With his fourth straight smash album, Eminem continues his groundbreaking brand of blog-hop, a running autobiographical commentary on the latest developments in his very public life. He does tend to take aim at the same targets, though the non-stop wordplay is so dazzling and ear-catching, it doesn’t really matter.


Eminem Plays with his Wee-Wee, The Polar Express Brings it All Home, Sideways is Drunk with Possibilities, John Cale is a Man’s Best Friend and We Still Dig DIG!
Please, people. Help me. I’m addicted to popular culture. I can’t get enough of it. I’m consumed by it. I can’t be away from my TiVo, Nokia or AOL account for more than a minute. I refresh espn.com every four minutes lest I miss an NBA or NFL waiver wire transaction. I have to enter a 12-step program to ween me from Desperate Housewives and Lost. Hell, I even think Eminem is speaking directly to me. I’m a true candidate for Pop Culture Addicts Anonymous. Hello, I’m Roy. "Hi, Roy." I can’t stop watching Wifeswap. I care about what Insider Pat O’Brien says. Please stop me before it’s too late. I want to live 24 hours a day inside The Polar Express movie. I want to guzzle wine with Virginia Madsen. And I don’t even drink wine. There must be something wrong with me. Do any of you suffer from the symptoms below?

Fri. (11/12)
5 p.m.
I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business
@Vintage Vinyl (6610 Delmar Blvd. University City,
MO): In Missouri? We’re not judging you. Check this hot band’s in-store performance. Killer band name with killer music.

7 p.m.
rocks it Atlanta-style! Get over to the Masquerade to see these guys put on their always impressive live show.

7:30 p.m.
Finding Neverland
. Go see (please god, let us sleep with him one day) Johnny Depp in the tale behind how the story of Peter Pan came to be. Kate Winslet (please god, let us sleep with her one day) also stars.

Say Anything
(HOB Sunset): See the red cat invade the yellow cat in the yard. Why? Because we’ll all be there to see Max rock the house with his beautifully intense songs that kick major butt. Expect Straylight Run, Hot Rod Circuit, North Star to also rock the house

The Faint with TV on the Radio (Glass House Pomona): Indie rock with echoes of ‘80s new wave comes to the home of the L.A. County Fair.

8-11 p.m.
Thousand Yard Stare, Keddah and Simplfy @the Sets in Tempe (93 East Southern Ave., Tempe S.E. corner of Southern & Mill): Phoenix? Wanna see a nite of kick-ass bands? Just wanna go some kick some ass? Hey, why not do both and check out why the Phoenix area is such a strong resource for untapped, amazing bands. Say hello to our own Je-c, as he will be in attendance. Or you could always just kick his ass. All ages.

10 p.m.
OUTLETT @the El Rey: Catch this amazing band as they play their last big show of the year.

Sat. (11/13)
10 a.m.
The Happy Hook-Up: A Single Girl’s Guide To Casual Sex:
If you guessed, "What’s the name of the new book out written by two former hot HITS’ gals?" well then, you guessed right. Pick up Alexa Joy Sherman & Nicole Tocantins book w/the snazzy leopard skin cover at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com. The shit’s funny and will prove way interesting reading for the girlies AND the lads, too.

1 p.m.
They’re talkin’ Oscar for Liam Neeson as Alfred Kinsey, renowned sex researcher. In 1948, this guy stirred up quite a bit of controversy when he released his study, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Also stars Laura Linney as Kinsey’s sexually repressed wife and the always-spectacular Peter Sarsgaard.

2 p.m.
AFI Film Festival ’04:
This always-impressive fest finishes up it’s 10-day run tomorrow. Go to the site to see what great films remain on the sched. (http://afi.com/onscreen/afifest/2004/)

7:30 p.m.
Les Savvy Fav
@The Knitting Factory (7021 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood 90028 $15 All Ages)

8 p.m.
Coheed and Cambria in Houston, baby! Catch one of the coolest live bands around. Get your butts over to Numbers to see what all the talk is about!

Laugh Whore. That’s right, laugh bitch! N’yah, it’s the name of Mario Cantone’s one-man show currently running on Broadway. This guy is a force of nature. He’s best known for playing Charlotte’s designer, Anthony, on Sex and the City.

Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Horse and Man @the Santa Monica Pier thru Dec. 3. (310) 458-8900): An ex-Cirque du Soleil player has created a spectacular evening with 33 horses, riders, aerialists, dancers, acrobats, magicians and a real horse Whisperer. He utilizes a 200 ft wide screen to project different virtual backgrounds. www.cavalia.net

Gods and Monsters Art, Fashion & Music Fest @ Raisonanse (673 Mateo Ave. Downtown LA $8. All Ages): Performing Live: Squab, Sterile Eden, Divided Lines, Glass Candy, Antiquark & DJ Paulie (L Train) spinning all night long.
Fashion By: Lady Sir and Her, Polkadot Starfish, Jon Sannicolas, RobotsScrew2, Jack Blue
Art By: Vivace, Kricket, Keith Patrick, Jesse Trejo, Jason Maloney, Todd Junker, Travis Morley, SemiGod, Steven Lyon Harmon, Pamela Vandervelde, Nathan Cartwright, Jeff Donchitti, Jose Lopes, Eduardo Benedetto, Tarik Polansky

8:30 p.m.
@The Troubadour (9081 Santa Monica Blvd. W.Hollywood 90069 $12 All Ages)

10 p.m.
Jonathan Rice (Hotel Café 1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd.)

10:30 p.m.
Hit the Cahuenga strip. Park your car at a one-stop spot and go get your booze on; Velvet Margarita, Beauty Bar, Burgundy Room, Hotel Café—all just a hop skip and jump away from Star Shoes and Daddy’s, among others. Party on with the trendy kidz.

Vagenius @1650: LA’s hottest band and we mean H-O-T! If you haven’t checked them out yet, watch out cause this hipster new-wave pop trio is gonna make you wanna shake what yer mamma gave ya.

Vince Neil
@the Key Club Sunset Strip: Because it’s funny. Maybe they’ll be taping an episode of Tommy Lee’s reality series.

Sun. (11/14)
10 a.m.
Annual Love Ride:
Nope, not the one-day-a-year that you get some. The Glendale Harley Davidson dealership sponsors this annual 50-mile motorcycle ride up the 5 freeway, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Jay Leno is the Grand Marshal and will be joined by some 15,000 riders for the 21st annual ride. Lynyrd Skynyrd headlines the concert at Castaic Lake. For info: (818) 246-5618 ext. 7 or www.loveride.org

4 p.m.
Caroline, Or Change
@Ahmanson Theatre (135 N. Grand Ave. (213) 628-2772): The West Coast premiere of award-winning Angels In America creator Tony Kushner’s new musical that explores the relationship between a white boy and his family’s black maid in 1963 Louisiana. Interestingly, you could also turn on the news and explore the relationship between an eight-year-old boy and his 29-year-old Connecticut girlfriend. Or the film about the 35-year-old widow and the 10-year-old boy who claims to be her dead husband. But I digress.

4 p.m.
Movie Time
Bridget Jones 2:
Why? "Cause I like it" -Monique

The Polar Express: "A dazzling thrill ride of a movie… Some of the best 3-D animation I’ve ever seen" -Roy

The Incredibles Check out this Disney flick witch we hear is in the running for one of the year’s best.

5 p.m.
CDs to buy: VHS or Beta and MTV2’s Shortlist Nominees 2004

7:30 p.m.
Grab dinner at Birds on Franklin. This staple spot on the Franklin Strip is Mmmm, Mmmm Good!

8 p.m.
The Faint
w/TV On The Radio @the Mayan (1038 S.Hill St. Downtown LA 90015 $19.50)

The Warlocks/Frausdots @The Echo (1822 Sunset blvd. Echo Park $12 18+)

9:45 p.m.
The Donnas
with Rock’n Roll Soldiers (7:30 p.m.) Von Bondies (9 p.m.) @HOB Sunset Strip

Mon. (11/15)
8 p.m.
Life With Guitars: A Comedy About Music
@the Comedy Central Stage (6539 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 960-5519) : Rob Paravonian combines comedy, original songs and stories of past bands he’s played in into one hilarious one-man show. You might’ve seen Paravoinian on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend or Hi Fi Party, VH1’s Random Play or Oxygen’s Break Up Girl or Trackers. The show is FREE, but definitelymake reservations as it will fill up quickly.

Wed (11/17)
We Are Scientists,
Facing New York and Vagenius @the Key Club, Hollywood

1. Eminem, Encore (Aftermath/Interscope): With his fourth straight smash album, Eminem continues his groundbreaking brand of blog-hop, a running autobiographical commentary on the latest developments in his very public life. He does tend to take aim at the same targets, though the non-stop wordplay is so dazzling and ear-catching, it doesn’t really matter. The victims include his absent father ("Evil Deeds"), reverse racism ("Never Enough"), his 8 Mile ’hood ("Yellow Brick Road"), Benzino ("Like Toy Soldiers"), Bush ("Mosh"), ex-wife Kim ("Puke"), rival rappers ("Big Weenie"), celebrity ("Just Lose It") and even old nemesis Triumph the Comic Insult Dog (the hilarious "Ass Like That"). What, no Moby? There’s also the by-now-standard left-field samples—Mertika’s "Toy Soldiers" in the song of the same name, Queen’s "Crazy on You" in the twisted love song, "Crazy in Love." On the other hand, Em exhibits signs of maturity and vulnerability. He says he’s sorry in "Yellow Brick Road" for the early demo tape The Source circulated, claiming he was racist when he blasted an ex-girlfriend who happened to be black: "I singled out a whole race/And for that I apologize, I was wrong." And, in "Mockingbird," a take-off on the old James Taylor/Carly Simon lullabye, he tries to soothe his daughter Hailie: "Everything’s gonna be all right/Stiffen that upper lip/Little lady I told ya/Daddy’s here to hold ya through the night… And if that mockingbird don’t sing and that ring don’t shine/I’ma break that birdie’s neck/I’ll go back to the jeweler who sold it to ya/And make him eat every carat." Better not fuck with this Dad, who can still dis like nobody else in pop music. (Roy Trakin)

2. The Polar Express IMAX 3-D: About halfway through Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks’ soon-to-become Yuletide perennial, I thought to myself, "This is the best action film I’ve ever seen." The sheer detail of the animation, a Norman Rockwell painting come to life, and the kinetic IMAX 3-D, the best I’ve ever seen, literally brought to life the tale of a youngster’s train trip to the North Pole, based on Chris Van Allsburg’s 30-page, illustrated cult fave children’s book. And that may well be the film’s chief problem. Like Final Fantasy, the trick of turning real-life actors into cartoons seems superfluous, while the story itself could be considered either corny, like my 16-year-old son thought, or as archetypal as a dream, which is the way I leaned. At any rate, it’s as closes to a thrill ride as movies have become, and the IMAX 3-D effects, rather than jump out of the screen into your face, thrust you into the middle of the action. Plenty of critics have found it wanting in humanity next to The Incredibles, which is understandable, but even this cynical non-believer in Santa Claus was moved by the journey to the Metropolis-like deco North Pole, a worthy modern-day successor to Oz. The tribute to the psychedelic choreography of Busby Berkeley, the scene where hot chocolate is delivered to the train’s passengers by a troop of high-stepping waiters, alone is worth the trip, while the IMAX 3-D snowflakes are so real, you’ll feel a chill down your spine and a lump in your throat. (RT)

3. Sideways: The pleasures of director Alexander Payne and writer Jim Taylor’s films (Election, About Schmidt) are as ephemeral as life itself, linked to the day-to-day struggles of the lumpen bourgeoisie, trying desperately, through aesthetics, to rise above the mud below. The brilliant Paul Giamatti is the failed novelist, Wings’ eye-opening Thomas Haden Church (Who knew?) the failed actor, Virginia Madsen as the waitress with dreams of being a horticulturalist and Sandra Oh the sardonic vineyard pourer with a heart of gold. All are thrust into the middle of one another’s mid-life crises with precisely heard, witty "everybody has his reasons" dialogue that is the modern-day version of Preston Sturges or Frank Capra. I could do without the wine subtext—I’d rather they discuss different strains of pot—but Giamatti’s rap about pino noir, where he basically describes the way he sees himself, is plenty moving. Finally, Payne and Taylor don’t have capitol "T" truths in mind as much as they do minor revelations, of which this film, as heart-warming as a couple of glasses of Giamatti’s cursed "merlot," has plenty. (RT)

4. John Cale, HoboSapiens (Or Music)/Live at the Key Club: John Cale is one of rock & roll’s unsung heroes. He was every bit as responsible as partner Lou Reed for the sound of the Velvet Underground’s first two albums, his sawing viola contributing mightily to classics like "Venus in Furs" (which he played at the Key Club) and "The Black Angel’s Death Song." He produced the classic debut albums for the Stooges, the Modern Lovers (he encored with his cover of Jonathan Richman’s "Pablo Picasso" done "White Light/White Heat" syle) and Patti Smith. Kudos to Or Music’s Michael Caplan for releasing the 62-year-old Cale’s new studio album, a welcome return to the whisper-to-a-scream dynamics of such classics as "Fear is a Man’s Best Friend," "Gun" and "Leaving it Up to You," all of which he performed with his crack band. The material on HoboSabiens covers all those bases in confident manner, from the Talking Heads-like pop rhythms of "Things," his celebration of sexuality, to the surreal, slightly askew celebration of "Magritte." There’s plenty of Eno-esque electronics, too, shown off to best effect on "Look Horizon" and the instrumental "Bicycle," featuring a drum loop courtesy of Brian himself and "giggles" from his daughters Darla and Irial. (RT)

5. http://www.marryanamerican.ca: Still upset over the presidential election results? Don't despair—Canada's ready to adopt you. Some enterprising politicos at This Magazine have come up with the handy solution to match up Yanks with Canucks. Declaring "single, sexy American liberals" a threatened species, they've designed a matchmaking service for those who might appreciate their universal healthcare and gay marriage rights: "We envision a movement where everyone wins: Freedom of expression and a politically convenient marriage with love and igloos for all." (Jennifer Vineyard)

6. John Lennon, Rock ‘n’ Roll/Acoustic (Capitol): It’s sometimes painful to listen to John Lennon, not only because of his untimely death, but because his voice reaches right into your gut. It’s like he’s speaking truths into your ear personally, which is why I can relate to at least how Mark David Chapman felt, if not to his dastardly deed. These new releases, one a reissue of a 1973 album produced by Phil Spector, the other a collection of acoustic performances, seven of the 16 available for the first time, were supervised by his widow Yoko Ono, still intent on writing herself into his history. Rock ‘n’ Roll, considered minor at best upon its initial release, is now a full-out revelation, a peek inside Lennon’s head at his primal influences. Chuck Berry’s "You Can’t Catch Me" is almost a note-for-note version of "Come Together," complete with references to "flat-tops," while the medley of "Rip It Up" and "Ready Teddy" shows what a rocker he was at heart. The new acoustic album also offers some facinating historical tidbits, with searing versions of Plastic Ono Band classics like "Working Class Hero," "God" and "Look at Me" in their rawest, most elemental form, which is exactly the point. (RT)

7. Eminem, "Lose It"/ Britney Spears, "My Prerogative" Videos: Irony backed with ecstasy. For Marshall Mathers, it's a flow-blown skewer-fest, wide-open mocking of celebrity culture with less-than-celebratory portrayals of Michael Jackson, Madonna and even his own 8 Mile hero. And just when the pressure seems about to burst, he hits the chorus, draws in some civilian contribution—and ejects the tension with the kind of catharsis that delivers. Given Miss Spears' residence in the gossip columns, she might as well stick her thumb right on the sore spot—and press down. She does, too, writhing through too many sexually challenging scenarios to not force people to reconsider the realm of human capability and endurance… It's a siren's "if this is what you want, here you go" call, and for all but the most pervy, makes the point in pretty direct fashion. (Holly Gleason)

8. www.poynter.org (especially the columns): The site promises "Everything you need to be a better journalist…," and the takes it offers and challenges it presents will surely make any writer covering stories better. But it will also make anyone paying attention to the news more aware of how "spin" is deconstructed or swallowed, the clashes and conflicts that mire down reportage, the loopholes that make no sense—and the various ways to get inside a story. (HG)

9. DIG!: This acclaimed rock documentary, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, documents seven years in the life of two Pacific Northwest bands in the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Dandy Warhols, with the latter’s Courtney Taylor narrating. The film shows both bands taking different paths in their
pursuit of a career in music with the falling apart of the friendship shared between BJM’s Anton Newcombe and Dandy Taylor giving the film a universality that reaches beyond just fans of either, or both, bands. Thank of it as the rock version of the conflict between Mozart and Salieri dramatized in Amadeus, with the roles reversed between the genius cruelly rejected by the public and the hack who rises to pop stardom… at least in Europe. (the insect)

10. Duck Soup (2028 Westwood Blvd., L.A.): Kind of a Sharper Image for ‘50s and ‘60s pop culture freaks, Richard Foos’ new collectibles shop now occupies half the floor space at the old Rhino Records outlet. There’s plenty of tchotkes for the aging baby boomer, including pinball machines, vintage jukeboxes and a collection of Michael Ochs photographs. It’s the kind of place The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, who was there opening night, could easily spend $20k on a single visit, which is what one of the store clerks excitedly told Foos someone just dropped on opening night. Any small corner of the retail universe that fights the good fight against the Targets, Best Buys and Wal-Marts of the world has my support. I mean, where else will I be able to pawn off all my old memorabilia when it’s time to retire to Boca? (RT)

After the Sunset (New Line)
A master thief retires to an island paradise after his last score as his lifelong nemesis, a craft FBI agent, washes ashore to ensure he’s making good on his promise as the two enter a new game of cat-and-mouse.
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Director: Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon)
Thumbs Up: In both Rush Hour movies, Ratner shows a deft touch at melding comedic and action elements into a commercial pie.
Thumbs Down: Outside of the Rush Hour movies, Ratner hasn’t exactly shown the Midas touch, and this material feels pretty generic.
Soundtrack: Atlantic Records enhanced CD includes reggae-dancefloor-flavored soundtrack featuring Kevin Lyttle, Rupee, Sean Paul & Tego Calderone, Cutty Ranks, Dawn Penn, Junior Murvin, Maria Rita and T.O.K., among others.
Website: www.afterthesunset.com/

Seed of Chucky (Rogue/Focus)
The fifth film in the series revolves around killer dolls Chucky and Tiffany facing the challenges of parenthood.
Stars: Jennifer Tilly, John Waters, Redman, Brad Dourif
Director: Dan Mancini
in his feature debut after penning screenplays for four previous Chucky movies.
Thumbs Up: By now, you know what you’re in for.
Thumbs Down: I’m sorry. A doll with a knife is just not scary.
Soundtrack: None.
Website: www.seedofchuckymovie.com

Finding Neverland
Set in early 19th century London, it tells the true story of how Scottish playwright/author James M. Barrie struggled to bring to the stage his play about Peter Pan. The work about a boy who never grows up or dies was inspired by his friendship with his neighbors, three young boys whose father abandoned them and mother is dying, so he becomes a surrogate parent and role model to them.
Stars: Johnny Depp, Dustin Hoffman, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell, Vanessa Redgrave, Kate Maberly
Director: Marc Foster
, first feature since Monster’s Ball
Thumbs Up: Oscar buzz for Depp is palpable, and you can be sure Miramax will throw marketing money to hype up his chances.
Thumbs Down: Turns out he’s not a pedophile after all, as legend had it.
Soundtrack: Decca Records album features score by composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Universal Pictures)
Beginning a month after the events of the first movie, Bridget discovers that life with beau (and barrister) Mark Darcy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and neither is her gig as a news reporter for the Sit Up Britain TV show.
Stars: Renee Zelwegger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent
Director: Beeban Kidron
(Antonia and Jane)
Thumbs Up: No reason these performers can’t pull this kind of romantic fantasy fluff off again.
Thumbs Down: If the sequel’s a success, Zellwegger may have to gain and lose all that weight several more times down the road.
Soundtrack: Geffen Records album features nothing but love songs from Will Young, Kylie Minogue, Joss Stone, Mary J. Blige, Robbie Williams, Jamie Cullum, Beyonce/Jay-Z, Rufus Wainwright/Dido, 10cc, Carly Simon, The Darkness, Minnie Riperton, Sting/Annie Lennox and Harry Gregson-Williams

Kinsey (Fox Searchlight)
Biopic based on the life of zoologist and sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey, whose studies led him to conduct research into the nature of human sexuality. He attempted to prove that the nature of each person’s sexual behavior was unique to that person, challenging the status quo mentality on all sorts of issues, including pre-marital sex and homosexuality.
Stars: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Tim Curry, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt, Peter Sarsgaard, Gore Vidal
Thumbs Up:
An incredible cast, and some Oscar buzz for Neeson, gives this A Beautiful Mind type possibilities.
Thumbs Down: Could turn sex into something clinical… A friend said, "It’s flaccid." Mmmm.
Soundtrack: None
Website: http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/kinsey/site/

Time to get the hell outta Dodge. (7/24a)
We're impressed but not surprised. (7/23a)
Today feels different. (7/22a)
He's a one-man dynasty. (7/22a)
The score at the half (7/19a)
Who's already a lock?
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
The discovery engine is revving higher.

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