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Spring has sprung, so take me out to the danged ol’ ballgame. Hope springs eternal, ’cept, of course, if yer a Dee-troit, Tampa Bay, Texas, Kansas City, Florida, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Colorado, San Diego, Montreal, Baltimore, Toronto or New York
Mets fan.
WEAKEND PLANNER ROOTS FOR THE GOOD GUYS TO WIN
Now All We’ve Gotta Do Is Figure Out Which Ones Are the Good Guys. We’re Referring, of Course, to the Final Four.
Now, here’s something to divert your attention from the televised competition among CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, et al. (for more on that, we refer you to Nancy Franklin's penetrating piece in the current New Yorker). That would be the college basketball season’s climactic shootout in the New Orleans Superdome, which goes down Saturday on CBS. This year’s Final Four is all about balance, and balance often makes for tight games and dramatic finishes. In terms of match-ups, there are the thundering powerhouses (Kansas, Texas) versus the lethal underdogs (Marquette, Syracuse). As for the cast of characters, it’ll be a scintillating mix of familiar stars (KU seniors—and projected first-round picks—Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich) and the emerging ones (Syracuse super freshman Carmelo Anthony, Marquette triple-double threat Dwyane Wade, UT playmaker T.J. Ford), plus intriguing supporting players like Marquette’s baby-faced point guard Travis Diener and Syracuse sharpshooter Gerry MacNamara. There’s even a balanced blend of black and white players on these squads. First game (3 PT) matches Marquette and Kansas, with the later game (around 5:45) pitting Syracuse against Texas in an explosion of orange (in two wildly divergent interpretations of this insouciant color). The winners will meet Monday at 6. If Saturday’s pairings live up to their potential, and if the stars play like they did last weekend, this will be a classic. And Dan Rather will be on hand with his combat updates, so you won’t miss a thing. Final note: In the aforementioned issue of The New Yorker is a cartoon picturing a couple, one of whom remarks to the other, "Who ever thought patriotism could be socomplicated?" More on that conundrum below.
Bud Scoppa

WEAKEND POPCULT TOP 10
1. Natalie Maines’ Big Mouth:
The lead-singing Dixie Chick—with the face of a ’40s film siren and a voice that bores straight to your essence—shares with a London concert audience that she's not thrilled to share a home state with the President. An offhanded comment creates a firestorm. But if her language was a little sloppy, her message was more in keeping with the silent majority of Americans who are not in favor of killing our young people, their young people and countless others for an engagement no one truly understands. That the First Amendment only seems to protect bullies—a boot in your ass for the house y'all—it's tragic to know that dissenting opinions should cower or sport a target, because debate is what makes consensus strong. And regardless of what the fundamentalists think, thank God a tiny blonde ain't afraid to (even clumsily) speak her mind—reminding us what the Constitution is truly built for. —HG

2. In the Opposite Corner: In the wake of Toby Keith’s terrifying “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” a post-9/11 this-bomb’s-for-you diatribe that proved phenomenally successful, McGraw-Hill is publishing a book by the tunesmiths behind another Keith hit, “My List,” a homey paean to prayer, community and putting the journey ahead of the destination. My List: 24 Reflections on Life’s Priorities, is due in May and boasts a foreword by Keith. Of course, going from the book’s “I know that I am truly blessed with love in my life” to the xenophobic sabre-rattling of “Courtesy...” could give you the bends, but that’s probably beside the point (more below)... —SG

3. Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli Films/Disney): The Oscar winner for best Animated Feature, directed by animation auteur Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke), is simply astonishing, imaginative beyond the imaginable. I couldn’t possibly do justice to this incredible story by trying to describe it—you’ll just have to see for yourself. But it does bear mentioning that there’s not a single dull moment in the movie’s entire two-hour-and-10-minute length. Do not miss this utterly unique film, which is now in general release. —LB

4. Platinum (UPN): This one-hour series tries to do for the hip-hop record business what The Sopranos did for waste management and Six Feet Under for funeral directors by juxtaposing the cutthroat nature of the workaday world with the mundane realities of middle-class life. The series’ pedigree is impeccable with executive producers including Frances Ford Coppola and daughter Sofia (who co-created the series with writer/novelist John Ridley) and Six Feet Under’s team of Robert Greenblatt & David Janollari. The first episode is impressively realistic, as two brothers, one a straight-shooting family man (Barbershop star Jason George), the other a street-savvy hustler with his own posse (rapper Sticky Fingaz in an impressive turn), try to keep their Sweetback (nice Melvin Van Peebles reference) label afloat under pressure from competitors like Conflict’s ruthless female ruler Cox (whom N’Bushe Wright plays like a combination of Sylvia Rhone and Ruthless RecordsTamara Wright) and an old-school label exec (Tony Nardi’s sleazy, toupeed Nick Tashjian) who wants to buy out the company. In a tribute to the multi-racial music industry, there’s also the brothers’ white Jewish schoolboy friend who runs the company’s finances (Steven Pasquale) and an Eminem-styled rapper named Versis (played by real-life Midwestern hip-hop artist Vishiss). The show premieres Monday, April 14, at 9 p.m., then can be seen regularly on Tuesdays at the same time, beginning April 15 (where it will go against 24). —RT

5. Music on Kimmel: We just got our mitts on a tape collecting some musical highlights from Jimmy Kimmel Live, including perfs from Coldplay, 50 Cent, Snoop and more. Booker Scott Igoe and the rest of the show’s staff have managed to raise the bar for “musical guest” segments on variety TV, emphasizing a spontaneous, fan-oriented atmosphere and surprises like cover tunes (folks are still buzzin’ over Cypress Hill’s throwdown on “Paradise City” with Slash, Duff and Matt of the original Guns N’ Roses). —SG

6. Carl Hiaasen, Basket Case (Warner Books): This 25-year Miami Herald vet knows a good yarn when he hears one, as well as how to tell it in a most succinct, journalistic manner. Hiaasen sets this comic thriller in his South Florida home turf; it’s a relentless page-turner about a newspaperman, busted down to obituary writer, who discovers a link between the death of Kurt Cobain-like punk-rocker Jimmy Stoma, lead singer of the Slut Puppies, and his scheming, ambitious Courtney Love-inspired wife, Cleo Rio. The tale is set against a midsize newspaper that has seen its better days, squeezed by the penny-pinching corporation—and its yuppie owner—who acquired it. Hiaasen (as Stoma), who co-wrote the title song with Warren Zevon (it appears on the latter’s recent My Ride’s Here album), is wide-ranging with his pop-culture and rock references. Anyone who can name-drop Mario Lemieux and PJ Harvey on the same page is alreety in our book. —RT

7. Ellis Hooks, Undeniable (Zane U.K.): The buzz on Hooks was deafening when he turned up in Nashville this winter. But the buzz is nothing compared to this low-dough, gutbucket old-school soul workout produced by onetime rock critic Jon Tiven. Ain't nothing smooth on here, just a lot of sweat, grunt and grind—definitely worth the search on that too real tip that's more about where you live between your ears and between your legs than the zip code you're postin' in. —HG

8. A.O.C.: This sister restaurant of Lucques is a serious wine bar and bistro serving an extensive selection of cheese, charcuterie and vegetarian dishes from the wood-burning oven, along with fish and meat mini-entrees. The food is served tapas-style, and you can sample from roughly 50 wine labels. Reservations are a good idea, or you can try your luck at sitting at one of the two bars. And although it’s a classy joint, you don’t have to get dressed up, cuz this is L.A. (8022 W. Third St., west of Fairfax) —JK

9. Road to Perdition (Universal Studios Home Video): I was dissuaded from seeing this in a theater after hearing it was art-directed to a fault and short of real emotion. But, after finally viewing it on DVD, I was pleasantly surprised at what turns out to be a heartfelt story about the twisted relationship between fathers and sons. Tom Hanks at first seems miscast as the somber, taciturn hitman, but he gradually opens up to his son (a wonderful Tyler Hoechlin) while on the run from his gangster past after the boy witnesses a killing. Director Sam Mendes explores some of the same themes of family and generational discord that he examined in American Beauty, while the Oscar-winning cinematography by the late Conrad C. Hall and the ethnic score from the always-evocative Thomas Newman gives the movie its well-earned gravitas. The nominated Paul Newman is superb, but even better is Daniel Craig, as the Irish mob boss’ haunted, doomed progeny, inspiring Newman to utter the movie’s theme about sons being put on earth to trouble their fathers. —RT

10. Promo Weasel Stupid Site of the Week: Only those with the most sophisticated tastes will be able to appreciate the subtle wit found on this site. Makes you proud to be human: http://www.fatchicksinpartyhats.com

THE ANNALS OF PATRIOTISM
Prayers, Affirmations, and a Bomb Up Your Ass:
While anti-war pop stars are crucified for speaking up (Pearl Jam have joined Dixie Chicks in outraging some fans with Bush-bashing), some Nashville hitmakers are cashing in on a seemingly more conservative zeitgeist. In the wake of Toby Keith’s terrifying “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” a post-9/11 this-bomb’s-for-you diatribe that proved phenomenally successful, McGraw-Hill is publishing a book by the tunesmiths behind another Keith hit, “My List,” a homey paean to prayer, community and putting the journey ahead of the destination. My List: 24 Reflections on Life’s Priorities, is due in May and boasts a foreword by Keith. Of course, going from the book’s “I know that I am truly blessed with love in my life” to the xenophobic sabre-rattling of “Courtesy...” could give you the bends, but that’s probably beside the point.

Meanwhile, Keith’s DreamWorks labelmate Darryl Worley is raising eyebrows with his latest smash, “Have You Forgotten?” Though written at the time of the U.S. “engagement” in Afghanistan, the track’s impact date (and the album’s 4/15 street date) will surely get a bounce from the war in Iraq. Witness the elaborate press materials issued this week by the label, which include details on a recent Keith/Worley performance for the President and military families at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, a Q&A with Nashville label principal exec James Stroud and the lyrics to Worley’s song, which, unfortunately, rhyme “forgotten” and “bin Laden.” Though this might be understandable (though groan-inducing) in terms the Afghanistan conflict, the song’s current push has quite a few members of the press corps bent out of shape.

The timing of the release seems to suggest a specious connection between Iraq and bin Laden, and more than a few recipients of the press packet have fired off furious emails. One thing’s for sure, though: For the moment, war sells, and lotsa folks are buying. But after leveling Baghdad, make sure to take time out for family and friends and “put an extra five in the plate at church.”
Simon Glickman

BASEBALL 2003
Guy With the Googles’ Offishul Perdickshuns:
Spring has sprung, so take me out to the danged ol’ ballgame. Or, in the words of Randall P. McMurphy, “Somebody git me a wiener before I die. Hope springs eternal, ’cept, of course, if yer a Dee-troit, Tampa Bay, Texas, Kansas City, Florida, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Colorado, San Diego, Montreal, Baltimore, Toronto or New York Mets fan. Sorry ’bout that. Now, let’s git to the perdickshuns.

In the Arena League, or American League, as some folks call it, here’s the way I see it: In the East, it’s them damn Yankees—you cain’t beat an eight-man rotation. And besides, the Red Sox are still the Red Sox. In the Central, ever’body is jumpin’ on the White Sox bandwagon, but somethin’ ain’t right about Billy Koch as a closer, so I’ll take the danged ol’ Twins again. They is hard to beat in the dang ol’ Heftydome. This here perdickshun stuff is easy. In the West, bet the farm on the Oakland A’s. They got killer pitchin’. As fer the danged ol’ Wild Card, it feels like them World Champeen Angels, but that’ll be the end of the line fer them—ain’t no way they go back-to-back.

Over in the Senior Circuit, where they still play baseball the way it’s meant to be played, it’s a little tougher to perdikt the winners. In the East, I guess I’ll take the Phillies. The Braves is hard to pick against, but shoot, fer the first time in a looooooong time, I don’t like their pitchin’. Besides, I don’t like the danged ol’ tomahawk chop. In the Central, this here division should be a good ’un—you got three teams with a shot. I’ll take the Astros over the Cardinals and Cubs (shoot, they is still the Cubs). In the West, another tough call—three good teams, but you got to make Arizona the fave. And even though I hate the Giants, I’m gonna pick ’em ahead of the Dodgers, in an effort on my part to hex both of ’em. The Wild Card race is goin’ to be great this year, with the Cards, Astros, Cubs, Giants D’backs, Dodgers, Phillies and Braves all possible. I guess I’ll take them danged ol’ Cards.

As fer the World Series, I’m takin’ Oakland over the D’backs. God bless America, and let’s play two.
—Guy W.T. Goggles

Hello, Halos: The first baseball has been thrown, the first hot dog and beer have been consumed, and if you’re a true Anaheim Angels fan, you made sure you were at the April 1 Angels-Rangers game to get your replica World Series ring. Nothing made this fan prouder than to watch the guys get their rings as well as the staff—even the punk rocker with the spiky blonde hair. Nice to see some punk rock OC seeping into the staff. The Angels looked a little stiff against the Dodgers in the preseason game in L.A., but fear not, they got their hitting game back on the night of the rings. The pitching staff remains solid, with Percie and now regular-season pitcher Frankie Rod, and newbie Mickey Callaway looked great as a starter. But the biggest surprise is how big Shawn Wooten has gotten in the off-season (think Incredible Hulk) and how powerful Bengie Molina’s swing has gotten. He almost knocked a couple out of the park on Tuesday. Once again, Spiezio, Glaus, Kennedy, Fullmer (who’s looking pretty amazing), Erstad, Salmon and Eckstein are as solid as they’ve ever been, and G.A. (Garret Anderson, for the uninitiated) seems to be connecting more than he did this time last year. All in all, the team looks stronger than they were last year, the pitching is heating up, with the addition of Callaway as a starter a welcome addition, and the stadium has better merch than ever. Let’s hope they find a good owner who can sign the majority of the team to multi-year deals. Oddest change? Nestle not renewing its contract and seeing the 1-800-Dentist family zone in its place. That means no more ice cream sandwiches. At least we’ll have cavity-free teeth. The Angels head north to Oakland on for a three-game series starting Friday night. —Hanna Bolte

SHINY ROUND THINGS
White Stripes, Elephant (V2): Call this the Stripes' White Album—but whatever you call Elephant, it’s the first truly great record of 2003. The martial first single, “Seven Nation Army,” should please fans of “Fell in Love With a Girl” and “Dead Leaves,” while the whisper-to-a-primal scream Lennon bite of “There’s No Home for You Here” (think “Gimme Some Truth”) and the winsome, slide guitar-flavored young man blues of “I Want to Be the Boy…” (shades of Rod Stewart circa Gasoline Alley) are the first to stick and hold. It’s the 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 real revelation. A coy game of sexual triple-entendre, the song extends the group’s sibling rivalry/romantic tension to new heights of aw-shucks beauty. Roy Trakin

Idlewild, The Remote Part (Capitol): These earnest young lads from Edinburgh, Scotland, have arranged themselves in the standard 1980s configuration—guitar/bass/drums/vocals—and their take on cerebral rock bears distinct echoes of Murmur-era R.E.M., right down to the contemplative lyrics and genteel, reedy vocals of the delightfully named frontman, Roddy Woomble. Indeed, the band’s third album capably updates that wistfully remembered sound, with its loping verses and surging choruses, on such appealing mini-anthems as “Stay the Same” and the string-enhanced “You Held the World in Your Arms—dropping in the Smiths-like melancholia of “Love in a Hiding Place” for variety’s sake. But these guys aren’t just nostalgia buffs—they’ve summoned up enough contempo-flavored muscle on the single, “A Modern Way of Letting Go,” to get themselves off memory lane and onto PoMo radio.
—BS

Kim Fox, Return to Planet Earth (Franklin Castle Recordings): With her new disc, this exceptionally gifted songwriter expands on her classic-pop roots. Though packed with memorable songs (by turns effervescent and spooky), Earth’s instant grabber is "I’ve Got Music," a soaring affirmation of purpose with an ecstatic, no-brainer hook. Then there’s the chill-inducing ballad “I See Too Well,” the wistful “Ladybug” and plenty more. Fox’s sweetly vulnerable singing and atmospheric piano—not to mention the imaginative production of label head/artist Linus of Hollywood and guest spots from pop wizards Jon Brion, Roger Manning and Ben Eshbach of The Sugarplastic, among others—elevate the proceedings. Don’t sleep. —SG

Muggs, Dust (Anti): On first listen, one might be tempted to talk about this album in terms of its sonics, but to do so would risk trivializing the actual music going on here. Anyone with Muggs’ production experience is going to create interesting settings for his material; what distinguishes this set is the way he has blended rock sounds and rhythms with downtempo trip-hop elements to form complex frames for the engaging melodies sung by collaborators Amy Trujillo, Joshua Todd (Buckcherry), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) and Everlast. Standouts include the Todd-sung “Faded,” Dulli’s drug-sneer “Fat City” and the acid rock-etched Trujillo tour-de-force “Dead Flowers.” The songcraft benefits from Muggs’ molasses flow and vice-versa, and the result is sweet indeed. Jon O'Hara

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
A Man Apart (New Line Cimema)
Premise: Vin Diesel is a DEA agent who joins forces with an imprisoned cartel head to snare a mysterious new drug kingpin.
Stars: Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant
Director: Music video director-turned-Ice Cube collaborator F. Gary Grant (Friday, Set It Off) with his first feature since 1998’s The Negotiator
Thumbs Up: This film should tell us whether Diesel is the next big action hero, though the advance word is kinda muted.
Thumbs Down: Or is he the next Patrick Swayze?
Soundtrack: None
Website: www.AmanApartMovie.com gives information about the story, the cast, production, filmmakers, cop talk, a gallery of photos and videos along with assorted downloads, including IM icons, desktops, screensavers, posters, Winamp skins and e-cards.

Phone Booth (Fox 2000)
Premise: Delayed by the sniper crisis, the film is about a slick N.Y. publicist who picks up a ringing receiver in a phone book and is told, if he hangs up he’ll be killed, while a tiny infrared light tells him the caller isn’t kidding.
Stars: Colin Farrell as the victim, Kiefer Sutherland as the sniper, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta.
Director: Joel Schumacher from a script by b-movie veteran Larry Cohen (Q, It’s Alive!, The Stuff)
Thumbs Up: Farrell and Sutherland are hot, so is topic.
Thumbs Down: Schumacher really hasn’t delivered on a thriller level since the ’93 zeitgeist  movie Falling Down, with Michael Douglas.
Soundtrack: The Trauma album actually came out last year, featuring original score by Harry Gregson-Williams.
Website: www.phoneboothmovie.com features plot synopsis, cast informationk photo and clips, downloads and a kinetic flash intro.

What a Girl Wants (WB)
Premise: An all-American girl lands in London aristocratic society to bond with her long-lost dad, where her hip lifestyle disrupts his entire life.
Stars: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Anna Chancellor and Jonathan Pryce.
Director: Ex-comic and Joe Dirt auteur Dennis Gordon, with a screenplay by Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City) and Elizabeth Chandler (A Little Princess)
Thumbs Up: Nickelodeon grad Bynes goes for the star gusto in her first starring feature film role.
Thumbs Down: WB removed Bynes’ peace sign from the advertising campaign, hoping not to offend any potential patriotic ticket buyers.
Soundtrack: The Atlantic Records album includes Craig David, Duncan Sheik, Lucy Woodward, The Clash, The Donnas, Gavin Thrope, John Gregory and Leslie Mills.
Website: www.whatagirlwantsmovie.com gives information about the film, clips, trailer, downloads, a section where you can “Ask Amanda,” a photo album, trailer, postcards from London, a contest, screenwavers, a place to “Flaunt Your Style,” text a friend and a link to Amanda’s official site.

DysFunKtional Family (Miramax Films)
Premise: Eddie Griffin in concert, featuring members of his wacky family.
Stars: Griffin.
Director: George Gallo (29th Street)
Thumbs Up: Looking to become the next Richard Pryor.
Thumbs Down: Is he even the next Chris Tucker?
Soundtrack: Tha Row album features label acts Crooked I, 2Pac, Eastwood, N.I.N.A. (Lisa Lopes), Kurupt, Michel’le, Juvenile, Ja Rule, Danny Boy, The Dramatics, Ganxta Ridd, and Virginya.
Website: www.miramax.com/dysfunktional_family/ offers not mucn more than cast and crew and a plot synopsis.

The Good Thief (Fox Searchlight)
Premise: English-language remake of French director Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1955 nouvelle vague forerunner, Bob le Flambeur, about an aging gambler who tries to rob a casino in the south of France, unaware someone has tipped off the cops beforehand.
Stars: Nick Nolte, Ralph Fiennes, Ryan Phillipe, director Emir Kusturica.
Director: Irishman Neil Jordan (Michael Collins, The End of the Affair, Interview with the Vampire, Crying Game, Mona Lisa) tries to get back in the commercial swing.
Thumbs Up: Well, at least Nolte survived that brutal mug shot.
Thumbs Down: English versions of French classics never work… Jim McBride’s Breathless the possible exception.
Soundtrack: None
Website:
www2.foxsearchlight.com/thegoodthief/ gives you the story of the film, cast and filmmaker information, a multimedia gallery, trailer, clips, reviews and a message board.

Levity (Sony Pictures Classics)
Premise: An ex-con (Billy Bob Thornton) freed from prison after 19 years for killing a teenager during an attempted robbery, and whose picture he has been staring at on his wall all that time, seeks personal redemption from a minister (Morgan Freeman) and two women (Kirstin Dunst, Holly Hunter).
Stars: Thornton, Freeman, Dunst, Hunter, Dorian Harewood
Director:
Screenwriter Ed Solomon makes his feature debut after scripts for Men In Black, Charlie’s Angels, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Super Mario Bros.
Thumbs Up: Great cast, cinematography by frequent Coen Brothers collaborator Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother Where Art Thou?)
Thumbs Down: Why has this movie been sitting on the shelf for close to four years? And the opening has been awfully quiet.
Soundtrack: Pleximusic album includes score and songs by the eelsMark Oliver Everett (songs in Shrek, Road Trip, American Beauty, Dead Man on Campus, Scream 2)
Website: www.sonyclassics.com has a flash intro, plot synopsis, director’s statement, cast, production and filmmaker information, credits and a gallery. —RT

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL
I’m singing the blues this week. Last Sunday I had an unfortunate mishap involving a bike and the pavement and have been laid up (not in the good way) all week. I’m sitting at my desk with a black eye, a bum shoulder, lots of scrapes and bruises and no one to nurse me back to health. Being a strong, independent, self reliant woman doesn’t make me feel any better at a time like this. I need some TLC, damn it! And I’m not talking about the girl group. This week’s cocktail proves to what extent I will go in order to get a little attention from anyone, especially Venice Beach Lifeguards. At least I have a good story for my gals back in Indiana. How many of them have had the Baywatch guys run to save them?

Crash & Burn
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. rum
1 oz. triple sec
Splash grenadine
Fill glass with orange and pineapple juices

I wasn’t even drunk when I had my accident. If I had stopped for my usual Heineken at Dean’s “Muscle In” Caf, I wouldn’t be in my current predicament—proving once again that being sober and exercising are both very bad for you. Being surrounded by half-naked, suntanned lifeguards with hot bodies and gorgeous paramedics from the LAFD was the only positive thing that came from my klutziness—along with a visit to an extremely good-looking orthopedic doctor. Unfortunately, none of these sexy men asked me out for a sympathy date—what does a gal need to do to get a little wining, dining and …y’know…in this city? Gees! I thought taking a swan dive into the sidewalk, wearing short-shorts and a bikini top, would do the trick—guess not. Maybe I should’ve held my breath, hoping for a little mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from one of the many handsome men who came to my rescue.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: If you’re feeling down and out, why try to cheer yourself up? Instead, wallow in self-pity, and a martini, at Harvelle’s on Fourth St. in Santa Monica. This dark little blues club is known for the top-notch talent it attracts. Plus, the black walls and red lighting are perfect if you’re sporting a shiner like I am and are sick of people looking at you, assuming your boyfriend (which you don’t have) beat you up. Go to Harvelle’s and lose yourself in a few of their super strong martinis and great music.

De’s diss of the week: Road rash, road rash with sand in it, nasty yellow and purple bruises and people gawking at all of those things on you.

I would like to apologize to all of my loyal fans for my shorter than usual Weakend Cocktail, but I’m sore and tired (again, not for the good reasons), so get over it. By the way, please send all of the flowers, get-well cards and chocolates to HITS Magazine in Sherman Oaks—attention the lovely and extremely talented Denise. Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Denise Bayles, Lenny Beer, Hanna Bolte, Darren Cava, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Todd Hensley, Jill Kushner, Jon O'Hara and Roy Trakin

Edited by Bud Scoppa

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Mulling possible surprises.
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What drugs will help us get there?
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