Who would have thought a pair of HITS magazine alums would come up with the 21st century equivalent of such groundbreaking texts of female sexual liberation as Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, Cynthia Heimel’s Sex Tips for Girls, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl or even Xavier Hollander’s almost-namesake The Happy Hooker?


The Presidential Campaign Kicks Into High Gear, as We Get Political and Party with Steve Earle, Zach Braff, John Fogerty, the VMAs, Little Steven and Bowling for Soup
Welcome to the annual Labor Day Weakend Planner, put together by those of us left behind while everyone else has already planned their schedule around one final trip to the Hamptons, Fire Island, Laguna, Lake Arrowhead, Hawaii, etc. Meanwhile, we’re at home suffering through another month of our godawful, bedraggled Mets playing "meaningful" baseball games—meaningful for the contending teams they're facing, that is. Switching gears, let us enjoy the best week for any diehard J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets fan—the one before the season starts. Anyway, the NFL kicks off in just 10 days, baseball pennant races are heating up, the U.S. Open is underway and the Jewish holidays are right around the corner. So enjoy the last weekend of the summer, because we’re warning you… we’ll see you in September.

Friday (9/3)
8 p.m.
Indie 103.1’s Watusi Rodeo Presents Last Chance Summer Dance at Molly Malones (575 S Fairfax Ave.): It’ll only cost you $1.03 to get in... which works out to less than 10 cents per band and the last time I checked, it’s the best damn bargain in town! Get there early or you might not get in at all! Sin City will even cover the $.03 to make your life easier! Doc Holiday will host the evening which is the pu pu platter of L.A.’s finest! Among those slated to perform: Peter Case, The Snakehandlers, Speedbuggy, Rowdy, Peter Case and make sure to check out Keaton Simons at 10 p.m.

8 p.m.
Get Laid at a Drive-in Movie!
Find yourself saying, "It’s not fair! My parents got to shag in cars while watching flicks outdoors, why can’t I?!" Ah, but you can! Make your folks proud & head to one of these remaining drive-ins in SoCal… Whores:
Vineland Drive-In (443 N. Vineland Ave, Industry)
Mission Drive-in Fourplex (Ramona Ave & Mission Blvd., Montclair)
Van Buren Cinema 3 (3035 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside)
Rubidoux Drive-in Theatre (3770 Opal St., Riverside)

8:30 p.m.
Eat at Blair’s
(2903 Rowena Ave, Silverlake): It’s way local, way good & way friendly with a Soho feel. Some off-the-hook recommendations: caesar salad, mussels, mac & cheese with truffles, linguini w/tuna confit, capers & olives, Colorado short ribs and they’ve got a killer on-site pastry chef. Eat good food. Go home. Work it off. Whores.

9 p.m.
Minus the Bear and Brazil at the Troubadour.

10 p.m.
Need shoes? Hit up www.Zappos.com, the best thing to happen since they told us dark chocolate is good for you. Search by size, width or brand. Free shipping today and returns are always free! One more phenomenal part—you have 365 days to return! Shoes make us horny.

Saturday (9/4)
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Happy Birthday LA!
Whatever will you get her??? 223 candles … that bitch is old! Get in on the historical celebration with free food & entertainment @ El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

11 a.m.
Long Beach Blues Festival:
CSULB Athletic Field (1250 N. Bellflower Blvd., 562-985-4111): Macy Gray & Bo Diddley co-headline this impressive two-day line-up. Buddy Guy headlines Sunday’s show.
2 p.m.
Norton Simon Museum of Art
(411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena)

8 p.m.
Hollywood Hell House @ the Steve Allen Theater, Center for Inquiry (West 4773 Hollywood Blvd. 323-692-5868, Saturdays thru Oct.30): Reverend Keenan Roberts wrote this original haunted house piece in the early ’90s, preaching that homosexuality, abortion & drugs will result in eternal damnation. This is a ’lil diffent. This production has star comedians rotating into the cast (Bill Maher played Satan opening night, with Andy Richter as Jesus. Upcoming: Sarah Silverman, Richard Belzer, Penn Jillette, etc.) to help prove the absurdity of the original. The audience goes from room to room to watch each scene & you can even purchase Jesus (Hearts) Hollywood Hell House T-shirts.

8:30 p.m.
O-Bar (8279 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood 323-822-3300): Yummy food in a super-hip atmosphere. Happy hour (half-price drinks) 6-8pm daily, known for their Mojitos.

9 p.m
Dave Chappelle For What It’s Worth special on Showtime: See why another network signed his ass up for a two-year $50m deal.

Sunday (9/5)
All Day
Sink into deep depression
: Next week is season finale week for both Entourage and Six Feet Under. (This week, nada, due to holiday)

11 a.m.
Long Beach Blues Festival (Day 2)

11:30 a.m.
Phoenix Express: 1325 N. Echo Park Ave.: Try this Chinatown bakery gem. Known for its tasty strawberry cream cakes and Chinese entrees. Which is comforting. What with their being a Chinatown bakery & shit.

2 p.m.
Bergamont Station (2525 Michigan Ave Santa Monica):
Head over to the Santa Monica art galleries. Get your art on. Drink wine out of plastic cups & act pretentious.

7 p.m.
Vanity Fair at the Arclight: Reese Witherspoon (you can’t go with Reese, she’s just in it)

9 p.m.
La Fe (1525 W. Sunset Blvd.): This Echo Park Salvadoran restaurant is known for its yummy food such as their plantains, burritos and dollar tacos.

11 p.m.
The Golden Room (1558 W. Sunset Blvd.): Dollar shots, food and drink specials happy hour 5-9 p.m.

**** SPOILER ALERT *****
Ivana ruins the end of both theatrical and DVD releases for you. This is quite a short list, because we want your love this week. How can you hate us if we only ruin one little baby recent DVD release?
Taking Lives: Ethan Hawke is the bad guy.

Upcoming events:
Wednesday (9/8)
KAIJU BIG BATTLE! Tinseltown showdown! at The Avalon (1735 N. Vine Street Hollywood, CA): After sold-out East Coast battles, Kaiju Big Battle is set to make its L.A. debut. Come experience the national cult phenomenon as hoards of monsters, aliens and heroes conspire to bring the city of Los Angeles to its knees through urban destruction, white-knuckled action, and seismic surprises. Tickets at www.ticketmaster.com

Saturday and Sunday (9/11-12)
Huntington Beach Core Tour
At the boardwalk: www.coretour.com: The best of extreme sports (BMX, Skateboarding) up and coming bands and beach rays. The best part is… Its free! That’s right no dinero. Check out the bitch’n music line up.
Saturday: Still Life Projector, Brandson, 1208 and The Beautiful Mistake
Sunday: Grounded, Army of Freshman, HelloGoodbye and Chronic Future.

More of Je-C’s tour with Nimbus:
We played our final show of the trip at the NAU campus cofee bean. It was an acoustic set that we played with our friends allrise from LA. There were a good number of people there and they seemed to enjoy the set. A tip jar was passed around in support of Nimbus and we made some decent bucks out of it. Then once the show was done, we packed up and headed back to Phoenix. We all ate Sonics for dinner and crashed out. The highlight of the trip was when we played Club 111 with Mercy Fall in Flagstaff. Really nice guys who just got a record deal with Atlantic. They loved us and although most of us didn't stick around for their set bcuz we ate, Tim said they were amazing... a good time was had by all, and we ended up making a nice profit once the whole trip was done. Tomorrow, the trip home. (Je-C)

1. Steve Earle, The Revolution Starts…Now (Artemis): Just in time for a heated, partisan election campaign comes this long-radicalized singer-songwriter’s 12th studio album, and arguably his best since his distinguished 25-year career began with the groundbreaking country-rock fusion of Guitar Town. Earle’s politicization has helped focus his songwriting. Sure, there are influences like the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers twang and swagger of the title track, the Springsteen-like simmer of "Rich Man’s War," the Jim Morrison-meets-Patti Smith stream of consciousness in "Warrior," the Ramones rant of "F the CC" (to the tune of "Hey, ho, let's go") and the loping reggae of "Condi Condi," his not quite tongue-in-cheek love song to Condoleezza Rice. But there’s also a personal side to the record, in the Buck Owens honky-tonk rockabilly of the truck-driving "Home to Houston," a shimmering duet with Emmylou Harris on the Dylanesque "Comin’ Around" and the dark Elvis Costello sarcasm of "I Thought You Should Know." You don’t have to be a Democrat to embrace this album, but it couldn’t hurt. Look for it at Grammy time. (Roy Trakin)

2. Garden State: I’ve never watched TV’s Scrubs, but I immediately related to Zach Braff’s disaffected 20-something actor, who returns to his Jersey hometown from L.A. to attend his mother’s funeral and confront his childhood trauma and former pals. Critics have been comparing it to The Graduate, but it’s actually closer in spirit to Gondry and Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A withdrawn, Lithium-taking guy is awakened from his passive stupor by an equally neurotic, chatty but ultimately adorable and optimistic female, here played by the wonderful Natalie Portman. You’ve got to embrace any movie with a narrative point fueled by a reference to alt-pop darlings the Shins. They are represented on the Epic Records soundtrack of indie-pop by the likes of Coldplay, Remy Zero, Zero 7, Thievery Corporation, Frou Frou and Iron and Wine, with old-timers like Simon & Garfunkel (The Graduate connection), Nick Drake and a pleasant surprise from ex-Men at Work frontman Colin Hay. The music gives the film a unity and emotional resonance it might not ordinarily have, and the ending is more conventional than its indie roots would suggest. Still, veteran performers like Peter Sarsgaard, Ian Holm, Ron Leibman and Jean Smart deepen the ambiguities and turn them into living, breathing existential conundrums. Also, look for rapper Method Man in a hilarious cameo turn as an entrepreneurial hotel bellhop. (RT)

3. John Fogerty, Déjà Vu All Over Again (Geffen): The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival has discovered a foolproof way to clear up any lingering copyright issues—he simply remakes the old tunes as new ones. The title track to his first album in seven years, like the Vietnam-era "Who’ll Stop the Rain?" doesn’t explicitly refer to Iraq, but its anti-war intent is pretty clear in the lyrics, which offer an unmistakable parallel in the two conflicts some 40 years apart. The rest of the album is pretty timeless Fogerty, if without the pop urgency of his greatest Creedence hits, though the singer-songwriter’s formalism serves him well, with nods to such varied touchstones as Buddy Holly ("Sugar-Sugar (In My Life)"), punk rock (!?) ("She’s Got Baggage"), "96 Tears" Farfisa organ ("Radar"), vintage Sun Studios Elvis rockabilly ("Honey Do"), Dire Straits (dig the Mark Knopfler guitar solo on the "Money for Nothing" high-tech satire of "Nobody’s Here Anymore") and the patented swamp-rock born-on-the-bayou boogie of "Wicked Old Witch." Just don’t invite him to the Bush inaugural… or a Creedence reunion, for that matter. (RT)

4. Alexa Joy Sherman and Nicole Tocantins, The Happy Hook-Up (Ten Speed Press): Who would have thought a pair of HITS magazine alums would come up with the 21st century equivalent of such groundbreaking texts of female sexual liberation as Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, Cynthia Heimel’s Sex Tips for Girls, Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl or even Xavier Hollander’s almost-namesake The Happy Hooker? This is The Rules for the post-Sex and the City single girl, a veritable Casual Sex for Dummies that walks you through all the pitfalls and pleasures of guilt-free hook-ups. There’s plenty of breezy, sardonic humor, consumer surveys, Boys Club sidebars and first-person anecdotes to keep the subject lively. And, on a reverse Tom Leykis level, any guy who picks up this very practical, but cheeky, guide, will get some practical insight into the state of the female psyche circa 2004. Available in Oct. (RT)

5. MTV Video Music Awards (Live): To take a Xanax or not to take a Xanax? I could handle the crowds, but could I handle security? AmericanAirlines Arena was surrounded by cops exhorting the crowd to get in single file and show our ticket ("like you learned in high school") in order to cross the street. Helicopters and planes hovered overhead. I was stopped by the ticket-taker for my backpack. At that point, I craved Xanax. I told the supervisor I was a writer, and she let me in foregoing another baggage check. Once inside, an audible buzz permeated the arena, and fashion-wise anything went. Mini-flounced dresses, jeans, long dresses, heels, and one woman was even wearing platforms. I felt comfortable in my Tommy Hilfiger dress even though I wasn’t showing the cleavage that contributed to the energetic, sexy show. The set consisted of a half dozen stages with celebrities appearing seemingly out of nowhere. Stagehands were busy scurrying here and there, and the audience was part of the festivities. It was more theater than concert as announcers counted the seconds before the end of commercial breaks. The constant entertainment and sight gags kept attention spans in check. The two highlights were being in the same room as Shaquille O’Neal and sitting 50 yards in back of P. Diddy and Bruce Willis. It sure was better than seeing it from my living room couch. (Janet Trakin)

6. MTV Video Music Awards (TV): Well, the production was spectacular, as was the assorted cleavage on display, and everybody was all about the partying, but seriously, folks, even if I am an unregenerate boomer, where was the Rawk? One small segment of medley-like hooks from Jet, Hoobastank and Yellowcard shoved in between all the hip-hop, R&B and rap? A nod at "next big thing" with a mercy slot for Polyphonic Spree, the PoMo version of "Up With People," a natural for their own televangelism show? I remember the days when MTV was an AOR station which refused to play Michael Jackson’s "Beat It." I also remember the days when MTV played music. All well, the VMAs are almost as much an institution as, say, the Golden Globes, and carping about ‘em is like complaining about the weather. That said, if we don’t produce a coupla world-class young rock & roll bands pretty darn soon, the genre’s 50th anniversary may well find it turning into a museum piece like big band or swing. (RT)

7. Jeff Timmons: There’s trouble in NSYNC land. Paris dumped Nick, so the future of the Backstreet Boys doesn’t look so rosy and 98 Degrees have been off the charts for a few years. Without the required dose of boy bands on the charts, what’s a pop fan to do? Enter Jeff Timmons, one-fourth of 98 Degrees, to quench burning desires with his love songs. Jeff’s Whisper That Way is in stores now, and this time, he’s doing it on his own through SLG Records. He wrote all 12 songs—including the title track and first single, which is buzzing on many stations across the country. "‘Whisper That Way’ is about when the guy wants the girl to tell him about the first time they met, the first time they kissed, the first time they made love," Jeff told the Weakend Planner at New York’s Millennium Hotel. "But he really doesn’t want to hear about it, ’cause he knows that already. He likes the way she’s telling it to him, and the passion behind the way she’s whispering to him. It’s the way she’s recalling it—it’s not about the content of what she’s saying." Check out jefftimmons.com. (Valerie Nome)

8. Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage Channel (Sirius): Little Steven’s one-man campaign to revive garage-rock continues this Sunday (9/5) on Sirius Satellite Radio, starting at 7 a.m. (ET). Debuting on-air will be DJs Handsome Dick Manitoba (7-11 a.m.), Kid Leo (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), Andrew Loog Oldham (3-7 p.m.), Kim Fowley (7-11 p.m.) and Bill Kelly (11 p.m.-3 a.m.). The recent, successful International Underground Garage Festival will be rebroadcast on Sirius Saturday and Monday. The 24-hour, commercial-free channel on Sirius debuted July 7, joining the weekly syndicated radio show, Little Steven's Underground Garage. With NFL football and garage-rock, Sirius seems to be pulling out all the stops in its competition against market leader XM. (RT)

9. Bowling For Soup, "1985" (Jive): This Grammy-nominated Texas punk band have a way with churning out great pop novelty songs. This latest, sung in the voice of a soccer mom still "preoccupied" with the titular year, features namechecks for Springsteen, Madonna, U2, Blondie and Duran Duran… "when music [was] still on MTV," not to mention brat pack classics like Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire. The tune is irresistible, and you’re singing the chorus after a single listen. And let’s face it, things were a lot better back then than we realized. (RT)

10. N.Y. Times Readers Mets Forum: The best place for Mets fans to congregate in their misery and commiserate with one another. And, to truly gauge the measure (and passion) of our despair, consider this. Visitors to the Met Forum outnumber those to the hated Yankee Forum by almost four to one, the only category in which the Amazins’ top their cross-city rivals. Click here for the action. (RT)

Wicker Park (MGM)
After having his heart broken, a Chicago investment banker returns to the city after two years, settling in the same Wicker Park neighborhood, but engaged to a different woman. In Vertigo-like fashion, he becomes obsessed with a woman he sees in a café, believing her to be his long-lost love, as the search forces him to put his engagement on hold, and leads him down a dangerous path. Based on the 1996 French thriller, L’Appartement.
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Matthew Lillard, Rose Byrne
Director: Paul McGuigan
(Gangster No. 1, The Acid House, The Reckoning)
Thumbs Up: Can a British director capture Hitchcock’s thriller touch?
Thumbs Down: Otherwise, the premise is rather pedestrian, no?
Soundtrack: Lakeshore Records soundtrack features a who’s-who of PoMo stars, including Stereophonics, Lifehouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Snow Patrol, Broken Social Scene, the Stills, Mazzy Starr, Mum, Postal Service, Aqualung, the Shins, Mogwai, Johnette Napolitano & Danny Lohner

Paparazzi (20th Century Fox)
When an overzealous group of four paparazzi cause a car accident that injures his wife and son, a hot young movie star concocts a revenge plot against them.
Stars: Cole Hauser, Tom Sizemore, Robin Tunney, Dennis Farina, with cameos by Mel Gibson, Matthew McConaughey, Chris Rock and Vince Vaughn
First-timer Paul Abascal got his start as an on-set hair stylist, before directing TV shows like Nash Bridges and Tales From the Crypt. Take that, Jon Peters.
Thumbs Up: An interesting B-movie noir with some intriguing cameos, and any movie that sets out to hunt down and kill paparazzi is OK in our book.
Thumbs Down: Hauser and Sizemore? Personally, we’d rather see Tom beating up on Heidi Fleiss.
Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande album features score by Brian Tyler.
Website: www.paparazzithemovie.com

The Cookout (Lions Gate Films)
A pro basketball player signs a multimillion dollar contract, then finds his relationships with the people in his life change when he throws a cookout in the stuffy white neighborhood he’s moved into, setting up a culture clash between his old and new friends.
Stars: Storm P, Eve, Frankie Faison, Farrah Fawcett, Danny Glover, Queen Latifah, Tim Meadows, Vincent Pastore, Ja Rule, Jonathan Silverman
Ex-record exec Lance "Un" Rivera, who gave Notorious B.I.G. his first recording deal, in his debut.
Thumbs Up: Bringing Down the House plus Barbershop makes for box office gold?
Thumbs Down: No critics’ showings could be one sign as to what the studio thinks of this one.
Soundtrack: Coming.
Website: www.thecookoutmovie.com/

Fire up the grill. (5/24a)
Another week, another iteration (5/24a)
They're in the money. (5/24a)
A game of Monopoly on Capitol Hill (5/24a)
Redrawing the Mason-Dixon Line (5/24a)
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
No, not that one.
Now 100% unlicensed!

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