Esperanza Spalding played live on The Late Show With David Letterman last night, and blew us away with her amazing fusion sound. Somewhere between jazz and pop, Spalding’s track “Radio Song” is a contradiction, frenetic in it’s influences and unpredictability but somehow still completely soothing and soulful. We half expected to see Mark Ronson playing guitar behind her, and we can already see the success of a future collaboration (hint hint). “Radio Song” is from Spalding’s new album Radio Music Society, and it’s the kind of track that’s going to be perfect for sunset cocktails and driving with the top down when the sun is shining.
Promoting their new album “The Big Roar”, The Joy Formidable played on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. A cross between M83 and Arcade Fire, with a haunting chillwave vocal, The Joy played “A Heavy Abacus”, which moved between a soaring hook and unassuming verses that built into an epic, stadium ready sound. That’s not to mention that the band themselves are pretty adorable, in that inoffensively quirky way that musicians in this newly defined genre of artists are. They Joy really are quite formidable!
The Ting Tings, Ke$ha‘s British counterparts, performed their new track “Hang It Up,” live on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. With their uber pop roots still apparent, the Ting Tings took on a rock edge, reminiscent of the noise pop popularised by Sleigh Bells, but not quite as aggressive or mosh-ready. Nevertheless, The Ting Tings bought high energy to the stage, with great vocals and the impressive playing of multiple interments by the drummer/guitarist who switched between the two seamlessly.
Irish band The Chieftains are celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band with the album Voice Of Ages. The iconic band stopped by The Late Show With David Letterman to play “School Days Over” with The Low Anthem. The song is folksy and pleasant, with a rural, almost medieval vibe. The perfect way to celebrate their anniversary, the performance was filled with soul and reverence, and if you close your eyes, will take you back to a rolling, misty, fantastical landscape filled with magic.
Promoting their forthcoming album, Strangeland, British rockers Keane stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to play their new single “Silenced By The Night”. The track has a vague country feel, and under the blue lights of Kimmel’s stage Keane’s romantic sound was given an otherworldly presence. The earnest sentiment of the lyrics and soaring melody of “Silenced By The Night” is a warm enveloping hug from the Keane machine, definitely a love ballad for the whimsical at heart.
With his forthcoming solo release, Blunderbuss, due on April 24th, Jack White performed the lead single from the album, “Love Interruption”, live on SNL this weekend. Singing with the divine Ruby Amanfu, who looked ethereal in a long white gown, the performance was impassioned and heated in the understated way that Jack White is master of. Intense bur refined, the performance reflected the honesty and rawness of the lyrics perfectly.
Want to see one rock legend cover the song of another rock legend? Well here you go: Elvis Costello covering Bruce Springsteen‘s “Fire” on Jimmy Fallon’s Springsteen Week (which kicked off on Monday with The Boss & E Street Band playing “We Take Care Of Our Own”). Try not to let your head explode, because that would suck for you and also, gross. But this really is a treat to behold — Costello’s husky vocals fit Springsteen’s lyrics perfectly, and with The Roots providing funky, summery beats, the song transcends either artist, and just becomes something of an icon in itself. Costello’s rendition might not have the raw, gritty sex appeal of Springsteen’s, but it has all the romance and desire, and we’d be happy to just sit here all day and alternate between the two, thank you very much.
At last night’s NME Awards, Kasabian won the Best British Band Award, and used their moment to pay tribute to the late Davy Jones of The Monkees. Front man Tom Meighan declared, “This award is for Davy Jones of the Monkees” before bursting into song. Singing an a capella version of The Monkees’ Theme, it wasn’t long before the rest of the band joined in, clapping along to the beat and inciting the audience to sing along. It was a touching moment, but also a joyful one, as the cheekiness and energy of the tribute bought the room together in a very appropriate ode to The Monkees.
Estelle gave an elegant performance of her track “Thank You” on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. Promoting her new album, All Of Me, which dropped yesterday, Estelle looked stunning with a simple slicked back hair-do and long white halterneck gown. With little aside from her stunning get-up in showmanship, Estelle’s performance was beautifully measured and displayed her strong vocal capabilities. As one of our favorite DIVAS, we love listening to Estelle’s flawless, captivating vocal every time she takes to the stage.
As if you weren’t excited enough about seeing Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band playing their new single, “We Take Care Of Our Own” live, add to that Jimmy Fallon’s giddy introduction to the performance on his show last night and you’ll be positively psyched. As usual, Bruce and the band bring high rock energy to the stage, and Bruce himself is simply charismatic. Maybe your heart is racing after watching the performance — we know ours are. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the import of a song until you hear it live, and the life the The Boss and Band breathe into the stage is nothing less than essential to their All-American rock music. Watch it, and feel yourself being taken to the good place.