Super Bowl halftime shows have had a pretty wide range over the years; starting out with mostly college marching bands and currently sometimes ending up in huge controversy (like the above or M.I.A. last year). For the past twenty years or so, though, the halftime show has settled into two categories for the most part: aging rock star or in-the-moment pop sensations. There just hasn’t been a lot of imagination. I truly believe, and so do Todd and Wes deep down even though they won’t admit it, the combination of Aerosmith, N’Sync, and Nelly was pretty electric, and a legitimate combination of current and aging talents. Alas, they didn’t make the list. Neither did The Who (decrepit), Madonna (mummified), or the Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting combination (puzzling). In fact, this list is not nearly as strong as we would have expected, so I ripped to some degree on several acts. Enjoy, and as always let us know what you think in the comments.
10. 2006 – The Rolling Stones
After the 2004 Janet Jackson debacle (blessing?), the NFL decided to trot out a lot of very “safe” acts for some time. Hence, a bunch of old bags of bones (stones?) took the stage in 2006 and sounded much smaller than the event demands. As a consolation, the stage is phenomenal, and Keith Richards puppet-master continues to get paid for his superb work.
At 12:00 AM on Black Friday and not a second later, radio stations all across the country began blasting Christmas music, oh so ready to put the Thanksgiving holiday behind them and go headstrong into Christmas season. While we at LxL love the Christmas holiday, our relationship with Christmas music is a little more conflicted. I, for one, love Christmas music in doses but less doses of “Grandpa Got Run Over By a Reindeer” and “Chipmunk’s Christmas” and more pure Christmas carol classics. Austin, on the other hand, is a regular crotchety Scrooge, as he even balked at the idea of doing a Christmas list period. Luckily for you who love Christmas music, two-thirds is majority, and Todd and I won the day.
Wes is on a pretty epic 12-day road trip out to Seattle, then up to Vancouver, and back to Chicago. Along the way, him and Jackie (his wife for the uninitiated) are stopping at Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, and many other beautiful places along the way. In honor of this trip, and in hopes of his safe return, we put our heads together to come up with the top ten road trip songs to keep Wes and Jackie alert, energized, and most importantly awake on this endeavor.
We tried to limit our choices for this list to songs actually about traveling to some degree. There are many songs and albums that we more abstractly view as road trip songs, but that would have opened this list up to too many options. We hope you enjoy these songs of the road, and as always feel free to bring more road trip songs of your preference to our attention.
Bat Out of Hell
While sitting in a halfway empty Chicago bar last Saturday afternoon, my friends and I were being treated to one of the most entertaining playlists I’d ever had the pleasure of listening too. It was simple, but brilliant. Spanning from Miley Cyrus to the Who, to Afroman and Whitney Houston, it seemed to be one long stretch of nostalgic sounds and a constant conversation piece. It even erupted into a “Gangnam Style” dance off which fortunately did not end in a brutal blood bath of a shooting … although we did learn later from the waitress that shootings were in fact not a completely irregular occurrence for The Keg of Evanston. Perhaps the most life changing moment, other than the mind-melting discovery of a mash up of Michael Jacksons “Bad” and Ray Parker Jr’s most incredible “Ghostbusters” (which was incredibly confusing by the way), came when Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” came on. The track is one that is familiar to most everyone. After singing through a few verses, Meat Loaf found his way into being the sole topic of conversation for my friend Daniel K. Leeper and I (notice the striking name similarities to Daniel Day Lewis). It was then I admitted that I had never heard the album Bat Out of Hell, and it was then I agreed to purchase it so that we could listen to it in its entirety on our drive the next day. It was a life changing moment, and one that I will now forever be thankful for.
One year ago, LxL brought you our top ten albums of autumn, which we posted again this morning because we still feel it is a very strong list. Never ones to sit on our laurels though, we thought we could tackle the best songs of autumn, which is a much more convoluted conversation. Do we insist the song make mention to falling leaves, postseason baseball, or pumpkin patches? Do we go by feeling? We did exactly what we always do, which is whatever the hell we want.
Fall brings about a lot of different emotions, memories, and feelings for everyone. For Todd, Wes, and I, autumn is probably most closely tied to our rural Indiana upbringing, where hooded sweatshirts, Friday night football games, bonfires on the peninsula, and homecoming were the most important thing in our lives for years. Luckily our horizons have expanded, but that in no way taints the memories of humble beginnings. We are and will always be Midwesterners at heart, and these are a few of the songs that take us back to those glorious days. Enjoy our top ten songs of autumn, and as always remind us what we missed or errantly included.