Thursday, January 17, 2013
The Super Bowl should be a national holiday. The game, the biggest sporting event in the world, brings together the most quintessential aspects of American culture: sports, television, food, commercialism, and violence. If those five things don’t sum up America nothing does.
By national holiday we don’t mean “Super Bowl Sunday.” We mean a national holiday scheduled the Monday after the game. Getting such a holiday enacted will be as difficult as driving 99 yards on the Baltimore Ravens defense, or shutting down the New England Patriots offense, or acquiring a top-notch quarterback for the New York Jets. But if Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons can win a playoff game then anything is possible.
Truly An American Event
Everyone watches the Super Bowl. Even those who don’t like football watch the game if for nothing else than to see the halftime show and the commercials. You can’t draw more than 110 million television viewers and not attract a few causal fans—by the way the population of the United States is only 315 million. In America, football is not just a sport. It’s a quasi-religion. As a holiday, it would be a cross between Christmas and the Fourth of July.
Time To Recuperate
Let’s not run an out route and call it a fly pattern. People watch the Super Bowl and drink way too much alcohol. I don’t but certainly others do. They also eat way too much food (again not me). Furthermore, for those on the East Coast, the Super Bowl ends late and who can go straight to bed right after a rousing football game? That’s why we need the Monday after the Super Bowl off work so we can mend our hangovers, digest our bean dips, and sleep in. No one gets anything done on that Monday anyways so we might as well have the day off from work.
An outplacement firm ran some numbers and said six percent of workers already take the day off of work after the Super Bowl. They may not sound like a lot but it’s around 20 million people. They also crunched some numbers and said for every ten minutes employees spend on the Super Bowl (either in conversation or on the internet) they cost their employers $162 million. The way I look at it we can’t afford not to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday.
I know it’s sad but how many people know the origins and motivations behind Memorial, Labor, Columbus, Veterans, and Thanksgiving? Isn’t Memorial and Labor Days’ sole function to mark the beginning and end of summer? While Easter isn’t an official national holiday how many people actually know why we color eggs? There would be no such ignorance about a national holiday dedicated to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Sunday is all about food. In fact, it’s the second largest day for eating food in the United States after Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that all the best holidays are associated with great food. Thanksgiving has turkey and stuffing; Easter has hard-boiled eggs and chocolate bunnies; Fourth-of-July has hot dogs and apple pie; and Christmas has candy canes and fruitcakes. Okay, strike that last one. If great food is a perquisite for a holiday then the Super Bowl more than passes.
No More “Hail To The Chief”
To add a holiday we need to subtract a holiday. The only holiday currently in February is President’s Day, observed annually on the third Monday of the month. I don’t want to forget about Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, but do we really need ta day to celebrate a job once held by the likes of Warren G. Harding, James Buchanan, and Jimmy Carter? I don’t think so. Of all the holidays, President’s Day is the most likely to go away regardless of its replacement.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
A major trend in live music nowadays is for a band to play an entire studio album live.
The Who is currently doing that with Quadrophenia. Rush did it with Moving Pictures. And Steely Dan did it, depending on the night, with The Royal Scam, Aja, and Gaucho.
It’s a way for an established act, one that has performed live for years, to do something different and treat their fans.
It’s obviously not something a relatively new band can do like .fun, The Neon Trees, or Foster the People but it works for artists with decades of world tours under their belts and several albums to their name.
In 2013, the progressive rock band Yes will do the same thing but they won’t be playing one album live they’ll be playing three.
The band is slated to perform The Yes Album (1971), Close to the Edge (1972), and Going For One (1977) in their entirety.
In case you’re not that familiar with Yes, what those albums mean is they’ll be playing classic hits like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “And You And I,” and “Wondrous Stories.”
Three albums sound like a lot of music but you have to remember that Yes is from a woebegone era called the 1970s. They do things a little differently than we do now.
There are only 15 songs on the three previously mentioned albums; Closer to the Edge has only three track.
However, seven of the 15 songs they’ll perform are longer than 8:54 and another is 7:56. The shortest track from the triad is The Yes Album’s “Clap.” It’s 3:17.
To put that in perspective, the longest song on The Beatles debut album, Please Please Me, is 2:57.
Songs not included on those three albums include “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”
Someone suggested they’ll play those cuts as an encore. While some hope they’ll skip “Owner of a Lonely Heart” altogether. The track is widely regarded as the song that nearly ruined the band.
Getting to hear Yes play three of their most popular studio albums all the way through does come with a price and we’re not talking about the price of Yes tickets. The tour will be without Jon Anderson. He’s being replaced by another Jon, Jon Davison.
Davison was discovered while performing in a Yes cover band. This has led some fans to quip that the current incarnation of Yes is also a cover band. Their situation is reminiscent of what’s currently going on with Journey.
Yes’ tour gets underway March 1 in West Wendover, Nevada and ends April 12 in Detroit. The band has a total of 25 dates on their itinerary.
San Francisco welcomes Yes to The Warfield on March 5. Kansas City says hello to Yes and their show at The Midland scheduled for March 18, and New York City hosts a Yes performance at the Beacon Theatre on April 9.
Look for a new Yes album, their first with Davison, sometime in 2013.