The Scoreboard: The Super Bowl Selfie Kid Runs The World, Which Quincy Jones Hates

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The Scoreboard is Uproxx Music’s bi-monthly look at who is putting points on the board and who is taking major L’s in the music world over the past couple weeks.

The Super Bowl halftime show (aka the real biggest night in music, sorry not sorry, Grammys) has come and gone. Not only did Justin Timberlake not create another Janet Jackson situation, but it took a young, unexpected hero from New England to make his performance memorable at all. Meanwhile, The Spice Girls and Smashing Pumpkins ought to look up the meaning of “reunion,” Quincy Jones is shaking his fist at everything, and as any of you have surely noticed, the CD continues its death march to obscurity.

Win: The rise of Selfie Kid

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Timberlake’s actual Super Bowl halftime performance itself was fine. He favored old hits over newer material, and while we won’t be talking about this one for years to come, that’s probably a good thing in light of the fleshy infamy of his previous halftime show. What will live on in self-photographed history, though, is Ryan McKenna’s selfie with Timberlake. Never has a kid been praised as much for doing what they always do: Burying their face in their phone while the world does its thing around them, only to emerge to take a photo of themselves. That said, McKenna shot his shot during the biggest musical performance of the year, and for that, he joined every viral kid in the history of the internet and showed up on Ellen, which by the way is hosted by another historic figure in selfies.

Loss: The Spice Girls’ (kind of fake) reunion

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A band reunion is a beautiful event, because it should mean at least one of two things: They’re going to get back together and head out on the road for some nostalgia-satisfying shows, and/or they’ll even find a studio and record a new song, perhaps even a full album. Over the past week or so, Spice Girls fans were saddened to find out that while the iconic girl group knows what it takes if you wannabe their lover, they have no idea how reunions work. They’re getting back together, yes, but there will be no tour and no new music, just a greatest hits album and some commercials.

This is basically the equivalent of the cast of The Office meeting up to reminisce about the show, taking a group photo, posting it on Instagram, and using that picture alone to say that the show is back without doing anything else.

*Jim Halpert gives a blank stare at the camera to convey the absurdity of the situation*

Win: Drake the philanthropist

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Drake’s been going all Jesse Pinkman lately, driving through grimy neighborhoods at night and throwing stacks of Benjamins out his window like he’s Oprah with a paper route. The main difference is that Drake’s not tossing blood money around, but instead, donating tens of thousands of (presumably legitimately earned) dollars by paying for one girl’s college education, giving money to a high school, and buying groceries for folks. The cynic in me thinks that this is just a combination of excellent PR and the production of his “God’s Plan” video, but whether or not he’s virtue signaling, the fact is Drake’s throwing money around to people who could really use it like Toronto’s hip-hop Robin Hood, so I’m not going to try to spin that into a self-serving or bad thing.

Loss: The victims of Quincy Jones’ lack of filter

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When you’re on the verge of your 85th birthday and you’ve accomplished as much as Quincy Jones has, why the hell should you care what anybody thinks? He certainly doesn’t, and lately, he’s been talking up a storm, offering up takes so hot that they’re measured in Kelvin. Do you think iconic performers like Taylor Swift, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles are good? Well you’re wrong, says Jones. In fact, not only were The Beatles not the greatest band ever, but they were actually “the worst musicians in the world.” Not that I’m a huge Beatles fan myself, but Quincy’s alternate perspective has me questioning everything I love. Are nighttime summer campfires, dog videos on Instagram, and the feeling of accomplishment when I actually make my bed really good or not?

Win: David Bowie, a true starman

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As Justice League knows, David Bowie never truly belonged on our planet, and while I suspect his spirit will forever float among the stars in a most peculiar way, I can’t observably prove that. What is indisputable is that at this very moment, his music is serenading outer space, since Elon Musk sent a car up there playing Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

Actually, and sorry to be a downer, but even that’s not true. Sound needs a medium like air or water to travel through, and since there is not a ton of that in the vacuum of space, we wouldn’t be able to hear the song. “Wait,” you say, disappointed that I’m shattering your dreams, “but there is some sound in space.” That’s true, but not in a way that humans can hear. I’ve gotten off track, so to wrap up, a Bowie song is charmingly but fruitlessly soundtracking the interplanetary build-up of increasingly problematic space junk, and that’s neat.

Loss: Smashing Pumpkins gets messy

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You know that feeling when your whole family gets together for a nice big dinner and you only find out about it after because they accidentally sent that hilarious, sweet, memory-capturing photo to the “Family + Derrick” group chat instead of their private “Family No Derrick” one? Is that just me? Anyway, that’s what D’Arcy Wretzky is feeling when it comes to the Smashing Pumpkins reunion that’s in the works. She found out about it after it already began, and was apparently invited only to later be uninvited.

There’s a lot of back and forth and hurt feelings involved in this process, which may or may not be worth it for a band that hasn’t put out a meaningful album since the ’90s. Whatever the case, it turns out that putting a smashed pumpkin back together is really hard. Even without Wretzky, though, this is still more of a reunion than whatever the Spice Girls think they’re doing.

Win: Rock babies rock

Michelle Branch and The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney are currently living out a tale of love as old as time: Musician has successful solo career, musician takes long break, drummer convinces musician to record a new album, drummer works with musician on a new album, drummer and musician fall in love, drummer and musician get engaged, drummer and musician have a kid. Branch and Carney are currently in the middle of that last phase, as Branch just announced that she’s expecting. Tell you what: That kid is going to be a beast at busting out pop-rock hits and gritty neo-blues rock.

Loss: Stalkers

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Fandom is like salt: A little makes everything a little bit better, but layer on too much and you may as well throw it all away unless you want kidney stones. Lana Del Rey has earned herself a fan or two in her day, but one of them became dangerous and was allegedly planning a kidnapping attempt against the singer. Lana was understandably shaken up by the whole thing, and while most of you reading this probably aren’t stalkers (I hope), I think there’s a broader life lesson here. Singers, actors, athletes, and other celebrities also moonlight as people, which means they feel things, which means they should be treated with empathy and respect. As this extreme situation illustrates, coming on too strong puts people in an uncomfortable situation, so just relax, play it cool, and enjoy your life in a way that allows others to enjoy theirs.

Win: Neil Young and James Hetfield, thespians

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2018 may be the year that classic rock bids us adieu, but it’s possible that it’s leaving us because it’s heading for the silver screen. Metallica’s Hetfield is getting ready to arrest Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile, and Young is starring in a bizarre-sounding Western that features “The Man In the Black Hat [hiding] out between heists at an old stagecoach stop with Jail Time, the Particle Kid, and an odd band of outlaws.” I will fully accept this aging-rocker-turned-actor movement once we get Paul McCartney to play a mild-mannered wizard in some mystical young adult novel adaptation.

Loss: CDs getting scratched


In 2001, people bought 800 million CDs. In 2017, that number dipped down to 89 million. It’s not terribly unexpected, then, that by this summer, Best Buy will no longer keep the dying format in its stores. Target isn’t taking it quite that far, but they are hedging their bet. Vinyl records and cassettes seem to be sticking around to appeal to collectors, but in a world increasingly in love with streaming, the phasing out of physical media is inevitable; first it was the wax phonograph cylinder, then Hit Clips, and now, CDs.