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There’s one new tune called “This Is Such a Pity.” I tell you, it was stunning; I was completely taken away by it. People were yammering in my ear and I couldn’t hear them. I awoke from the song when it ended. I love when that happens.
WEAKEND PLANNER'S ANNUAL COACHELLA SURVIVAL GUIDE
It's Sweeps Week, So We're Running an All-New Episode Featuring Ivana’s Coachella Do’s and Don’ts and Jill's Fantasizes About Pat O’Brien
Because it’s Coachella weekend, and at least 50,000 of you nutty kids are heading out there, we’ve decided to dust off Ivana’s very handy survival guide from 2003, so that you don’t arrive unprepared—or do something stupid when you get there. You’ll thank her later, trust us. On the same subject, this year’s main event is Coldplay, who’ll undoubtedly unleash a few anthems from their hotly anticipated third album X&Y, coming June 7. We heard the whole thing last week, on headphones, and this album is positively oceanic. Reviewers have liberally tossed around the term “widescreen” in recent years, but X&Y may be the first album truly worthy of the term…actually, make that WIDESCREEN. This week’s other special feature is a review, kinda, of another Coachella marquee act, Weezer, who played their first show in a dog’s age in one of our favorite cities earlier this week; it was dashed off in an email to our own Bud Scoppa by Craig Northey, late of The Odds, a pop/rock combo from Vancouver that was “great live and big in Canada” (as the A&R cliché goes) but never got beyond fervent mini-cult status south of the 49th Parallel, despite Bud’s ever more desperate efforts to break them here and thus keep his weasel gig. Anyway, Craig’s email was a spontaneous appreciation of an intriguing band by a fellow songwriter/musician—making it the purest kind of “review” imaginable. Craig is now a solo artist and professional collaborator: Northey Valenzuela, his album project with Jesse Valenzuela of The Gin Blossoms, comes out on Fuel 2000/Universal in September; Strippers’ Union, from a one-off Canadian supergroup featuring three former Odds and four dudes from The Tragically Hip, comes out on Universal Canada June 21.

IVANA’S COACHELLA SURVIVAL GUIDE
To Have:

A casita at La Quinta Resort (what better way to enjoy the music than after a hot stone massage).

A light jacket/sweater (although Goldenvoice will be selling hoodie sweatshirts for the unprepared).

Patience (allow at least three hours for the drive from Hollywood to the festival site).

A copy of the schedule (www.coachella.com).

Paul Tollett’s cell number (for those all-important VIP wristbands, and use of his golf cart for joyriding around the grounds).

Kirk Sommer's cell number (to "upgrade" the VIP wristbands to Artist wristbands—if you don’t know who Kirk is, you don’t deserve Artist wristbands).

Appropriate footwear.

SPF1000

A small Evian atomizer to keep your skin hydrated in the desert.

Creme de la Mer moisturizer.

A map of the VIP restrooms.

The belief that your soulmate could be among the tens of thousands in attendance each day.

Leave at Home:
An attitude (this is the best festival lineup, EVER [It was true then and it’s true now—ed.]. Be courteous, relaxed and GRATEFUL to be there).

Your collection of "ironic" T-shirts you bought on eBay. Journey and Loverboy sucked. So did Xanadu. And Knightrider. You don’t look "emo" in these shirts, trust me.

Any band T-shirt for any of the artists playing that day.

Inappropriate footwear (no sandals or heels!).

See you this weekend!

CALENDAR
Friday, April 29
5:00 p.m.
Pistons vs. Sixers on ESPN: Game Three of this seven-game series as the scenery shifts to Philly. Can Iverson and Webber actually win a game? Can they actually even compete in the same gym as the bad boys of Detroit? Tune in to find out.

6:00 p.m.
Suns vs. Grizzlies on ESPN 2: The Suns lead this best of seven series 2-0, but the Grizzlies played them tough in the last game and may have figured out a way to at least slow down the Suns just a little bit.

7:30 p.m.
Sonics vs. Kings on ESPN. The Kings got absolutely embarrassed in the first two games at Key Arena. Now they head home, where they are really hard to beat - can the Sonics keep the Kings down? Can Jerome James, who has suddenly emerged as a superstar, keep up his torrid pace?

7:30 p.m.
Puffy Amiyumi @ the Wiltern LG (213-380-5005)

8:00 p.m.
Cher: Living Proof—Farewell Tour (wink wink) w/The Village People.
@ The Hollywood Bowl. Costumes heavy show, for both acts. Although, I’m friends with Leather Guy from the VP, I kid you not. I’m very versatile. Email me for a list of all of my B list celeb pals. For info: 323-850-2000.

Saturday, April 30
8:00 a.m.
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival 12th year for this annual festival (thru the weekend 8am-8pm). HBO’s Deadwood shoots here. Real cowboys & cowboys from the film world merge, along with a tour of local sites that were used for plenty of flicks. There’s music, a cowboy casino (which sounds more like a porno title, but maybe we’re just horny) etc. @ The Santa Clarita Melody Ranch. For info: 661-286-4021

11:00 a.m.
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival—Day One: Time to truck it out to Indio, kiddies. Two days of killer music, and probably some meaningless sex for you as well. At least the background music will be top-notch. Some of today’s bands: Coldplay, Bauhaus, Weezer, The Chemical Brothers, Keane, Rilo Kiley, The Raveonettes, The Kills & so many more. We’re not your mother, but listen to Ivana and stay hydrated. For info: 800-537-6986; www.coachella.com.

11:00 a.m.
Fleece Festival @ Prospect Park Zoo. It’s getting’ too warm for sweaters, so why should these guys have to keep theirs on? The sheep get trimmed, and then they dye the wool. (why am I horny again?) Thru 4 p.m. today & Sunday (450 Flatbush Ave. @ Empire Blvd., Prospect Park, Brooklyn; 718-399-7339).

12:00 p.m.
Bulls vs. Wizards on TNT: The Baby Bulls lead this series 2-0 and now head to the nation’s capital, where they will look to continue their impressive play.

12:30 p.m.
Mavericks vs. Rockets on TNT: Tracy Mcgrady and the Rockets head home leading 2-0 and look to put away the Mavericks for good. Can Mark Cuban’s squad win a game on the road? Well, they’re going to have to or they’ll be heading home for the summer.

3:00 p.m.
If the weather permits, head down to the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenande. Tons of shops and games, a good time for all. Unless you’re an agoraphobic or have a fear of being in close proximity to water…then this stuff is probably not so much for you.

5:00 p.m.
Celtics vs. Pacers on ESPN: Miller was awesome down the stretch in Game Two, as usual, and now he and his Pacers look to take a two-game-to-one lead in the series.

7:30 p.m.
Spurs vs. Nuggets on ESPN: After the Nuggets pulled off an impressive win in the series opener they got absolutely embarrassed in Game Two, losing by over 20 points. Now, with the series tied, the Nuggets head home where, they are 19- 1 under Coach George Karl. This series is going to be a war.

Sunday, May 1
10 a.m.-5pm
The Los Angeles Zoo Delivers—Everybody Loves a Baby: Take a special self-guided tour and see the zoo’s new baby animals, including orangutans, pangolins (what the &%?), giraffes & a Visayan warty pig (not soundin’ so cute nor, remotely sexual for that matter. Please note: HITS does not advocate anything sexual w/babies). Runs thru May 31 daily (www.lazoo.org).

11:00 a.m.
Coachella—Day Two: Continue the party. Ride out the hang over. Here are some of today’s bands: Nine Inch Nails, New Order, The Bravery, Black Star, Bright Eyes, The Arcade Fire, The Faint, Z-Trip, Kasabian, Zion I, The Dresden Dolls & so many more.

11:00 a.m.
Fiesta Broadway—L.A.’s Largest Latino Festival Marks Cinco de Mayo: Head downtown & ride rides, eat, see cultural exhibits & free performances from top Latino entertainers. More than a half of a million people will hang out on a 36-square-block area w/six different stages for music. This year performers include La Ley, Alicia Villareal, Flor Silvestre, etc. Warning: This is an alcohol-free event…so you’ll have to let us know how it was. Thru 6 p.m.

Upcoming:
Monday, May 1
Bruce! Springsteen
kicks off a couple nites of his solo tour at the Pantages Theatre. Let us know if he pulls girls up onstage when he’s flyin’ solo. Courteney, you should probably attend, just in case.

Tuesday, May 2
Snoop Dogg at the Apollo Theater
@ 8 p.m. (253 West 125th St., NYC)

Thursday, May 5
Pat O’Brien returns to work at The Insider:
Hey Pat, why don’t give me a call? I won’t play your voicemail for anyone & I firmly believe that all of us gals totally want it. Are all asking for it, for that matter. And I’m all about the three-way. Call me, dude. Love, Jill.

HOT MUSICIAN-ON-MUSICIAN ACTION
Weezer Live in Vancouver:
Dear Bud. For your birthday I went to see Weezer at the Commodore Ballroom. My friend Stuart Ross was tour managing (Zevon, Tom Waits, Spinal Tap), and I went down to check it out. The band hadn’t played a show in close to three years, so they came to Vancouver to rehearse on Sunday and played their first show Monday night. Byron said it was great listening to them stumble and laugh through all their classics at the rehearsal (Byron—you remember him—is the tech director for House of Blues in Vancouver). This led to a tremendous vibe and sense of anticipation in the room last night. I don’ t know if you ever saw any of The Odds’ sold-out shows at the Commodore, but, I swear, it’ s the best place to play, or to see a band, in the world—a rock band especially. The PA and lights were all dialed in perfectly as a result of the new gazillion-dollar renovation and a full day’s rehearsal. The band were giddy and keyed up. I wanted you to know that on your birthday, my faith in rock was restored. The planets aligned to make it “one of those nights.” Holy shit. That band has carved a legacy. With the look and the beautiful melodies and the consistent swinging heavy feel, they’ve made themselves into the Cheap Trick for ’90s people—the AC/DC too. The nerd saviours [note cute Canadian spelling—ed.] and pop culture fence sitters. Not quite totally cool in any circle, but undeniable in their talent. The crowd sang every word of the old stuff, and the new material was fantastic. There’s one new tune called “This Is Such a Pity.” I tell you, it was stunning; I was completely taken away by it. People were yammering in my ear and I couldn’t hear them. I awoke from the song when it ended. I love when that happens. I give Weezer so many points for sticking it out. They were starting up about three years after us and really did it the right way, with some very “unique” people involved. It never hurts to have a huge hit on your first record, I always say. They’ll come out on the cover of everything and start to work their way to U2 status and the Rock and Roll hall of Fame induction—you watch.

Here’s the setlist:
Tired of Sex
In the Garage
Beverly Hills
No One Else
This is Such a Pity
Buddy Holly
Photograph
Getchoo
Hold Me
Say It Ain't So
We Are All On Drugs
Island in the Sun
My Name is Jonas
Peace
Hash Pipe
Haunt You Every Day
----
Undone The Sweater Song
The Good Life
—Craig Northey

JE-C’S NEW-MOVIE RUNDOWN
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Starring:
Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel, Alan Rickman and Bill Nighy
Synopsis:
Just before the Earth is destroyed in order to build an intergalactic hyperspace bypass, Arthur Dent learns that his friend Ford Prefect is an alien. Thankfully, Ford helps Arthur escape his doomed planet by hitchhiking on a passing spaceship with a handy copy of the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Thoughts: You know, I never read the book, the coming attractions look really stupid, but for some reason I think I want to see this movie. Plus, some online reviews that I’ve been reading have been very positive, so I think I will recommend this one.

xXx: State of the Union
Starring:
Ice Cube, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Michael Roof and Nona Gaye
Synopsis:
National Security Administration agent Augustus Gibbons recruits a new covert operative, Darius Stone, a man who's currently in the slammer. Stone is set free and takes on the alias xXx. His mission: to track a military splinter group that is conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government.
Thoughts: Ok, here’s the deal: I was really looking forward to seeing the first xXx with Vin Diesel when it came out, and it was a total letdown. The coming attractions to this sequel, now starring Ice Cube, look even better, but I just don’t want to get my hopes up and be completely upset for paying the ridiculous movie price for a bad movie. So, my conclusion is that I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to see this movie or not. I’m still undecided.

SURF’S UP
FOR HITS LIST
Good vibrations (3/5a)
NEAR TRUTHS: UNCORKED
Jay-Z's blingy mountain of cash keeps gaining altitude. (3/5a)
UMG PULLS IN NEARLY
$9B IN 2020
Value keeps rising ahead of IPO. (3/5a)
MILEY JOINS COLUMBIA
Like moving to the apartment next door. (3/4a)
GRAMMY CHEW: THE
PRE-GRAMMY BOUNCE
Let's hear it for ironic guitar-smashing. (3/5a)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
A jazz chronicle of fighting the power.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
ACQUITTED
In a phenomenal display of cowardice.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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