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Now’s the time we can make our mark. So long as John Ashcroft doesn’t have our tax returns audited, that is. Which reminds me, I sure hope Bruce Springsteen kept his receipts.
A WEAKEND PLANNER THAT BEATS GETTING HIT WITH A BLAST OF PEPPER SPRAY IN THE FACE
Post-Election Blues, Surf’s Up for Brian, Jimmy Eat World Get Political, Rilo Kiley Charms, The Dolls Survive and Knopfler Takes on Liston
OK, people. We all know this country is divided. But complaining doesn’t get you anywhere. One thing you have to say about this incoming Republican administration. It should rev the counterculture into high gear. Trouble is, we have to find ways of speaking to those other than ourselves. With the pop market so balkanized, and everyone locked into their special interests, we really have set up barriers between one another. Remember, the best art stretches across the entire spectrum of humanity in its universality. Let’s look to meld things rather than continue to draw lines between them. Now’s the time we can make our mark. So long as John Ashcroft doesn’t have our tax returns audited, that is. Which reminds me, I sure hope Bruce Springsteen kept his receipts.

Friday (11/5)
3 p.m.

www.distopia.com/wake/#/: Still feeling depressed/terrified/mortified about our election results? Hit up this website. We think it will allow you to express those feelings.

4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Cosmetic Enhancement Expo
@Los Angeles Convention Center (1201 S. Figueroa St. (213) 741-1151): This looks too good to be true. Oh wait, it probably IS too good to be true. Beautysurg.com’s three day showcase of all the latest industry trends and offerings: teach-ins, panels, demonstrations, 200 booths and live performances. The previous hush-hush world of plastic surgery is no longer, thanks to all of our lovely reality shows and Nip/Tuck. Spontaneous lip plumping, anyone?

7 p.m.
Coheed and Cambria:
Village Voice says they’re the premier sci-fi emo band in the country, or something like that. Anyway, catch ’em rockin’ the House of Blues in Vegas, baby!

Sparta: The other (and some insist better) half of At the Drive-In are in Houston, TX, for a big show at Numbers.

8 p.m.
Say The Word
@the Skirball Center (2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. (310) 440-4500): The folks at the Un-Cabaret present their weekly rotating line-up of great comedy writers reading their own original work. Beth Lapides (Un-Cabaret, NPR), Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City), Peter Mehlman (Seinfeld, It’s Like, You Know…"), etc.

9 p.m.
Soviet, Loma Lynda, Telecast and Fielding @The Derby (4500 Los Feliz Blvd.): Discriminating indie rock for your listening pleasure.

TBA
Death Cab For
Cutie @the Wiltern (3790 Wilshire Blvd.): Indie darling Ben Gibbard leads one of his two cult bands (Postal Service is the other) into L.A. for an eagerly anticipated performance.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
with Lucero @the El Rey Theater 5515 Wilshire Blvd. Don’t miss the headliners’ blend of catchy, energetic indie-rock with a bit of punk, pop and mod mix-ins.

10:30 p.m.
Block Party
at Sixteen-fifty (1650 Schrader Blvd.): Rumor is Peaches will DJ.

11 p.m.
Simplify
@the Whisky: Check out these Phoenix rockers. They are said to have an amazing live show with a lot of energy. Word also has it that our own Je-c might be managing them.

Shrek 2: Don’t forget to go out and get it on DVD today, great for the whole family.

Saturday (11/6)
12 p.m.
Bloodys! :
Brunch is for wusses. Go direct to Bloody Marys. More specifically, go directly to Birds (5925 Franklin Ave.). And even MORE specifically, get rad bartender Laurie, to make ’em for you … way spicey!

2:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
All Tomorrow’s Parties
@the Queen Mary in Long Beach: Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, the Walkmen, the Black Heart Procession and more.

7 p.m.
The 2nd annual All Access Magazine Awards Show
@the Key Club. Bands featured to perform at the show include THUNDHERSTRUCK, Carbon 9, OPM, Hypnogaja and many more. It is 18 and over and tickets are $15. The coolest thing about this show is that our own JJ Garcia hosts it!!!

7:30 p.m.
Coheed and Cambria:
Continuing to rock and RULE at Soma in San Diego!

7:30 p.m.
The Incredibles: The newest from the amazig Pixar studios opens this weekend and we highly recommend it. One of the most anticipated animated movies since Toy Story. It looks to have the most innovative animation yet and is supposed to be action-packed, not the typical Pixar lovey-dovey crap. Just kidding, we love that stuff, but if you’re looking for sentiment in this movie, you probably won’t find it.

8 p.m.
dredg
(w/Chevelle): Rocking it in the Rockies at Denver, CO’s high-altitude Cervantes Ballroom.

9 p.m.
The Comedy-Esque Show
@the Cinegrill (7000 Hollywood Blvd., (323) 769-7269): Check out this hot new show billing itself as "Post Modern Burlesque" with big (not fat) comics along for the ride. This week’s headliners include Wayne Federman and Rick Overton. Tickets here.

Bleu: In Paris?? Lucky, bitch/dick! Go see him! He’s a brilliant artist playing the Les Inrockuptibles Festival. And if you are in fact in Paris … we recommend staying there.

TBA
Limbeck
@the Galaxy

Sun. (11/7)
10 a.m.
Steelers vs. Eagles
: For all you hardcore NFL fans out there, this may be the game of the year so far. After knocking off the undefeated Patriots and ending their NFL record 21 game winning streak the Steelers and rookie sensation Ben Roethlisberger look to hand Philly and Donovan McNab its first loss. This one has all the makings of a classic and it won’t be easy for the Eagles to go into Heinz Field and win.


2 p.m.-10 p.m.
All Tomorrow’s Parties:
Raging on @the Queen Mary in Long Beach with the Flaming Lips, The Cramps, The Shins, Built to Spill, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Peaches and more.

5 p.m.
Catch up on some weekend flicks: Alfie, Team America and Ray.

7 p.m.
Sparta:
On a roll! Catch them in Tampa, FL @Masquerade. Oh, and say hi to all the pretty Republicans.

8 p.m.
The Simpsons
: Back for their 16th season, and you can catch the first episode this Sunday on FOX. D’oh. And if you haven’t yet seen Van Arno’s brilliant Airhead parody of the show, please do so now.

8:30 p.m.
Arrested Development:
Emmy-award winning BRILLIANT show kicks off its second season in a new time slot. If you missed last season, buy the DVD! Or just start watching tonight and catch up later. Do not miss this favorite of critics favorite and regular folks, too. They just got nominated for a People’s Choice award.

9 p.m.
My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss: For all you reality TV freaks out there—sad to say that includes us—check it out. We aren’t saying it’s going to be good, but honestly, what else do you have to do on Sunday night?

Gosling, Nude, Roam and Space Mtn @Spaceland: Don’t miss. It’s gonna be a crazy fun night! Expect all the kiddies to be out for good f-ing music and (the one and only) Jean’s birthday.

Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork (CBS): Old music industry pal Terry Anzaldo and brother Anthony are the executive producers of this show with Charlene Tilton, Henry Winkler and partner Michael Levitt. It might be worth a laugh as the old gang, including Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal, Linda Gray and Tilton, get back together again, only to discover the whole thing was a dream they had in the shower, or something like that. Who killed J.R. anyway?

Upcoming Events:
Mon. (11/8): dredg (w/Chevelle
) in San Francisco @Grand Ballroom

Mon. (11/8) Sparta @Revolution in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Mon. (11/8) I Can Make A Mess blows up @ this in-store performance in W. Babylon, NY @ Looney Tunes (631) 587-7722.

Tue. (11/9) dredg (w/Chevelle) in Santa Cruz @the Catalyst

Tue. (11/9) I Can Make A Mess continues to clean up w/in-store perf. in Fords, NJ @Vintage Vinyl. (732) 225-7717

Tue. (11/9) Sparta @House of Blues in Orlando, FL

Wed. (11/10) Sparta @Masquerade in Atlanta, GA

Thur. (11/11) Sparta @Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, NC

Fri. (11/12) @ 7:30 p.m.: Friday Nights at the Getty: Pretty Babies (Zooey Deschanel & Samantha Shelton headline an old-fashioned cabaret feat. songs from the ‘20s and ‘30s with a full back-up band. @the Harold M. Williams Auditorium & it’s FREE.

Tue. (11/16) @ 7 p.m.: Hoobastank in Kansas City @the Beaumont Club

Tue. (11/16) @ 8 p.m. All-Ivy Comedy @the Hollywood Improv (323) 651-2583: Top promoter Lesley Wolff continues booking strong nights of stand up at the Improv. This show features Suzanne Whang, Marty Bellasfsky & Mike Phirman.

Wed. (11/17) Hoobastank continues to bring it in Minneapolis @the Quest

POPCULT TOP 10
1. The Presidential Election:
Enough already. You can stop your sobbing. It’s just a shame because Kerry brought in Carville and the Clinton people just a little too late in the game, but they almost managed to frame the election as a referendum on the Bush presidency, rather than on morality. One need only take a look at the voting map to see that the U.S. is divided almost like that famous New Yorker cover, with pockets on both coasts and in the industrial midwest, with everywhere else fly-over country, or, as in that widely e-mailed image, "Jesus Land." Where people apparently don’t watch TV, see movies, listen to music, read books or newspapers, but do attend church regularly. The Puritan strain in American culture still remains potent after all these years, so we might as well get used to it, since the reverberations from the most partisan election since McGovern-Nixon in 1972 will be felt for years. (Roy Trakin)

2. Brian Wilson at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, L.A.: It was a bittersweet evening at the magnificent Frank O. Gehry-designed downtown venue, with the first intimations of a Bush victory putting a damper on Brian’s local premiere of his long-delayed paean to counterculture ideals, SMiLE. Surrounded by his loving troupe of musicians, many drawn from L.A.’s own Wondermints, Wilson began the show hootenanny-style with an hour-long acoustic rundown from the very first song he ever wrote, "Surfer Girl" through the celebration of "California Girls." I was seated next to the BlastersDave Alvin, who expressed anxiety over the election outcome, then intimated, if Kerry won, he’d name Clinton Secretary of State and put him in charge of securing peace in the Middle East. Not a bad idea, and Brian’s note-perfect rendition of SMiLE, and especially "Surf’s Up," his ode to "being a speck on the ocean," imbued the audience of the possibilities. As animated as I’d ever seen him, Brian even SMiLEd on-stage, played bass for "Help Me Rhonda" and "Fun, Fun, Fun," and acted out each song with often-hilarious hand gestures. The real gems, though, were little-performed songs like "Marcella," "Add Some Music to Your Day" and the brilliant, overlooked "Sail On Sailor." With collaborator Van Dyke Parks looking on, Wilson fought back the SMiLE curse as valiantly as the Boston Red Sox vanquished theirs, making for a triumphant, cathartic, therapeutic evening not just for Brian, but for everyone lucky enough to be there. (RT)

3. Jimmy Eat World, Futures (Interscope): Emo is nothing but post-punk power pop, equal parts Nirvana’s soft-verse-loud-chorus grunge dynamics, Weezer’s buzzsaw hooks, the Replacements’ rambunctious alienation and the Ramones’ formalist/ minimalist take on the wall of sound. Produced by Gil Norton, J.E.W.’s (interesting acronym, right?) latest is all that and more, an album that’s not only hyper-romantic, but in its own way, political. What better way to express our post-election malaise than singer Jim Adkins’ opening lines in the title track? "I always believed in futures/I hope for better/In November/I try the same losing lucky numbers/It could be a cold night." Indeed it was. Elsewhere, catchy pop ("Kill," "The World You Love") co-exists with U2-like heart-on-the-sleeve rockers ("Pain" and "Polaris"), but the lush ballads ("Drugs or Me" and "Night Drive," about making out in the front seat), which could easily be mistaken for Air Supply, are the highlights. That’s where this Mesa, AZ, band prove the spiritual heirs of Brian Wilson and Phil Spector as filtered through Jesus & Mary Chain. May their "Futures" be a little more promising than John Kerry’s. (RT)

4. Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute Records): Yet another hummable anti-Bush anthem, "It’s a Hit," begins this album with pop ingenue Jenny Lewis, oozing sensuality, crooning: "Any chimp can play human for a day/And use his opposable thumbs to iron his uniform/And run for office on election day." It comes almost too easy for these Hollywood show biz kids (Lewis and songwriting partner Blake Sennett were both child actors), who approach a variety of genres (pop, country, rock) with impressive facility. As alums of the chic Saddle Creek label, the band looks poised to go to the next level with its third album. "Does He Love You?" is written like a letter from a woman trying to convince the reader (and herself) her married lover is leaving his wife and moving to California to be with her, climaxed with a dramatic swelling of strings. "Portions for Foxes" is a Pretenders-style sultry rocker, with the sing-along refrain, "Baby, I’m bad news." She’s anything but bad news in "I Never," country music for people who never listen to country. If Lewis is not a star soon, rock may well be deader than we thought. (RT)

5. David Byrne: Live at Union Chapel (Rhino Home Video): About halfway through this concert shot at a magnificent church in London in 2002, I wondered why Byrne couldn’t have performed these songs, which include Talking Heads classics like "And She Was," "Once in a Lifetime," "Life During Wartime" and "Road to Nowhere," with his old band. Sure, these particular musicians allow him to perform the world music he has always been drawn to, but once he brings on the string section and expands it into a big band, it’s reminiscent of his large-scale Stop Making Sense era. By the time he leans into the celebratory "What a Day That Was" from The Catherine Wheel, his Broadway collaboration with dancer Twyla Tharp, you’re more than willing to forgive him all his eccentricities in trying to make music his way. With his hair now silver gray and the stained glass backdrop behind the stage, Byrne comes off as a hyperkinetic minister, leading his congregation in the celebration of rhythm, capped up with his straight-faced cover of Whitney Houston’s "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)." No longer Time magazine’s cover boy for the renaissance of music and art, Byrne is now free to pursue his eclectic cultural tastes, which range from opera (his version of Verdi’s "Un Di Felice") to ephemeral Top 40 pop. (RT)

6. The War Room (Vidmark/Trimark DVD): D.A. Pennebaker's 1994 documentary about the spin machine inside the first Clinton/Gore campaign. All the heroism, all the mortality, all the churning stomach ups and downs that go into creating a perception, dealing with a reality that's careening out of control and the gray areas in between. James Carville as an opinion shaping force of passion balanced by the ever-cool, ever-collected George Stephanopoulos as the even-keeled message precisionist are the pistons that power what is believed and cast off… and this is the moment where they emerge in all their defining glory. The story of a campaign, yes. But more importantly, it's a playbook for how we come to see the message we take as the truth. So much brokered, bartered, marginalized or miscast to reinforce another perspective. For $9, it's an education in mythology, sociology, government, media and human nature mastered and surrendered to. (Holly Gleason)

7. The Return of the New York Dolls: Live from Royal Festival Hall 2004 (Sanctuary DVD): Thank god for Morrissey and Sanctuary Records for convincing what was left of the New York Dolls to regroup and perform this show in London, which has led to concerts in both New York (at Little Steve Van Zandt’s Garage Rock Festival on Randall’s Island) and at L.A.’s Avalon (reviewed in Weakend Planner). Leader David Johansen’s well-worn face is looking almost as lined as his doppelganger Mick Jagger, but he’s as spunky as ever, rolling his eyes and singing classics like "Personality Crisis," "Trash" and "Human Being" as if his life depended on it, and it may well. Sidekick Syl Sylvain still has his Noo Yawkese down pat, with only a jowly visage giving away his age, his frizzy ‘fro peaking out from underneath his Lennon-esque cap. A ghostly Arthur "Killer" Kane is fawned over by the other two, looking every bit like a man who would be dead within a couple of months, making his performance all the more satifsying. The Dolls shoulda been as big as Kiss and Aerosmith, two groups made in their image and, for my money, they’ve aged a lot more gracefully than the Stones, the band they most resembled. (RT)

8. Mojo November Issue: A multi-faceted examination of cover subject Johnny Cash along with a bonus CD of Cash covers that includes Steve Earle's "Hardin Wouldn't Run," Waylon Jennings' "Folsom Prison Blues," Shelby Lynne's "I Walk the Line" and Nick Cave & The Bad Seed's "The Singer." Whether it's the Dylan/Cash dynamic, the amazing love affair with June Carter, the troubled years or a strong overview of the career, this British music magazine embraces the Man in Black and does it right. In addition, they give punk catalysts the Ramones the same multi-artist, various perspective treatment on the heels of Johnny Ramone's death, offering a perspective on a band that was never as successful as they were notorious. The magazine proceeds to ground their tremendous impact by way of the Phil Spector End of the Century sessions, Johnny's last (brutally candid) interview, the early days and the essential releases. Maybe the best pure magazine magazine since Crawdaddy—and that's saying something. (HG)

9. Motorcycle Diaries: A valentine to Latin America, shot with such love for the natural backdrops that you get drawn into the beauty of a land that is our spiritual cousin, yet light years away from the way we've developed our America. Capturing the pivotal road trip across South America that helped galvanize noted revolutionary/insurrectionist Che Guevera's populist sensibility, the crystallization of a man of the people is deftly balanced with the natural sparring of a 23-year-old medical student being shown the world by his older best friend. And that's what this is at its soul: a best buddies road trip movie that merges On The Road with "Easy Rider" with references to (Gabriel Garcia) Lorca and (Pablo) Neruda. Subtitled, but it’s almost unnecessary as the sweeping camera work and attention to facial expression and detail tell the story beyond the dialogue. Visual poetry, the tableaus of the human soul and the inequities of lives never noted. (HG)

10. Mark Knopfler, Shangri-La (Warner Bros.): Though a brilliant guitarist who can etch with single notes and the amplitude of how they leave his instrument, the Dire Straits catalyst is an equally adept lyricist who draws moments, the tension of desire and desolation, with a deft hand. His voice may be an old barn with a hint of tentative resignation, but he's willing to walk through any emotion: joy, sorrow, want, bitterness, vulnerability. This is one of his more whispered efforts, but one that bobs and darts on shifting rhythmic tides with surrender. The songs move from the taut "Sucker Row," the sweetheart tender "You're All That Matters" and the foreboding swagger of "Song for Sonny Liston," which credits Nick Tosches' book about the notorious heavyweight champ for inspiration. (HG)

TRAKIN"S PICKS TO FLICK
The Incredibles
(Pixar/Disney)
Premise:
Dysfunctional superhero family forced into the civilian work force after a series of lawsuits are summoned back into action by the kidnapping of the clan’s father.
Stars: Craig T. Nelson
, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee, Wallace Shawn, Brad Bird
Director:
Brad Bird is the first non-Pixar house director to helm one of the studio’s films. He previously directed the Warner Bros. cult animated feature The Iron Giant and created the Krusty the Klown character on The Simpsons.
Thumbs Up:
Pixar’s track record is impeccable, and this one appears no exception, with Best Picture buzz even bubbling.
Thumbs Down:
First time Pixar has done a feature with human characters at the center.
Soundtrack:
Disney album features Michael Giacchino score.
Website: www.theincredibles.com

Alfie (Paramount)
Premise:
Based on the 1966 British film which marked Michael Caine’s emergence as an international star, it’s about a sexually prolific English playboy living in New York, whose series of one-night stands and affairs is threatened when one of his girlfriends gets pregnant.
Stars:
Jude Law, Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon, Omar Epps, Jane Krakowski, Graydon Carter, Renee Taylor, Gedde Watanabe
Director: Charles Shyer
(Father of the Bride, Baby Boom, The Affair of the Necklace)
Thumbs Up:
Cool cast, Law’s charisma and a critically praised soundtrack.
Thumbs Down:
How’s this going to play in this post-AIDS, post-feminist era? And is Jude Law just completely overexposed or what?
Soundtrack:
Virgin Records album features original songs by Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart, with a couple of renditions of the famed Bacharach/David theme song by Joss Stone.
Website:
www.alfiemovie.com

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO QUICK
Fade to Black
: Just in time for the Jay-Z media blitz, a feature-length documentary on the Jigga. For a man who announced his retirement months ago, the cat’s pretty busy, no?

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
THE CANDLES
Marketshare machers. (10/27a)
KENDRICK INKS WITH UMPG
Lamar enters the House of Jody. (10/27a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/27a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, PT. 8,761: SURGERY IN THE TIME OF COVID
Planning for an Election Day hopped up on painkillers. (10/28a)
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/28a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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