The 10 Best SNL Musical Performances

LxL_TopTenThursdays_02_900x300SNL_season_40_title_card

This weekend, Saturday Night Live will celebrate its 40th season with a big 3-hour anniversary special (strange enough on Sunday), featuring legendary cast members like Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, and Will Ferrell in addition to famous hosts and musical acts like John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney and more. In its 40 years, Saturday Night Live has been the gold standard in comedy, but has also produced its fair share of legendary performances mirroring some of the most important moments in music history. From the birth of grunge to helping catapult Kanye into a megastar, Saturday Night Live has been home to some of the greatest live music performances. So here are our 10 favorite performances.
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Everybody Gets Sump’n with Sump’n Claus

Saturday Night Live Sump'n Claus

Since this is the season, I figured I would spread some Christmas cheer. Saturday Night Live has been having a sneaky good season this year that may lack the super star like Kristen Wiig or Will Ferrell, but is one of the most consistently funny casts in a while. In the post Digital Short age of the Lonely Island, Saturday Night Live has continued to put out on a bunch of funny, catchy songs mostly penned by Jay Pharoah and the female cast members like Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong, including “Boy Dance Party“, “(Do It On My) Twin Bed“, and “28 Reasons“. Here’s the latest unshakable tune from SNL, including a Santa that doesn’t care if you are naughty or nice, but gives cash to everyone.
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Arcade Fire “Here Comes the Night Time” Special Review

Arcade Fire

“Here Comes the Night Time” NBC Special

Arcade Fire Here Comes the Night Time Review

Following the season premiere of Saturday Night Live featuring host Tina Fey and musical guests Arcade Fire, NBC surprisingly aired a straight-up trippy half-hour concert special for Arcade Fire called “Here Comes the Night Time”, named after one of the songs off their much-anticipated upcoming album, Reflektor. Beside playing their disco lead single “Reflektor” and debuting another song “Afterlife” on SNL, the Canadian indie rockers debuted three new songs on the special as well as a slew of high profile cameos and strange costumes, making for a very strange but very bold half-hour of television for NBC.
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Father John Misty Review: A Fox Less His Fleet, But Not Less the Music

Father John Misty
Fear Fun

album cover art for father john misty joshua tillman solo album fear fun ex fleet fox

Long before Joshua Tillman moved to Hollywood and took on the persona of Father John Misty, he was drumming for a little band known as Saxon Shore. Saxon Shore is a small post-rock instrumental 4-piece band that had the ability to put on some pretty insane shows. I remember seeing them my first year of college in Ball State University’s student center cafeteria. They left quite the impression, but I hardly heard from them again after that show. After he left Saxon Shore, he moved to Seattle, and began pursuing his solo career. Luckily for Joshua, Damien Jurado got his paws on one of Josh’s tapes and asked Josh to join him on a small tour, in which he was mostly not cared for. It was after that tour he joined up with his most promising musical venture to date, Fleet Foxes. Two masterful albums, a stunning EP, a few tours, and many praises later, he left the Fleet to re-pursue his solo career yet again, but this time with a new name, a new attitude, and a totally new sound. Even though Fleet Foxes seem to still be only growing by the minute in popularity, Joshua felt Father John busting from every pore of his body and couldn’t wait any longer to release him to the world. So he packed his things, moved down to Hollywood, and as a result, we are now blessed with Fear Fun.
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Fifty Licks: 50 Songs for 50 Years | 10-1

the rolling stones, the stones, rolling stones, 50 years, 50, 50 anniversary, 50th anniversary, hits, songs, album cove

Here it is folks.  If you are as big of a Stones fan as us, then you should have been able to deduct most of the entries, if not the order, of our top ten Rolling Stones tracks.  What amazes me is the enormity of the popularity of each of these songs.  With many bands, the most popular tracks often seem to be simply the most accessible, but with the Stones we get the best of both worlds.  This top ten list came so easily to us, with little rancor or argument.  The Rolling Stones truly went from England’s newest hit-makers to England’s greatest hit-makers.  Please check out #’s 50-31 here and #’s 30-11 here.  Also, check out our top 5 Stones albums here.

Songs 50-31 | 30-11 |10-1

10. “Under My Thumb”
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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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Lana Del Rey – Born to Die Review

Lana Del Rey
Born to Die

From the very get-go, people questioned Lana’s legitimacy. She seemed like a great catch at first, but she was only a YouTube sensation without a full album. Her voice is deep and dark, and has this classic feel to it that catches your attention instantly. Meanwhile, the music backing her is almost more intriguing than her voice. Hip/hop beats, beautiful baroque orchestration, and sadcore synth stylings all fused together. Because she seems so original, and seems to have a stunning voice paired with such dynamic music production, it catches people off guard, and they gravitate towards it instantly. On the surface this seems great, and in some ways, it really is. However, if you’re digging for substance you may come up a little empty handed. Nonetheless, the album hit it big on the charts, topping at #2 in the US, and selling about as well across the rest of the globe which garnered her overrated reviews by the “indie” critics and famously positive reviews by the “label” critics. Playing out exactly as expected if you break this down.
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