Show Me the Money, I Show You the Verve

I’ve got a few things on my mind today but nothing that adds up to a whole post, so here’s the odds and ends.

The news that the Who (or what passes for it these days as long as Keith Moon and John Entwistle remain dead) might be playing at the Super Bowl halftime this year is baffling. (The NFL isn’t confirming it, yet.) The NFL has been going with safe classic rockers ever since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, but at least people like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen have scored hit singles within the last decade or so, and the Rolling Stones are recognizable to fans under 40. The Who, not so much. How much do you want to bet they got the gig because Aerosmith wasn’t available?

The Mrs. and I watched Saturday Night Live over the weekend for the first time in a while because Mad Men star January Jones was hosting. We don’t expect much from SNL anymore, but we were surprised at how dreadful this episode was. Throughout its history, SNL has frequently been juvenile, but last weekend’s episode was aimed almost solely at 11-year-old boys who think that fart jokes and gay panic represent the height of humor. Jones was awful, too—she seemed scared to death at the start, while in succeeding sketches, she plastered an inappropriate smile on her face and just stood there looking pretty. Afterward, we needed to watch a couple of episodes from the first-season DVD collection to hose out the taste.

Rosanne Cash has announced a handful of tour dates in support of her album The List, including a February 10 show in my much-missed former hangout, Iowa City. And so there’s a road trip in my future.

After I mentioned Elvis Costello’s racist slur on Ray Charles here last week, a couple of readers noted that it wasn’t a case of a punk looking for publicity, which is how I remembered it. So for this week’s Rock 101 at WNEW.com, I looked into it.

The Daily Mirror is a feature on the Los Angeles Times‘ website that looks back at vintage stories and columns from the paper. Here’s a spin around the LA radio dial from November 1969. Key line: “Most FM announcers sound as if they’re bored—and underpaid, which is true. People covering a funeral display more verve.”

Also worth reading is another commentary on an American Top 40 countdown, this one from November 1972, at SHH/Peaceful. Apart from being mighty entertaining, these chart reviews are always a good reminder that my taste isn’t the same as everyone else’s. But seriously, dude, how can you not like this?

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