In 1985, the Chicago Bears recorded a rap track for laughs—and charity—called “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” Last week, an ensemble of musicians and comedians (and one internet cat) that included Lil Bub, Jim James, Scott Aukerman, David Wain, and John Roderick (who was recently appointed Seattle’s new Music Commissioner, more on that in a moment), debuted their cover of the song. Take a listen above; if you remember the original, the joint is pretty darn faithful. Only this time, everything’s just a little more weird…and white-man-rappier (but still for charity—this time, for Reading is Fundamental).
Pitchfork has the low down on how the track came together, but Roderick, speaking just now over the phone from San Francisco (he’s in town performing a live show of his normally Skyped podcast, Roderick on the Line, for San Francisco’s Comedy Festival Sketch Fest), was eager to talk about his new role as Music Commissioner.
“I was appointed by Mayor McGinn in the last hour of his administration,” says Roderick, who says he’ll serve a six year position on the commission board under Mayor Murray’s new oversight. (20 others, including Sub Pop’s Executive Vice President Megan Jasper and KEXP’s Executive Director Tom Mara, hold the same role.) The commission, which was created in 2010, pledges “to continue Seattle’s great musical tradition through concrete and impactful interactions with local government, communities and individuals.” For his part, Roderick says, “The two areas I’ll be focusing on are reintroducing music education in all Seattle schools. All Seattle kids should have access to K-12 music education. I’ll also be working to promote the general idea that having artists living in the city is a good thing for Seattle. We need to work to make Seattle remain a place where middle class artists can make a living for themselves.”
Along with his fellow board members, Roderick says the commission has the cache to make all that possible—and has a proven track record behind it.
“The live music initiative at Sea-Tac has won international awards. The music commission does not have a downside,” he says. “The people on the commission are incredibly engaged in the music community. Everyone is in a position of real authority, and they represent the part of the music scene that actually has the ability to get things done. It’s not a group thing just to fill up their calendar,” he says.
As for the slideshows and bullet point meetings he’ll have to endure, Roderick says he’s gone from being a person who “spent my whole life trying to avoid being in a meeting where there’s a power point presentation, where there’s a group of people working within the perimeters of normal business life” to one who will “watch a thousand of them.”
But will he make one himself?
“Oh fuck no. Maybe I’ll have an assistant to help me with that.”
With the ‘Hawks in football’s biggest game this weekend, one thing Roderick will do is make us laugh. According to the track listing, that’s him after Colt Cabana, right before Lil Bub, at 3:48. The man can rap!