HITS Daily Double
Witnessing the birth of a baby on the next-to-last episode of Family Bonds was awe-inspiring, as is the marvelous line from U2’s "Miracle Drug" paraphrased above, "Freedom has a scent/Like the top of a new-born baby’s head."


Sniffing the Seasonal Delights of Gwen Stefani, Mos Def, Lemony Snicket, Bernie Brillstein, John Oates, Sandra Bernhard and Robert Quine Without the Labor Pains
This year passed so quickly, its true misery has yet to register. Still, despite the gloom and doom, there’s plenty to be happy about, to feel inspired by, to look forward to… At least that’s what we tell ourselves to get up in the morning and head to our jobs, those of us lucky enough to have one. Witnessing the birth of a baby on the next-to-last episode of Family Bonds was awe-inspiring, as is the marvelous line from U2’s "Miracle Drug" paraphrased above, "Freedom has a scent/Like the top of a new-born baby’s head," and that captures the miracle of childbirth. Of course, if you’re a parent, you know that infant stage is over in the blink of an eye, and all of a sudden, you’re being asked for the keys to the car by a 16-year-old gangly teen who is taller than you. Yes, the Boomers, who prided themselves on remaining young forever, are being supplanted in the marketing universe by their own kids, the Boomlets, and what an irony that is. It’s like the final scene in Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen slaughters Brando, or Joseph Campbell’s writings on mythology, where the son must slay the father to fully make his rite of passage into adulthood. All I can say to that is, don’t turn your back on your children… because you may end up finding a knife there. Or you can just forget about all that and dance in the new year to a Gwen Stefani record. With life an unending cycle, whoever isn’t busy being born is busy dying.

Fri (12/10)
12 p.m.-6 p.m.
East Village USA
@ the New Museum of Contemporary Art (556 W. 22nd St. @11th Ave for Info: (212) 219-1222): An exhibit covering the wild ’80s East Village art scene.

7 p.m.
Goldstar Events: Not sure what to do for the weekend? Our recommendations suck the big one? Hot tips on bars, spas, restaurants, music events.

KillRadio, Chronic Future, Over It, Army of Freshman, Bleed the Dream @ the Troubadour (9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood)

7:30 p.m.
Ocean’s Twelve:
If you were a big fan of Ocean’s Eleven, then you should definitely check out the sequel. The whole cast is back and it promises to be good. Remember, "Twelve is the new Eleven."

8 p.m.
The Hives
@the Wiltern (3790 Wilshire Blvd.): How Swede it is.

9 p.m.
Indie 103.1’s Holiday Ho-Down
@the King King (6565 Hollywood Blvd): For a mere $1.03, get your ass on down to hear the likes of The Hollywood Gospel Jubilee, The Snakehandlers, Minibar & many more.

11 p.m.
Styles of Beyond
(Machine Shop Records) at the Viper Room: Underground hip-hop group is awesome.

Sat. (12/11)
1 p.m.

The Life Aquatic starring Bill Murray. Liked Royal Tenenbaums? Wes Anderson is back with another quirky film & killer casting. We’d love your feedback.

4 p.m.
KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night 1 @the Universal Amphitheatre

5:10 The Music
5:40 Snow Patrol
6:10 Keane
6:40 The Shins
7:10 Taking Back Sunday
7:40 Muse
8:10 Modest Mouse
8:50 Franz Ferdinand
9:35 The Killers
10:10 Interpol
10:50 Jimmy Eat World

5 p.m.
The Heisman Trophy Awards Show (ESPN): Who will it be, Reggie Bush? Leinart? Jason White? Adrian Peterson? How about the sleeper Alex Smith, the quarterback for undefeated Utah? The only way to find out is to watch the show.

6-8 p.m.
Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, on main channel of Marina del Rey

7:30 p.m.
The battle of L.A. continues as the Clippers and Lakers square off in Round 2 of this four-part series. The Clips lost the first game when the Lakers were the home team and this time it’s payback. With all the rumors flying around that there’s a new sheriff in town, the only way to prove that is for the Clippers to beat their rival head-to-head. However, it seems the Clippers are cursed it seems, and will be playing without Elton Brand (due to suspension), Chris Kaman (appendectomy) and possibly Kerry Kittles, who has played in just a single game since being acquired in the off-season.

8 p.m.
Lucky Strike
(@ Hollywood & Highland, for info: (323) 467-7776) has glow-in-the-dark bowling, good drinks and surpise, surprise… good food. Go hang with the cool kids & play with big balls.

9 p.m. Check out an awesome night of bands at the Roxy, that is if you weren’t able to get into the KROQ Acoustic Christmas. Show starts at 9 and includes APEX Theory and Opus Dai.

Sun (12/12)
11:30 a.m.
Brunch @ La Belle Epoque
(2128 Hillhurst Ave.): Live in the Los Feliz area? Hook up with someone last nite who lives in the Los Feliz area? Perfect, do that walk of shame right on over to this landmark bakery & cafe for delicious eggs benedict, escargot, and so much more.

1 p.m.
Catch an afternoon showing of Blade: Trinity. Our own Je-c recommends it highly as he saw a midnight screening on Tuesday. He says its action-packed and those who love a combination of humor and non-stop action will love this movie.

4 p.m.
KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night 2 @ Universal Amphitheatre

5:10 My Chemical Romance
5:40 Chevelle
6:10 The Used
6:40 Hoobastank
7:10 Good Charlotte
7:40 Papa Roach
8:10 Sum-41
8:40 Social Distortion
9:20 Incubus
10:05 Velvet Revolver
10:45 Green Day

Monday (12/13)
Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands @ the Key Club in Hollywood
Hollywood has been the destination for finding fame and fortune since the Depression, and that's where the four talented winners of the Eighth Ernie Ball Battle of the Band's final showcase competition are headed. Selected by a panel of industry professionals from more than 4,600, the four bands will get the opportunity of a lifetime to play in front of record label executives, Warped Tour brass, major music industry manufacturers and of course, their fans.

The bands that survived this grueling process are Dallas’ The Feds, San Diego’s My American Heart, Chicago’s Split Habit (managed by distinguished HITS alum David Simutis) and Van Nuys’ own Poopan. All four bands played on the Ernie Ball Local Heroes Mobile Stage on the Vans Warped Tour last summer.

Ernie Ball is the leading innovator of guitar strings. They also manufacture Music Man guitars and basses, volume pedals and accessories. For more info contact Brian Ball @ Ernie Ball (800-543-2255) or [email protected] (J.J. Garcia)

1. Gwen Stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby (Interscope): The marketing campaign, which asks us to make this solo debut by the No Doubt frontwoman a "guilty pleasure," hits it right on the nose. Occupying the sweet spot between disco and punk represented by ‘80s icons Madonna (the Nellee Hooper-produced "The Real Thing" is a soundalike for "Holiday") and Blondie (the hard-edged technopop of "Bubblepop Electric), Stefani turns the album into gloriously mindless ear candy. The first single, "What You Waiting For?" is catchy, but it’s "Rich Girl," which segues from Fiddler on the Roof to a jaunty guest rap by Eve, and the ebullient "Hollaback Girl," which rivals the sassy street smarts of Fannypack’s playground rhymin’, that are the most fun. Just check your pretensions at the door and dig this poor little rich girl from the O.C., who plays the dance diva with tongue firmly in chic, simultaneously taking pride in, and downplaying, her rags-to-fashionista pop-queen rise. (Roy Trakin)

2. Mos Def, The New Danger (Geffen): Now that he’s established himself as the best rapper-turned-actor, Mos Def sets out to prove his skills on this sprawling disc, a worthy successor to the likes of OutKast and Kanye West in proving the genre can move beyond ho’s, Gats and bling in its subject matter. Def proves just as eclectic musically with rap-rock (in the Rage Against the Machine pyrotechnics of "Zimzaliabim), blues ("Blue Black Jack," his tribute to one-time heavyweight champ Jack Jackson with guitarist Shuggy Otis), silky-smooth R&B ("The Panties") and old-school Marvin Gaye-styled soul ("Modern Marvel"). If hip-hop is to move beyond its self-destructive gangstaism to establish a positive progressive platform, this album represents a vital step along that path. (RT)

3. Eric "Smooth-E" Schwartz, "Hanukkah Hey Ya!": This rather spirited animated video first appeared last year, setting the story of the eight nights of the Festival of Lights to OutKast’s "Hey Ya!" It delves in the same-old, same-old stereotypes, but its basic message is to "learn Jewish culture," which you won’t hear me argue with. "Oy is just ‘Yo’ backwards." My sentiments exactly. It’s allegedly the first track from the L.A. comic’s upcoming album, Kosher Kuts. Check it out here. (RT)

4. The Rolling Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus (Abkco Films): Released by Allen Klein for the first time on DVD after becoming available on VHS in 1996, it documents the legendary concert put on Dec. 11, 1968 by the Stones and filmed for television broadcast. There are performances by The Who, John Lennon with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell and a caterwauling Yoko Ono, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull and the Stones themselves. Long suppressed by the band because Mick felt he was blown off-stage by the Who in their pre-Tommy stage performing an incendiary version of their mini-rock opera, "A Quick One While He’s Away," it’s an amazing curio piece today, a literal three-ring circus featuring clowns, jugglers and trapeze artists in between the musical acts with the audience dressed in multi-colored mac raincoats. Lennon and Jagger are captured trying to out-cool each other, as Lennon and his band, dubbed Dirty Mac, performs a searing "Yer Blues" ("Feel so suicidal/Even hate my rock & roll") before bringing Yoko out of her bag to screech for an interminable five minutes that feels like an hour. Jagger, right before filming Performance, is at his Satanic Majesty’s best, though Brian Jones, marking his last appearance with the band, appears like the walking dead, all sunken eyes and bloated face. The finale is a sway-along version of the Stones’ salute to the working class, "Salt of the Earth," which concludes with Pete Townshend wearing a seat cover on his head as he and Keith Moon literally roll around on the floor. (RT)

5. www.mcsweeneys.com: Days of actual martini dry wit are about as common as the tyrannasaus rex—though the mondo dino's brain could arguably have been bigger. McSweeneys InternetTendency, which promises "Blind Bastard Child Will Be President One Day" is a Roquefort-stuffed olive in the stirred, not shaken, martini of life. Dave Eggers, Ann Vogel, Andy Richter, B.R. Cohn, Richard Allison and Brian Bieber are among the contributors. Among the essay titles are "Tales of Erotica: Chuck Norris & Me," "Winnie the Pooh Is My Co-Worker," "What Color Is Your Sippie Cup," "Butterball Hotline," "7 Questions for the Guitar Solo from 'Stairway To Heaven'," "Unfortunate Pinata Fillings," "I Lost My Greeting Card Gig Because of My Drinking," "Ike Turner's Guide to Restoring America's Honor" and "The Bible You Sold Me Is Clearly Defective and I'd Like To Return It, Please." Read it and weep… with laughter. (Holly Gleason)

6. Bernie Brillstein, The Little Stuff Matters The Most: 50 Rules From 50 Years of Trying to Make a Living (Gotham): It's easy to have a fantasy life about pushing buttons and people around while hiding behind the biggest acts in the business. But the reality is: the biggest acts usually don't just happen, someone in the background who understands that small, consistent plays yield long-range results is aiding and abetting someone's quest for the dream. Little Stuff is mondo-manager (Gilda Radner, Belushi, the Muppets, Lorne Michaels) and principle of Brillstein-Grey (The Sopranos, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Nicolas Cage). Learn the way of walking through this world—as much how-to as psychology of—and increase your chance of succeeding wherever, whatever your game. And at 165 undersized pages, it's as easy to digest as breakfast at the Polo Lounge. Get it, apply it and see what happens. (HG)

7. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events: If you have to sit through a kid’s movie, you could do a lot worse than this DreamWorks/Paramount/Nickelodeon co-production based on the series of best-selling children’s books by San Francisco-based writer Daniel Handler. It’s a lot darker than your ordinary children’s fare, though Brad Silberling’s direction comes off like Tim Burton lite. Jim Carrey appears to be having a good time chewing scenery as the evil Count Olaf, as the rest of the actors, including Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Cedric the Entertainer and Catherine O’Hara also mug shamelessly. By contrast, the Baudelaire kids, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken and twins Kara and Shelby Hoffman, seem practically normal in contrast to the overacting going on around them. There are some wonderful set-pieces, like when Aunt Josephine’s precariously perched house goes tumbling into the ocean, and the final rescue of Sunny from a certain death. But overall there’s a timidity in the direction, stuck somewhere between fantasy and horror that puts the movie in the never-neverland that is neither totally satisfying for adults and a little too scary for the younger audience it's targeted at. (RT)

8. Daryl Hall and John Oates’ Top 10 Soul Songs of All Time: Daryl: Delfonics' "Didn't I Blow Your Mind," Marvin Gaye's "What Going On," Al Green's "I'm Still in Love With You," O'Jays' "For the Love of Money," Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On," O'Jays' "Backstabbers," Aretha Franklin's "Daydreamin'," Marvin Gaye's "Distant Lover," Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO"; John: Temptations’ "My Girl," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ "Oh Baby Baby," James Brown’s "Papa’s Got a Brand-New Bag," Curtis Mayfield’s "Gypsy Woman," O’Jays’ "Love Train," Jerry Butler’s "Western Union Man," Junior Walker and the All-Stars’ "Road Runner," Sam & Dave’s "With My Baby," Five Stairsteps’ "Ooh Child," Otis Redding’s "Try a Little Tenderness." (Daryl Hall/John Oates)

9. John Leland, Hip: The History (Ecco): The New York Times cultural critic—and an early editor at both Spin and Vibe, in addition to Newsweek—takes an overview of the reality of hipness. What emerges is sociology, personal musing and more than a lot of insight. The perfect Christmas gift for anyone you know who thinks they are—or who wonders just what it is that sets the rarified few who truly embody the notion of hipness apart. (HG)

10. The Return of Real Country Ballads: Start with Gretchen Wilson's "When I Think About Cheating" and pour on the hair lacquer, Jungle Red polish and cheap champagne while back-combing your 'do. Add in Lee Ann Womack's string-soaked reality check "I May Hate Myself in the Morning (But I'm Gonna Love You Tonight)." Look to Terri Clark's upcoming truth beyond the bottle recognition "I Wish It Were the Whiskey Talking." Add it all up and classic traditional country ballads—with sobbing pools steel guitar and weeping fiddles—that careen between reckoning and responsibility seem to be heading for radio's major arteries. (HG)

Robert Quine Memorial @ C.B.G.B.’S 313 Gallery
In the late-’70s heyday of the New York punk/new wave scene, guitarist Robert Quine stood out in a crowd of self-conscious weirdos with a menacing normalcy all his own. Typically dressed In a sport coat and buttoned-down shirt, his eyes shielded by heavy, squared-framed shades, the balding and bearded Quine looked more (in his own words) "like a demented insurance salesman" than one of the most formidable and innovative rock guitarists of all time.

Quine was a decade older than most of his fellow musicians and his listeners. He was born December 30, 1942, in Akron, OH; began playing guitar at age 16, and passed the Missouri bar in 1969. He was writing tax law in a New York publishing house when, in 1975, he met former Television bassist Richard Hell and became a founding member of Hell’s group the Voidoids (along with guitarist Ivan Julian and drummer Mark Bell). Quine made his vinyl debut on the band’s 1977 album Blank Generation.

Following the breakup of the Voidoids, Quine went on to tour and record with Lou Reed; and to appear on records with Lloyd Cole, Brian Eno, Marianne Faithfull, Matthew Sweet, Andre Williams, Tom Waits and John Zorn, among others. He released two instrumental duet albums: Escape (1981), in partnership with guitarist Jody Harris (Contortions, Raybeats); and Basic (1984), with percussionist Fred Maher (Material, Scritti Politti). In 2001, his field recordings of the Velvet Underground were released as a three-CD box set, The Quine Tapes.

In a Village Voice obituary following Quine’s death on May 31, 2004, John Piccarella described "a sideman-soloist, screaming to be heard" who "played like the guitar was a throat he was strangling. Not only feedback, distortion, and sustain, but notes and clusters just shy of or just past the ‘right’ note, opened up ferocious other worlds between the frets."

In New York magazine (June ’04), Richard Hell wrote: "His command of technique came from endless hours of studying the records that moved him—but it was the combination of rage and delicacy, and the pure monstrosity of invention, that set him apart."

On the afternoon of Saturday, December 4, friends and fans of Bob filled C.B.G.B.’s 313 Gallery in New York for a memorial tribute primarily organized by writer/bar owner/radio personality James Marshall a/k/a "The Hound." As the speakers took their turns, a portrait of a man took shape. Quine was not only a uniquely gifted guitarist, but also a self-taught expert in handwriting analysis; a connoisseur of cookbooks and hot sauces; a card-carrying member of the James Burton Fan Club; and an avid reader of Thomas Mann. He maintained a wickedly on-target sense of humor; a number of lasting friendships that sometimes blew up in bitter feuds; and a boundless devotion to his wife, Alice Sherman, whose fatal heart attack in August 2003 precipitated her husband’s suicide.

Quine’s astonishing memory retained a vast trove of rock & roll history—the B-sides and release dates, the sidemen and soloists. "There have been good and bad years in rock but the best years were '55 to early '61," he told writer Jason Gross in a 1997 interview for Perfect Sound Forever. "I got to see Buddy Holly and everybody else."

[Bob Quine’s nephew, Dan Auerbach, is the singer/guitarist for Ohio garage-blues duo Black Keys. His uncle, Harvard professor W.V. Quine (1908-2000), was among the most influential American philosophers of the 20th century.]

Regrettably, I arrived 90 minutes after the start of the event. Thus, I missed the words and performances of Bill Frisell, Syd Straw, Jody Harris & David Hofstra, Thurston Moore, Hal Wilner, and Steve Caratzas (the devoted webmaster of www.robertquine.com). But these were among the many memorable moments that filled the late afternoon:

· In a now-rare musical performance, Richard Hell sang his classic "Time" with Ivan Julian on electric 12-string. Hell seemed on the verge of tears as he compared the loss of Quine’s rock & roll knowledge to the destruction of the Library of Alexandria in 642 AD.

· A three-guitar version of Yo La Tengo performed a feedback-laced "Train ‘Round the Bend" from the Velvet Underground’s Loaded.

· Longtime friend Hugh Shirato noted that even, in Quine’s college days, "he was widely admired and—for the way he played—deeply feared."

· Susan Beschta nee Susan Springfield—former front woman of C.B.G.B.’s Seventies stalwarts the Erasers—read a poem that was graceful, moving, and the equal of any of the musical performances.

· Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) offered a witty folk-rock original about the transience of material things, including a verse that rhymed "forage" with "storage."

· The Shams (Sue Garner, Amy Rigby and Amanda Uprichard) reunited for a brief set that included their take on Richard Hell’s "Time." A group featuring Don Fleming, Jenni Muldaur, and Harper Simon covered the Ohio garage-psych classic "Little Black Egg" by the Nightcrawlers.

· A Japanese-language number was sung by Kazuyoshi Saito, who brought Quine to Japan to record and gig with him in the late '90s.

· Journalist/guitarist Bill Milkowski aired taped excerpts from casual phone conversations with Quine, including the latter’s brutal but hilarious putdown of B.B. King’s guitar playing ("except for some of the stuff he did for Crown and Modern, like around ’56-’57").

· Former Contortions front man James Chance sang and blew his alto sax with brooding intensity on "Summertime." (Albert Ayler‘s ghostly recording of the Gershwin standard—a Quine favorite—had been aired earlier in the program.)

· James Marshall recited "Quine-dex," his takeoff on the familiar "Index" from Harpers magazine. "Number of LP copies of I’m Jimmy Reed owned by Quine: Five. Number of guitars owned by Quine at his death: 180 [!]. Number of times Quine was punched out by Art Garfunkel: One, after telling Art that Simon & Garfunkel’s music was for college kids too dumb to dig Bob Dylan."

In the house:
· Photographers Roberta Bayley, Stephanie Chernikowski, and David Godlis.

· Scribes Billy Altman, Michael Azzerad, Victor Bockris, Robert Christgau, Tina Clarke, Carola Dibbell, Danny Fields, Jason Gross, Kari Krome, Gillian McCain, and John Piccarella. (Legs McNeil absent due to illness.)

· Musicians Pat Place and Dee Pop (ex-Bush Tetras), Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan band), Chris Nelson (The Scene Is Now), Kembra Pfahler (The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black), Jahn Xavier (the Voidoids), and Brooklyn chanteuse Lianne Smith.

· Hilly Kristal, proprietor of C.B.G.B., whose generous support made this event possible. (Andy Schwartz)

Sandra Bernhard @ the Carefree Theater, West Palm Beach, FL

No, Sandra Bernhard does not smile and wish you a nice day. The trademark scowl on her red-lipsticked face turns off some, while others dig her, including the older, mixed sophisticated crowd gathered tonight to adore her.

Backed by her three-piece band Jezebal, the politically incorrect satirst bashed everything and everyone from Condoleeza Rice to Florida. Sporting a black halter top with a devil emblazoned on it and hip hugger jeans, Sandra was indeed evil incarnate, showing no mercy on George Bush, with a hilarious imitation of Rich sucking up to the Prez. "I think of Condoleeza Rice sleeping. Does she dream?" she asked as the crowd howled in support.

Next up on her hit list was Florida. "People come to Florida to stop thinking. Winds are balmy and the people are embalmed." She cited an old photo of Laura Bush looking like a "crunchy, granola dyke." Sandra affirmed her anti-war stance when she held a "support our troops" ribbon made in China and declared, "I support our troops. Bring them home."

She got a bit more sentimental when she talked about her childhood in Flint, Michigan, and Arizona. She seemed to lose herself in her reveries and had to ask someone in the audience what time it was. She performed for two quick hours and was brought back for an encore, where she stripped to her bra and jeans and broke into "Little Red Corvette." Although she didn’t hit all the high notes, the performance exhibited the versatile talents of this controversial comedienne, who continues to refine her cutting edge. (Janet Trakin)

Ocean’s Twelve (WB)
Premise: The gang gets together for three separate heists in Rome, Paris and Amsterdam to pay off the casino owner they ripped off in the first film, who is hot on the trail.Stars: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac, Carl Reiner, Bruce Willis
Director: Steve Soderbergh, with screenplay by George Nolfi (Timeline)Thumbs Up: Worked the first time, why not the second?Thumbs Down: Will it lose its freshness?Soundtrack: Warner Bros. album features score by David Holmes.
Website: wwws.warnerbros.de/movies/oceans12/

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Touchstone)
Premise: An oceanographer/documentarian seeks revenge against the jaguar shark that took the life of his partner and best diver.Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Seu Jorge, Bud Cort
Director: Wes Anderson looks to go four-for-four after the briliant Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Thumbs Up: Anderson creates a world of his own once again with more than twice the budget of any previous film.
Thumbs Down: Has he become too precious for his own good?Soundtrack: Hollywood Records album features dialogue from the film as well as tracks from David Bowie, Devo, Joan Baez, Iggy and the Stooges, Scott Walker, The Zombies and Seu Jorge performing Bowie songs on acoustic guitar as sambas in Portuguese.
Website: lifeaquatic.movies.go.com/main.html