Goodbye I-Spy, hello Sonic Boom; Courtney makes a spectacle of herself; plus tons of other news and gossip.

Happy New Year, DOONbuggies! Did you miss us? We've sure missed you. Due to the stupid, stupid holidays, we've been bumped the last two weeks, and now we're so full of gossipy bits we practically feel a hernia coming on. You can call off the EMTs though, because we've been given extra space this issue to tell you everything, and what a lot it is. But first, since we missed our big chance to do our DOON Greatest Hits bit, we'll do the Cliffs Notes version of 2002 for you here real quick. So—we hold these truths to be self- evident: Courtney Love is both litigious and cuckoo; Meg and Jack White never were and never will be siblings; when Bj�is pregnant, her manager lies like a rug; Andrew W.K. is for real, but electroclash ain't (at least not anymore); Peter Buck, liquor, and yogurt bombs don't mix; it's all over for poor Michael Jackson; the Next Nirvana hype is mostly just that; rock stars die with depressing regularity; and, finally, Ryan Adams is both legitimately talented and a complete ass. Thank you. . . . We're sure you need little reminding of last year's many music passings (John Entwistle, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, Waylon Jennings, and Joe Strummer, to name only a few), but now, sadly, you can add a local club to the list of those who did not live to see 2003. As of Jan. 1, the doors of downtown mainstay I-Spy/Nation have been shuttered for good. The multilevel space was booked well through February, but those gigs will have to be handed out to venues like the Showbox, Graceland, and Chop Suey. Financial difficulties—not to mention the recent loss of booker Steve Severin to Chop Suey and a shooting after an October showcase that left two men dead—have brought on the end of a three-year run that's been eclectic, to say the least. . . . Fortunately, while the Lord taketh away, he also giveth. Case in point: a third Sonic Boom Records store, set to open on Capitol Hill in the very near future. According to co-owner Nabil Ayers, the space will debut

March 1 in a "sweet" location between the soon-to-be Walgreens and Olympic Pizza on 15th Avenue, with, he promises, "a kick-ass kick-off event." According to Ayers, the store, which is almost as big as the Ballard space and definitely bigger than the Fremont outpost, will host some in-store appearances, though the biggest guest-star action will still take place in Ballard, because "it's the biggest, and our neighbor situation is the best over there." Still, we look forward to that much more Sonic goodness in our city. . . . Another day, another Courtney story—and this one is first class all the way. Love reportedly disturbed friends and family of the late Joe Strummer with her bizarre behavior at his funeral last week, according to English news syndicate WENN. When the Artist Formerly Known as Mrs. Cobain appeared at the West London funeral home for the service and was denied entry, she proceeded to talk her way in anyhow, then threw herself dramatically on top of the coffin, only to be pulled off by a horrified Chrissie Hynde and British TV host Mark Lamaar. Love's manager/boyfriend Jim Barber (he who wrangled the Cobain Journals into being) refutes the story, however, stating that Love and Strummer had been good friends since appearing in the 1987 film Straight to Hell together, and though Barber doesn't specifically deny the flinging-herself bit, he does take issue with the report's assertion that Love is currently in the U.K. to star in a stage production of MacBeth. So there. . . . By the way, memo to The New York Times: When you run an obituary, double-check your photo credits with the youngsters next time. America's "paper of record" ran a picture of Clash bandmate Mick Jones in place of Strummer when they eulogized him last week—though it was not, as was so horribly rumored, actually a picture of Foreigner's Mick Jones. . . . The cover of Spin's Year in Music issue isn't the only thing the Strokes have landed.

Recently shorn drummer Fabrizio Moretti is back on with Drew Barrymore—emphasis on the word on. According to New York press reports, the randy pair was recently booted from a performance of La Boh譥 on Broadway for getting jiggy in a rest-room stall during intermission. That's not all they're up to, if you believe the rumor set forth by "close friends" of Drew that Moretti recently popped the question, and that she accepted. . . . In other happy, if more official, engagement news, Natalie "I'm Torn" Imbruglia, who was said to be having a fling with Coldplay's Chris Martin (move over, Gwyneth!), is in fact set to marry her longtime boyfriend Daniel Johns, lead singer of '90s baby-grungers Silverchair and her junior by more than four years. Coo-coo-cachoo, Mrs. Robinson, and congratulations to them both. . . . Nothing makes us giggle like a good, random rock collaboration, and this week brings the mother lode. First off: Styx, the kooky '70s prog-rockers who brought you "Mr. Roboto" and "Come Sail Away," are back on the scene with next month's Cyclorama, featuring guest collaborations with the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, actor Billy Bob Thornton, and Tenacious D. Meanwhile, William Shatner is planning to record his next album with Ben Folds, while Duran Duran keyboardist and former Tiger Beat heart palpitator Nick Rhodes is, according to British gossip, currently in the studio with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. . . . Also, before the recent Swedish rock revolution, there was, well, not much else besides ABBA and sweet indie rockers the Cardigans. Now the latter group, led by Blondie doppelg䮧er Nina Persson, is working on its follow-up to 1998's darker Gran Turismo with the help of today's crop of hot-shit Swede up-and-comers, including the Hives' Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, the Hellacopters' Nick Royale, and Ebbot Lundberg of the Soundtrack of Our Lives. . . . If you think those are unusual pairs, try this one on: Britney Spears is

on the comeback trail, and that includes taking meetings with super-producer William Orbit (he did all right by Madonna's Ray of Light) and French electro geniuses Daft Punk for possible production jobs on her upcoming fourth album. Apparently the Neptunes are busy, and she's thinking, what with the precarious state of teen pop, she could really use a little of what the French call le cred. . . . This week's '80s redux: after Soft Cell's recent comeback, didn't you know it was only a matter of time before the rest of the synth-pop tsunami rolled in? Now it's Human League's turn. Astralwerks is releasing a completely remastered edition of the band's first three albums, plus eight non-LP singles, instrumentals, bonus tracks, and one brand-new number called "Hard Times." Is it? . . . Back on the local tip, we thought we'd been noticing an inordinate amount of mustachioed men around town lately, and now we know why. Starting last Oct. 1, a number of Hattie's Hat employees organized the Ballard Avenue Mustache Rebellion, and roughly 40 men (if ladies are allowed, we nominate Le Tigre's J.D. Samson, but we digress) paid $20 to enter the mustache-growing contest and had their "before" picture taken. Following a New Year's Eve final judging, 13 contestants remained, with former Fastbacks drummer Kurt Bloch taking home the $100 prize (the rest went to the Shelter for Abused Women). . . . Gosh, there's more, but we're all pooped out. So we leave you with a few recommendations: Check out Chop Suey's new monthly, House of Kicks, on Jan. 15 (cheap Oly and PBR, decent cover, serious rawk), or Cody ChesnuTT and Cherrywine at Graceland Jan. 12 (soulful bedroom savant and the guy from Digable Planets), and make some time for the excellent Jazz on Film series at EMP's JBL Theatre, running all this month on Wednesday evenings.

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