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SuperBowl Hangover Edition   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 06, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NOT LITERALLY, but there's remarkably little non-football news of any urgency. Here are a few items, anyway:

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Split threepeats atop the chart with 14.6MM on a 43 percent drop that should be considered leggy for the weekend of The Big Game. It's allready approaching 100MM domestic against a 9MM production budget and will almost certainly become M Night Shymalayan's biggest hit since Signs.  It also beat out genre competition from the debut of Rings, which placed with 13MM against a 25MM production buget (which matters a lot given that the prior sequel opened more than 20MM higher).  A Dog's Purpose showed with 10.8MM and 32.9MM domestic against a 22MM production budget.  Hidden Figures takes the fourth slot with 10.1MM on a remarkably leggy 28 percent drop. Hidden Figures now has 119MM domestic against a 25MM budget and is just starting to openwide overseas.  La La Land again rounds out the Top Five with another 7.5MM with 118MM domestic and another 150MM overseas to date.

BLACK SABBATH ostensibly played their final concert, in Birmingham.

THE DIRECTORS GUILD of AMERICA AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats!  La La Land's Damien Chazelle took home the top prize. Friend of the blog Steven Zaillian also took home a prize.

TWIN PEAKS dropped another teaser trailer, featuring clips from the original series.

PATTON OSWALD said Friday that coroner's officials informed him that his wife died last year from a combination of prescription medications and an undiagnosed heart condition.

RYAN REYNOLDS gave a lapdance while receiving the Man of the Year award Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals group.

NICOLAS CAGE crashed a tribute film festival about himself, because he's Nic Cage. He also did an 11-minute reading of Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."

BLACK LIGHTNING is headed to the CW.

MARC SPITZ, longtime New York-based SPIN writer, novelist and playwright has died. He was 47.

PUPPY BOWL: Team Fluff crushed Team Ruff, 93-38.

See y'all Tuesday!

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Winter Dance Party, Chuck Prophet, Jesca Hoop, Teen Daze, Stoned Lemurs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 03, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...withTHE DAY THE MUSIC DIED.  It's many winters later, but the passing of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, IA is still bringing people to the historic Surf Ballroom, as well as the Riverside Ballroom, where the Winter Dance Party made its penultimate stop. So it's worth linking to an MPR audio feature on the Winter Dance Party, plus this comp of rare footage.  There's even less video of Valens, outside this lipsync of "Ooh, My Head!", but there's rare live audio of "La Bamba" and "Donna" on the Tube. And no survey would be complete without the Bopper's signature song, "Chantilly Lace."  The tragedy has echoed through the years in movies like The Buddy Holly Story and La Bamba.  The latter featured Los Lobos, who would make "La Bamba" a hit again almost 30 years later, with Marshall Crenshaw as Holly, who can be seen here covering "Crying, Waiting Hoping", introduced by Wolfman Jack.

CHUCK PROPHET advance streams Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins.  'Member seeing Green On Red at the M-Shop back in the day? I 'member.

JESCA HOOP advance streams Memories Are Now.

TEEN DAZE advance streams Themes For Dying Earth.

TINARIWEN advance streams Elwan.

BLEACHED shared the title track to the upcoming Can You Deal? EP.


STRAND OF OAKS gets the cover story treatment at Stereogum.

OKKERVIL RIVER: Will Scheff talked to amNY about Okkervil River R.I.P., jazz, and the Great American Songbook. (Thx, LHB.)

MICHAEL CHAPMAN: The man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth.

BAD BRAINS frontman HR is facing brain surgery.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releasesare Rings, which was not screened for critics; and The Space Between Us, currently scoring 5 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.

JOHNNY DEPP is firing back at his former management team over their claims his financial woes are all his fault.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY told the BBC we don't have a choice but to give Pres. Trump a break and try to be constructive. The interview was conducted before Trump signed an executive order last Friday that instituted a controversial immigration ban.

ANGELINA JOLIE wrote about refugee policy for the New York Times.

PRESIDENT TRUMP & ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER had a play fight over The Celebrity Apprentice.

AN ANOMYMOUS OSCAR VOTER tells the Daily Beast that La La Land is overrated, Meryl Streep shouldn't have been nominated, and more.

X-MEN: Bryan Singer is bringing mutants to the small screen as a family drama.

THE RATS OF NIMH are returning in hybrid live-action/animation.

ROBIN HOOD: ORIGINS is pitched as the John Wick of bows-and-arrows.

GHOST IN THE SHELL gets a Super Bowl spot.

LEMURS GET HIGH off toxic millipede secretions.

DOGS ON POT: In New York City, veterinarians say, canine marijuana poisoning has become a daily occurrence.

A FERRET is recovering after being fitted with a pacemaker during a rare surgery at Kansas State University.

FERAL BUNNIES overrun Vegas.

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Does Phil feel lucky?   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 02, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


I 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...


Today, 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 conclude:

...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: Phil saw his shadow; his main rival, Staen Island Chuck, disagreed.

RYLEY WALKER, Live at Rough Trade BK, January 26, 2017.

LEE RENALDO, Live at the Church Park Co-op, January 22, 2017.

CATE LeBON, Live at The Bowery Ballroom, January 26, 2017.

ROBIN HITCHCOCK shared "I Want To Tell You About What I Want" ahead of what is unvbelievably his first self-titled LP.

PAUL McCARTNEY & ELVIS COSTELLO: Hear the oft-bootlegged but never-released demo for “Twenty Fine Fingers," ahead of the deluxe reissue of Flowers In The Dirt.

BLONDIE and DAVE SITEK have "Fun" ahead of Pollinator.  Debbie's back in the disco.

BEACH SLANG covered The Jesus & Mary Chain and Hope Sandoval's "Sometimes Always."

FUTURE ISLANDS shared "Ran" ahead of The Far Field.

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS shared “’83 Foxx And I" ahead of 50 Song Memoir.

BOB DYLAN will release a triple album of new recordings of the Great American Songbook. The man knows his ROI.

TIFT MERRITT talks to PopMatters about the joys of motherhood, life on the road, and more...

ALLISON CRUTHCHFIELD talked to Paste abouther breakup record.

REAL ESTATE: Martin Courtney tlaks to Bob Boilen about making music, The Beatles...and a horse.

BEYONCE is pregnant with twins. Should make Coachella interesting.

MEL GIBSON and VINCE VAUGHN will re-team to star in Dragged Across Concrete, a crime thriller about police brutality.

EMMA WATSON & MILES TELLER are reportedly “raising hell” with their agents after missing out on the lead roles in La La Land.

DANIEL-DAY LEWIS & PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON began filming a movie rumored to be about the fashion scene in 1950s London. 

JOE BUCK Knows Why You Hate Him.

FRANK PELLEGRINO, Sopranos star and co-owner of legendary New York restaurant Rao's, has died at 72 after battling lung cancer.

MARY TYLER MOORE's final husband is mourning the loss of his wife of more than 33 years, but he is finding hope in the assurance that her light and legacy will live on forever.


THE UNITED KINGDOM:The process of Britain leaving the European Union cleared a significant hurdle on Wednesday when members of the UK parliament voted in favor of allowing the government to begin divorce talks.

UKRAINE  began evacuating civilians from the eastern town at the center of the deadliest flare-up in fighting in 1 1/2 months between government forces and Russian-backed insurgents.

IRAN: White House national security adviser Michael Flynn delivered a tough warning to Iran on Wednesday for test-firing a ballistic missile and said it was in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

SEALS and PENGUINS engaging in an extreme form of sexual behavior...mass hysteria!

OLLIE the BOBCAT: Officials at the National Zoo suspended their search for Ollie, who escaped Monday from her enclosure...only to find her on zoo property.

AN OREGON WOMAN managed to get her pet python stuck in her earlobe.

COCKFIGHTING: A NYC teacher is charged with training roosters for the ring.

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John Wetton RIP, Ty Segall, Hideout, All Songs, Rogue Wave, Baby Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JOHN WETTON, prog-rock bassist and singer for Asia, King Crimson, Family and more, died Tuesday after a battle with colon cancer. He was 67. So obviously, I'm going to serve up Asia's "Heat of the Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell," along with King Crimson's "Starless."  I saw one of Asia's very early US concerts because it was pacakaged as part of a series before anyone knew wjho they were. And when I found out who they were, my immediate thought was that it would be fairly hardcore prog;in those pre-internet days, people were unprepared for just how pop they would be.

TY SEGALL stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

HIDEOUT is streaming their sophomore LP, So Many Hoops/So Little Time.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Tracks from Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, Missy Elliot and more feature in the latest edition.

ROGUE WAVE covers Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door."

THE GODFATHERS return with "You and Me Against the World."

MASON WILLIAMS pumps some "Classical Gas."

WIRE's Colin Newman shares the soundtrack of his life.

JENS LEKMAN's guide to rebooting yourself creatively. (Thx, Frank Yang.)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS' Patterson Hood discussed protest music with the Lincoln Journal Star. (Thx LHB.)

CAR SEAT HEADREST really wants to work with...Smashmouth?

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 - I don't usually do movie premieres, but I'll make an exception for this trio.

PHARRELL WILLIAMS and wife Helen Lasichanh welcomed triplets, making them thrice Happy.

OPRAH WINFREY joins “60 Minutes” as a special contributor.

JOHNNY DEPP's former managers have fired back at the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star after he sued them for fraud, filing their own cross-complaint accusing Depp of living “an ultra-extravagant lifestyle” that he “simply could not afford.”

SUPERGIRL: Former Lois Lane Teri Hatcher has signed on to play the Big Bad for Season2 of the CW show.

AQUAMAN: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who starred in Netflix’s Baz Luhrmann show The Get Down, is in early talks to take on the part of the villainous Black Manta.

FIFTY SHADES DARKER is tracking consderably behind its predecessor.

A PREEMIE BABY HIPPO at the Cinci Zoo is making progress toward standing and walking on her own.

THE WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW, the most prestigious canine competition in the United States, has added three new breeds to its annual event, which for the first time will also include a program featuring cats...

80 BIRDS OF PREY, flying coach.

OLLIE THE BOBCAT is still on the loose in DC.

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Regina Spektor, Hiss Golden Messenger, Dead Man Winter. Mt Goats, Pit Bull   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TV ON THE RADIO covered “Nothing Compares 2 U" for a Yale  conference called "Blackstar Rising & The Purple Reign: Celebrating The Legacies Of David Bowie And Prince."

REGINA SPEKTOR stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER covers The Faces and Ralph Stanley in a Lagniappe Session at Aquarium Drunkard.

DEAD MAN WINTER stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle wrote “The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All The Other Jedi And Eats Their Bones" on  adare from Rian Johnson (director of The Last Jedi).

BNQT, ft members of Midlake, Grandaddy, Band of Horses, Franz Ferdinand, and Travis, shared "Restart."

THE MINDBENDERS bring Twofer Tuesday: "Game of Love" and "Groovy Kind of Love."

TOMMY STINSON talked to Rolling Stone about his solo career.

SHARON JONES, remembered by The Current to kick off Black History Month.

DIRTY PROJECTORS: How Dave Longstreth ended up at Kanye's house with The Weeknd. [Record scratch. Freeze-frame. "You may be wondering how I got here..."]

30 ICONIC ALBUMS TURNING 30, compiled by Paste. Get off my lawn.

BEN AFFLECK has decided to step down as director of The Batman and remain on as a producer and star of the project.

EVAN RACHEL WOOD is engaged to her bandmate Zach Villa.

MARY TYLER MOORE died of several causes.

WINONA RYDER couldn't hear David Harbor's SAG Awards speech? C'mon! This was a career highlight.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST dropped a final trailer.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: Jordan Belfort claims he knew the film's financing must have been fishy.

WHY HOLLYWOOD As We Know It is Already Over.

MASAYA NAKAMURA, the father of Pac-Man, has died at 91.

CANADA: The suspect charged with murder in Sunday's shooting that left six people dead at a Quebec City mosque was a "lone wolf," Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Monday.

UKRAINE: More than 10 people have been killed in some of the worst fighting for weeks in eastern Ukraine.

YEMEN: Houthi militants attacked a Saudi warship with three boats off the western coast of Yemen on Monday, causing an explosion that killed two crew members and injured three others, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

IRAN conducted its first missile test since US President Donald Trump took office, giving the nascent administration an early opportunity to show the world how they plan to deal with a key US adversary.

GRAYCE THE PIT BULL Gently Places Her 11 Puppies Into Her Foster Mom's Lap.

OLLIE THE BOBCAT escaped the Smithsonian's National Zoo in DC.

FRENCH HAMSTERS turn cannibal.

ZOO CRASHERS: Choose your entrance carefully. The More You Know. [swoosh]

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