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I won’t argue either the legality or the ethics of Danger Mouse’s remarkable creation, only that, by mashing up the Beatles and Jay-Z, he has located the missing link between past and present, and a signpost to the future.
A WEAKEND PLANNER THAT OFFERS HALF THE DRAMA AND ALL THE ACTION
The Pause That Refreshes with Bill Clinton, New Coke, Michael Moore, Keaton Simons, Nimbus, PJ Harvey, Festival Express and Nip/Tuck
Things are heating up… Fahrenheit 9/11, Warped tour… Let the sunstrokes begin. Freeway Series clash: the rumble at Chavez Ravine? Too much heat? Strip down with Nimbus at House of Blues. Feeling the blues? Join Keaton Simons at the Troub. Much like C2, the new Coke… We got it all, but we wouldn’t even taste us.

Thursday, June 24:
5 p.m.: Bill Clinton book tour, baby! (Brentano’s, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd). 900+ pages. That’s alotta Bill. Meet him & make a lame, "I did my intern, too" joke. He’ll love it.

7 p.m.: Try Coca-Cola’s new C2 (½ the carbs, ½ the calories). They say it’s still got all the taste. We say, bullshit. But we’ll try anything that advertises, "1/2 the Drama, All the Action." Which, for us, in addition to soda, includes trying really low maintenance but slutty guys/girls.

10 p.m.: The Graham Norton Effect premieres on Comedy Central. Billed as "Peep Show. Side Show. Talk Show." We’re in.

Friday, June 25:
12 p.m.: Get your Warped Tour on. If you’re in Houston, TX that is. You’ll want to catch Early November and Coheed and Cambria. Wondering when the tour’s in L.A.? Fullerton (7/1-2) and in Ventura (7/7). www.warpedtour.com

3 p.m.: Summer hours, roll out of work now!

5 p.m: Buy a DVD. Blazing Saddles 30th Anniversary Special Edition (Warner Home Video) is out. Best campfire scene w/beans around.

6 p.m.: Stop being so obvious. Skip dinner. Go straight to ice cream. But, if you’re lactose intolerant, like Je-C, how ‘bout hitting some of that Soy Delicious? Je-C, Je-C, Je-C …

7:30 p.m.: See some really funny, never-aired TV pilots by Bob Odenkirk & more @ The Other Network (Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd). Tix $10.

8 p.m.: Melissa Auf der Maur is at the Troubador. Hey, even if you’re not into her, you know she’s got mad good stories about Courtney and Smashing Pumpkins.

10 p.m.: Late-night bowling anyone? Beer & alleys indoors, much better than beer & alleys outdoors. But who are we to judge? Right, Stephanie? Try Lucky Strike (6801 Hollywood Blvd @ Highland) or the Sports Center Bowl, where there’s Rock n- Roll Bowl wknds til 2 am (12655 Ventura Blvd, Studio City).

Saturday, June 26
6 a.m.: That’s righ, we said 6 a.m. You’re probably still up from last night’s activities. Head downtown to the Los Angeles Flower District (754 Wall St, btwn 7/8th Sts). Advice: pay in cash, pay to park, choose a color scheme and if you can’t motivate for 6 a.m., be sure to be there by 8 a.m. or all the good stuff will be gone. Open til noon.

10 a.m.: Time to buy another DVD because everything can’t be free swag. South Park the Complete Fourth Season (Paramount).

12:30 p.m.: Freeway Series Baseball (Angels vs Dodgers) on Fox. Has game of the week written all over it. Unless you’re on the east coast. Then it doesn’t.

2 p.m.: Wanna get out of town? Drive up to the vineyards in Santa Barbara. Just over the Santa Ynez Mountains, there are about 50 vineyards where you can imbibe. Sorry, we meant to say … where you can appreciate beauty and sip fines wines.

5 p.m.: Staying local? Hit this kicked-back, but trendy, hot spot for drinks and eats. The Crescent (403 N. Crescent Dr @ Brighton Way) has a great outdoor patio and modern vibe. And it’s a hotel, too. In case you hook up.

6 p.m.: 15th Annual Mariachi USA Festival @ the Hollywood Bowl (tix: 323-850-2000). This four-and-a-half hour show has top mariachi (duh) musicians, dancers, interactive audience action (oh my) and concludes with a serious fireworks display.

8:30 p.m.: Go check out Keaton Simons @ the Troubador. He’s damn good and he’s also damn sexy. We also like his hair. Sigh …

11 p.m.: Surfing the web, playa? Simultaneously blanking on the name of an actor, movie title, character name? Go to www.imdb.com

Sunday, June 27:
10 a.m.: Brunch @ the Church of Scientology, anyone? We’re not members, but we’ve sat at Birds on Franklin, gazing across the street at the Celebrity Center…ever, ever so curious. Call them for details. You might want to use a stage name. And don’t tell them we sent you. Oh, and it’s on Franklin near Beachwood, but we’re scared to Google an exact address, for fear of them coming for us.

12 p.m.: Start pulling out your summer CDs to go into rotation. Here are a few suggestions: Limbeck, Hey, Everything’s Fine (Doghouse), Jimmy Eat World (DreamWorks), Beastie Boys, To The 5 Borough (Capitol) and Rilo Kiley, The Execution Of All Things (Saddle Creek). Remember, we have rad taste that’s undoubtedly superior to yours.

2 p.m.: Not in the mood for music? Silly freak. Alright, here’s one more kickass DVD release to spend your $ on. Wonder Woman the Complete First Season (Warner Home Video). Maybe you can finally figure out how she can fly around in an invisible plane, yet we can still see her. Whatever.

8 p.m.: Shameless plug coming …Go see Nimbus play at the House of Blues on Sunset. They’re goin’ at it acoustic style. And get this, avoid the $12 door price & e-mail Je-C for $2 tickets! ([email protected])

GLASS HALF FULL
The music business may be in trouble, but the business of making music continues unabated as we kick into the midway turn of 2004. Strangely enough, my two favorites feature recordings made almost 40 years ago that still have power today. Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album and Legacy/Sony’s Bob Dylan Live 1964 break ground not only on a musical level, but sociological and cultural ones as well. I won’t argue either the legality or the ethics of Danger Mouse’s remarkable creation, only that, by mashing up the Beatles and Jay-Z, he has located the missing link between past and present, and a signpost to the future. The Dylan album also pinpoints a moment in time, when songs that would become totems to a generation were just being introduced with self-deprecating humor to an audience that practically gasped with discovery. I may be a regenerate old guy, but these records rocked my world… The rest: 3) Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose (Interscope): This Grammy contender also fearlessly crossed boundaries, bringing together diverse audiences, thanks to the ever-versatile Jack White. 4) Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me (Columbia): An impressive ingenue who may be the future of cabaret, and who ever thought it had a future? Anyone who can channel Doris Day and Eminem is a genre-busting heroine in my book. 5) Kanye West, College Dropout (Roc-a-Fella/IDJ): A precocious talent, this year’s winner of the OutKast Rapper White People Can Identify With Award is heir to Dr. Dre’s mantle. 6) The Streets, A Grand Don’t Come For Free (Vice/Atlantic): Mike Skinner’s the real deal and this Cockney hip-hopera is the self-dubbed geezer’s ‘04 version of early-‘60s British kitchen-sink realism. 7) PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her (Island): Longtime cult favorite, the distaff Nick Cave finally hits her stride with a record that should make her a household name, but won’t. 8) Go Betty Go, Worst Enemy EP (SideOneDummy): Glendale Latinas with the pop-punk energy and sass of early Blondie and multi-culti charm to spare. 9) Prince, Musicology (Columbia): Not all the way back, but close enough, with the highlight "Cinnamon Girl" (not the Neil Young song). 10) Patti Smith, Trampin’ (Columbia): Her best in a while, reminding us of why we still remember her fondly in the first place… RUNNERS-UP: Los Lobos, The Ride (Hollywood), Secret Machines (Warner Bros.), Lou Reed, Animal Serenade (Sire/Reprise), Cold Mountain soundtrack (DMZ/Columbia) SONGS: D12, "My Band," Usher, "Yeah!," Hoobastank, "The Reason," Courtney Love, "Sunset Strip," The Who, "Real Good Looking Boy," Beastie Boys, "An Open Letter to NYC," Jay-Z/The Beatles, "99 Problems/Helter Skelter," Kanye West, "All Falls Down," OutKast, "Roses," Unknown Hinson, "I Cleaned Out a Room (In My Trailer for You),"Lou Reed, "Candy Says." (Roy Trakin)

POPCULT TOP 10
1. PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her (Island): "Lovers I can do without/I don’t want to be turned down," sings Polly Jean in "Pocket Knife," "I’m not trying to cause a fuss/Just wanna make my own fuck-ups." Elsewhere, she insists she don’t need no ball-and-chain or to be tied down, but her come-hither chant suggests otherwise. Along with Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose and Nellie McKay’s Get Away From Me, this is the best female album of the half-year, a haunting declaration of independence that, at the same time, acknowledges there’s no such thing. The insinuating melodica on "Shame" ("I jump for you into the flame") and the barely audible keyboard swirl on "The Slow Drug" serve as the siren sounds of a soul adrift, but trying to find its way home. The bleating "Who the Fuck?" is a harsh burst of pent-up fury, while the grinding "Cat on the Wall" is a rock-blues version of the similarly titled Tennessee Williams play. Intoning over and over, "Turn off the radio," Harvey generates more steam than that metaphorical feline on a hot tin roof. And just imagine. She’s now going out with Vincent Gallo. (Roy Trakin)

2. Festival Express (THINKFilm): This long-lost documentary of a 1970 Canadian tour, which featured The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, Flying Burrito Brothers, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Sha-Na-Na (?!) riding on the "Festival Express" train for a week with stops for shows along the way, will be released theatrically in August and Sept. in selected cities and it is a revelation. Shot in Woodstock-style split-screen by Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Bizou (Mississippi Burning), directed by Grammy-winner Bob Smeaton (The Beatles Anthology) and remixed by producer Eddie Kramer, the film captures a time and place when we thought music could just change the world. Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir look young and fresh, Pigpen was still alive, and the Dead plays songs like "Casey Jones," "New Speedway Boogie" and "Friend of the Devil" from the just-released Workingman’s Dead. The Band are at the top of their game, a bearded Robbie Robertson leading them through "Slippin’ and Slidin’," "The Weight" and a soaring "I Shall Be Released," with Richard Manuel on background vocals. Young bluesman Buddy Guy and his band rip through a full-throttle take on "Money," but it’s Joplin, just two months before her death, who steals the show, with incredible versions of "Cry Baby" and "Tell Mama." There’s plenty of good-natured hanging out on the train, too, with one scene featuring The Band’s Rick Danko, Joplin and Garcia jamming on the Canadian folk song, "Ain’t No More Cane," as Garcia shyly tells a delighted Janis: "I’ve loved you since the day I saw you." (RT)

3. Mark Bliesener/Steve Knopper, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Band (Alpha Book): You wanna start a band? You ever think about what goes into just the fundamentals? Because there’s a lot more to it than free beer and loose chicks—and those don’t even come (usually) into you’re gigging. The straightest line from non-playing such-and-so to competent functioning band is drawn in this do-it-yourself guide to the mundane. From the man who named the Dead Kennedys and created the trajectory of Lyle Lovett’s reality (Bliesener) and a still-functioning rock critic who’s been there and written about it for Rolling Stone, Spin and Esquire (Knopper). This is the straight stuff—no frills, no thrills, just the facts. The time you save will be your own. (Holly Gleason)

4. Chickasaw County Child: The Artistry of Bobbie Gentry (Shout! Factory): A voice that is dusty roads, moonshine and moonlight, Bobbie Gentry was a gen-u-wine Delta dream—all high-rise wavy hair, lush, pouting lips and eyes that saw details that grounded her story songs. Like Loretta Lynn, she was a militant singer/songwriter who told the truth about a class of people, a place and time that was both fertile and desolate. Because the Deep South in the late ‘50s and ‘60s was rife with seismic social tensions, it was a way of life that was both arcane and in danger, charming in its own way, yet something most would chafe at. With her burgundy, negligee voice—there was a sophistication to Gentry’s down-home that was anything but cornpone—and that’s probably how she transfixed America as her songs walked an impossible line. "Ode to Billy Joe" (what did they throw off the Tallahatchee Bridge?) had that heat-wave-shimmering-on-the-burned-out-black top languidity-and-tension to it, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. (HG)

5. Fantasy Island: Atlantic City is not just for Donald Trump this weekend. After all, who can resist music, gambling and men’s magazines? Maxim, Blender and Stuff are hosting one heckuva party you won’t want to miss. Kick back in one of four themed areas: "South Beach," featuring fashion shows and hammocks; "Venice Beach," for beach volleyball and street basketball; "Stuffland," an open air amusement park; and "The Oasis," where attendees can ride camels and ogle belly-dancing eye candy. All this, plus live performances by Velvet Revolver, Hoobastank, Fountains of Wayne, John Mayer and The Darkness! Call 1-800-736-1420 or log onto maximfantasyisland.com to get your tickets now. P.S. Survivor’s Amber Brkich is also scheduled to make an appearance.

6. Six Feet Under (HBO): The critics have begun their backlash, but this is still compelling TV, if not the water-cooler sensation it might’ve been in the past. Peter Krause’s Nate looks increasingly lost after the death of his wife Lisa (Lili Taylor), while cracks already seem to be surfacing in the hasty marriage of Frances Conroy’s Ruth and James Cromwell’s George along with the seemingly secure one between autopsy specialist Freddy Rodriguez’s Federico and Justina Machado’s Vanessa. Lauren Ambrose’s Claire is back at art school and being seduced by Mena Suvari’s bisexual performance artist. Michael C. Hall’s David and Mathew St. Patrick’s Keith are tentatively back together, but they’ve switched places, with the former now fully out of the closet and the latter hiding under his new guise as security guard for an obnoxious teen pop star. Rachel Griffiths’ Brenda has decided to become a shrink like her parents, and has embarked on yet another kinky relationship with her neighbor, Justin Theroux’s Joe. Sure, it’s soap opera, but with a cosmic twist that gives the entire show an eccentric spin. Now other show captures the frustrations of daily life, and the ubiquity of death, with such black, morbid humor. (RT)

7. New Corvettes: They look just like the Batmobile without all the tricky stuff. Lean. Low to the ground. Aerodynamically forward-thrusting. Just very exciting. And once again, the Corvette is setting the bar for how sexy an American car can be—just sitting there. Then you put your foot down on the gas, and it’s all over but the crying. (HG)

8. Secret Machines, Now Here Is Nowhere (Warner Bros.) and live at the Troubadour: This N.Y.-based trio by way of Dallas is heir to the rich Texas psychedelic tradition begun by the Roky Erickson’s 13th Floor Elevators and carried on by bands like Tripping Daisy and Polyphonic Spree, whose roots this group shares. The music offers unabashed nods to Pink Floyd ("Pharoah’s Daughter" would sound right at home on Dark Side of the Moon); Radiohead ("Nowhere Again" builds to a tribal percussive climax); Jesus & Mary Chain’s buzzsaw feedback (leaders Ben and Brandon Curtis are brothers), and a dash of My Bloody Valentine shoegazing ("First Wave Intact") to create waves of shimmering soundscapes both harsh and wistful. Meet the new prog-rock, which takes the genre’s pretensions and splinters them with post-punk intensity. A group to keep an eye on. (RT)

9. Allman Brothers, Eat a Peach (Universal): As great an article of Southern rock witness as exists. Like bits of milkweed, it sends flurries of folk, jazz, blues and country and steeps them in an electric intensity that lets them all fly effortlessly, "Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More" is a mission statement for each and everyone of us, B-3 rising and falling, while "One Way Out" is creative desperation stretched taut across a percolating blues and "Sweet Melissa" is a dreamy feather bed on the way romantic transfixion can lull you away from the shore in the msot peaceful consumptions. Evoking Mountain, Marshall Tucker and Skynyrd at their most combustibly laid-back and the Shelter/Leon Russell groove, this is where a whole movement comes together. (HG)

10. Billy Idol, "Eyes Without a Face" on F/X’s Nip/Tuck: Imagine my surprise when this chestnut accompanied a segment where the chief surgeons literally screw a woman’s face back on. Is this the bloodiest show ever on conventional television? I was mesmerized, then sickened, but never less than fascinated by how far this series could push the envelope. Too bad there’s a dumb plot wrapped around the surgery scenes, like a face-lift stretched to the breaking point. (RT)

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Fahrenheit 9/11 (Lions Gate)
Premise:
Michael Moore’s agitpop poison pen letter to the Bush administration about its actions in the wake of Sept. 11, filled with the kind of goofy juxtapositions and media-bashing he’s proven adept at.
Stars: Moore, Dubya and a cast of hundreds.
Director: Moore follows up the Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine.
Thumbs Up: The leftwing answer to The Passion of the Christ will have succeeded if it manages to defeat Bush in the upcoming election.
Thumbs Down: He may well be right about the big picture, but if he’s faulty in the details, his whole argument could be shot down.
Soundtrack: None
Website: www.fahrenheit911.com

White Chicks (Columbia Pictures)
Premise:
Some Like It White… Two black FBI agents who happen to be brothers, after messing up a major drug bust, volunteer to protect a pair of heiresses that resemble the Hiltons from a kidnapping scheme by disguising themselves as the girls.
Stars: Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans
Director:
Keenan Ivory Wayans (Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, A Low Down Dirty Shame)
Thumbs Up: The premise is just wacky enough to succeed, and from the trailers, the make-up job is pretty convincing.
Thumbs Down: Aren’t the Hilton sisters already a parody of themselves, without the prosthetics?
Soundtrack: None
Website: www.sony.com/whitechicks/

Two Brothers
(Universal Pictures)
Premise:
This wildlife epic follows two adolescent tigerts as they come of age, encounter humans for the first time and battle for survival. Separated as cubs, one becomes a circus performer and the other a trained killer. Years later, they are reunited, but as enemies inadvertently forced by a romantic explorer to fight each other.
Stars: Guy Pearce, Christian Clavier, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
(Enemy at the Gates, The Name of the Rose, The Bear)
Thumbs Up: Could be a sleeper summer hit. Trailer looks remarkable, Annaud has previously done the well-received The Bear.
Thumbs Down: Wonder what Siegfried & Roy would think?
Soundtrack: Decca album includes score by Stephen Warbeck recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London
Website: www.twobrothersmovie.net

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What a cliffhanger. (4/6a)
RIP, NEIL LASHER
We've lost a true mensch. (4/6a)
ICYMI: ACM PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY
Special revealed an unprecedented degree of intimacy. (4/6a)
PINGING: SURF MESA
Here comes another one. (4/6a)
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Also known as back issues of HITS.
SOCIAL DISTANCING
We turn out to be pioneers.
STREAMING STORIES
The music doc shows new muscle.
ELECTION 2020
Not postponed yet.
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