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!!!
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.
THE WORST SUPERHERO MOVIES, according to io9.
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."