HITS Daily Double
while every song on A Bigger Bang recalls another classic (“Rough Justice” = “Start Me Up”/”Brown Sugar”; “Back of My Hand” = “Love In Vain”; “Rain Fall Down” = “Hot Stuff,” etc.), there's enough of a difference to make them sound fresh rather than retreads.


Roy Trakin and Lenny Beer Crash the Party and Pontificate About People Their Own Age, Then Take Their Afternoon Naps
Musically speaking, there’s nothing bigger going on this weekend than Austin City Limits, which runs from Friday through Sunday (assuming Hurricane Rita doesn’t mess with the weather a few hundred miles inland) at Zilker Park, along the banks of Town Lake (the locals’ name for the Colorado River, which runs through Austin. Friday’s lineup includes the Allman Brothers, Gov't. Mule, Black Crowes, Spoon, Mindy Smith and Steve Earle. Scheduled to play Saturday are Buddy Guy, Oasis, Jet, Built to Spill, Jimmy Cliff, Tegan & Sara, Martin Sexton and others. On Sunday they wheel in the heavy artillery, with Coldplay, The Arcade Fire, The Bravery, Doves, Kaiser Chiefs, Bob Mould, Rilo Kiley and Wilco. Whoa… This episode of Weakend Planner features a guest appearance from onetime Planner editor Roy Trakin. Roy now writes the biweekly blog www.musicsnobs.com, along with our own Bud Scoppa.

Friday, Sept. 23rd
Disney on Ice Princess Classics @ Allstate Arena:
If you’re in the Chicago area, this is a perfect thing to take the kids to.

@ Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa

Motley Crue
@ Alltel Arena, Little Rock

Steve Kimock Band
w/Jerry Joseph @ House of Blues, West Hollywood (18 and over)

The Stoney Curtis Band @ the Sand Dollar Lounge
, Spring Mountain Rd. & Polaris, Las Vegas (21 and over)

Saturday, Sept. 24th
Ojai Renaissance & Pirate Faire:
Thousands of participants dressing in their finest pirate garb and taking part in games, treasure hunts and costume contests. The really serious mates reenact pirate battles, and your littlest Long John Silvers can have a blast with a variety of activities, crafts and games for kids. @ Lake Casitas in Ventura
(for more info call 801-538-8440).

X96 Big Ass Show: The Bravery, 30 Seconds to Mars, Hot Hot Heat and many more @ Utah State Fairpark, Salt Lake City

1:00pm/ 8:00pm
Unwritten Law
@ House of Blues, Anaheim (all ages for both shows!)

Rick Springfield
@ Star Plaza Theatre, Merrillville, IN

Sunday, Sept. 25th
Raiders @ Eagles: The Raiders, off to a sucky (but not unexpected) 0-2-start, look to get their first win against Philly. The Eagles, who destroyed the 49ers in Week 2, are coming into the game somewhat hobbled, as their two stars, McNabb and Owens, are nursing injuries, although both are expected to play. You can catch all the action on CBS.

Patriots @ Steelers:
A rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game, so this has the makings of a war. The Steelers will be at home and will be pissed, and they are off to a fast start, while the Pats lost a close one to Carolina last Sunday.

ESPN Sunday Night Football: Giants @ Chargers:
The G-men are 2-0 and look to keep their hot streak alive; the Chargers, on the other hand, find themselves 0-2 after their breakout season last year.

Every Time I Die w/ High on Fire, The Chariot, Red Chord
@ House of Blues, West Hollywood (all ages)

Monday, Sept. 26th
Long-Running Series to Embrace: King of
Queens on CBS. This sitcom is in its eighth season, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you are missing out. King of Queens is my personal favorite and has been compared to The Honeymooners.

New Series to Watch: How I met Your Mother on CBS. Very funny show, I watched the series premiere last week.

Documentary Not to Miss: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
on PBS. Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited recounting of Dylan’s first five years in the spotlight, 1961-66, is as captivating as any film that will be released this year. Part One runs two hours; Part Two, beginning at 9 on Tuesday night, about 90 minutes. The already-released DVD is said to contain a bunch of additional footage, including complete performances of several songs from Dylan’s extraordinary 1966 U.K. tour with the Hawks (who later renamed themselves the Band).

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang (Virgin)/Neil Young, Prairie Wind (Reprise)
: There's life in them thar geezers yet. These latest releases represent major returns to form for a pair of legendary rock acts. The Stones' Bang is perhaps the biggest surprise, since the venerable band hasn’t actually released a studio album since 1997's Bridges to Babylon and certainly not one this chock full of readymade classics for longer than that, maybe going back to Some Girls in 1978. And while every song recalls another classic (“Rough Justice” = “Start Me Up”/”Brown Sugar”; “Back of My Hand” = “Love In Vain”; “Rain Fall Down” = “Hot Stuff,” etc.), there's enough of a difference to make them sound fresh rather than retreads. Much has been written about Jagger's politicized “Sweet Neo Con,” but you gotta love him singing, “You say that you are a patriot/I think you're a crock of shit”—and the line's broad enough not to seem that obvious. And while the new songs are probably when most concert-goers will choose to peruse the merchandise table, the Stones sound energized enough to forgive them for letting Ameriquest sponsor the tour…and charging close to $500 for tickets. As for Young, Prairie Wind continues to explore the themes of home, community, activism and aging that he dealt with in the critically underappreciated Greendale, but with the winsome feel of classics like Harvest and Harvest Moon. Death and mortality shade such songs as “The Painter,” the centerpiece “It's a Dream” and “When God Made Me,” the funereal song he performed for the Shelter From the Storm benefit, so much so that parts of the album recall both After the Gold Rush and Tonight's the Night. In fact, it goes down so easy you wonder why Young can't make an album this good every time out. “It's only a dream,” he sings in the song of the same name. “A memory without anywhere to stay,” and it's almost as if he's echoing his earlier line, “It's only castles burning” from “Don't Let it Bring You Down.” That alone is enough to send a shiver up your spine. —Roy Trakin

[Chosen by our own Lenny Beer—he is so hip.]
1. KT Tunstall: Irish songstress may be the best new artist going right now; be sure to find out about her before your friends do.
2. Southland: Somewhat Steely Dan, part Wilco and fresh and catchy as can be. This indie release is starting to make some noise on the non-comm and Triple A level.
3. Six Feet Under soundtrack: Highlighted by the Sia tune that closed the final episode, as well as exclusive tracks from Arcade Fire and Interpol, this eclectic mix is a perfect companion to what will be considered one of the all-time best on the small screen.
4. Coheed & Cambria: It would take up too much space to write the entire title to their latest rock opus. All we can say is, listen and enjoy. This one is awesome. [One of the best albums I have heard all year!!!]
5. Ray Charles, Pure Genius The Complete Atlantic Recordings 1952-59: Thanks to David Dorn and the repackaging team at Warner Special Markets, this seven-CD-plus-DVD box set could be the most complete and well-presented musically retrospective ever.
6. Bloc Party: Saw them at the 94.9 SD show after listening to their album for the past six months. While the label has been unsuccessful to date in breaking them in the U.S. (shame on you Lyor, Craig and Julie), this band is for real onstage as well as on record, and the cheering crowds support our belief. A must-see and must-hear band.
7. Paul McCartney, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard: His new album is surprisingly good and exceptionally catchy. Like a Beatles album, it improves with each listening. And the live show is amazing. [So what he is trying to say is, the more stoned you are, the better it is.]
8. Damian Marley: This musical legacy has taken his reggae heritage and spun it into a modern sound. A must-listen.
9. Morningwood: A band with a female lead singer that's making inroads at Alternative radio. Need I say more? You just gotta check it out to be in the know.

I was unable to see movies last weekend, as my girlfriend’s best friend was in town with her 7-month-old kid, who by the way is so cute. Anyway, that sort of put a damper on us going out anywhere. I am hoping that, although the movie scene isn’t very exciting right now, to get out and see Corpse Bride and Flightplan.

Starring: Jodie Foster
, Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen, Sean Bean, Amanda Brooks and Matthew Bomer
After the unexpected death of her husband, airplane designer Kyle Pratt takes her daughter, Julia, on board a state-of-the-art 474 aircraft to fly from Berlin to New York. In the middle of the nonstop flight, Julia seemingly disappears without a trace. Kyle begins to panic when the crew, including Capt. Rich and Air Marshal Gene Carson, claim the girl never boarded the plane at takeoff.
Thoughts: This looks very similar to The Forgotten, which I actually liked, so I am looking forward to this even though I’m deathly afraid of flying and seeing this terror movie on a plane.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, Danny McCarthy and Hope Davis
The daughter of a brilliant mathematician has to come to terms with her father's mental illness and, eventually, his death. She's inherited his skill with numbers and begins to wonder whether she's prone to mental illness too. Helping her through the grieving process is one of the man's former students
Thoughts: I wrote last week that I thought this might have the potential for Academy Award contention, but the people aren’t reacting the way I expected them to, which leads me to wonder, will any of the movies that are supposed to be good actually be good?

Corpse Bride
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse
Victor (Depp), a villager in a small 19th-century European town, is taken to the underworld to marry a corpse bride (Carter). Surprisingly, the afterlife isn't that disagreeable, and it's a lot more exciting than his strict Victorian society. Meanwhile, his live wife-to-be, Victoria (Watson), is left behind in the land of the living.
Thoughts: Some of the critics seem to love this movie, others don’t. The word on the street from people who have seen it has also been wishy-washy, with most people saying its not good. I will be checking this out anyway, but why do I fear this may be the biggest disappointment of the year, more so than War of The Worlds? Because Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are geniuses, it would be a shame if they failed on a project, especially considering that Nightmare Before Christmas is such a classic.

Limited Release:
A History of Violence:
New Viggo Mortensen drama.
Oliver Twist: A remake of the classic by Roman Polanski.

Everything Is Illuminated (Sony Classics): First-time director Liev Schreiber's adaptation of Jonathan Safran-Foer's remarkable novel about a Jewish-American writer who travels to the Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather's life during the Holocaust concentrates mostly on the narrative, understandably skipping over the multi-textual asides, flashbacks and magic realism that make the book so fascinating. That said, Schreiber mostly succeeds in conveying the spirit of the tale, with Eugene Hutz, leader of the Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, stealing the show as the malaprop-spouting, hip-hop-clad tour guide Alex. Elijah Wood, by comparison, seems a bit miscast as the author, his bottle glasses and blank expression serving only as a straight man foil for Hutz's Ali G-like pop-eyed humanism. A buddy-buddy movie crossed with a road film that actually stirs up deep-seated emotions by not trying to do too much. So, while the density of the original is sacrificed, the cumulative cathartic effect is still achieved. —R.T.