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UPDATE: We said that the track sounded like a parody, and apparently it is. Producer Andy Zax contacted us on Twitter and pointed us to an episode of the "Comedy Bang Bang" podcast where guests Zach Galifianakis and John Daly perform an early version of the song. Updated score: Chili Peppers, 2, clueless journalists, 0.
The Super Bowl is just days away. While football fans are anxiously awaiting to see how the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning will fare against the Seattle Seahawks' tenacious D, music fans are champing at the bit to see what the combination of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will cook up at halftime of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Will they do some sort of weird mashup? Will the network censors let the Peppers appear with, um, only socks? Will Bruno wear, um, a sock? Will Madonna show up with a cane and a grill? How about Pharrell and his hat?
We'll just have to wait until Sunday to see exactly what will go down, but today the Chili Peppers offered as an appetizer of what they may be cooking up with the new track "Abaracabadbralifornia" offered as a free download on the rhcp2014.com. The song is classic Peppers, so much so, it almost sounds like a parody. Of course the title immediately recalls their year 2000 hit "Californication." The track begins with a slightly melancholy guitar riff before slinking into the prototypical Peppers' groove, with Anthony Kiedis's pained vocals, amped up rapping, and nonsensical scatting ("be-bong-be-bong-baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yah").
Perhaps the most interesting part of the release is the cover art, on which the Chili Peppers' and Pepsi logo are morphed together with a background of football pigskin. The site, rhcp2014.com, offers more major sponsors, including Dodge, iHeart Radio, G2, and Los Angeles radio station KROQ, showing us that these onetime punk-funk rebels have fully embraced the corporate establishment.
As for what the Peppers will play at halftime remains a mystery, despite the fact that Peppers' drummer Chad Smith has been telling anyone who'll listen that the band is planning to cover Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused." Those hip to their rock history know that the original 1969 studio version of the Led Zep classic runs nearly six-and-half minutes and was stretched to nearly 27 minutes on the band's 1976 live album, The Song Remains the Same. Playing that version would take up the Chili Peppers' and Bruno Mars's entire allotted performance time, meaning the score so far is Chili Peppers 1, clueless journalists, 0.