Program Notes

The year's most important rock album has been released. The rectological explication engenders the broadening base of potential matched against the constricting demands of commercial success, and R.E.M. effectively negates that equation evocatively by juggling configurative...whoops, wrong column. Sorry. They didn't headline their press release "Automatic for the Pundits" for nothing. Then again, I guess they did, because all I have to say at this point in world history is that David Essex better be getting some royalties off "Drive" and radio better play "Find the River." Right, right.

So getting back to the year's most important rock album: Rooster Head has finally issued masterpiece number three, Barnyard Delights, firmly and unequivocally establishing them as one of America's four or five best rock bands, even if the godlike multi-instrumentalist Pete Moss has left the band, and the building. More will be said, God knows, but at this point the looming question is whether to have Moss, who played on the record before departing, appear in the Rolling Stone cover photo.

Wow -- the thirteenth anniversary (thems a lots of years, Ms. Wimmer) for Open Books and Records (44 NW 167th St., 940-8750) takes place this weekend with big discounts on cool stuff and, on Sunday, live music by Holy Terrors, Boise and Moss, Wet Flower, and the Bellefires, beginning about 3:00 p.m.

The unimportant part first: Attorney Bruce Rogow is a nice guy, charming and friendly and bright. More importantly, Rogow, who teaches law at Nova University, also qualifies as one of America's leading freedom fighters. In acknowledgment of some of his recent work -- namely defending music from censorship in cases involving the 2 Live Crew and Charles Freeman -- the Playboy Foundation has awarded him the 1992 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment award in the category of law. Congrats, Bruce. Nice guys do finish first. (Although we shoulda pressed the "political value" issue in the first Crew case, appeal or no.)

TV tip: Next Tuesday WLRN-TV (Channel 17) airs Haiti, Killing the Dream at 9:00 p.m.

Grateful deadline: No hype here, just the dope from Miami Rocks, Too! Send a three-song cassette, eight-by-ten photo, band bio, contact, and fifteen bucks to Miami Rocks, 750 E. Sample Rd., Suite 209, Pompano Beach, FL 33064. The showcase begins February 18 and if you don't know about this thing by now, you're reading the wrong column.

Show jobs: Nil Lara, freshly shorn and lookin' good, if that matters, is ready to take us to Cuba without flipping a penny to the pig Fidel. We travel by mind, thanks to a bit of vision and tons of talent, with the See, Listen and Talk About the House event tomorrow (Thursday) at Stephen Talkhouse. Lara and Beluga Blue will play live; Jorge Cordova brings film; Felipe Dulzaides brings Babacho II performance; Arturo Cuenca, Pablo Carreno, and Daniel Barrocas bring art; Adrian Castro brings poetry; Emilio San Pedro brings tracks; Monique Marvez brings comedy; Eddie Mars brings transformative projections; and the whole thing brings Cuba to South Beach, rather than the other way around. Naked Rhythm bares all tomorrow (Thursday) at Confetti in Fort Lauderdale. And you really need to be at Washington Square for this Friday's Rock for Choice concert featuring Holy Terrors, Livid Kittens, M.O.R.E., I Don't Know, Drive Choir, Sub-Culture, Alligator Alley, Pontius Pilot, and Censorship of Peace. Remember, folks, if Bushy Boy gets re-erected, and one of the geezers on the Supreme Court gets, freedom for women ends in this nation.

Pardon my professionalism, but deadline's five minutes from right now, and the whole Chris Columbus shebang's getting old, so I'll sloppily misquote Bruce Springsteen, singing "Stand On It" on a bootleg tape: "Well now Columbus he discovered America even though he hadn't planned on it/He got lost something something something land on it/He wouldn't got outta Italy that's for sure/Without Queen Isabella standing on the shore." Hey, the man himself says when you're in doubt and you can't figure it out just stand on it, so there you go. As for the Columbus anniversary, I'm glad at least one of my Miccosukee friends got interviewed on the teevy news.

Radio tip: Rock & Roll Revisited (Sunday at 6:00 p.m. on WLRN-FM 91.3) spotlights Buddy Holly.

Butthorn of the week: The FBI and the Broward Sheriff's Office. It took about 400,000 police officers to nab seven Chinese bookies (swallowing the ocean)? If this is law enforcement, can I have my taxes back? The very next night, by sheer godly coincidence, Al Michaels sat next to David Letterman on national television and explained that the preceding evening's game (Redskins 34-Broncos 3) was compelling because of the Over-Under bet. (If you don't know what O-U betting is, you're reading the wrong column.) Remember, one-third of Americans age 26 and over smoke dope, and everybody bets on pro football. Maybe if we just lined the borders with barbed wire and pretended we were all in prison....

The media circus: I'm no fan of Ted Turner and Jane "American Traitor Bitch" Fonda, or the Atlanta Braves, for that matter, but was the National League Championship Series the greatest piece of drama since the Canes beat FSU a few weeks ago? Yes.

The media circus, too: I'm no fan of the Pope, or Saturday Night Live, for that matter, but I think now you know why I've always called her Shithead O'Connor.

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Greg Baker