Feb 11, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT
Time for your Thursday shot of Jelisahol, as this week she breaks down the possibilities for the next musical headliner at the Super Bowl halftime show. Who are the top candidates? Who should get it, but don’t have a chance in hell? Hey, how did Robert Goulet get in there?
By Jelisa Castrodale
Sometime in April 1965, The Who’s Roger Daltrey stood in London’s IBC Studios clutching a microphone and sneering the now-immortal line “I hope I die before I get old.” Anyone who watched the sixtysomething Daltrey’s creaky Super Bowl performance knows that didn’t happen. He and an equally brittle-looking Pete Townshend spent twelve minutes onstage, their pants resting comfortably on their ribcages as they wheezed their way through an underwhelming medley of their hits.
I had a number of problems with this year’s halftime show. First, I’m not sure how Roger and Pete could bill themselves as The Who since half of their original bandmates are wearing headstones as hats. (Bassist John Entwhistle died shortly after, um, taking a stripper for a ride on his Magic Bus, while immortally insane drummer Keith Moon had history’s least-surprising overdose). Next, the songs they played also serve as the opening credits to three versions of CSI, the kind of heavy-handed cross promotion that made me half-expect David Caruso to climb out of Pete Townshend’s distended abdomen.
Ever since Justin Timberlake “accidentally” showcased one of Janet Jackson’s sweater puppies during Super Bowl XXXVIII, halftime has featured an endless lineup of aging male rockers who, at this point, are less concerned with breaking hearts than they are about shattering a hip. Rumors are already swirling about which Metamucil-chugging band will be largely ignored by the viewing audience during the 2011 Super Bowl, so I thought I’d try to predict who it will be. Also, because I enjoy both writing about music and being disappointed, I’ve named several acts that I’d like to hear next February while I inhale another slice of Mighty Meaty pizza.
The Most Likely Candidates:
John Mellencamp: From his This is Our Country Chevy commercial to his Ain’t that America choruses, the chain-smoking Artist Formerly Known as John Cougar couldn’t be more patriotic without involving apple pies or handguns.
Bon Jovi: This could be disastrous, since the band continues to add to their discography. We’d all want to stand in the living room, shouting along with Livin’ on a Prayer but they’d want to play something off their latest album. Nothing — NOTHING — kills a concert buzz like an old band that tries to wedge in a new song; it’s the musical equivalent of making out with someone until they stop to ask when your parents are coming to town.
Jimmy Buffett: The owner of Miami’s newly-christened Landshark Stadium wouldn’t be above strumming his way through his catalog of three-chord classics. Buffett is a walking UPC symbol who has put his name on everything from Margaritaville tequila to Cheeseburger In Paradise restaurants and Come Monday desk calendars and Why Don’t We Get Drunk & Screw-brand prophylactics. OK, those last two I made up, but I fully expect to get a coconut-scented cease-and-desist from his attorneys.
Stevie Wonder: The Motown legend has done a halftime gig before, but his endless playlist of hits remains relevant and have, I think, soundtracked my last eighteen trips to the pharmacy. I can’t hear Signed, Sealed, Delivered without wondering if I need a refill on my asthma inhaler or another earwax removal kit. Yes, I am a sexy lady, thank you for asking.
Someone Wearing a Cowboy Hat: Super Bowl XLV will be in Dallas, so I could see the NFL hiring someone who has a familiarity with tractors and Wrangler-brand denim. No, not Brett Favre, although he does meet the minimum age requirement.
The Not-A-Chance Candidates:
Kings of Leon: The brothers (and cousin) Followill are getting increasingly popular, taking home three Grammys last month and headlining major festivals from Austin City Limits to June’s Bonnaroo. I think they’d put on a great show, one with the potential to get me ejected from Buffalo Wild Wings after leaving tongue stains on their television screens.
Lady Gaga: Yeah. I know. She’s miles over the top and dresses like a walking Lost and Found bin. There’s a lot of power in being polarizing and she puts on a good show, even if it’s always overshadowed by the threat that, at some point between Paparazzi and Bad Romance, her penis will fall out of her leotard.
Green Day: It’s hard to name another punk-ish band who have managed to stay relevant since the mid-1990s, and each of their recent albums has been more ambitious than the one that preceded it. Also, I’d like to hear Jim Nantz say the word “Dookie” during their introduction.
Phoenix: The last time I attempted to dance to their hit 1901, someone asked if I was having a seizure, but I still dig everything about these poptastic Frenchmen. Unfortunately, the St. Louis Rams have a better chance of being at the Super Bowl than they do.
Pearl Jam/The Foo Fighters: There was a time when these suggestions would sound ridiculous, but ever since Pearl Jam stomped and brooded their way through a Target commercial, there’s no threat of selling out. No, it’s not 1995 but either band would bring a light dusting of edginess to the show. The NFL would also need additional groundskeepers to scrape Dave Grohl’s vocal chords off the field before the third quarter.
It may be another six months before we know who will be standing on the Cowboys’ star next February. Until then, turn that noise down and you kids stay off my lawn.
Jelisa Castrodale is a writer and comedian who has learned a lot about life by making a mess of her own. She chronicles her failures at The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy, covers music for London’s BitchBuzz and twitters while she waits at stoplights. Castrodale was featured in the book Twitter Wit and was named one of Mashable’s 10 Funniest Twitterers.
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