The FOH Breakdown of Potential – And Not So Potential – Super Bowl 50 Halftime Performers

000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000halftime

by Guest Editor

Although I find most pop culture-related news to be a waste of my time and extremely exhausting, this subject is something I try to keep tabs on every year because technically it’s NFL-related. Which is weird, because I think we all know that technically it has nothing to do with the league, or the game on the field. The objective here is to get people who may not be interested in said game to watch the halftime show. This is typically done by putting a pop artist or a group of classic rock musicians on a stage with a lot of lights and clever camera angles in order to attract viewers who are impressed by shiny objects. In a nutshell, the Super Bowl is essentially the one time a year where television programming just goes ahead and assumes we all suffer from attention deficit disorder. I say bullshit, I don’t suffer from it one bit. In fact, I accredit my ADD as the source for the fact that I’m able to multitask so well in the physical business environment. What were we talking about again?

Oh, right…The Super Bowl Halftime Show. Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of interested halftime shows since they became such a popular part of the Super Bowl landscape. There was the disaster at Super Bowl XXXV where MTV was in charge of the production and thought it would be a good idea to pair up N*SYNC with Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was followed three years later by yet another MTV production which would land the NFL in hot water as singer Justin Timberlake ripped off a section of Janet Jackson’s clothing revealing not only her nipple, but also 38-year old former child star Janet Jackson. And who can forget a year later in Jacksonville when LeAnn Rimes took the stage and shit all over the front reference monitor?     Continue reading

Advertisements

Ragged Records Playlist #3:  Cover Songs Edition

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000ragged

by Ryan Meehan

In the first two editions of the Ragged Records Playlist submissions over here at FOH, my submissions were very scattered for lack of a better term.  I didn’t have any sort of theme or categorization for my playlists, effectively turning me into that guy who can’t wait to showcase his broad musical tastes.  But as I stated in the last piece, I never want to be that guy and my discriminatory ear is probably more intolerant than that which belongs to anyone reading this piece.  So for this month’s edition, I’ve decided to focus on a particular breed of recorded music:  Cover songs.  The musical landscape is full of performers who believe that their vision of an existing piece of music can enhance the whole experience of the initial idea, and the result can be a delightful display of beautiful melodies.

But not all covers are well-polished diamonds of the classic tunes we’ve come to know and love.  In fact, a huge majority of them have eaten a dick to an unimaginable level of sadness that suggests they should never be audible to the human ear.  This list of songs that make me want to utilize a loaded firearm as a tongue depressor includes but is not limited to the following cuts:

The Wallflowers = “Heroes” (Radio edit, David Bowie)

Madonna – “American Pie” (Don McLean)

Tori Amos – “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” (Eminem)

Metallica – “Turn the Page” (Bob Seger)

Annie Lennox – “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (Procol Horum)

Limp Bizkit – “Faith” (George Michael)

Slaughter – “Mad About You” (Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt)

Fuck you if you didn’t laugh at that last one

Counting Crows – “Big Yellow Taxi” (Joni Mitchell)

Tori Amos – “Raining Blood” (Slayer)

Celine Dion – “You Shook Me All Night Long” (AC/DC)

Sheryl Crow – “Sweet Child of Mine” (Guns N’ Roses)

Hollywood Undead – “Shout at the Devil” (Motley Crue)

Korn – “Word Up” (Cameo)

John Mayer – “Free Fallin'” (Tom Petty)

Pretty much any other song Tori Amos has ever covered

The Bangles – “Hazy Shade of Winter” (Simon & Garfunkel)

Rob Zombie – The Entire Ramones Tribute Album

Shinedown – “Simple Man” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

I also want to take this space to mention a song that is such a repulsive silhouette of itself that it actually feels like a cover song.  Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is responsible for a majority of the drunken frat-boy sing-along bullshit that happens at bars fifteen minutes before last call, and usually results in a roaring sea of not-so playful date rape that follows shortly thereafter.  While Billy is a legend and his greatest hits catalog reads like a how-to instructional booklet of how to write timeless music, this harmonica-driven pile of shit has been given a free pass for years and that gateway to mediocrity stops right here.

But this article isn’t about the bad covers, it’s about the great ones.  These are the “Goddamn it, why didn’t I think of that?” updates that anyone of us who has ever picked up an instrument is pissed that they didn’t get to first, but at least we have these new takes on classic tunes that can brighten a bland moment on a depressing day.  Or in some cases, add a little bit of realism to a day that is feeling like it’s too good to be true.  And it’s always worth noting that if for some odd reason you can’t find any of these cover versions or originals at Ragged Records (418 East 2nd Street Davenport, IA 52801) I’m sure Ben can find them and order them for you.  That’s just another reason why it’s the best record store in the Quad Cities and it’s not even close, and why myself and the rest of us here at First Order Historians are proud to present you with our third contribution to the record store’s playlist series.  This is the FOH Ragged Records Playlist #3:  Cover Songs Edition.  Continue reading