Wilson's ballad “Sugar,” sung on record and on the Largo stage with Sheryl Crow, is impossibly poignant. If this duet appeared on Crow’s next record, it would be a hit; in this Norah Jones-infused world, I believe it would win over record buyers, no matter whose name precedes the word “featuring” in the artist credit.
Every Year at This Time, the Numbskulls
From the Cesspool Conduct a Festive, If
Futile, Search for Their Missing Intellects
Our sincerest thanks to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for getting that pesky war over with before the start of the NBA Playoffs this weekend. That means two jam-packed days of guilt-free excitement, without having to work CNN or Fox News into the finger pattern on the remote. Meanwhile, our esteemed editor in chief can’t stop playing with his Saddam bobblehead doll. What a strange time we’re living in…

1. The NBA Playoffs:
Around here, we refer to the first two days of wall-to-wall games as Game One Weekend; 16 teams are feeling pretty good about themselves, and none of them has yet lost a game. The five games Saturday are split up between ESPN and TNT, each of which gets a Sunday game as well, as ABC goes for Lakers at T'wolves (12:30 PDT). Elektra’s Joel Amsterdam and I breathed a sigh of relief after our beloved Lakers woke up halfway into the season, streaking all the way to the #5 seed in the West. Our IM dialogue is a few screens below. —BS

2. David Bowie, Aladdin Sane (Virgin): The label, which just brought out the 30th Anniversary Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, has favored us with another archival Bowie reissue. The two-disc Aladdin Sane (which itself came out 30 years ago, God save us all) boasts not only a digitally remastered version of the original album sequence but a disc full of extras as well. Aladdin was the last album Bowie made with the incredible Spiders From Mars band; it features such indispensable guitar-glam fare as “The Jean Genie,” “Panic in Detroit,” “Cracked Actor,” “Watch That Man,” a revved-up take on the Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and the slinky title track. The second disc includes a previously unreleased version of the single “John, I’m Only Dancing,” “All the Young Dudes,” a handful of live tracks from ’72 and more. Bowie’s work from this period remains staggeringly influential, blending power and pathos in exciting new ways. The fact that it’s been around for three decades isn’t just depressing because I’m old—it’s also mind-blowing, considering how fresh it sounds. Genie-us. —SG

3. Up Next, Playing Left Field: First they told Blue Man Group it wouldn't last a week in New York. The guys are now well into their second decade at the Astor Place Theatre, playing nightly each week (two shows on weekends). Oh yeah, there are also those sold-out nightly shows running concurrently in Boston (since '95), Chicago (since '97) and Las Vegas (2000), where Luxor bean counters hit the jackpot with the most consistent seller on the Strip. Then they told Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton and Chris Wink their franchise would NEVER encompass the "traditional" music business—let alone with an all-instrumental collection. That was before 2000's brilliant Audio went gold and scored a Grammy nomination for Virgin (or maybe despite Virgin?). So what happens when Blue Man Group finally teams up with a true believer in childhood friend and Lava chief Jason Flom? The answer is The Complex (streeting 4/22), an innovative, thrilling rock album featuring vocals by (among others) Dave Matthews (the single, "Sing Along," was Most Added at Adult Top 40 this week), Tracy Bonham and Gavin Rossdale, whose track will close Arnold's upcoming T3 blockbuster, along with a killer video. Can you say, "Kids, meet the Blue Man Group"? Add to that, two nights at Coachella, and a monumental summer "rock tour" whose advance ticket sales have Marty Diamond seeing green amid the blue—as well as the aforementioned fan in Flom—and you get the feeling something might just break here. But amid all the commerce is the music. These guys don't fuck around. They're twisted—make that demented—and they're obsessive perfectionists. The Complex may rock to the beat of a very different and original drummer, but that's its beauty. This ain't the same old shit. It's really good. —DA 

4. The Travails of a Mets/Jets/Knicks/Islanders Fan: Between the four of them, they suck all the joy out of fandom. The woebegone Mets, the worst team money can buy, are almost unwatchable, the players walking up to the plate in a seeming fog like zombies, unable to hit their weight, looking dazed, confused and miserable. It’s only April, but the worst-case scenario is coming true. Future Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar (suffering from the same ex-Cleveland-Indian-second-baseman-traded-to-the-Mets disease that afflicted Carlos Baerga) and poor Mike Piazza seem like shells of their former selves, while Mo Vaughn (now referred to as “Fat Bastard” on Met fan sites) and Jeromy Burnitz look as helpless as they did last year. The Knicks, meanwhile, with their nearly $100 million payroll, were neither good enough to make the playoffs nor bad enough to grab a lottery shot at LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, and so appear doomed to post-Patrick Ewing mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Throw in the always-hapless Jets, reeling from the defection of four of their starters to the hated Washington Redskins (curse you, Ricky Leigh) and the Islanders’ playoff demise, and you can understand why I’m looking forward to my daughter’s upcoming soccer season with uncommon anticipation. —RT

5. Exsanguination: The draining of all blood from a person or animal. Leaching. May derive from autopsy jargon, but music-business usages are endless. A wonderful word in a world of a constricting economy and human-resource shifts. Many thanks to John Nolan Hobbs for the taut definition. —HG

6. Brian Wilson On Tour (Sanctuary DVD): The return of Brian Wilson to live performing three years ago was a dream come true for fans of the legendary Beach Boy genius, even if the performances sometimes found him looking vacantly out at the audience, his face contorted in anguish. The chronicle offers a steady stream of dressing-room admirers and on-screen testimonials from the likes of Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Pete Townshend, Carnie Wilson, Patti Smith, Sheryl Crow, Nancy Sinatra and Ronnie Spector, along with documentary footage of his new wife and child. The revelation here is Wilson’s backing group the Wondermints, who lovingly recreate those arrangements and have Brian’s ample back at all times. If you thought the once and future Beach Boy was an irreparably damaged idiot savant, watching him masterfully conduct a backstage rehearsal proves the man still knows his way around a multi-part pop harmony like few others. —RT

7. Baby, You Can Drive My Car: When I first checked out a clean-fuel vehicle from Environmental Vehicle Outfitters, I didn’t expect it to be quite so—how to put this?—pimped out. But in point of fact, the Evo Limo, which runs on compressed natural gas, has ultra-cozy seating for six and is a veritable urbanite’s palace on wheels. Dig the 15-inch flat-screen TV with DVD/PlayStation2. Enjoy the XM Satellite Radio and the “smart” minibar. And feel virtuous! Evo Prexy David Young and cohorts intended their specially modified fleet of Chevy Suburbans (retrofitted as ULEVs, or ultra-low emissions vehicles) to appeal to the entertainment biz. The fleet’s launch coincided with 2003 L.A. Fashion Week, and the company is a sponsor of the CLEAN Fur Free Party. “Customers want the luxury of a limousine, the convenience of a town car and the secure low profile of a dark-tinted SUV,” Young explains. “So we developed a unique blend of all three.” Debuting in L.A., the service then plans to go statewide and on to the rest of the U.S. “This is the country’s first environmentally responsible luxury car service,” Young asserts. You know your entourage would approve. What are you waiting for?

8. Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon (Rhino): The corrosively sardonic Zevon would be the first one to recognize the irony in dying as a career move, but this timely greatest hits album offers proof that the singer/songwriter contemplated his own mortality way before being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The first part of the record demonstrates the man’s, yep, genius, with “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” “Hasten Down the Wind,” “Werewolves of London,” “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” “Excitable Boy” and “Lawyers Guns and Money” evincing a bitterness that would be unbearable if it weren’t pointed mostly at himself. But it’s the last part of the record that reveals the underlying fatalism in the man’s work. “Detox Mansion,” the Dylanesque “Boom Boom Mancini,” a version of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Hindu Love Gods, “Mr. Bad Example” and “I Was in the House When the House Burned Down” offer a reminder how much his idiosyncratic voice will be missed in contemporary pop music. —RT

9. Bellini: First you meet the divinely beautiful Donatella, who owns the blond-wood-based Bellini. Reeling from her authentic grace, the freshest of the fresh Italian cuisine begins arriving. Many of the classics—lighter yet deeper-flavored than you can imagine—begin arriving, along with maybe some olives, a chunk of fresh parmigiano to nibble…or else things she's made up, like the divine "little gluttons," dumplings made from fresh cheese and spinach with just a touch of flour. This New York restaurant provides a dizzying culinary experience that's the antithesis of what seems to be the status quo Italian. Yet the headiness of the room, the food, the wine and the owner will leave you clamoring for more. —HG

10. Promo Weasel Stupid Site of the Weak: An optical illusion—cool… http://home.mn.rr.com/t1camp1/Focus.swf —TH

Dan Wilson solo:
The term “industry lovefest” may sound like an oxymoron in these cynical times, especially when applied to an unsigned artist, but I can think of no better way to describe the vibe at Largo Wednesday night, as the golden-voiced former frontman of Semisonic played selections from his unreleased solo album to a crowd dominated by insiders and erstwhile colleagues, many of whom seemed to have at least a passing acquaintance with the new material. And for those fortunate enough to have scored a copy from the man himself or manager Jim Grant, it’s no surprise that the songs have made an impression, because they are smart pop of the highest, and most seductive, order. And boy oh boy, do they work live.

Backed at first by fellow Minneapolis musician Keith Chastain on traps and the Largo upright piano, Wilson was later joined by the gifted Watkins siblings, violinist Sarah (whose onstage mixture of absorption and delight provided a winning subplot for the performance) and guitarist Sean, from Nickel Creek. He limited his Semisonic selections to three songs (one from that band’s drummer, Jake Schlister, who’s in New York writing a satirical novel about the music biz), paced by a stirring “Singing in My Sleep” featuring the Watkins kids’ blood harmonies. Everything else was from the as yet untitled solo record, which contains what I believe to be Wilson’s strongest assemblage of melodies yet—melodies that swoop and soar to their thrilling resolutions, allowing him to open up his pure, pitch-perfect tenor in the unabashed way he’s kept under wraps since Trip Shakespeare.

Several of these tunes—“Against History,” “Hello Stranger” and “Cry,” for starters—exhibit an exhilarating propulsiveness while carrying a payload of vivid imagery. Others sound like latter-day standards: the secular gospel song “Come Home Angel,” with its contemporary metaphysical intimations, recalls “Let It Be”; “Honey Please” and “All Kinds” might’ve been ripped from the hallowed pages of the Great American Songbook; the ballad “Sugar,” sung on record and on the Largo stage with Sheryl Crow, is impossibly poignant. If this duet appeared on Crow’s next record, it would be a hit; in this Norah Jones-infused world, I believe it would win over record buyers, no matter whose name precedes the word “featuring” in the artist credit.

What is wrong with you A&R people—Dan Wilson’s record is a no-brainer that’s right on time. And would you believe the publishing of this masterful songwriter is available as well? Even the title is obvious: Clearly, Wilson’s gotta go with Against History. For an artist who’s already beaten the odds once in his career and seems poised to do it yet again, that says it all. Bud Scoppa

Let's see... Spurs-Suns and T’wolves-Lakers in one bracket, Kings-Jazz and Mavs-Blazers in the other. The most intriguing upset possibility is loaded, erratic Portland over an increasingly vulnerable-looking Dallas. How do you see the first round, Joel?

JA: Portland is still Portland, which means Dallas in 5 or 6. The Jailblazers can't stand success and will implode. Spurs will sweep Suns, even though they had a tough time with them during the season. Kings in 5 over the Jazz and Lakes in 5 over the Tpups...

JA: As for the East, who the fuck knows. Close your eyes, pick a team and there you go...although I think Indiana or Charlotte will win the East.

BS: Charlotte... I'm trying to place that squad.

JA: I mean New Orleans. Ha! Can you imagine the whining in the Dallas/Portland series?? That will be hilarious. Technicals galore! It's not a playoff, it’s a hate-off. Cuban/Nellie are intolerable, and the Blazers—what can you say? —the biggest bunch of whining losers the league has ever seen.

BS: It'll be great showbiz. Gotta figure Dallas has enough. Neither Dallas, Portland not Minnie are exactly breathers for L.A., but I like the Lakes' chances better if they don't have to play the top three in order. The irony for Lakers fans is that the long offensive rebound that led to Rasheed's game winner Sunday put L.A. in what appears to be an easier matchup, even if they don't have home court.

JA: Appears to be... That's the thing, no one really knows. The Lakes have OWNED Dallas for years, so who's to say? With the T’wolves, Garnett poses all kinds of problems, but after him , they don't strike a lot of fear in the Lakes. I really look for Kobe to have a MONSTER playoff run. He's the guy who has done it all year, and I just think his game has reached another level, especially this time of year. If Shaq keeps playing well, they should be OK.

BS: I'm not worried about either of the stars—it’s the other 10 guys.

JA: They need that third scorer, too, so Fish and Fox can take turns being that guy...

BS: Two rook guards—that's a rarity for Phil. But they'll get some minutes. It’s the Tyronn Lue factor.

JA: The role players need to come through. But what most folks forget is that they have three superstars. Kobe, Shaq...and Phil. Phil makes a gigantic difference in the playoffs, where you can prepare for a team and they get days off in between. Phil has won 24 straight playoff series. THAT'S UNREAL. That will NEVER be broken. A Ruthian feat.

BS: Indeed. He's so adaptable to changing scenarios.

JA: Pargo will help us too... 

BS: I'm digging Pargo's game big-time since the Memphis comeback. Confidence means a LOT, especially in the playoffs.

JA: Sure does. Pargo can stay in front of the quicker guards and can hit the clutch shot.. Give us a different look. He's come around just in time...typical Phil...

BS: So what happens the rest of the way?

JA: Be interesting to see if Horry can wake up yet again. He might not have much left in his tank for the rest of the way after the regular season.

BS: All those minutes... You can feel his aches just by looking at him.

JA: Lakes-Spurs...an incredible match up. Lakes in 6 or 7. Will be very tough. Sac-Dallas, Kings will sweep and will be rested to meet the Lakers, where...they will get SWEPT by the three-time defending champs, forever humiliating them!!!

BS: Whoa.

JA: Then the Lakes will beat the Pacers in 5 to win another title in Indiana. We might as well just start putting up banners at Canseco!!

BS: Heh-heh. That would be a historic achievement for the three stars. Like you, I see Kobe seizing the moment—this is THE moment for the kid, and he seems fully prepared for it. This oughta be fun.

JA: Phil get his 10th ring, sticks it to Red. Kobe/Shaq and co. pick up Piatkowski and Juwan Howard next year and win again after winning 70 regular season games... Have I jinxed us enough yet?????????????

BS: LOVE your fantasy.

JA: I can't wait for this to start. I'm in hoops withdrawal just waiting for Saturday!

Pete Yorn, Day I Forgot (Columbia):
Although a number of hands have stirred this porridge—collaborator R. Walt Vincent, studio mavens Scott Litt, Ken Andrews, Brad Wood, Andy Wallace and, in a sense, Yorn’s own extensive record collection—Day I Forgot is a solo album in the truest sense. A neoclassic pop-rock solipsist with a command of the studio and all of the essential instruments (c.f., Todd Rundgren, Lindsey Buckingham, Matthew Sweet), Yorn maintains a direct link between his brain and the multitrack, resulting in music that seems to define not just a sound but an entire character.

Yorn’s music is interior without feeling hermetic, and there’s an underlying joyousness coming through that results from being able to pull off anything he can dream up. A skilled, distinctive guitarist and singer, Yorn is also a terrific drummer, and his sense of time plays as big a role in this record as his melodic flair. His loping drum grooves, sparkling acoustic picking and chunky electric riffage conspire to give his songs nonstop momentum.

Like 2001’s musicforthemoringafter, the new album’s songs take two or three listens to sink in, but once they do, they stick like flypaper. Opener and first single “Come Back Home” cuts to the chase most emphatically hook-wise, but what I can’t get out of my head are the pealing “Committed,” the ebullient “When You See the Light” (sweetened by what sounds like a quote from the piano hook of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”) and “Crystal Village,” whose melody seems to have been snatched right out of the atmosphere.

Because Yorn has absorbed his influences more fully in the last two years, Day I Forgot is even more monolithic than its predecessor, which tends to subsume individual tracks under the overall flow; but the songs have room to breathe when pulled out of the context of the album and listened to by themselves. Start with the ones I just mentioned. —BS 

Lisa Germano, Lullaby for Liquid Pig (iMusic/ArtistDirect): With a penchant for melancholy atmosphere and a rare fearlessness, this singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist weaves an uncanny spell. This time out, the raw loveliness of her singing recalls Marianne Faithfull and even, at times, such key forebears as Lotte Lenya. With help from co-producers Joey Waronker and Jamie Candiloro and such gifted admirers as Neil Finn, Johnny Marr, Wendy Melvoin and ex-eels drummer Butch, Germano creates a spooky-sad, nocturnal hybrid of pop, cabaret, trip-hop, noise and folk forms. Among the intoxicating highlights: “Paper Doll,” the wrenching piano ballad “Pearls,” the distressed hooks of “Candy” and the Velvet Underground-esque “It’s Party Time.” Simon Glickman

VonRay, VonRay (Elektra): Emerging from the same Florida breeding grounds as megarockers Creed (with whom they’ve toured), brothers Vaughn and Dave Rhea have built a powerful, highly melodic sound around the former’s originally solo acoustic material. Meat-and-potatoes rock doesn’t get better treatment than this: Producer Marc Tanner’s clearheaded, translucent sounds occasionally recall the purity of early Toad in their controlled blending of electric/acoustic guitar and other elements, consistently supporting Vaughn Rhea’s power-ballad instincts and big rock voice. This approach, especially evident on “Inside Out,” “I’ll Show You” and “I’m Learning,” results in bigness without over-the-top heaviness, substance devoted to making the song sing. This is no Six Dollar Burger and fries—it’s steak and baked all the way. Pass the A-1 Jon O’Hara

Robbie Williams, Escapology (Virgin): Last time in the colonies, this U.K. phenom was a left-of-center pop eccentric with a cult following generated by the catchy singles “Millennium” and “Angels.” He returns as a global pop star—Sinatra with British cheek, Bowie without the pretensions, Bryan Ferry minus the neuroses. His supporters worry Americans won’t get the irony, but you can’t miss it in “Come Undone,” which could be Elton John except for the lyric: “So self-aware so full of shit/So indecisive so adamant.” In the first single, “Feel,” a world-weary sentiment that’s identifiably European, he croons, “I don’t want to die/But I ain’t keen on living either.” Still, the blue-eyed soul of “Something Beautiful,” the gospel fervor of “Love Somebody,” the fuzz-toned blues of “How Peculiar” and the gentle, Dylanesque folk of “Nan’s Song” lose nothing in the translation. —Roy Trakin

Malibu’s Most Wanted (WB)
White Jewish rapper’s antics are bad news for his dad’s gubernatorial bid, so the campaign decides to show him what the thug life is really like.
TV star Jamie Kennedy, Anthony Anderson, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Ryan O’Neal (as his dad), Blair Underwood, Damien Wayans.
Director: John Whitesall (See Spot Run, Calendar Girl)
Thumbs Up: Coming attractions look pretty amusing; the timing is right for this kind of hip-hop comedy.
Thumbs Down: The sneaking suspicion is the scenes in the trailers are as funny as this movie gets.
Soundtrack: Universal Records album includes tracks by Kennedy/Snoop Dogg/Delano, Pastor Troy, David Banner, Mr. Cheeks/Mario Winans, 702, Rated R, Butch Cassidy, Choppa/Master P and 504 Boyz, among others.
Website: http://malibusmostwanted.warnerbros.com/ offers a plot synopsis, movie trailer, photo gallery, a national rap contest, prizes from Rap Industry and a GPS Navigator windshield which allows you to visit a location in each hood.

Holes (Walt Disney Pictures)
Based on the best-selling kids book by Louis Sachar about a teenager sent to a Texas detention camp for a crime he didn’t commit, stealing a pair of sneakers. There, he and other boys are forced by the warden, a fierce woman who paints her nails with snake venom, to dig a hole five feet deep and wide every day.
Stars: Shia La Beouf, Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette, Rick Fox, Tim Blake Nelson and Jon Voight.
Director: Action director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, A Perfect Murder, Under Siege, Collateral Damage)
Thumbs Up: Book has a surreal quality to it that could make this one for all ages.
Thumbs Down: The hype hasn’t quite matched that of the Harry Potter movies, so who knows?
Soundtrack: Disney Records album includes alternative icons Moby, eels, Keb’ Mo’, Fiction Plane, Little Axe, Dr. John, N. Mississippi All-Stars and Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps.
Website: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/holes/lets you view a trailer, get cast information, find out about the camp, uncover film facts, play a “Find Zero” game, with a whole section for educational lesson plans based on the movie.

Raising Victor Vargas (FireworksSamuel Goldwyn Films)
A 16-year-old Dominican boy growing up on N.Y.’s Lower East Side finds his self-image as a ladies man deflated when the neighborhood finds out he’s dating an unpopular, overweight girl living in his apartment building, so he sets his sights on the most beautiful girl at the local swimming pool.
Stars: Victor Rasuk, Judy Marte, Melonie Diaz, Altagracia Guzman, Donna Maldonado.
Director: Peter Sollett with the full-length sequel to his award-winning short, Five Feet High and Rising, which earned honors at Cannes.
Thumbs Up: Great reviews, festival honors, gritty milieu.
Thumbs Down: Overfamiliar indie turf?
Soundtrack: None
http://www.raisingvictorvargas.comoffers an overview of the characters, e-cards, wallpaper, bulletin board, links, trailers and clips, reviews/opening dates, press kit and behind the scenes information.

Bulletproof Monk (MGM)
Based on the comic book, the story of a mysterious immortal Tibetan kung fu master who has spent the last 60 years traveling around the world protecting an ancient scroll, who is now mentoring a street kid in the wonders of his ancient ways.
Stars: Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott (Dude, Where’s My Car?, American Pie, Old School, Road Trip) Jaime King, Mako, Karel Roden
Director: Paul Hunter makes his feature debut.
Thumbs Up: For fans of martial arts and comic fantasy.
Thumbs Down: Dude, Where’s My Ancient Scroll?
Soundtrack: Lakeshore Records album features score by Eric Serra, who previously provided the music for Luc Besson’s movies as well as the James Bond film GoldenEye and the most recent version of Rollerball.
Website: www.bulletproofmonk.com includes info on production, story, cast & crew, video clips, trailer, photo gallery, e-cards, Buddy icons, wallpaper and storyboards. —RT

I’m stuck in the middle of the meantime. This is the gray area when your heart still belongs to someone else, but you’re sick of spending evening after evening sitting at home by yourself watching bad reality TV, which I did again last night—American Idol, followed by The Bachelor. This season of The Bachelor is so much more amusing than the previous ones. Why? Because the women are extremely young and overly catty—Meow! They’re haters, and it’s hilarious. There’s a lot at stake—millions. Young Mr. Firestone is handsome but a bore and is giving more mouth-to-mouth than students in a CPR class—kissing three girls on the same group date! At least he’s offering up an excuse for his kissing frenzy—to determine if the gals are sticking around for the “right” reasons and are romantically interested in him. PLEASE! He wants to make sure that it’s him, and not his Firestone fortune, they’re into, and I hate to be the one to break it to him, but of course they want his money, because it’s certainly not his charming personality, which he seems to have misplaced somewhere in his bachelor mansion, they’re hanging around for. Nonetheless, I still watch week after week. In the end, I feel this guy will prove to be the slimy little reptile he is—the remaining six gals better watch out for his darting tongue. This week’s cocktail is dedicated to that sliminess, which many men possess, and women seem to love.

Lizard Slime
1 1/4 oz. Jose Cuervo
3/4 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur
Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass

Realizing that I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of wanting someone I can’t have at the moment and not wanting the options currently available leaves me confused and lonely. What can a gal do when she’s floating around in the meantime—waiting to see if the one who has her heart is the one or for the real one to finally show up? I know I can’t be the only one in this predicament, so I’ve made up De’s Top 10 Things to Do in the Meantime.

10. Pig out and gain 10 pounds: If he’s the real one, he shouldn’t mind.

9. Exercise hard to get abs like Britney Spears: Who are we kidding? We certainly don’t want the one to have an extra 10 pounds, so why should we? Plus, think of all the hotties you’ll find at the gym to fill your meantime.

8. Party like a rock star: Since you’re single at the moment, you might as well enjoy it. Just make sure you have someone to hold your hair while you’re praying to the porcelain god.

7. Become addicted to every bad reality dating show: There are so many on TV that you won’t have time to remember you’re single. Plus, the girls end up looking so pathetic on those shows, it will surely make you feel better about your situation.

6. Spend your car payment on shopping sprees: Hell, you might as well stock up on really cute and sexy outfits just in case Mr. Right unexpectedly shows up and wants to whisk you away on a whirlwind romance. You’ll be too busy being in love to shop, so you must be prepared. Plus, they can’t reposess your car if it’s locked in the underground parking garage…can they?

5. Date as many losers as possible: If you date a bunch of really bad guys, it’ll make you appreciate Mr. Right so much more.

4. Destroy all of the phone numbers of the above and any other ex: Repeat after me: “I will not ever date any of my loser exboyfriends again.” Since none of us have will power when dealing with an ex, destroy all numbers and remnants.

3. Hang with the gals: Enjoy hanging with the girls, indulging in “girl” things, because everyone knows that once a gal falls in love she will aimlessly discard all of her girlfriends in order to hang with her guy and his beer drinking, belching friends. Don’t even try pulling, “Not me…I’d never do that,” because it’s happened to all of us.

2. Indulge in these three “must-date” men: A man 10 years older, so you can receive without giving; a guy much younger, so you can experience his stamina and gratitude for just getting laid; a guy with absolutely no dating potential but is great in bed—no explanation needed.

All kidding aside, there is only one thing you should do while you’re experiencing the “meantime.”

1. Live your life: The right person will come along when they’re supposed to, so stop worrying about it and concentrate on making yourself happy—a confident, happy person is much more attractive than a desperate, sad one. Enjoy.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: In attempt to fill some of my “meantime,” I decided to partake in a little old school rock & roll, or at least that scene. I normally hate Sunset Blvd. bars, and for the most part I still do, but I actually enjoyed the time I spent at the Key Club and the Rainbow last week. The Key Club was having a private party for Maxim magazine, and I went to see my favorite new boyfriend (replacing Justin T. and Eminem)—the very talented, up and coming performer, Gavin DeGraw. I hadn’t seen a show at the Key Club and was impressed with the joint, especially since I weaseled my way into both the VIP room and the press room for a more intimate setting to drool over the extremely hot (and way too young for me) Gavin. After I dragged myself away from him (not wanting to appear too “stalker-ish”), I headed a couple doors down to the Rainbow, which is great for star sightings and eavesdropping on people who are trying desperately to act like they’re someone important in the music business. Overall, it was a great time, except for babysitting my drunken friend.

 De’s diss of the week: There was no way that I could praise a Sunset bar without putting one down. In the past, I’ve had a lot of fun at the Saddle Ranch Chop House. As a matter of fact, I’m quite the skilled mechanical bull rider—I even have pictures. Last week, I was asked to do the unthinkable—go to Sunset Blvd. two nights in a row, and one was a weekend night. The parking, for which I paid a mere $10 the previous night, suddenly skyrocketed to $20 because it was Friday. Price fixing on parking should be against the law—it’s bullshit! I refused to pay that much to park on pure principle alone, which left me (and my principle) driving around in bumper-to-bumper traffic until I flirted my way into the “full” $3.75 Saddle Ranch lot. The place was packed with barely 21-year old tourists who wanted to experience “Hollywood” and married men on business who wanted to “experience” young and dumb starlets. It was irritating. I won’t go back on a weekend night—EVER!

Have a great weekend and keep sending me all of those horrible dating stories, which I absolutely love. You guys rock! Until next week—hugs and kisses.
Denise Bayles

Contributors: David Adelson, Joel Amsterdam, Denise Bayles, Darren Cava, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman,Todd Hensley,  Jon O’Hara and Roy Trakin

Edited by Bud Scoppa

Marketshare machers. (10/26a)
A pending deal fro Kendrick. (10/26a)
It's a lock. (10/26a)
Adding to her chart 'lore. (10/23a)
Vote. Do it now. (10/26a)
Bring your umbrella.
Mulling possible surprises.
Why not wear a mask indoors?
What drugs will help us get there?

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