Knowing full well that my extensive fan club, the List of the Day Army, are waiting on my sacred proclamations of all things 12.12.12, I have assembled, in list form (imagine that!), my ten most insightful insights regarding the music concert that appeared on the internet and my television last night. (I assume it appeared on your TV as well.)
But not one of my insights will be as good as this one from Iman Lababedi, who was there: "I can tell you that being stuck at MSG for the six hours of 12-12-12 was like being at a never-ending PBS fundraiser." It's a good thing, I had a remote control!
Check out Iman's entire review here.
Anyhow, let's get to it!
10) Adam Sandler Officially Retires Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen begged people to stop covering his song. Can we finally call it a day? Adam Sandler, reprising his role as an unfunny comedian, gave us a Hurricane Sandy-centric version of the over-covered Cohen classic with Paul Shaffer joining him on the piano. The Sandman's sophomoric lyrics (yeah, I know, it's his gimmick) and his pitch-challenged vocals ensured the only person excited by his performance would be Bon Jovi, who sounded positively positive following him.
9) Bruce Springsteen Needs To Sing The Rock and Roll: Bruce Springsteen has a vast catalog of great tunes. Yet, whenever he shows up for a big event, he either kills us with corn ("Glory Days") or with sanctimony ("My City of Ruins"). Why not just play rock 'n' roll? A little "Ties That Bind," a little "Adam Raised A Cain," a little upbeat 2000s hit, "Radio Nowhere," "We Take Care of Our Own," whatever. And finish with "Born To Run," without your inferiors joining in. If they don't have a "Sir" in front of their name, they wait in line like everybody else.
8) The Rolling Stones Want You To Purchase Their Pay-Per-View Concert or Buy Actual Tickets To Their Show: Only two songs? Yep! It's a tease for their upcoming pay-per-view special where they will likely do more than two songs. I give them points for being cheeky with "You Got Me Rocking." What, no "Saint of Me"? No, "Gunface"? No, "Continental Drift"? But clearly Mick's in amazing shape and could've given us as much as The Who.
7) The Chords To "Baba O'Riley" Are Immortal: No matter how comfortable or not you may be with Roger Daltrey opening his shirt, you must admit that the sound of those opening chords to "Baba O'Riley" are awe-inspiring, like it's the soundtrack to Moses coming down the mountain with two stone tablets in his hands. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think so. Daltrey may flub a note here and there. Pete Townshend may windmill and whiff once in awhile. But the key to "Teenage Wasteland" is through those simple, unadulterated chords.
6) Billy Joel Songs Are Now Standards: Everywhere I looked on the internet last night I found people giving begrudging respect to ol' twinkle-toes here. Yes, everyone's irascible uncle has finally worn us down and made us admit that love them or hate them, we're stuck with his songs. We all know the words. We all know the tunes. And when it comes time to hold hands and sing, well, it's a lot more unifying than the guy from Coldplay. Or…
5) Kanye West -- Voice of Another Generation: Hip-hop is a strange animal. Not unlike death metal or hardcore punk or techno or free jazz. It doesn't lend itself to communal singalongs too often, especially not when it's Kanye West tripping out on his own ego. As my friend Zoraxx Astrea wrote to me: "I know I'm old but i think some guy in a black leather skirt just quoted 21st century schizoid man while complaining about life on a private jet. Time to turn off the TV and meditate."
4) Roger Waters -- And The Guy Who Wasn't Eddie Vedder: Eddie Vedder finally made his presence known for "Comfortably Numb," but up until he did, lots of people -- mostly ladies, I noiticed -- were very nervous that some other guy on stage with Roger who bore a slight resemblance to the Pearl Jam singer was actually Mr. Vedder looking terrible. They were as relieved to see the real Eddie Vedder as I was to learn that Mr. Waters' set was about over.
3) Alicia Keys -- A Career in New York City Tourism: "Empire State Of Mind" guarantees that Alicia Keys will always work in this town. Just as they trotted her out for 9/11 tributes, so will be her lot unless she does something to soil her reputation. More likely, she'll go benignly into the night like Billy Joel. On a night when the stage looked like a dude ranch, it was nice to see a woman -- any woman -- perform a set of music. I would've preferred Rickie Lee Jones or Carrie Brownstein, but I don't think I should have to choose just one. Should you?
2) Paul McCartney Had Mercy On Us All: Thank you, Macca! Sir Paul! It was late. It had been a long night. He sat at the piano for "Nineteen-Hundred-Eighty-Five" and he never once tinkled a lick from "Hey Jude" or "Let It Be," the two warhorses that everyone just assumed were coming. "Helter Skelter" was smart, almost antisocial of him. "Let Me Roll It," a personal fave. I would've switched out "Live or Let Die" for "Junk" or "Man We Was Lonely," but we've already established I'm an idiot.
1) What Was Nirvana? Not just a Jeopardy! answer, but the question on many music fans' lips. Was that it? Paul McCartney was a more-than-capable replacement for Kurt Cobain. But performing just one song -- "Cut Me Some Slack" -- and nothing else just seemed ant-climatic and perverse. They needed Krist Novoselic for that? I wasn't expecting "Rape Me" or "Polly" or even "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but I figured we might get a cover of something mutually agreeable that more than three people have heard before. While it's true you can rarely win with me, you can always -- like Avis car rental -- try harder!