Here is the next installment in our series “Lessons From Late Night” where we attempt to school you in the way of good music, through live performances from late night television. This past week, “The Late Show with David Letterman” was really solid. It started off a little rocky with a Kelly Clarkson performing a track off of her new album, “Already Gone.” It may be a just another mediocre break-up ballad from an American Idol winner, but this girl can really sing. But don’t worry it gets better from here.
On Tuesday David had Wilco performing one of my favorites off of their new self-titled album with Feist joining Tweedy on vocals. It was a great performance, that finds the band sounding better than ever.
Wednesday marked one of the more historic performances in the past year. Paul McCartney returned to the Ed Sullivan Theater where he played atop “The Late Show” marquee, 45 years after his first appearance with the Beatles. I’m not quite sure why they didn’t just wait til the 50th anniversary to do this big shin dig, but it seemed to be a pretty exciting event either way. The streets were packed with screaming fans, and Paul and the band sounded great. Here is “Band on the Run.” Head over to Youtube and search for “Paul McCartney Letterman” if you want to see the rest of the songs he performed.
Paul McCartney – Band On The Run
On Thursday Dave had Grizzly Bear performing “Ready, Able” off of their newest record, Veckatimest, which is becoming one of my favorite albums of the year.
Grizzly Bear – Ready, Able
Friday wasn’t quite as strong as the middle of the week, but it was still a great performance by a band that I have really been getting into lately. I wasn’t a huge fan of this performance. This was definitely not the track I would’ve liked to hear them play. But their new album, Fantasies is really strong and I definitely recommend it.
So I love cover songs. It is one of the greatest joys to hear an artist take someone else’s song and make it his own. Now I know I have promised this before, but I really mean it when I say to you this time that I plan on bringing you a new great cover song every week. So to start it off, this week I bring you a new Iron and Wine cover in honor of their new album that came out last week. Here is a performance by Sam Beam and his sister of New Order’s classic song “Love Vigilantes” on Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon. Once again Beam has managed to pull off the impossible by taking someone else’s song and making it much better than the original.
When in search of a musical artist that is head and shoulders above all other counterparts, Ray LaMontagne does not disappoint. Armed with a guitar, beard, and a truck load of God given talent Ray has been on the gold paved road in a sea of solo artists whielding a wide array of styled love songs. His smooth, raspy voice accompanied by melodious guitar offers up a perfect combination, sure to spread love and happiness wherever played. Add the horn sounds of big band and you have, “You Are the Best Thing,” off of LaMontagne’s newest album “Gospel in the Grain.” This performance on The Late Show with David Letterman, illuminates all of the talent Ray LaMontagne has been blessed with. Be sure to enjoy and share this with those you love.
Hailing from Long Beach, CA, utilizing the sounds of british bands, and add a heavy dose of Freddie Mercury (Queen) inspired singing styles and you have the Cold War Kids. Performing “Relief,” off of their second and newest album, Loyalty to Loyalty, this grungy, dark song truly illustrates what separates them from all of the pop music being produced today. With heavy use of keyboard, drums and no guitar, it provides a great foundational beat, partnered with the very different vocal styles of lead singer Nathan Willett; you have their performance that showcases who the Cold War Kids are on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I have personally been impressed with all of the work the Cold War Kids have created, enjoy this great performance! I hope it causes more interest in listening to the great music the Cold War Kids have become known for.