than true love? I’ve been polling the gals in the office on this subject and have received mixed reactions. The majority held on to the belief that butterflies equal the “real” thing. If that’s right, then I’m really screwed, because I don’t get that feeling a lot, but when I do, it’s incredible. If a man is capable of giving me butterflies with a kiss, usually he has no problem giving me “O”ther important feelings. My cocktail of the week is dedicated to the self-sacrificing behavior I must endure in order to find that elusive butterfly feeling.

French Kiss Martini
2 oz. Stolichnaya Ohranj vodka
oz. Lillet (French wine-based aperitif—almost as difficult to find as a man who gives
you butterflies)
Chill and strain into a martini glass

Last night Trista, the bachelorette, chose her husband. I think she made the “smart” choice. Ryan, the poetic fireman, won her heart, or at least her hand, while suave and sexy Charlie was sent packing—a surprise to him and all of us. He was incredibly charming; he said all of the right things and played the game superbly, like he’s probably played many a single gal throughout his life. I can almost guarantee butterflies were happening for Trista during their many rendezvous, but she somehow overcame the attraction and chose the reliable, sensitive, vulnerable one—a victory for nice guys everywhere. I’m not saying she doesn’t have feelings for the incredibly hot but poetically inept Ryan. I’m sure she does, but I must give the girl props. She did what I could not—chose wisely. I can almost guarantee that I would’ve fallen for Charlie’s game. He’s a total player and, unfortunately, I seem to be really into that whole unattainable vibe that player-types throw off. She’s dating “smartly”: looking into the future and determining that she could see Ryan chasing their kids in the backyard and Charlie chasing chicks in a bar. This brings up the issue of “smart dating” versus “heart dating.” Who would you have chosen? Me? Charlie—I’m just not “smart” when it comes to dating. I suck! No, Charlie-types suck—damn it, but I love them! Yummy! I guess everyone has addictions; mine are unattainable men and Starbucks Carmel Macchiatos.

While I’m on the subject of Trista, I ran into her ex-boyfriend—first Bachelor Alex Michel—at the W Hotel’s Valentine’s party. This guy is well past his 15 minutes—agreed? And, about all of those gay rumors—not true. This guy put the “D” in dog. He loved me, or at least me in the sexy black dress that I was wearing, or the thought of that dress lying next to his bed. When I asked him for an interview, he responded with questions as to the possibility of me doing a little pole dance during the interview. I didn’t ask him to specify what pole he was referring to. Some things are better left unsaid.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: There are always plenty of potential butterfly-givers at the W Bar in the W Hotel, and if you get lucky, just get a room. Last Friday night the place was packed with pretty people who were all looking to hook up. I even got a warm and very friendly welcome from Ginuwine, who was nuzzled up to the bar with a group of admirers. The service was slow, but it was to be expected because you could barely walk through the sea of people in the bar area. I needed to slow down on the cosmopolitans anyway, in order to ward off making a fool of myself. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest, and technically you’re supposed to be a hotel guest, so go early or get on the list.

De’s diss of the week: I don’t have any bars to rail this week, only a pet peeve. Is it so difficult for people to return calls? That’s all I want to ask. Manners—where have they gone?

As always, send me your bar suggestions, dating horror stories or bars that need dissed, because I seem to be having a hard time finding places that piss me off. Until next week—hugs & kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Joel Amsterdam, Denise Bayles, Lenny Beer, Darren Cava, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Todd Hensley, Keith McCarthy, Jon O’Hara, Anna Osborne, Toni Profera and Roy Trakin

Edited by Bud Scoppa

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