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I joined up and began receiving e-mails from who-knows-how-desperate 20-, 30- and 40-something women who proceeded to list "What Really Turns Me On." The categories include Don Juan, Discretion/Secrecy, A Sense of Humor, Good with their Hands, Aggressiveness, Has a Secret Love Nest, High Sex-Drive, Says What They Want, Likes to Give Oral Sex and Enjoys Being Watched While Masturbating.
A WEAKEND PLANNER MORE WORTHLESS THAN A VOTE FOR RALPH NADER
Pam Anderson, Ambulance LTD, Tom Leykis, Da Ali G, Tracy Spuehler and the Showgirls Special Edition DVD Are a Few of Our Favorite Things
We’re talking serious dog days, folks. Is it just us, or is everyone else on vacation in the Hamptons, Fire Island, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach or La Jolla? Leaving us to plow through the weekend’s possibilities. At least L.A. and N.Y. will empty out and leave those of who remain to decide between a DJ competition at the Henry Fonda, the X Games at Staples Center and admiring Pam Anderson's attributes at the Virgin Megastore. On the other hand, we could ponder why the three best new American writers are all named Jonathan. Or contemplate how pro football players prefer drugs to two-a-days in the sweltering heat. Or marvel at the similarities between Ali G and Norm Crosby. Or wonder how Tom Leykis gets away with it. We could appreciate the so-bad-it's-good guilty delights of Showgirls and all its DVD extras. Or admit how bad the U.S. Olympic basketball team is. Finally, though, we might just discover the answer to a long-suffering married man’s prayers—a website devoted to cyber-cheaters. It’s all here, folks… Virtual entertainment for a virtual audience. And none of it at all virtuous.

Friday, August 6
5 p.m.

Heading home on the 405 listening to the new Green Day single "American Idiot." Hey, Steph says she loves the single, but then again she’s voting for Billie Joe for President! The album streets 9/21 and is supposed to be the first punk-rock opera. Can anyone out there hook a girl up with an advanced copy?

Celebrate Dave Chappelle’s $50m deal with Comedy Central. Then, take a great pause to wonder where the cash is for the little white Jewish stand-up girls. Can you say, reverse discrimination? I knew you could.

7:30 p.m.
Check out Michael Mann’s new thriller, Collateral, with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. It’s supposed to be his best since Heat. Cruise plays a hit man and Foxx a taxicab driver who gets taken along for the ride, which all takes place in a single night. Look for Cruise to start a new grey hair fad.

8 p.m.
Eat dinner at Mandarette (8386 Beverly Blvd. (323) 655-6115) Rad Chinese food. And people-watching. We recommend the chilled tofu w/scallions appetizer.

9 p.m.
Check out JAYLIB (Madlib & Jay Dee), J-Rocc, Poet Name Life, Josh One, Live Radio, C-Los and Gabereal, 18+. El Rey. Je-C says it’s a must for hardcore underground hip-hop heads.

10 p.m.
Julian Fleisher and Martha Plimpton: Together Again for the Third Time
Actors' Gang Theater (6209 Santa Monica Blvd. (323) 465-0566): New York jazz vocalist Julian Fleisher partners up with Martha Plimpton to perform his ever-changing set of standards, obscurities and adapted pop. The two are taking their show on the road for third time. Yeah, that’s right, that’s where the title comes from, smart-ass.


Saturday August 7
10 a.m.-5p.m.

The Fashion Co-op: Shop from over 150 designers at 40-70% off retail prices. (Sat & Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) $5 at the door Water Garden (1601 Cloverfield Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404)

2 p.m.
Pamela Anderson Book Signing:
Virgin Megastore (8000 W. Sunset Blvd. (323) 650-8666) The buxom star signs copies of her book Star. You know you wanna see them… I mean her. Yowza!!!

6:30 p.m.
Technics/DMC World DJ Championship: U.S.A Finals
(Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre (6126 Hollywood Blvd): This sounds very important if you run in DJ circles, which is what most turntablists do anyway. I can just tell you that DJs are always the sexiest ones in the rooms. So a room full of DJs … that’s gotta be alotta sexy.

8 p.m
Looking for a spot to grab dinner with your peep’s tonight? In the mood for a little Thai food and perhaps a little Elvis? Than you best be hitting up the Thai Elvis at The Palms Thai Restaurant (5273 Hollywood Blvd. (323) 462-5073)

10 p.m.

Sixteen-fifty (1650 N. Schrader Blvd. Hollywood)
Come check out this hot spot, with killer music, live bands, fabulous atmosphere and a chill vibe. Crowd comprised of LA artists, music and skateboard industry For booking info, hit up Dayle Gloria. Up coming events: Kane (Thursday 8/19); The Royal and Operator (8/26)

3 a.m.
Rob a house
. Put on a ski cap. Jill says don’t be such a pussy.

Sunday, August 8
All Day

The X Games
(Staples Center 8/5-7): Head over for the best in extreme sports, music and good times. Look for X Game heavy hitters Bob Burnquist, Fabiola de Silva, Chad Muska, Bucky Lasek and many more… Bands: Ozomatli, the F-Ups, the exies, Juliette and the Licks, G. Love and others. Tickets through Ticketmaster (213) 480-3232, www.Expn.com

Illiterature (452 La Brea Blvd.): Need a last-minute birthday, bbq, baby shower gift? They’ve got books, candles, beauty products, jewelry, & Black Tar Heroine. Just curious if anyone’s reading this. They actually don’t have candles.

1 p.m.
Catch the first-place Dodgers with Je-C as they play the last game of three against the Phillies in Dodger Stadium. Brad Penny makes his second start as a Dodger after tossing eight scoreless innings in his debut. Go Blue!

6 p.m.
Nothing beats Sunday night Chinese. We recommended Bamboo Cuisine on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. If you aren’t already Chinese-d out, after taking our previous Chinese restaurant tip from Friday.

7:30- late
Zen Sushi
: Hot Like (a) Robot, Scarlet Symphony and American eyes

10 p.m.
Sahara Hotnights
@ the Bowery Room (6 Delancey St., NY) www.ticketweb.com

Coming Up:
Metal Skool:
Monday nights at the Roxy in L.A. Make sure to get your tix first… they’ve been selling out!

Punk Rock Karaoke: Monday nights at The Parlour Club (7702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood (323) 650- 7968)

Wed. (8/11): Sean Healey Presents Nina Sky at the El Rey Theatre. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

POPCULT TOP 10
1. Ambulance LTD at El Rey, L.A.:
I was sufficiently intrigued by this N.Y.-based band after catching 'em on Letterman to check out their local show opening for Elefant. With band members from Dublin, Oregon, Santa Monica and New England, they are an eclectic batch, steeped in the Noo Yawk ’70s punk of Television channeled through shoe-gazers My Bloody Valentine and German progs Can, but with enough pop, R&B and blue-eyed soul elements for a sound completely their own. Extra points for their tribal, psychedeliccover of Pink Floyd’s "Fearless" from Meddle, and thanks to Everlovin’ Met fan Wayne Greene for pointing it out. I’ll let you know if the debut album lives up to their performance… and how does TVT keep coming up with groups like this? (Roy Trakin)

2. Tom Leykis: One-time lefty political commentator turned leering misogynist, this syndicated radio host (heard locally on KLSX) makes Tom Cruise in Magnolia seem like Alan Alda with his (gotta be) half-tongue-in-cheek harangues against gold-digging women, single mothers and young marrieds, among other targets. Sure, it’s repetitive, but that’s what makes for consistent drive-time radio, and the man’s unbearably smug argument that money and power attract the most beautiful women is hard to deny. A self-admitted troll who claims his own bankroll makes it possible for him to score 9s and 10s on a consistent basis, he’s the perfect outlet to vent off steam while driving home after work on the 101 to the wife and kids. He may be poisoning a whole generation of young male minds with his sometimes-vicious rants, but you can’t deny that Leykis 101 manages to flesh out what most of us frustrated, middle-aged married guys dare not speak out loud. Did I just say that? (RT)

3. Da Ali G Show (HBO): British comic Sacha Baron Cohen’s skill is deceptively simple. He poses as pidgin-speaking, dim-witted interviewers—including hip-hop journalist Ali G, Kazakhstan correspondent Borat and lisping Austrian fashion reporter Bruno—and sucks his subjects into an absurd vortex, mistaking veterans for veterinarians and grilling fundamentalist Christians about whether Jews are going to hell. There’s a surreal quality to his Cockney colloquialisms and a classic malaprop shtick that updates the noble tradition represented by fellow manglers of the English tongue Professor Irwin Corey and Norm Crosby. (RT)

4. USA vs. the World? What's wrong with this picture?  It's not bad enough that we invade Iraq for no good reason at all.  Now, Old Glory has to suffer an even more ignominious embarrassment.  USA Basketball is about to go down in flames yet again.  Excuse me if I'm incorrect, but DIDN'T WE INVENT THIS FRICKIN' GAME?   USA Basketball has come to represent the typical "ugly American."  Instead of submitting a real team to international competition, we arrogantly think we can just throw a bunch of second- and third-tier NBA stars out there, roll the ball out and say, "Go get us our Gold, goddamn it!!"  To make matter worse, we KEEP MAKING THE SAME MISTAKE. Our 2002 team, another collection of individual "talent," were spanked so hard, most of those guys still walk with a limp.  Two years later, we set ourselves up for another pathetic performance.  International B-ball is populated by teams who have been together YEARS.  The rules favor packed-in zone D, dead-eye outside shooters, selfless passers and guys willing to display hustle and heart.  Make no mistake, the NBA is the world's best basketball league.  Take any NBA champion ever, put them on the floor in Olympic competition and watch the Gold come tumblin' down. In fact, put any NBA team on the floor, even a non-playoff team and they probably win the Gold.  But that's too easy, I guess.  Look at this so-called team.  Stephan Marbury? Carmelo AnthonyShawn Marion? Amare Stoudamire? Allen "We talkin' about PRACTICE" Iverson?????????????????  It was so chic to bash Phil Jackson during the NBA Finals this year and to heap mega praise on Larry Brown.  Let's see what "pound for pound " Larry can do with this beautiful bunch of gunners. American needs to lower its sights a little. A little Bronze might offset all that Bling anyway. (Joel Amsterdam)

5. Tracy Spuehler, It’s the Sound (Tracy Music): Listening to the sophomore album from this L.A.-based MTV producer by day and singer-songwriter by night is like seeing the smart girl at school take off her glasses, unwrap her pigtails and turn into a beautiful swan. KCRW’s Nic Harcourt was an early supporter of the song "Where Do We Go?," from her 2001 debut, which was tapped by ace music supervisor Danny Benair for a Nissan TV commercial, spurring sales and a national tour. On her new record, the title track and the sly "At the Frank Black Show" are filled with rueful observations and post-feminist sexual politics. The sensibility recalls the mid-‘90s, when smart, liberated rockers like Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield and Amy Rigby pointed the way to a post-confessional grrrl power that wasn’t afraid to wear its desire and insecurities on its sleeve. At the same time, "Keep Your Coat On" and "Caution Tape" reflect the hope for solid ground and security in a world, both public and personal, whose safety net has been irrevocably torn asunder after 9/11. Tracy’s album release party is being held at the Hotel Café on Aug. 11, where she’ll perform. For more information, contact [email protected]. (RT)

6. Literary Jonathans: What is it with guys named Jonathan? Three of the best American novels of the past few years were written by Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections), Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) and Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude). All three are prime examples of Swiftian satire, a tribute to yet another great Jonathan novelist, albeit one born in Dublin. (RT)

7. The Ending to The Village: While a majority of the reviews for M. Night Shymalyan’s latest scare flick complained about the cheesiness of the Twilight Zone-styled ending, I have to admire the fact that no one gave it away, even with the overheated media saturation. While I haven’t seen the movie, someone did tell me the "twist," which I admit I didn’t see coming. Hand it to the guy… He may be overly earnest and serious, but he does manage to deliver his patented surprise endings with a crowd-pleasing consistency that rivals Hitchcock. That said, he hasn’t really hit the sweet spot since Sixth Sense, which, even when you knew what was going on, was enjoyable on subsequent viewings. Moral: Never listen to critics. (RT)

8. LL Cool J: It’s not easy being a superstar these days with the press all up in your business. "I read that I had plastic surgery," LL told the Weakend Planner. "I had my ribs taken out, like a fruitcake. Come on, like I had my lungs against my skin." His latest IDJ album, The DEFinition, hits shelves Sept. 14. Guarantee there was no nipping or tucking involved in the production. (Valerie Nome)

9. AshleyMadison.com: You had to figger the Internet would be good for something, right? Well, they’ve finally come up with the Web’s ultimate benefit—encouraging adultery. This site has been getting national attention lately for is twist on net dating, offering "attached" individuals the chance to meet up with other "attached" individuals for whatever. Purely in the name of journalistic research, I joined up and began receiving e-mails from who-knows-how-desperate 20-, 30- and 40-something women who proceeded to list "What Really Turns Me On." The categories include Don Juan, Discretion/Secrecy, A Sense of Humor, Good with their Hands, Aggressiveness, Has a Secret Love Nest, High Sex-Drive, Says What They Want, Likes to Give Oral Sex and Enjoys Being Watched While Masturbating, among others. Of course, it was all for science… especially after I was asked to pony up from $250 to $640 to communicate with anyone who responded to my profile. Now, how do I manage putting that on the AmEx card without my wife finding out? That’s the subject of my next sociological study. (RT)

10. Showgirls: Special Edition (DVD): In a day and age where promotional materials of all kinds have hit a minimum, I was absolutely thrilled off my rocker when a surprise, promotional DVD copy of Showgirls (VIP Limited Edition) (1995) hit my desk mid week, and I ain’t kidding. Just take a look at the hours of extra bonus materials included on this sucka: The Greatest Movie Ever Made, David Schmader’s tribute; the Scores girls commenting on the strip-club dance scene and offering a lap-dance tutorial; a Showgirls diary: a storyboard-to-screen featurette; pop-up trivia track; original theatrical trailer; a set of Showgirls shot glasses (AWESOME); "Pin the Pasties on the Showgirl" game; a deck of Showgirls playing cards, six party games to play at home while watching the flick. You know it, you love it! Call the film what you will, but deep down… You ain’t spending a better $30 on anything else this weekend. Go ahead. It’s OK to experience a guilty pleasure once in a while. (Jay Schatz)

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Collateral
(DreamWorks)
Premise:
A contract killer hails a comedy writer turned cabdriver for a night of hits, with the latter trying to stop him from executing the last witness… and himself.
Stars:
Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Javier Bardem, Jada Pinkett Smith, Dennis Farina, Bruce McGill
Director: Michael Mann
(Thief, Heat, Ali, Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans) with what he does best—an L.A. noir policier.
Thumbs Up:
Cruise and Foxx are getting rave reviews, and everyone seems to say this is Mann’s best since Heat.
Thumbs Down:
A gray-haired Cruise playing the heavy may well freak out his female fan base.
Soundtrack: Hip-O Records
soundtrack includes Roots/Cody Chesnutt, Groove Armada, Calexico, Tom Rothrock, Miles Davis, Audioslave, Oakenfold and score by James Newton Howard.
Website:
www.collateral-themovie.com

Little Black Book (Revolution Studios)
Premise:
Associate talk show producer whose boyfriend is "commitment-phobic," sneaks into his Palm Pilot and starts interviewing all his old girlfriends to find out why his relationships haven’t worked.
Stars:
Brittany Murphy, Ron Livingston, Kathy Bates, Holly Hunter, Sharon Lawrence, Julianne Nicholson, Rick Overton, Gavin Rossdale
Director: Nick Hurran
(Virtual Sexuality, Girls’ Night, Plots with a View)
Thumbs Up
: Is Brittany Murphy the young girls’ Reese Witherspoon?
Thumbs Down:
So far, Brittany hasn’t shown she can open a movie like Reese.
Soundtrack:
None
Website
: www.sonypictures.com/movies/littleblackbook

Open Water
(Lions Gate)
Premise:
Low-budget, documentary-style thriller about a couple stranded at sea and threatened by all sorts of perils, including a shark.
Stars:
Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis
Director:
Husband and wife team of Chris Kentis and Laura Lau make their feature debut.
Thumbs Up:
Industry insiders are touting this 80-minute film as a possible sleeper hit, and audiences have apparently been terrified by the ordeal. Not since Hitchcock’s Lifeboat has a film restricted itself to showing people lost at sea.
Thumbs Down:
Some naysayers have been saying the film’s a mite too sadistic, with nothing on its mind but scaring us…not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Soundtrack: TVT Soundtrax album features Graeme Revell score.
Website: www.openwatermovie.com

Code 46 (United Artists)
Premise:
A futuristic, 1984-style story about an insurance investigator who falls for a woman in a harsh, heavily controlled society that doesn’t permit love.
Stars:
Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton
Director:
U.K. director Michael Winterbottom and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce were the team behind the wonderful 24 Hour Party People.
Thumbs Up:
An art-house sci-fi tale with two talented actors.
Thumbs Down:
Anyone remember Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris? Thought not.
Soundtrack:
Commotion Records album features score by Stephen Hilton/David Holmes
Website:
www.mgm.com/ua/code46/

A TICKING HITS LIST
Surely you have the time to take a look. (8/7a)
THE GREAT CATALOG GOLD RUSH
Is mining the past the future? (8/7a)
TIKTOK RESPONDS TO TRUMP'S BAN
The kids are not alright with Trump. (8/7a)
POP SMOKE GAINS, DABABY LEADS OUR SONG CHART
And the streams just keep on coming. (8/7a)
THE BABE & THE MULE
Interscope's co-MVPs (8/7a)
BTS BRINGS IT
They're so dreamy.
VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
IS IT CHRISTMAS?
No, but we're thinking about cookies.
WOKE MUSIC
Protest songs that sound like now.
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