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Rise and shine Campers! New Releases, Beach House, Smiling Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 02, 2010 - 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.

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. In addition to the examples given in that article, another can be found at 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."

Update: Phil saw his shadow, signaling six more weeks of winter.

ACCORDINGLY, we start off a new day:

...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 Faithful. A bit more than Twofer Tuesday.

NEW RELEASES: Abums from Album Leaf, Four Tet, Martha and the Muffins, Midlake, the Soft Pack, and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT is streaming two advance tracks from Nothing Like You via FatCat Records.

BEACH HOUSE did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

DAVID RAWLINGS and GILLIAN WELCH played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

PETER GABRIEL talks to the Times of London about Scratch My Back, his album of cover versions of songs by artists ranging from Paul Simon to Bon Iver -- and his many extra-curricular activities.  You can hear his cover on Bon Iver's "Flume" at the 'Gum.

SURFER BLOOD drops a mischievious clip for "Swim."

BLACK FRANCIS - or do you call him Frank Black? - talks to the Santa Barbara Independent about his last album, digital downloading, extra-terrestrials, and more...

YEASAYER talked to the NYT's Jon Pareles about revamping their sound for their sophomore album.

HOT CHIP is profiled in the Times of London.

NOUVELLE VAGUE: Olivier Libaux writes the Salt Lake Tribune about why melding bossa nova and new wave shouldn't work -- but does, so well.

NINE FRESH FACES are profiled in this month's Vanity Fair cover story, photoshoot and video. Yep, we're in the home stretch of awards season now.

THE OSCARS: These folks got nominated. Congrats!

THE RAZZIES nominations went to these folks.  The Gold Derby wonders whether Sandra Bullock will take home a Razzie and an Oscar.

KRISTEN BELL and DAX SHEPARD, co-starring in When in Rome, are engaged, too.

JULIA ROBERTS offers Valentine's Day advice for the ladies.

AFTER LOST, Matthew Fox says he's done with television. And Evangeline Lilly says she's done with acting.


BILL WATTERSON, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, answered some questions via e-mail from Plain Dealer reporter John Campanelli. It's believed to be the first interview with the reclusive artist since 1989.

AfPAK: Don't call it AfPak.

A JAPANESE DOG breaks into a smile for its owner. Awww...

FRIENDLIER DOGS wag their tails to the left.

A BABY GIRAFFE was born at the Memphis Zoo, complete with awww... some pic.

AN ALLIGATOR turned up in Kansas. Again.

A 12-FOOT GREEN ANACONDA was captured recently by Osceola County deputy sheriffs at the East Lake Fish Camp in northern Osceola County: "Toni, I think we know what happened to the ducks."

3416 Reads

C. Gainsbourg, Ted Leo, The XX, Scott Miller, Live Octopus   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 01, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG made her network TV debut singing "Trick Pony" at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Not sure about the werewolf in the background.

TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the whole gig on demand.

THE XX stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set, streaming on demand.

RAIN MACHINE: Kyp Malone (TVotR) did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

PRINCETON did three free songs for Daytrotter, including a cover of Yo La Tengo's "Sugarcube."

BROKEN BELLS, a/k/a The Shins' James Mercer and Danger Mouse, drop a video for "The High Road."

SCOTT MILLER of Game Theory and the Loud Family talks to MBV about his careers, bands he's listening to now, and more...

NEIL YOUNG was officially minted as the Recording Academy's "MusiCares Person of the Year" Friday night; the Toronto Star covers his philanthropy.

OWEN PALLETT talks to ChartAttack about his new album, how he measures himself to Neko Case, how he's crazy for Lady Gaga and how at the end of the day, all he wants are some slightly bulging biceps.

RONNIE WOOD is back in rehab. Eighth time is the charm, I hear.

THE GRAMMYS went to these folks. Yeesh. Congrats to Phoenix, though.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Avatar tops the chart for a seventh weekend with another 30 million, on a mere 14 percent drop. In all likelihood, it will pass Titatnic's record domestic total this week; its wordwide total nears two billion dollars.  Edge of Darkness, Mel Gibson's return to acting, debuted in second with 17 million. Considering his last star turn was 2002's Signs, followed by some richly-deserved bad PR, that's probably not bad, especially competing with Avatar -- but against an 80 million budget, it's not good, either.  When in Rome opened in the third slot with 12 million, which again is not bad -- if the budget was under 30 million.  Tooth Fairy held onto the fourth slot with ten million, which is a comment on the competition as much as the movie.  Rounding out the Top Five is The Book of Eli with 8.8 million, and a 73.4 million total that comes close to the production budget.  Below the fold Legion plunged 61 percent, from second to sixth -- but has recouped its production budget already.  Sherlock Holmes will likely hit 200 million next weekend.  Overall, typical end-of-January doldrums at the cineplex.

RIP TORN was arrested Friday night for allegedly breaking into a Main Street bank intoxicated, armed with a loaded revolver.

BRITTANY MURPHY: The L.A. County Coroner's Office is now trying to fill in some critical gaps in the medical history of the late actress.

MICHAEL JACKSON: The D.A. is ready to charge Dr. Conrad Murray in the singer's death, multiple law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

CHARLIZE THERON has reportedly spilt from Stuart Townsend after nine years as a couple.

ANGELINA JOLIE and... LADY GAGA? Too good to check!

BRAD PITT is a fine drinking buddy, according to Inglourious Basterds co-star Samm Levine.

THE GREEN HORNET will be scored by Danny Elfman.

THE DIRECTORS GUILD AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats to Katherine Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) for beating out her ex, James Cameron. Congrats also to Lesli Linka Glatter for an excellent episode of Mad Men, "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency."

IRAN: The US is dispatching Patriot defensive missiles to four countries - Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait - and keeping two ships in the Gulf capable of shooting down Iranian missiles. Washington is also helping Saudi Arabia develop a force to protect its oil installations.

AFGHANISTAN: As if US troops and diplomats didn't have enough to worry about in trying to understand Afghan culture, a new report suggests an entire region in the country is coping with a sexual identity crisis. An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns -- though they seem to be in complete denial about it.

GEN. PETRAEUS covered Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Iran with the Times of London.  Not headlined is more good news about the upcoming election in Iraq.

EATING LIVE OCTOPUS: Let's go to the video.

PIGLET rescued with mouth-to-snout resuscitation.

CATS compete in agility competitions... when they want to.

TWO ADULT TIGERS escaped from an enclosure at the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati, India, triggering panic among nearly 10000 visitors.

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Pixies, The Knife, C. Gainsbourg + Beck, Jimi, Cutout Bin, Chicken   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 29, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE PIXIES! The documentary loudQUIETloud is streaming in full via Hulu. Chock full of awesome, is what it is.

THE KNIFE is advance streaming Tomorrow, In A Year. Electro is not really my genre, but it might be yours.

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG and BECK stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a chat and mini-set. Ms. Gainsbourg also talks to TIME about the collaboration.

FRUIT BATS also stopped by MBE for a chat and mini-set.

JIMI HENDRIX: "Valleys of Neptune" -- the title track from the upcoming LP of unreleased material -- premiered at Spinner.

I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE: Mickey Leigh -- Joey's younger brother -- talks to All Things Considered.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Tracks from the Hotrats, the Besnard Lakes, Surfer Blood, Midlake and more feature in the latest installment of the long-running series.

THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS spawns an extensive streaming playlist in honor of the Saints going to the Big Game.

CHEAP TRICK: "I Want You... to Want Me," on Aussie TV, circa 1979. Nary a cord in sight.


GIRLS frontman Christopher Owens and his escape from the Children of God cult is just the start of an article from the Austin American-Statesman.

THE 10 BEST FULL-ALBUM COVERS (cover albums, not album covers), according to Flavorwire.

MAGNETIC FIELDS: Stephin Merritt starts an inteview with MetroWeekly by debunking his Wikipedia entry.

FIERY FURNACES: Matthew Friedberger is interviewed by The Flagpole (and vice versa): "The percentage of people in the world who know about us is pretty low. A lot more people know about Coca-Cola and The Beatles," he deadpans. "It's flattering that you know anything about the band at all, frankly."

BOWERBIRDS are profiled by the Santa Barbara Independent.

THE TOP TEN ROCK BIOPICS, according to the Times of London.

CUTOUT BIN: From the MC5 to the Magnetic Fields, from the Byrds to Sonic Youth, from James Brown to the Knack, plus Cracker, the Godfathers, Bob Mould, Chris Bell, the Sweet and more -- this weekend's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Edge of Darkness (featuring the return of Mad Mel Gibson), which is currently scoring 60 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the rom-com When in Rome, which is scoring 06 percent.

TIGER WOODS: Alleged escort Loredana Jolie says the disgraced golfer is such a freak in bed, his stint in a rehab for sex addiction probably won't cure him.

BRITTANY MURPHY's husband Simon Monjack reveals he's suing Warner Brothers for wrongful death; talks about how drug rumors destroyed Brittany's career; denies rumors that he was drunk on the set of The Caller; and talks about Brittany's final moments.

JESSICA SIMPSON had a windy moment during a business meeting.

BRADGELINA: The real story behind Brad Pitt's new real estate.

LINDSAY LOHAN is going topless in Robert Rodgriguez's Machete.

J.D. SALINGER, reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye, got even more reclusive at 91.


PAKISTAN: Pres. Asif Ali Zardari has a black goat slaughtered at his house almost every day to ward off "evil eyes" and protect him from "black magic."

AFGHANISTAN: Al Jazeera claims that a plan is being considered to pay up to 1 billion to Taliban fighters to persuade them to lay down their arms.  Members of the Taliban's leadership council have met secretly with the United Nations representative for Afghanistan to discuss the possibility of laying down their arms, a UN official said on Thursday. Coincidence?

PLAYING WITH A CHICKEN on the New York subway.

OSCAR the LABRADOR had 13 golf balls removed from his stomach after his owner noticed his stomach was rattling.

A DOG had a lucky escape after he got stranded on an ice floe that had carried him over 70 miles up a river and out onto the icy waters of the Baltic Sea.

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL is not being replaced by a robot.

3101 Reads

Of Montreal, Caribou, Spoon, Dears, Ping-Pong Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SOLANGE KNOWLES joined OF MONTREAL on the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" to help kick off the band's tour.  I will send you to Stereogum to see the part of the show where Susan Sarandon spanks a pig onstage.

CARIBOU's "Odessa" gets Best New Track status at Pitchfork.

SPOON stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a chat and mini-set, while Britt Daniel talked to All Things Considered about the band's new album.

THE DEARS did three free songs for Daytrotter.

YEASAYER is offering "O.N.E." as an advance track via its website.

THE RAVEONETTES: "Boys Who Rape." Should all be destroyed. Warnings for graphic and profane material.

YO LA TENGO: Tulsa World notes that "even after a quarter-century in the music business, Yo La Tengo still might be the ultimate buzz band."

MAGNETIC FIELDS: Stephin Merritt's career is surveyed by Exclaim!

OWEN PALLETTshares a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List.

AC/DC are set to soundtrack the forthcoming Iron Man 2.

CHARLIE SHEEN's wife, Brooke Mueller, is now seeking treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center in North Carolina.

BEN AFFLECK has fallen off the wagon and is boozing again despite swearing off alcohol for good when he checked into rehab in 2001, according to RadarOnline.

JOHN TRAVOLTA has flown a jetliner carrying relief supplies into the Haitian capital, along with doctors and ministers from the Church of Scientology.

BRADGELINA were reportedly sharing a cozy dinner when the breakup rumor hit the Internets.  Jolie and her brother James Haven have joined forces to release a video tribute to their late mother Marcheline Bertrand - featuring home movies from 1981.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND was the target of a sinister con man who trapped him in an elaborate Ponzi scheme involving a cow.

GEORGE LUCAS is making a CGI-based musical about faeries?

JOAN JETT talks to CinemaBlend about The Runaways, real and filmic.

YEMEN: US military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people, among them six of 15 top leaders of a regional al-Qaeda affiliate.

AFGHANISTAN: NATO said on Wednesday it had finalized an agreement with Kazakhstan on the transit of supplies to Afghanistan, hoping it will reduce its reliance on a route through Pakistan that has been attacked by the Taliban.  Meanwhile: "In 33 out of 34 provinces, the Taliban has a shadow government," said a senior official with NATO's military intelligence in Kabul.

PING-PONG KITTY: Let's go to the video.

HEY, IS THAT A LIZARD IN YOUR PANTS, or is it 44 of them?

A GOLDFISH has stunned his owner by spending the last five years swimming around upside down.

A BLIND DOG that had stopped breathing for ten minutes after plunging into the icy sea was saved - after a burly builder gave him the kiss of life.

3024 Reads

St. Vincent + Bon Iver, Phoenix, Iggy Pop, Lion + Man   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ST. VINCENT and BON IVER teamed up on Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" at a Haiti benefit.

PHOENIX covers Bob Dylan's "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," in less than half its original length.

JOANNA NEWSOM is streaming a new song, "81," from her upcoming triple album, via Drag City.

IGGY POP -- and his distinctive voice -- are featured at All Things Considered, with classic video clips included. 

BASIA BULAT has an interview, video and downloadable performance at the National Post.

YEAH YEAH YEAHS dropped a new video for "Skeletons."

WYE OAK talk to Prefix about their new album, their musical histories and the joys of waiting tables.

SERGE GAINSBOURG, and his freaky biopic, gets coverage from TIME.

KILLING JOKE: The Quietus covers the original lineup's first recording in 13 years.

LOS CAMPESINOS! Gareth talks to Drowned in Sound about the glockenspiel he's auctioning for Haiti.

TIGER WOODS' wife Elin has called off her divorce from the golf superstar, sources tell RadarOnline.

BRADGELINA split rumors continue, fureled by the author of a book about the couple and a Daily Mail story claiming that Brad Pitt has secretly purchased a bachelor pad to help him sort out his split from Angelina Jolie.

JENNIFER ANISTON has given 500K to Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health and AmeriCares for their recovery efforts in Haiti.

JESSICA SIMPSON wants to send 50K pairs of shoes to Haiti. And she has a new dog, to replace the one nabbed by a coyote.

PAULA ABDUL has been offered a million-dollar development deal from ABC -- if she judges Dancing With the Stars.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE wins the Hasty Pudding award from Harvard University, and still seems to have Jessica Biel's attention.

NATALIE PORTMAN is dating her choreographer on The Black Swan, which may be why his live-in gf moved out.

CLINT EASTWOOD is America's Favorite Movie Star. Who would dare tell him otherwise?


TIM BURTON will preside over the jury at the 63rd Festival de Cannes.

AFGHANISTAN: One of the country's most notorious warlords, accused of widespread abuses including the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners, has been reinstated by Pres. Karzai in a top army post despite Western demands for sweeping reform.

IRAQ: More than 80 were wounded -- and 18 were killed -- in a suicide attack on Baghdad's police lab.

LION and MAN, embrace and kiss after a court rules they can stay together... Mass hysteria!

TWO BRITISH CROCODILES have been taught to recognize when a keeper calls their names at the Blue Planet Aquarium.

A SUN BEAR at the St. Louis Zoo is the Gene Simmons of bears.

BLACK ANGUS COWS are being hunted in Arkansas.

SOME MOUSE SPERM can discriminate between its brethren and competing sperm from other males, clustering with its closest relatives to swim faster in the race to the egg.

2962 Reads

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