Super Bowl XLVIII music: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Renee Fleming to performContinue reading.
Super Bowl Live Blog by Mark Guarino
Bob Dylan emphasizes America in Chrysler spot; company owned by Italians
Bob Dylan appeared in an ad for the Chrysler 200, a midsized sedan, in a highly emotional advertising spot reminiscent of Eminem’s 2011 ad for the same vehicle.
Instead of touting the virtues of the vehicle, the spot focused on the integrity of American workmanship, the manufacturing legacy of Detroit. The two-minute commercial, titled “America’s Import” featured Dylan’s voiceover while his song, “Things Have Changed,” played underneath. Here’s the full text:
“Is there anything more American than America?
‘Cause you can’t import original.
You can’t fake true cool.
You can’t duplicate legacy.
Because what Detroit created was a first
and became an inspiration to the… rest of the world.
Yeah…Detroit made cars. And cars made America.
Making the best, making the finest, takes conviction.
And you can’t import, the heart and soul, of every man and woman working on the line.
You can search the world over for the finer things,
but you won’t find a match for the American road
and the creatures that live on it.
Because we believe in the zoom,
and the roar, and the thrust.
And when it’s made here, it’s made with the one thing
you can’t import from anywhere else. American…Pride.
So let Germany brew your beer,
Let Switzerland make your watch,
Let Asia assemble your phone.
We will build your car.”
Images of vintage Americana scrolled throughout: Cheerleaders, wild horses, roadside diners, signs for Route 66, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Julius Irving, Detroit’s Bradbury Building (the city’s oldest) and, of course, a young Bob himself. Dylan appears on camera many times, delivering the last line in front of a pool table. Then he walks away toward the car.
The spot is elusive, avoiding the awkward possibility of Dylan serving as a pitchman. By forcing the emphasis on American heritage, the spot corresponds to what Dylan’s music has stood for over decades, while representing a legacy Chrysler is striving to connect viewers to, especially as Detroit struggles through a Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
There is a certain irony, however. Chrysler is a wholly owned Italian company. Fiat purchased a minority stake in Chrysler following the 2009 bankruptcy and subsequent federal-mandated restructuring, but has slowly regained majority control.
Last week, the company announced it will operate under the parent company name Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, which will be headquartered in the Netherlands for tax reasons.
Take a look:
Bruno Mars and the RHCP: A mismatched mash-up
The Red Hot Chili Peppers achieved three decades of hit albums, seven Grammy awards, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But they just played a support role to newcomer Bruno Mars. The halftime show, dominated by Mars, featured five hits by the singer and just one by the veteran band. The purpose of retrofitting Mars’ headlining set with the Chili Peppers helped satisfy two generations — X and Millennials — but the differences were jarring.
Before Mars and the Hooligans, his eight-member band, took the stage, a children’s choir appeared in a long row, holding hands, and singing a snippet of “Billionaire.” That led to Mars on a drumkit, bashing out a solo that cued his band, all wearing gold-colored tuxedo jackets and skinny black ties. Mars is a compelling bandleader, striking James Brown dance moves, and sharing focus with his band before stepping out to showcase his own vocal power.
“Spectacle-wise, I don’t do trapeze and all that stuff … I hope to get people dancing and get people smiling. If you ever come to one of my shows, it’s just us up there with our music and our instruments and I’m hoping that’s enough,” he told reporters this weekend.
Yes it was as the pompadoured singer and his band played hits “Locked Out Of Heaven,” “Treasure” and “Runaway Baby.”
Then the Chili Peppers showed up, creating a disruption that felt entirely inorganic. Barechested and tattooed next to a group of nice young men in ties, the Chili Peppers helped create a visual that likely sparked the same question in living rooms across the U.S.: Why is this band here? It isn’t on any current cultural radar and most of its players have been more immersed in side projects over the last few years.
Vocalist-rapper Anthony Kiedis led his band and the Hooligans through “Give It Away,” the band’s monster hit from 1991. For about a minute or two, the band pogoed around the stage until vanishing. Then it was back to Mars, who stood alone in the spotlight, singing “Just the Way You Are,” the power ballad that earned him a 2011 Grammy.
Mars did not get paid for the performance since show producers figure exposure to nearly 100 million global viewers is its own currency. True enough, the moment the performance ended, Mars’ publicity team released news of his “Moonshine Jungle World Tour” that kicks off in April and continues all summer through early September.
The Chicago stop is June 20 at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. Aloe Blacc opens.
Dr. Teeth sells Highlanders
Thanks to new overlords Disney, the Muppets are shilling Toyota crossovers. That’s right, the Muppet house band — Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem — starred in a spot for the Toyota Highlander. The Muppet musicians bear an uncanny resemblance to a series of veteran stars from the early “Muppet Show” era — Joni Mitchell, Dr. John, Keith Moon of the Who, and more.
In the spot, the band’s bus breaks down, which forces them to carjack a Highlander operated by former NFL player Terry Crews. They steer the vehicle through a series of environment straight out the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, including a bingo game and Brazilian carnival. When Crews wakes up from the trip, he yells to a neighbor about all he’s seen, including “singing vegetables and chickens!”
The neighbor, one Kermit the Frog, is not impressed. “Yeah, it happens to me all the time,” he says.
Check it out here:
Beats Music (oddly) choose Ellen DeGeneres to pitch service
Yes, Ellen DeGeneres is known for goofball dance breakouts on her daytime talk show. But is she the ambassador you want for your cutting-edge new streaming music platform?
Yet there she was, donned as Goldilocks (with cape), trying different playlists until she found the right one. “Once there was a girl who was hungry for the perfect music to dance to,” she says. Turns out Ellen is not a fan of Black Sabbath. Or “teenager’s music.”
But then she discovers Aloe Blacc’s “Can You Do This” and she breaks into her trademark dork-dance with several actors dressed as three bears and a wolf.
“And they all danced happily ever after,” she says.
If Beats Music wants to make the service desirable for music fans who consider themselves outside the mainstream — especially daytime television — it can do better than that.
U2 song available now
Kickoff at the Super Bowl means the opportunity to download a new song from U2. The band unveiled “Invisible,” a track from the band’s 13th album due this summer, in a partnership with the AIDs nonprofit (RED). Each time you download the new song from iTunes during the game, and for the remaining 24 hours afterward, Bank of America will donate $1 dollar to the organization. Better act fast — The song will be taken down Tuesday.
“We’re taking all the energy around the Super Bowl and interest in what U2’s doing and flipping it into the fight against HIV AIDS,” Bono told reporters this weekend. He said it was the first song the band finished for the album and it planned to keep working “for a couple of months” into the spring.
So how does “Invisible” sound? A first listen shows U2 sticking to its traditional electro-pop sound, with a heavy dose of Joy Division. “I’m more than you know/a body and soul/you don’t see me much but you will/I am not invisible,” Bono sings in the chorus. The nearly four-minute single would sound like a natural on the band’s 2000 album, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” and less so on the band’s more dance-oriented detours like 1993’s “Zooropa.”
Here’s a brief promo spot if you want a quick taste:
Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers playing halftime show
The Super Bowl is the rare sporting event that is not just about sport. The event is also an optimum platform to launch new music, revive past careers, and borrow some credibility from music’s hottest stars to sell product. This year, look for U2, Bob Dylan, OneRepublic, and others to appear throughout the telecast.
The halftime show is the central attraction to each game, an event to pull in viewers who aren’t necessarily football fans. For Super Bowl XLVIII, the top performers are recent Grammy winner Bruno Mars and rap-rock veterans the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Still asleep? There’s good reason. The sedate lineup come a full 10 years after “nipplegate,” the infamous live television unveiling of Janet Jackson’s breast by Justin Timberlake in 2004. That event — “a new low for prime-time television according to then-FCC chairman Michael Powell” — forced Super Bowl producers to pack subsequent halftime shows with reliable veterans — The Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, and Madonna.
Will RHCP lead singer Anthony Kiedis depant Mars? Let’s hope not.
Queen Latifah sang “American the Beautiful,” and opera world soprano Renee Fleming, who sang the national anthem, but the biggest music star to appear onscreen is Prince. He appeared, in full afro, in a promo advancing a new episode of the Fox series “New Girl.”
Talk about a new low for the purpled one.