Yesterday, several sources reported that the wildly commercially successful American band/coven of pop-rock vampires Maroon 5 has been in talks to play the 50th Annual Pepsi Nike Verizon Subway Viagra™ Super Bowl Halftime Show. That's the loud music and dancing and flashy-lights part of the big game with the padded men and the odd-shaped leather ball, as my lady brain understands it!
This (not entirely confirmed) choice caught my attention for a few reasons: One, said Super Bowl will be in the Bay Area for the first time in 30 years. This means that Maroon 5, with The Voice coach/tattooed demon prince of douchebags Adam Levine at the helm, will be spending some time in our fair city. The band members will dine in our restaurants (ostensibly on food, not the blood of the young), and sleep in our hotels with their human supermodel wives.
Two, Maroon 5 makes me feel f**cking crazy.
There are a handful of exceedingly successful figures or groups in pop culture who fall into this category for me: Artists who have made an unfathomable amount of money (as of March, Levine was worth an estimated $50 million) based on creating a product that seems, as its defining feature, to be almost aggressively boring. Powerfully mediocre. Singularly middle-of-the-road.
This is not, mind you, pop music snobbery. On the contrary: I like a lot of pop music, and I find pop musicians fascinating. I will wax poetic about the virtues of Taylor Swift or Beyonce or Justin Timberlake or, hell, the Backstreet Boys until you walk away from me at a party. (That BSB documentary, btw, gave me more feelings than I was expecting it to. A discussion, perhaps, for another time.) But this isn't about the cheese factor, nor overproduction, nor cloying melodies, generic songwriting, mathematically-calculated-to-sound-triumphant key changes. In the right context, I can love 'em all.