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!!!"
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.
SLEATER-KINNEY and HEARTLESS BAST^RDS play Austin City Limits.
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.