Music video auteur Gondry stays away from the trickery, but scratches the narrative like a turntablist, with motifs reappearing like so many recurring samples.


Love Sure Beats Solipsism, as Attested to by Carrey and Winslet, Lou and Antony, Townshend and Daltrey, Buckingham and Nicks, Springsteen and Browne
It’s a good weekend to crawl inside your cranium, Charlie Kaufman style, and just camp out there for the duration. That way, nobody will nudge you when you’re going through 24 hours of TiVo’ed NCAA basketball in about 10 minutes. I mean, life would be so much better on TiVo anyway. Aren’t there moments when your thumb just twitches and you wish to "delete" or "rewind" or simply "pause." Stop the TiVo, I want to get off. Anyway, there’s no place like the home in your head, a place where the following cultural effluvia is of utmost importance and millions of people are hanging on every word, for which you’re receiving a straight $5, no tax. But not to worry. We here at Weakend Central offer complete memory erasure if anything contained below either disturbs, upsets, bores, puzzles or just plain puts you to sleep. Hey, it sure beats a movie version of Being Courtney Love

1. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Not exactly a huge fan of Being John Malkovich, Adaptation or Human Nature, Charlie Kaufman’s previous collaborations with Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry, respectively, I approached this film with trepidation, especially after being increasingly puzzled the more I saw the incomprehensible trailer. Forget the movie’s memory-loss gimmick, and groove on the sweet nature of the performances by a show-stopping Kate Winslet, a subdued Jim Carrey and the hilarious trio of Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst and a very un-Hobbit-like Elijah Wood as workers at the mind-cleansing lab. Music video auteur Gondry stays away from the trickery, but scratches the narrative like a turntablist, with motifs reappearing like so many recurring samples. Kaufman’s interior monologues and subjective questioning of the reality that takes place outside our brains makes him a metaphysician of romance whose maturity continues to grow. A combination of mismatched love stories like Punch-Drunk Love and Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine is the first worthwhile movie of the year, even if it is basically an art-house flick. If you have TiVo, check out Gondry’s music video of the film set to The Polyphonic Spree’s "Light & Day," with all the actors singing the lyrics through superimposed mouths a la Conan O’Brien. (Roy Trakin)

2. Lou Reed, "Tell It To Your Heart" (from Animal Serenade [Sire/Reprise]): I’ve raved before about this double-CD set, but this track, from Mistrial, one of Lou’s more obscure ’80s albums, and last for RCA, is a stunner. The song features the high-pitched, other-worldly croon of Antony, a N.Y. cabaret singer who toured with Lou and sings lead on a couple of numbers, including a stunning "Candy Says," proving himself one of Reed’s best vocal mouthpieces since Nico. Just typical of the depth of the man’s work, it would be a shame if it reached only the same old limited cult audience. Isn’t there an MCI/Neighborhood commercial that can turn it into a household anthem? (RT)

3. The Dreamers: Who makes more beautiful movies than Bernardo Bertolucci? Who? No one understands light and framing like he does. When he casts his web across Paris, steeping his storyline in sexual liberty, the world of cinema and the twin surges of love and lust, there is no more valiant chronicler. So young. So free. So alive. The Dreamers is what the master does best: he draws your breath for you, makes you ponder what could be, brings you to realizations and makes your senses thrill in the process. (Holly Gleason)

4. The Who, "Real Good-Looking Boy" and "Old Red Wine" (from The Who—Then & Now 1964-2004 [Geffen/UME): These two new studio tracks about the bittersweet prospect of aging on the band’s latest greatest hits reissue, are the first new recordings from the legendary group in some 22 years. Pete Townshend terms the wistful look back of "Real Good Looking Boy," "our ‘new’ Everly Brothers format." Starting with a refrain from Elvis’ "Can’t Help Falling In Love," it rocks into a tongue-in-cheek Roger Daltrey rave-up reminiscence about a mother’s love and an ugly mug that undoubtedly belongs to Pete himself. Enlivened by longtime cohort John "Rabbit" Bundrick’s tinkling keyboards and Townshend’s still-protruding proboscis, if "Boy" is any indication of the rest of the new album, which Pete, Roger and company are currently working on, it will be well worth the wait. (RT)

5. Toothpick: Why is this skinny kid with the deep voice on Rolling Stone’s Hot List? It could be the easygoing hip-hop/pop of his indie album, Drive Easy, which was produced by the inventive Pop Rox team. But it also has something to do with "Supersize Me," the infectious, goofy song he wrote for the controversial documentary of the same name—and which sounds like a natural for morning shows in multiple formats. You can download it here. (Simon Glickman)

6. Bruce Springsteen inducting Jackson Browne into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (VH1): Bruce Springsteen was the other bookend in my childhood "music matters" reality. And here, in three-and-a-half minutes, while acknowledging the horde of adoring women, he exonerated every girl who ever sighed and committed their heart to The Pretender, For Everyman, Late for the Sky and Running on Empty. "If Brian Wilson wrote of California as paradise, Jackson wrote of it as paradise lost," he said, and then went on to invoke the best we can hope for as humans is love from the shattered pieces, which is what fired Browne’s tender, if battered, yet still-beating lyrics. Dignity for anyone who ever suffered the eye-rolling inherent to loving "the wimpy guy"—and a strong case for the content, quoting Little Steven that "nothing is more personal than politics." (HG)

7. Arrested Development (Fox, Sundays, 9:30 p.m.): Where the virtues of TiVo are many, having the magic box tape great shows that you’d never remember to watch otherwise is today’s great feature. I haven’t missed an episode of Fox’s laugh-trackless hilarious (yes, hilarious) comedy about a dysfunctional-beyond-belief family in the O.C. Jason Bateman is the temporary leader of the tribe, while his dad (Jeffrey Tambor) is in jail. Bateman’s two brothers are a frightened mama’s boy and a smooth-with-the-ladies amoral magician, while his sister (Portia de Rossi) is a cause-hopping crusader married to a doctor-turned-failed-actor (David Cross) who is also a "never-nude," meaning he showers in cutoff shorts. Producer Ron Howard provides the dry-humored voiceover. Part screwball, part wry look at how difficult it is to raise a family when your model is a mess, Arrested Development is the kind of smart comedy that has trouble finding a large enough audience to survive, though Fox has said it’s backing it all the way. Watch it while it’s still around. (David Simutis)

8. Promotion Item of the Week: From WB’s Bill Bentley, a copy of Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick’s seminal 1982 book-length essay, Searching for Robert Johnson, which includes a CD sampler of Eric Clapton’s new tribute to the blues guitarist, Me and Mr. Johnson, and a library card with signatures from the likes of K. Richards, John Hammond, S. Ray Vaughan, J. Mayall, Bonnie Raitt, B. Gibbons, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Clapton himself listed among the borrowers. (RT)

9. StopFCC.com: Just what it sounds like—a site where you can sign a petition opposing the use of "decency" as a cudgel against free speech on the airwaves. It probably won’t do much good at this point, but at least you can cuss while you’re doing it. (SG)

10. Gabriel Mann: This exceedingly gifted, L.A.-based singer-songwriter is finally getting the attention he’s due, thanks in part to rapturously received shows at SXSW and Club R&R. His Hotel Cafe perf on 3/31 should be quite weasel-heavy; email for more info. (SG)

Now with twice the FDA’s recommendation of sarcasm. If you can’t stand the heat get out of L.A. this weekend. Saturday will be very nice, with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the upper 50s, but Sunday could hit 90. Summer’s almost here. Which is good because those overnight winter temps of mid-40s were getting unbearable. Out in NYC, where they have actual weather, Saturday morning will be rainy with skies clearing and daytime temps in the upper 60s, lows in the low 50s. Sunday will be one of those unbelievable Spring days, almost. Highs in the upper 50s, lows in the upper 30s. Have patience, grasshopper. (DS)

Fleetwood Mac, Tusk, Fleetwood Mac (Reprise):
I love Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. Scarcely a flawless pop-rock gem like Rumours, this sprawling 1979 double LP—now an even more sprawling double-CD Reprise reissue, is a cornucopia of excesses. Even the hit title track, featuring the USC Marching Band, is as baffling as it is exciting. But sometimes going out on a limb can vastly extend your reach, even if you inevitably crash to earth. The production is looser than on past recordings, and some songs sound outright cracked (what wasn’t Lindsay Buckingham on?). But this misbegotten magnum opus has gathered, with time, a ramshackle grandeur. Plus, Disc Two features 21 more tracks; among them a good many songs that were deemed inappropriate for Tusk. Think about that. You’re curious now, aren’t ya? Also available: the band’s self-titled 1975 album, which introduced Buckingham and Stevie Nicks into the line-up. It boasts "Landslide," "Rhiannon," "World Turning" and lots more, plus single versions of four tracks and "Jam #2." (SG)

David Bowie, Diamond Dogs 30th Anniversary Edition (Virgin/EMM):
By the time Diamond Dogs hit stores in 1974, David Bowie fully controlled the glam-rock agenda. His Ziggy Stardust had seized the reins two years before (the follow-up Aladdin Sane solidified his dominion), and his influence was felt across pop culture—much to the dismay of cultural conservatives. Dogs sometimes gets short shrift, compared to Ziggy, despite boasting hits like the title track and "Rebel Rebel" and such daring cuts as "1984" and "Big Brother," but the new Virgin reissue is a stunner. The companion disc features some previously unreleased tracks, notably a rare cover of Springsteen’s "Growin’ Up" and "Alternative Candidate," which is presented as "a demo for [a] proposed 1984 musical." Just imagine. (SG)

Saves the Day play Hammerstein Ballroom (311 W. 34th St.) Friday (March 26). Grandaddy, Hey Mercedes and The Fire Theft are also on the bill. Also that evening buzz band Raveonettes take the stage at Plaid (76 E. 13th St.). (Valerie Nome)

I have a lot of things in my brain competing for attention. Such as, "Why did I give up caffeine? Where did I lose my ring?" and "What happens if I drop this from the roof of the HITS cesspool?" But really there’s nothing that keeps coming in and out of my mind as much as "Why does watching Spinal Tap now make me cry as if I were watching Steel Magnolias?" Send psychological analysis to [email protected]. (DS)

CARDIOGRAPHY: For the last two years, since my knees started begging me not to run every day, I've been doing four or five Spinning (aka indoor cycling) sessions a week, and it didn’t take long to figure out that the best instructors are the ones with musical taste. When driven by inspired musical choices, Spinning can be uniquely exhilarating; by the same token, 45 or 50 minutes of crappy stuff can seem much longer and feel far more grueling. You can tell when a track’s working by the endorphin-generated whoops that fill the room as the mirrors and windows fog up—must have something to do with all the sweat dripping off everybody. Here's a baker's dozen songs that invariably produce these results; some are hip, some are not, but they all get the job done: New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give,” Spoon’s “The Way We Get By,” The Dandy Warhols’ “Bohemian Like You,” John Mayer’s “3 X 5,” Third Eye Blind’s “Semi Charmed Life,” Afro Celt Sound System’s “Release,” Ray LaMontagne’s “How Long,” Radiohead’s “There, There,” Fuel’s “Take a Picture,” Fountains of Wayne’s “All Kinds of Time,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” The Doors' "L.A. Woman" and The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” (Bud Scoppa

Whether or not you’re a Marillion fan, you’re not as big an enthusiast as the author of the following rave, The Used Bin editor Joe Carona. But Joe’s (admittedly copious) account of the U.K. band’s new record and local appearance should be of interest to anyone who cares about new ways to bring music to audiences.

Quietly, almost imperceptibly, a finger-flick in Hollywood set marbles in motion. For those in attendance it was a triumphant culmination—after all, it isn’t every day that Marillion visit Los Angeles. With the British quintet’s long-anticipated new release, Marbles, just weeks away, Marillion made the transatlantic trek to host a series of listening parties for critics and fans.

Though the band has created lush and adventurous records in recent years, and maintains what is arguably the most fanatical fan-base online, Marillion have had little U.S. presence in over a decade. The original lineup, fronted by hulking Scottish poet Fish, was thrust into the mainstream (and MTV rotation) with 1985’s conceptual essay Misplaced Childhood and the hit single "Kayleigh." The band enjoyed headline status for the balance of the ‘80s, churning out expansive suites and epic productions, until the 1989 departure of Fish.

The arrival of fresh-faced crooner Steve Hogarth and 1990’s Holidays in Eden brought a pop sensibility to the Marillion formula, which fared well with European audiences, though subsequent U.S. tours became rare with little label support.

Thank God for the Internet.

American fans in the ‘90s joined the global community of Marillion freaks on the Web. Clamoring for a U.S. visit, they did the unthinkable, creating a tour-fund escrow account and accumulating tens of thousands of dollars for Marillion to return to the States. This extraordinary bond escalated when Marillion pondered their next record, and fans once again rose to the occasion. A cooperative effort was organized to pre-order the next Marillion record—before a note had even been recorded—and to finance the release, the marketing, and the tour to follow. Marbles was in motion.

At last, Marillion arrived in Hollywood to host an intimate Marbles listening party. The futuristic décor of the IVAR lounge, looking more like a set from Star Trek than a posh L.A. vodka bar, provided a dramatic setting for the bold new sounds. Light years removed from their ‘80s art stylings, the Marillion of 2004 shares more connective fiber with Radiohead and Coldplay than their former prog incarnation, as is evident from the ambient opening moments of "Invisible Man." The Marbles metaphor works to conjure rich imagery, while melodies shift from ethereal Floydian passages to McCartney-esque verses.

The lead single, "You’re Gone," is an energetic slice of dreamy pop with a Moby approach; its infectious melody is poised for radio. On the subject of radio, the sultry "Angelina" is a provocative ode to a late-nite DJ’s seductive flirtation. The delicious hook of "Don’t Hurt Yourself" will stick in your head for days, and may be a potent starting-point for the Marillion-uninitiated. The epic drama of the record culminates on the dynamic finale, "Neverland." Lush and expansive, "Neverland" explodes with Radiohead-a la-Pink Floyd grandeur, with Steve Rothery’s soaring guitar lifting the mammoth to a blinding crescendo.

Waves of applause echoed through the IVAR lounge as Marbles ebbed to stillness, and the buzz for the new Marillion was already in motion. Band members circulated through the room, delighted by the overwhelming response. They acknowledged their plans for a 2004 U.S. tour, and saluted Marillion’s unprecedented support from online fans. Bassist Peter Trewavas concluded that, ultimately, it was the fans who made Marbles a reality—pre-order sales have accounted for the recording of the project, the marketing budget and the upcoming "You’re Gone" promotional video. Get your Marbles on May 3, and find a better way of life at marillion.com. (Joe Carona)

Growing older certainly hasn't mellowed Trudi Styler and her hubby Sting. She recently told Howard Stern that they love to swing. "Swinging is like wife-swapping. Of course, we're doing it. It's rock and roll. Isn't that what we're supposed to do? I'm European. We do all that stuff here. We have a lot more fun than you guys . . . We don't want to be legit. That's boring." (VN)

The Ladykillers (Touchstone Pictures)
: Based on 1955 British Easling comedy with Sir Alec Guiness and Peter Sellers about an eccentric professor/bandleader-turned-criminal mastermind who tries to commit an underwater heist of a New Orleans riverboat casino, while avoiding his seemingly innocent little old landlady.
Stars: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall, Stephen Root, George Wallace
Director: Joel
and Ethan Coen together, for what I believe is the first time, trying to rebound from the desultory response to Intolerable Cruelty.
Thumbs Up: Amusing enough premise, and the Coens are always good for a few laughs and visceral jolts.
Thumbs Down: Not a fan of the pair in screwball mode… the yucks seemed awfully broad in the trailer I saw once too many times.
Soundtrack: T Bone Burnett-produced DMZ/Sony Soundtrax effort is gospel-tinged like the plot, with the Nappy Roots vying with the Soul Stirrers, The Swan Silvertones and Blind Willie Johnson on the eclectic album.
Website: www.ladykillers.movies.com outlines the gang, the con, the booty, the music and the plan, with previews and a place to download a poster.

Jersey Girl (Miramax)
Music publicist’s wife dies in childbirth and is forced to raise his daughter with his blue-collar dad as he falls in love.
Stars: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Liv Tyler, Jason Biggs, George Carlin, Stephen Root, with Will Smith, Jason Lee and Matt Damon in cameos.
Director: Comics cult hero Kevin Smith in a return to his hyper-romantic Chasing Amy mode.
Thumbs Up: J.Lo dies within the first 10 minutes of the movie. It’s got to do better than Gigli. At least you can pronounce it.
Thumbs Down: Affleck’s cold streak will continue.
Soundtrack: None.
Website: www.jerseygirl-movie.com/ has a trailer, movie and cast info and a photo gallery.

Never Die Alone (Fox Searchlight)
Based on Donald Goines 1974 novel about a gang leader who dies and a reporter who witnessed his murder investigating the circumstances leading up to his death by reading his journal.
Stars: DMX, David Arquette, Michael Ealy, Jennifer Sky
Director: Spike Lee protégé Ernest Dickerson
(Bones, Juice, Surviving the Game, Bulletproof)
Thumbs Up: Could be good genre material with a no-frills approach.
Thumbs Down: Now we’ll get to see if rapper DMX can open a movie.
Soundtrack: None.
Website: www2.foxsearchlight.com/neverdiealone/ has story, photo gallery, cast & crew informationk production notes, video, payback time, street confessional, downloads and a course in Urban Lit, with a bio on gangster-turned-author Goines.

Dogville (Lions Gate Films)
This tale, set in an American town in the Rocky Mountains in the ‘30s, explores the concept of good and, especially, evil, in Danish director Lars von Trier’s ascetic, no-frills Dogma style. Has nothing to do with skateboarding or extreme sports, by the way, but is about the group persecution of an innocent stranger in a strange place, reminiscent of Emily Watson's suffering in his Breaking the Waves.
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgaard, Lauren Bacall, Paul Bettany, Blair Brown, James Caan, Jeremy Davies, Ben Gazzara, Philip Baker Hall, Chloe Sevigny, Jeremy Davies and Patricia Clarkson.
Director: Von Trier returns to the turf of morality he dealt with in Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark
Thumbs Up: The man’s forbidding style has a certain inexorable appeal.
Thumbs Down: Could be like watching paint dry.
Soundtrack: None
Website: www.dogvillemovie.com has a trailer, story, cast and director information, media, photo gallery.

Ned Kelly (Focus Features)
The true story of famed 19th century Aussie gunslinger outlaw once played by Mick Jagger in a 1970 version
Stars: Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Griffiths, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts, Emily Browning
Director: Gregor Jordan
(Two Hands was an Aussie hit, Buffalo Soldiers)
Thumbs Up: Intriguing cast, well-worn premise.
Thumbs Down: Arthouse western?
Soundtrack: None.
www.ned-kelly.com has film, cast & crew info, interviews, etc.

Mayor of the Sunset Strip (First Look Pictures)
The life and times of KROQ d.j. Rodney Bingenheimer as a metaphor for the American obsession with celebrity.
Stars: Rodney, Tori Amos, Alice Cooper, Beck, Sonny Bono, David Bowie, Cher, Coldplay, Kim Fowley, Deborah Harry, Mick Jagger, Joan Jett, Davy Jones, Lance Loud, Courtney Love, Paul McCartney, Poe, Joey Ramone, Keanu Reeves, David Lee Roth, Nancy Sinatra, Phil Spector, Gwen Stevani and Pete Townshend.
Director: George Hickenlooper (The Man From Elysian Field)
Thumbs Up: A celebration of a life that deserves attention, with surprising tenderness to its subject..
Thumbs Down: Does the movie merely exploit its subject like everyone else? There are no easy answers.
Soundtrack: Shout! Factory album includes X, The Byrds, Pamela Des Barres, Leon Russell, David Bowie, T-Rex, Alice Cooper, the Ramones, The Smiths, Chris Carter, Dramarama, Blur, Courtney Love, Hole, Starsailor, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Rodney himself.
Website: www.firstlookmedia.com/films/mayorofthesunsetstrip/ has info on Rodney, the movie, the music, credits, gallery, theaters, press, production notes, interviews, trailers, contacts and e-cards.

Thanks to Roy Trakin, Simon Glickman, David Simutis, Holly Gleason, Joe Carona, Bud Scoppa and Valerie Nome for helping get this Weakend Planner out of its head and into cyberspace.

Big news from the Spot. (10/15a)
This is getting ridiculous (10/14a)
It all adds up. (10/13a)
(20 FOR 16)
Beer and Glickman collaborate on the Spot. (10/13a)
Your Thanksgiving weekend soundtrack (10/14a)
Adele; Adele Adele?
A... dele?
Adele Adele; Adele.

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