Plus, news about Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Spike Lee, John Travolta, James Gandolfini, Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, Lisa ''Left Eye'' Lopes, and others

SOUND BITES DMX‘s ”The Great Depression” proved recession-proof, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard chart and selling a whopping 440,000 copies its first week, according to SoundScan. Hard rockers Incubus also enjoyed a big-selling debut, with ”Morning View” opening at No. 2 on sales of 266,200. Enya‘s year-old ”A Day Without Rain” held strong at No. 3 (162,925 sold). Last week’s chart-topper, the ”God Bless America” benefit anthology, dropped to No. 4 (147,600 units). Slipping two spots to No. 5 was Ja Rule‘s ”Pain Is Love” (136,100 copies).

Debuting at No. 6 was Dave Matthews Band‘s latest, a long double-disc set with a long title — ”Live in Chicago 12.19.98 at the United Center.” Nickelback‘s ”Silver Side Up” fell two slots to No. 7. Linkin Park‘s ”Hybrid Theory” slid one space to No. 8 Usher‘s ”8701” held at No. 9, and compilation ”Totally Hits 2001” dropped four notches to No. 10. Watch for a brawl next week among new releases, with Michael Jackson trying to prove he’s ”Invincible” against challengers Backstreet Boys, Lenny Kravitz, Enrique Iglesias, and Jermaine Dupri….

Stone Temple Pilots, who performed a rousing rendition of the Beatles‘ ”Revolution” at last month’s John Lennon tribute/benefit concert, have recorded the song as a charity single. The song will be released November 27, with proceeds going to the Twin Towers Fund.

REEL DEALS Jim Carrey has signed to star in a supernatural romantic comedy by writer/director Gary Ross (”Pleasantville,” ”Big”). He’ll play a widower who is haunted by the ghost of his wife when he starts dating again. Shooting begins in New York in March. ”It’s a rich, lush romantic comedy about renewal and rebirth, and setting it in New York and getting to shoot it there was important to us, for obvious reasons,” Ross told Variety. Sounds like Ross has been haunted by the ghosts of ”Kiss Me Goodbye” (the 1982 Sally FieldJames Caan comedy) and Noel Coward‘s classic stage comedy ”Blithe Spirit,” which had similar plots….

How’d you like to take acting lessons from Marlon Brando? For free? A handful of people will get that opportunity, but they’ll have to jump through some bizarre hoops to do it. Starting Nov. 5, Brando will lead a 15-day workshop called ”Lying for a Living” at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Also present for the sessions, which will be preserved on DVD and sold at, will be Meryl Streep and Jon Voight. And you don’t necessarily have to be an actor to attend; Brando’s similarly eccentric buddy Tony Kaye (director of ”American History X”) is auditioning ”policemen, doctors, whomever” to fill the 20 available slots. Kaye was auditioning in New York Tuesday, dressed as Osama bin Laden, but with an American flag poking out of his turban. He described the outfit as part of ”a performance art piece,” designed to show people that they should not ”be frightened of terrorism.” Kaye also made the more than 200 applicants attempt such challenges as singing a song written by Brando, called ”I Want To Eat My Car.” Looks like Brando already… no, no, that’s too easy.

A Day Without Rain
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