The L.A. Times weekend Calendar section ran a pair of matching front-page stories on the aesthetics of “smart dumb” comedies such as the upcoming Borat as well as Taladega Nights, Jackass: Number Two and Mike Judge’s unfairly dismissed Idiocracy.


Rod Stewart and The Grudge 2 Top the Best-Sellers, Stupid is Smart, Sharing on the Internet, CBGB RIP and The Greatest Website of All Time
The NLCS battle between the Mets and the Cardinals to decide who plays the Detroit Tigers in the World Series turns into a war of attrition, USC climbs into the #2 spot in the college football polls behind Ohio State, Hawaii gets a 6.6 earthquake, the Oscar candidate season begins in earnest and there are only 70 shopping days until Christmas.

J RecordsRod Stewart looks as if he’ll reign over the HITS Top 50 album chart this week, with his new album of rock covers looking in the 200k range, which should be enough to turn back last week’s chart-topper, Wind-up’s Evanescence, which should fall in the 150-160k range. G Unit/Interscope’s Lloyd Banks (150k) and Mailboat/ SBMGN’s Jimmy Buffett (110k) appear to be the Top 10’s two other debuts for the week. As always, keep checking our building albums sales chart to astound your colleagues at the water cooler with your knowledge of sales trends… just like our own Mark Pearson does. Other debuts include Lofton Creek’s country rockers Heartland (distribbed through Navarre, 60-65k), Vagrant’s Senses Fail (55-60k), Roadrunner’s Trivium (30-35k) and Rowdy/Universal Motown’s Sammie (20-35k). Among the records hitting retail shelves tomorrow are Bad Boy/Atlantic’s Diddy, Columbia’s Frankie J, MCA Nashville’s Vince Gill, Universal Motown’s JoJo, SBMGN/BNA’s Lonestar, Arista’s Sarah McLachlan, J’s Ruben Studdard and Koch’s Xzibit.

Sony Pictures continued its impressive box office run with its 12th #1 debut of the year for the horror flick, The Grudge 2, which scared up an estimated $22 million this past weekend after its Friday the 13th release. Still, that was 44% less than its predecessor two years ago, which debuted at $39.1 million in the U.S. and Canada en route to a gross of $110.4 million during its full run. Last weekend's #1 movie, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, hung tough to place second for Warner Bros., with an estimated $18.7m, for a total of $56.6m after 10 days. Universal’s Man of the Year, starring Robin Williams as a comedian who runs for president, grossed $12.6m for #3. Sony's animated animal tale Open Season placed fourth with $11m, with cumulative ticket sales of $59.2m. New Line Cinema's horror prequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning fell from #2 to #5 in its second weekend, grossing $7.8 million. 20th Century Fox’s The Marine, starring pro wrestler John Cena as a returned Iraq war veteran trying to rescue his kidnapped wife, debuted at #6 with $7m. Gener8xtion Entertainment's biblical saga One Night With the King, featuring Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif, placed ninth with an estimated gross of $4.3m. Three holdover films, The Guardian, Employee of the Month and Jackass: Number Two, the nation’s most illegally downloaded film by the way, according to file-sharing tracking service Big Champagne, stayed in the top 10. Ticket sales were up from the comparable weekend in 2005 for the third time in a row. Year-to-date revenue is up 6.5%. This Friday, Disney's highly touted The Prestige, a magician thriller from Batman Returns director Christopher Nolan, and Paramount’s Flags of Our Fathers, a World War II drama about the famed Iwo Jima photo, directed by Clint Eastwood, are expected to vie for the top spot. Sony's Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola’s period follow-up to the critically acclaimed Lost in Translation, also opens.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Times weekend Calendar section ran a pair of matching front-page stories on the aesthetics of “smart dumb” comedies such as the upcoming Borat as well as Taladega Nights, Jackass: Number Two and Mike Judge’s unfairly dismissed Idiocracy here. Pop critic Richard Cromelin interviewed The Killers about their stylistic departure on Sam’s Town with a sympathetic ear here, while Geoff Boucher weighed in on Disney’s continued kiddie music phenomenon with a piece on The Cheetah Girls here. 

Never mind file-sharing. The N.Y. Times reports today the latest Internet craze is bartering… trading your used CDs, DVDs, video games and books on sites like Peerflix, Lala.com, GameSwap.com and Paperbackswap.com here.

The TimesJon Pareles covers the final night at CBGB, which ended with a concert by Patti Smith (“Jesus died for somebody’s sins/But not for CBGB’s”) broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio here. Fellow scribe Ben Sisario gives his take on the historic occasion here. A slide show of pictures can be accessed here.

The Times reviews new albums by Ruben Studdard, JoJo, emo songwriter Kevin Devine and veteran Brit neo-folkie Bert Jansch here

Wanna know the Greatest Web Site of All Time? Check the N.Y. Times’ take on the obsessively listophilic www.scaruffi.com by clicking here.

Tonight’s TV music: Sting guest stars on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC, 10 p.m.), Tim McGraw performs on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m.), Rodrigo y Gabriela will be on Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m.) and country star Dierks Bentley is scheduled for The Late Show with Conan O’Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m.)


In 1966: Grace Slick performed with Jefferson Airplane for the first time at San Francisco’s Fillmore West.

In 1967: Joan Baez was arrested with 123 draft protesters when they blocked the entrance to the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakland, CA. Baez spent 10 days in jail.

In 1971: Isaac Hayes released the “Theme from Shaft.”

In 1972: Creedence Clearwater Revival announced they were splitting.

In 1973: Gene Krupa, the jazz superstar who invented the drum solo, died of heart problems stemming from leukemia at 64.

In 1976: Stevie Wonder released his double album Songs in the Key of Life, which featured the number-one singles “Sir Duke” and “I Wish.” It later won the Album of the Year Grammy.

In 1981: Bob Dylan kicked off his Shot of Love tour at the Milwaukee Auditorium. It was his first live outing since his controversial 1979 tour, during which he only played Christian material.

In 1982: Hall & Oates released their album H2O, which featured the hits “Maneater,” “One on One” and “Family Man.” The record peaked at #3.

In 1986: Eric Clapton and Keith Richards performed at Chuck Berry’s 60th birthday party.

In 1987: George Harrison released his single “I Got My Mind Set on You” in the U.S. The song went to #1.

In 1992: Two weeks after tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, Sinead O’Connor was booed at a Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. She replied by reciting the words to Bob Marley’s “War” before being escorted from the stage by Kris Kristofferson, who advised her, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” George Harrison, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Eric Clapton also performed.

In 2003: R&B songstress Blu Cantrell witnessed the stabbing of a promoter friend outside a Paris nightclub where she was holding an album release party.

In 2003: Courtney Love appeared in court in an effort to regain custody of her daughter Francis Bean Cobain. The child was placed in the care of Kurt Cobain's mother after Love was arrested for being under the influence of drugs.

In 2003: "With or Without You" rockers U2 donated $46k to the Irish branch of One in Four, a sex abuse charity facing closure due to lack of funds.

In 2003Simon & Garfunkel opened the first night of their Old Friends reunion tour in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

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)
Stuffing (in face).

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