Top Ten Dream Late Night Show Bands

LxL_TopTenThursdays_900x300

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

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.

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Weak List Wednesday: Top 5 Most Disappointing Albums of 2013

 

anticipation

The above picture is a perfect microcosm of how we felt about the albums on our short list today.  We were all excited to some extent or another about each of the disappointing albums found below.  In fact, three of the albums below were on our list at the beginning of the year for the Top Ten Most Anticipated Albums of 2013.  If you look at that list you will see we definitely have some fine-tuning to do in our decision-making of where to place expectations.  I think it may be time to temper expectations so that they are actually exceeded once or twice in 2014.  Enjoy the short list and let us know which albums you found to be the most disappointing in 2013.

5. The Weeknd – Kiss Land

kiss land

After a really solid stretch, The Weeknd went on to release this absolute snoozefest in 2013.  With the only collaboration on the album being with Drake, it stands to reason The Weeknd should have gone a little farther outside his comfort zone on Kiss Land.  
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Inside Llewyn Davis Soundtrack Review

Inside Llewyn Davis

Various Artists

inside llewyn davis

It is kind of hard to review a soundtrack without seeing the movie.  The context may be very important for a soundtrack.  Certain songs may be felt more deeply when accompanied by the attached story.  So, with that caveat in place, I am going to go ahead and review the original soundtrack for Inside Llewyn Davis.  I kind of figured it wouldn’t hurt, since a lot of people may want to pick up the whole album on the strength of the Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford rendition of the traditional “Fare Thee Well”.  In addition, many people just don’t see many movies, particularly Oscar-bate like Inside Llewyn Davis, so a review may be the only exposure they get.

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Justin Timberlake Review: The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2

Justin Timberlake

The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2

Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 album cover art

Back in March, LxL mostly gushed over Justin Timberlake’s long-awaited musical return, The 20/20 Experience, the surprisingly experimental pop record from the former ‘N Sync singer. Sure it was mostly bubblegum pop music, but it was chopped, twisted, and expounded upon in fresh and interesting ways. When I heard there was a part two coming of the album, I couldn’t believe Timberlake would release what was sure to be a second smash album in seven months. However, with The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2, we get what is essentially a glorified b-sides (closer to d-sides) album with none of the ingenuity of part 1 and a whole lot more stupidity.
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The Lonely Island Album Review: The Wack Album

The Lonely Island

The Wack Album

wack album

Is it possible for a “fake rap” group to improve their rapping talents to the point where they can be confused with a passable but unspectacular hip-hop outfit?  With The Lonely Island’s third studio album, The Wack Album, the trio’s over-the-top songs are masked almost too much by pristine production, the who’s who of guest appearances, and the ever-increasing talents of the members themselves.  In fact, if you aren’t paying close attention to the lyrics, most of the tracks will glide right over your head as middling Top 40 hip-hop.  Is this a good or a bad thing?  I’m not exactly sure.
Continue reading “The Lonely Island Album Review: The Wack Album”

Top Ten Thursday: Best Solo Careers

Han Solo, solo career

After dropping our Review Royale of the new Justin Timberlake album this week, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle artists that have gone solo for our list this week.  We already broke down the best albums released by an artist after going solo in honor of Jack White releasing his first solo record.  So we thought, “Why not just look at solo artists career as a whole, after leaving their band/group.”  Easy enough to find plenty to pick from, but exceedingly difficult to pick just ten for this particular list.  We had to axe a couple that simply didn’t have enough solo material to justify putting them above more established solo musicians (Dan Auerbach and Jack White).  We just can’t be sure which direction people with just one solo album will go.  Back to the band or keep going on their own.  Either way, there were some very tough cuts, but we think we came away with a list worthy of your attention.  Enjoy, and let us know who we missed, left off, or shouldn’t have included at all.

10. Justin Timberlake

jt

Following the “hiatus” of ‘N Sync in 2002, JT quickly released his solo debut Justified.  I know of at least a few sophomores and juniors in high school who couldn’t resist the former boy-bander’s cool pop sound.  Little did we all know, Justified would serve as merely a bridge to even more progressive and layered pop sounds.  FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience have done more than show off JT’s love of the backslash, affirming Timberlake as pop icon.
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Justin Timberlake Review Royale: The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake

The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake, THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE, ALBUM COVER, cover art

Austin’s Thoughts:

Going into my first listen of The 20/20 Experience my expectations were high, but also slightly tempered.  Justin Timberlake hasn’t released an album in seven years, instead choosing to focus on his acting career.  Maybe after stinkers like In Time, Yogi Bear (assuming), and Trouble With The Curve (again assuming), JT thought it would be prudent to turn his focus back to music.  He could not have been more right.  With R&B coming more to the forefront of the music landscape last year on the backs of Frank Ocean and Miguel, it was time for Timberlake to reassert his dominance in this particular arena.
Continue reading “Justin Timberlake Review Royale: The 20/20 Experience”