10:00am | On Saturday, April 14, at 6:45 p.m., Joan Jett & the Blackhearts will take the Convention Center's outdoor stage at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. And that's a whole lotta awesome.
Look, don't blame Jett and co. for Faith Hill's awful NBC Sunday Night Football song; "I Hate Myself for Loving You" is good, hard pop/rock -- one of several times when the band nailed their particular combination of rough-and-ready garage-band rock 'n' roll with tuneful sensibility.
We all know "I Love Rock N' Roll." I'd never heard anything like it way back when, and it still sounds damn good (when's the last time you heard it through headphones?). "Bad Reputation" is a beautiful holdover from the days when punk was about attitude with melody and not welding speed, anger, and dissonance as tightly as possible. "Fake Friends" may suffer from poor production, but the song is the best of early '60s American-style rock with an early '80s sound.
Look, no one's comparing Jett's oeuvre to Pink Floyd's. But would you really want to hear Pink Floyd at the Grand Prix? I think not. But Joan Jett & the Blackhearts is just about perfect.
I don't care about car racing, but I never miss the Grand Prix because of the crowds. This year, though, I'll have another reason to be there.
(And I've got two words for the 2013 talent-bookers if you want to continue your winning streak: CHEAP TRICK.)