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Lisa Live: More Peeps Outta the Dixie Chicks

With the Dixie Chicks feeling the heat since their anti-President Bush remarks, sweltering three-digit temps seemed appropriate for Tuesday’s show at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

And how’s this for adding fuel to the fire: the Chicks took the stage to the tune “Hail to the Chief.”

As for lead singer Natalie Maines, well, the girl can’t help it. Before launching into the song “White Trash Wedding,” Maines gave a “shout out” to Mel Gibson and joked, “If only I’d said I was drunk and checked myself into rehab, all of our troubles would have been over.”

Yes, the place was electrified — so much so that Maines also jokingly thanked the city of New York for dimming the lights of the Empire State Building to ensure voltage for the Garden show. (The landmark tower — normally majestically lit against the night sky — went dark to save power during the city’s oppressive heat wave.)

And yes, the house of Yanks went Dixie crazy when the Chicks sang their new hit single, “Not Ready to Make Nice.”

But what’s curious about this “Accidents and Accusations” tour is that olive green army caps embroidered with “Dixie Chicks” are on sale for $40, and military “dog tags” with a Chicks logo sell for $15.

Does this nod to our troops mean the Chicks are in fact ready to make nice — or just ready to make money?

While shows in the Northeast, Canada and overseas have been added, the “postponed” Southern dates, where ticket sales have lagged, have yet to be rescheduled.

One final note on the show — and on concerts in general, whether they be the Dixie Chicks’ or their arch-rival Toby Keith’s: what is the deal with people raising cell phones instead of lighters during ballads, as occurred during the Chicks’ rendition of “Landslide”?

With smoking banned in public arenas and cell phones possessing photo and video capability, certainly most folks come armed with Nokias and Motorolas over Bics and Zippos.

But the lighted-cell-phone-as-emotional-arm-waving-apparatus is simply absurd, not to mention totally uncool. Please don’t tell me that Lynyrd Skynyrd fans do this during “Freebird” — I’ll shoot myself.

Good Day 'Sunshine'

If you can’t stand the heat, get into the air-conditioned theater. At least that’s what Hollywood is hoping you'll do. For my money (and more importantly, for yours) “Little Miss Sunshine” is the best replacement for, well, real sunshine.

While it opened in a limited number of theaters, “Sunshine” lights up an increased number of screens this weekend and next. The laudatory drumbeat for this film began back in January when it was the biggest hit of the Sundance Film Festival.

Funny, poignant, quirky and perfectly cast, “Sunshine” is the story of a dysfunctional extended family set against the backdrop of a junior beauty pageant.

Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carrell, Alan Arkin and relative newcomer Paul Dano comprise the Hoover family, and they do suck every ounce of empathy and laughter out of you.

But the glue is now 10-year-old actor Abigail Breslin as young Olive Hoover, beauty-queen wannabe. Breslin once played Mel Gibson’s daughter in “Signs” — and all signs point to her career doing a lot better than his right now.

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