It was quite a weekend for Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, the Coen brothers, Daniel Day-Lewis, Julie Christie, the cast of The Sopranos and the 300 spoof Meet the Spartans.


It Was a Good Weekend for Obama, Tiger Woods, No Country, Meet the Spartans, Juno, Garth Brooks
It was quite a weekend for Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, the Coen brothers, Daniel Day-Lewis, Julie Christie, the cast of The Sopranos and the 300 spoof Meet the Spartans.

It wasn’t quite as good for Bill Clinton, the rest of the PGA, Kobe Bryant or Sylvester Stallone.

Obama took the South Carolina primary and nabbed Ted Kennedy’s endorsement in the process, while the great Tiger Woods took the Buick Open by eight strokes and Cleveland Cavalier superstar LeBron James outdueled Kobe and the Lakers with 41 points to Bryant’s 33, including the game-winning jump shot over his arch-rival with 1:16 on the clock.

The awards season headed into the back stretch, with the Coen brothers and No Country for Old Men the odds-on Oscar favorites after taking home the DGA and SAG awards this weekend.

There Will Be Blood’s Daniel Day-Lewis and Away From Her’s Julie Christie cemented their Oscar chances with Best Actor and Actress victories in the SAG along with No Country’s Javier Bardem as Best Supporting Actor, though American Gangster’s Ruby Dee put a wrench in the Supporting Actress category, always an Oscar crapshoot, with her unexpected win over Gone Baby Gone’s Amy Ryan and I’m Not There’s Cate Blanchett. The Sopranos' James Gandolfini and Edie Falco took home TV acting honors for the celebrated HBO series' final season, as did the show's cast. 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey won in the comedy category, along with the cast of The Office.


At the weekend movie box office, 20th Century Fox’s parody sleeper Meet the Spartans edged Lionsgate/The Weinstein Co.'s fourth installment of Sly Stallone's Rambo series, with $18.7 million to $18.2 million. The Top 5 was rounded out by Katherine Heigl’s 27 Dresses ($13.6 million), last week’s topper, Paramount’s J.J. Abrams-produced Cloverfield ($12.7 million, off 68%) and Diane Lane’s cyber-thriller Untraceable ( $11.2 million). Fox Searchlight’s multi-Oscar nominee and indie smash Juno was next with $10.3 million.


On this week’s HITS Album sales chart, Rhino’s Juno soundtrack appears poised for the #1 spot with between 65-70k in sales, while Epic’s Natasha Bedingfield looks like the week’s top debut, with between 40-45k, good enough for the Top 5.


The L.A. TimesRichard Cromelin chronicles Garth Brooks’ busy weekend, where he played five shows in two nights at L.A.’s Staples Center to benefit local area firemen here.

The L.A. Times’ Cromelin catches up with recent N.Y.-to-Hollywood transplant, indie-rock auteur Stephen Merritt on the Magnetic Fields’ new album here.

The L.A. TimesAnn Powers takes her daughter to see Ringo Starr at the House of Blues and blogs about it here.

The L.A. TimesMary McNamara says HBO’s latest series, In Treatment, is manna from heaven in the midst of the writers’ strike here.

The L.A. TimesMark Swed considers the spiritual connection between three noted eccentrics Hungarian pianist Ervin Nyiregyhazi, street performer Moondog and the late chess master Bobby Fischer here.

The N.Y. Times ponders new albums by Vampire Weekend, Willie Nelson, Pat Metheny, Ben Allison and Yo Gotti here.

The N.Y. TimesJon Pareles comes to praise John Mellencamp’s performance at the Housing Works Used Book Café before an intimate audience of 200 here.

Lenny Kravitz tells the N.Y. Times who he’s been listening to, including Devendra Banhart, Sharon Jones and Edith Piaf by way of La Vie en Rose here.

The N.Y. Times checks up on what striking writers are up to here.

The N.Y. Times talks to J.B. Smoove, better known as Leon Black, Larry David’s houseguest on the just-completed season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, here.

The N.Y. TimesJulianne Shepherd runs down some of the freshest female faces in indie hip-hop here.

Newsday’s Glen Gamboa gets the update on Chris Brown, Kate Nash, Kate Walsh and the Moldy Peaches here.

N.Y. Daily News pop critic Jim Farber weighs in on British New Wave veteran Joe Jackson’s new album Rain here and the North Mississippi AllstarsHernando here.


In 1956: Elvis Presley made his first appearance on national TV. He was a guest on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show.

In 1965: The Who appeared on the British TV show Ready Steady Go! for the first time.

In 1978: A Ted Nugent fan asked him to autograph an arm with a Bowie knife. Nugent obliged.

In 1978: The Doobie Brothers made an appearance on the ABC sitcom What's Happening!!

In 1980: Adam and The Ants split up.

In 1982: Jackson Browne and Lynne Sweeney had their first child, Ryan Daniel Browne.

In 1985: After the American Music Awards, some of the biggest stars in music, including Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles, recorded “We Are the World” under the eye of producer Quincy Jones. Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote the song to benefit famine relief.

In 1988: To promote the latest leg of their Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, Pink Floyd set afloat a giant inflatable bed down the Thames River in London.

In 1991: At the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Gloria Estefan made her first live performance since injuring her back in a bus accident while on tour.

In 1995: Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page turned up at a Black Crowes show in London. Page joined the band four years later for a joint tour playing old Zeppelin tunes.

In 1996: Chris Isaak guest-starred on an episode of Friends.

In 2004: At a New York bash for record exec Lyor Cohen, Jay-Z announced that he planned on marrying his girlfriend, Beyonce Knowles.

In 2004: ”Godfather of Soul” James Brown was arrested and charged with domestic violence after allegedly pushing his wife to the floor during an argument at the couple's South Carolina home.

In 2004: R&B singer Faith Evans and her record executive husband, Todd Russaw, were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana in Hapeville, Georgia.

In 2005: Jim Capaldi, drummer with U.K. folk-prog legends Traffic, died of stomach cancer at 60.

In 2005: Nickelback's Ryan Vikedal, drummer with the Vancouver rockers since 1996, left the band.

Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)

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