Celebrity cameos! Slightly-better-than-usual commercials! Football! The Super Bowl Sunday telecast is so larded with spectacle that the game itself is almost ancillary, but to help manage your TV watching, we've assembled a list of the day's music. Schedule your bathroom breaks and kitchen trips accordingly.
1. Beyoncé's Halftime Show
After all the tut-tutting about her lip-syncing at Obama's inauguration, you can expect Beyoncé to go HAM with her vocals at the halftime show. (Dollars to donuts she does some a cappella riffing, like she did at the Super Bowl press conference, to prove that she's singing "live.") Her hubby, Jay-Z, will also be in New Orleans, hosting a pre-Super Bowl party on Saturday night for D'ussé cognac. Will he make a gameday appearance?
2. Alica Keys Singing the National Anthem
This marks Keys' third Super Bowl gig. She also sang "America the Beautiful" before the 2005 game and performed as part of the pregame show in 2008. She's got the skills to deliver an iconic performance, but we're more interested in how long she can go. A popular prop bet every year is the length of the national anthem. The over-under has been set at 2:15. (Kelly Clarkson clocked 1:34 last year, just FYI.)
3. PSY Goes Nuts
The Super Bowl is one of our few truly shared cultural experiences. "Gangnam Style" was another. So it makes sense to have PSY around on Sunday. Less intuitive: The K-pop sensation will appear in a commercial shilling for... pistachios? Yep, Californian nut producer Paramount Farms is hoping PSY will help, um, crack the reported $38 million South Korean nut market.
4. Flaming Lips' Hop In With Hyundai
On first impression, the Flaming Lips' upcoming new album, The Terror, registered as a dark, challenging listen. You wouldn't know any of that from "Sun Blows Up Today," the cheery song that Wayne Coyne and Co. wrote for the Hyundai Sante Fe spot in which they'll appear on Sunday.
5. Pre-Gaming With Matchbox Twenty and OneRepublic
If all you did was eat suicide wings all day, your belly would be begging for mercy well before kick-off. Point being: You need to pace yourself. It can't be all tongue-torching spiciness and Beyoncé. So consider Matchbox Twenty and OneRepublic, both of whom will perform during CBS' Super Bowl Today telecast, the blue cheese cooldown.
6. Train Talk
Which makes Train the celery sticks or something. The veteran fodder-rockers are the "house band" on CBS daytime's The Talk during the run-up up to the Super Bowl.
7. Jennifer Hudson and Sandy Hook Chorus Making You Teary
The powerhouse American Idol vet will be teaming up with 26 kids from the Newtown, Connecticut school that endured unimaginable tragedy for a renditon of "America the Beautiful" right before Keys' national anthem. Beware: you may sniffle into your Bud Light.
8. Wynton Marsalis Comes Home
Because what would a national event in New Orleans be without a tribute to jazz? (I dunno. Interesting maybe? Unpredictable?) At noon EST on Sunday (also on CBS), native son Wynton Marsalis will host New Orleans: Let the Good Times Roll, a guide to the music of the Crescent City. Don't hold your breath for a Lil Wayne shout-out.
9. Skee-Lo Gets One Step Closer to Being a Baller
Rapper Skee-Lo never got to play for the NBA like the chorus of his 1995 hit "I Wish" had hoped, but getting a commercial on sports' biggest night is not a bad consolation prize. In a new Toyota ad, actress Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules grants wishes to the tune of the iconic dreamer's anthem. You can watch the teaser ad here, in which Toyota stealithy edits out the line about a '64 Impala. We're guessing the finished product won't have the line about speeding on the highway either.