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Did anyone else find this week’s edition of HBO’s amazing series, in which a troubled Asian kid with anger problems adopts Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano in the halfway house where they both live, an eerie premonition of the Virginia Tech massacre?
YOUR MONDAY MORNING CUPPA COFFEE
NBA Playoffs Underway, Sopranos Shocker, Disturbia Tops Box Office Again, Avril, Nine Inch Nails Debut

It was a weekend in which the NBA favorites, the Mavericks and Spurs, took a tumble, the Yankees got swept in Fenway, the Mets stumbled against their arch-rivals the Braves, Barry Bonds continued his steroid-assisted assault on Hank Aaron’s home run record, Disturbia once again ruled the weekend box office and The Sopranos offered a prescient plot line, while Avril Lavigne and Nine Inch Nails storm the top of the charts.

Did anyone else find this week’s edition of HBO’s amazing series, in which a troubled Asian kid with anger problems adopts Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano in the halfway house where they both live, an eerie premonition of the Virginia Tech massacre? Between that and Tony deciding whether to wack Paulie on a boat trip that recalled Big Pussy’s demise—the big guy even returns to make sure we get the reference—it was one of the most compelling episodes yet. Three down and six to go. Oh yeah… there’s a collect call for you from a Mr. Alec Baldwin… care to accept?

At the weekend box office, as the movie biz prepares for the May 4 opening of the summer blockbuster season with Sony’s Spider-Man 3, DreamWorksDisturbia, which grossed $13.5m in the U.S. and Canada for Paramount Pictures, returned to #1. New Line Cinema's well-reviewed Fracture, with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling, opened at a solid # 2 with an estimated $11.2 million in weekend ticket sales. Sony Pictures' horror-thriller Vacancy, expected to challenge for the top spot, finished #4 with an estimated $7.6 million. Blades of Glory, which has now racked up more than $100 million, was #3 with $7.8 million. Universal’s British comedy action movie Hot Fuzz landed at #6 with $5.8 million, while Warner Bros.In the Land of Women finished #8 with $5.8 million Overall ticket sales of $85 million were down 22% from the same weekend in 2006, while Y-T-D revenue is up 4.7% and attendance has risen 2.4%. This weekend’s release slate includes the sci-fi thriller Next with Nicolas Cage, the teen mystery The Invisible, the action movie The Condemned, with wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Jamie Kennedy’s break-dancing comedy Kickin’ It Old Skool.

Avril Lavigne’s third Arista album, The Best Damn Thing, should prove to be just that for the beleaguered record biz as it is poised to debut at #1 with a total that could approach 250k, while Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor’s multimedia, cyberpunk Year Zero is looking at 200k in first-week sales for a #2 bow. Lyric Street’s American Idol entry Bucky Covington could well nail a Top 5 entry with more than 60k in sales for his debut.

Look for Joss Stone tonight on Jay Leno and The Exies on the Craig Ferguson show.

The Arctic Monkeys return with their sophomore album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, which seems to have caught the fancy of both the L.A. TimesRichard Cromelin here and the N.Y. TimesJon Pareles here.

The N.Y. TimesBen Ratliff ponders the significance of band reunions in the wake of the Police and Rage Against the Machine comebacks here.

The N.Y. Times explains how Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez picked Mims’ “This is Why I’m Hot” to accompany his sizzling start here.
 
The N.Y. Times’ Pareles admires Patty Griffin’s show at the Beacon here.

The L.A. Times notes that a pair of rappers, Asian-American Jin and Lil Flip, have already composed hip-hop songs to deal with the Virginia Tech tragedy here.

The L.A. TimesRichard Cromelin will take you there, paying tribute to the great Mavis Staples and her new album of civil rights protest songs here, as does the N.Y. Daily NewsJim Farber here.

The N.Y. TimesBill Carter ponders what a difference a year makes, as old-school mimic Rich Little replaces the controversial Stephen Colbert at the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner in D.C. here.

The N.Y. Daily News touts Russell Simmons’ new book, Do You!, here.

The N.Y. Daily NewsJim Farber assesses the new Joni Mitchell tribute album here.

ON THIS DATE
In 1956: Elvis Presley played Las Vegas for the first time. The response from middle-aged audiences was so poor that Presley fulfilled only one week of his two-week stand.In 1960: In Caversham, England, a very young John Lennon and Paul McCartney performed together as The Nerk Twins.
In 1975: Pete Ham of Badfinger hanged himself in his London garage. He was 27.
In 1977: A Siouxsie & The Banshees performance at London’s Roxy Club inspired audience member Stuart Goddard to form The Ants. He later became international pop star Adam Ant.
In 1978: As filming continued on for The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, Sex Pistol Sid Vicious recorded his interpretation of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
In 1981: Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, the three members of the original Million Dollar Quartet with Elvis Presley, reunited onstage in West Germany. The subsequent live album was called The Survivors.
In 1987: Carole King sued her former mentor Lou Adler for breach of contract. King said he owed her $400k in back royalties and the rights to her old recordings. At the end of the ‘60s, it was impresario Adler who convinced the songwriter to perform her own material.
In 1991: Johnny Thunders died from a drug overdose in New Orleans. The former New York Doll was 38.
In 1993: Mick Mars from Mötley Crüe filed for divorce from Emi-Canyn.
In 1993: The musical Tommy premiered on Broadway.
In 1997: At the Country Music Awards, 14-year-old LeAnn Rimes won three awards.
In 1999: Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus were among the country celebs that took part in Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam '99 concert in Nashville.
In 2003: Courtney Love placed an ad in New York's Village Voice looking for new band members.
In 2003: Bruce Springsteen defended The Dixie Chicks, who suffered a backlash after they criticized President George W. Bush. In a statement, he declared, “To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks for speaking out is un-American.”
In 2003: Twisted Sister announced they were reforming to do a USO tour of military bases in Korea.
In 2004: Green Day issued a statement to counter a widespread rumor that frontman Billie Joe Armstrong had died. “Despite what you may have heard rumored on the internet,” the band said, “Billie Joe did not recently die in a car accident.”
In 2004: Lawyers for "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" singer Jimmy Buffett forced a Maryland hamburger stand owner to change the name of his eatery from Cheeseburgers 'n' Paradise to Beef 'n' Buns 'n' Paradise.
In 2004: Eminem performed with D12 at the rap crew's London show.

 

 

 

 

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