Top Ten Dream Late Night Show Bands


fred armisen

With the inspired choice of Fred Armisen as the late night band leader for Seth Meyers’ late night show and the release of the latest from Late Night masters The Roots, we decided to put together a dream list of artists who would rival Armisen and The Roots to dominate late night bumper music, sketch assistance, and other late night bandy things.  We factored in humor, charisma of frontman, musical range, suitability of the artists sound live, and other overall whathaveyou in the making of this list.  Enjoy, and please suggest your nominations.

10.  Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience Songs

Let’s face it, if there wasn’t some restraint needed for being the house band of a late night show, JT may have taken the number one spot.  Timberlake is a born entertainer, and may be more suited to host a late night show or variety show, rather than be the supporting act.

9.  Janelle Monae

janelle monae

Janelle Monae is kind of a do-it-all show woman.  She’s got style and an ample amount of quirkiness, but also the R&B chops to be Arsenio Hall’s soul sidekick any day of the week.

8.  Phish

Phish Bonnaroo 2012

Phish can write songs both delicate and weird as hell.  They also have obscene range and a large catalog of material they have covered, making them a great choice for any late night host into parodies.

7.  Robert Randolph & the Family Band

robert randolph

This is more of a conventional choice for late night band, but nonetheless very tempting.  Randolph can straight shred on his steel guitar, but his more laid back jams would make for great intros and outros.  Maybe a Craig Kilborn pairing for Randolph since they could endlessly banter on the NBA.

6.  Adrian Young & the Delfonics

Adrian Younge, ghostface killah, saxophone
^Adrian Younge

Adrian Younge is a showman as Todd and I evidenced when he opened for Ghostface and then played for the entirety of Ghostface’s set.  There is a debonair style to Adrian not seen on late night anymore.  Johnny Carson would have loved to have Adrian on his right.

5.  My Morning Jacket

Jim James, live, Bonnaroo, 2013

MMJ would be really cool for a looser free-wheeling late night show.  Just allow Jim James to do his thing and I’m sure everything would work itself out.  I’d nominate Craig Ferguson’s wacky schtick as the ideal pairing here, even though I expect to catch some flack.

4.  Cake


Cake is a true one-of-a-kind American band.  A band that makes compelling music that is often painfully funny at the same time.  I would think Cake would be an ideal fit to cover up some of the awkwardness of a late night host that is new to hosting.

3.  Jack White

jack white new song, high ball stepper

Jack White is a masterful musician, but also a solid spooky sidekick as evidenced by his week on The Colbert Report a couple years ago.  He could also bring on his many different bands to help him out, depending on who needed the work at the time (I’m looking at you Meg White).  Colbert is the obvious pairing.

2.  Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

If Pee Wee’s Playhouse is ever reincarnated as a late night talk show, I’d like The Flaming Lips to be the featured band.   Absurdity is the name of the game with both, and Wayne Coyne and co. could certainly handle all the angles.

1.  Flight of the Conchords

flight of the conchords

Flight of the Conchords would be perfect because their humor is so understated.  Sure, their songs are ridiculous, but when called upon to banter with the host, there may be nothing better.  Conan would be my ideal fit here.

Just Missed

Todd – Hot Chip

hot chip

I don’t think this works because of the nature of Hot Chip’s music, but if it did work it could be transcendent.

Wes – Wilco

wilco, bonnaroo, 2013, live

Wilco is the perfect fit for any daytime talk show, but I think a Dr. Phil pairing would be ideal.  I would say Maury Povich, but Wilco just wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Austin – Dwight Yoakam

dwight yoakam, country, cowboy

I like the idea of a weird country twangster awkwardly making small talk with David Letterman on a regular basis, so Dwight Yoakam is my pick.

Top Ten Thursday: Dynamic Duos

PB & J

The week of Valentine’s Day, we did a breakup songs list and nothing else relating to love. This week, we have given off a couples barrage with reviews of Sleigh Bells and Tennis, two duos, and now this list. While most bands are five, the Beatles were the Fab Four, and three is a magic number, two can no doubt still kill it in rock & roll. Here is our top ten musical duos.

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Top Ten Thursday: Break-up Songs So Good You Might Want To Break-up Just to Get the Full Effect

candy heart, funny, humorous

For some reason we decided to list the top ten break-up songs the same week as Valentine’s Day.  This is awfully cynical, but most relationships do end up in a break up, so deal with it.  The discussion on which songs should make the list was uncharacteristically emotional for a LxL meeting, and ended with Wes quite sore over several subjects and Todd reduced to a puddle of salty-teared emotion.  The end list did end up quite interesting though, with several classics, and a fair bit of 90’s girl pop.  Let’s see if I can give all these songs justice without crying into my ice cream. 

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Keep it tight; Keep it fresh

After a whirlwind 3 weeks with a wedding every weekend, I am more than ready to put an end to my tour de Midwest, and just sleep.  But, in the 40+ hours I have been traveling I have had a lot of time to listen to music, and pretty much did not taken advantage of this opportunity at all.  M83, which Wes will be reviewing in the next couple of weeks here, provided the bulk of my musical listenings.  Instead of music, I took the alternate path of the stand-up comedy album to consume my time.  I basically just searched “best stand-up comedy albums” and downloaded various recommendations from blogs just like this one, or sites like avclub.  I didn’t think I would enjoy listening to these near as much as I did, and came away with a few thoughts, favorites, and recommendations of my own.
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