The arctic freeze has arrived in Austin! Turn up the heat, get under the covers, and stay warm with hot movies, steaming music, and electric matchups! This week we have Mobley’s sophomore album Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme, I Care a Lot AND Nomadland, and Celtics-Hawks. Go Cs!

The arctic freeze has come to Austin! My porch is covered in snow and it’s 16 degrees out. This is nutso! We’ve battened down the hatches in Austin, and throughout the country, as we endure this cold front and there couldn’t be a better week to bundle up, fire up the record player, dive into a good flick, or settle into a marquee matchup.

A bunch of stuff on the calendar for this third week in February… that will likely be cancelled because of COVID and cold. Today is President’s Day, Mardi Gras is tomorrow, and then we’ve got Ash Wednesday for the Christians out there. Meanwhile two important holidays I would encourage everyone to recognize and celebrate (at home): Thursday is National Drink Wine Day and Saturday is the Barbadian hero Rihanna’s birthday. Happy Birthday Ri-Ri!

Just for fun, here’s my Rihanna Power Rankings:

1. Umbrella
2. FourFiveSeconds
3. What’s My Name?
4. Work
5. We Found Love
6. Love on the Brain
7. Don’t Stop the Music
8. S&M

Music /// Mobley Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme

Mobley has performed at Lollapalooza, opened for the Cold War Kids, and after being nominated for three 2021 Austin Music Awards including Musician of the Year, has solidified his place as one of Austin’s brightest stars. On Friday, February 19th he will release his sophomore album Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme.

Mobley has already greased the wheels for the highly anticipated album by releasing two singles, the spunky “James Crow” and the Arctic Monkeys meets Muse snarled “Nobody’s Favourite.”

Replete with killer hooks, innovative production, and tight indie grooves, these singles suggest this album is going to be a classic.

Mobley wrote most of the record while escaping the road in Thailand. According to Last Gang, “the record [is] a sonic critique of Western supremacy, a theme he felt even more urgently while not in the United States.” He wrote the guitar lines on a knockoff Fender Strat he bought on his first day in Bangkok and in a moment of compassion gifted the guitar to a taxi driver on the last day of his retreat.

Movies /// I Care a Lot about Nomadland

Highlighting two female-driven dramas this week because they both look great and it’s a blizzard! We all have time for two flicks.

Netflix’s by-line for I Care a Lot reads, “A shady legal guardian lands in hot water when she tries to bilk a woman who has ties to a powerful gangster.” This film is helmed by Rosamund Pike, who I’ve been behind since her sinister performance as Amy in 2014’s Gone Girl.

Variety gives the film four stars, writing, “What’s most remarkable about Blakeson’s devilish script is his careful avoidance of excess. It’s a nasty film but not one that feels the need to show off just how nasty it is – like Pike’s electric yet controlled performance, the bile is boiling under the surface only occasionally seeping out.”

Nomadland meanwhile, is a Frances McDormand led story of a woman traveling the States in a white van after losing everything in the 2008 recession. Critics are praising McDormand’s performance and crediting director Chloé Zhao for the expansive American cinematography and for capturing the challenges and freedom of life on the road.

Frances McDormand is one of our greatest living actors and Pike is no slouch herself. These films are both over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. We got two gems for your upcoming winter wonderland weekend.

I Care a Lot will be available on Netflix and Nomadland will be available on Hulu.

Hoops /// Celtics vs. Hawks

Okay, yes there are more marquee matchups this week. Nets at Lakers on Thursday (my finals preview prediction) is a must-see. Jazz and Clippers on Friday. Then on Sunday you mash those two together and get Nets-Clippers. All sick games!

But I’ve been good, this is my sixth Roundup and I’ve yet to include my Celtics. And good lord, do they need some love right now. The former Eastern Conference #1 seed has sputtered to 13-13. Since climbing to an 8-3 start, the team has gone 5-10 and last night lost to the rudderless Wizards. Oh boy.

My boy Graham blames everything on Kemba Walker—I think he blamed the impeachment verdict on Walker—so I always feel protective of Cardiac, but the 5-10 skid painfully parallels Kemba’s return from injury exactly…

Oh and we’ve lost Marcus Smart, Josh’s “Most Mamba” player in the NBA, for the last 8 games.

It’s not good. But you know what is good? Jaylen “Pride of MA” Brown. Mr. Brown is flexing for 26-5.5-3.5 and shooting 40% from distance on 5.7 attempts. 26 POINTS! Two—not 10—TWO years ago he was averaging 13 points on 34% 3P shooting. That is how you go from Brownimander to Brownizard. I look forward to seeing Jaylen in the All-Star game—starting.

The Hawks are the Celtics lite. Lower expectations + worse results. The Hawks soared to a 4-2 start, but after dropping 6 of 7 they have plummeted to 11-15. Bogdan has missed 17 games. Gallinari and Rondo have missed 12 games. Breakout forward De’Andre Hunter has now missed 8 games. This team has been beaten up. But do problems lie deeper?

There has been palpable tension between stars Trae Young and John Collins leading to recent reports that “Collins is available.” Uh oh. Meanwhile, will Trae’s gaudy “good stats, bad team” numbers, 26-4-9, earn him his first All-Star appearance?

These teams place twice this week. Both games take place at 7:30 PM ET in Boston. Sweet Bill Russell, tune in to at least one and root for the boys in green. They need it right now.