Our favorites Grace Potter and the Nocturnals burned the midnight oil on the late night circuit last night, making promises to “Never Go Back” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Potter has called this cut off their new record The Lion The Beast The Beat“one of those great rock and roll moments”, and on a stage set like a dark basement rock club — complete with red lights and But Light banners — that rock and roll cool rings extra loud. Riveting with her blonde hair whipping along with the come-hither guitar riffs, Potter did double duty on her Flying V guitar and vocals while the Nocturnals behind her kept energy high enough to keep us up all night.
And if that left you yearning for more, you are in luck! Hop on over to Jimmy Kimmel’s website to see their bonus performance of “Turntable.”
We love Beavis & Butthead creator Mike Judge’s animated video for “The Wind,” but it should be known that the Zac Brown Band jam hard with or without the fancy robo-treatment. Last night the Atlanta band dropped by The Late Show With David Letterman in flesh and blood to play the single off of their just released Uncaged. They dressed loosely but the performance was tight and polished, the bright fiddle being a particular highlight. And it left no doubt that, beer guzzling and duck hunting or just hanging out on late night, these guys have got what it takes to bring a place down.
Breaking from his “R You on the List” tour with Flo Rida and Cee Lo Green, last night B.o.B. stopped in on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to show off his “Ray Bands.” The Atlanta rapper delivered his fun groupie kiss-off decked in Adidas sneakers and a gold grill and, notably, no Ray Bans. A group of ladies shook their hips behind him, and green lasers swirled overhead. Why? Because — Forbes lists, bottles popped and name brand shades – Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. is fancy like that.
Rising R&B star Frank Ocean made his network TV debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night, creating a tsunami of trending topics along the way. A few hours before Fallon aired at 12:30 a.m., Pitchfork reported that Ocean’s highly anticipated Channel ORANGE LP would be hitting the iTunes Store at midnight, a full week before the album’s official July 17th street date; it promptly went straight to #1 on the charts, where it still sits at this time. Proving that he “gets it,” Ocean has also made his major label debut available to stream in its entirety on his Tumblr; as a result, the Internet is sure to be dominated by conversation about Frank Ocean again today, much like it has been for the last week and some change.
Ocean performed “Bad Religion,” a track off Channel ORANGE, aided by a string section and the legendary Roots crew. If you interpret the lyrics in a literal fashion, it can be read as a harsh critique of Islam (“If it brings me to my knees, it’s a bad religion”). However, peel back a layer or two and the song takes on an entirely different meaning, one in which Ocean struggles to deal with a love that’s both unreciprocated and, in the eyes of most of the world, unconventional. “This unrequited love/To me is nothing but a one man cult/Cyanide in my styrofoam cup/I could never make him love me,” he plaintively confesses, shedding some additional light on last week’s controversy regarding Ocean’s sexuality. It’s a bold statement from a very promising artist, and we look forward to spending a lot more time with the album over the coming days and weeks.
Maroon 5 have been burning up the midnight circuit in support of their new album Overexposed, dropping in on Letterman earlier this week and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night. Frontman Adam Levine first sat down with Fallon to talk about his burgeoning acting career and “his homie” Christina Aguilera, and then the band played their smash single “Payphone.” As always, Levine — planted at center-stage in just a white tee-shirt, the band rocking hard behind him — made his job look easy, like the Song of the Summer contender works for him. Current chart-toppers Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen should be feeling the heat after showings like this. Next week, things at the top might be looking a little different!
Last night on late night, Justin Bieber graced The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with an especially “swaggy” performance of Believe‘s first single, “Boyfriend.” Deep in album promo-mode, Bieber is getting good at this. Joined by both backup singers and dancers, Bieber seemed extra confident and you can hear the audience screaming throughout the entire thing.
The real show, though, came post-show, when the heart-throb stopped to greet the sea of fans waiting outside the studio. He waved and smiled from inside his van, and then — much to their delight — he treated them to an impromptu acoustic performance of “Boyfriend.” Bieber’s love for the Beliebers was mutual, as everyone (save the man with the guitar) sang each and every word. Aww! Read more…
Katy Perry joined Jimmy Kimmel last night from Hollywood Boulevard, where she working double-duty, premiering her new movie Katy Perry: Part of Me and performing her “Wide Awake” and “Part of Me.” Dressed for the occasion in a film reel bustier and concession stand print hot pants, had the famous street shut down and a “California Girls“-era, cotton candy decked stage set. This was her night, and she sounded great. First, she took center stage for “Wide Awake,” a more serious song about her journey that she wrote for the movie. A troupe dancers dressed like candy canes joined her for “Part of Me,” the evening’s energetic closer. The whole thing was no small deal, but neither is Katy. She’s earned it. Read more…
Southern soul rockers Alabama Shakes stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to play the slow burning “Be Mine” off of their debut LP Boys & Girls. Ahead of their performance, Fallon warned that, “If you don’t know these guys yet, you’re gonna fall in love.” And, oh boy, he was right. You might need to hold on for this one.
At first, the song oozes out of the awesome Brittany Howard, the guitar riff following leisurely behind. “I’ll tell you why I took a shine to you,” she intones. But then, at about three minutes something catches, sparking the powerhouse within Howard. The band starts banging, and wailing “be my baby” again and again, she takes us home. Phewf! Jimmy was right.
Onward with his release week blitz, Justin Bieber stopped by David Letterman last night to show off his new “Believe” tattoo and to perform “Boyfriend.” Bieber and Letterman have good rapport. Letterman showed concern for Biebs’ burgeoning man. “Honestly,” he asks Bieber while trying to rub off the ”How does that help the way you look?” To which Bieber mumbled antogonistically, ”grandpa…”
As for his performans, Justin still seems to be lip-synching the hook and chorus. Has his vocal range changed too much to hit those notes? He is enthusastic with his whisper-rapping and slick dancing. Backed by a full band and a troupe of dancers, this was definitely more amped-up and swagged-out than performances past. Which was good because, unlike most of his appearances this pastweek, there wasn’t an audience of teary girls to bring the energy.
Michael Kiwanuka swung by the Late Show with David Letterman last night to share with the late night audience the indelible talent that we were so lucky to have experienced live last week. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a soft-playing backing band, the British singer performed the doleful “I’m Getting Ready.” With a voice soft and soulful beyond its 24-years, watching this made us wish that Kiwanuka would sing us to sleep everynight.
And we suspect we are not alone in that longing. For one, John Mayer – surely a man in the singing song/writing business worth wooing – was impressed. Or, rather, he was “dumbfounded.” “What a voice. What a song. What a vibe. What a soul. What a message,” he wrote breathlessly (or as breathlessly as one can write) on his Tumblr, thusly deeming Kiwanuka “a revelation.” Who are we to disagree?