HITS Daily Double
I was exploring online yesterday when I came across the home page for The Bachelor There was a section on how to apply to be a bachelorette on The Bachelor III. I found myself looking over the application guidelines and pondering the possibility of taking part. I’m thinking about seeking therapy for this.


Let’s Try to Spend Some Quality Time Together This Weekend, but We Need to Work Around the Patriots-Raiders Rematch Sunday at 5:30…OK?
As our faithful reader knows, this weekly compendium is largely the work of pathetic middle-aged males whose primary interests haven’t changed since they were 9 or 10. In recent months, however, an attempt has been made to close the gender gap—thus broadening (no pun intended) our audience—by running regular features from two women, fiction writer Lisa Teasley, whose edgy serialized narrative The Reno Duets reaches its 14th chapter this week, and bartender-turned-columnist Denise Bayles, authoress of “Denise’s Weakend Cocktail.” It occurs to us that we’ve consistently placed the efforts of these women at the bottom of the page, beneath the masturbatory trivia endlessly spewed out (sorry, bad choice of words) by the aforementioned pathetic middle-aged males. While we can’t give the outnumbered female contributors equal time, we can at least put them on top for a change. But before we get started, an important note: The college basketball season tipped off Thursday night with the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at NYC’s Madison Square Garden, the first game featuring a pair of pre-season Top 10s, #3 Oklahoma and #8 Alabama. We’re talking men’s hoops, obviously. OK, ladies, yer up.

by Lisa Teasley

This serialized story, which runs weekly in this space, is about two boys from Reno, Eddie & Penguin, who come down to LA to make it with their band. They're 21, 22-ish, one's white, one's black, they're funny & witty, and have been close since they were 10.

: Betti took her friend to the Palm, while I was feeling every bit the weak horny woman I was last night at the Frolic. Maybe it was the color of the wall behind Eddie’s head—Eddie is a beautiful thing, don’t know why I never noticed before the black, black hair and almond dark eyes, the mouth a kind of delicious-looking, tiny, pink pillow. Amidst all the ska music, someone finds Van Morrison on the jukebox, and Pennie takes my hand to dance. I hold the small of his back in one hand, feel the sweat from his jaw and chin in my neck, his thigh moving in and out, uhmm, right there.

Pennie didn’t want to stay over last night. Even though Betti’s friend told them how good and promising they are, Pennie said he and Eddie needed to go home and be depressed together over the gig, so they dropped me off. I was buzzing around the kitchen, something about the neon glow of the light again, and I looked in the mirror feeling beautiful, and sure. Actually thought I’d get some work done so I went upstairs to the office, turned on the computer, and on came the pregnant, heavy hormones. The small blue light of the screen and the little shriek of the monkey for error, stripped me naked on the black chair, and I’m on it, wet and creamy, imagining Pennie in front of me, fully clothed except for his beautiful thing, watching me, and he’s squeezing it up and down until we both came. His eyes half-smile, twinkle, he caresses the end of his goatee.

Visit http://www.lisateasley.com/ to read past excerpts you may have missed.

I was wrong last week. You’d better enjoy that, because I don’t say it very often, since I’m hardly ever wrong. I'd thought that I was free of The Bachelor, but I was mistaken—this wasn’t the finale. Instead, this week’s episode was a reunion special featuring all the women who’d been slighted. They got to dish on each other and, of course, on The Bachelor. Then, in a surprise appearance, The Bachelor himself attempted to give the heartbroken some resolution and clarity as to why they weren’t the chosen one. The more I watch, the more intrigued I become by the whole thing.

I was exploring online yesterday when I came across the home page for The Bachelor. There was a section on how to apply to be a bachelorette on The Bachelor III. I found myself looking over the application guidelines and pondering the possibility of taking part. I’m thinking about seeking therapy for this. I was contemplating it, not because I’m desperate to get married, but just for the hell of it. I’m interested in the whole process of choosing the women who become involved. I want to know what these women are thinking, how they interact with each other and why they would put their love lives in the hands of TV execs. Are they desperate or just seeking their very own 15 minutes of fame? Knowing my luck, I would end up getting chosen, actually liking the guy and then making a fool of myself by crying and pleading my eternal love on national television. Then I would be branded for life as an overly emotional and desperate single woman. Alluring, isn’t it? More importantly, as a writer, I see a great opportunity to further my career. This could be my chance to get into the minds of other single women. So, I’m left pondering the possibility. This week’s cocktail is dedicated to my journalist’s drive to do whatever it takes to get a good story, even if it requires going undercover as a desperate “bachelorette wanna-be.” I might need a few of these drinks if I decide to go through with this, but it’s all in the name of great journalism and, of course, a book deal.

Journalist Martini
1 oz. dry gin
oz. sweet vermouth
oz. dry vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters
Dash lemon juice
Dash orange curacao
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass

I know you want to ask, so I’ll go ahead and answer the question for you. What could possibly drive a intelligent, beautiful, witty, talented (and extremely modest) gal like myself to give up her idealistic prince charming fairytale fantasies and commit such an anti-girl-power type of crime such as wanting to be part of a show whose entire concept I absolutely despise? Last night I was at the grocery store and was asked out by grandpa. No, not my grandpa, but somebody’s. Seriously. He was old—at least 70. I’m surprised he could move without his walker, let alone get it up. Now, before anyone gets offended, I have nothing against old people—unless they’re trying to get into my pants. That’s where I draw the line. Now, I do admire his courage, but did he actually think he had a shot? Maybe he thought, “Hell, I’m almost dead—what do I have to lose?” The fact that an old man hit on me wasn’t the thing that bothered me the most. The disturbing part was that there was a plethora of young, good-looking men wandering the aisles, and none of them were asking me out. In fact, I realized that I haven’t been asked out in a very long time, and up until last night, I didn’t mind. Now I’m left disenchanted with my entire dating, or lack of dating, life. Is there any hope for me?

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: If you’re feeling a bit hopeless, and you don’t want to resort to the extreme of being on The Bachelor, or even worse, one of those dating shows like Blind Date, Extreme Dating or The Fifth Wheel, and all you want to do is to look at some rock-hard bodies, then I suggest going to Red Rock on Sunset Blvd. This British pub is always busy and has great food. I was there last Friday during happy hour and had a blast. Jeff and Dave were behind the bar, and they were hot! Aside from being sexy, they went out of their way to get my much-needed Guinness, which they didn’t have behind their bar. I suggest going during happy hour, which is seven days a week from 5-7 p.m., drinks are half priced.

De’s diss of the week: If you want to see the other side of desperation, then check out Dimples in Burbank. This Valley karaoke bar attracts young and old, both desperate and horny. Many here think they’re “almost famous,” but far from. The owner is definitely the dirty-old-man type who hires porn-star-like karaoke hosts and broadcasts the performances on a cable-access channel. He must know what he’s doing, because this place is usually packed with people wanting their shot to belt out some out-of-tune lyrics. If you’re a glutton for punishment, then check it out.

This week I need your help more than ever. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to partake in my undercover Bachelor journey. There is an open call this Saturday in San Diego, and I can’t decide whether I’m going to go. Do you guys want to know what drives masses of young, beautiful women to compete for one man, who’s usually not that great? Is it the competition that the women like? Does winning validate them in some sense? Do they really hope to find love? What’s the draw? Should I step up to the plate (or the date) and sacrifice to get the answers? Or, at the very least, would you like something else to laugh at me about? E-mail my link below and let me know what you think. Should I stay or should I go? Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO):
According to a couple of my colleagues, this show requires you not only to appreciate self-loathing, but to embrace it. If that’s the case, HBO subscribers have risen to the challenge en masse. Indeed, millions of them breathed a sigh of relief last weekend when Larry finally managed to get that pubic hair out of his throat, only to be shocked minutes later by the news that there would only be one more episode this year. Yup, the funniest show on TV ends its best season yet Sunday night at 10. Self-loathers are encouraged to get it while they can. —BS

2. Ben Folds at Hollywood Palace: Being reborn as a solo artist fits Folds to a T, as he gets to interact with his devoted audience (who practically drown him out singing his lyrics back to him) like no one this side of Raffi. He pounds the piano like the one-time drummer he was, with a musicologist’s ear, segueing from his own “My Philosophy” into the surf classic “Miserlou,” with a dash of “Chopsticks,” before covering Liz Phair, Bacharach & David (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”), Wham (“Careless Whisper”) and Elliott Smith. For his closer, he croons the Louvin Brothers’ “Satan Is Real,” from their ’59 Capitol Records debut, then brings out one-time collaborator William Shatner as a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher. Combining the melodic punch of Elton John, the crowd-pleasing energy of Billy Joel, the narrative flow of Harry Chapin and the satirical edge of Randy Newman, Ben Folds brings the piano back to the forefront of rock. RT

3. Bruce Pollock, Working Musicians (Harper Collins): This just-published trade paperback collects the relevant bits from veteran music journalist Pollock’s three decades of interviews with musicians and songwriters, from the legendary (Zappa, Garcia, Springsteen) to the obscure (OK, name the guitarist in Edie Brickell’s New Bohemians). Rather than Qs and As, Pollock cuts to the chase, crystallizing these dozens of interview exchanges into generally concise monologues from the interviewees. This is the kind of book you can open to any page and be immediately engaged; pick up a copy and keep it in the john. —BS

4. Litigation threat of the week: Atlanta Journal-Constitution music writer Bill Wyman gets a cease & desist letter from the attorney for former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman ordering him to put a disclaimer before his name—even though journo BW was given his name at birth, while bassist BW was born William George Perks. —SG

5. Joe Pantoliano: Between Memento’s Teddy and The Sopranos’ late, already lamented Ralph Cifaretto, this throwback to the great Hollywood character actors has created two of the most memorable onscreen portrayals of recent years. And that doesn’t even count his indelible turn in The Matrix. Amazingly, Pantoliano’s career goes back to the early ’80s, with roles in The Idolmaker, Risky Business (as Guido the pimp), Eddie and the Cruisers, The Goonies, La Bamba (playing legendary record producer Bob Keene) and Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun. Here’s hoping Joey Pants hangs around to haunt us from the grave in upcoming Sopranos episodes. I can’t think of another actor who could elicit such sympathy after being such an unabashed creep. RT

6. The Happy Holiday Hearth (Rhino Home Video): Subtitled “A Virtual Fireplace for All Occasions,” this DVD is a perfect way to warm up spirits at your office during Q4 madness. A crisp, unwavering video track of a roaring fire can be accompanied with audio of (a) same fire crackling, (b) 23 seasonal chestnuts, including “White Christmas,” “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” “Silver Bells,” “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and even “Ave Maria” or (c) all of the above. As the witty sleeve notes point out, this is a maintenance-free fire that will burn continuously on your electronic hearth. I just wish there were a director’s commentary. —SG

7. 15 Minutes at the Parthenon: How’s this for culture clash? The Warhol exhibition hanging at Nashville's exact replica of the Parthenon. The opening bash was a hoot, with Donna Summer (looking incredible, by the way), Brooks & Dunn, Tony Brown, Tim DuBois, Luke Lewis, Gary Haber, Ken Levitan and Joe Galante, while Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle and Todd Snider represented the hip songwriting community. Representing Warhol’s legacy was Factory denizen Jane Holzer, along with a couple of Marilyns, a Mao, a Mick and a wallful of Campbell's Soup cans. The exhibition runs through Jan. 4. —HG

8. Delbert McClinton, Room to Breathe (New West): The affable Texan has been making records forever, and his stylistic range—encompassing roadhouse blues, stone country, uptown soul of the Georgie Fame school and his own winking form of rock & roll—is vibrantly represented on his latest slab of shiny plastic. The great thing about Delbert is his attitude: With all those miles on him, the dude still seems genuinely life-affirming. —BS

9. What’s spinning in spinning class: Among the tracks played this week by spinning instructors at the Sports Center in Toluca Lake were Puddle of Mudd’s “She Hates Me,” Eminem’s “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” and “Without Me,” Coldplay’s “Clocks" and "Yellow,” the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin’,” Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rollin’ Stone” and “Hurricane,” the Dandy Warhols’ “Bohemian Like You,” Queens of the Stone Age’s “No One Knows,” Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland" and Pete Yorn’s “For Nancy (’Cos It Already Is).” Highly motivating, every one of them. —BS

10. COMCAST/AT&T BROADBAND: Feds grant approval to create cable monster. The deal was worth some $73 billion (stock plus debt) when announced last December. Remarkably, it is now valued at less than $30 billion. Oh, well—what's $43 billion between friends?

New Orleans + 3 at Atlanta
That guy is the shit—Michael Vick, that is. Now two weeks ago, I done took Atlanta and the points. Guess whut? I was right. Now, this here week the tables has turned, and if you don’t take New Orleans and the three, you is stupid. And as Forrest Gump sez, stupid is as stupid does. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Pittsburgh -3 at Tennessee
Holy Bud Adams. Man, you’d have to be blind not ta see whut’s gonna happen here. The danged ol’ Titans is done for. The danged ol’ Steelers, on the other hand, just might play in the Super Bowl. So take Pittsburgh and give Tennessee their danged ol’ three, cuz they suck jest as bad as the danged ol’ Oilers did. —Guy W.T. Goggles
(Year to date: 11-5)

It’s been reported that the legal battle over the ownership of Barry Bonds’ 73rd home run ball could result in legal fees that are greater than the ball’s value. I have no decent retort for this. Giants fans, myself included, have become so immersed in losing the "cherished memory" chances at every given opportunity that the ownership of this ball has taken on some mystic epic quest—the golden fleece, if you will. In other words, the only thing left for fans of the perennial losers is to become perennial losers themselves. The phenomenal neeeeed to own this fucking ball is beyond pathetic. Kind of like—no, goddammit, exactly like—being a Red Sox or Cubs fan. Sartre said that you can only act like someone for so long before you actually become that someone. We have become the lowly fans of losers. And it's losers that we now accept ourselves to be—fulfilling our destiny as waterboys of the big leagues. The D'backs have only been in existence for a motherfucking hour and 15 minutes, and even they already have a championship under their belts. So the fight for the ball exceeds the need to replace Jeff Kent or David Bell. Those replacements will only continue to reap the same rewards in our minds. It never works. Why would it? It never has. And it probably won't in our lifetimes. So get the fucking meaningless piece of memorabilia. It's the only thing we've got left. —Mark Pearson

Pretenders, Loose Screw (Artemis): Nearly 23 years and 10 albums after kicking off the 1980s with a spectacular debut, Chrissie Hynde remains as cool as ever. Hynde’s equally compelling tough and tender sides are each in full effect on her band’s first effort since leaving Warner Bros., which comes off as an extended confrontation with a wayward significant other (it’s difficult to hear Hynde’s music as anything other than autobiographical). Loose Screw opens with a blast of judgmental rage in the rocker “Lie to Me,” but a number of the tracks that follow are dominated by reggaefied midtempo grooves that allow Hynde to project vulnerability in a disarmingly candid way. These songs contain the assertiveness of soul music and the victimized plaintiveness of pure country, but refracted through Hynde’s distinctive sensibility, it’s all rock & roll. Loose Screw opens with a blast of judgmental rage in the rocker “Lie to Me,” but a number of the tracks that follow, including single “Complex Person,” roll along on willowy reggaefied grooves, allowing Hynde to project vulnerability in a disarmingly candid way. The best of these songs, like “The Losing” and “I Should Of” (sic), contain the assertiveness of soul music and the victimized plaintiveness of pure country, but refracted through Hynde’s dynamic sensibility, it’s all rock & roll.
Bud Scoppa

The Streets, Original Pirate Material (Vice): “This ain’t your archetypal street sound,” boasts 23-year-old one-man band Mike Skinner over the plaintive horns and pungent ska beat of “Let’s Push This Thing Forward,” the first single from his brash debut. Dubbed the Eminem of Cockney rap, he’s more like an Ian Dury-esque bloke (the jaunty “Don’t Mug Yourself”) crossed with the neo-beat poetry scat of Patti Smith (“Weak Become Heroes”) and pre-Swept Away Guy Ritchie (the testosterone-fueled “Geezers Need Excitement”). Carrying the banner of a post-rave variant on house music called garage—which, unlike its American punk counterpart, combines hip-hop, two-step, funk, dub, reggae, jazz and soul—this U.K. MC from the heart of Birmingham manages to fill those grimy industrial Streets with a dance-floor celebration.
Roy Trakin

Halo Friendlies, Get Real (Tooth & Nail):
From the opening power-pop attack of single “Sellout,” it’s apparent the four gals who make up the HF mean business, and their self-described “girl sass-pop” rocks infectiously. Produced by Muffs singer/guitarist Kim Shattuck and featuring Lo-Ball bassist Ginger Reyes, this debut full-length alternately emphasizes the power and the pop, coming across as an edgier Go-Go’s or Bangles, with lyrical depth and a strong melodic sense. Besides “Sellout,” the rock is showcased on hard-hitters “Run Away” and “Disappear,” while the big, swingy pop chorus of “Just Like You” redefines catchy with TV-theme conciseness. And don’t miss the lovely, hushed “Unsaid Goodbyes.” Listener-friendly and then some.
Jon O’Hara

1. David Gray,
A New Day at Midnight (ATO/RCA): So many great songs. My current faves: “Knowhere” and “Be Mine.”
2. N.E.R.D., In Search Of… (Virgin): The incredible Neptunes production team presents the perfect synthesis of sophisticated hip/hop and edgy R&B.
3. John Lennon, Imagine (Capitol): Remixed, remastered and revelatory.
4. Jimi Hendrix, Blue Wild Angel—Live at the Isle of Wight (Experience Hendrix/MCA): Make sure you score the two-disc version.
5. Avril Lavigne, Let Go (Arista): Start with Track 1, “Losing Grip,” then skip to Track 8, “Anything But Ordinary,” and let it play to the end. I’m determined to make you like this record. —Mike Morrison

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
: Part Two of the best-selling J.K. Dowling series, with Harry ignoring warnings not to return to Hogwarts, where he hears haunting voices and investigates further strange doings. If you have to ask, it’s not for you.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and the late Richard Harris, joined by Kenneth Branagh and Jason Isaacs.
Director: Chris Columbia again, with a screenplay by Steve Kloves (The
Fabulous Baker Boys
, Wonder Boys)
Thumbs Up: IMHO, the first one was livelier than Lord of the Rings.
Thumbs Down: Same as it ever was, but should continue raking in box-office gold.
Soundtrack: The Warner Sunset/Nonesuch/Atlantic album features John Williams’ score, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, recorded at Abbey Road.
Website: www.harrypotter.warnerbros.com shows a flying car getting stuck in a tree and a slew of merchandise tie-ins in a state-of-the-art site.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Artisan)
A documentary about Motown’s famed Funk BrothersJames Jamerson, Benny “Papa Zita” Benjamin, Robert White and Earl Van Dyke—who played on almost every great hit by the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, et al., accompanying modern-day stars Joan Osbourne, Chaka Khan, Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins.
Stars: All the above, plus Marvin Gaye, Gerald Levert, Me’Shell NdegeOcello, Martha Reeves, Tom Scott, Montel Jordan, Don Was, with narration by Andre Braugher (TV’s Homicide).
Director: Paul Justman (Gimme an F)
Thumbs Up: A musical documentary about arguably the greatest studio band of all time playing some of the most memorable pop ever.
Thumbs Down: The sad state of the current pop music business is only underscored by a glimpse at its illustrious past.
Soundtrack: The Hip-O album features Levert’s “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” Harper’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” Collins’ “Cool Jerk,” Osbourne’s “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” and Khan’s “What’s Going On”
Website: Standingintheshadowsofmotown.com
features a 7-minute trailer that gives a healthy taste of what to expect.

Half-Past Dead (Franchise/Screen Gems)
: Criminal mastermind infiltrates reopened Alcatraz to persuade man on death row to tell him where he hid $200 million in gold from a heist the FBI was never able to solve, with Steven Seagal as an undercover agent.
Stars: Aging action hero Seagal hopes rappers can continue to boost his career like DMX did on Exit Wounds, with Ja Rule, Kurupt, Boyz N The Hood’s Morris Chestnut co-starring
Director: Veteran TV actor/director Don Michael Paul (Silk Stalkings) makes his feature debut. He also wrote the screenplay, his first since 1991’s Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.
Thumbs Up: Die Hard in prison, with rappers.
Thumbs Down: Doncha wish the mob would take care of Seagal once and for all?
Soundtrack: Rappers, but no soundtrack? Impossible.
Website: www.SonyPictures.com lets you watch the trailer, visit Alcatraz’s new high-tech death chamber and get a history of the famed prison.

Ararat (Miramax)
: This historical epic is about a young Armenian Canadian’s struggles with his past and present set against a film being made about Turkey’s genocide of his people in 1915-17.
Stars: David Alpay, Charles Aznavour, Eric Bogosian, Bruce Greenwood, Christopher Plummer, Elias Koteas.
Director: Armenian-Canadian Atom Egoyan, an art-house fave for his work on The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica.
Thumbs Up: Egoyan’s films always psychologically illuminating and filled with superb acting, and this is his most personal project yet.
Thumbs Down: His deliberate style is bound to elicit extreme reactions.
Soundtrack: The Milan album features original score by Mychael Danna, recorded in Toronto and Armenia.
Website: www.Miramax.com/Ararat/ offers a synopsis, the trailer and show times.

El Crimen del Padre Amaro (IDP/Samuel Goldwyn)
Concept: Controversial Mexican film about corruption in the Catholic Church, featuring the story of a yuoung priest sent to a small parish, where he’s surrounded by physical temptation.
Stars: Gael Garcia Bernal
Director: Veteran Carlos Carrera is an award-winning Mexican director with five films under his belt, including Un Embrujo (Under a Spell), Sin Remitente (No Return Address/Return to Sender), El Heroe (The Hero), La Vida Conyugal (Conjugal Life).
Thumbs Up: Broke records for an opening weekend by a domestically produced film in Mexico, official submission in the Best Foreign Film for this year’s Oscars… in a year in which the critically acclaimed Y Tu Mama Tambien is also eligible.
Thumbs Down: Movie being denounced by church after release coincided with stories of sexual abuse cases filed against Catholic priests.
Soundtrack: BMG U.S. Latin album features David Olivarez, Mexfil Orchestrra, Pablo Montero, Coro Siquem, Los Razos, Sequentia, Julio Preciado, Andre Previn, Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla, Luis Carlos Monroy.
Website: www.padreaamaromovie.com is pretty dramatic, with a comprehensive menu that offers story synopsis, related reviews, trailers, downloads, e-cards, etc. —RT

Contributors: Kevin Badami, Denise Bayles, Lenny Beer, Holly Gleason, Simon Glickman, Guy W.T. Goggles, Mike Morrison, Jon O'Hara, Mark Pearson, Lisa Teasley, Roy Trakin

Editor: Bud Scoppa