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Guero is Beck’s most satisfying albim since Odelay, an obvious comparison. When he wants to be, he can be the whole ticket... accessible, adventurous, warm/cold, optimistic/pessimistic...really impressive... Definitely the best album of the year so far.
THIS WEAKEND PLANNER
IS A FOOL’S RARADISE
Coming Up Fast Is What Could Turn Out to Be the Most Thrill-packed Weekend of the First Half of 2005...Till Coachella, at Least
Any fool can see that the first weekend in April holds tremendous promise. You’ve got U2 at the Pond (if you’re lucky enough to be holdin’ ducats); the Final Four—and the bar is set extremely high for Louisville-Illinois and Michigan State-North Carolina after those teams gave us what was arguably the best weekend ever for college hoops; two intriguing films in Sin City and The Upside of Anger (we haven’t been able to say that in a while); and, if you’ve been anticipating it as the long-awaited follow-up to Odelay, you may well find that Beck’s Guero is one sequel that’s even better than the original—no foolin’. So fool up…um, fuel up…on that $2.59/gallon Middle Eastern elixir, stick Guero in the slot, crank it up and GET MOVING, fool. Weather’s perfect too. Ain’t it great to be alive? Till Monday, anyway.

CALENDAR
Friday 4/1
8:00 a.m.
Wake up & buy a whore. April Fools! Or... go buy a whore. Really, we don’t care.

7:30 p.m.
U2 @ Arrowhead Pond. You goin?

8:00 p.m.
Big Fat Short Film Festival: Go for the title. Stay for the films. We are talking in bumper sticker speak now. @ M Bar (1253 N. Vine @ Fountain, 323-856-0036).

8:00 p.m.
The Best of Eddie Pepitone: Really funny comic combines his last two shows. @ The Fake Gallery (4319 Melrose Ave @ Heliotrope, 323-661-0786; donations suggested).

8:15 p.m.
100.3 The Beat’s Birthday Party: Has it really been 15 years?! The lineup includes Warren G, 112, Xscape & Marques Houston. @ Universal Amphitheatre. For tix: 818-622-4440.

Saturday 4/2
10:00 a.m.
www.shopstylecouncil.com: Wake up & shop online. Well, I guess... wake up, buy a whore, then shop online. You say tomato... Check out the handy holders that hold up to 25 bags, baseball hats or scarves, etc. It just hangs off your door. No clutter. Very cool.

12:00 p.m.
Touch Me: Enough said. But ok, we’ll say more. This exhibit is billed as, “groundbreaking art that begs to be touched.” We’ll touch it. @ Gallery C (1225 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, www.galleryc.com, 310-798-0102).

2:00 p.m.
Second Annual Dog-Themed Poetry Contest: Yup, an actual event. While we’re not judging these folks, we definitely want to who these people are. Instructions say to bring your dog & canine-themed poetry to the Dog Beach zone between Roycroft & Argonne Aves. in Long Beach to compete for cash prizes (www.hautedogs.org or 562-439-3316).

3:00 p.m.
Final Four: Lousiville-Illinois, followed by Michigan State-North Carolina (CBS).

8:00 p.m.
The Tower Bar @ the Argyle Hotel: The place has been restored, and the new lobby lounge area is way-cool, with way old-school glamour. Check out the dinner menu, too (8358 Sunset Blvd @ Sweetzer).

8:00 p.m.
Lao, Lia Fail and Nimbus at the Cobalt Café: This shapes up to be one of those amazing shows, with an awesome bill of bands.

10:00 p.m.
VH1’s Storytellers: Green Day, baby...Green Day! We’re watching. And TiVo-ing. You know you love Billie Joe & boys, too.

Sunday 4/3
8:00 a.m. 11:00 p.m.
Songkran Festival: It’s the Thai New Year festival. There’s a parade, music, sword fighting and a six-ft. wok with 200 lbs. of pad thai! Dude, that’s alotta pad thai. @ Thai Town (duh), Hollywood Blvd. & Western Ave.

11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Plate NYC: Have brunch while you shop. This new restaurant/boutique lets you eat & shop. That doesn’t suck (265 Elizabeth St. btwn. Houston/Prince Sts., 212-219-9212).

7:30 p.m.
Jeff Garlin’s Combo Platter: Jeff plays Larry’s manager on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and his Sunday nights are always good, w/solid comics joining him onstage. @ Improv Olympic West (6366 Hollywood Blvd., 323-962-7560).

8:30 p.m.
Arrested Development (Fox): All-new episode of the best show that better not get canceled.

9:30 p.m.
The Sketch Show (Fox) : Kelsey Grammer presents this new sketch show that, get this, is actually funny. Really funny. With, get this, short sketches!

Monday 4/4
6:00 p.m.
NCAA Championship Game: The odds against this one being as good as the Elite Eight extravaganza last weekend are high—but then who could’ve anticipated those three electrifying overtime games and a fourth super-tight one. Hey, the way this tournament has gone so far, anything’s possible. (CBS)

9:00 p.m.
Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of “Mork & Mindy”: Was there really that much of a demand for this one? Should be amusing. (NBC)

Tuesday 4/5
7:00 a.m.
Judge Jackson performs on the Fox News (KTBC) Morning Show (Go JJ!)

Wednesday 4/6
12:05 a.m.
The Bravery on Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)

BECKOLA
Every once in a while, a record comes along that puts everything in perspective. That’s what happened earlier this week to me and my Music Snob homie Roy Trakin. Here’s our IM banter after hearing a very special album for the first time, presented in the manner of our biweekly dia-blog, musicsnobs.com (the latest one went up yesterday, btw).
Bud [10:50 A.M.]: Just downloaded Beck’s Guero, the whole thing. First impression: masterpiece. Heard it yet? What grooves! What hooks! And what songs!
Roy [10:50 A.M.]: Yeah… I'm down... His most satisfying since Odelay, an obvious comparison. When he wants to be, he can be the whole ticket... accessible, adventurous, warm/cold, optimistic/pessimistic...really impressive... Definitely the best album of the year so far...
Bud [10:51 A.M.]: And it looks like a hit—did 150k the first week. I think it’s his biggest debut ever
Roy [10:52 A.M.]: Well, even though I was a fan of Sea Change, this is a total return to form... Shows what he's capable of. I mean, I'd almost dub it a comeback.
Bud [10:53 A.M.]: Save it for musicsnobs.com, dude.
Roy [10:53 A.M.]: I can't believe it's been three years since Sea Change... Where does the time go?
Bud [10:53 A.M.]: We'll be dead before we know it.
Roy [10:54 A.M.]: Like Johnny Cochran, right? Funny, Angelica IMs me that Johnny Cochran died, and I'm thinking, "The guy who did 'Summertime Blues'?" Geez... I am almost dead.

JE-C’S NEW MOVIE RUNDOWN
Sin City
Starring: Jessica Alba
, Rosario Dawson, Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Clive Owen, Josh Hartnett and Brittany Murphy
Synopsis: Set in a rain-swept place called Sin City, this comic book adaptation follows three stories that interconnect. Hartigan is a cop who has sworn to protect stripper Nancy; Marv is a tough guy who meets the girl of his dreams, Goldie, only to see her murdered on that same night; and Dwight fights to protect the Old Towne Girls from violent tough Jackie.
Thoughts: All I can say is, this movie is going to kick major you-know-what!!! I’ve been waiting to see it ever since I saw the teaser last year. This figures to be the first big movie of the year. It has an all star-cast and two great directors in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. If this one isn’t on your must-see list, put it on!!!

The Upside of Anger
Starring: Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt
Synopsis: Terry Wolfmeyer is a suburban wife and mother whose life takes a drastic turn when her husband vanishes. Terry takes solace in the bottle, and while she struggles to keep her life together, she finds a new drinking buddy: her neighbor, Denny, a once-great baseball player who's now a radio talk show host.
Thoughts: I honestly didn’t know much about this movie until last week. It was in limited release, and the buzz has been amazing. It’s now in wide release, and for those who like these types of films; I think I would recommend checking it out, just from all the positive feedback I’ve heard.

HOLLY’S CORNER
John Legend, Get Lifted:
Some folks are calling him the male Alicia Keys, but that's lazy and misses many facets. A gifted writer and old world soul R&B singer with a taut jazz undercurrent, Legend spins jams that repel through too many eras of black music -- and effortlessly weaves true church gospel with staccato beats that almost recall Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloop Island" for a synthesis that's truly his own. Not as musky as Maxwell, not as squeaky pow! now! as Usher, Legend is a low creeping erotic animal with one eye on the cross and the other on the prize.

Cinderella Man trailer: Came up on the trailer on the Yahoo homepage—and got sucked in. Sea Biscuit with an Irish immigrant/boxer who's deemed "finished" as the horse with the big heart, played by no less than Russell Crowe. The long-suffering, stand-by-her-man female lead is Renee Zellweger, with that dark, dark hair. What they create is a trailer that pivots on the notion that the cast-off can be redeemed, the written-off can prevail—and the notion that it is the people who believe in us, especially when the going gets rough, can shore up flagging emotional resources. Having a reason, a will to…and the faith of someone who matters deeply, can work miracles. Heck, the first trailer sucked me in, swept me up, made me cry.

NEW RELEASES: LE RETOUR DE CELINE (UPDATE)
Best read while dramatically thumping one's breastbone. (11/18a)
ICYMI: HARRY ON SNL (UPDATE)
He's so dreamy. (11/18a)
ARIZONA GOES TO COLUMBIA
Bring on the remixes! (11/15a)
ROSAL√ćA WINS BIG AT LATIN GRAMMYS
A harbinger of things to come? (11/15a)
WILL REI AMI BE THE NEXT ACT TO POP?
Pass the popcorn. (11/18a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
WHAT'S GOING ON BENEATH OUR WINDOWS?
The latest in Hollyweird.
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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