The bhindi-sporting ska queen with the dancefloor rap/pop bent is watching her solo LP Love Angel Music Baby have the same thundering street/suburb success No Doubt defined, proving that CHR can be musically stimulating as well as popular.


Who Needs March Madness When We’ve Got October Overload?
This weekend there are all kinds of reasons to stay on the couch, because we’re looking at a sports extravaganza the likes of which only occurs during the month of October. The Angels-White Sox ALCS (on Fox at 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday) is naturally getting tons of attention here in Cali, but of equal interest is Saturday afternoon’s matchup in South Bend, IN, between the Trojans of dominant Southern Cal and the resurgent Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

In terms of nationwide fan and media interest, the latest edition of this greatest of intersectional rivalries is indisputably the Game of the Year in college football. It pits the #1 Trojans, undefeated since 2003, against the #9 Irish, whose struggling program was instantly restored to big-time prominence by the brilliant New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. This game is loaded with subplots: Weis vs. SC Coach Pete Carroll, who has used his own NFL-derived knowledge to revive a dormant power; opposing QBs Matt Leinert, who won the Heisman last year, against Brady Quinn, who has taken to Weis’ sophisticated offense like a duck to water and could win a Heisman of his own if ND figures out a way to beat favored Southern Cal. That isn’t likely to happen, since Notre Dame won’t be able to stop SC’s high-powered offense, led by Leinert and the astounding running-back tandem of Reggie Bush and LenDale White. But nobody has yet managed to stop the Irish, either, whose only loss was an overtime 45-42 squeaker to Michigan State in which the Irish stormed back from a 21-point deficit. Look for this game to be a similarly high-scoring shootout, unless Carroll can come up with a defensive plan to derail Weis’ beautifully conceived offense. However it shakes out, this game will be the pigskin equivalent of Fischer vs. Spassky.

Now, as much as we would like to be totally cheery about the upcoming weekend, the flu bug has hit us at HITS hard, and it has taken most of us out. So please we advise you to stay in your house, don’t talk to, look at, smell, tongue, etc., anyone associated with HITS—and STAY HEALTHY. We’ll be on the couch.

Friday, Oct. 14th
Dredg in-store and signing @ Virgin Megastore, San Francisco

The Rocket Summer @ Webster Theatre /Underground, Hartford, CT (all ages)

Loose Goose Wine Festival @ Bridgeport Park, Santa Clarita. For all you wine enthusiasts out there, this is your playground. Goes all weekend.

The Black Dahlia Murder w/Between the Buried and Me, Cephalic Carnage and Into the Moat @ The Clubhouse, Tempe, AZ (all ages)

Coheed & Cambria w/Dredg and mewithoutyou @ The Warfield, San Francisco

Aimee Mann w/Teitur @ House of Blues Anaheim (all ages)

Slipknot w/As I Lay Dying and Unearth @ US Bank Arena, Cincinnati

Saturday, Oct. 15th
Fall Festival @ Farmers Market in L.A. (Fairfax and 3rd Street). There's the spinning demo, the wheat-weaving presentation, the cow-milking contest and banjos aplenty. Small fry can check out the marionettes, big fry can kick it up to the nighttime music and all fry can applaud (and stand way back from) the lively pie-eating competition. Also Sunday.

USC @ Notre Dame (NBC): What’s go great about big-time college football? Look no further.

Taste of Chinatown. Everyday in Chinatown feels like a frantic food festival. Crowds, storefront displays, yelling and screaming, cheap fresh produce, rickshaws -- what makes this day different? This year's second Taste of Chinatown (the first was in April) celebrates the Autumn Moon Festival, a harvest festival dating back 4,000 years to the Xia and Shang Dynasties. The second distinction is that more than 60 vendors in the neighborhood will be selling a sample of their dishes for $1 or $2.

Bluesapalooza: Featuring Zac Harmon & the Mid-South Blues Revue, Doug MacLeod and many more @ various venues in downtown Covina Free parking and admission. For more info, check out www.bluesapalooza.org/blues.htm (on Citrus Ave. between San Bernadino Rd. & Badillo St.).

Star 98.7 & City of Hope Benefit for Breast Cancer Research: Featuring Melissa Etheridge and the Goo Goo Dolls @ House of Blues Sunset (18 and over).

Coheed & Cambria w/Dredg and mewithoutyou @ Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno

The Red Death w/Through the Eyes of the Dead and Embrace the End @ The Tavern, Myrtle Beach, SC

Beverly @ The Gig in Scottsdale, Arizona. O.C. rockers hittin’ the desert. If you happen to be in the area, don’t sleep on this band—they are awesome and just maybe the next big thing.

Sunday, Oct. 16th
AIDS Walk in West Hollywood

Opeth @ House of Blues Sunset (all ages)

Turbo Negro w/The International Noise Conspiracy and Juliette & The Licks @ House of Blues Anaheim (all ages)

The Bravery @ The Avalon Hollywood (all ages)
30 Seconds to Mars @ Off the Wagon, Montgomery, AL. (19 and over. No, this is not a typo)

Green Day @ Wiltern Theatre.: Eighteen months ago, these punk pioneers were one step from the nostalgia circuit, desperately trying to recapture the spark that made Dookie a multi-platinum mid-’90s phenomenon and ushered moshing into the pop mainstream. And then along came American Idiot, in which Billie Joe and company not only got political but plugged into the cross-generational zeitgeist in creating their own version of Tommy. Coming off a year and a half of nonstop touring, a bevy of Grammy and MTV awards, the NoCal band followed up two sold-out shows at the 20,000+ Home Depot to play a live webcast in front of an invited crowd for Kevin Wall’s Network LIVE initiative, a joint project with AEG, AOL Music and XM. The opening act, Network, was actually Green Day in disguise, a DEVO-esque techno-rock extravaganza complete with flashing lasers, featuring group members swathed in bandages and fat suits. They returned to perform American Idiot in order from start to finish, with Armstrong, admitting how much he enjoyed returning to a smaller venue after traipsing the “three football fields” length of the Home Depot stage, galvanizing the pulsating crowd. Hearing the album like that once again confirmed how Green Day kicked it up a notch, and their sterling comeback—is there a better American rock band at the moment?—proves you can shift career momentum through artistic ambition. As for AOL Music…these guys are now giving the likes of MTV a run for their money as a destination for pop fans. And it’s about time someone did.

The Band: A Musical History (Capitol): Speaking of great American bands (even if 4/5 of ’em are Canadians), this five-CD+DVD volume is the ultimate compilation for those whose appetite has been stoked by the recent Bob Dylan PBS documentary. Not just a box set, but a veritable coffee table work of art, with an accompanying history of the group, it takes you back to their earliest days as a crack blues band backing Ronnie Hawkins through their incarnation as The Hawks on Dylan’s Basement Tapes and numerous live tracks, including performances with Bob at the Odeon in Liverpool in 1966 (“Tell Me Momma” and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”), Carnegie Hall two years later (“I Ain’t Got No Home”) and Madison Square Garden (“Highway 61 Revisited”) during their famed ’74 tour. You can follow The Band’s development through music and words to their apex in the early ‘70s and their finale at The Last Waltz tour in 1976, a period of 10 years in which they truly stood at the top of the rock mountain. Essential listening.

My Name Is Earl (NBC): Caught up with this touted series via a reprise of the first three episodes last Saturday night, and while it is obviously NBC’s attempt to out-quirky the cable competition, it has its own offbeat charms. Chief among them is Almost FamousJason Lee as the title character, a small-time loser who wins $100k in the lottery, then dedicates himself to righting a list of wrongs after an epiphany about karma gleaned from watching Carson Daly on TV. With a nod towards the surreal comedy of the CoensRaising Arizona and classic TV shows like The Millionaire, Earl pushes the boundaries of network TV, with a political incorrectness that is downright refreshing in these increasingly repressive times. There are gloriously arcane references that come out of nowhere, such as the nod to old-school hip-hop duo Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s 1998 hit “It Takes Two,” as well as stylized performances by a cast that includes Earl’s delightfully daffy white trash ex-wife played by Jaime Pressly, her black boyfriend Eddie Steeples and Lee’s thick sidekick, Kevin Smith veteran Ethan Suplee. And ya gotta love a show that casts Del Taco nerd Gregg Binkley as a gay guy coming out of not only a closet, but the trunk of a car, to help retrieve the lottery money Earl stashed in his repossessed automobile. Worth TiVoing.

Dumb Angel (Neptune’s Kingdom Press): This lavishly appointed 149-page mag is the fourth installment of noted Beach Boys archivist Domenic Priore and co-editor Brian Chidester’s celebration of ‘60s California surf and hot rod culture, the first in 15 years. Lovingly assembled, the new issue includes articles by HITS contributor Harvey Kubernik on Phil Spector, a family tree of South Bay surf bands from illustrator Pete Frame, a story on the Dana Point scene by iconic poster artist John Van Hamersveld and Priore’s takes on the development of the surf sound in the independent cinema, Dick Dale, Brian Wilson and the pop visual style associated with the era. And while there’s a retro feel to the enterprise, one can trace the seeds of the subsequent ‘60s revolution still being felt today in the form of the SoCal beach culture which continues to entrance the world. The name of the zine comes from the original title of Wilson’s SMiLE, whose recent revival makes a neat sidebar to this welcome publication. For more info, check www.dumbangelmagazine.com or order from Neptune’s Kingdom Press, P.O. Box 406, Pasadena, CA 91102-0406. Price is $19.99 plus $2.95 S&H.

Gwen Stefani
Tours: The bhindi-sporting ska queen with the dancefloor rap/pop bent is watching her solo LP Love Angel Music Baby have the same thundering street/suburb success No Doubt defined, proving that CHR can be musically stimulating as well as popular. Now the young woman who's rock's fashion diva (John Galliano worships her, her L.A.M.B. line is too cute AND had the fashionistas foaming at this year's shows) is ready to pack her bags and bring "Hollaback Girls" and "Cool" to the concert stage. What she wears. How she dances. But especially which songs and the way they're treated are the true bottom line for music lovers. As a girl who knows no fear, who creates hooks out of tossed-away bits of everything Carribean, contemporary, Cali and punk/dance/hip-hop/pop, this could be the musical confectionary road to the Emerald City…so get your tickets early.

I feel so ashamed that I didn’t include Wallace and Gromit last week. I went and saw it with the family and really enjoyed it—plus it was the #1 movie at the box office last weekend! It’s a good film for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s got the Madagascar penguins in a little short before the movie. Here’s my rundown for this week:

Starring: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel
After costing his company millions of dollars, Drew Baylor travels back to his Kentucky hometown for his father's funeral. Along the way, he meets Claire, a flight attendant who becomes very assertive in her quest to hook up with Drew. Meanwhile, he's gotta deal with his painfully quirky family of yokels.
Thoughts: This new movie by Cameron Crowe looks very funny but very similar to Garden State. You know, there’s a death in the family and the kid goes home to reunite with his wacky family and meets a girl and falls in love. Yes, we’ve seen it before, but Crowe is a great filmmaker, so I am betting this one is good.

The Fog
Starring: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, DeRay Davis, Rade Serbedzijae, Kenneth Welsh
Synopsis: A century in the past, off the coast of Northern California, a horrible shipwreck that might have involved foul play killed a crew of sailors. Now, their ghosts are back for revenge, traveling in the form of an eerie fog. That's bad news for the residents of a small town.
Thoughts: My girlfriend really wants to see this movie, but why? I have no idea. She always gets scared in these scary movies, yet she really wants to see this. Maybe she’s blinded by all the “fog,” because this movie doesn’t look very good.

Starring: Keira Knightley, Mena Suvari, Christopher Walken, Lucy Liu, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez
Synopsis: Domino Harvey, a former model and the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey, leaves her life of luxury in Beverly Hills to become a bounty hunter. Along with her partner, Ed Martinez, she spends the next three years firing off countless rounds of ammo in south Los Angeles.
Thoughts: You know, when I saw the trailer for this awhile back, it didn’t look very good, but then I saw a new trailer a couple weeks ago and now I’m very interested in the story. I just found out that the real Domino Harvey died a couple months ago. I also love the way Tony Scott shoots his films; I was a big fan of Man on Fire, so I’m hoping this one is just as good.