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Aw, Gawd...yeeeah. Them danged ole NFL purdickshuns. Pardon me if ah don’t seem to care—it’s only cuz ah don’t. Jes like everybuddy else ah know. Ah ain’t even sure ah’ll be here by the time y’all
read this.
WEAKEND PLANNER LOVES THE SMELL OF PIGSKIN IN THE MORNING
Football’s Back to Get Us Through the Weekend. Now, If We Could Only Figure Out How to Get Through the Rest of the Week…
For football fans, one of the great things about living on the West Coast is that the TV games start at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday—not to mention that Monday Night Football kicks off early enough in the evening—6 p.m.—that there’s no danger of falling asleep during the fourth quarter of a close game. On top of that, you can read about every game the next morning in the L.A. Times, while The New York Times goes to press too early to include night games. This weekend, as college football gets in full swing and the NFL season gets underway, it’s time once again to thank our lucky stars for the Pacific Time Zone. So let the games begin. In fact, one game is already in the books, as the league and ABC chose to start the season Thursday night with the Jets at the Redskins. For battered Jets/Mets/Knicks fan Roy Trakin, the result was all too familiar, as the Skins squeezed past his team on a field goal with 0:08 on the clock by former Jets place kicker John Hall, who'd been spirited away by Washington in the off-season. Ouch. One other thing: In honor of the beginning of football season, the Popcult Top 10, for one week only, has been renamed…

THE POPCULT STARTING 11
1.
Playmakers (ESPN): I’m not usually a big fan of sports movies, but ESPN’s initial foray into series television, a behind-the-scenes glimpse at an unidentified pro football team, is a perfect blend of soap opera and pop psychology. Alias writer/creator John Eisendrath doesn’t blanch from locker room verite in his stock of cliched characters—the pill-popping QB, the Oedipal-damaged Polish middle linebacker, the crack-addicted running back, the nervous Latin place-kicker, the steroid-ingesting offensive lineman, the veteran desperately hanging on. Although pure hokum, it’s all brought to life by a fine cast. Cuba’s brother Omar Gooding is the hotheaded coke fiend, Jason Matthew Smith the sensitive defensive brute trying to get back at his cruel father/coach on the field and in psychotherapy and Leon Taylor is a doomed vet facing an uncertain future. The scenes of hypodermics and the dreaded “Pissman,” who administers the random drug tests, make North Dallas Forty look like Sesame Street, which is the main reason why you won’t see any references to the NFL in the series. —RT

2. Learning to Like (If Not Love) USC: As a Notre Damer, I’ve despised the archrival Trojans for decades, and my local rooting interest is in UCLA (must be the gold helmets). That said, coach Pete Carroll’s 2002 breakout squad impressed me greatly, and I found myself cheering along as SC dismantled highly regarded Auburn last Saturday. While I don’t want to see them derail the Irish or the Bruins, otherwise I’ll follow this team with more enthusiasm than I would’ve thought possible in other years. Hell, I’d rather see SC win the national championship than Oklahoma, Ohio State or Miami—as long as they can reach that goal at 11-2...OK, 12-1. This Saturday, while Notre Dame and UCLA open their seasons against Washington State and Colorado, respectively, USC takes on BYU. All three games are televised. And, with a full slate of NFL games Sunday, I’d appreciate it if you left me alone this weekend. Thank you. —BS

3. American Splendor (New Line Cinema): Wife-husband directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulicini’s much-praised semi-documentary of working-class cartoon writer Harvey Pekar’s life is, despite its downbeat subject matter, every bit as uplifting as blatant Hollywood underdog tales like Rocky or A Beautiful Mind, without ever sinking into easy condescension. Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis are perfectly understated as Harvey and wife Joyce Brabner, but it is the shock of seeing the real-life characters interacting with the movie, along with the various animated versions of Pekar, that gives the film its comic-book buoyancy and Pirandellian conceit. James Urbaniak as a sly Robert Crumb and Judah Friedlander as quintessential nerd Toby Radloff play off their characters with subtle aplomb and compassion, as evidenced by the surprise generated by the appearance of the real Radloff. This is a worthy addition to the hopefully burgeoning underground-comic genre that includes Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb and Ghost World. —RT

4. A Decade Under the Influence (IFC): This extraordinary three-part documentary on the cinema revolution of the 1970s brings together practically all of the surviving easy riders and raging bulls—Coppola, Altman, Scorsese, Pollack, Friedkin, Bogdanovich, Lumet, Schrader, Towne and Forman—along with actors Julie Christie (who reflects on the era with rueful insight), Ellen Burstyn, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and more. It will also bring a big toke of nostalgia to music-biz vets who experienced a parallel sense of aesthetic/commercial liberation during the same period. Certainly, from the standpoint of this dispiriting corporate era, the ’70s seem impossibly glorious; it’s hard to believe there was ever a time in the popular arts when audacity was the rule rather than the exception, a decade when the biggest successes were the work of bona fide visionaries—and the honchos who were running the show, heroes like Steve Ross, greenlighted all manner of envelope-pushing projects that wouldn’t get past the first meeting in this decade. Watch this inspiring series, produced and directed by Richard LaGravenese and the late Ted Demme, and ask yourself, could something like this possibly happen again? And would the film and music industries get new life if it did? —BS

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Disney): Imagine Johnny Depp as Keith Richards as a pirate. The paradigm gets swallowed by the archetype. And in that glint and hoary laugh, there is a twinkle that says scoundrels are good boys deep down inside. For anyone who ever loved the ride at Disneyland, this is a cinematic expansion that's visual eye candy, aburst with color and motion and action and churning waters, brilliant costumes and lots of good fun—courtesy of roguish characters concocted to delight the ladies and play to the wild child in all men. Oh, yes, and it was originally designed for the youth audience. —HG

6. Preview: John Mayer, Heavier Things (Aware/Columbia, 9/9): I’ve only heard the album once, so I can’t go into much detail; all I can say is that Heavier Things combines the sinew of the Police, the sophistication of Steely Dan and the plaintiveness of Nick Drake. If you listen to the radio, you’ve heard first single “Bigger Than My Body” and undoubtedly have formed you own opinion; for me it’s the year’s most intoxicating radio record. And there’s a lot more where that came from, like the 21st century blues “Come Back to Bed,” the psychologically panoramic “Wheel,” the cautionary family drama “Daughters,” the introspective rocker “Something’s Missing” and several other sensational tracks whose titles I don’t recall. If this masterful record doesn’t convince the critical community of Mayer’s artistic stature, I give up. —BS

7. Jupiter Sunrise, Under This Killer Blue Sky: The album debut from this L.A.-based band—due out Nov. 4 on mega-cool indie Undecided Records—is a welcome blast of warmly emotional pop-rock. Mark Houlihan, Ben Karis and company find a consistently deft balance of emotional intensity, guitar-driven heft and sunny melody on songs like arch opener “Arthur,” the propulsive “Kaye,” “Master Suzuki,” the wistful “Cherry Wine” (which builds to a massive catharsis) and power-pop gems “Casey” and “Super X-Ray Vision.” Produced and arranged by A&R wunderkind Marshall Altman and recorded, mixed and co-produced by Joe Zook (Wilshire), the album sounds huge and intimate at the same time (belying its shoestring budget), and its unfussy clarity beautifully supports the material. —SG

8. Dashboard Confessional, A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar (Vagrant): Chris Carrabba embraces the frailty of people at their deepest recesses and stretches his canvases taut over a frame that's both spare enough for each instrument to be heard and lush enough to carry the songs aloft like a victor home from the war. His staccato singing rivets each syllable, word, phrase into the subconscious, and when he glides into his falsetto, it soars into a place where transformation is more than possible, it's a given. "Carve Your Heart Out Yourself" is about refusing to relinquish one's will to live, even in the face of the pain—and finding the faith to trust another human being—while "Hands Down" portrays the nervous beauty of the initial connection, "Rapid Hope Loss" conveys the deflation of seeing someone you loved for what they are and "As Lovers Go" offers a pledge of commitment against the challenge of taking the plunge. And that is Carrabba's gift—the ability to express how it really is. —HG

9. Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days (Anchor Books): No sophomore jinx here. Former Village Voice scribe Whitehead follows up The Intuitionist, his tale about the internecine world of elevator inspectors and inventors, by juxtaposing a jaded freelance entertainment journalist’s quest to set the world record for free junkets with the saga of the legendary, steel-driving railroad man who challenged and defeated a steam dril, a perhaps-apocryphal event celebrated in myth and song. The story revolves around the scribe's trip to West Virginia for a commemoration of a postage stamp depicting John Henry, which is merely an excuse for a sly comedy of manners about popular culture, alternative journalism, small-town tourism and how history is transformed into art and then product. Written by someone who enjoys comic twists and turns of language, the book includes a blow-by-blow first-person account of the Rolling Stones' Altamont concert that could have been cribbed from Gimme Shelter and a hilariously sarcastic glimpse of the personalities at his Voice alma mater. —RT

10. Drs. Vera and Steve Borlansky, Extended Massive Orgasm (Hunter House trade paperback): If you're gonna do something, do it right. And hard. Make it matter. Take it to the hoop, the wall, the limit. Or get all Godfather and take it to the mattresses. The good Doctors Borlansky have provided the field guide to getting everything conceivable out of getting busy—and they do it with directness, no embarrassment and the wish to inform, demystify and create a dialogue that's gonna make getting it on a whole lot better, deeper, more more more—and that's just the preface! Anybody with a will to woooooo can figure this out. Straightforward, candid and easy to apply. —HG

11. Featured Doughnut of the Month—Caramel Krispy Kreme: Imagine your standard-issue Krispy Kreme filled donut, but rather than some chemical cream or gooey fruit-invoking filling, these sickos have actually stuffed that yeasty bit of carb-loading goodness with caramel. Yes, caramel. And just when that mondo-glob of melted down butter and sugar seems like way too much to even begin to consider, they ice this bad boy with chocolate frosting, then put caramel, pecans and coconut on top to make it like a German chocolate cake. It ain't right…and it's one month only! —HG

GOGGLEPICKS 2003: NFL
Aw, Gawd...yeeeah. Them danged ole NFL purdickshuns. Pardon me if ah don’t seem to care—it’s only cuz ah don’t. Jes like everybuddy else ah know. Ah ain’t even sure ah’ll be here by the time y’all read this. But shoot dog, here we go:
Oakland at Ten-Oh-See (-3 1/2): Ah don’t really care about this here game—jes like ah don’t care in general—but ahm still waitin’ for that goddammed lilly-livered Al Davis to die, die, DIE!!!! So there ain’t no way ah kin pick them Oaklands. Ah’ll take me the Titans and give the 3 1/2.
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (-2 1/2): Now, if you think ah don’t care about that other game, you ain’t gonna believe how much ah don’t care about this one. Of course, you may be gittin’ the pitcher by now: Ah don’t care. As for the game, oh well, guess ah’ll take Tampa Bay and 2 1/2.
Ordinarily, ah’d say, “Enjoy them games this weekend,” but ah jes don’t care. Ah jes want ta go home. Uhhhhnnnnhhghhh... —Guy W.T. Goggles

BALLOT LESSON
How I Picked My All-Time Top 50 Albums:
Last month, Rolling Stone honcho Jann Wenner sent out a letter to hundreds of “influential and creative members of the broad music community” (aw, shucks); in it, he asked each tastemaker to list his/her all-time top 50 albums. The results would be tabulated and published in a special year-end issue “devoted to the 500 Greatest Albums Ever Made.” Wenner’s method was righteously old-school: Each tastemaker was supplied with an 11" x 17" printed ballot, which could only be filled out longhand. The very notion of putting down one’s choices by taking pen to paper suggested a deeper commitment to those choices than could be attained by using a computer keyboard. How cool, I thought, as I held up the classy-looking ballot with those 50 slots waiting to be filled. Mine would be entry #188.

But how does one go about coming up with an all-time top 50? While contemplating that daunting task, I decided to strictly apply Wenner’s request to “vote for whatever records have been important to you.” Clearly, the only legitimate list would be a subjective one; the issue for me became the degree of subjectivity. In the end, I decided to list only records I’d regarded as revelatory when they were new while continuing to pack an emotional charge when I think about (or play) them now. Thus, my list would necessarily start with the Beatles, but it would also have to include records with which I had more than a casual relationship, either as a reviewer, liner-note writer or label geek.

Wenner’s package included several hundred candidates, from A Tribe Called Quest to ZZ Top, neatly arranged in double columns on six sides of glossy white paper; said list was accompanied by the disclaimer that we weren’t limited to these choices. I pulled out a yellow highlighter and marked the ones that meant something to me, noticing that certain personal faves—Procol Harum, Little Feat, the Tubes and Matthew Sweet, for starters—were excluded altogether, as were albums by listed artists that stood out for me, for example, the ByrdsMr. Tambourine Man, Jackson Browne’s debut album and Neil Young’s Zuma. Further, in a few cases, greatest-hits albums were suggested, but with the vast majority of acts they were not. Would it be cheating to list a best-of? My conclusion was that best-ofs were kosher with artists I’d experienced primarily on the radio, as well as acts whose bodies of work weren’t satisfactorily represented by any individual LP.

I then went to the computer, started a Word doc and began typing in potential entries, using the numbering function. For days I moved records around, adding more as they occurred to me, until I had a list of around 60 albums I felt strongly about, in an order that felt right, based on comparative resonance. Considering the first nine LPs, my only issue was whether to put Rubber Soul or Revolver at #1; in the end I went with the former, simply because it came first. As for #10, I was torn among five albums, all of which felt worthy of top 10 status.

As I was compiling my list, I couldn’t help but notice that it was overwhelmingly white—Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Prince were the exceptions—and even more overwhelmingly male, broken only by the Pretenders’ debut album. Don’t think its presence on my list is a token gesture, however—I’ve loved Chrissie Hynde from the first time I heard her on the band’s ’79 import debut single, “The Wait” b/w “Stop Your Sobbing,” and Pretenders rocks as hard as any record in my collection.  

Finally, after printing out the list and picking up my trusty black extra-fine Pilot V Ball, I was ready to commit. As I started writing, I made a barely conscious decision to hand off to my right brain, rather than simply copying the typed list onto the ballot; as a result, after I’d written down the first nine, my selections refused to stay put, and only seven of the remaining 41 entries ended up where I’d had them previously. Holding up my completed ballot, I was gratified not only by the rightness of my choices but also by my penmanship; I decided at that moment to stop by Kinko’s on the way to the post office and make a color photocopy of my handiwork. Now, the only remaining question is where to hang it.

Wonder what Trakin’s top 50 looks like? Hey, Roy, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Bud Scoppa

THE METAPHYSICAL TEACHINGS OF MACY GRAY:
“I’ve never been afraid of death,” the 32-year-old Gray (whose third album, The Trouble With Being Myself, came out recently, in case you hadn’t noticed) told AP. “Because it’s such a mystery since you don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s probably the greatest thing that’s going to happen to you. Why else would nobody know about it? I bet, if we all knew what happens after we die, I bet everybody would go and jump off a cliff right now, because that’s probably why we don’t know.”
—Valerie Nome

THE REVEALING SCIENCE OF PROG
Yes, Tales From Topographic Oceans (Elektra/Rhino)
Side One:
Even to some fans of English pomp-rockers Yes, this sprawling, often inscrutable multi-disc opus is a bit much. Hugely ambitious even for the Brit progressivists—who’d previously treated their followers to the side-long Close to the Edge, among other epic excursions—Tales was, famously, inspired by a footnote on page 83 of Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. Singer-lyricist Jon Anderson, barely tethered to everyday subject matter as it was, used the footnote about the Schastic Scriptures (four of them, bounding various aspects of the universe) as his point of thematic departure. The result, as it appeared in record stores in 1973—it shipped gold, by the way—was four vinyl sides of music. Each side contained one long song. The Roger Dean gatefold cover was superior for cleaning weed.

Side Two: But the music was difficult, even for Yes. With 30 years’ hindsight, though, Tales could be the ultimate prog-rock record—a sterling example of the much-maligned form’s glorious peaks and flatulent excesses. Anderson’s voice is mostly lovely but at times strident, and his lyrics are best regarded as pleasant sounds. Steve Howe’s guitar work continues to astonish, Chris Squire’s bass lines are endlessly inventive and drummer Alan White (stepping in here to replace Bill Bruford) has the muscle and finesse to handle the widely divergent moods. Keyboardist Rick Wakeman—whose enthusiasm for the project was lukewarm—adds equal parts symphonic grandeur and synthetic cheese. Opener “The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)” is equal parts bombast and tranquility; “The Remembering (High the Memory)” starts off serene and builds to a visionary climax. “The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)” is by far the most abstruse, with lots of banging at odd time-signatures, dissonant Moog noodling and modal recitation of puzzling mysticism. The finest moment of Tales, for me, is final movement “Ritual (Nous Sommes de Soleil),” which deserves a place alongside the band’s classics. This typically handsome, two-disc Rhino repackaging—though, alas, too small for cleaning weed—preserves Dean’s inner artwork and every ponderous lyric, while adding early drafts of sides one and three, lots of nice photos and a historically detailed essay from fan and webmaster Mike Tiano.
Simon Glickman

YOUR WEAKEND WEATHER
Stay inside and watch football on Sunday, but take your ass outside on Saturday—when you’re freezing in February, you’ll wish you had. And this is the time to do it; fall is on its way and summer’s kiss is over. In New York City, the highs will be in the mid-70s on Saturday and 80 on Sunday, with lows in the 60s; it's stopped raining, so they've finally been able to resume play at the U.S. Open, unfortunately (I hate tennis). This weekend in Los Angeles, highs will be in the mid-80s and lows in the low 60s. That’s the reason people move here. David Simutis

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for anything in the world,” Macaulay Culkin, who’s now 23, tells Barbara Walters in an interview slated to air Friday on ABC’s 20/20. “I’m very happy with who I am, and where I’ve ended up, and I wouldn’t change one thing, because if you change one thing in the past, everything else is different.” Mm…good point, kid. —VN

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (Paramount Pictures)
Premise:
A former child star sets his sights on a comeback role as a “regular guy,” only to realize he never had a normal life, so he decides to hire a family, where he can return as a child to recreate an everyday existence in preparation for his role.
Stars: David Spade, Craig Bierko, Jenna Boyd, Jon Lovitz, Mary McCormack, Alyssa Milano, Doris Roberts, former child stars Danny Bonaduce, Dustin Diamond, Corey Feldman, Leif Garrett, Emmanuel Lewis and Barry Williams as themselves, with cameos by Rob Reiner and Brendan Fraser
Director: Sam Weisman (George of the Jungle, What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, The Out-of-Towners, Bye Bye Love, D2: The Mighty Ducks); screenplay by Spade (his first since Lost & Found)
Thumbs Up: The trailers are pretty funny. Can Spade make his comeback as a top-liner after several box-office flops?
Thumbs Down: Spade has yet to prove he’s a box-office draw without Chris Farley.
Soundtrack: Hollywood Records
disc features score by Christophe Beck and music by veteran guitarist Waddy Wachtel.
Website:
http://www.dickieroberts.com is in the form of a board game, with a trailer, cast and crew information, a family diary, an arcade featuring a Dickie Slide and Where Are They Now Video Poker game, production information and e-cards.

The Order (20th Century Fox)
Premise: An order of ancient Christian priests, known as the “Sin Eaters,” conducts a ceremony in which the participants literally “eat” the sins of another by dining on food off the corpse, taking the sins upon themselves. A young, conflicted New York priest helps a female detective investigate the case of a French ambassador, whose corpse is covered with mysterious religious symbols written in Aramaic. The priest is then summoned to the Vatican in Rome, where he discovers the crime may be the work of the ancient sect.
Stars: Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Peter Weller
Director: Brian Helgeland
(Payback, A Knight’s Tale)
Thumbs Up: Can A Knight’s Tale stars Ledger and Sossamon add some erotic heft to this latter-day take on The Exorcist?
Thumbs Down: Will the film’s arty pedigree be too literate for the gore crowd?
Soundtrack: Superb Records, which just inked a distributin deal with Koch, will release the soundtrack featuring a score by avant-jazz veteran guitarist David Torn (and a fellow Wantagh High alum). See today's Rumor Mill for more info.
Website: www.theordermovie.com offers production notes, trailer, clips, photo downloads, etc.

Party Monster (Strand Releasing)
Premise:
True story of New York nightclub promoter Michael Alig, an ’80s/90s clubutante whose extravagant life was sent on a downward spiral after admitting on television he killed his drug dealer roommate, Angel Melendez. Based on the book Disco Bloodbath, penned by fellow club kid James St. James.
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Seth Green, Wilson Cruz, Lucy Liu, Natasha Lyonne, Marilyn Manson, Dylan McDermott, Diana Scarwid, Chloe Sevigny, John Stamos
Directors: Fenton Baily
and Randy Barbato (The Eyes of Tammy Faye and original 1998 documentary this movie’s also based on; Inside Deep Throat doc up next)
Thumbs Up: Fascinating era, star-studded indie cast and Culkin taking his first adult role.
Thumbs Down: Could rival Mike Myers’ turn in 54 as a tale that didn’t improve in the retelling.
Soundtrack: A potpourri of retro-disco, vintage club tunes and neo-dance from Mannequin, Ladytron, Stacey Q, Nina Hagen, Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy, Shannon, ABC, Tones on Tail, Tomcraft, Keoki, Felix da Housecat and Marilyn Manson in character (TVT).
Website: www.partymonster.com offers film news, photo galleries, reviews of the movie, a history, press, cast and crew information, the directors’ production journal.

NEW YORK MINUTE
On Friday, Billy Bob Thornton puts on his singer/songwriter cap when he plays Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place); Holly Williams opens… Saturday offers up a smorgasbord of possibilities. For country fans, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton and Junior Brown will pack PNC Bank Arts Center (Exit 116 Garden State Parkway, Holmdel, NJ). For rockers, the Unlimited Sunshine Tour takes over Roseland (239 W. 52nd St.). Cake, Cheap Trick, Charlie Louvin, Detroit Cobras and The Hacksensaw Boys share the eclectic bill… Sunday features a West Coast hipster invasion, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queens of the Stone Age take over PNC Bank Arts Center. For the New York-bound, Crosby Stills & Nash bring their archetypal three-part harmonies to Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Pavilion (1000 Ocean Parkway, Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh NY). —VN

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL
Is the old saying, “You can’t have everything,” really true? As Eminem says, “It’s like a good-looking girl with big boobs who cooks and cleans.” It doesn’t exist—right? Maybe it’s life’s way of balancing things out, so one person doesn’t get all of the good stuff, leaving the crumbs for the rest of us. Almost everyone I know, at some point or another, has given an amazing description of the person they’re dating, followed by the tell-tale “but.” “He’s perfect—smart, sexy…but…” Then it all comes down to how big of a “but” it is. I’ve said it many times, “He’s an amazing guy—sweet, intelligent, makes me laugh, brings flowers, but he lives across the country,” or “but he doesn’t have a job” or (the deal breaker) “but the sex sucks.” How do you deal with that one? That’s something that always amazes me. How can two people click in every way except in the bedroom? Does that mean the two of you really aren’t compatible? I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, good sex is a pretty important. And does it work the other way? For instance, if you’re dating a guy who you don’t feel an overwhelming urge to sleep with, is it possible that once you jump into the sack, you can discover the sexual chemistry you were previously lacking? He may not be physically or intellectually “perfect” for you, but life’s going to throw you a bone by making the sex amazing. Hmm…interesting concept. Now I’m really curious about all of those guys I’ve scratched off of my list of potentials due to lack of chemistry before I really tried them out. This week’s cocktail is a sign that you and your object of affection click in all of the right places.

Sexual Trance
½ oz. Malibu
½ oz. Peach
½ oz. Bacardi 151
Serve over ice and splash orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and grenadine.

We’ve all been there, though probably not as often as we would’ve liked: You’re lying in bed after an absolutely mind-blowing romp in the sack and you’re left thinking, “What in the hell just happened?” From that moment on, you realize, sex will never be the same. Once this guy stops calling and you’re thrown back into the doomed dating world, you’ll constantly compare every average sexual romp to the really amazing sex you had with that one guy. I can’t tell you how to find mind-blowing sex, but I can give you my Top 10 ways to know whether you’re experiencing it.

Ten Signs You’ve Been Having Down & Dirty, Show-Stopping Sex
1.  You’ve been kicked out of more than one public place after being caught sharing a bathroom stall.
2.  You’ve spent the last 48 hours together and have only left the bed for the necessities—food, water and bathroom breaks.
3.  Your thigh muscles are killing you even though you can’t remember the last time you’ve stepped into a gym.
4.  Your face is glowing and you’re not wearing make-up.
5.  Sex has replaced shopping, sleeping and Sex and the City.
6.  The only clothing purchases you’ve made lately are from Victoria’s Secret, Frederick’s of Hollywood and Trashy Lingerie.
7.  For the first time, you realize how much your flexibility has improved since taking those yoga classes.
8.  You suddenly fit into your skinny jeans and you’re abs have never looked better.
9.  Your neighbors won’t speak to you; except for the Bible scriptures they quote as they pass you.
10. You don’t miss Bob (your Battery-Operated Boyfriend).

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: This joint is fairly new to the Los Angeles nightlife scene, but the owner isn’t. Forty Deuce is a swanky little lounge known for its tasteful burlesque strip shows. This celebrity-ridden cabaret is housed in the club previously known as Kane (after owner Ivan Kane, who also owns Deep) on the outskirts of Hollywood on Melrose. Now, the trendy and always-packed Kane has been converted into a posh place that oozes sexuality. Take your special someone to watch a sexy show, get warmed up with some martinis and go home to create a sexual trance of your own. Beware—this place has been rumored to be hard to get into, so for rezzies, call (323) 465-4242.

I hope everyone spends this weekend in a sexual trance; as for me, a gal can always hope. Be safe, in both your drinking and sexual exploits. Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Denise Bayles, Darren Cava, Simon Glickman, Guy W.T. Goggles, Valerie Nome, Jon O’Hara, David Simutis and Roy Trakin

Edited by Bud Scoppa

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