On Wednesday night, America will say goodbye to David Letterman, a comedic genius who has been revolutionizing late night television longer than I have been alive. I missed out on the NBC years, so I learned about all his most memorable bits secondhand. Instead, for me he was always the guy on CBS facing off against the Leno juggernaut. As a kid, I appreciated Leno’s easy humor more, but over the years I began to appreciate Letterman’s sarcastic wit and his ironic take on comedic conventions, and eventually fully embraced his approach. In my mind, “Is This Anything?” is the pinnacle late night achievement.
An underrated part of Letterman’s legacy was his willingness to book unconventional musical acts. In our brief run so far, we have spotlighted performances from favorite bands on the show several times, and we probably should have shared several more. Over the years, the Late Show has provided several great groups with their first major exposure on a network, and it was always a joy to see Dave himself get a kick out of many of the bands that performed. Of course, let us not forget the contributions from the brilliant Paul Shaffer and the CBS orchestra; there were few things cooler to watch than seeing Paul join in when he was digging what he heard, like he did with Red Fang a few months back.
So, thank you Dave. You will sorely be missed. And I hope you finally get a sweet drumset for yourself.
Helping to start your week off with some live videos, new music, and whatever else we can find lying around…
Last week saw some great performances on the Late Night show, including The Replacements returning to 30 Rock with a blistering version of their classic “Alex Chilton”, their first since their banishment due to their infamous SNL trainwreck of a performance. Speaking of “trainwreck”, Death From Above 1979 performed their lead single “Trainwreck 1979” on Letterman, with some help from Paul Shaffer and the rest of the band. It was awesome.
That wasn’t the only memorable performance from Letterman last week, as Interpol did such a great job with “All The Rage Back Home” that it prompted Letterman to continually ask if he could join the band.
There was also Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla’s last show with the band, and Stereogum has the video of the last song from that show.
There’s a Deafheaven side-project that is definitely worth checking out, if the first single is any indication. Creepers features Dan Tracy, whose drumwork on Sunbather helped make that album one of the best of 2013 as well as touring guitarist Shiv Mehra, and they have an album coming out October 28. “Stuck” reminds me a bit of the Nothing album that came out earlier this year, so if it was the shouting vocals of Deafheaven that turned you off that band, that’s definitely should not be an issue with this release.
Run The Jewels have released “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” for the Adult Swim Singles Series, and this morning they sent out emails to fans who purchased their first album giving them the details of the various preorder packages available for their followup. Good, good news.