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One of the best albums of the year, One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This may not be the future, but it’s far from the past.
A MIDSUMMER WEAKEND’S DREAM
Yeah, It’s Sweltering, but It Could Be Worse—You Could Be Doing Two-a-Days in Some NFL Camp... Oh, but You'd Also Be Wealthy...
TRAKIN CARE OF BUSINESS: MIDSUMMER EDITION
1. New York Dolls, One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (Roadrunner):
You could say that calling them the New York Dolls without Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan is like the Stones without Keef and Charlie, but the spirit is more than present 32 years since their last studio album, the memorably titled Too Much Too Soon. “Evolution is so obsolete/Got to stomp your hands and clap your feet,” sings David Johansen in the Bo Diddley “Stranded in the Jungle” stomp of “Dance Like a Monkey,” while co-founding member Sylvain Sylvain coos the “ooh-oohs” in the wunnerful Spector-meets-Ben E. King-Springsteen girl group homage, “Plenty of Music,” and reminds you of his seminal role with his nasal lead vocals on the punky “Gotta Get Away From Tommy.” If you’re looking for the Dolls of “Trash” and “Bad Girl,” you’ve got ’em in “Punishing World” and the proudly decadent “Fishnets and Cigarettes.” Elsewhere, David Jo emotes over a gentle Ferry Cross the Mersey Britpop beat in “Maimed Happiness,” evokes Satanic Majesty’s Jagger on the druggy “We’re All in Love,” the gutbucket bluesy Exile Mick on “Gimme Luv and Turn on the Light,” Neil Young in the harp-laced “Ain’t Got Nothin’” and his own solo persona for “Dancing on the Lip of a Volcano.” Songs like “Rainbow Store,” whose “Walk right up to me” recalls the classic “Great Big Kiss,” revel in the pure joy of rock & roll as a life-affirming force. One of the best albums of the year, One Day… may not be the future, but it’s far from the past. —Roy Trakin

2. The New World: Terence Malick’s impressionistic, naturalistic take on the Pocahontas saga is a visual feast even on a TV screen, as long as your surround-sound system is pumping with the running waters, crackling leaves, chirping crickets and gentle crunch of ground being trodden on for the first time that is this mythic saga’s stock in trade. If you can get past the two-dimensional, intentionally flat performances by professionals Colin Farrell, Christian Bales and Christopher Plummer and allow yourself to become transfixed by the stunningly transparent turn by impressive newcomer Q’Orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas, Malick’s intent is clear—to present North America as if seen for the first time, with no presumptions, no artificial gestures and no prejudices, just meaning and life, created on the fly, in real time. Malick means for us to see a metaphor for civilizing this new land in the doomed romance between Smith and Pocahontas, and as a necessary compromise, her eventual acceptance of love and procreation in the name of civilization. The film’s ironic moment comes when one Native American recommends trusting the white man, while another, overruled, warns that the arrivals will inevitably look to encroach on their world. —RT

3. Abby Travis, Glitter Mouth (abbytravis.com): This local L.A. scenester bassist/singer/songwriter/fashion icon has been part of several different scenes, including a stint in the house band at transsexual hot spot Club Makeup, masterminding the monthly Mata Hari performance space, playing bass with the Bangles, Beck and Elastica, and collaborating with the likes of Cocteau TwinsSimon Raymonde, Meat Puppets legend Curt Kirkwood, punk vet Alice Bag, L7’s Donita Sparks, former Save Ferris vocalist Monique Powell and her writing partner, the MumpsKristian Hoffman, all of whom appear on Abby’s new, third album. Kind of a PoMo Peggy Lee, Travis hits just the right world-weary, but campy note on the opener “Now Was”: “The best years of my life are through/Snuffed out like my misspent youth/Is it true?” But she’s also capable of the Bowie-sque punk-funk of “Hunger” or the dreamy trip-hop of the collaboration with Raymonde, “Chase Me.” By the time she gets to the smoky “Roberto,” we’re completely transported to some sleazy nightclub in Berlin circa 2020 in some futuristic Philip K. Dick noir. If Madonna were as smart as Abby Travis, she’d be doing something this right now instead of writhing in a leotard. This is one grand dame who knows how to age gracefully. —RT

4. Boy Kills Boy, Civilian (Island Records): Is it something in the British water? The U.K. seems to effortlessly churn out bands like this one, who come fully blown with arena-ready swaths of pure power pop, with soaring, one-listen, singalong choruses, catch-and-hold verses and shimmeringly orgiastic guitars, all trebly and jangly and hotwired to your pleasure centers. This is the latest example of the English method—punky Buzzcocks by way of ’60s U.K. garage band crackle fused onto “can-you-top-this” Oasis-like harmonies with more than a few nods to the Beatles and the Kinks. The first “Suzie” is where you start, but “On My Own” and “Civil Sin” are nearly as irresistible forces as they are movable objects, at once operatic in its intensity, and bubble-gum in its sticky appeal. Singer Chris Peck is a dynamic frontman, but the band, like the Who and the Jam, are like a cartoonish blur of punk, mod and emo, of a piece, and more than ready to storm the new world. —RT

5. Benny Mardones, “The Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” live on Media Whores, KLSX: Sometimes music has the power to transcend reason, logic and even mortality to reach beyond to areas that words can only hint at. This one-time superstar, who hit the big time not once, but twice, with “Into the Night, the ultimate arena-rock flick-your-Bic anthem, has been brought back into the public eye recently via a documentary about his rise-and-fall, a path greased with the usual drugs and bad behavior. I know Mardones back from our days at Polydor Records in the early ’80s (I think I even wrote his original record company bio), when he came out of Western New York as Syracuse’s answer to Cleveland’s Michael Stanley Band, a guy who could pack 10,000-seaters in his home town, but nowhere else. Singing the track, the first single from his new album, Let’s Hear It for Love (Warrior Records), while shaking from the Parkinson’s disease he insists will make this release his last, Mardones poured his all into the song, which he claimed he wrote as a reaction to his illness, striving, as he put it, to prove he’s more than a “one-hit” artist. I don’t hold that against Benny… There are plenty of one-hit artists who contributed unforgettable moments to pop history. His perseverance and love for what he’s doing, giving his all for yet one more radio show like he’s done thousands times before, made for yet another indelible memory in my own rock & roll odyssey. —RT

6. The Bronx (Island): There’s apparently always room for noise, especially when it has the force behind it that this does. These Silver Lake punks pay tribute to the angtsy rock of antecedents like Black Flag and the Germs (they’re actually playing the former in the biopic What We Do Is Secret about the latter) with a verve and throat-splitting, vein-popping intensity that leaves no room for anything but surrender. “History’s Stranglers” sets the pace, a nod to the world’s history of horror, while “Oceans of Class” perfectly pins down that sinking feeling with the lines “So drag me down to the ocean floor/Cause I don’t want to fight no more”…except “fight” sounds exactly like a four-letter word that also begins with “f.” It’s three years since they were dubbed the next big thing, and it sounds as if vocalist Matt Caughthran, guitarist Joby J. Ford, bassist James Tweedy and drummer Jorma Vik, with the help of metal vet Michael Beinhorn, have been keeping all that energy and bile pent-up only to explode onto disc. “Transsexual Blackout (The Movement),” “Mouth Money” and “Rape Zombie” seem to augur a horrorcore world of rape, violation and subjugation. It’s not The Bronx’s fault that current events seem to be catching up to their bleak, apocalyptic vision. —RT

7. Spoon, “I Turn My Camera On” (Jaguar TV spot): Dunno about you, but whenever this comes on my TV, I perk up considerably. Now, I really don’t mind because I haven’t begun to associate the sprightly Prince-like tune with a compulsion to buy a nice new shiny black Jaguar, but you never know. And once again, if this lines the coffers of songwriter Britt Daniel, I’m not gonna hold it against him. In fact, in this seamless, cross-promotional, product placement, advertorial world, it’s almost quaint to complain about licensing your music for a TV spot. What do you think pop singles used to be anyway, except commercials for the albums from whence they came? And if radio isn’t going to play any new music, you gotta be a little clever and subversive about it. I like hearing this on my TV, even if I do have to look at the screen.
RT

8. Jamie Kennedy & Stu Stone, Blowin’ Up (JKSS Records/Warner Bros.): OK, so the idea of satiric rap by white people went out with 2 Live Jews, and these two guys can’t really hold a candle to the brilliance of M.O.T. (obviously, I’m prejudiced), but this collab between the cheeky Irish Catholic Kennedy and neurotic Jew Stone, who also co-starred in an MTV “reality” series of the same name, is scattershot enough to hit as often as it misses. The truly inspired “Rollin’ With Saget” has the boys picking up 19-year-olds as they cruise with the former host of America’s Funniest Videos turned foul-mouthed bad boy in their ride, including several sound bytes from the man hisself. “Celebrity Stalker” is a witty compendium of ’70s, ’80s and ’90s second-tier TV personalities, while “Knuckle Up” cheekily spurns beefs with Ashton Kutcher and Colin Farrell. The highlight is Paul Wall’s turn on “Mattress Mack,” which, despite what Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex tells ’em, is almost good enough to qualify as real. There’s no good reason to discourage these suburban white boys from rapping. They understand perfectly it’s all about the shtick.—RT

9. Midyear Grammy Predictions: At the midway point, it’s basically a crap game, but it sure looks like the Dixie ChicksTaking the Long Way and single, “Not Ready to Make Nice,” are the front-runners for Album and Song/Record of the Year. Johnny Cash’s posthumous American V has to be considered the other odds-on candidate for Album, along with New Artist candidate James Blunt (whose “You’re Beautiful” is a definite in the Song and Record of the Year categories), rapper T.I., rookie diva Corinne Bailey Rae (perhaps the frontrunner for Best New Artist), hardy perennials Neil Young and Paul Simon as well as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bruce Springsteen (locks in the Rock and Best Contemporary Folk Album categories, respectively). Other New Artist candidates include Gnarls Barkley (look for “Crazy” to be up there for Song/Record), KT Tunstall, Rihanna, The Fray, Panic! at the Disco, Daniel Powter and Arctic Monkeys. Rick Rubin, with the Dixie Chicks, Chili Peppers and Cash under his belt, has to be an early choice for Producer of the Year. —RT

10.
Gripe of the Week: Sitting in my car enjoying the unfettered language and glorious expletives undeleted of The Howard Stern Show or watching the darkly humorous taboo-breaking Huff got me thinking about the cost of free speech. My question is, why should we have to pay to hear this kind of stuff? Isn’t it our right in a democratic society? And who are these self-appointed censors on the FCC and by extension, the major television and radio networks, telling us what we can or can’t listen to? Why should that privilege be only open to those who can afford to pay for satellite TV and radio or broadband Internet? Are we headed to a two-tier society of haves who choose their entertainment and have-nots who merely have it foisted on them? In this increasingly pay-per-view world, you get what you shell out for—in more ways than one. In capitalism, free speech is readily available… but only at a price. —RT

CALENDAR
Friday, July 28th
7:00pm
Paul Simon @ Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa
Reel Big Fish & MxPx @ House of Blues (Downtown Disney),
Anaheim
Peeping Tom @ Hedgpeth Festival, Twin Lakes, WI

8:00pm
Santana w/ Anthony Hamilton @ Cricket Pavilion, Phoenix
Dashboard Confessional w/ Say Anything @ Chicago Theater, Chicago


Saturday, July 29th
9:00am-5:00pm
Blessing of the Cars @ Hansen Dam Recreation Area: Though it's essentially a car show (custom, vintage and other) and picnic, that's not to say that the actual blessing of the cars, performed by a priest from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is any less important. Hot-rod movies, food vendors and searing tunes round out the event.

Ozzfest @ Randalls Island: Aside from the two heavyweights, Ozzfest boasts a slew of capable ringers. From Atreyu, Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil and Disturbed to Black Label Society, Bleeding Through and Strapping Young Lad, the lineup will have your eardrums begging for forgiveness when it's all said and done.

7:00pm
Aly & AJ w/Frankie Jordan @ House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA
The Violent Femmes w/ Wax Apples @ House of Blues (Downtown Disney), Anaheim

8:00pm
Dixie Chicks @ TD BankNorth Garden, Boston.

8:30pm
Pepsi Smash Presents: Mariah Carey w/ Chris Brown @ The Kodak Theatre

10:15pm
Sparta @ The Troubadour

12:15am
Parlour Boys Forecastle Festival/after-party @ 4th St. Live in Louisville

Sunday, July 30th
9:00am-5:00pm
Malibu Arts Festival @ Malibu Farmers Market and Arts Festival: The free weekend festival includes more than 200 booths exhibiting jewelry, paintings, sculpture, photography, quilts and clothing; numerous community groups also have booths at the fair. Local restaurants pitch their tents to serve mouth-watering samples from their menus, and a diverse schedule of live music entertains the crowd.

10:00am-12:00pm
Orange Country Fair @ Orange County Fair and Exposition Center, Costa Mesa: This is the last day to check out the festivities with the family.

12:00pm
Van's Warped Tour 2006 featuring Joan Jett, NOFX, Eighteen Visions, Cartel, Damone and many others @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, IL

7:30pm
Corey Feldman and The Truth Movement w/ Blacklist Union, Faceless, 3 Faced @ House of Blues on Sunset

8:00pm
Robin Trower @ Majestic Ventura Theatre, Ventura, CA
Breaking Benjamin @ Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH

JE-C’S NEW-MOVIE RUNDOWN
Miami Vice
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Gong Li
and Naomie Harris
Synopsis: Miami cop Ricardo Tubbs lives with Bronx-born Intel analyst Trudy, and they work undercover transporting drug loads into South Florida to identify a group responsible for three murders. Meanwhile, Sonny Crockett goes undercover working with the supplier of the South Florida group and gets romantically entangled with Isabella, the Chinese-Cuban wife of an arms and drugs trafficker. Soon it's tough to figure out who's on the right side of the law.
Thoughts: Yes, the word of mouth has been horrendous, but I still think it will be good because of Michael Mann and Jamie Foxx. I mean, come on now, one of these blockbusters has to be good. The only two that have lived up to the hype are X-Men and Pirates.

Ant Bully
Starring the voice talents of: Nicolas Cage, Bruce Campbell, Paul Giamatti, Allison Mack, Julia Roberts
and Meryl Streep
Synopsis: A young boy threatens an ant colony and then destroys the colony's anthill with a water pistol. When he's shrunk to ant size and sentenced to work in the colony, however, things turn around.
Thoughts: I have a feeling this one is going to be really good. It has a great cast for the voices, and the animation looks cool. I also think it’s got a very funny storyline.

Scoop
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Woody Allen, Ian McShane, James Nesbitt
and Scarlett Johansson
Synopsis: London journalist Joe Strombel is dead, but while stuck in limbo he keeps pursuing the identity of the Tarot Card Killer. To do so, he communicates from beyond with Sondra Pransky, an American journalism student. Sondra chases Ian's leads, which take her to Sid Waterman, a magician, and British aristocrat Peter Lyman. Before long Sondra finds herself romantically tangled up with Peter while thinking he might be the murderer.
Thoughts: Oh yeah, another Woody Allen movie with Scarlett! This one looks like another Manhattan Murder Mystery type, but with a different premise. I have a hunch this one will be a sleeper because there isn’t a lot of press on it.

JE-C’S TOP MOVIES OF THE YEAR SO FAR
V for Vendetta:
This is my favorite movie of the year so far, for many reasons. It's more than just a comic book adapted for the big screen; it’s a movie that makes a big political statement that we can all relate to these days. Definitely a movie that was slept on, and I advise everyone to check it out if you haven't yet. THIS MOVIE WILL BE ON DVD TUESDAY, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET, DONT HESITATE ANY LONGER!!!
X-Men III: The Last Stand: If this is the last one, it certainly satisfied my appetite. It had it all, including some incredible action sequences.
Pirates of The Caribbean: Simply Awesome!!! Johnny Depp is brilliant Bill Nighy is creepy Keira Knightley is sexy and it has great special effects and non-stop action.
Mission Impossible III: OK, people are getting sick and tired of Tom Cruise, but if you can just get past him, this movie is actually really good. A lot of people are missing out because they’re so turned off by the star’s off-screen antics.
An Inconvenient Truth: The most important movie of the year… A MUST-SEE!!!
Nacho Libre: The funniest movie of the year. Jack Black rocks.
The Devil Wears Prada: This movie is making my list because Meryl Streep was truly brilliant, and if you haven’t seen it, or are on the edge about seeing it, go for her performance, if nothing else.


THE GRAMMY NOMS: A PRELIMINARY CHEW
"Uh-huh" vs. "huh?" (11/22a)
AND THE NOMINEES ARE...
The list. (11/21a)
A TOP 20 OF TITANIC PROPORTIONS
Best enjoyed with a good belt. (11/21a)
SONY'S BIG WEEK
And that was before the Grammy deluge. (11/20a)
DABABY IN GERSON'S CRIB
Talk about pub crawling. (11/20a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They're here. What do they mean?
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
WHAT'S GOING ON BENEATH OUR WINDOWS?
The latest in Hollyweird.
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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