Ellie Goulding had a particularly busy day yesterday, performing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the morning and then again on Conan late last night, and she seemed to enjoy every bit of it. Goulding’s excellent Haylcon has officially entered the Top 10 on the Billboard charts and her back-to-back performances felt like a celebration of it. Haylcon is dance-y and dazzling, like the scene Goulding and her boyfriend, Skrillex, run in; and it’s also a meant to be a breakup album, and so it’s often dark and dramatic (think: Florence + The Machine‘s Ceremonials). “Anything Could Happen” is an exception to this — “But you know, then I wrote ‘Anything Could Happen’ because suddenly my life changed again, and I met someone new,” she says — and it’s fun to see how she gets swept up and away again each time she performs it. Read more…
Like President Obama, who invited them to open for him at his Democratic National Convention, we dig North Carolina’s Delta Rae. We love that they are a family — Ian Hölljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Hölljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys) and Brittany Hölljes (vocals) being actual siblings, and Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (percussion) and Grant Emerson (bass guitar) being close enough — and the way the incorporate sounds from across all genres — folk, blues, rock — into their sound. Most of all we love watching them perform, feet stomping and sounds flying as all six come together as one great big band.
That’s exactly what they did last night on Conan, where they broke-in their new trash can while performing a drawn out and dramatic rendition of “Bottom of the River,” the new single off of their album Carry The Fire. Leaving most of their instruments aside for this one, they stomped out the song instead, singing a capella and adding the violent clanking of chains in the aforementioned trash can when necessary. “Bottom of the River” is dramatic as is, but performed like they did last night it is straight chilling. Check it out above, and keep an eye on these gals and guys — we’ll have plenty more to say when we celebrate them as our You Oughta Know artist in October!
Delta Rae “Bottom Of The River” 09/19/12 [TeamCoco]
Last night on Conan, Bob Marley‘s eldest son Ziggy Marley celebrated LA’s newly anointed Bob Marley Day and the DVD release of Marley with a lovely performance of his father’s classic hit “Jammin’.” Ziggy summoned his father’s spirit, jamming out on a red-yellow-and-red guitar and with a smooth backing band behind him. It’s like his father knew when he wrote the song in 1977 that we would still be enjoying it all these years later, and that his progeny would assure that this jam is going to last. Who needs a holograph when you’ve got a flesh and blood son that can keep your spirit alive for you? To think that jamming was a thing of the past…
Last night on Conan, Grouplove and an army of cardboard cutout lookalikes shook all the sleepy out of the late night with an all-out performance of “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” the bright and catchy new single off their rising 2011 album Never Trust a Happy Song. The vibrant pop-rock crew spun and jammed and yelped things like “I’m living loud and I’m living now” until almost all of their two-dimensional counterparts were all knocked down.
Grouplove got the Glee treatment last spring, and this summer they have lit up the festival circuit, making stops at Bonnaroo and Firefly, where they ran into their friends Young The Giant. And this fall, they hit the road for a nationwide tour. Last night marked their national television debut of the song, and like that cardboard army, they knocked it out. We can’t wait to see them do it again and again and again.
Things don’t end so well for Miriam, we know that now. So it’s with a certain anticipation that we watch when Norah Jones performs the lurking Little Broken Heart lullaby, and all the more so when she plays it live, like she did last night on Conan. Seated at her piano in a pretty blue dress, Jones kept her eyes trained to the audience while she pleaded, “Miriam, was it a game to you? Was it a game to him? Don’t tell me lies.” This is a perfect song for late night, when all is dark and quiet and it lulls you to sleep and then haunt your dreams with it’s eery beauty. Oh, Miriam, that’s such a pretty name…
And below, watch her web-only performance of “Out On the Road”
Jason Mraz teared up while talking about “I Won’t Give Up” during his VH1 Storytellers taping. The song speaks to the stagnant points in life and love. “I was really bummed out, and I hate sharing that, because I’ve had everything, I’ve had all my dreams come true,” he said. “And yet,” he continued, “One still experiences melancholy.” And so he set — or, he says it “was coming out whether I like it or not” — the feelings to song, and it has since become his mantra.
Though there were no tears last night on Conan, he performed still with all the same emotional charge. His long locks tucked underneath his trademark fedora, he played the Love Is A Four Letter Word single quietly at first, then building drum rolls and conviction to the song’s climax — “I had to learn what I got, and what I’m not and who I am” — before jamming it out until the end. We might make this our mantra, too.
Check out Mraz’s Conan performance above, and hear him talk about the song on VH1 Storytellers below.
Last night’s most inspirational late night moment came surely from Conan guests The Fray, who broke from their tour with Kelly Clarkson to perform “Run For Your Life,” the most recent single from their Scars and Stories. Conan’s cozy sound stage is not nearly so expansive as, say, the California desert, and so it was the jangling keys and Issac Slade’s rough-hewn insistence that “You don’t have to go it alone” needed to be motivation enough. And last night they were, Slade’s laced-up red Converse sneakers and anxious seat insuring that he would be close behind should you so chose to run.
Click through to see their web-only performance of “Be Still”…