This was an amazingly close series, two games decided by two runs, the other by one apiece, and just goes to show what an intricate, multi-leveled sport the Grand Old Game still is.


If the Hour You Pick Up Early Sunday Is What You're Most Looking Forward To This Weekend, You Need to Either Get Some Sleep or Get a Life
Finally, the baseball season is over!! OK, so I’m a little bitter because I’m a Dodgers fan, and actually, the season has been over for awhile for me. Anyway, a big congrats to the White Sox and the city of Chicago for an incredible coast-to-coast victory throughout the year and postseason. Now, its time to get ready for the NBA, as the season kicks off on Tuesday.

Friday, Oct. 28th
Vegoose Music Festival 2005 in Las Vegas, runs all weekend and features performances by Dave Matthews Band, Beck, Gov't Mule, Spoon, The Arcade Fire, Jack Johnson and a zillion others. For set times and venue, check www.vegoose.com

The Bravery @ Zydeco, Birmingham, AL

Spoon @ St. Andrews Hall, Detroit. Whoa, these guys get around (see Vegoose Fest, above).

Coheed and Cambria w/ Dredg, Blood Brothers and mewithoutyou @ Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, FL. (all ages)

Zac Harmon & the Mid-South Blues Revue @ Harvelle's, Santa Monica (21 and over)

Saturday, Oct. 29th
Florida vs. Georgia (CBS): Georgia is a team to be reckoned with, but the Bulldogs’ quarterback and leader will be out for this game, and possibly for the season. D.J. Shockley got hurt last week. Georgia’s undefeated run could come to an end down in the Swamp.

UCLA vs. Stanford (TBS): UCLA looks to stay undefeated, but it won’t be easy, as Stanford comes off an impressive win against suddenly slumping Arizona State. The student-athletes from Palo Alto are 3-1 in the conference and are by no means a pushover, so UCLA will have to bring their A-game to make it 8-0.

Michigan vs. Northwestern (ESPN): Northwestern is dangerous in all offensive aspects of the game and not to be taken lightly. They should be undefeated in the conference, except for a blunder two weeks ago on the final play of the game.

The Rocket Summer @ Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City, IA

Blackest of the Black Tour featuring Danzig w/Chimaira, Behemoth, Himsa and many other non-church-going folk @ Gibson Amphitheatre

K-Rock Halloween Ball featuring Audioslave @ Madison Square Garden

KCAL 96.7 Presents Festival of Freaks Halloween Bash
featuring Judge Jackson @ Angel's Roadhouse, Yucaipa, CA.

Third Annual House of Boo @ House of Blues, Anaheim (21 and over)

Sunday, Oct. 30th
Howl'oween Parade @ Livingston Park in Long Beach. A doggy dress-up competition, a parade and then a festival afterward for pets and their owners.

'80s Soul Jam featuring Joan Osbourne, Freddie Jackson, Regina Belle and Howard Hewitt @ Gibson Amphitheatre

Cypress Hill @ House of Blues on Sunset

The Squid and the Whale (Samuel Goldwyn Company): The Life Aquatic co-screenwriter Noah Baumbach’s autobiographical film about growing up in a pre-gentrified Park Slope Brooklyn in the mid-’80s with estranged boho intellectual writer parents finds truth in the cliché that those most affected by divorce are the kids. Jeff Daniels steals the show as the one-time promising novelist-turned-disillusioned English prof, complete with “feral” graying beard and haughty intellectual dinner table pronouncements like A Tale of Two Cities is “minor Dickens,” earnestly parroted by his devoted elder son, played wonderfully by Roger Dodger’s Jesse Eisenberg. With all the misplaced testosterone floating around, Laura Linney and an almost unrecognizable Anna Paquin tend to be overshadowed, though the female point-of-view is far from ignored. Like Me and You and Everyone We Know, the film points out the similarities and differences in adult and adolescent sexuality and attraction, with the younger brother played by Owen Kline (the son of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates) acting out his own frustration by blithely swabbing the school lockers with his discharge. There is a crucial plot point that revolves around the authorship of Pink Floyd’s “Hey You,” great use of songs by the Feelies, Bert Jansch and Lou Reed (the evocative sawing strings opening of “Street Hassle”) and a “right on, my brother” tennis pro played for laughs by a head-banded William Baldwin. This is the rare movie that finds the intersection of sadness and laughter, often in the same impulse, which is the bittersweet feeling one gets when they see their children adopt not just their strengths, but their weaknesses, too.

Nellie McKay, Pretty Little Head (Columbia)/Patti Smith, Horses/Horses (Columbia/Legacy): The entertainment business has long had trouble with feisty females they can’t control, and these two represent the unbroken line between a punk pioneer and a post-post modern cabaret. Like fellow nouveau divas Fiona Apple and Cat Power, McKay refused to be boxed in to a single category, though she’s seemed to harden the edges on her cabaret stylings into a more traditional art-rock approach on her sophomore album. Unlike the sprawl of her double-CD debut, Pretty Little Head is more focused and to point, but the range includes the sing-song Patti Page pop of “Cupcake,” the Peggy Lee seductive “fuzzy” croon of “Pink Chandelier,” the Tori Amos-like confessional “There You Are in Me,” the ominous rap of “The Big One,” the Astrud Gilberto croon of “I Will Be There,” the slinky “Long and Lazy River” and the sunny bossa nova beat of “Bee Charmer” (a duet with co-writer Cyndi Lauper). She evokes the rapid-fire lyrical rage of Elvis Costello on “Real Life,” and even his one-time penchant for biting the hand that feeds him on the “did I really hear that?” torrent of words which fuels “Columbia Is Bleeding,” which sounds like a poison pen letter to her label, but is instead about animal testing at Columbia University. And I thought that's why the record company was releasing her album on Dec. 27… As for her prima donna predecessor Patti Smith, the punk poetess and her band are nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, and this double-CD combining a live version of her seminal album Horses performed in London with a reissue of the original disc serves as an impressive calling card. And while it can be argued that her ’75 debut for Clive DavisArista Records was Patti’s artistic peak, her longevity cannot be underestimated, with last year’s Trampin’ and tour showing she’s still got the rock & roll spirit. The live version of the title track, with its incorporation of “Land of 1,000 Dances” and “Gloria,” remains a milestone for distaff rockers, marking their reclamation of the previously mostly male domain for themselves, inspiring a generation of female pop artists in its wake that has produced its latest “next big thing” in McKay.

The Gatorade Commercial: Admit it, you did a double-take when you first saw it. Three of the most-played sports highlights of all time—Michael Jordan hitting that jumper over the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Craig Ehlo to win his first playoff series, Dwight Clark catching that ball in the end zone from Joe Montana to help the San Francisco 49ers win the NFC championship against the Cowboys, and the remarkable Derek Jeter relay that nipped then-Oakland A’s star Jason Giambi at the plate and helped the Yankees win the playoff series—altered to show Jordan missing, the ball glancing off Clark’s fingertips and Giambi brushing past Jorge Posada’s tag. It’s the most amazing thing since the Burger King was inserted into NFL highlights. You know they did it digitally, but how? The attention to detail is TiVo-worthy. Check out the surrounding players, who all have different reactions. This tampering of actual history could have interesting implications. Suppose someone got a hold of the Zapruder film, and made Lee Harvey Oswald miss, showing JFK and Jackie O ducking the bullets and surviving… Sounds like a screenplay to me.

World Series: The newspapers will record is as a blowout, the second consecutive 4-0 sweep by the American League team, in this case, the much-beleaguered White Sox, who follow the Red Sox in busting from (in their case) an 88-year-old curse. Actually, this was an amazingly close series, two games decided by two runs, the other by one apiece, and just goes to show what an intricate, multi-leveled sport the Grand Old Game still is. Managers always harp on playing “small ball,” but few players heed the call. In this series, it was the little things that paid off… Moving the runners up, going deep in the count, strong middle relief and superb fielding. Hope my Mets were taking notes. You don’t necessarily need the $20-million-a-year sluggers who dissapear in prime-time (Are you listening, A-Rod and Vlad?), if someone like Geoff Blum, the 25th guy on the bench, can deliver for you in the clutch. And Ozzie Guillen is a breath of fresh air, the Venezuelan answer to Casey Stengel. Ole-ole-ole-ole…

Run’s House/My Fair Brady (VH1): The reality genre continues to evolve and expand with these two latest exercises in B-level star rubbernecking. Run’s House is more The Cosby Show and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air than The Osbournes, a reality show masquerading as a sitcom. Rev Run plays the affable but relatively clueless father, a sitcom stable from time immemorial, and it’s certainly nice to see an upper-middle-class black family like you and me portrayed on TV rather than the stereotypes usually foisted on us. And while there’s an inspirational message etched by the noble Run, it’s still bling-bling at the heart of the show, as Rev rewards his high school graduate daughter for her straight A’s with the keys to a brand-new red Mercedes. For most of us, that’s as unbelievable as the family in Arrested Development, but at least the cause was noble. As for My Fair Brady, this is one you just have to see to believe, as second-string “personalities” Christopher Knight (whose main claim to fame was playing Peter Brady in the original TV show) and Adrianne Curry (who won an America’s Top Model competition) play out their has-to-be ill-fated romance that started on Surreal Life 4 for the delectation of whoever’s watching VH1 these days. I saw the episode where Knight visits with Curry’s white trash parents, and tries to convince them (and himself) of his motives regarding their daughter’s relentless desire to get married to the apparently once and future Peter Brady. Why the foxy Curry, who is amazing except for the fact she does stuff that would embarrass you every few minutes, is interested in Knight is the source of the humor, but you gotta wonder how much is real and how much is being concocted just before the cameras are turned on. Actually, the very fact that I’m even thinking about that or give a shit is the most amazing thing of all.

Saw II
Starring: Donnie Wahlberg, Franky G., Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier and Beverley Mitchell
Synopsis: Serial killer Jigsaw is back, only this time instead of locking up two people in a room, he's got eight victims. They're all complete strangers and must play a disturbing game to determine who, if anyone, survives.
Thoughts: Oh yeah, I’ve been waiting for this movie since it was announced. At first, I had no interest in Saw, but then the word of mouth started to spread and as it turned out, I really liked it. I hope this one is just as good.

The Legend of Zorro
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Giovanna Zacarías, Raúl Méndez and Rufus Sewell
Synopsis: It's 1850, and after fighting to help California become the 31st state, Zorro has promised his wife, Elena, that he'll give up his secret identity and go back to living as Alejandro de la Vega. But he has second thoughts when an old villain threatens to unleash a threat that's been years in the making.
Thoughts: Man, this weekend is going to rule. All the movies coming out have are ones I have been looking forward to for quite some time. I loved The Mask of Zorro, and it’s been a while since the original came out, but this sequel looks like it is going to kick mucho butt!!!

The Weather Man
Starring: Nicolas Cage
, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Michael Rispoli and Gil Bellows
Synopsis: Dave Spritz, a TV weatherman in Chicago, gets his big chance: a spot on a popular morning show in New York City. While his career takes off, he finds that his relationship with his ex-wife and his kids founders. Before long, he's in the middle of a painful divorce. He then turns to his father, a successful novelist, for advice on how to get his life in order.
Thoughts: This movie has a good cast and a pretty interesting story. I’m a little worried, though, because Nicolas Cage just put out a movie that bombed. I hope this one doesn’t.