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, June 24– 29: Miley Cyrus brings the prospective song of the summer to Kimmel; Mavis Staples re-establishes her R&B dominance; and Ryan Bingham reps good, sturdy Americana.

Late Show With David Letterman
Monday, June 24 – Dale Watson
Tuesday, June 25 – Fitz and the Tantrums
Wednesday, June 26 – Wale
Thursday, June 27 – Dawes
Friday, June 28 – Snoop Lion (repeat)

Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Monday, June 24 – Iron and Wine
Tuesday, June 25 – Miley Cyrus

With its “lada dida dee” lyrics and its call for endless partying, Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” is making serious bids at being Song of the Summer, especially with its video endorsing – uh – everything. Tune in to see a trademark energetic performance — and how well her video moves translate to real life.

Wednesday, June 26 – Pharrell
Thursday, June 27 – The Neighbourhood
Friday, June 28 – Muse

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Monday, June 24 – Barenaked Ladies
Tuesday, June 25 – Il Volo
Wednesday, June 26 – John Fogerty
Thursday, June 27 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Friday, June 28 – India.Arie

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Monday, June 24 – Savages
Tuesday, June 25 – Portugal. The Man
Wednesday, June 26 – Broken Social Scene
Friday, June 28 – They Might Be Giants

Last Call with Carson Daly
Monday, June 24 – Grape St.
Tuesday, June 25 – Curtis Peoples
Wednesday, June 26 – Foals
Thursday, June 27 – Damien Jurado
Friday, June 28 – Metric

Tuesday, June 25 – Mavis Staples

R&B legend Mavis Staples recently released One True Vine, her second album produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and it’s a testament to this woman’s talent than it’s more than a vanity project. The songs on the album are powerhouse examples of what R&B can be in the right hands. (And, if you need any more convincing that this is one worth catching, check out Mavis performing “I’ll Take You There” on Jools Holland.)


Wednesday, June 26 – Ryan Bingham

Folksy songwriter Ryan Bingham’s music is just the right kind of country: gruff, weary tales in raspy tones set on top of seasoned steel guitar and pounding drums. Bingham is currently touring with Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket so it’s safe to say that this (relative) newcomer has got something worth seeing.

Thursday, June 27 – Eve

-Shane Barnes,


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