HITS Daily Double
Hey, this is our country… But must we get it drummed into our heads by John Cougar Mellencamp at every commercial break?


Hannah Montana Rules, Saw III Cuts Through the Competition, Golf in the Tropics, Rosa Parks for Chevrolet, Jewface, This Day in Rock History
In a weekend that saw legends such as Red Auerbach and Karin Berg pass away, Saw III lead the box office by almost four times its nearest competition, Hannah Montana set to top the album charts, the start of Daylight Savings Time, USC losing and the Jets getting robbed, it’s enough that we all survived to Monday, right? Never has the message of the amazing new movie Babel seemed so appropriate. We are all victims of cultural xenophobia, mostly unable to overcome our primal fears of being alone, isolated, unloved, unable to make ourselves understood… and that’s just in our own homes. And as the kind folks at GM are quick to tell us, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus so that we could have the freedom to buy Chevy trucks some 50 years later. Hey, this is our country… But must we get it drummed into our heads by John Cougar Mellencamp at every commercial break?

Disney continues its remarkable 2006 run with what sure looks like a chart-topping debut for its Hannah Montana album, a soundtrack to its hit cable show, which could even top 250k in first-week sales. That follows on the heels of the company’s top two sellers of the year in Rascal Flatts and the High School Musical albums. Look for Columbia Grammy-winner John Legend’s much-anticipated sophomore album and Reprise critically acclaimed emo-rockers My Chemical Romance to fight for the #2 spot, with both in the 225k range. Among the albums hitting the streets tomorrow are TVT's Lil Jon, J's Barry Manilow, Universal Motown's Birdman & Lil Wayne, Universal Republic’s The Who, Virgin's Meat Loaf, WB's Deftones and SBMGN's Kelly Pickler.

Lions Gate’s grisly Saw III hacked the competition this weekend, “grossing” $34.3 million, the studio’s biggest opener ever. The first two installments of the series have pulled in over $247 million worldwide. Get ready for Saw IV next Halloween. Last week’s #1 film, Disney’s The Prestige, was #3 with $9.6 million, giving it a two-week total of $28.8 million, while Warner Bros.’ The Departed was #2, adding $9.8 million to its total of $91.1 million. Paramount PicturesFlags of Our Fathers was #4, with $6.4 million and a two-week total of $19.9 million, followed by Sony’s animated Open Season, with $6.1 million and a total of $77.4 million. The industry’s three-day tally of $105 million was up 3.1% from 2005, while its year-to-date gross of $7.65 billion is up 6.7% from last year. This Friday, Disney’s The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause and DreamWorks/Paramount’s animated Flushed Away go up against Fox’s much-anticipated Sacha Baron Cohen vehicle Borat.

GOLF WAR: The annual William Morris golf tournament was held last week at Florida’s inaccessible Kiawah Island, leading to the speculation: Don’t these guys ever work? Here, a report from our resident hacker Colin Hodgson:

Day 1 at the spectacular ocean course featured Irving Azoff getting tossed off the island shuttle service by the unsuspecting Jamaican Rasta driver who was later seen tied to a pole in a gator pond. Day 2 greeted duffers with a constant downpour at the Osprey course as they were relentlessly attacked by swarms of pesky gnats that found their way into every available orifice. Putting could only be done with eyes closed and Deek the Greek immediately regretted his decision to wear shorts as his legs became a mass of bleeding sores. In absentia, Rob Light and Mitch Rose were forced to confess that the CAA tournament at the La Costa Resort was bland by comparison. Day 3 arrived with blue skies, howling winds and the familiar sounds of the beaches at Normandy on D-Day, with Dubya himself coming to the resort! Secret Service agents, giant black jeeps, state troopers with their menacing shades and attack helicopters were everywhere. Much excitement on the 18th green as it appeared that there was a tie between Mark Harley and Kevin Welk. The throng headed off the first tee for the play-off only to be told the the Secret Service forbade any further golf to be played. Peter Grosslight, always eager to delegate, sent David Levine in his pastel-pink outfit to confront the agents. The two contestants were not phased, and with a deferential "Fuck Bush," proceeded to play anyway with victory going to Kevin on the first hole. However on a final tally at the evening's cocktail party, it was discovered that in fact early finisher Rob Kos had won by eight shots. He was immediately DQ'ed for playing and scoring on his own after he was abandoned by all three of his playing partners and also for heading out early with Irving in his G4. In addition, it appeared that Scott McGee had also ended tied with Mark and Kevin, so he was immediately penalized a shot for failing to have his compulsory double bloody mary on the 16th hole. John Frankenheimer offered to hear appeals as soon as he was able to stop scratching the gnat bites on his ass, but protests were dismissed. Congratulations to winner Kevin and runner-up Mark, with Luis Matos undisputed low gross winner, and Scottie getting the President’s Achievement Award for best drinker.

SHILLING FOR CHEVY: General Motors is taking some heat for its ubiquitous Chevy Trucks commercial featuring John Cougar Mellencamp’s song “Our Country,” interspersed with images of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and scenes of Hurricane Katrina destruction. See the N.Y. TimesDavid Carr on using an American tragedy to sell cars here.

IN YOUR JEWFACE: MTV’s Courtney Holt, former WB Records exec David Katznelson, Slate music critic Jody Rosen and USC professor Josh Kun are collaborating to put out Jewface, an album featuring 16 songs from the turn of the century that could best be described as Jewish minstrelsy, on Nov. 14. The disc features vaudeville songs from the turn of the century like “When Mose With His Nose Leads the Band” and Irving Berlin’s little-known “Cohen Owes Me Ninety-Seven Dollars.” The songs, performed by Jews for Jews, make fun of all the well-known anti-semitic stereotypes, much in the manner of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat. See the N.Y. Times story on the album, the fourth released on Reboot Stereophonic, a nonprofit record label devoted to unearthing odd Jewish-theme pop recordings from earlier eras, here.

In 1963: With the final mix of “Money (That's What I Want)” by George Martin, work was finished on With the Beatles, the group’s second album.

In 1967: Pink Floyd and The Sopwith Camel performed at San Francisco’s Fillmore in a benefit for the radio station KPFA. Floyd appeared the same day on The Pat Boone Show. Madcap singer Syd Barrett refused to answer Pat’s questions during the program.

In 1970…A Miami court sentenced Jim Morrison to six months in jail and a five-hundred-dollar fine for indecent exposure after he allegedly flashed an audience.

In 1971: John Lennon’s Imagine was the #1 album in the U.S.

In 1972: Elton John performed for Queen Elizabeth II. He was the first rocker to do so since The Beatles entertained her majesty in 1963.

In 1973: John Lennon released his album Mind Games. The album peaked at #9.

In 1976: Led Zeppelin announced that they would embark on another world tour. However, the tour was later postponed due to Robert Plant’s tonsillitis.

In 1977: Poet Allen Ginsburg visited his old friend Bob Dylan and the two taped several interviews together.

In 1978: Kiss Phantom of the Park first aired on NBC.

In 1982: Paul Weller announced he was breaking up The Jam to form The Style Council.

In 1982: English singer Mari Wilson, best known for “Cry Me a River,” announced she was going to insure her beehive hairdo for $150k.

In 1984: Linda Ronstadt performed opera for the first time in a production of La Boheme at New York’s Public Theatre.

In 1986: The Beastie Boys released their debut album License to Ill.

In 1995: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the induction of David Bowie, Tom Donahue, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Jefferson Airplane, Little Willie John, Pink Floyd, Pete Seeger, The Shirelles and The Velvet Underground.

In 1997: Drummer Bill Berry announced he was leaving R.E.M. The band said that Screaming Trees Barrett Martin would fill in at the studio for him.

In 1998: Kiss guest-starred on Fox’s show Millennium, both with and without make-up.

In 1998: David Bowie kicked off a contest on his website Bowienet.com, asking users to help him finish writing the lyrics for the song “What’s Really Happening.” The winner was 20-year-old Alex Grant.

In 2003: Lionel Richie filed for divorce from his second wife, Diane, citing "irreconcilable differences” after she allegedly punched him out.

In 2003: Britney Spears canceled a French concert to promote her new album In the Zone after she came down with a flu and severe throat infection.

In 2003: Fans, family and friends of the late Jam Master Jay held a memorial in Queens a year after the Run-DMC DJ's murder.

In 2003: Guitarist Terry Corso left Alien Ant Farm, the punk/poppers best known for their hit cover of "Smooth Criminal."

In 2003: A Pasadena, CA, court ordered troubled Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland into rehab following his arrest for driving under the influence.

In 2003: Jennifer Lopez unveiled her new line of perfume Still Jennifer Lopez. She described the scent as “very true to my passions and my relationship to the public.”

In 2003: The file-sharing application Napster returned to the Internet as Napster 2.0, and offered a paid-for downloading service.

In 2003: Paul McCartney became a dad again as his wife Heather Mills gave birth to a baby girl, seven-pound Beatrice Milly. Ahhh, those were the good old days.

In 2005: Willie Nelson held a fundraiser on his Austin ranch and golf course to raise money for his old pal and Texas gubernatorial candidate, the writer-songwriter-gadfly Kinky Friedman. Also in attendance: Jesse "The Body" Ventura.