HITS Daily Double
It was the summer of unsettling natural phenomena, as the sharks came to the beaches and entire heads of hair turned gray overnight; the strange summer when sports’ quintessential role model, a paragon of virtue and self-discipline, suddenly and alarmingly fell from grace.


Ahhh, Blessed Relief; We Never Needed a
Labor Day Weekend More Than This One
On the occasion of this much-anticipated Labor Day Weekend, we are gathered here to lay to rest the summer of 2003 This, as it turned out, was the summer of our discontent, the part of the story where it gets worse before it can get better. It was the summer of unsettling natural phenomena, as the sharks came to the beaches and entire heads of hair turned gray overnight; the strange summer when sports’ quintessential role model, a paragon of virtue and self-discipline, suddenly and alarmingly fell from grace. It was the summer in which the aftermath of war was far worse than the war itself. Speaking of unprecedented conflict, it was also the summer when the music industry formally declared war on music lovers, as millions of unsold CDs sat forlornly on record-store shelves. This was the season of queer TV, the summer when the German jokes in Airhead cartoons came to life in a surreal mutation of California politics. It was the summer when thinking outside the box became not just an option but a necessity. Farewell and good riddance, summer of 2003. Let’s just hope autumn leaves us alone.

1. Spa-Treatment Tip: If you’re heading to a resort for the holiday weekend, chances are you’re gonna want a massage to get rid of those knots that have accumulated from your neck to your sacroiliac. When you book it, the spa attendant will ask you some questions: What kind of massage do you want? Do you prefer a male or female massage therapist? Do you want 50 minutes or 80 minutes? Believe me, those choices are far less important than one they won’t ask you about—what you need to say is, “Whatever. All I care about is that I get a masseur or masseuse who doesn’t feel the need to talk through the whole fucking session. I’m here for a massage, not a dialogue. Is that too much to ask?” You will thank me for this. —BS

2. New Records to Throw in the Car: Hey, maybe the last thing you wanna do over Labor Day weekend is listen to music. But if the mere sight of a CD doesn’t remind you of things you’re loath to think about as you try to relax, there are some intriguing new and upcoming albums to check out while you’re on your way outta town. I’ve listened to the first track or two of these, and each of them made me eager to hear more: Shelby Lynne, Identity Crisis (Capitol, 9/16); Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Greendale (Reprise); Rufus Wainwright, Want One (DreamWorks, 9/23); Warren Zevon, The Wind (Artemis); Joe Firstman, The World of Women (Atlantic); Wilshire, New Universe(Columbia, 10/7); John Mayer, “Bigger Than My Body” (Aware/Columbia single, from the impossible to scam Heavier Things, 9/9). —BS

3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Greendale (Reprise): “I won’t retire, but I might retread,” Grandpa says to antihero Jed in the opening bars of “Falling From Above”—a wry nod to the potential for late-career wheel-spinning, especially for one who has been as prolific as Young. The irony of that pun, however, is just how fresh and true these 10 songs sound, and how effortlessly this Young-ian concept album—accompanied by DVD and a soon-to-be-released film—hangs together. “There’s a lot going on in Greendale that I don’t know about either,” he writes in the accompanying notes. “I mean, I made it up and I don’t know what the hell’s goin’ on.” Well, how about cross-generational bonding, cop-killing and existential angst, for starters? Moody, contemplative, understated and ultimately serene (“Bandit”), this disarmingly naked production reaffirms Young’s freaky genius and stands among his best work. —JO

4. Neil Young reissues (Reprise): Warner Bros. has taken the occasion of the release of Young’s latest, Greendale, to reissue remastered versions of four of the singer/songwriter’s mid-’70s/early-’80s albums that have never been on CD before. On the Beach (1974) and American Stars n Bars (’77) are essential. The former’s a moody, drug-saturated masterpiece much influenced by the crazed Rusty Kershaw, which includes the classic Young lyric, “Sooner or later, it all gets real,” and standouts “Walk On,” “Revolution Blues,” “For the Turnstiles” and “Ambulance Blues.” The latter, with its memorable cover featuring Young lying face down on a glass table, sports the closing sequence, “Star of Bethlehem,” “Will to Love,” “Like a Hurricane” and the much re-recorded “Homegrown.” The other two—1980’s Hawks & Doves and the following year’s Crazy Horse rocker Reactor—are relatively minor works in the Young canon. Hawks & Doves is mainly distinguished by Young’s reactionary political turn in the title track—foreshadowing the politically incorrect leanings of Greendale. Reactor, recorded while Neil was in a therapeutic program to help him cope with autistic son Ben, features the repetitive, nine-minute-plus meat-and-potatoes rant of “T-Bone” and the synclavier-infused “Shots,” prefiguring his strange synth/vocoder album Trans. —RT

5. NCAA Football: It’s still August, but 22 of the AP preseason Top 25 college teams are in action this weekend; only #10 Pittsburgh, #20 Notre Dame and #22 Arizona State are waiting until Sept. 6. Taking a cue from their big-time basketball brethren, many of the powers have scheduled what amount to warm-up games to open their schedules, but there are two intriguing exceptions on national TV this Saturday, both intersectional match-ups pitting highly ranked teams: #8 Southern Cal at #6 Auburn (3 p.m. EDT, CBS) and #17 Washington at #2 Ohio State ( 5 p.m. ABC). Two highly ranked teams played seeming pushovers Thursday night, and one of them, #15 Maryland, somehow found a way to lose in overtime to obscure Northern Illinois. That’s the great thing about college football—anything can happen… In a peripherally related note, USA is using Spoon’s “Small Stakes” for bumpers during its U.S. Open coverage—how hip is that? —BS

6. Jim DeRogatis, Milk It!: Collective Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the ’90s (Da Capo Press): Acerbic Chicago Sun-Times rock critic DeRogatis has compiled some of the pieces he’s penned for Request, Salon, BAM and other publications as an overview of the decade’s alt-rock explosion, but he’s at his best when he’s venting. Whether it’s the blow-by-blow of his firing from Rolling Stone for daring to write an unfavorable Hootie & the Blowfish review over Jann Wenner’s objections, or a rant against the commercialization of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, DeRogatis never flinches from his view of rock & roll as the ultimate rebel yell. The man suffers neither fools, nor mindless nostalgia, gladly. —RT

7. Daniel Mason, The Piano Tuner (Knopf): When Lenny Beer handed me this novel about a staid Londoner who travels into the jungles of Burma to tune the piano of a highly unconventional British officer in 1886, he compared it to The Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, with good reason. But there’s even more resonance to this colorful saga. Beneath its fact-based narrative, set in Eastern Burma during a revolt by the Shan tribes against British colonialist rule, The Piano Tuner turns out to be an absorbing reflection on obsession and transformation, bringing to mind The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Fitzgarraldo and, significantly, Homer’s Odyssey, which is crucially referenced during the book’s climax. This remarkable first novel by an extremely young author (in his dust-jacket photo, he looks like a college undergrad) teems with exotic detail and old-soul wisdom. This is one vivid read. —BS

8. Scott R. Benarde, Stars of David: Rock ’n’ Roll’s Jewish Stories (Brandeis University Press): The ex-Palm Beach Post rock writer (he succeeded our own Holly Gleason in the gig) compiles a series of interviews with Jewish pop and rock stars about how culture and religion manifested itself in their work. It’s a much meatier and thoughtful tome than Guy Oseary’s thin throwaway Jews Who Rock. There are some obvious subjects (Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, Randy Newman, Kinky Friedman, Max Weinberg, Billy Joel, Don Was and Peter Himmelman) and some not-so-obvious (Manfred Mann, P.F. Sloan, Procol Harum’s Keith Reid, bubblegum maestros Kasenetz & Katz, Cream songwriter Pete Brown, Spirit’s Randy California nee Randy Craig Wolfe, Trevor Rabin, Norman “Spirit in the Sky” Greenbaum, 10cc’s Graham Gouldman and rapper Remedy). Inspirational quote from David Lee Roth: “Every step I took on that stage was smashing some Jew-hating, lousy punk ever deeper into the deck… And if you were even vaguely anti-Semitic, you were under my wheels.” —RT

9. Hello Kitty: A series of online animation shorts showcases the death and resurrection of the Napster kitty, in a clever and surprisingly edgy promotion for the revamped, commercial version of the infamous peer-to-peer innovator (now owned by Roxio, deploying elements of the pressplay service), is now viewable at http://www.napsterbits.com/. The first four chapters are lively and intriguingly dark. Is this a harbinger of a better new Napster than anyone's expecting, or just old wine in new bottles? —SG

10. NFL Opening Night, Jets vs. Skins (Thurs., 9/4, ABC): Did Joe Namath really sell his soul to the devil to win Super Bowl III? Is Matt Snell the Antichrist? Is Weeb Ewbank an anagram for Beezlebub? What did the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets do wrong to deserve the kind of bad luck that seems to plague my team year after year? With hopes high for a possible Super Bowl appearance after last year’s quarter-final loss to the hated Raiders, promising young QB Chad Pennington shattered his wrist in last weekend’s exhibition game against the equally hated Giants. Like all true-green Jets rooters, I’m always expecting the worst, and most of the time, getting it. That said, I still can’t wait for Thursday’s opening night game against the by-far-most-hated-of-all Redskins, who stole not one, two or three, but four free-agents from us during the off-season. Not to mention the fact they are noted trash-talkin’ Mix editor Ricky Leigh Mensh’s favorite team, which makes not only defeat but utter humiliation uppermost to even begin to salvage the season. So for native Long Island son Vinny Testaverde, who longs to bring a Super Bowl to his beloved Noo Yawk, the stage is set for what could be one of the most unlikely sports fantasies ever…but more likely another letdown in a series of them for Jets fans since that magical championship season of 1969. —RT

Let’s assume you’re heading for some picturesque spot along the coast, where you’ve booked an ocean-view room. Here’s a suggested sequence comprising tracks from new and reissued albums that’s tailored to get you in the mood. We’ll title it…

Message in a Bottle.
Side One

1. Fountains of Wayne, “Stacy’s Mom”
2. War, “Low Rider”
3. The Cars, “Good Times Roll”
4. John Mayer, “Bigger Than My Body”
5. Radiohead, “Go to Sleep”
6. The Police, “Message in a Bottle”
7. Rufus Wainwright, “I Don’t Know What It Is”
8. Marvin Gaye, “I Want You”
9. eastmountainsouth, “Hard Times”
10. The Byrds, “Set You Free This Time”

Side Two

11. The Sleepy Jackson, “Close to This”

12. The Thorns, “I Told You”

13. Shelby Lynne, “Telephone”

14. Joe Jackson, “Steppin’ Out”

15. Joe Firstman, “Breaking All the Ground”

16. Guster, “Amsterdam”

17. Al Green, “One Nite Stand”

18. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Bandits”

19. Spain, “September Song”

20. Procol Harum, “Weisselklenznacht”
Bud Scoppa

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Take Them on on Your Own (Virgin):
Taking their name from a Brando flick, this trippy threesome openly references the sexy acid-fuzz of the Jesus and Mary Chain and the brainy, psychedelic nonchalance of the Velvet Underground. But the trio—fronted by guitarist-bassist-singers Peter Hayes and Robert Turner—packs in plenty of post-punk horsepower. On this, BRMC’s self-produced follow-up to their eponymous 2000 debut, the band sticks to the basics—churning tracks like “Stop,” the thundering “Six Barrel Shotgun” and “Generation” conjure the vibe of a million packed, sweaty dives, the crowd whipped up into a froth. With vibrant grooves (driven by the indefatigable Nick Jago) and strategically deployed riffage, the band kicks up a hypnotic racket. Simon Glickman

Warren Zevon, The Wind (Artemis): There’s always been a morbid, mordant strain in Zevon’s work, so it’s no surprise he’s managed to turn his terminal illness into an unsentimental celebration of a life lived to the fullest, with just a touch of regret. Featuring superstar friends like Tom Petty, Don Henley, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam and Ry Cooder, the album is less about mourning than making the most of what’s left, with plenty of gutbucket, throaty blues on songs like “Rub Me Raw” and “Prison Grove.” The first single, a maybe-too-obvious version of Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is about not going gently rather than fearing the unknown, while the other highlight is a rousing duet with Bruce Springsteen on the buzzsaw “Disorder in the House.” For Zevon, death is anything but neat and tidy.
Roy Trakin

The Postal Service, Give Up (Sub Pop): This side project from Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello (who has performed as Dntl) takes an indie-rock approach to new wave/synth-pop for its series of bittersweet, vocal-fueled, keyboard-heavy pop gems. There’s plenty to love here. “This Place Is a Prison” is dark and restrained, with Gibbard’s voice barely above a whisper, but his emotions are bared as if he were screaming. “Such Great Heights” recalls the pop genius of New Order and the Pet Shop Boys by slicing and dicing modern beats in a synthesized, ’80s new wave Cuisineart. For that reason and more, Give Up is a cool, clean, at-times-minimalist disc that gives plenty of reasons to go Postal. David Simutis

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the weather—it takes a meteorologist. Or someone who watches the Weather Channel. Flipping channels while waiting for Madonna to kiss women, here’s what I found out: It’s going to rain in New York this weekend, maybe. It might even be raining right now. But not on Sunday. No rain on Sunday. Most likely. Temps will only be in the low 80s until it rains, if it does. On Sunday, after the rain moves through, if it rains, the high will only be in the low 70s. Monday, which is still part of the weekend, it’s going to rain again and it’s going to be high of 70, low of 60. Get used to the rain. I changed channels before they said which day it was going to stop, but it sounded like Fri—something. Lows will be in the mid-60s. In Los Angeles, it’s not going to rain. Ever. At least that’s what Gov. Gray Davis said. Highs will be in the mid-80s, lows in the mid-60s until the new governor gets voted in and does something about this weather. —DS

Iron Maiden, With Dio and Motorhead, at the Long Beach Arena, Aug. 25: If you could chart the rise and intensity of arena metal, and see the peaks and lulls throughout history, you’d see a massive spike in the graph around March of 1985. It was then, at the height of their reign, that the legendary Iron Maiden brought their World Slavery tour to the Long Beach Arena. Those behemoth shows, quite possibly the pinnacle of all metaldom, yielded the quintessential Live After Death concert film, as well as Bruce Dickinson’s enduring battle cry, “Scream for me, Long Beach.” Once a requisite stop on every major rock tour, the Long Beach Arena seemed all but abandoned for many years, as if waiting silently for the return of the crowd. Maiden (and much of the ’80s metal genre) was largely overlooked throughout the ’90s, as smaller venues packaged revival tours, and the vision of Long Beach began to grow dim. Now, 18 years later, it was time to stage a return to the scene, to celebrate the Maiden legacy, the enduring power of metal, and the legendary venue that echoes, even now, with the screams of ’85.

As we pulled into the parking lot, amid thousands of blaring car stereos and a sea of faded black concert T-shirts emblazoned with angular logos, a sense of homecoming swept over us. There was something strangely familiar about it all. Nostalgia? Perhaps. But it was as though the tailgate party of ‘85 just picked up where it left off all those years ago. Heavy Metal Parking Lot, indeed! We passed, humbly, through the entrance to the Long Beach Arena, for the first time in many years, with a chill of excitement; the gleaming eyes of thousands of metalheads, as they filed in, resembled those of Wonka Golden Ticket holders. Tonight would be something magical.

Kicking off the evening with a thunderous rumble, Motorhead emerged with leather intact—and the air was filled with the aged growls of Lemmy Kilmister, the granddad of hesher metal. Their signature brand of gritty speed metal, unchanged for 25 years, still brings a crowd to its feet. Lemmy’s throaty vocals were as gravelly and indecipherable as ever on high-decibel oldies like “Metropolis,” “No Class” and “Overkill.” In the evening’s first nod to the celebrated Arena, Lemmy reminisced about opening for Ozzy at the venue back in ’81. He then rallied the crowd for some gut-busting screams, only to declare, “Your parents used to love us, and they were a lot louder back then.” Rounding out their set with a fiery “Killed by Death,” a tribute to the Ramones and their classic “Ace of Spades,” Motorhead successfully whacked the place upside the head, landing us squarely in the vicinity of March ’85. Whoo-hoo!

Next, the elfin king of dragon-slaying, demonic rock, Ronnie James Dio, moved into kill position. Ever the showman, RJD took command of the throng, as he and his diabolically tight ensemble smote their way through “Killing The Dragon.” A bombastic reading of “Last In Line” followed, as Dio—his signature “Look Out!” and metal-horns at the ready—soared with vocal power. Rampaging through ’70s Rainbow classics (“Stargazer”), ’80s anthems (“Stand Up & Shout”), and blistering neo-Dio (“Rock & Roll”), the current RJD band proved as potent as any arena act from ’85. Ronnie offered his own nod to the classic venue, recalling the ’82 Black Sabbath tour that brought him to the LBA, then launching into a high-energy take on “The Mob Rules”. The obligatory, ’80s-style arena solos were on tap, featuring Craig Goldy’s lightning-fast six-string trickery and an engaging Simon Wright drum solo bashed out to Tchaikovsy’s 1812 Overture. Bulldozing through his signature metal hits, Dio dazzled on “Rainbow In the Dark”, “Dream Evil”, and “Holy Diver.” Concluding with a thunderous reading of his Sabbath anthem “Heaven & Hell,” Dio commanded the house-lit arena amid a frenzy of pounding fists and banging heads.

With a massive, blinding “666” logo glowing above the stage, Iron Maiden exploded through their seminal doom-rock anthem, “Number of the Beast,” as a sea of fists pumped the air. Frontman Bruce Dickinson was in top form, leaping about the stage and unleashing his signature banshee wails as bassist Steve Harris and the triple-threat six-string tag team of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Jannick Gers sprinted through the Maiden choreography playbook. Striking action-hero stances, the band powered through a rapid-fire onslaught of vintage Maiden classics “The Trooper,” “Die With Your Boots On” and “Revelations,” to a thunderous Long Beach reception. In a rare humble moment, Dickinson beamed as the house lights revealed the rapturous arena crowd, apologizing for taking 18 years to return to town. Recounting the tale of a birthday celebrated backstage, during their ’85 stint, and the quarter-stick of dynamite used to top the cake, Bruce was pleased to discover that “They still haven’t changed the paint in there since.” Then Dickinson raised the roof, unleashing the line that all in attendance had waited so long to hear once more: “Scream for me, Long Beach!” Soon, macabre mascot Eddie, a 15-foot-high demon, moved out to center stage, as Long Beach screamed to the finale of “Iron Maiden.” Returning for high-octane encores of “Two Minutes to Midnight” and “Run to the Hills,” the Maiden machine brought the proceedings to a fitting climax. It had been a long time coming, but the return of Iron Maiden to the Long Beach Arena, marked the close of a chapter in their celebrated legacy, and the rebirth of a legendary venue. Scream for me, Long Beach! Joe Carona

The NYC music scene comes down from the high that is the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend. Following Justin Timberlake's star-studded and sold-out show at Roseland Thursday, what else is there? For starters, Metallica plays Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancy St.), "Camel Toe" girl poppers Fanny Pack light up the Knitting Factory (74 Leonard St.) and Darryl Worley ambles into McNiece Auditorium (Sparta,NJ), all on Friday. .. On Saturday and Sunday, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band close out 10 nights at Giants Stadium (Meadowlands Sports Complex, 50 Route 120, E. Rutherford, NJ). The Joneses and the Nerds open… Also on Saturday, Saliva spits it out at Birch Hill Nite Club (Rte. 9 South between Texas Rd. and Rte. 520, Old Bridge, NJ). —Valerie Nome

Jeepers Creepers 2 (MGM)
Sequel to surprise low-budget hit of two summers ago about a group of basketball players, coaches, cheerleaders and friends returning from winning the stage championship only to be chased by a winged, people-eating monster called the Creeper, which emerges from its nest every 23 years for a feeding frenzy.
Stars: Jonathan Breck, Ray Wise, Nicki Lynn Aycox
Director: Victor Salva
, the alleged child molester behind the cult hit Powder and the first Jeepers Creepers continues his bid to salvage his reputation. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Studios.
Thumbs Up: L.A. Times called the opening sequence of the first film one of the scariest of all time, and the film has Coppola’s art-film pedigree.
Thumbs Down:
The trailers look ridiculous but undeniably creepy.
Soundtrack: Varese Sarabande album includes score by Bennett Salvay.
www.mgm.com/ua/jeeperscreeepers2/ offers a trailer, a “Jeepers Journal,” an opportunity to win original storyboards from the film, buy merchandise, download audio and video and e-mail images.

Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (Palm Pictures)
Premise: Documentary on the rise of skateboarding culture in the ’80s traced through one of its big stars, Mark “Gator” Rogowski, whose bad boy stance made him an icon on the burgeonong scene. Falling out of favor as vertical ramp skating replaced street skating, Gator raped and murdered a friend of his ex-girlfriend in 1991, and is now serving 31-years-to-life in jail. Mixes period footage and interviews with today’s stars, such as Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta.
Stars: Rogowski, Hawk, Peralta, Cindy Crawford
Director: Helen Stickler
, who previously directed a short film about wrestler Andre the Giant.
Thumbs Up: Could be a Dogtown and Z-Boys with a compelling back story to boot.
Thumbs Down: Does anyone outside of the admittedly growing extreme sports crowd care?
Soundtrack: None
Website: www.stokedmovie.com offers information about the film, photos, links and contacts.

The Weather Underground (Shadow Distribution)
Documentary about the radical/activist revolutionary group active in the ‘60s, which protested the war and racism by taking up arms and explosives in a violent attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. Took their name from a song by Bob Dylan.
Stars: Interviews with many original members who have been in exile and hiding for the past 40 years.
Director: Sam Green and Bill Siegel. Green previously directed the ’97 award-winning short The Rainbow Man/John 3:16, about the guy who used to show up on TV at sporting events in his multicolored afro wig.
Thumbs Up: Could be a fascinating chronicle of a little-remembered episode in U.S. politics.
Thumbs Down: Does anyone who didn’t go through the ’60s even care?
Soundtrack: None
Website: Read the government files about the group at www.foia.fbi.gov/weather.htm

"Maddox and I intend to find another brother or sister one day soon, because it's meant to be," Angelina Jolie recently told the press. "I feel if I [conceived] a child, there would be one less child I would be taking out of an orphanage, and that would haunt me. But if I end up pregnant, we'll see." —VN

Ready, ready, ready, ready to run. For so long now I’ve been slamming guys for being commitment-phobes, when all along I’m one of them. I’ve realized the men I’ve accused of being afraid of commitment exhibited those signs all along, which is what attracted me to them in the first place—and many times they forewarned me. Is it the challenge I like, or that fact that deep down I know a relationship with someone who runs at the first sign of commitment will never put me in jeopardy of settling down—hmm...?

Maybe my friends were on to something a few months back. Can I like a man who doesn’t possess a fatal flaw? Why do we enjoy this new type of S&M—self-induced emotional torture? I don’t think I’m the only gal who’s capable of bailing on a perfect guy in order to continue our search for the bad boy who makes our heart race. Upon dumping the nice guy, we console each other by saying, “He was too nice.” What’s wrong with us—he was too nice? Why do we love only those who will torture our hearts and pass up the ones who bring flowers and say the right things and mean them?

When discussing this with one of my gay boyfriends, he laughingly announced that he hates bitches like me. Hell, I hate being one of those crazy bitches. It’s hard being psychotic. So, why do some of us put on the emotional armor and look for the nearest fire escape as soon as we realize the nice guy we’re dating could possibly be the perfect boyfriend? This week’s cocktail is dedicated those masochistic gals who torture your hearts on a daily basis.

Double S&M Martini
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. Sambuca
1 oz. green crème de menthe
Serve over ice, cringe and drink. Now, that’s torture.

Dating in my twenties was so much easier—fun and carefree. I didn’t care if the guy was the total package or if even if he stuck around after date two, because I knew there would be many more where he came from. In my thirties, I still believe the old cliché, “There are more fish in the sea.” But, I’m a lot choosier about which fish I decide to swim with. My problem is I want to catch the prize fish, which nobody else can catch, rather than the one jumping out of the water eager for me to hook him. I want the unattainable, leaving a lot of really nice guys flopping around on shore. How do I stop looking for a fatal flaw and give a nice guy a shot? My gay friend “Ryan” states, “No decisions should be made on a potential partner, regardless of your sexual preference, until you fuck.”—hello. My advice to the gals—drink a couple Double S&M Martinis and sleep with the nice guy. He might be the bad boy you’re looking for in the sack, making it quite all right for a nice guy to finish last.

De’s L.A. bar pick of the week: Unleash your inner masochist and continue your search for men with fatal flaws at Bar Sinister, every Saturday night at Boardner’s on Cherokee Ave. in Hollywood. Most likely you’ll be fleeing into the arms of the nearest nice guy after taking a peek into the dark side one of this city’s longest running Goth nights. This joint has nightly stage shows, making it not for the faint of heart. Round up some of your naughty friends and check out the darker side of Los Angeles. The dress code is Gothic, fetish, upscale black or evening attire—and little of it. After spending a night filled with leather, whips, chains, spankings and roaming vampires, you’ll require cleansing by Disney—a movie, a stuffed animal and your favorite pajamas.

I hope everyone has a nice and naughty Labor Day weekend. I’m going to work on my fear of nice guys by loosening my libido with my cocktail of the week. Until next week—hugs and kisses. Denise Bayles

Contributors: Denise Bayles, Joe Carona, Darren Cava, Simon Glickman, Valerie Nome, Jon O’Hara, David Simutis and Roy Trakin

Edited by Bud Scoppa