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, May 13-19, rap legends will meet when De La Soul perform alongside the Roots on Fallon; Kanye West will make known his new, possibly screamy material; and Kurt Vile will bring stoner rock to the masses.
Saturday Night Live
Saturday, May 18 – Kanye West
Kanye West has been making headlines since he released his first album way back in 2004, but the recent surge in media coverage has been impressive — even for a man tied to a woman who makes a living off of being photographed in public. Luckily for West, though, his music always justifies the hype, and with talk suggesting his new material has a lot of screaming (which is likely, given his recent straight jacket-bound antics, his SNL performance should be quite a spectacle.
Kurt Vile has chiseled out a place for himself among other grunge-leaning rock-n-rollers by juxtaposing better-than-expected songwriting over dirty guitars and messy production. His latest album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, sees Vile continuing his trend of messy-pretty rock, and he brings it to life perfectly in live settings.
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Monday, May 13 – Pistol Annies
With their recently released second album, Hell on Heels, Miranda Lambert’s all-girl trio Pistol Annies intensified their take-no-prisoners point of view. In a pop landscape saturated with boy-crushing icons, Pistol Annies make a country case for strong-willed, independent ladies, and they’ve got the chops to back it up.
Tuesday, May 14 – Drop City Yacht Club
Wednesday, May 15 – Pyyramids
Thursday, May 16 – Family of the Year
Friday, May 17 – American Idol winner (who will it be?!)
Long Island’s De La Soul has been paving the way for hip-hop ingenuity since 1987, and they continue to do so with the forthcoming release of “You’re Welcome,” the group’s eighth studio album. The possibility of a collaboration with Fallon house band the Roots is what really makes this a performance to see live, though.
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Monday, May 13 – Goo Goo Dolls (repeat)
Tuesday, May 14 – Fitz & The Tantrums (repeat)
Wednesday, May 15 – Huey Lewis and the News
Thursday, May 16 – Dawes
Friday, May 17 – Bad Rabbits
Monday, May 13 – Family of the Year
Tuesday, May 14 – The Slide Brothers
Wednesday, May 15 – Beware of Darkness
Last Call with Carson Daly
Monday, May 13 – White Lung
Tuesday, May 14 – Kitten
Wednesday, May 15 – A Silent Film
Thursday, May 16 – Pierce the Veil
Friday, May 17 – Big Black Delta
-Shane Barnes, Radio.com