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Don Cornelius RIP, Los Campesinos, Suicide Commandos, M Ward, Rally Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 02, 2012 - 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. 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 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 Faithfull. A bit more for Fivefer Thursday.

UPDATE: Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog famous for making midwinter weather forecasts, had his moment in the spotlight early Thursday and declared that winter is far from over. But the competition begs to differ.

DON CORNELIUS, creator of Soul Train, was found dead at his Sherman Oaks on home Wednesday morning of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 75.  The Chicago Reader did a meaty feature on Cornelius and Soul Train in 1979.  The list of guests who appeared on the show remains impressive.  Some of the notables are featured in this video, while Whitney Matheson provides clips of the Jackson 5, Beastie Boys, James Brown, Mary Wilson and the Fresh Prince. Idolator has the 10 best Soul Train line dances.

A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS are advance streaming Onwards To The Wall.

LOS CAMPESINOS! stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

THE SUICIDE COMMANDOS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

TAPES 'N TAPES played a seventh birthday twofer at The Current.

CURSIVE drops "Wowowow" ahead of I Am Gemini.

M WARD drops a video for the new track "The First Time I Ran Away."

SHARON VAN ETTEN talks to The Line of Best Fit about putting her new band together and more...

OF MONTREAL: Kevin Barnes talks to The Stool Pigeon about tripping out - at reviewers and on record - and why he's not Frosted Flakes. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

NADA SURF: Life After The One-Hit Wonder.

JOE HENRY talks to Dolly Varden's Steve Dawson about songwriting, producing, Mose Allison and Ornette Coleman and more...

DEMI MOORE is embarrassed by the public nature of her breakdown. After her split from Ashton Kutcher, it's was young people, pills and Red Bulls.  She was a woman in need of reassurance.

LINDSAY LOHAN appeared to be under the influence when she was at the Chateau Marmont on Sunday night, according to RadarOnline.  Also, her creepy run-in with an alleged trespasser and constantly having looky-loos on her property are enough for her to finally pack up and leave Venice Beach.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is dating an New York City-based advertising exec named Nate Naylor, a pal of the pair confirms.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL is the most desirable woman in the UK, according to an oh-so-scientific online poll.

NICK & AARON CARTER's sister Leslie died at 25, without details on the cause of death.

SIMON COWELL says he's still close with Paula Abdul - even though he just fired her - and plans to work with her again in the very near future.

TERROR in the UK: Four UK nationals of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origins admitted to involvement in an al Qaeda-inspired plot to bomb UK targets around Christmastime in 2010.

LIBYA: Freed from Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year dictatorship, Sufi Muslims find themselves under renewed pressure from violent Islamists who have been attacking them and their beliefs as heretical.

EGYPT: Concerned over its deteriorating public image, Egypt's military sacked the general in charge of media affairs.

AFGHANISTAN: The Taliban denied planning direct talks with the Afghan government to end the 10-year-old war, while a leaked NATO report suggested the insurgents are confident they will regain power after international troops leave.

IRAQ: Discounted Iranian rials and Syrian pounds are pouring into money-changing shops as Western economic sanctions against those two countries make it harder for them to conduct trade with much of the rest of the world, arrange international bank transactions and obtain hard currency.


CARDINALS' RALLY SQUIRREL turns up on a baseball card. (Thanks, Dad.)

ZOO LIONS eat an owl in front of shocked visitors.

A BABY ELEPHANT was pulled out of a deep moat surrounding a palm oil plantation on Borneo island.

2672 Reads

Arctic Monkeys, Dr Dog, Effed Up, The Who, Jabba the Squirrel   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ARCTIC MONKEYS: the video for "You And I" features a crunchy riff and the fab Richard Hawley.

DR. DOG is advance streaming Be The Void.

EFFED UP is streaming their Chinese New Year singles.

GIRL IN A COMA plays a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Tracks from Andrew Bird, Juliana Barwick and Hospitality highlight the latest edition of the series.

THE WHO: "I'm A Boy."

DALE EARNHARDT JR., JR. talks to the Daily Trojan about the genesis of the band and its name. (Thx, LHB.)

GARBAGE: Shirley Manson talks to the L.A. Times about love, liberation and the vicious game that is the music industry.

THE NATIONAL: Bryce Dressner talks to Drowned In Sound about the band, his role in The Long Count, songriting and arranging.

CHAIRLIFT: Patrick Wimberly talked to the WaPo about the band's major label deal, their long wait between albums, and their weird musical tastes.

VANITY FAIR unveils the cover of its annual Hollywood issue.

THE X FACTOR: Simon Cowell is cashiering judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, as well as host Steve Jones.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY talks about A Dangerous Method and perceptions of her work on both sides of the Atlantic for a GQ cover story that finds her wearing less than usual.

RYAN REYNOLDS gave Denzel Washington his first black eye. Oops.

DAVE LETTERMAN's 30th anniversary in late-night is tonight. Can I do the old man thing where I mention how much funnier he was back in the day?

JERRY SEINFELD & JAY LENO joined forces for Acura's Super Bowl XLVI spot.

SYRIA: The army attacked opponents in a suburb of Damascus. After heavy fighting, Free Syrian Army rebels withdrew from the area. Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council urged Syria to accept the Arab League peace plan. The Arab League sought support from China and Russia.

IRAN is keeping the option open to develop a nuclear weapon but US intelligence agencies do not know whether it will eventually decided to build one, the US intelligence chief said on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN: The Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly assisted by Pakistani security services, according to a secret Nato report seen by the BBC.

AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan government on Tuesday rejected reports that it was going to launch separate peace talks with Taliban fighters in Saudi Arabia.

JABBA THE SQUIRREL: Let's go to the video.

AN ELEPHANT at a Dutch zoo has become the first in Europe to be fitted with a contact lens.

MORE LEMMINGS bring more snowy owls to Michigan's LP.

FIRE SALE on LLAMAS in Cedar Rapids, IA.

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New Releases, Florence + the Machine, Anna Calvi, Jack White, Beatles, TMBG   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FLORENCE & THE MACHINE and LYKKE LI play Austin City Limits.

NEW RELEASES from Leonard Cohen, Aretha Franklin, the Sound of Philadelphia, Karen Dalton and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

ANNA CALVI plays a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL: Live in Danielsville, GA, Sept. 14, 1997.

JACK WHITE drops "Love Interruption" in advance of his solo LP, although it seems to have problems playing in Internet Explorer. (Those with IE might try here.)

THE BOWERBIRDS are "In The Yard" before their next LP.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE are horsing around again.

THE BEATLES: Hear George Harrison's lost guitar solo on "Here Comes the Sun."

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS brought the new "When Will You Die?" and an apocalyptic take on their classic "Ana Ng" to Conan in time for Twofer Tuesday.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks to Surf-Drift about touring new material, gelling as a band, and the theme of the next LP, and is profiled by Mountain Xpress. (Thx, LHB.)  He talks to the Charlotte Observer about songwriting and moving to NC. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

BEN KWELLER talks to the NYT/Texas Monthly about stating his own label and operating without a manager for his latest LP.

JESSIE BAYLIN talks to the San Francisco Examiner about the long road to Little Spark.

HAPPY MONDAYS are reuniting for a small UK Tour.

DEMI MOORE's kids are spending quality time with dad Bruce Willis while she undergoes "spiritual counselling" after her seizure.

HALLE BERRY & GABRIEL AUBRY: The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services is recommending their 3-year-old daughter Nahla go into counseling.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is really, really unsure about marrying again.

ROONEY MARA is taking over for Blake Lively in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming psychopharmacology drama Side Effects.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON cozied up to a male friend in NYC over the weekend.

CYNTHIA NIXON, clarifying prior remarks, says her bixesuality is not a choice.

MATTHEW BRODERICK brings some Ferris flava to Honda's SuperBowl ad.

DRIVE hits home video today; you can watch the first seven minutes online.

TERROR in NORWAY: In the first convictions under Norwegian antiterror law, Mikael Davud, a Chinese Uighur, and Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, an Iraqi Kurd, were found guilty of plotting with al Qaeda to attack a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

YEMEN: Only days after Yemen's president left the country for medical treatment, military leaders organized massive protests calling for the ruling family of Ali Abdullah Saleh to end its control over the country's security forces.

IRAQ: The Iraqiya party has ended its boycott of parliament.

AFGHANISTAN: A plan by the Afghans to open a second front in peace talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia - separate from US-led negotiations in Qatar - is driven by fear of being sidelined, analysts say.

SMITTY: The target demo for the Marmaduke movie.

TURKISH SHEEPDOGS prized for their fierceness are raising concerns they may be a little too tough for the southwest Colorado communities where ranchers are using them.

A FLORIDA GATOR was bagged by a blind hunter from Fargo.

ANT vs PRAYING MANTIS: Who you got?

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Of Montreal, Sharon Van Etten, McCartney, Troggs, Cat vs Birthday Card   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 30, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD drops a video for "Bummer," but it's not one.

OF MONTREAL is advance streaming Paralytic Stalks, along with a track-by-track tour from Kevin Barnes.

SHARON VAN ETTEN is advance streaming Tramp.

HEARTLESS B^STARDS are advance streaming Arrow.

PAUL McCARTNEY is advance streaming Kisses on the Bottom.

THE TROGGS frontman Reg Presley retires after a lung cancer diagnosis, prompting "Wild Thing" and "Love Is All Around" as a Twofer Monday. 

CRAIG FINN talks Jesus with the Dallas Observer, plus other influences on his solo album with the Mpls Star-Tribune.

RICHARD THOMPSON talks to Billboard about his next album, which he describes as "sort of folk-rock power trio music, somewhere between the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Peter, Paul & Mary -- the two great trio blueprints."

THE TING TINGS recorded songs their label loved - so they ripped them up and started again. Are they tempting fate?

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Grey tops the chart with 20 million, much better than the 12 million most pundits predicted.  However, mediocre word-of-mouth may prevent this from becoming another taken. Underworld: Awakening places with 12.5 million on a 50 percent drop, which is actually good for this franchise.  One For the Money shows with 11.8 million, avoiding disaster by Groupon deals.  However, everyone knows this, which means Katherine Heigl's career continues its downward slide.  Red Tails is in fourth with 10.4 million and will be lucky to recoup its budget domestically.  Man On a Ledge rounds out the Top Five with 8.3 million, a result made worse by the fact that it too benefitted from a Living Social coupon.  Below the fold, Oscar contender The Descendants saw the biggest percentage boost in biz as it opened wide, followed by Hugo.  The Artist, considered by some as an Oscar favorite (and rightly so) had a modest increase and stayed out of the Top 10, demonstrating the hurdle a silent film faces at the box office (possibly affecting its Oscar chances).

DEMI MOORE: Was she smoking K2 before her seizure? RadarOnline wants to know.

HEIDI KLUM & SEAL: The singer talks about breaking their split to their kids.

NICK SANTINO, a down-on-his-luck soap-opera actor, took his own life last week after he was forced to put his beloved dog to sleep under pressure from his Upper West Side condo and became wracked by grief.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is so keen to avoid any encounters with ex-husband Ryan Reynolds and his new girlfriend Blake Lively in New York that she is considering buying a property in London.

HALLE BERRY's baby daddy Gabriel Aubry agrees to anger management sessions.

SIMON HELBERG (Big Bang Theory) and his wife, actress/writer/director Jocelyn Towne, announced they are expecting their first child in the spring.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO won't be seeing an India release as the film's director David Fincher has refused to cut some scenes as specified by India's Central Board of Film Certification.

THE DIRECTORS GUILD AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats!

THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats!

YEMEN: President Saleh is traveling to the United States for medical treatment.

SYRIA: Escalating violence caused the Arab League to suspend its observer mission. Russia's defiance of international efforts to end Assad's crackdown on protests is rooted in a calculation that it can keep a Mideast presence by propping up its last ally in the region - and has nothing to lose if it fails.

AFGHANISTAN: President Sarkozy said France will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2013, one year early.

A CAT hates a singing birthday card.

PRINCESS the CAMEL, famous for her ability to correctly predict the winner of football games, picks the Giants to win the Super Bowl.  But she does live in New Jersey...

IT'S NOT A TOOMAH: A pet cat believed to have a giant tumour in her stomach was found to have a huge furball the weight of two iPhones.

A SANDWICH WOMAN surrendered 71 rats to the MSPCA-Angell Adoption Center in Boston.

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Minutemen, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Dr. Dog, Nada Surf, Cat vs Gator   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 27, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with THE MINUTEMEN! San Pedro, California's greatest musical export took apart rock, jazz and funk and put the pieces back together in a jagged collage. They are caught here in an acoustic session for a cable-access show from Hollywood, circa 1985. Your setlist includes "The Meter Man," "Corona," "Themselves," "The Red And The Black" (Blue Öyster Cult), "Badges, "I Felt Like Gringo," "Time" (Richard Hell), "Green River" (Creedence Clearwater Revival), "Lost" (Meat Puppets), "Ack Ack Ack," "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" "History Lesson Part II," "Tour Spiel" and "Little Man With A Gun In His Hand.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., JR. stopped by the KEXP studios for a session.

DR. DOG preview their upcoming record of folk-inspired psychedelic rock at WNYC Soundcheck.

NADA SURF showcased new material at WNYC Soundcheck.

LAURA GIBSON had a chat and mini-set at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

TENNIS drops "My Better Self" in advance of Young & Old.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Greetings from Asbuty Park, NJ Outtakes.

GUIDED BY VOICES: Nerve ranks every LP, with tracks.

BAY CITY ROLLERS: The immortal genius of "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y... NIGHT!"

LESLIE FEIST talks to the New Zealand Herald about getting back together with her guitar.

PITCHFORK: Richard Beck delivers 9000 words on the site's history and impact.

PATTI SMITH gets the New York Review of Books treatment.

14 SURPRISING PLATINUM ALBUMS, courtesy of The A.V. Club. Oof!

BEATLES vs STONES, and other musical duels.

HOW 10 SONGWRITERS rake in the cash.

DISNEY'S JOY DIVISION T-SHIRT sells out and is discontinued.

CUTOUT BIN  From Big Country to Al Stewart, from the Crystals to Ten Years After, from Mary Wells to the Yardbirds, plus Bruce Springsteen, KC & the Sunshine Band, Tom Waits, the Hold Steady and more  -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include: The Grey, which is currently scoring 80 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; One For the Money, which was not screened for critics; and Man On a Ledge, scoring 21 percent.

DEMI MOORE's 911 tape may be redacted, as gossip emerges that her partying contributed to her split from Ashton Kutcher, who is "deeply concerned" about her. RadarOnline claims Adderall played a role in her condition.

HEIDI KLUM & SEAL: The singer isn't sure he would like to reconcile, but he doesn't rule it out.

BRAD PITT talks to THR about his brutal fight to save Moneyball, fame, his depression in the '90s, President Obama, and plans to make partner Angelina Jolie his wife.

LINDSAY LOHAN is being sued by a woman who claims Li-Lo hit her while driving a Maserati through what used to be Lohan's West Hollywood neighborhood.

JOHNNY DEPP & VANESSA PARADIS are not splitiing, she says.

RUSSELL BRAND & KATY PERRY: He's reportedly trashing her to new conquests.

DREW BARRYMORE is converting to Judaism for a  traditional Jewish wedding ceremony later this year.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR is not going to rehab, no, no, no. Instead, the 50-year-old actress has resumed the ongoing sobriety program she began and maintained in 2011 until the difficult split with her fiance, actor Jack Wagner.

THE OFFICE may spin off Dwight Schrute.

MOONRISE KINGDOM: Wes Anderson's next movie has a trailer online.

SH_TF_C_D: Pat Sajak says he used to host Wheel Of Fortune while drunk -- and letter-turner Vanna White was three sheets to the wind, too.

ROBERT HEYGES, who played Jewish Puerto-Rican wheeler-dealer Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein on the 1970s classic sitcom "Welcome Back Kotter," died after an apparent heart attack in his Metuchen home yesterday. He was 60. Authorities found no note from his mother.

IRAN: The escalating confrontation over Iran's nuclear arms program is having a telling effect on Iran's economy and prompting some to flee the country.

EGYPT: Hundreds of thousands thronged major squares across Egypt on Wednesday, marking the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak with rallies that laid bare the divisions that have replaced the unity of last year's revolt.

AL QAEDA remains a real threat, according to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

CAT vs ALLIGATOR: Who you got?


PET HOARDING: Here's what lurked in a Boca Raton apartment: A red-spitting cobra, a puff adder, a uracoan rattlesnake, two false cobras and a small alligator.

THE DUNG BEETLE DANCE, performed as the beetle moves away from the dung pile with his precious dung ball, is a mechanism to maintain the desired straight-line departure from the pile, according to a new study.

DOGS + SNOW = Awww...some pics.

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