THE GROUNDHOG DAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE (and repeats):
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...
(IN UNISON): GROUNDHOG DAY!!!"
Saturday, 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 103 times, and hasn't seen it (predicting an early spring) only 18 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.
PETER CASE plays the Mountain Stage.
THE MILK CARTON KIDS visit World Cafe.
PEARL JAM shares "Dance Of The Clairvoyants (Mach II)."
GREG DULLI shares “It Falls Apart.”
NICK MASON's SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS is live and "Fearless."
JAMES RIGHTON of the Klaxons shares the 70s-inflected "Edie."
TAME IMPALA shares "Lost In Yesterday."
WES WILSON, who helped create the trippy look associated with the second half of the 1960s through the vivid, swirling posters he made for rock shows by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and others, died on Jan. 24 at his home in Leanne, Mo. He was 82. Longtime Pate fans will note that Music Works owner Paul Miller befriended Wilson during his poster-collecting phase.
DESTROYER: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview.
THE 25 BEST SPACE DISCO SONGS of 1976-1986, according to Paste.
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: Uproxx goes inside The Unraveling.
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include The Rhythm Section, which is currently scoring 31 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the Enlish dub release of Gretel & Hansel, scoring 60 percent. Not surprising on the weekend of the Big Game.
MEGXIT: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are supporting Canadian mental health initiatives in a big way. And the Duchess is looking for a manager or agent.
WES ANDERSON's next film has a release date.
BRAD PITT and the Beauty Trap.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN hired the private intelligence agency Black Cube in 2017, a witness at his rape trial testified, a move prosecutors said was designed to spy on his accusers and kill news stories about him.
CATS Flopped and Then Things Got Interesting.
PRINCE ANDREW's counsin defends his association with Jeffrey Epstein: “He did idiotic things. But he’s not a pedophile.”
ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD: How Tarantino recreated 1960s L.A.
MIGHTY DUCKS star Shaun Weiss has been arrested in California and charged with burglary under the influence of meth.
SAG-AFTRA Issues New Rules for Sex Scenes With ‘Intimacy Coordinators.'
THE GREEN HORNET is now in the hands of some Marvel alumni.
THE CHILEAN WATER FROG is struggling to survive due to pollution and habitat destruction. Here's how conservationists are trying to save it.
A MOTORIST brakes for leopards. Or does he?
RESCUED PIT BULLS save their owner's life during a robbery.