Madonna: Always Relevant


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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60 Responses

  1. Avatar BSK says:


    I have to disagree.  I felt the performance was lackluster, especially given the fact that it was Madonna and she has a treasure trove of iconic songs that can get near anyone excited.  Was she lyp syncing?  Was Nicki Minaj?  Both seemed to be.  The drum line was pretty cool, but it seemed largely like she was going through the motions and, yes, there was spectacle, but, eh.  LMFAO did what they do, which was to be fabulous entertainers with questionable musical talent, but not enough of it.  For me, Cee-Lo Green stole the show, not only with his voice (I’m pretty sure he was actualy singing) but with stage presence.

    Last year’s NBA halftime show was pretty cool, with Rihanna headlining and performing with Drake and Kanye.  The problem was that the accoustics were terrible, making just about everyone sound muffled.  But all performers brought energy and the “spectacle” was a great deal cooler, with Kanye rising from beneath the stage as a full brass ensemble played the opening to “All of the Lights”.

    Maybe this is simply a matter of preference, as we’ve been discussing.  But, I do find it bothersome if Madonna was indeed lip syncing.  Is that par for the course these days in live performances?  I hope not.

    As for who should be chosen going forward, I think the NFL is limited because they want to avoid a headliner who will make anyone say, “Who?”  They also want to avoid anyone “unpredictable” and want to try to stay “wholesome”.  That takes out most of the people I’d choose, unfortunately, and is a damn shame adn more evidence of the tendency towards appealing to the lowest common denominator.Report

  2. I’m hoping for Gwar next year.Report

    • True story: I saw GWAR in 1995 at a shitty club with my friend Juan. We were in the front row and got covered in fake blood and bile and whatever else. Afterwards, we were the first people to walk into the convenience store across the street and I watched the night manager’s face get whiter and whiter as exhausted kids covered in blood started filing in. When we got to the counter, I leaned over to Juan and said very seriously, “Man, I didn’t even see the gun until that guy started shooting”. The convenience store guy looked like he was about to pass out!Report

    • Avatar BSK in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      I saw GWAR in 02/03 right after the start of the Iraq war.  They had a Sadam puppet jerkoff with the American flag and shoot semen into the crowd.  Then they cut off his dick and shot blood, then dismembered him bit by bit before feeding him to a dinosaur.


      If anyone doesn’t know who GWAR is, these last few statements would seem very odd…Report

  3. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I missed it, but will watch it later today. I was talking to someone about Madonna last night and she was saying that Madonna is no longer relevant and should retire, and it occurred to me that I’ve heard that opinion since at least back to Like a Prayer. As bizarre as that sounds, I remember people saying that, with Like a Prayer, she’d become irrelevant and should retire. I’ll agree that her fans are incredibly patient with Madonna, but mainly because my wife and I buy most of her albums.

    As for the halftime show, I actually really enjoyed Prince, especially for the angry letters the networks received. I still quote, “Thanks CBS for making my son gay!” frequently.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Reunite Pink Floyd.

    Play “Comfortably Numb” during the halftime show.


  5. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    They’ll never put anyone on stage I’d like to see.   What?   A band actually playing music and singing?   Such as Umphrey’s McGee?   Call me an elitist an it please thee, you may also call me a musician and a bunch of silly people dancing with headsets do not count as musicians.    Madonna hasn’t put out a decent album since Ray of Light.Report

    • Avatar beejeez in reply to BlaiseP says:

      Don’t try telling Blaise it’s a fricking football halftime show and not Carnegie Hall or the local coffee house. He’s a musician, see.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to beejeez says:

        Ecch, old Elton John had this one pretty well summed up.   Make sure you lip-synch good.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to beejeez says:

        Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo kinda explained the process:

        Being in a band is really great when you’re 20.
        When you’re 30, it’s kind of ‘Spinal Tap,’
        When you’re 40, it’s just pathetic.

        Frank Zappa wrote a wonderful song called Tinseltown Rebellion to explain the audience:

        Did you know that in Tinsel Town the people there
        Think substance is a bore
        And if your New Wave group looks good
        They’ll hurry on back for more
        Of leather groups and plastic groups
        And groups that look real queer
        The Tinsel Town aficionados
        Come to see and not to hear
        But then again this system works
        As perfect as a dream
        It works for all those record company pricks
        Who come to skim the cream
        From the cesspools of excitement
        Where Jim Morrison once stood
        It’s the Tinsel Town Rebellion
        From downtown HollywoodReport

  6. Avatar BSK says:

    Artists I’d like to see (and why we won’t see them)…

    Gaga (too unpredictable, too risque)

    Kanye (too unpredictable, too profane)

    JayZ (though he can play it clean, he would be perceived as a profane thug rapper)

    LMFAO (my mom wouldn’t know who they were… and that matters to the network)

    Kings of Leon (same as LMFAO)

    Foo Fighters (same as LMFAO, KoL)

    Beyonce (I guess once she recovers from the pregnancy)

    Obviously, these skew younger as I am younger.  And as we’ve seen from the networks, they skew old and older… sigh…Report

  7. I thought the performance was kind of “meh,” but did admire how campy the whole thing was.Report

  8. Avatar Michelle says:

    As halftime shows go–it nowhere as horrible as they usually are. Madonna was pretty animated and I thought the big black guy was great (I know he’s probably popular but, aging pop culture illiterati that I am, I had no clue who he was).

    Was it last year where The Black-Eyed Peas were the headliners? Man, that was painful. I think we ended up muting the TV.


  9. Avatar North says:

    All I can do is confess I don’t watch the superbowl.

    I did, however, see the Bark Side add which was pure genuis. VW has been getting some serious gold out of that liscence.Report

  10. Mark, I’m with you. Easily the best halftime show I’ve ever seen. And no one has even mentioned Cee Lo in a gigantic be-sequined robe. That was epic.Report

  11. Avatar Chris says:

    Can I just say that I love M.I.A.?Report

  12. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Well, they *did* bring out MIA, who kept it classy by giving the audience the finger (which, thanks to the heroic efforts of the production staff, we almost didn’t see on TV).

    Personally, I was hoping for a Lady Gaga cameo, seeing as how Lady Gaga is what Madonna used to be.  Heck, they could have done a song swap; Madonna sings “Poker Face”, followed by Lady Gaga singing “Like A Prayer”, but I guess what we got was okay.Report

  13. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Also: when Madonna climbed up on the LMFAO guy’s shoulders, I said “oh hey, now they have two guys with boxes on their heads.”  Nobody got it 🙁

    Also wik:  so 2010 we had “Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night”, and Black Eyed Peas got in the Super Bowl halftime.  In 2011 we had “Party Rock Anthem” and LMFAO got in the Super Bowl Halftime.  We now know how to spot who’s gonna be in the 2013 Super Bowl halftime; it’s whoever gets the “party dance song” for 2012.


  14. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    I never understood why they don’t go country.  I’m not a huge follower of country music, but I don’t dislike it and there’s definitely a section of country music performers who can step out in sequined outfits.  Brief research shows they’ve done this before (1994), I confess I didn’t watch it so maybe it sucked?

    The other way to go is not to do a pop music act at all.  Cirque du Soleil.  Have a magician… who is the current David Copperfield?  Do a big tribute to musicals and have people do numbers from West Side Story or Rent or something.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

      Do a big tribute to musicals and have people do numbers from West Side Story or Rent or something.

      I think they went as gay as they could with Madonna. Musicals would be too far.Report

    • Avatar BSK in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:


      They did that one year with a big Indiana Jones tie-in (I think it was during the Packers/Broncos game, but I could be wrong).  Cirque du Soleil would be cool.

      Again, the biggest issue is that they want to appeal to the broadest set of people.  A great country act might make a small segment VERY excited but would leave a lot of people saying, “Who was that?”, even if they were good.  Everyone knows who Madonna is.  It is also the reason Fox continues to trot out Joe Buck and Cleatus, the breakdancing robot… appeal to the LCD.Report

  15. Avatar greginak says:

    Wait….people watch the halftime show???Report

  16. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    My problem is simply that even though she looks absolutely fantastic for a 52-year-old, there is still something sort of … sad about a 52-year-old still doing that sort of show. The showmanship was fine, but c’mon. Don’t we expect or sort of root for our artists to evolve?

    And this is basically how I’ve felt about just about every single half-time show that features “legends” including Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, etc. The only one I’ve enjoyed was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – mainly because they just got right to the music and didn’t hop around like a bunch of twenty-somethings trying to relive the glory days.

    Am I biased? Am I too curmudgeonly for my own good? Maybe. But them’s the ropes as far as I’m concerned.Report

  17. Avatar FridayNext says:

    I’d so much rather see an average marching band or drum line from a historically black college or university. Any school that treats those as living art forms. Much more entertaining and genuine.


  18. Avatar MsBadazz41 says:

    I think yall are just hatin because Madonna bought out black artist as special guest artist, after all it was Black history month, the production was awesome the show was awesome I enjoyed it, I get tired of old ugly white men singing or standing still on guitars how boring, a haftime show that had cheerleaders who were black, a choir, and a marching band.  Madonna kept it clean, MIA’s finger was out of line, but it is being put out of porportion because she is black.  Lady GaGa suck she aint’ haft the woman Madonna is nor is that damn Britney Spears, I hope two boring ass teams go to the superbowl and then put that egg of a performer GaGa in as the halftime show and let’s see the ratings then Madonna’s show most watched in tv history, suck on that bitches!!!  New York Giants and Madonna best two things New York has to offer.  I am a Giants and a Madonna fan so kiss my ass.  I am glad that did not chose that egg GaGa for the Superbowl.  Madonna’s Like a Prayer blows anything out the water that lame ass wannabee can do, her music is some shit.  Madonna has songs like Holiday, Like a Prayer and Into the Groove that make people dance and feel good, GaGa only puts out shitty songs with blood and goat heads over her ass, she is no Madonna period.  Madonna does stuff that goes against the grain of what her race thinks is unacceptable, and I am not talking about taking her clothes off or other raunchy stuff, she does shit that changes people’s perceptions.  If she was black or Janet Jackson, her halftime show would not get hated on, point is Janet did the nipple bowl, she did not, stop hating.  She’s 53 and she is not the typical 53 year old white woman, hell yall asses can’t move on rythm @ any ageReport

  19. Avatar MsBadazz41 says:

    Any black people on this board they need to stop the hating too, RAcial diversity is what makes this country great, afterall we have a black president now, who fought hard to get that white house seat.Report