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If Randy Moss bending over and making believe he’s rubbing his tush against the goal post is offensive, what about the cheerleaders, the Coors twins, the sexual dysfunction ads, the violent hits, the Ashlee Simpson halftime shows?
A WEAKEND PLANNER THAT SHOOTS
THE MOON AND BARES ALL
Get Ready for Some Football, Conor Oberst, Kiefer Sutherland, Huff, Kevin Spacey and John Mellencamp
You won’t find us calling Randy Moss "disgusting" for his trou-dropping pantomime after scoring a TD in last week’s Vikings-Packers game. Hey, that’s why he’s called a split end, folks. And last time we checked, it was still a "game," meant to amuse, entertain and further rouse the crowd. If Moss bending over and making believe he’s rubbing his tush against the goal post is offensive, what about the cheerleaders, the Coors twins, the sexual dysfunction ads, the violent hits, the Ashlee Simpson halftime shows? Don’t you want your weekend gladiators to show some bravado, some exuberance, some, unh, cheek? We know we do. It’s what’s made the WWE, not to mention the NFL, the popular sporting institutions they are today. So, in the spirit of giving back, we offer our own rear-guard, ass-frontwards salute to a jam-packed Weakend Planner.

CALENDAR
Friday (1/14)
7:30 p.m.
Shaq Diesel
returns to the Staples Center with his Miami Heat for the final time this year to battle the Los Angeles Clippers.

7:30pm
Not interested in going to a basketball game, but still like sports, check out Coach Carter starring Samuel Jackson. The buzz on this movie has been really good, plus we are recommending it because Je-c’s cousin Mike Tollin produced it. So show some love, if you even care.

Saturday (1/15)
1:30 p.m.

The NFL Playoffs: The games continue with an AFC match-up between the Jets and the Steelers. CanBig Ben keep his undefeated streak alive when it really counts?

3 p.m.
Go check out Elektra starring Jennifer Garner. We know Daredevil sucked, but we think this one’s going to be good. When it comes down to it, Jennifer Garner kicks ass and she is wearing tight clothes most of the movie. Yowza!!!

4 p.m.
Love hip-hop? Love spoken word? Love Hip-Hop? You should be at the Kodak Theater then to check out Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam. There is also another show time at 9 p.m.

5 p.m.
NFC match-up between the Falcons and the Rams. This has the makings of a high-scoring affair considering both teams play indoors. Look for Atlanta QB Michael Vick to have a big game.

8 p.m.
Tsunami Relief Telethon:
On all NBC stations

8 p.m.
Arcade Fire: Indie stalwarts from Montreal that have insiders buzzing at the Troubadour. If you don’t have tickets, you’re out of luck, because it’s sold out.

9:30 p.m.
Art throb @ Blue Space (NW corner of Hollywood and Western about four doors down): Be there because the best f-ing DJ-Ned will be working it. It’s going to be lots of fun. Art, music, booze, cheap people, the works.

11:30 p.m.
The Killers on Saturday Night Live with host Topher Grace (yes, you all know who will be watching this). Topher fills in for the nerve-damaged Jennifer Garner. If we say "Jennifer Garner" one more time, we are going to kill ourselves.

Sunday (1/16)
10 a.m.

If you feel like getting up this early on a Sunday, check out an NFC matchup between the Vikings and
Eagles
. The Eagles are a little banged-up and haven’t played a meaningful game in weeks. Will they be rusty? Will Randy Moss pull another controversial stunt? Only way to find out is if you get your lazy ass up out of bed.

11 a.m.
Brunch at Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica: Splurge a little and spend your Sunday morning overlooking
the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Better take advantage before we get hit with another storm.

1:30 p.m.
In a game that has been anticipated all season long (or at least since the season opener won by the Pats), Peyton Manning and the Colts take on the Patriots in a clash at Foxboro. Manning has yet to win a big game, and he just won NFL MVP, so is this his year to finally break through?

7:30 p.m.
Cher: Living Proof The Farewell Tour
@ Bakersfield Centennial Garden & Convention Ctr (661) 852-7777: The Farewell Tour that just doesn’t want to say farewell. This baby’s into its fourth year. That’s cool. I suck at goodbyes, too.

8 p.m.
The 62nd Annual Golden Globes
(NBC): The Hollywood Foreign Press have become quite the predictors of the soon-to-follow Oscars. Tonight’s Cecil B. Demille Award goes to Robin Williams. I predict energy in his acceptance speech. Ya think?

8 p.m.
Arcade Fire at the Troubadour: Double show, but both sold out (note to self: Arcade Fire shows sell out FAST)

Upcoming:
Monday (1/17): Martin Luther King Day
Monday (1/17) Music for Relief @the Wiltern (3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.): Comics and musicians unite for a show benefiting the tsunami relief effort. Jack Black, Tenacious D, Beck, Will Ferrell, Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, among others.

POPCULT TOP 10
1. NFL Playoffs: Last week’s J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets-Chargers game featured the former’s historic bad mojo against the latter’s legendary sangfroid, with bad mojo barely prevailing despite a game-ending penalty that prolonged the agony and an overtime kick that just sailed wide right in a persistent SoCal downpour. With Chad Pennington’s throwing arm getting stronger by the game, and a double-pronged rushing attack featuring Curtis Martin and Lamont Jordan, Herm Edwards’ Gang Green enter the battle against the mighty, mighty 15-1 Steelers as a 9-point underdog, but talking a big game. With amazing rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger, who has won 14 in a row, in a playoff game for the first time, there could be chinks in the Steel Curtain. That said, if the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets can pull it off, it’d be one of the biggest upsets in NFL history, right up there with Namath’s guarantee against the similar one-loss Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, when the Jets originally sold their soul to the Devil. We’ll see. As for the other games, if Indy Mac Daddy QB Peyton Manning doesn’t beat Bill Belichik’s Pats this time, then he officially has the genius coach lodged inside his cerebellum for the duration. As for the beleaguered NFC, wouldn’t it be hilarious if a pair of 8-8 teams in the Rams (who have to beat the Falcons) and the Vikings (who play in Philadelphia) met in the championship game of the once-dominant conference? It’s not so far-fetched. (Roy Trakin)

2. Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (Saddle Creek): Aging Boomer rockcrit types have been dubbing 24-year-old wunderkind Conor Oberst the "new Dylan," which has historically been as much a curse as a blessing, and in this case, maybe even a bit misleading. The Omaha native certainly has his similarities to Bobby Z, particularly on this country-inflected disc, one of two separate, simultaneous releases from his Bright Eyes collective. "First Day of My Life" is more than reminiscent of "Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)," while the rambling "Another Travelin’ Song" could have come straight off Highway 61. But the first single, "Lua," which actually debuted on the singles sales chart 1-2 last November along with "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)," from Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, is more intimate in the manner of Neil Young. A chilling tale of the transience of a love affair compared to the effects of a drug wearing off, the lyrics nail it on the head: "Cause what is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never is." Meanwhile, twangy, plaintive songs like "Train Under Water" and "Old Soul Song" recall Gram Parsons, while the politically explicit "At the Bottom of Everything" has the folkie feel of Phil Ochs’ "Outside a Small Circle of Friends." Oberst isn’t really the new Bob Dylan, because the cultural circumstances that created the Zimster as a cultural bellweather are long gone, and don’t look like they’re coming back too soon. That a promising talent like Oberst chooses to turn his back on the mainstream record industry, and seemingly vice versa, may be the most telling aspect of all. (RT)

3. 24: A TV show that many thought wouldn’t even make it to a second season this week launched its Day Four incarnation with a pair of two-hour specials. Although the plots have grown ever more unbelievable and outlandish, as does the stereotyping of Middle Eastern Muslim terrorist types, star/executive producer Kiefer Sutherland manages to tie it all together with his grim, unrelenting drive to do whatever it takes, legal or otherwise, to save the world. Everyone talks in hushed tones and the entire vibe is of a world ready to explode in the blink of an eye, or in this case, 24 hours. The new season got off to a running start that catapulted the viewer immediately into the middle of the action, though many fans are complaining about the lack of familiar faces. With Dennis Haysbert’s somber President, Elisha Cuthbert’s foxy daughter and Penny Johnson’s deceitful Sherry Palmer (now dead) no longer aboard, the cast still includes perpetually harassed computer expert Mary Lynn Rajskub (of Larry Sanders fame) and introduces House of Sand and Fog’s remarkable Shohreh Aghdashloo as an incredibly creepy terrorist. (RT)

4. Huff: Showtime finally has a series that can hold its own against HBO. This story of an L.A. psychiatrist whose own life is coming apart at the seams superficially resembles Six Feet Under in its depiction of upper-middle-class drugging and creeping paranoia, but has a spin all its own. That’s in no small part due to pitch-perfect characterizations by Golden Globe-nominated Oliver Platt as a hotshot, womanizing, self-medicating attorney, Blythe Danner as an acerbic, sharp-tongued mother-in-law and young Anton Yelchin as the preternaturally mature teenage son Bird. Everyman Hank Azaria, who seemed the rather bland fulcrum around which the crazies gathered at first, has grown into the harried professional, desperately trying to hang on to bourgeous conventions while all around him falls apart. It’s down to its last three episodes, but try to catch it in repeats. An acquired taste worth acquiring. (RT)

5. Beyond the Sea: Star/director/writer Kevin Spacey’s vanity project is exactly that… And he couldn’t have picked a more egotistical, vain subject than entertainer Bobby Darin, who soared to the top of the pop music biz, only to die of a heart attack in his mid-30s, a remnant from a childhood bout of rheumatic fever. Unlike Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Spacey doesn’t try to inhabit Darin, but creates an impressionistic, fantasy figure, even having another character tell him, as many critics have, that he’s "too old" to play the part. A combination of New York, New York and All That Jazz, the film paints Darin’s life as a series of artificial, theatrical, self-consciously aware moments, especially his courtship and marriage to Kate Bosworth’s picture-perfect Sandra Dee. That said, Spacey proves adept at conjuring Darin’s insouciant on-stage mannerisms and simply nails his vocals, singing all the songs himself. And while you wonder why he put so much energy into a musical figure who seems rather marginal today, that same commitment is what gives the movie its disturbing sense of gravitas. Extra points for showing Ahmet Ertegun with hair. (RT)

6. Spanglish: In comparison to the finely tuned upper-middle-class angst of Huff, James L. Brooks’ ode to suburban L.A. multi-culturalism is one of the year’s biggest missteps. An attempt to contrast the earthy wisdom of Latina live-in help with the crass materialism and fast-track aspirations of the well-to-do, the movie attempts to titillate and teach a lesson at the same time, and, if you pardon the allusion, the results get lost in translation. Some of the individual performances, such as Adam Sandler as the impossibly understanding husband, Sarah Steele’s overweight, wise-beyond-her-years daughter and Cloris Leachman as the slightly tipsy voice of reason mother-in-law, all put in outstanding turns. Unfortunately, the film’s two focal points, Tea Leoni’s harried, selfish wife and Paz Vega’s chattering, but ultimately compassionate live-in, don’t quite form enough of a contrast to clarify Brooks’ points, which remain muddled. Let’s just say this isn’t as good as it gets. (RT)

7. The North Mississippi All-Stars @ Mercy Lounge, Nashville: The brothers Dickinson—sons of legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson—have never been afraid to strip things down to their own gutbucket take on rock and soul. And their kinda soul is more swampy, Southern-fried double-baked country goodness than the r&b perfection that many think of. Where the Fat Possum blues records intersect with the blowed-up rock communion that's Jerry Lee Lewis at his leanest, they bring the beats to a boil, embroider with stinging guitars and serve up fat slices of musical cookdown so far beyond the components of melody and rhythm they're inherently primal. To understand root music's core value, organic from beneath the subconscious, this is required attending. (Holly Gleason)

8. Oceans’s 12: Those critics who pointed out this lazy-hazy-crazy sequel is closer in spirit to the original Rat Pack version than the slick caper of the first flick have their finger right on the pulse. Steven Soderbergh seems to lose interest in such niceties as coherent plot and character development in this whimsical superstar romp, though the screenplay’s in-jokes and banter make it seem like a 20/20 special with Diane Sawyer rather than a major motion picture. The film’s best joke is a segment that involves Julia Roberts being mistaken for Julia Roberts, with a cameo appearance by a befuddled Bruce Willis thrown in for good measure. If only the entire movie were that clever, this piffle wouldn’t seem to evaporate into thin air as soon as it was over. (RT)

9. John Mellencamp, Words & Music (Island): An overview that paints the populist songwriter known as "Little Bastard" as a coursing vein of broken-knuckled, blue-collar passion and decency. To follow his career trajectory is to understand meaning can pack a great hook and a walloping beat and a groove does not preclude the human condition. Mellencamp taps the pulse and urgency of everyday life—whether it’s the longing "Ain't Even Done With the Night," Lisa Germano's sparks-flying fiddle sawing through "Paper In Fire," the seaside roll of "Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)," the spare vulnerability of "Dance Naked" or the throbbing bass and musk-&-suede voice of Me'Shell N’degecello on "Wild Night." And when he digs in for the farmers on "Rain on the Scarecrow," the African-American "Jackie Brown," the blue-collar insurrecto "Authority Song," the shrinking American Dream "Pink Houses" or the wake-up warning "Now More Than Ever," he's positively heroic. Under-rated as a populist poet. Be advised. (HG)

10. www.pasterecommends.com: What can you say about Paste magazine, beyond they know how to profile the tasty music? Well, they're also not shy about weighing in on why—and with their new site up, they're quick to plug you in to the records you need to know about right now. Click in, print out, head to Tower (or wherever fine music is sold). (HG)

TRAKIN’S PICKS TO FLICK
Coach Carter (Paramount/MTV)
Premise:
Lean on Me meets Hoosiers. Tough love coach benches his entire undefeated squad for underachieving academically, based on a true story, naturally.
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Ri’chard, Ashanti, Rob Brown, Debbi Morgan
Director: Thomas Carter
(Save the Last Dance, Metro, Equal Justice, Swing Kids)
Thumbs Up: Samuel Jackson getting medieval on his basketball team’s asses gotta be worth something.
Thumbs Down: Will it drown in a sea of sports movie cliches?
Soundtrack: Capitol Records album features Twista w/Faith Evans, Ciara, Fabolous, Chingy, Kanye West and Red CafÈ, among others
Website: www.coachcartermovie.com

Elektra (Fox)
Premise:
Sequel to Daredevil with Jennifer Garner as the Marvel Comics-based Greek martial arts-trained assassin who is assigned to kill a man and his 13-year-old daughter, only to turn into their protector against the evil ninja hordes.
Stars: Garner, Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee, Terence Stamp
Director:
Rob Bowman (The X-Files: Fight the Future, Reign of Fire)
Thumbs Up: How bad could watching Garner battle ninja warriors in a body suit be?
Thumbs Down: Not good enough to sit through what looks like a pretty generic martial arts movie.Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande album features score by Christophe Beck
Website:
www.elektramovie.com

Racing Stripes (Warner Bros.)
Premise:
Talking animal comedy about a zebra raised on a farm who thinks he’s a horse and dreams of racing in the Kentucky Derby.
Stars: Bruce Greenwood, M. Emmet Walsh, Wendie Malick and the voices of Frankie Muniz, Mandy Moore, David Spade, Steve Harvey, Snoop Dogg, Jeff Foxworthy, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Clarke Duncan, Dustin Hoffman and Whoopie Goldberg
Director: Frederik Du Chau (Quest for Camelot)
Thumbs Up: Gotta be good for a "hee-haw" or two.
Thumbs Down: Can you think of the last "good" talking horse movie?
Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande album includes new music from Sting, Bryan Adams and composer Mark Isham
Website: www.racingstripesmovie.com


 



ANOTHER BILLIE BANGER? (UPDATE)
Are you free Wednesday afternoon? (11/12a)
BIEBER BY CHRISTMAS?
How's that for a tease, Bieber Nation? (11/12a)
NEAR TRUTHS: MEET
THE NEW BOSSES
Not the same as the old bosses (11/12a)
CMA CENTERPIECE
CARRIE UNDERWOOD
This sure feels like her moment. (11/12a)
WHO'S GETTING ZERVAS?
It's down to two bidders. (11/12a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
ZERVAS STATION
Who's going to land the hottest unsigned property in music?
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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