No less an authority than Cameron Crowe, who cast My Morning Jacket against type in Elizabethtown playing a rousing “Free Bird” at a memorial service, has dubbed leader Jim James the most dynamic frontman in contemporary rock, and it’s hard to disagree.


So Many Games, So Many Shows, So Little Time
Friday, Nov. 18th
Clippers vs. Lakers (FSN, 5 WB): The first game between the rivals in which the Clippers will carry the swagger of a first-place team for the first time ever. Although the season is still very young, the Clips are off to their best start in 20 years and look to finally supplant the Lakers as the best team in .LA. Even though the Lakers have not been impressive so far this season and the Clippers have the better team, you can bet that Kobe will have his troops ready to go for this one.

The Quad Tribute: First-Ever Staged Production of the Quadrophenia Album @ The Grove in Anaheim. For more information, please contact Jonathan Wolfson ([email protected]) or Aaron Meza ([email protected]) at Wolfson Public Relations p: 323-466-0499. Also Saturday.

Onesidezero @ The Whisky

Saturday, Nov. 19th
Ohio State vs. Michigan (ABC): Both these teams have shown flashes of brilliance this season, and one will look to hold bragging rights in this rivalry game.

Alabama vs. Auburn (CBS): Alabama, after suffering their first loss of the season to LSU in overtime, will look to come back strong against the Tigers.

Simple Plan w/ Straylight Run and Plain White T’s @ The Gibson Ampitheatre

Porcelain @ The Viper Room. Killer band from Australia.

Sunday, Nov. 20th
Eagles vs. Giants (Fox): After a poor display last week at home against the Vikings, the Giants will look to get back to their winning ways and they will look to do so against the hobbled Eagles. No Mcnabb, no TO; can the Giants take advantage?

Warriors vs. Clippers (5 WB): Many believe that the Pacific Division will come down to these two teams because they both are revamped and showing a lot of promise, although it has been the Clippers who are off to the better start and are leading the division at the present time, don’t sleep on the Warriors. It’s an afternoon game, too, so it's fun for the whole family!!! Time to show some love for the clips!!

Colts vs. Bengals (CBS):
Do I smell upset? Well, maybe I am jumping the gun a little bit, but Cincy is one of the few teams that pose a real threat to end Indy’s unbeaten season. The Bengals will have the Colts on their home field and will look to take advantage of what could be bad weather in Cincy. We all know Peyton’s history in bad weather.

Lyfe Jennings w/Goapele and Vivian Green
@ House of Blues in San Diego. Wow, three killer R&B acts on one bill, this is a must-go-to show!

Monday, Nov. 21st
Thrice w/Underoath @ House of Blues Sunset

Sean Paul @ House of Blues Anaheim.

My Morning Jacket, Z (ATO/RCA), at Music Box Theater at Henry Fonda (L.A.)
: No less an authority than Cameron Crowe, who cast the band against type in Elizabethtown playing a rousing “Free Bird” at a memorial service, has dubbed leader Jim James the most dynamic frontman in contemporary rock, and it’s hard to disagree. The band’s acclaimed new album sees the Louisville, KY-based group make a hard left stylistic turn away from their genial, jam-band roots into something more atmospheric, psychedelic and reverb-drenched, much in the manner of Wilco and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and, all of a sudden, Rolling Stone is calling them America’s answer to Radiohead. They always were closer to brooding Dixie groups like R.E.M., than they were to southern boogie bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, which is a joke Cameron made explicit by having them do perhaps the ultimate confederate anthem. Their live set at the Music Box started with the very first song on the album, “Worldless Chorus,” which created a lush wall of Coldplay-like sound, punctuated by James’ high-pitched muezzin-like wail. “What a Wonderful Man” and "Anytime" evoke the woozy, garage-rock swagger of vintage Replacements and the plaintive “Lay Low” is reminiscent of the country-soul fusion of The Band, while the spacey “Dondante” could have come off Dark Side of the Moon or Marquee Moon. Live, it’s all about the Crazy Horse guitar attack of James and new guitarist Carl Broemel, their hair swirling like freak flags flying, though there are still songs like the reggae-fied “Off The Record,” which, thanks to its interpolation of the noirish pulp fiction surf riff from “Hawaii 5-0,” keeps buzzing in your brain the day after.

Patti Smith at the Troubadour (L.A.): Celebrating the 30th anniversary release of her groundbreaking debut Horses, New York’s punk poetess hit L.A. with longtime cohort Lenny Kaye on guitar and 18-year-old daughter Jessie on keyboards in tow for an intimate performance that recalled her earliest performances reading poetry at St. Mark’s Church and new wave mecca C.B.G.B. She immediately pushed my nostalgia button by reading “Piss Factory,” the first single I bought on Mer Records at the famed midtown Gotham Bookstore upon returning to New York in 1974 to attend film school at Columbia. Joking that it was a true story, the still waif-thin bard re-enacts her days working on a New Jersey assembly line and dreaming of going to the city to reinvent herself, which she ended up doing in a historic manner. And while the show was advertised as a performance of Horses, Patti skipped around, interspersing versions of classics like “Gloria,” “Kimberly,” “Land,” “Free Money” and “Elegie,” with chestnuts like “Dancing Barefoot,” “People Have the Power” and the closing “Rock & Roll Nigger,” complete with obligatory clarinet screeching. Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea was brought on midway for a drop-dead version of “Birdland,” and hung around for the rest of the almost-three-hour show. The often-hilarious, but-just-as-often-meandering between-song banter again harkened back to her beginnings, and the show climaxed with Patti climbing up the stairs into the “VIP” section and leading the crowd in a fist-pumping finale. A unique rock & roll voice who never really cracked the mainstream, it’ll be interesting to see if Patti’s enthusiastic fandom and self-mythologizing are enough to get her inducted into the hallowed halls of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She and Blondie are both on the final list of 15 nominees, and wouldn’t it be great if the two very diverse divas of New York’s punk-rock explosion received their honors at the same time? That would be a happy beginning.

Bee Season (Fox Searchlight): Another in a string of recent films about dysfunctional upper and middle-class intellectual families, though distinctly without the mordant humor of The Weather Man and The Squid and the Whale, and with a little more dime-store psychology to boot. Based on the novel by Myla Goldberg, with a screenplay by Jake and Maggie’s mom, Columbia University development psych major Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, about a child spelling prodigy, Bee Season isn’t quite as entertaining as Spellbound, the documentary about the same subject, but then it doesn't try to be. Co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel (who did the creepy Tilda Swinton movie Deep End) have something else in mind here. They zero in on the cracks in the façade of this nice Jewish family, headed by a very non-Jewish Richard Gere as a Berkeley religion professor and his converted Catholic wife Juliette Binoche, quickly losing her grip on reality, that erupt when it’s discovered their daughter (marvelous first-timer Flora Cross) has what appears a God-given talent to spell. That drives once-favorite son (played by director Anthony Minghella’s darkly handsome son Max) into the arms of the Hare Krishna movement and sexy recruiter Kate Bosworth, and wife Binoche into breaking and entering homes to steal objects as she tries to physically put together the pieces of her shattering household. Gere evokes Jewish mysticism and the original, pre-Madonna Cabala in trying to develop his daughter’s gift, which is compared to having a direct conversation with God. And while the film moves along at its own stubborn pace, you have to appreciate its theme of spelling acumen as a path to transcendence, especially in an age when correct grammar and punctuation, let alone spelling, have been relegated to also-ran status on the information superhighway.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Warner Bros./IMAX): Haven’t seen a Harry Potter movie since the first one, which wasn’t half-bad, nor have I read the books, so I can’t possibly convey the enthusiasm of those echo boomers for whom this is their Star Wars. The fourth installment, directed by Englishman Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco), with a screenplay by Steve Kloves, continues the darker bent of Alfonso Cuaron’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with our hero Harry continuing to be dogged by the evil Lord Voldemort, delightfully and all too briefly played by a noseless Ralph Fiennes. You don’t really need to know the background to enjoy this story, which is basically Andy Hardy Goes to College with warlocks, witches and dragons instead of beer blasts, fraternities and football. Daniel Radcliffe’s now-teenage Potter continues to register peevishness, anguish and wonder with a single expression, looking more like Michael J. Fox than ever, though the rest of the cast shines, especially Emma Watson as Hermione. Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane and Miranda Richardson all chew up the scenery with stylish panache, but it’s the special effects that keep things moving, especially on the big IMAX screen, as close to 3D as you can get without the glasses. Keep an eye out for Gary Oldman as the spirit Sirius Black, who speaks to Harry through the coals of a burning fire, and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker along with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway in the rock band playing at the Hogwarts dance.

Tail o’ the Pup: This West Hollywood hot dog stand, a family-owned and operated business, has been at its current location, at the corner of Beverly Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd., for the past 20 years and in the area for a total of 30, which, in rapidly changing L.A., is a lifetime. The place boasts photos of Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand posing with Eddie and his dad during the shooting of What’s Up Doc? It may not be as good as Pink’s, but you don’t have to wait 45 minutes for your chili dog, either, and they know what you usually order, too. The distinctive hot-dog-and-bun storefront, a cultural landmark if ever there was one, is being forced from its location in two weeks because of a planned housing project for lesbians and gays. Now, I’ve got nothing against that, but the family is being offered an empty lot in Westwood to relocate, which means packing up and starting all over in a location that is not nearly as convenient and accessible as the one they have now. Seems another instant of a mom-and-pop being given the heave-ho by bureaucrats. If you want to protest, call West Hollywood Councilman David Escovedo (323) 848-6460 and register your outrage.

Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson
Synopsis: Our young hero Harry Potter is now 14 years old and is set to leave his Muggle relatives in a couple of weeks to return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But one night Harry has a disturbing vision. Knowing that Lord Voldemort and his sinister familiars — the Death Eaters — are out to get him, Harry is understandably on edge. He contacts his godfather, Sirius Black, for help.
Thoughts: Oh yeah baby, finally the next installment of Harry Potter. This one is supposed to be the scariest and the darkest, and you bet I’ll be there opening—hey, I even convinced the girlfriend to come see it with me!!!

Walk the Line
Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Patrick, Ginnifer Goodwin, Shelby Lynne
Synopsis: This biopic about Johnny Cash stars Phoenix as the legendary country icon and focuses on the singer's early career in Memphis, including his struggles with drug addiction. Witherspoon stars as his wife and bandmate, June Carter Cash.
Never been a huge fan of Johnny Cash and I don’t know his whole story, but this movie looks good and it also looks like we have another contender for a bunch of Oscars. The buzz has been pretty amazing about the performances by Joaquin and Reese.

The future's so Light, they gotta wear shades. (6/10a)
The GOAT (6/10a)
He's a five o’clock in the morning guy. (6/10a)
It's dazzling. (6/10a)
Action Jackson (6/7a)
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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