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The Super Bowl – Featuring the Ravens, the 49ers and Beyoncé – is Tomorrow

The Super Bowl has a long history of presenting performers who are considered past their prime. The focus is on high profile, not relevance.

Sometimes, though, acts at the top of their game have high enough profiles for the big stage. It doesn’t hurt that the stable of aging super bands that haven’t performed at the game is running thin.

That all makes Beyoncé a natural for this year. It doesn’t hurt that she is fresh off the controversy of having lip-synced The National Anthem at President Obama’s inauguration. Perhaps she should have sung it or made it clear she wasn’t. But, in the bigger picture, it seems we have a habit of being super critical of our stars — and then wondering what happened when they go off the rails.

Beyoncé sings Irreplaceable above at Glastonbury Festival 2011.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.