Well, that's another Super Bowl in the books, and like many, I for one am glad it is over. This de facto unofficial American holiday is generally a mixed bag, but this year's edition turned out to a bigger turd than usual, with a wildly uneven game, lackluster commercials, a wildly over hyped half-time show, and a 35 minute long power outage that quickly became taken as a metaphor for modern America. To be honest, I'd take the whole event as a metaphor for modern America, but I'm here to talk about the music, so I'll try (and probably fail) to leave that alone...
- I so wanted to Tweet something about the Alicia Keys rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" vis-a-vis Beyonce that would've shamelessly fed into gender stereotypes, but in an effort to keep my liberal karma pure, I refrained. Yes, Alicia Keys sang it live; in fact she sang the hell out of it, and I can't say anything bad about it.
- The Flaming Lips got their moment in the sun with their Hyundai ad airing at the start of the game. Unfortunately, amidst so many lame ads it looks like it went largely unnoticed by the general public, a shame considering it was one of the more interesting ads of the whole night.
- Audi used a track from Hanni El Khatib (produced by Dan Auerbach) for their big Super Bowl ad, and while the commercial is largely ludicrous, the song is pretty damn good, so good in fact that I'll be keeping an eye out for this Palestinian American artist.
- Peter, Bjorn, and John should not have allowed their song to be used for this odious Budweister Black ad campaign. Wasn't 2 Broke Girls enough for these Swedes? And speaking of 2 Broke Girls, we need to find something better for national treasure Kat Dennings to do. That admittedly spicy Super Bowl ad couldn't have gotten any more blatantly sexist. Shame on us.
- I had to laugh at the geriatric network CBS unironically using T-Rex's "20th Century Boy" for their commercials for that cliche riddled new Chi McBride cop show.
- I don't like Fun.'s "We Are Young" in English, so I really didn't like Fun. en Espanol when the song was used in that Taco Bell ad as the soundtrack for senior citizen misdeeds, a concept blatantly stolen from Sigur Ros...
- Even though she was singing live this time, Beyonce's half time show (complete with Destiny's Child reunion!) was utterly yawn-worthy. Sorry, but that was wildly overblown and terribly boring. Yes it was nice seeing Kelly Rowland, but really America, what are we doing getting excited over that? We can do better.
- The big winner of the night according to the ad agency people (other than the Baltimore Ravens and Ray Lewis, groan) was this spectacular manipulation of baby boomer emotions from Budweiser, those damn clydesdales, and legendary Fleetwood Mac b-side "Landslide." I love Stevie Nicks and I love the song, but this ad was just too much.
And that's it, until next year's extravaganza of excess, consumption, and shame. May God have mercy on our souls.