Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ear on TV: Week of August 25

For the past couple weeks, both the late night talk shows and this column were on vacay thanks to Olympic coverage, but now both are back, and much like one of those human interest pieces on the Olympics, this week's lineup is rich with gritty comebacks and graceful debuts.

Representing the country of Sweden (medal count = 5) comes the 22-year old Lykke Li (pronounced Lick-ee Lee,) a former professional dancer who's wonderful debut album, Youth Novels, was released this past week. Co-written and produced with fellow Swede Björn Yttling (Peter, Bjorn & John,) the album is a stripped-down affair that's as intimate a pop album I've heard in some time. Lykke's voice can certainly sound shy ("My hips they lie 'cause in reality I'm shy, shy, shy," from "Dance, Dance, Dance") but the lyrics sometimes betray something more, like this refrain from her first single "Little Bit": "And for you I keep my legs apart / And forget about my tainted heart." Lykke, who appears on Conan Friday night, could very well be this year's Feist. And if that means she's singing "I'm Good, I'm Gone" to monsters on Sesame Street next year, so much the better.

Another female artist who's shy sounding voice betrayed much fiercer lyrics is Juliana Hatfield, who was the queen of the kiss off in the early 90's, both solo and prior with her band The Blake Babies. She's still got the angst, it's just buried under a more mature outlook on life - heck, even her album title seems like a more mature version of the kiss off, How to Walk Away. The still lovely Hatfield plays Leno on Monday, and while the new album is alright, I must admit I'm far more interested in reading her upcoming memoir, When I Grow Up, which examines what happens to an artist when they lose faith in their dream, and how to come back from disappointment.

Speaking of comeback, there's a couple of great stories this week making live appearances on the late nights this week. First is the "Rhinestone Cowboy" himself, Glen Campbell, appearing on Kimmell and who's taken the route that Johnny Cash did and re-interpreting songs from the likes of U2, Green Day, Velvet Underground and more on his latest release, Meet Glen Campbell. The songs don't always work, but it's hard not to smile at the 72-year old singing The Replacements' "Sadly Beautiful," about watching his child grow up. Meanwhile, celebrating their 50th anniversary is the doo-wop band Little Anthony & The Imperials, who will play "Hurt So Bad" on Letterman, marking the fourth time the band has played at Ed Sullivan Theater, going back to the days of Sullivan's "really big show." Apparently, (Little) Anthony Gourdine wowed Late Night bandleader Paul Shaffer last year at the Songwriters Hall of Fame last year, and the deal was done. Thanks to the writer's strike and all these vacation days, it took 14 months to follow through, which, when you've been playing for 50 years probably doesn't seem that long.

Playlist: Picks for the Week
Monday, August 25
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Solange
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Three 6 Mafia (REPEAT)
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Saosin
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Juliana Hatfield
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: The Hold Steady
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Lupe Fiasco (REPEAT)
Tuesday, August 26
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Game
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Little Anthony & the Imperials
NBC: The Today Show: Solange
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: BB King
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: The Virgins
Wednesday, August 27
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Nas
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: The Boxmasters (REPEAT)
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Trever Keith (Face to Face)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Low vs Diamond
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Lykke Li
Friday, August 28
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Glen Campbell
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Beat Union
NBC: The Today Show: Katy Perry
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Moby (REPEAT)
Saturday, August 29
BBCAMERICA: The Graham Norton Show: Sandi Thom
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Feist (REPEAT)


Arjan said...

you're naming that Lick-ee-Lee girl so much I'm starting to regret I skipped her performance on the Lowlands festival...

drake leLane said...

yeah, I'm probably dropping her name more than I would in a normal week, but she's really the cream of the crop this week

drake leLane said...

Picks for the week of 08.25.08

1. I Decided - Solange Knowles
2. Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body) (Explicit Album Version) - Three 6 Mafia
3. Come Close - Saosin
4. Now I'm Gone - Juliana Hatfield
5. Constructive Summer - The Hold Steady
6. Superstar - Lupe Fiasco
7. Dope Boys (Album Version (Explicit)) - The Game
8. Hurt So Bad - Little Anthony and the Imperials
9. I Get So Weary - B.B. King
10. Rich Girls (Explicit Album Version) - The Virgins
11. Hero featuring Keri Hilson - Nas
12. The Poor House - The Boxmasters
13. Everyone Hates A Know-It-All - Face to Face
14. Heart Attack - Low Vs Diamond
15. I'm Good, I'm Gone - Lykke Li
16. These Days - Glen Campbell
17. She Is The Gun - Beat Union
18. I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry
19. Alice - Moby
20. I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) - Sandi Thom
21. I Feel It All - Feist