Off the record...
On their fourth album, Cake's formula is tighter than ever, the kickoff number
features singer John McCrea's unremarkable voice floating indolently over a
broken-down funk beat, with minuscule breaks for Vincent DiFiore's trumpet, some
blaxploitation wah-wah and the opening line: "I am an opera singer." The
Eighties get play on the robo-disco single Short Skirt/Long Jacket and on the
title song, a sort of industrial party tune. The best songs, particularly Long
Line of Cars and Pretty Pink Ribbon, exhibit a modern pop that is both
mechanized and organic. Whatever McCrea is getting at, his sound, like the band
itself, is highly developed and virtually unique.
At the Movies...
Paramount's ensemble comedy Rat Race is a broadly entertaining wide release
that's made for drive-ins on hot summer nights and matinee shows with hordes of
screaming youngsters. Las Vegas casino owner Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) has a
captive group of wealthy gamblers to keep happy. He concocts a road race with
six randomly chosen participants and no rules. The prize is $2 million in cash
to be found in a locker in a New Mexico railroad station. While the race
unfolds, Sinclair, in a running joke, has other kooky betting activities to keep
his financially motivated crowd occupied as they wait to see which "rat" wins.
Rat Race has swell stunts and special effects and enough laughs of all kinds to
Enemy at the Gates
An exciting war drama set during the German siege of Stalingrad in 1942 and 1943
that pitted young Russian conscripts against veteran German soldiers in a battle
that pretty much sealed the fate of the faltering German monolith on the Eastern
front. A Russian country boy (Jude Law) with a rifle wipes out a group of German
officers and comes to the attention of Soviet authorities, desperate to find
heroes to mobilize their war-weary troops. Cranking up their propaganda machine,
the Russians extol their sharpshooter's abilities so much so that the Germans
bring in their own sharpshooter, played by Ed Harris, to put a stop to the
sniper. The story is much more than a war film, however, as it pits aristocrats
vs. peasants and explores eternal themes of love, loyalty and betrayal.
'N Sync, Destiny's Child and Britney Spears were winners at the Teen Choice
Awards, which even netted an appearance by actor Ben Affleck. 'N Sync picked up
awards for best single for Pop and for best album, while Spears was named
favorite female artist. Destiny's Child won the award for favorite pop group.
The show will air Aug. 20 on Fox. Votes for favorite actors, musicians and
athletes were cast on forms published in Seventeen magazine and were made
Despite publicly complaining
about ticket prices and threatening to boycott his brother's party, Jermaine
Jackson is deciding to join the rest of the Jackson 5 for Michael Jackson's 30th
anniversary bash September 7 and 10 at Madison Square Garden.
Former Little House on the
Prairie star and SAG presidential hopeful Melissa Gilbert is blasting rival
candidate Valerie Harper. The two former '70s TV stars are vying to replace
outgoing prez, William Daniels.
Weezer has tapped Florida-based
rockers Cold to open its upcoming shows from September 6th through September
John Wiley & Sons Inc. reached
an agreement Monday to buy Hungry Minds Inc., the publisher of the For Dummies
series, for $90 million in cash. The Dummies series was started 10 years ago
with computer and software guides for everyday users. The bright
yellow-and-black books grew to encompass everything from Italian Cooking For
Dummies to Weight Training For Dummies to Sex For Dummies.
Mick Jagger has been writing
songs with Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas for his upcoming solo album, due
out in November.
Hollywood actors have voted
overwhelmingly to approve a new contract that includes a 9.5 percent pay
increase over the next three years for television actors.
The X-Files is expanding its
roster by adding the services of Cary Elwes, that blond chap who played the
dashing Westley in 1987's The Princess Bride. Elwes will play the recurring
character of FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer, who's an ex-boyfriend of
Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). He joins series regulars Gillian
Anderson, who's been on the show since its 1993 premiere, and Robert Patrick,
who joined the series last year.
RELOADED UNOFFICIALLY SET FOR
Fans of The Matrix will have to wait even longer than expected for the film's
first sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. The sci-fi sequel is now unofficially set for
May 2003, more than four years after the original debuted. Despite expectations
that the next installment of the franchise would hit theaters in late 2002.
While the final track listing
has not been confirmed, KISS has announced that the long-awaited boxset will
finally be released on November 6th through Mercury Records. Though the title
and packaging detail are unknown at this point, spokesmen for the band have
alluded that there is a special treat in store for fans.
The Bull & Finch pub was the
inspiration for Cheers, but the inside of the Beacon Hill bar looks surprisingly
nothing like the place we saw on television. That's why Bull & Finch owner
Kershaw is building an exact replica of the Cheers set, which will include Sam
Malone's Red Sox jacket and Cliff's mail carrier uniform.
It's been a very good week
for MCA artists Darwin's Waiting Room. Not only are the celebrating the release
of their debut album, Orphan, but they have just been tapped to perform on the
Deftones and Godsmack Tour.