The Star Mangled Banner

If you haven’t seen the latest flub of our National Anthem, here you go:

The beautiful Christina Aguilera couldn’t remember some of the words. Who cares? I have total respect for her. She belted out probably one of the hardest songs to sing, LIVE at the Super Bowl, and made the general public pretend to care about the song. While we should sing patriotic songs of our country, would anyone say anything if we didn’t? Seriously, if the game just started as soon as the awards were presented, would Americans all over the country write the NFL commission for skipping the anthem? How many people know the words without the music behind you? I would argue, not a lot.

The point I am trying to make is Ms. Aguilera proved that if she sang the song correctly, we still would not put our hands over our heart, not take off our caps, and cheer when the song is almost over in hopes of rushing it along. Without her reminding us “the plane was still there,” people would have not talked about her performance at all. Is there any mention of Leah Michelle singing “America the Beautiful” on any blog? (Only this one.) She did great, and because of her stellar performance, we will leave her alone to the point we forget she was part of “the big game.” Frankly, “The Star Spangled Banner” has been flubbed so many times. Just a simple search of YouTube yeilds thousands’s of results. We pretend to care, when in actuality we only care that the story about a flag not being destroyed in a battle is not told correctly. The same way a small child corrects you when Humpty Dumpty forgot to have a big fall.

Hear more and voice your thoughts on Real Talk, Wednesday at 7PM only on WCRX, streaming worldwide at


Babylon, Wisconsin

Take a trip every Tuesday morning to small town Wisconsin where a freak lightning storm makes four seniors into something special.  Written, directed and produced by students at Columbia College Chicago, this 15-part audio drama airs Tuesdays at 10:30AM with Monte in the Morning.

Pretty Lights and Lazers Pt 2: How to Pregame NYE

Pretty Lights

Matthew Malone – back at WCRX Studios.  Six days after New Year’s Eve and I’ve finally gotten back to normal.  New Year’s Eve gets pretty hardcore when you have a show like the sold out Pretty Lights ft. Major Lazer @ Congress Theater to pregame with on December 30th.  I haven’t heard any reports from Pretty Light’s New Year’s show with Holy F***, but I have to imagine it was even crazier than what I got to see.

I don’t know what kind of karma we had in Chicago to get that 55* weather over the New Year weekend, but let’s keep up whatever happened.  It made for a beautiful night to take in a show.



I missed the opening Dj for the night – showing up about 10 minutes before Major Lazer took the stage, but from the crowd buzz, I’m pretty sure he did a good job of keeping things warm inside.

But as soon as Diplo and Skeerit Bwoy jumped on stage and got things going, things got even hotter.  I can tell you that standing next to the speakers is not advisable – consider it a near deaf experience, but the noise would actually make your body shake.

With shows like this, I’d say the atmosphere is 30% music and %70 crowd – and the crowd was there in force.  It wouldn’t matter what crazy stuff Major Lazer threw on, as long as it had a beat, bass and didn’t kill the mood.  The giant pit of Congress didn’t stop pulsing through the entire set – even (or especially?) when Diplo dropped Ace of Base.

A huge bonus to this set over their Pitchfork set was the light show – being indoors and night, we got to experience a taste of what would come later with Pretty Lights.  The chinese dragons may have been dropped from the show, but they kept the ballerinas, added some champagne and had a lot of fun.

If you’ve happened to see Pretty Lights anywhere on their tour, you’re aware aware of the visual show they travel with, including legit lazers.  Within minutes of their arrival, it was just a writhing mass of bodies on the floor and up to the balconies.

Pretty Lights could have been playing Lionel Ritchie for all anybody cared, but instead chose what makes sense – spanning across his albums, they were absolutely seamless throughout the night.  It’s like seeing an orchestrated stage place, just… with music.

I honestly lost track of time, which tends to happen in these situations.  It’s not like a rock show where you know when a song ends and begins.  It’s more of the experience that may be 15 minutes, may be 3 hours.  All of it without dropping pace.   The crowd is an nondiscriminatory sea of cohesion.  You lose space as individuals and just turn into a mass moved by the music.

I don’t know when Pretty Lights of Major Lazer and dropping through Chicago again, but all you need to know is:  If you like amazing dance music that transcends time and space, catch them anytime you can.  You’ll never be disappointed.

To start off the New Year – Pretty Lights just released two new singles from artists on his own new label, Pretty Lights Music.

Paper Diamond “From Now Till” from their debut EP, “Levitate”

Break Science “Zion Station” from their new EP, “Further Than Our Eyes Can See”

Both EPs will be available free on January 25th via Pretty Lights Music