|While you're rooting for the Patriots during this Sunday's Super Bowl
spectacular, don't forget to say a prayer for the opening band, since Keith
Lockhart and the Boston Pops are gonna need all the help they can get. The
maestro and his crack squad are in the unenviable position of serving as
back-up to Mariah Carey during her first public appearance since pulling
one of the biggest rock-and-roll swindles on EMI since the Sex Pistols stuck it
to the same label back in the '70s. Last week Carey pocketed $28 million just
for getting lost, after her latest album and film both tanked in the wake of a
highly public "breakdown." On Sunday, she'll sing the national anthem with help
from the Pops; the game will be broadcast in Rhode Island on WNAC, Channel 64.
Among the other high-octane performers lined up for the Super Bowl is Mary
J. Blige, who has taken the unorthodox step of releasing a superb single,
"Rainy Dayz," that wasn't on her outstanding recent No More Drama (MCA).
A newly pressed version of the album featuring "Rainy Dayz" is due in stores
this week; meanwhile, Blige has asked that her track on Nas's new Stillmatic
(Columbia) be removed from future pressings. She shows up for a
sold-out gig at the Orpheum (617-931-2000) on Wednesday.