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What is this, Miami Beach?   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 02, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

KarlI got flowers...in the Spring...

First D.J.: "Rise and shine, campers and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today." Second D.J.: "It's cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?" First D.J.: "Not hardly. So the big question o­n everybody's lips..." Second D.J.: "O­n their chapped lips..." First D.J.: "...their chapped lips is, 'Does Phil feel lucky?' Punxsatawney Phil! That's right, woodchuck chuckers it's...


Sunday, Punxsutawney Phil ---  the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary will predict whether we will have six more weeks of winter.  According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, and hasn't seen it (predicting an early spring) only 14 times.  Phil's track record is hotly disputed, though he's has had a pretty good run recently.  Nevertheless, thousands will await the sunrise and the groundhog at Gobbler's Knob in the tiny Pennsylvania hamlet that has become known as the "Weather Capital of the World," due in no small part to the movie that makes every day Groundhog Day.

This is o­ne time where the Internet really fails to capture the true excitement of a movie about a large squirrel predicting the weather. However, you can see the trailer as a refresher (while BuzzFeed compiles trivia).

In 2005, Roger Ebert revisited Groundhog Day, declaring that the film "finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is."

At the other end of the political spectrum, Jonah Goldberg's equally effusive movie meditation grabbed the cover of National Review: "When I set out to write this article, I thought it'd be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, o­ne I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research -- how much reporting do you need for a review of a twelve-year-old movie that plays constantly o­n cable? -- I discovered that I wasn't alone in my interest. In the years since its release the film has been taken up by Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, and followers of the oppressed Chinese Falun Gong movement."

Indeed, a 2004 article mentioned by Ebert (but not linked) from London's Independent observes that the Harold Ramis comedy has been hailed by some religious leaders as the most spiritual film of all time. More examples can be found at the NYT and the Christian Science Monitor.

As Phil Connors ultimately observed: "When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."

ACCORDINGLY, we start off the week:

...with Sonny & Cher o­n Hullabaloo and famously o­n Letterman years later, plus UB40 with Chrissie Hynde, not to mention The Cynics (from the Bonograph tribute CD), and David Bowie & Marianne Faithfull.

UPDATE: Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, forecasting an early Spring.


FIELD MUSIC advance streams Commontime.

WORKING FOR A NUCLEAR-FREE CITY streams What Do People Do All Day.

TWIN PEAKS shares “Walk To The One You Love” ahead of Down In Heaven. And it reminds me a little of mid-period Beatles.

WHITE DENIM shares “Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" ahead of Stiff.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK: Brooklyn Vegan has live video of Robyn covering David Bowie's "Quicksand" and Soul Love", plus his own "Madonna of the Wasps" and "Queen of Eyes," for Twofer Twofer Tuesday.

BOB DYLAN: Desire, reconsidered at 40, at the Daily Beast.

1966: Pop Music's Greatest Year?

GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME, as he falls through the bar window.

JOHN CLEESE has become the latest comedy legend to wade into the debate over political correctness in comedy.

VANESSA HUDGENS performed in Grease: Live just hours after her father passed away.

JAY-Z's music label is suing his former protégé Rita Ora for breaking her recording contract and failing to deliver promised albums.

THE SCREEN ACTOR GUILD AWARDS went to these folks.

STAR WARS: Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) is returning to the big screen for next installment.

GERMANY: Nearly 40 percent of German voters think Chancellor Angela Merkel should quit over her liberal asylum policy after almost 1.1 million newcomers arrived last year, a poll showed Friday.

NIGERIA: Boko Haram burned 50 villagers, including children, to death.

A CHICKEN wearing sweatpants.

A 15-YEAR OLD DOG dumped at a high-kill shelter was at least temporarily rescued in San Bernardino.

FEMALE SHARK vs MAKE SHARK: Which eats the other?

TWO MONKEYS were found in a Florida hotel room with a dead woman.

1802 Reads

Signe Anderson RIP.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 01, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

I WAS A BIT UNDER THE WEATHER this weekend...I should be back tomorrow witht the usual serving of stuff.  In the meantime:

SIGNE ANDERSON, Jefferson Airplane's original female vocalist who sang on the band's 1966 debut LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, passed away January 28th, the same date as bandmate Paul Kanter. Like Kantner, Anderson was 74.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Kung Fu Panda 3 topped the chart with 41MM, which is a few million short of the last one, but the last one debuted over a Memorial Day weekend, not in the doldrums of January.  So likely a good result, especially given that this franchise does the vast majority of its biz overseas. The Revenant places with 12.4MM on a leggy 23 percent drop; it will need legs thru awards season to reach the roughly 400MM it needs to get into the black worldwide.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows with 10.8 million, and will likely become the first film to gross 900MM domestically by next week, with the 2 Billion mark falling soon after that worldwide.  The Finest Hours debuts in fourth with 10.3MM, which looks underwhelming against a 70-80MM budget.  Ride Along 2 rounds out the Top Five with 8.3MM and will also probably fall short of profitability in theaters, though not by much.

1689 Reads

Echo & the Bunnymen, Lucinda Williams, Dr Dog, Paul Kantner RIP, Dog & Duck   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 29, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN! Live in Germany, circa 1983. Your setlist includes: Going Up; Broke My Neck; With A Hip; Gods Will Be Gods; Show Of Strength; All My Colours (Zimbo); The Cutter; Rescue; My White Devil; Porcupine; Crocodiles; All That Jazz; Back Of Love; Heads Will Roll; Heaven Up Here; Over The Wall; Do It Clean; Villiers Terrace; No Dark Things; and A Promise.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS advance streams The Ghosts Of Highway 20.

DR. DOG advance streams The Psychedelic Swamp.

ELLIOTT SMITH: Heaven Adoes You is a companion soundtrack to the new Smith documentary of the same name.

POP ETC (fmrly the Morning Benders) streams Souvenir.

ISLANDS drop “Back Into It" and “Charm Offensive" ahead of Taste and Should I Remain Here At Sea?

THE MAMAS & PAPAS lip-synced "California Dreaming" really well o­n Hullaballoo, but not showing you the go-go dancers, who are worth the wait.

PAUL KANTNER, one of the giants of the San Francisco music scene, died Thursday of multiple organ failure. Mr. Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane, was 74 and had suffered a heart attack this week.

THE NATIONAL: Matt Berninger talks to The Independent about anxiety, artistic motivation, misheard lyrics, the new album and unicorn mobiles.

RICHARD THOMPSON is briefly profiled by The Oakland Press. (Thx, LHB.)

JOHN LYDON, a/k/a Johnny Rotten, turns 60 this weekend; The Guardian revisits a 1989 Q interview.

NOW SHOWING: This weekends' wide releases include: Kung Fu Panda 3, which is currently scoring 80 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; The Finest Hours, which is currently scoring 57 percent; plus Fifty Shades of Black, and Jane Got a Gun, which were not advance screened for critics.

TYRA BANKS is replacing Ivanka Trump as an adviser on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

LEO DiCAPRIO greeted Pope Francis at the Vatican.

ANGELINA JOLIE would prefer her kids stay out of the industry. Jon Voight might've thought the same.

AMBER ROSE issued an op-ed and continued her Twitter feud with Kanye, which he'd really like to drop now.

GEORGE CLOONEY laughs off pregnancy rumors.

FRENCH police arrested a man carrying two guns at an entrance to a hotel at Disneyland Paris. The man, reportedly aged 28 and not known to security services, was also discovered with a copy of the Koran and a box of ammunition, police said.

WHY AIRSTRIKES Won't Destroy the Islamic State.

A DOG & A DUCK, adopted together... mass hysteria!

A VULTURE that flew into Lebanon from an Israeli nature reserve has been captured on suspicion of spying, according to local media reports.

PET TREATS: What To Avoid.

ZIGGY is a male colobus monkey born at the St. Louis Zoo on the day David Bowie died.

1969 Reads

What's Up Matador, Lower Dens, Wet, Dog Escape   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TORTOISE (ft Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley) shares a video for "Yonder Blue."

WHAT'S UP MATADOR: In 1997, the record label filmed a fake children's show, with cameos from Liz Phair, Yo La Tengo, Jon Spencer, Railroad Jerk, Run On, and more.

LOWER DENS stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

WET performed in the WNYC Soundcheck studio.

M WARD issues a "Confession" ahead of More Rain.

BEST COAST & WAVVES have a split single, including a cover of Nirvana's "Dumb."

SUMMER FLAKE drops “Shoot And Score” ahead of Hello Friends.

RICHARD THOMPSON: The culmination of 1000 Years Of Popular Music.

DAVID BOWIE gave the Punk movement both fuel and fire.

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER discusses her favorite albums with The Quietus.

MAVIS STAPLES discusses her 12 favorite younger singers.

ELVIS COSTELLO: Ten of His Best.

KANYE WEST had a fairly epic Twitter fight with Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose.

JOSEPH FIENNES is set to play...Michael Jackson in a British TV movie.

LIAM HEMSWORTH did not formally re-propose to Miley Cyrus.

TYRA BANKS and her boyfriend, Swedish photographer Erik Asla, have welcomed a son.

RYAN REYNOLDS talks about being a father and losing one.

FRANCE asked its European Union partners to consider new sanctions on Iran for its recent missile tests.

IRAN: The White House dropped a 10 million claim as part of the recent prisoner deal

A MASSIVE DOG escapes the vet, carrying a staffer along for the ride.

A KINKAJOU turns up on the chest of a 99-year-old woman.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Britons are blaming the 11th Duke of Bedford.

A "BEHEMOTH" DADDY LONGLEGS has been discovered in Oregon.

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Wolf Alice, Natalie Merchant, Bloc Party, Feelies, Rescue Kittens   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


RECORD VISITS ON MONDAY...and some server crashes on Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by, everyone.

NEKO CASE dropped a video for "Man" in conjunction with her vinyl box set.

WOLF ALICE played a Tiny Desk Concert.

NATALIE MERCHANT played a Tiny Desk Concert.

BLOC PARTY is advance streaming HYMNS.

THE FEELIES, Live in NYC, Dec. 14, 1977.

YUCK covers Fugazi’s “Cashout.”

THE COATHANGERS drop "Make It Right" ahead of Nosebleed Weekend.

ALBERT LEE covers Jimmy Webb's "If You See Me Getting Smaller," one of my favorite Webb tunes, though (afaik) never a hit for anyone.

DAVID BOWIE: Trent Reznor eflects on the "validating and surreal" experience of working with his musical idol.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND co-founder and songwriter Rostam Batmanglij has left the band.

REGINA SPEKTOR, profiled by The Guardian.

DAUGHTER guitarist and producer Igor Haefeli talks to ClashMusic about short stories, heavy lyrics and of course, the making of their new album.

EMILY BLUNT & JOHN KRASINSKI are expecting their second child.

ABE VIGODA, best known for his roles as mobster Tessio in "The Godfather" and as Detective Sgt. Fish in TV's "Barney Miller" and a spinoff series in which he starred, has died. He was 94 and died in New Jersey of natural causes. Yes, really.

MAD MAX director George Miller is amazed by the fan reaction to Fury Road.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION, a movie about the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, was acquired for a record 17.5mm by Fox Searchlight.

THE EPIC FAIL of Hollywood's Hottest Algorithm.

THE ISLAMIC STATE has created a whole “industry” out of the production of fake passports, a high-level French official said.

LIBYA's internationally recognized parliament on Monday rejected a U.N.-sponsored unity government with rival authorities based in Tripoli, dealing a blow to months of efforts aimed at bridging a political divide that has undermined the fight against Islamic militants.

THREE ABANDONED KITTENS get a second chance.

A CRAB grabbed a knife, backed out of a restaurant.

BIRDS OF PREY aren't for kissing. The More You Know.

A GOAT TESTICLE DOCTOR made a fortune, and later a sensation at Sundance.

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