Recent Super Bowl Halftime Highlights and Lowlights

Bruce Springsteen

It's time once again for that annual binge of pageantry and advertising dollars known as Super Bowl Sunday. The matchup on the field this year actually looks decent — the Cardinals' high-flying offense versus the Steelers' none-more-black defense — but everybody knows the real action takes place during the halftime entertainment.

This year, the NFL continues its recent classic-rock run with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, who just happen to have a brand-new album, Working on a Dream. Good or bad, uplifting or embarrassing, halftime has come a long way since the days the likes of Carol Channing (Super Bowl IV) or Up With People (Super Bowls X, XIV, XVI, XX) or New Kids on the Block, a bunch of Disney characters and then-Oilers QB Warren Moon (Super Bowl XXV) took the field between quarters.

U2, Super Bowl XXXVI, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans: Two years removed from the "Tapestry of Nations" WTF featuring Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, a full symphony orchestra and a bunch of puppets, the Irish rockers closed out their "Vertigo" tour with a halftime performance for the ages. It's saying a lot to call the moment they started "Where the Streets Have No Name" as the names of those killed in the 9/11 attacks filled a giant screen behind the band a national catharsis, but everybody felt a lot less guilty for caring about things like football games afterwards.


Super Bowl halftimes

Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake, Super Bowl XXXVIII, Reliant Stadium: Nobody remembers that Houston's most recent turn in the Super Bowl spotlight was one of the tightest, best-played championship games ever, with New England and Carolina coming right down to the wire. Nope, all they remember was the infamous slip of the nip that radically affected what the FCC allowed onto the nation's airwaves. On the bright side, nobody remembers Nelly and Kid Rock's crotch-­grabbing debacle that preceded Jackson and Timberlake's bizarro-world pas de deux, either.

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Prince, Super Bowl XLI, Dolphin Stadium, Miami: Musically untouchable, Prince's medley of his own hits and songs he was fond of at the moment — Foo Fighters' "Best of You" — featured guitar work as driving as the torrential rain during his performance. Still, it was somewhat overshadowed by the retina-burning phallic image of Prince standing behind a white screen, blown up to megalithic proportions, his curly-necked guitar thrust out from between his legs.

Michael Jackson, Super Bowl XXVII, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California: The all but dethroned King of Pop, singing a song called "Heal the World" with a children's choir 4,500 strong? Fill in your own punchline — it's just not worth it ­anymore.


Vibrant Houston indie-rockers Young Mammals, previously known as the Dimes, have at long last finished their first proper full-length CD. Entitled Carrots, the 35-minute disc features songs such as "Wires & Buttons," "Analogue" and "Mosquitobot." The Mammals will release Carrots February 28 at the Aerosol Warfare house (1625 W. Alabama) with Buxton and Woozyhelmet...Get back into both Houston and London's past Friday when the same band that performed the Beatles' White Album front-to-back last November re-creates the Fab Four's famous January 1969 Apple Records rooftop performance at noon Friday on top of the International Coffee Building, the downtown structure (near Spaghetti Warehouse) that once housed legendary psychedelic club Love Street Light Circus. Free admission, but donations will go to various children's charities.


Top Sellers
Vinal Edge Records
13171 Veterans Memorial Dr. 281-537-2575

1. Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion

2. Michishita Makoto, Kawabata & Shinsuke, Sex, Voyage and Echo Chamber

3. Seven that Spells,Cosmoerotic Dialogue with Lucifer

4. Andrew Bird, Noble Beast

5. Chingalera, Dose

6. Born Liars, Ragged Island

7. Wino, Punctuated Equilibrium

8. Deathspell Omega,Chaining the Katechon

9. Fennesz, Black Sea

10. Thou, Peasant


Spare Change
KPFT (90.1 FM), 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays
Selections from DJ Larry Winters's January 17 playlist

1. Guy Forsyth, "Long Long Time"

2. Saffire the Uppity Blues Women,"Too Much Butt"

3. Steve Earle, "Telephone Road"

4. Cat Stevens, "Can't Keep It In"

5. Peter Cooper, "715 (for Hank Aaron)"

6. Kim Richey & Don Henley, "Beautiful Fool"

7. Todd Snider, "Is This Thing Working?"

8. Chuck Brodsky, "Ballad of Eddie Klepp"

9. Thom Schuyler, "Feed the Devil"

10. Traveling Wilburys, "End of the Line"

(lists compiled by Chris Gray)

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