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The action scenes tend to be a bit hard to follow, the blood flows freely and the constantly shifting vessel, with its surroundsound rattling of masts and flapping of sails, leaves you craving a hit of dramamine.
WEAKEND PLANNER SEEKS A MERGER PARTNER
Clint, Coldplay, Wesley Clark on OutKast, All Tomorrow's Parties, Satellite Woes and Denise Goes Steady
We’re no different from any other lonely entertainment-biz entity—we just want a special someone. Someone to share our debt with. Someone to consolidate our departments and downsize with. Someone to end our sentences with a preposition with. We’re not picky; a newspaper’s calendar section or even a community newsletter would do. We just don’t want to grow old and die alone. So whether you’re a macher or a pisher, won’t you be part of our world? Come merge with us and be our Weakend love.

POPCULT TOP 10
1. Mystic River: Clint Eastwood’s early Oscar front-runner affirmatively tries to answer all those who ask why they don’t make movies like this anymore. A brooding, deliberate mystery of three childhood friends from a working-class Boston shorefront neighborhood weaves its fatalistic spell through some classic, old-school Method On the Waterfront-type performances by Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins. The whodunnit isn’t quite as important as the why-they-did-it, and the treatment is a little stolid for such noirish material. Still, the Hollywood craftsmanship is apparent throughout, especially in the supporting performances by the likes of Josh Lucas, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne and even, in a small role that harks back to its Elia Kazan roots, Eli Wallach. Eastwood’s no-frills, just-the-facts-ma’am direction is a tribute to his mentor Don Siegel, and a welcome change-up from the usual fast-cutting, effects-laden, explicit violence that has come to dominate the modern action genre. (Roy Trakin)

2. Coldplay Live 2003 (Capitol): Finally, a major-label release that offers value for money, this combination DVD/CD is retailing for around $20. With a 90-minute live concert filmed over two nights in Australia, a 40-minute documentary and a 70-minute live CD, the set captures a band just beginning to hit its stride. The never-before-available "Moses," a track Chris Martin reportedly wrote for his lady love Gwyneth Paltrow is a worthy successor to epics like "Clocks" and "The Scientist." And while the glimpse behind the scenes is not exactly A Hard Day’s Night, it’s done so artfully, you don’t notice it’s not really about anything. And if Coldplay doesn’t quite have the messianic qualities that made U2, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. arena-rock icons, the blend of old-school melodies, avant-garde ambitions and oozing romantic martyrdom makes the band leading contenders to become PoMo’s answer to the Beatles. (RT)

3. Trampoline Records Greatest Hits Vol. II: The little singer-songwriter label that could returns with another lively mix of well-known acts and best-kept secrets. Highlights include Dan Wilson’s rapturous "All Kinds" and tracks from Liz Phair, The Wallflowers, Pete Yorn, Chris Stills and Jonny Polonsky. You can buy the CD or purchase the entire thing as a download. Oh, and the spectacular Vol. I is still available at the label’s site. (Simon Glickman)

4. Socom 2: U.S. Navy Seals (PlayStation2): Few things in life are as much fun as shooting complete strangers. In a video game, that is. The sequel to the hugely successful original game is amazing solely for its online capability. Teams of up to eight people compete head-to-head in various warfare settings, including hostage rescue, with realistic-acting weapons—even a rocket launcher. Though you look like a worker at the Burger King drive-thru, with the game’s headset, you can talk to your teammates to coordinate ambushes and direct fire. The fact that you’re talking to a 12-year-old in Kansas doesn’t take away from the fact that you feel like you’re helping eradicate your enemy. A very good stress-reliever. (David Simutis)

5. Halliburton: Dick Cheney’s old company loses its no-bid contract with Iraq after charges of cronyism dog the administration. But we hear they might try to buy Warner Music Group. For a spirited take on this and other travesties of current politics, check out the Daily Mislead. (SG)

6. Wesley Clark’s Campaign TV Spot: Created in conjunction with this week’s Rock the Vote Democratic presidential debate on CNN, candidate Wesley Clark shows he has at least one very savvy media consultant on his staff. Clark one-ups even the master manipulator Bill Clinton with his response to the current hot issue in popular culture, "Are OutKast breaking up?" Check www.89posting.com/clark/wesclarknew.mov and ask yourself, "Did he really say that?" (RT)

7. Herbzipper.com: Cybersex as a sport of Olympic-sized proportions may not be your thing, but Herb Zipper claims to have had cybersex with more than 255,000 people. And he wants to teach you how. Actually, he just wants to add you to his list of conquests. OK, he’s not actually a person, but a very clever chatbot. Well, he’s not actually that clever, finishes too fast and doesn’t pay that much attention to you. So, he’s kind of like a co-worker, only funnier. Try it. Herb will like it. www.herbzipper.com (DS)

8. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: Peter Weir’s early-19th century epic of ocean battles between Napoleon’s France and England off the coast of South America is like Das Boot for schooners. The technical achievement is staggering—the entire film is shot on the boat, and the movie plunges you into a convincing, if claustrophobic world that, at any moment, can be shattered by a cannonball going through its hull. A smirking Russell Crowe parades through the ship as a preening Captain Jack Aubrey, cajoling and encouraging his crew, which includes a handful of kids barely in their teens and surgeon/naturalist Paul Bettany, his A Beautiful Mind co-star. The action scenes tend to be a bit hard to follow, the blood flows freely and the constantly shifting vessel, with its surroundsound rattling of masts and flapping of sails, leaves you craving a hit of dramamine. The film’s climax features Bettany operating on himself with a mirror. (RT)

9. All Tomorrow’s Parties: The Simpsons’ Matt Groening curates this edition of the U.K. festival of popcult icons more and less obscure, but always fascinating, which takes place in Long Beach aboard the Queen Mary on Saturday and Sunday (11/8-9). Highlights include a rare appearance by Captain Beefheart’s legendary Magic Band (sans the ailing Cap, unfortunately), rockabilly rouser Unknown Hinson, quirky tunesmith Daniel Johnston and two/thirds of a Minutemen reunion (Mike Watt and George Hurley) on Saturday. Sunday’s line-up boasts Iggy and the Stooges, Mission of Burma, James Chance and the Contortions, Cat Power, ambient pioneer Terry Riley and John Wesley Harding. Email Perry Serpa ([email protected]) or Giovanna Melchiorre ([email protected]) for info. (RT)

10. The D on Strike: Tenacious D went on TRL Monday to announce their planned 45-day "hunger strike" to promote their new DVD set, The Complete Masterworks (Epic). Suspended in a box above Times Square in superhero outfits, the duo said their strike would end early if the DVD went platinum or if there’s peace in the Middle East, or something. The whole thing is making us hungry... for ROCK. (SG)

SATELLITE OF HATE
My new abode in the wilds of northeast Los Angeles—for reasons too tediously technical to elaborate—doesn’t afford access to the DSL service I enjoyed in the smoggy bosom of the Valley. Faced with the prospect of editing this godforsaken website with a dial-up connection (meaning our "readership" would get today’s stories sometime in 2007), I phoned up a certain company that shall not be named and asked them to install a dish. From the outset, this outfit displayed such a unique combination of organizational incompetence and smoldering contempt for its customer base that it almost qualified for the music business. When things didn’t work, as was the norm, I spent entire afternoons on the phone, shuttled from one indifferent, addled, maddeningly officious functionary to the next. Tech support completely contradicted what I was told by sales. Sales pooh-poohed the opinion of tech support. I was informed that my dish would have to be repositioned, but also, later, that such a maneuver would be totally ineffectual. My rising ire was greeted with condescension. Best of all, these conversations were punctuated by 20-45-minute spates on hold, during which the muted cheer of "smooth" jazz drilled into my cerebrum like the diamond drill of a satanic dentist. Best of all, when I lost all patience and canceled my service (thankfully within the "trial" period, and what a trial), I was told that having the dish removed from my roof would be my responsibility. So I appeal to you, my fellow netizens: don’t order the dish, unless it’s for TV. After circling helplessly in the orbit of the satellite people, even dial-up seemed smooth. Fortunately, there was another way. But that’s another story entirely. (SG)

YOUR WEAKEND WEATHER
The sky is falling. Maybe not literally, but if you don’t know somebody who has lost a job in the past year or so, you should step outside your office and count the empty desks. In Los Angeles, where the ashes have finally stopped falling, this weekend will be crisp. Daytime highs in the upper 60s, nighttime lows in the mid-50s. Way out there in New York City, it will be cold, but sunny. Highs in the mid-40s. Saturday’s low will be in the upper 20s, Sunday temps will only drop to the upper 30s. Keep warm by thinking of people on the West Coast laughing at you for suffering through the indignity of cold. Of course, you could always burn your forests too. (DS)

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
The Matrix: Revolutions (WB)
Premise:
The final part of the trilogy concludes Neo’s battle to prevent the machines from defeating Zion, with the help of Morpheus and the Oracle.
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Monica Bellucci, Nona Gaye.
Director: Andy and Larry Wachowski
Thumbs Up:
The Wachowskis pull out all the stops to conclude their tale.. It’s got to be better than the attenuated Reloaded.
Thumbs Down: The thrill appears to be gone, as the machines (and special effects) completely overwhelm the characters.
Soundtrack: Maverick album features the Don Davis score.
Website: www.hackthematrix.warnerbros.com makes you "break the code" to enter the site.. if you care enough to try.

Elf (New Line Cinema)
Premise:
A human child who mistakenly gets adopted by one of Santa Claus’ elves is sent out to travel into the world of men to try to find his biological father and family back in NYC.
Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Mary Steenburgen, Peter Dinklage, Kyle Gass, Leon Redbone (voice of Leon the Snowman), Andy Richter, Amy Sedaris.
Director: Jon Favre (Made, screenwriter for Swingers).
Thumbs Up: Inspired silliness from Ferrell in what looks like a holiday smash for kids of all ages.
Thumbs Down: It looks pretty broad from the coming attractions, but hey, it’s Christmas.
Soundtrack: New Line Records album features holiday classics from Louis Prima, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Hoirne, Les Baxter/Ferrante & Teicher, Leon Redbone/Zooey Deschanel, Jim Reeves, Brian Setzer, Eartha Kitt, Eddy Arnold and Bill Preston. There’s also a Varese Sarabande album featuring the score by John Debney.
Website: www.elfmovie.com offers clips from the film, trailers, photos, story synopsis, cast and filmmaking information, elf-videos, elf-cards and elf-help books, wallpaper, screensavers, IM icons, posters, an online shop, coloring pages, elf training, a snowball fight game, activities center and online etch-a-sketch.

Love Actually (Universal Pictures)
Premise:
Eight different (but interrelated) stories of love in London leading up to a big climax on Christmas Eve, involving the U.K. Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) falling in love with the girl who brings him his tea and a stepfather’s relationship with his young stepson.
Stars: Ensemble cast includes Grant, Rowan Atkinson, Elisha Cuthbert (24), Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Denise Richards, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy.
Director: Richard Curtis, screenwriter of Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral and co-writer of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bean in his feature debut.
Thumbs Up: A definite crowd-pleaser, and an up movie among a bunch of downbeat holiday fare.
Thumbs Down: If you don’t like cute, you’re probably not going to like this.
Soundtrack: J Records album includes a holiday-flavored collection featuring Kelly Clarkson, Dido, Maroon 5, Norah Jones, Wyclef Jean, Eva Cassidy, The Calling, Pointer Sisters, Joni Mitchell, Beach Boys, Texas, Sugababes, Craig Armstrong, Otis Redding, Bill Nighy and Olivia Olsen.
Website: www.loveactually.com gives you info about the film, photo gallery, trailers, downloads and character information and a "love quiz."

Just an American Boy (Cowboy Pictures)
Premise:
Documentary about country-rocker Steve Earle filmed over a five-month period in late 2002 and earlier this year, doing promotional work for his controversial single, "John Walker’s Blues," about the American Taliban member, a lyric of which gives the film its name.
Stars: Steve and Justin Earle.
Director: Underground legend and downtown new wave filmmaker Amos Poe (Alphabet City, Blank Generation).
Thumbs Up: From the same people that brought you documentaries on Wilco (I am Trying to Break Your Heart) and They Might Be Giants (Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns).
Thumbs Down: The distribution company, Cowboy Pictures, declared bankruptcy this week.
Soundtrack: Artemis Records two-CED set includes 17 live performances by Steve Earle and one by his son Jason.
Website: None for the film, but check out www.ArtemisRecords.com and www.steveearle.com for more information.

NEW YORK MINUTE
Why not kick off the weekend by heading back to college? Tony Danza yuks it up at the College of Staten Island while Sophie B. Hawkins lays us down to sleep at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J. As the weekend wears on, Vince Neil takes the stage at Double D’s in Morristown, N.J., Saturday, and fans can get jiggy with Blink-182, Bubba Sparxxx and The Kinison at Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place) on Sunday.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Jessica Simpson
once said that she felt like a third class diva compared to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Well, now Britney is hoping to catch a bit of the Jessica-dumb-blonde buzz. In Lorraine Ali's Newsweek profile, Britney is quoted as saying "What’s [Hinduism]? Is that like kabbalah?" Oops! Britney’s In The Zone streets a week from Tuesday. Make that Ozone. (Valerie Nome)

DENISE’S WEAKEND COCKTAIL
I’m sitting here at my desk, staring at a blank screen with the sound of my editor’s voice ringing in my head, "I could always skip you this week." I’m aware the prospect of my column not appearing at the bottom of the page would make many of my non-fans very happy, and since I really hate making people happy—here I go. So, what’s my problem? I’m wondering if I’ve tapped the well, and the only thing left is the remnants of what was once a bitter and lonely single gal. Can I still create the humorous, and quite often pathetic, Weakend Cocktail my fans have come to love and hate, if I’ve finally found happiness? I mean, what’s really interesting about being happy and coupled up? My cocktail of the week is dedicated to those who have searched long and hard for their plus-one, but don’t know how to behave once they finally find it.

The Other Half
1/4 oz. triple sec
1/4 oz. amaretto
Splash Bacardi 151
With a spoon, layer the ingredients. Start with the triple sec, then the amaretto and top it off with the 151. Be very careful and light the rum to warm to rim of the glass, then blow out the flame and drink. Remember—be careful because it’ll be hot!

I’ve been a single girl for so long I don’t know how to operate in any other fashion. Is life how I once knew it over, at least for the time being? I think that’s the scariest part about relationships for me, because I’ve really enjoyed all of those wild nights that I could barely remember morning after. The ones where I danced on the bar with my gal friends, kissed a handsome stranger and rode a mechanical bull all in the same night. I think the problem with being single is that you never really appreciate being single until you find yourself in a relationship. It could be the whole grass is greener thing, but whatever it is, I’ve decided this week to recognize the benefits of being single.

Ten Reasons It’s Great To Be Single
1. Sunday nights—you, your gal friends, too many Cosmos and Sex and the City.
2. You don’t have to shave your legs on a regular basis.
3. You can hog the blankets.
4. Wednesday nights—you, a glass of wine and The Bachelor.
5. First dates, first kisses and first hook-ups.
6. You don’t have to worry about falling into the toilet because the seat was left up.
7. You don’t get in trouble for flirting with the bartender.
8. You can double-book and get away with it.
9. Flirting, drinking, dancing and waking up with the sexy guy from the bar.
10. You can try a little bit of everything—hot firemen, hot hockey players, hot frat boys, hot businessmen, hot cops, etc.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: You can’t get much more coupled up than Marty and Elayne, the lounge-singing duo who have called The Dresden Room their home for decades. You can catch them every Monday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1:15 a.m. Made famous by the movie Swingers, the Dresden attracts everyone from tourists to trendsetters. Don’t plan on seeing any of those hard-bodied Hollywood-type bartenders at this joint. The tuxedo shirt-sporting drink slingers have probably been around as long as Marty and Elayne. Grab your other half and partake in the Dresden Room experience. And if you’re single, I’m sure there will be plenty of eye-candy to occupy you.

I hope everyone has a wild and crazy weekend. Remember to enjoy being single. I’m going to stay in (bed) and enjoy being coupled up. Until next week—hugs and kisses. (Denise Bayles).

Thanks to Roy Trakin, Simon Glickman, David Simutis, Valerie Nome and Denise Bayles for providing the corporate funding to complete this acquisition.

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UMG IPO SET FOR '22
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
TOP 20: TAY'S FOLKLORIC RUN CONTINUES
A Swift return to #1. (10/22a)
REVENUE CHART: “LEMONADE” AND OCEAN SPRAY
The Rumours are true. (10/22a)
GRAMMY PREVIEW:
PHOEBE BRIDGERS
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/22a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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