Who’s That Girl At The Super Bowl:

Madonna will return to her midwestern roots February 5th, 2012 as the Super Bowl XLVI Half Time headliner at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium. Keeping in recent line with the Super Bowl conglomerate’s push to showcase an artist rather than a theme—recall the Up WIth People era of the 80s—the Material Girl has partnered with “Cirque du Soleil, Jamie King, and multimedia artists from Moment Factory, to create a signature performance” according to a recent press release. Hopefully it will be signature enough to erase Janet Jackson from our collective sports memory conscious.

European Vacation:

As the value of the Euro continues get threatened, the Wall Street Journal is reporting on an entertaining sector of American bands and their managers’ plans to take “European Vacations” over the course of 2012-13 tour schedules, literally skirting European venues in order to stretch the value of their tour dollars. While it’s a sobering reality for arena rock stalwarts such as Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play it smart around 75% of their profit margins, it’ll be a sad era excess. Consider these words from Metallica’s manager Cliff Burnstein: “We’re a U.S. export the same way Coca-Cola is. We look for the best markets to go to.” What the hell is rock and roll about that?

RIP Hubert Sumlin:

The world of blues has also taken it on the chin a couple times this year, beginning with the loss of the last legendary survivor of the original Delta-era form of the genre, David “Honeyboy” Edwards in August, and now with Howlin’ Wolf’s most infamous sideman, Hubert Sumlin. Passing away on Sunday (4th) night due to heart failure, Sumlin was considered one of the key fixtures of the modern blues sound of the 50s—the exasperating tumbling note guitarist companion to Howlin’ Wolf’s sweaty soul yelps, and another immediate influence for a series of rock icons that followed in his footsteps, from Jimi Hendrix to Keith Richards. For further essential remembrance, dig on Dave Hoekstra’s piece in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Beginnings of The Ends of 2011:

The annual best-of list bell has begun to chime throughout the blogosphere. While you eagerly await for the SongLyrics edition to melt your mind, prime yourself with some tasteful album choices from Stereogum, NPR and Paste, for starters. Special prize for anyone who can call our top-five before we post. Comment away.

Lyicapsule:

On this day in 1933 the American Government decided with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that we could call upon ourselves to be socially responsible drinkers again. Thus we can’t help salute one of our fondest odes to liquid courage that Rudy Toombs and Amos Milburn put together back in 1953, “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer.”  As opposed to the gritty John Lee Hooker version in 1966 and the subsequent chicken-wire barrelhouse George Thorogood cut in 1977, Milburn’s was classy. “Please Mr. Bartender listen here/I aint here for trouble so have no fear,’ sounds better in suit. Always keep it classy, folks.