It’s a tradition as old as the Johnny Carson show: Most nights, since 1966, bands big and small play on the national stage of late night television. Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen, but the performances are always worth watching. They’re captivating mostly because they offer the raw sound of a live band and the professional video and audio recording of a late night television show.
This week, April 1-5, that tradition continues with a couple of indie heavyweights returning after a few years off, as well as a few tried-and-true standbys. We’ve even included a few clips of last week’s standouts, just in case you missed ‘em.
Late Show With David Letterman
Monday, April 1 – The Band Perry
Wednesday, April 3 – The Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips are nothing if not entertaining, though their past late night performances haven’t had the panache of their usual live shows. Their new album, The Terror, is scheduled for an April 16 release, and this will be a good preview of what to expect of their headlining gigs at this summer’s festivals.
Thursday, April 4 – Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator solidified his place as an artist-to-watch on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and now, two years later, he’s bringing a song from his new album Wolf (out April 2) to the Late Show stage. Expect lots of jumping around and several seconds straight of bleeped out, network television-inappropriate swear words.
Friday, April 5 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are releasing Mosquito April 16, and it only makes sense they’d return to Letterman, who has a gnarly crush on YYY front woman Karen O. (See evidence at the end of this performance of “Down Boy” off their 2007 EP Is Is)
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Monday, April 1 – Demi Lovato
X Factor judge Demi Lovato is performing in anticipation for a massive media blitz in support of her fourth album, DEMI, out May 4.
Tuesday, April 2 – Cold War Kids
Wednesday, April 3 – Gary Allan
Thursday, April 4 – Seth Sentry
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Monday, April 1 – The Goo Goo Dolls
Tuesday, April 2 – Blake Shelton
Wednesday, April 3 – Gloriana
Friday, April 5 – Gin Wigmore
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Monday, April 1 – Janelle Monae
Tuesday, April 2 – Deerhunter
Deerhunter’s odd mix of shoegazy gauze and ’50s and ’60s pop chops make for always compelling listening, and the songs are only complemented by frontman Bradford Cox’s unmatched strange presence (and sometimes penchant for wearing dresses). Deerhunter’s new album, Monomania, is set for a May 7 release.
Wednesday, April 3 – Gordon Lightfoot
Thursday, April 4 – Ryan Bingham
Friday, April 5 – Cat Power
Tuesday, April 2 – von Grey
Wednesday, April 3 – Darius Rucker
Thursday, April 4 – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Here are a few of the best performances from last week, just for good measure.
Kendrick Lamar on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Divine Fits on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Langhorne Slim on Conan
-Shane Barnes, Radio.com