HITS Daily Double
A bit smoky in some quarters, way old-school cocktail chanteuse/Rat Pack in others, Van’s latest is music for salons and gatherings of laidback intellectualism—or lying on one's back, listening to rain fall.


Is It Just Me, or Is It Sweltering in Here?
Thoughts on Being Bobby Brown: My new favorite show without a doubt, no competition. This gem airs on Bravo Thursday nights (but re-airs throughout the week). I’ve decided that I will not be friends with anyone who doesn’t integrate this show into their lives. Bobby and Whitney seemed to have made a show to let the world know that they are not drug-addicted crazy people. After watching four episodes, I will tell you this, they are drug-addicted crazy people. In the best way. I’m obsessed. Two of their kids are even named Bobby, and one is a girl. The kids are normal, and I don’t know how. I’ve created a drinking game where I have to drink every time Whitney says her catchphrase, “Oh, hell-to-the-no!” You need to see one of Bobby’s posse approaching the Dali Lama in London (they bumped into him accidentally on a crowded street), reaching out to him saying, “Mr. Lama! Mr. Lama! This is Bobby Brown.” No reaction from the Dali Lama.Whitney Houston’s husband.” Still no reaction. Everyone always knows who she is out in public. Once someone thought he was Usher, though. WONDERFUL. Not only have I taken on Bobby’s name in support of the show, but I’ve decided to quit all other responsibilities and aspects of my life to sit on my couch and watch this show on a loop. —Bobby-Jill Kushner-Brown

Friday, July 15
Fake Music
With Mary Lynn Rajskub, Karen Kilgariff, more @ the Fake Gallery (4319 Melrose Ave.). Tix $10. Anything these guys do is funny.

Game 2 of 4 between the Dodgers and the Giants
Both teams are banged up and slumping but whenever these teams get together you can throw out the records, because it’s WAR.

Shout Out Louds @ the Wiltern
Swedish band who put out one of my favorite albums this year, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, with one of my favorite songs, “Very Loud.” It’s all about me (Sat. night show, too).

Sundance Summer Shorts at the Hammer Museum Featuring shorts from the Sundance Film Festival (did we really need to walk you through that one?), this program kicks off tonite with Short Films, Big Winners (w/4 Jury Award winners from the past decade). Runs Fridays thru 7/29. (@10899 Wilshire Blvd.). Info: www.hammer.ucla.edu

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ’05 Tony Award Winner for Best Book of a Musical & Best Actor in a Musical. Quirky musical where nerdy teens compete in a small town. Adult actors do a great job portraying the teens. @ Circle In The Square Theatre (1633 B’way @ 50th St.). For Tix: (212) 239-6200

Broadway Bar Opens
Been to the Golden Gopher (Broadway Bar is the sister bar)? Craving downtown action? Craving any action (call me, I put out)? (@ 830 S. Broadway btwn. 8th/9th Sts., Los Angeles. Ph: (213) 614-9909.

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players
If you haven’t seen this real-life family of three do their slide/music-show thing, you are missing quite a bit. Tonight, they’re performing as part of the Summer Smorgasboard Festival @ the Lamb’s Theatre (130 W. 44th St. btwn 6th/B’way). Tix $15.

Das Bunker It's two days before the Industrial Music Festival, so most of the bands will be hanging out all night maybe even special celebrity guest DJs! Scheduled to spin: EBM, TBM, & Retro Industrial upstairs w/Industrial, Powernoise & Rhythmic Freestyle downstairs. @ the Catch One 4067 W. Pico Blvd.18+ w/ID show. Tix $5 before 10:30pm, $10 after.

Saturday, July 16
Santa Barbara French Festival One of the largest French festivals in the country for Bastille Day (our country, ‘cause you know those dudes in France hold a way bigger one). Local chefs, a miniature Eiffel Tower, opera singers, mimes, cabaret musicians, kid’s stuff, tons of vendors etc. On Sun. there’s a Poodle Parade @ 5:30pm. Which sounds amusing. Free. 11am-7pm today and Sun. (@ 300 W. Alamar Ave., Santa Barbara). Info: (805) 564-PARIS

Siren Music Festival
This is the Village Voice’s fifth annual free festival featuring performances by: Spoon (we LUV Spoon), Brendan Benson, Mates of State, VHS or Beta & many more. @ Coney Island, NY. Runs till 9pm.

Game 3: Dodgers vs. Giants at Chavez Ravine.

On the Outs
People are saying this movie is the next, Kids. And we know how important it is to listen to what people say. In this flick, an addict, a dealer and a runaway make bad choices. By the way, we come off all cocky…but we totally listen to what people say. So sad. @ Film Forum (209 W. Houston St., NY) Ph: (212) 727-8110.

Alkaline Trio @ Glass House, Pomona Confirm time w/venue. Ph: (909) 865- 3389

Ben Harper @ Henry Fonda Theatre His first tour since ’03 was put together after the Zooma Tour w/former Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio got canceled. Confirm time w/venue. Ph: (323) 464-0808

Alanis Morissette @ Orange County Performing Arts Center She’s celebrating the 10th anniversary of her debut release with an evening of acoustic reinterpretations of songs from Jagged Little Pill. W/Jason Mraz. Confirm time w/venue. Ph: (714) 556-2787

Maxeen/Ashbury @ Glass House in Pomona. Confirm time w/venue. Tix: adv $8, day of $10.

Sunday, July 17
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
Midnight Madness Yup, at precisely one minute after midnight the much anticipated sixth installment in the series becomes available. A bunch of places will be open; here are a few of ‘em: Barnes & Noble (The Grove @ Farmers Market in L.A.; 396 Ave. of the Americas and 2289 B’way, N.Y.; Toys R Us, 1514 B’way.

Basquiat at MOCA
100+ works span Jean-Michel Basquiat’s rise from downtown graffiti artist to pop-culture superstar in 1980s NYC. (@ 205 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles). Ph: (213) 626-6222.

Dodgers vs. Giants Concluding game of the four game series

The ’70s Dimension
Cool two-part DVD rental featuring tons of footage found from, you guessed it, the 1970s,the Me Decade. Pt I What The 70s Really Looked Like features tons of vintage commercials and in Pt II 70s Remix media archaeologists and experimental filmmakers analyze & discuss those commercials & more.

Los Angeles Industrial Music Festival Inaugural event featuring ten unique artists from across the globe. Goes until Midnight, feat. two stages, The Main Hall [ 6:30pm-12am ] & the Outdoor Stage [ 5pm-10pm]. Scheduled to perform: Combichrist, Synapscape, Manufactura, Babyland, more! www.dasbunker.org
@ Avalon (1735 Vine St., Hollywood). Tix - $20 pre-sell, $25 at the door.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
We know, we’re mentioning this movie more than once. But we can do what we want. And shit, this movie is quite the undertaking. The original is one of our favorites (it could very well be Jill’s favorite movie, period) and has the best line uttered on film, “Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet.” Anyway, I have faith in the master of dark & different, Tim Burton, and the master of anything that he decides to lend his craft to, Johnny Depp, that this will be remarkable.

Sit on your ass & watch HBO till
11pm We have no problem mentioning this weekly.

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, July 19
Standup @ the
Hollywood Improv @ 8pm Go see Jill Kushner & many other comics (all funnier, prettier & way drunker than you).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, AnnaSophia Robb, Helena Bonham Carter, Julia Winter and David Kelly
Charlie Bucket is so poor he only gets to buy one chocolate bar a year — so there's really no chance he'll be lucky enough to find one of the five golden tickets hidden inside of Wonka Bars, the delicious treat manufactured at the top-secret factory owned by Willy Wonka. But when the unlikely event occurs, Charlie's invited on a guided tour of Mr. Wonka's surreal building.
Thoughts: Another remake, but this one looks like it could be a lot of fun because Johnny Depp and Tim Burton rule. Also, the way they have Depp playing Wonka eerily reminds us of a HITS staff member, hmm…

The Wedding Crashers
Starring: Owen Wilson
, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Will Ferrell, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour and Christopher Walken
Using a secret set of rules developed over many years of bachelorhood, two partying dudes crash weddings to meet girls. When they hear about a huge wedding to be held at the estate of the U.S. secretary of the treasury, the boys are truly stoked. But things get complicated when one of them does the unthinkable and falls for a bridesmaid.
Thoughts: Never been a big fan of Owen Wilson, but Vince Vaughn always cracks me up, and I think the concept, if done right, could be hilarious. Plus, it has Christopher Walken, and he is just always so cool.

Uncut magazine July sampler
British music magazines just flat rock, but this month's Uncut—with a young, virile, utterly traffic-stopping Van Morrison on the cover, taking
candidly on the cusp of his 60th birthday on the entirety of one of the most captivating and cloaked careers in pop music—is worth the search. And not only for their always comprehensive and provocative editorial, but also for the CD samplers that come with every issue. This month it’s The Original Soul Brothers (and Sisters). Yup, if you wanna funk on down the highway, the bass so fat a double wide can't even think about handling it, you got yer Joe Tex, Ohio Players, Bobby Womack, Last Poets, Mavis Staples, Meters, Gil Scot-Heron, Sly Stone, James Brown, Funkedelic and a bunch more. Elevate, then descimate.

Van Morrison, Magic Time Shimmering piano figures almost mirror the emotional ripples that have always marked the Irishman's silken voice, which is an unfiltered cistern of feeling. Magic Time is being hailed as his best in years, and the critics don't lie. A bit smoky in some quarters, way old-school cocktail chanteuse/Rat Pack in others, this is music for salons and gatherings of laidback intellectualism—or lying on one's back, listening to rain fall, dreaming thick velvet dreams and inhaling the promise of one's deepest fantasy realm.

Schilling As Relief Pitcher If the Boston Red Sox bullpen has been the issue—and it always seems to be those relief pitchers where the games get lost—then rehabbing Curt Schilling (who is every bit the red-hot starter prospect when 100%) by giving him a few innings that count to build up his strength is uber-genius. We're talking a mondo-arm in a place that's been lacking; the ability to prep back to full strength while shoring up a weakness; the intersection of compromise and conquest.