How the Super Bowl Halftime Show is Exactly like the Andrews Sisters (Kind Of)
For the Andrews Sisters, this isn't such a bad deal. All art is of its time, sure, but the melodies and the performances are timeless, even if I'm receiving them differently. If the beats that are supposed to be sexy just come off goofy-sexy, so be it.
For the Super Bowl Halftime Show, though--it might never recede completely into novelty and misunderstanding, but every year it's harder to imagine a single artist appealing to as many people as a beer commercial about three multicultural bros making a bitchin' trebuchet out of empty bottles of Bud Sexhaver.
Beer commercials appear to be unkillable, and football won't change much until we're ready to feel super guilty about concussions. Pull an ad or a few snaps from the 1993 game tape--the Leon Lett fumble if you're a Bills fan, literally any other play if you're a Cowboys fan--and things will look about right.
But music? Pop has never been so balkanized before; even last year's biggest hits burst out of smaller markets--indie rock, Bieber-entourage, South Korea--before forcing themselves into the halftime-show-demographic's ears. People who grow up in those bubbles, who listen to indie or EDM or any of the other genres that stay willfully separate from the idea of 100 million people listening to one thing at the same time, won't find a rococo, pagan art installation starring a 54-year-old billionaire and Barry Gordy's burnout heirs unifying, or provocative--they'll find it ridiculous. Okay, more ridiculous.
In the meantime, the 2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show will have to find a way to utilize its constant reactionaryism on America's least reactionable superstar. How do you make an abrupt, mostly unnecessary course-correction from Beyonce?