There’s always a trip to San Francisco, or welcoming Andy Kaufman back after a 20-year absence or donning the vestments and joining the Polyphonic Spree. Or you could just view Internet photos of Iraqi prisoners forming naked pyramids.


Still Breathing? The Sopranos, Andy Kaufman, the Lakers, Stanley Cup Hockey, The Spree Live To Tell About It
It should be a weekend filled with physical activity, stoking up the barbecue, welcoming in the summer, playing 18 holes of golf—OK, miniature golf—hang-gliding, bungee-jumping, a three-way tryst in a sleazy motel… You get the idea. Instead, we’ll probably be propped up on the couch getting ready for the climactic games of all four NBA playoff series, and I just might sneak a peak at an NHL Stanley Cup battle or two. But there’s plenty more to do, if you’re not an agoraphobic like us… There’s always a trip to San Francisco, or welcoming Andy Kaufman back after a 20-year absence or donning the vestments and joining the Polyphonic Spree. Or you could just view Internet photos of Iraqi prisoners forming naked pyramids.

"It's Better To Be Lucky Than Good," Francis "Chick" Hearn
Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction when Uma Thurman's Mia is about to overdose and Eric Stoltz's crazed drug dealer Lance has to stab her in the chest with a shot of adrenaline to save her life? Mia's body heaves, falls back, heaves again and then she starts breathing. First Kobe, playing on the edge of exhaustion, hits another clutch jumper with 11 seconds left to give the Lakers a one-point lead. Then Tim Duncan, with Shaq draped all over him, hits an impossible 19-foot fade away with .4 seconds left. The season seemed over until the ghost of Tarantino made an unlikely appearance. Derek Fisher delivered the shot of adrenaline, catching the ball in mid-air and throwing in a miracle 18-footer, resuscitating the Laker season. Yes, folks, they are still breathing. Amazing. Just when you think it can't possibly get any more dramatic, this mad, insane, exhilarating ride refuses to end. The distressing part, to diehard Laker fans, is that it came down to needing a miracle to win Game 5 at all. The Lakers led by 16 with 15 minutes left to play, ran out of gas and nearly experienced a choke job of epic proportions. The question now is, what on Earth do they have left for Saturday night's Game 6? Kobe collapsed in the locker room and needed two bags of intravenous fluids to revive him. Let's hope that Tarantino is watching and he's written a happy ending. I know Chick is watching and somewhere, he's smiling. It's in the refrigerator. (Joel Amsterdam)

Another weekend, another summer blockbuster. Last week, it was Van Helsing, which got pretty terrible reviews, but I saw twice and enjoyed thoroughly. The movie is filled with tons of action, it’s funny, has romance and killer special effects. This week, it’s Troy, based on Homer and the Iliad, with a star-studded cast and an epic feel. I’ll be watching the Lakers-Spurs series, which is getting to be a nail-biter. Watching Kobe destroy the Spurs defense was pretty unbelievable, but at the same time, made me lose a little faith in Duncan and company. Come on, guys. Stop messing around and take these old guys out already for this long-suffering Clips fan!

At least for now, I have something to smile about. The Dodgers not only have the best record in baseball, but they are off to their best start since 1988—a year in which they won it all. I was only six back then, so I don’t remember much. All I can say is they are an amazing team right now and, unlike Dodger teams in the past, they are fun to watch. I mean my pops, who is a huge Yankees fan, is excited about the D-men and frustrated with the Yanks, something I have never witnessed. Although it is still way early in the season, it is still exciting and I will be going with a couple friends this Saturday to check them out at the beautiful Chavez Ravine. (Je-C)

1. The Sopranos: Haven’t really heard much water-cooler buzz on this still-remarkable series, down to its final three episodes. Maybe it’s because everyone TiVos the show and watches at different times, but this season is hurtling to a close like a runaway train headed for a brick wall. Last week’s episode was one of the best ever, especially Tony goading his sister at the dinner table by teasing her about Harpo, the son she abandoned. Right after telling his shrink he was considering anger-management, he cut through Janis’ cool like a knife through butter, or perhaps the fork the marvelously hateful Aida Turturro wielded while chasing him around the table. The whole hour was a searing critique of 12-step and self-help therapy that nailed the current zeitgeist with gut-wrenching familiarity. And then the classic music cue: Ray Davies crooning, "I’m not like everybody else," as Tony strolls through the suburban neighborhood puffed with satisfaction and puffing on his omnipresent stogie. (Roy Trakin)

2. Andy Kaufman: Dead or Alive?: An All-Star Celebration at the House of Blues, L.A.: This is where I’ll be Sunday night (5/16), marking 20 years since celebrated conceptual comic Andy Kaufman allegedly died from a rare form lung cancer at the age of 35, on precisely the day which he claimed, if he faked his death, he would return. Kaufman confidant Bob Zmuda will be there, as will Zmuda (Andy’s?) alter ego, the obnoxious lounge singer Tony Clifton, The Cliftones and his Steamy Cliftonettes. Will the portly crooner interrupt his "act," turn to the star-studded crowd—which will include old Andy pals such as Rodney Dangerfield, Caroline Rhea, Bob Odenkirk, Paul Rudd, Phil Hendrie, Andy Dick, Jerry "The King Lawler, Rich Voss and Zack Galifianakis—rip off that rubber mask and reveal he’s really Andy? And then proceed to lip-sync "The Mighty Mouse" theme, play bongos, flash an Elvis impersonation and bus the entire audience to Joshua Tree to serve them milk and cookies? VIP tickets are available for $250 if you're curious enough to wanna find out, available at (RT)

3. Elephant: Gus Van Zant’s remarkable meditation on the Columbine incident thrusts you literally right into the middle of an unidentified high school on a typical day, often placing the camera behind its subjects in the hallways. A shaggy blonde kid is tardy because his father was too drunk to drive him, three girls repair to the bathroom to purposely throw up their school lunches, a shy girl refuses to change into shorts for gym class, a photographer heads to the dark room to develop film… Everything appears normal, except for the fact two kids are about to massacre several dozen fellow students. It all develops as if in a dream over the course of 78 taut minutes that ends with a picture of clouds ominously rolling across the sky. Van Zant offers no explanations; he just reveals the actions, moving back and forth in time to express the arbitrary, fateful nature of the tragedy. (RT)

4. Showbiz Moms & Dads (Bravo 9pm Tuesdays): Without a doubt, my favorite show on television. Next week’s season finale and special follow-up episode rapidly approach and I don’t know what I’m going to do after that. I watch this show wearing a constant freakish expression that’s simultaneously comprised of joy, disgust and horror. I’m not sure if I’m embarrassed for or of these families. I am, however, sure that I’m completely obsessed with all of them. Debra Klingensmith, Shane’s mom, is perhaps the most annoying, tacky and unrightfully cocky woman in the world and I can’t get enough of her. She doesn’t guide Shane’s career, she shoves it. The Nutters, a huge family headed up by seemingly gay parents in a straight marriage, have been uprooted from Vermont to N.Y., against most of their wishes, to follow the father’s acting dream. The Tyes take four-year-old Emily to pageants, spending thousands on entry fees and her upkeep (spray-on tanning, walking lessons, getting "pageant hair," etc.), bribing her with morning Pixi Sticks when she’s tired. The Barrons have 14-year-old daughter Jordan winding up in a film starring Heidi Fleiss and the mom’s married to a man she met on the Internet six months ago, who lives in another city. Perhaps the most normal, the Moseley-Stephens, actually reside in Hollywood. Their eight-year-old daughter Jordan has had prominent TV and film acting jobs and her mom’s a talent agent. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. (Jill Kushner)

5. The Polyphonic Spree, Together We’re Heavy (Hollywood Records): Tim DeLaughter and company’s sophomore album takes full advantage of its major-label budget to create an avant-God, art-rock opera that climbs the stairway to white-robed heaven with a Spector Wall of Sound, Abba sense of absurdity, Godspell kitsch and Beatlesque ambition. And even if the vestments are a little creepy for this he-bro (can you imagine a Hasidic-garbed group given the same hip quotient), the costumes tend to be more ego- eradicating than pious, even while "A Long Day Continues" longs to "somehow find a way to this new religion." "Hold Me Now" takes the choppy McCartney music-hall piano and staccato horns of "Penny Lane" and grafts it onto the homespun existentialism of "Eleanor Rigby" and the artful excess of "A Day in the Life." By the time you get to the "Dark Side of the Moon" overkill of "When the Fool Becomes a King" and the Reich-meets-Eno sonic ambience of "Together We’re Heavy," you’ve either guzzled the Kool-Aid or tuned out. If Disney were smart, they'd put 'em all to work at the "It's a Small World" ride. (RT)

6. NHL Playoffs: I have to admit I’ve lost a lot of interest in who captures Lord Stanley’s Cup since my Isles were summarily spanked in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning (who?). But the semifinals are now kicking in, and with a player lockout looming, this might be the last NHL variety ice hockey we see for awhile. Of course, there’s nothing like an airtight playoff hockey to get the blood roiling. I’ve already seen an incredible 1-0 game, won in double-overtime by underdog Calgary over the favored Red Wings, but now that it’s Tampa Bay-Philadelphia and Calgary-San Jose, it’s getting hard to figure out for whom to root. The story line for Calgary-San Jose is how Finnish goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff, who was a backup on the Sharks, is now starting for Calgary against his former San Jose teammate Eugeni Nabokov. Calgary boasts one of the sport’s little-known superstars in swift-skating Jarome Iginla, one of the few black players in the league. Meanwhile, over in the East, it’s the Broad Street Bully Flyers against the upstart Lightning, who boast a couple of real Flying Frenchmen in Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier. It’s a natural to root for a Tampa Bay-Calgary series pitting a couple of ne’er-do-wells in the always-unpredictable Stanley Cup Finals, but any sport whose stars have names like Khabibulin, Nabokov and Kiprusoff is closer to a Russian novel than an American pastime. (RT)

7. Jill’s Shameless Plugs: I'm doing two (2) comedy shows this week. Please come see one (1) of them. Or I'll come do a third (3rd) show on your face. And that's not like a sex thing. It's more like a box-cutter thing, or maybe a rusty thing that would hurt your face. Leaving scars that would kind of show. E-mail me for two (2)-for-one (1) passes. [email protected]; Monday (5/17), @ M Bar (1253 Vine Street @ Fountain), 8:30 p.m.; Thursday (5/20) @ The Improv (8162 Melrose Ave.), 8 p.m. (with special guest Sarah Silverman) (JK)

8. Absolut Vanilla and Orange Juice: In the spirit of the late, unlamented Denise Bayles, this drink tastes like a Creamsicle, and kicks your ass at the same time. Mmm-good. (RT)

9. Radio Festivals: It’s that time again. Radio festivals are taking over the nation, with L.A.’s Wango Tango touching down at the Rose Bowl May 15, including Janet Jackson, OutKast’s Big Boi, Jessica Simpson, Lenny Kravitz, Hilary Duff, Enrique Iglesias, N.E.R.D., Clay Aiken, JC Chasez, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas, Rooney, Kimberley Locke, Nick Cannon, J-Kwon, William Hung, Fefe Dobson, Katy Rose, Busted, with a special appearance from the Backstreet Boys. (Ooh ooh!) Next week, half the lineup heads to New York’s Z100 Zootopia, taking place Friday, May 21, which boasts Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne, Liz Phair, J-Kwon, Mario Winans, Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5. But festivals aren’t just resigned to pop acts. Washington, D.C.’s HFStival, scheduled for May 22, features Yellowcard, Jay-Z, P.O.D., Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, The Offspring, Papa Roach, The Cure, Violent Femmes, Cypress Hill and more. Break out the suntan lotion and kick off the summer! (Valerie Nome)

10. TG4: This talented R&B group, in negotiations to sign with Babyface, came down to record some tracks in my studio and pretty much knocked me out. They have the look, the moves and the voices to be the next big thing. Keep an eye out for them and remember, I told you they are headed for stardom. (Je-C)

Lizzie McGuire
TV SHOW I ACTUALLY LOVE THIS WEEK: Rocked (Gina Gershon’s touring documentary: So cheesy, so good)
SEEN/HEARD THIS WEEK: Honeymoon couple sitting next to me on the plane doing word puzzles, separately. That is just two levels of sad.
FAVORITE PICK ON A MENU THIS WEEK: Seaweed salad @ Buddha’s Belly
SONG I KEEP LISTENING TO THIS WEEK: Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, "I Sing The Body Electric"
Patron Silver margaritas
COMMERCIAL I AUDITIONED FOR THAT’S AIRING (W/O ME) THIS WEEK: I can proudly say that I’ve fast forwarded through all commercials this week.
CONCLUSION FOR THIS WEEK: As I was prepping to fly across country this week, I thought about how cool I was … I had my ‘lil DVD player with me. I had my ‘lil iPod with me. Then I thought about how cool I wasn’t … my seat was in Row 27. It’s awkward when you’re technology is more impressive than your seat. (JK)

San Francisco:
Get your butt up to S.F. for a weekend away and when you’re not busy shopping at Union Square, (Upper) Haight St. (Check out: Villains and Villains Vault) or sightseeing, hit up some of these great clubs and restaurants:

1. Blowfish: Sushi to die for.

2. 111 Minna: Cool financial district bar/gallery.

3. Suite one8one: Fun night club/after hours (it's huge! in the tenderloin).

4. Hustler Club: Strip club with the hottest girls (after 10pm anyway).

5. Bubble Lounge: Upscale champagne drinking.

6. The House: California/Asian fusion/comfort food.

7. Lion Pub: Upscale pub (Pacific Heights... They have dishes of fresh fruit set out on the bar that they smash directly into your drink. Inside is huge fireplace and a rainforest theme).

8. Great American Music Hall: Cool music venue (mostly rock/indie/etc).

9. Zeitgeist: Dive bar/outdoor patio (Mission).

10. The Irish Bank (it was really a bank once): Afterwork/mellow/Irish Bar + good food. (Stephanie) "POST OF THE WEEK"

Afghan Taliban Type Model/Actor

Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2004-05-12, 2:47PM PDT
Photographer seeking Afghan Taliban Type actor/model for photo shoot. Shoot will last only a few hours. Model will receive $100.00 plus access to all material for self promotion use.
Compensation: $100 plus access to all material for self promotion.
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Phone calls about this job are OK.
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Reposting this message elsewhere is OK.
This is in or around Los Angeles

(Warner Bros.)
That whole "The Iliad" epic Greek poem by Homer. Prince Paris of Troy steals the beautiful Greek babe Helen away from her husband, the King of Sparta, setting the two nations to war against one another, with the Greeks launching a bloody siege of Troy, led by Achilles, that lasted over a decade.
Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Peter O’Toole, Sean Bean, Rose Byrne, Julie Christie, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
(Das Boot, Air Force One, The Perfect Storm) with screenplay by David Benioff (Spike Lee’s 25th Hour).
Thumbs Up:
That reported $125 million or so budget is all up on the screen for those battle scenes.
Thumbs Down:
Brad Pitt in loin cloth, sandles and breastplate seems an awful lot like Victor Mature... and that ain't good.
: David Foster-produced Warner Sunset soundtrack includes James Horner score and track by Josh Groban with famed Bulgarian Women’s Choir.

Breakin’ All the Rules (Screen Gems/Sony)
After being dumped by his fiancee, a man writes a book about how to deal with the "breakup" process, which turns into a best-seller.
Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Jennifer Esposito, Bianca Lawson, Peter MacNicol
Director: Daniel Taplitz
(The Commandments)
Thumbs Up:
Foxx is always worth some laughs, and Chestnut is a good foil.
Thumbs Down:
A chance for black audiences to be fed the same dumb cliches white audiences get.

Coffee and Cigarettes (United Artists)
A series of short comic vignettes that build on one another to create a cumulative effect as the characters discuss things as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Paris in the ‘20s and the use of nicotine as an insecticide, all the while sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. Filmed over the last 20 years in parts while maverick indie director Jim Jarmusch was working on other movies.
Roberto Begnini, Cate Blanchett, Steve Buscemi, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, Bill Murray, Iggy Pop, Steven Wright, Tom Waits, Cinque Lee, Joie Lee, Taylor Mead, RZA, Jack White, Meg White
The groundbreaking, whitehaired punk filmmaker Jarmusch first burst onto the scene with 1984’s Stranger Than Paradise before going on to such uncompromising, provocative films as Down by Law, Mystery Train, Dead Man and Ghost Dog.
Thumbs Up
: Jarmusch is deadpan and deliberate, but well worth the effort, and these set pieces look hilarious in a typically Jarmurschian, shaggy dog, black comic sorta way.
Thumbs Down:
Since it was made over the course of close to two decades, could lack the rigorous, European-influenced formalism Jarmusch usually brings to his disciplined works. Or not.
Soundtrack: Milan Records
soundtrack features a typically eclectic Jarmusch mix, with "Louie, Louie" (in two separate versions by Richard Berry & the Pharoahs and Iggy Pop), "Crimson and Clover," the Stooges, the Skatalites’ ("Nimblefoot Ska)," Funkadelic, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Jerry Byrd and Janet Baker’s "Ich bin der Weit abhanden gekomen."

Thanks to Roy Trakin, Jill Kushner, Je-C, Joel Amsterdam, Valerie Nome and Stephanie for maximizing the Nielsen ratings for this Weakend Planner.

Does she ever. (4/22a)
Will scoring records be broken this week? (4/22a)
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill... (4/20a)
A white-knuckle moment (4/20a)
The coziest way to experience the fest (4/19a)
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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