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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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R.E.M.. Foxygen, Richard Barone, Blind Pilot, News Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 30, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


R.E.M. alumni Mike Mills, Peter Buck and Bill Berry joined The Minus 5 at the 40 Watt Club on "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville."

FOXYGEN stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

RICHARD BARONE (The Bongos) also stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set.

BLIND PILOT plays the Triple Door on KEXP.

THE NEW PR0NOGRAPHERS share “High Ticket Attractions” ahead of Whiteout Conditions.

SAM COOKE & JACKIE WILSON unexpectedly meet up on "Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha."

DWIGHT YOAKUM talks to Magnet about Goliath, bluegrass, and Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc.

THE 50 BEST POST-PUNK ALBUMS, according to Paste.

BUTCH TRUCKS, the co-founding drummer of The Allman Brothers Band, was a suicide, according to police records.

GEOFF NICHOLS, Black Sabbath's keyboardist for 25 years between 1979 and 2004, died from lung cancer at the age of 68.

JOHN HURT, an unprepossessing British character actor who vanished inside dozens of roles, including in Alien, Crime and Punishment, I Claudius, V For Vendetta, The Elephant Man, 1984, Spaceballs , three Harry Potter flicks and many more, died on Wednesday in Norfolk, England. He was 77.  Here's 143 roles in 4 minutes.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Split repeats atop the chart with 26.3MM on a fantastically-leggy-for-horror 34 percent drop; it's the first M Night Shyamalan film to do so since Signs.  And Split crossed the 100MM mark worldwide against a 9MM production budget. A Dog's Purpose placed with 18.4MM against a 22MM budget, within the range of projections.  Hidden Figures showed with 14MM on a leggy 11 percent drop, likely buoyed by those 3 Oscar nominations.  It too crossed the 100MM mark, against a 25MM budget.  Resident Evil: The Final Chapter took the fourth slot with 13.9MM, a low mark for debuts in this franchise, though it has already grossed another 65MM overseas.  La La Land rounded out the Top Five with 12MM, growing 43 percent over last weekend, as the musical expanded by 1271 screens and rode the big Oscar buzz. It's closing in on a quarter-billion worldwide.  Below the fold, Gold flopped its way into tenth place.

SPLIT, btw, is a very solid horror pic and thus I hesitate in saying it's a "return to form" for M Night Shyamalan, other than financially; I always saw him as not a straight-up horror director.  It doesn't have a twist ending so much a surprise ending, albeit one that fans of the old Night will much appreciate.  And James McAvoy does have a great deal of fun chewing things up as the heavy here.

THE SAG AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats.

EMMA STONE's Battle With Shyness, Panic Attacks and Phobias on the Way to the Oscars.

MISCHA BARTON is revealing that she was drugged while celebrating her 31st birthday with friends.

UMA THURMAN signed off on a deal with her French financier-ex Arpad “Arki” Busson, an agreement that gives her primary custody of their 4-year-old daughter. 

IRON FIST: Ove episode of the Marvel series has been directed by hip-hop icon RZA.


HAMILTON's Schuyler Sisters are singing at the Super Bowl.

THE COEN BROTHERS directed a Super Bowl ad that seems like a sequel to Easy Rider.

QUINCY delivers the news in Boulder, CO.

ANIMAL PICS, before and after being called a "good boy."

A CAT with "psychic" powers has been sold to a "well-groomed witch" for £67000, according to its former owner. 

25 ANIMALS that scientists want to bring back from extinction.They'll spare no expense.

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XTC, Stef Chura, Beachheads, Cuddle Magic, JD McPherson, Wild Hogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 27, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with XTC! Look Look is a long-out-of-print collection of music videos from the art-pop combo, Your tracklist includes: "This Is Pop," "Statue of Liberty," "Are You Receiving Me?," "Life Begins at the Hop," "Making Plans for Nigel," "Towers of London," "Respectable Street," "Generals and Majors," "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)," "Ball and Chain," and "Senses Working Overtime."

STEF CHURA streams Messes.

BEACHHEADS are streaming five tracks from their self-titled debut.

CUDDLE MAGIC streams Ashes/Axis.

TY SEGALL advance streams a self-titled LP, icymi. 

PORCELAIN RAFT advance streams Microclimate.

JD McPHERSON covers Erasure's "A Little Respect" like its' a vintage soul track, and it totally works.

LAMBCHOP covers Prince’s “When You Were Mine”.

MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND, "Blinded by the Light," Live in '75.

THE VILLAGE VOICE PAZZ & JOP POLL results are online.

JAPANDROIDS talk about their favorite garage punk records.

FROM JONI MITCHELL TO LAURA MARLING: How female troubadours changed music .

BRIAN ENO: Ten of His Best.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include: A Dog's Purpose, currently scoring 31 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, currently scoring 40 percent; and Gold, scoring 32 percent.

VANITY FAIR's Hollywood Issue cover is here.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL is pregnant and expecting her second child with her husband, Jacob Pechenik.

PAULA PATTON alleges ROBIN THICKE physically abused her during their marriage. The allegations have resurfaced during a custody battle between Patton and Thicke for their son, Julian.

BRANGELEXIT: Intimate details of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's explosive marriage breakdown to be revealed in a big budget movie by bestselling author Ian Halperin?

ELTON JOHN is writing the musical version of The Devil Wears Prada.

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA wants to turn Apocalypse Now into a video game. The horror...the horror...

SHIA LeBEOUF  Shia LaBeouf was hauled off in handcuffs from his marathon protest site in NYC ... after he got into it with a neo-Nazi.

MIKE CONNORS, who took a punch as well as anyone while playing the good-guy private detective on the long-running Saturday night action series Mannix for CBS, has died. He was 91.

WILD HOGS are invading homes in Florida.

DOGS enjoy listening to reggae and soft rock more than other genres of music, according to new research.

SCIENTISTS have created a part-human, part-pig embryo.

FAMED INDIAN SNAKE TRACKERS have been brought in to find Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades.

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