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 3-9, late night celebrates the many shades of rock, with performances from the all-girl post punk band Savages, the percussion-driven indie rockers Local Natives and the truest rock band of today, Queens of the Stone Age, who will make two appearances on Letterman.
Late Show With David Letterman
Monday, June 3 – Frank Turner
Frank Turner is a British singer-songwriter (and recent Radio.com New Music To Know pick) who started as the lead singer of the anarchist-leaning punk band Million Dead. Since the dissolving of that band, though, Turner has continued to make a mark with finely crafted political and personal songs. He’s little-known in the U.S., but definitely demands attention.
Tuesday, June 4 – Local Natives
The Local Natives’ latest album, Hummingbird, has also flown under the radar for the last six months, but hopefully their live performance will help people realize what they’ve been missing.
Wednesday, June 5 – Queens of the Stone Age
Thursday, June 6 – Queens of the Stone Age
With his band’s new album …Like Clockwork, Josh Homme’s eerie rock ‘n’ roll has been elevated to near masterpiece status and manages to deliver drugged-out lyrics and slimy guitars in pretty little pop packages. Tune in to see one of the best capitol-R Rock bands of the past decade turn it out. Go here to watch QOTSA’s Live on Letterman performance this Wednesday night.
British post-punkers Savages dropped one of the year’s best albums with Silence Yourself, but have received little stateside fanfare outside of niche circles. They make their U.S. television debut here, and, if former Fallon performances by once-small artists are any indication, there’s a good chance this female quartet will be all over the place soon.
– Shane Barnes