Category Archives: Awesomeness

Beyonce: Stage On Fire, Shower of Sparks Guitar, and Other Awesomeness From Last Night

Things we liked about last night’s halftime show at the Super Bowl, featuring an up-and-coming songstress named Beyonce, who you might know best from being a member of Houston-based R&B group Destiny’s Child:

1. The things on fire.

The pyrotechnics made us feel like Beavis and Butthead in vintage “Fire! Fire!” mode, as it looked like Beyonce, at points, was going to be engulfed by the flames on the stage, if not for her flame-repellent lingerie.

The best thing on fire might have been the guitar, though. Deadspin captures it nicely here, along with the observation that “Beyonce doesn’t do anything figuratively.” Of course, though, that moment reminded us of this Ace Frehley solo, which in turn reminded us of this Nigel Tufnel solo.

2. The “performance.”

Dancing. Lots of motion. Alleged singing (with mysterious vocals not created by any of the mouths on stage), with Shaq playfully adding his perspective to the Inauguration lip-synching controversy. This blogger, noting that Beyonce was an incarnation of the Hindu warrior goddess Durga on stage, also noted that one online critic panned the whole show as “Breasts of the Southern Wild.” Both views seem extreme. We do love that Beyonce inspires this range of reactions.

3. Production values

So, there was the stage itself, that looked like the cover art for a 1973 Alice Walker novel (amirite?), but there was also so much high-tech gadgetry and electricity in the halftime show that, when a power surge made the Superdome look like “every movie about football ever, minus the torrential downpour” (according to an astute Deadspin writer), that I called the inevitable flood of “Beyonce caused the blackout” tweets to follow.

4. Destiny’s Child reunion. We, of course, blew this call. After seeing Beyonce diva her way through this performance, we thought, “No way she’ll share the stage with them.” But, she made them pop up from under the stage, as if summoned (because she’s DURGA), and then made them sidekicks. Genius.

We loved it. (Then again, at that point, the game was awful. It was compelling late. But, wow, American football takes forever. Especially during the Super Bowl.)


Shetland Ponies in Sweaters: We Can Feel the Internets Breaking

As part of an innovative marketing campaign from VisitScotland (tasked with the unfortunate mission of getting tourists to visit Scotland), they’ve seized upon a campaign involving two delightfully-small Shetland ponies, photographed standing on pastoral Scottish landscapes in TOTALLY ADORABLE KNIT SWEATERS, Y’ALL.

The people of the Internets have noticed. They’ve totally noticed. Oh, have they noticed.

(They really are adorable.)

Michelle Obama vs. John Boehner, As Seen By Gawker

Oh, if it were only so. The typically-awesome Gawker found a GIFed moment from the Inaugural Dinner in which First Lady Michelle Obama gives a major dismissive eyeroll to House Speaker John Boehner. Or, as the kids call it, “throwing shade.”

The new hypothesis emerging today is slightly less fun — that it was a response to Boehner apparently joking with the Still-President about his on-again/off-again smoking and how the little lady won’t let him smoke anymore. (“Wives! They put the kibosh on fun! Amirite?”)

While a wholly plausible hypothesis, it’s much more fun to imagine the shade-throwing is more a function of the First Lady being generally dismissive of Boehner rather than specifically dismissive. (Though an eyeroll for his spray-tanned complexion would be warranted as well.)

Yo La Tengo and the Nerdiest, Most Awesome Hour of Radio You Probably Missed

KEXP is one of our primary loves and mainstays — though tastemaking is a hallmark of any indie music media outlet, there are ways not to do it (smug recommendations smacking of “What, you don’t know about this yet?”) and the KEXP way, which is to be inclusive and friendly and enthusiastic, but unafraid to be taken through detours on a Road Map to Complete Up-to-Dateness.

Like, say, earlier today — after Yo La Tengo’s live set, and prior to their Easy Street Record store appearance (as part of a short but awesome West Coast tour with four dates, four cities, four record store concerts), Ira Kaplan joined DJ Kevin Cole in the booth to play 45s he’d found while record shopping during the prior two record store dates. The playlist (start from the bottom and scroll up) reveals a fascinating look at what inspires living indie legend bands like Yo La Tengo, but also the joy in being a collector and reveling in the audio snapshots of prior eras.

The set started with this amazing Amboy Dukes song — with this priceless exchange during the DJ break:

Kevin: “You know, Ted Nugent’s in that band.”

Ira: “Yeah, I know. That’s problematic. It’s a moral dilemna.”

(Go to the archive if you want to hear it for yourself.)

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Robot Rock: Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades,” As Played By Robots

Some days, there’s plenty to say about whatever we discover on the Internet. And some days, all there is to say is “awesome” with a link to what’s awesome. Courtesy of Dangerous Minds, here are three robots (collectively known as Compressorhead) playing Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.” Aside from not having Lemmy’s gravelly vocals, this is spot-on, with a four-armed drumming robot to boot. (The drums are a little heavy in the mix, perhaps, but otherwise, everything about this is whoa-worthy.)