Genuinely good, but this quote from The Echoes Blog seals it: “On that piece piano, celesta and kalimba glisten like distant stars glowing in a dark sky of viola and cello.”
Literally no other way to describe it.
Everyone saw the game and it was a few days ago, so here are just a few points to put a wrap on this sports year*:
Thanks for tuning into our Super Bowl coverage. Onward.
*It really feels like the “sports year” ought to run from Super Bowl to Super Bowl, so we’re going to treat it that way around here. I’m not really sure what we’ll touch on between now and the Daytona 500, but there are a few items in the pipeline, so don’t worry. The slowest sports day of the year doesn’t come until July anyway.
As promised on the ALDLAND podcast last night, I’m back with my first Friday jam in a while. Also as promised, it features ya boy Bangs, or Ur Boy Bangz as he styles himself now. No matter how Bangs chooses to spell his stage name, he is still bringing the noise when it comes to music. You only have to watch a tiny part of the video above to realize that in 20 years they will not be calling the Grammys by their present name, rather they will be renamed The Bangses.
No musician or musical group out there can hope to compete with Bangs, which is why it is sad that the Super Bowl made the decision to go with Beyonce rather than to get the best available act possible. The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest sports event in the world, and instead of the biggest musical act in the world we get more generic top 40 music. Maybe one day the organizers of this grand event will pony up the cash and get Bangs, but until then we will all just have to listen to his amazing music and watch his amazing videos (except for our international readers in Melbourne who can catch a Bangs show any time they want).
Seriously though, I would really like to take some time and lament how far the Super Bowl halftime show has fallen. I know no one watches the game for the halftime show, but after that whole Janet Jackson debacle they were on a great run for a while. Paul McCartney, the Stones, Prince, Tom f’ing Petty, the Boss and The Who. Bring back the classic rock, people! I know the kids might not like it, but kids are the worst! I am 100% positive that any of those above named guys could still rock out. What we really need though, is Van Halen. Kids need to learn what real music is. Okay, rant over. Have a great Super Bowl weekend, and whatever music you are listening to, make sure to do the Merton Hanks dance a bit to liven things up. See below for instructions.
The leadup to Super Bowl XVII has gotten a little raucous around here, and I promise it wasn’t planned that way. First, make sure you sign the petition, and then check out all of our Super Bowl coverage. You won’t regret it.
One item buried in all of that is a breakdown of a fantastic GIF of 49ers fans. While preparing my analysis, I came across a number of videos of musical performances that were new to me, even though the songs are well known. One of those was by a relatively recent Super Bowl halftime performer, so I decided to feature it in this spot this week:
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Ravens vs. 49ers: A losers’ guide to Super Bowl cheering
A question about Super Bowl Media Day
Beyond the Archives: How Big Government Cost Southern Conservatives a Super Bowl Win
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Super Bowl XLVII, brought to you by the AARP?
As for any actual official confirmation, the Times said that “a publicist for Beyoncé … did not return several telephone calls and e-mail messages on Wednesday from a reporter requesting information. Matt House, a spokesman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which staged the swearing-in and Beyoncé’s performance, also declined to comment.”
In case your Martin Luther King Day observation took you away from the C-SPAN/WSJ.com live feed on Monday, Beyoncé sang the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, and she did an absolutely marvelous job of it. Citizens responded with some horror, though, when news came out that Destiny’s first daughter had lip-synched the anthem.
Whatever phase we’re on now of the process of coping with this news apparently involves Grantland’s Amos Barshad’s denial staked entirely on the facial expressions of Vice President Biden, which, while trustworthy in most things, seem a little irrelevant here, however heavily Barshad wants to rely on his past experience as a writer for the Arkansas Times. He also relies on “a British audio engineer named Ian Shepherd,” who may be a fictional amalgamation of Ian Stewart, Ian McLagan, Ian MacDonald, and Ian Anderson, but who definitely is British and therefore de facto, de jure, and de bellum unable to critique any presentation of the American national anthem whatsoever in any fashion. Barshad finally comes to rest on a line from Slate: “If she was indeed lip-syncing at the inauguration, give her the Nobel Prize in mime.” Because if there’s one thing that doesn’t creep out the American public, it’s mimes. (Never mind that Chaplin was British himself.)
Also irrelevant is whether this administration has Nobel Prizes to spare, as well as whether weather was a factor. (That “the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most singers, that is just not good singing weather” is no justification. The Constitution mandates a January inauguration, and absent an acceleration in global warming or a move to an indoor venue, such conditions always will obtain at that time.)
What is relevant is that this aggression towards genuinity shall not stand. Strip away the competing symbolism– political, patriotic, historical, celebritiotic– at work in this setting and acknowledge that this is not acceptable. If you are a singer of songs, then you must sing those songs, and if we are all here together, then you should sing your song here, right now, with us, together.
Otherwise, what’s the point? Just pipe in an acetate of Betsy Ross working out the song on a jaw harp. Save us all a lot of trouble, and save Queen Bey’s voice for the Super Inauguration Bowl next week in tropical New Orleans.
UPDATE: The esteemed jazz archivist Monk Rowe has weighed in on this topic. At his Jazz Backstory blog, he writes:
Even now this current controversy seems to have many variations. Beyonce sang live. She didn’t sing live. The band played but the voice was recorded. The whole thing was a recording. She sang live but with a prerecorded track. The most perplexing combination of observations was that she lip synced because there was no opportunity to rehearse with the Marine band. A widely circulated photo showed Beyonce in the recording studio with members of the band. They produced a recording without a rehearsal? My own opinion is that the rather intricate arrangement written for Beyonce was not nearly as straight ahead rhythmically as most of her pop music; that she was concerned about messing up the performance and thus her image. I am aggravated to think with all the technology in this day and age that a singer can’t stand next to the conductor by the Marine band, and have the band play and sing the song. Is this too complicated?
Most people know that lip-syncing is not a new phenomenon in the music business. It was standard practice on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” for years. As a fan of early rock ‘n’ roll, I note that Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the few artists who insisted on performing live during his performance on that show. Thank you Jerry, for not trying to lip sync to your own wild recordings.Perhaps after a few more inaugurations and Super Bowls, the press will breathlessly write about a diva who had the temerity to sing live, as if she wasn’t concerned enough about the performance to have a recording created to which she could mime. Maybe what we should do is simply honor the practice. The Grammys have an endless list of award categories, a few more wouldn’t hurt. They could hand out a Grammy for “Best Lip Syncing Performance at a Political Event,” “Best Lip Syncing as a Group,” “Best Instrumental Syncing on YouTube,” and so on. Then all the nominees could prerecord their acceptance speeches, lip sync them, and prevent any image-damaging spontaneity. Beyonce could receive a Lifetime Achievement Lip Syncing Award, because one thing is apparent: she does a hell of job at it.
After thirty-six hours like the thirty-six (forty-six?) we’ve just had, so much about the Manti Te’o-Lennay Kekua-Ronaiah Tuiasosopo-Notre Dame story remains unknown. Someone from Te’o's side finally spoke yesterday, but the picture really isn’t much clearer. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing, because it means we get to go to straight to this Jam:
How could you know that I lived in a desperate world?
How could you dream that we were all made out of stone?
What is the truth, what is the faithful lasting proof?
What is the central theme to this everlasting spoof?
Forty-five years ago today, Stax released Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay,” a recording Redding never heard due to his death in a plan crash less than a month before the hit’s release and just eighteen days after the recording session. The Wall Street Journal has an oral history of the recording of the song.
Up in smoke: Duck Dunn, dead at 70
Time to retire #27?
A timely observation of my Thanksgiving tradition was a casualty of my recent relocation, but I was able to restore order, albeit belatedly, this week with the assistance of Commodawg. Considering anew how a group of (mostly) Canadians had such a substantial impact on American music, I found myself wondering what group of Canadians was the most Canadian, and, in turn, what Canadian song was the most Canadian Canadian song ever.
I immediately knew the answer, having reached the conclusion some years ago. The group: the hit-making Bachman-Turner Overdrive precursor The Guess Who. The Jam:
Tell me I’m wrong.
It all started on Monday night: “Congratulations, You’re a Winner!” the email read. It was so nondescript that I assumed it was junkmail, but read it anyways. Turned out my hasty decision to submit a sweepstakes entry for a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis YouTube Presents taping had worked out in my favor and I was one of 200 people picked to attend. Great news, right? Well…you see, despite living in Music City, this was going to go down in New York City…in about 48 hours. Cue Clay Davis. My PhD budget barely has enough in it for drinks at 3Crow, definitely not for last minute flights to NYC. I forwarded the email to my main girl, Lauren, and suddenly things happened…fast. … Read More
(via A Kaleidoscoped Life)