Monday, October 25, 2010

Ear on TV: Week of 10.25.10: Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon on Letterman Monday: For me and pigeons to poop on
It's been a crazy ride to the top of the heap for Kings of Leon. Once dubbed "the Southern Strokes," the band born in a garage has risen quickly to selling out stadium shows, and gaining a new moniker: "the Southern U2" (or, as Pitchfork has christened them, "Y'All2"), and their latest release (Come Around Sundown) only reinforces the idea that the title is not without merit.

The Followill family (brothers Nathan, Caleb and Jared, along with cousin Matthew) were a plucky, bearded bunch, with more positive press than sales when U2 nabbed them in 2005 to open for them on their North American tour. That tour provided the eager Kings with the opportunity to learn from their successful elders, and as the successive albums would attest (2006's Because the Night and 2008's breakthrough success Only the Night), more than a little bit rubbed off on the band. It's tempting to believe that Matthew Followill stole The Edge's guitar pedals at the end of the tour ("he has so many, perhaps he won't notice?").

When the band plays Letterman on Monday, in support of Come Around Sundown, it's obvious they're mostly keen on just holding on to their current fans, crafting songs with big sing along choruses for the stadium Bic lightersilluminated cellphones. Those early fans hoping for a return of their hungry Appalachian garage rock can only be consoled by Caleb bringing back his beard -- as perfumed and well-groomed as it is. Perhaps the pigeons had the right idea.

Elsewhere, Kid Cudi is poised and ready to follow-up his Kanye West-approved debut (Man on the Moon: The End of Day) with the similarly titled Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager. While it won't be in stores until November 9, the rapper gives us a preview with an appearance on Letterman Thursday.

Gwar: Worlds of Warcraft rejects or Orcs loose from Middle Earth?
Meanwhile, it's the week of Halloween which can only mean Rob Zombie and Gwar is on tour somewhere. This year, Virginia's shock rockers are upping the ante with a special Halloween online concert broadcast and a performance with The Roots (maybe?) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Thursday night. We should expect Fallon, The Roots and members of the audience to employ plastic covering to help shield them from the projectile liquid emanating from the World of Warcraft-looking crew. (Or, perhaps Orcs from Lord of the Rings? The result is scary, regardless.)

Picks for the week
Monday, October 25
ABC: ABC: The View: Janet Jackson
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: K'naan
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Kings of Leon
FUEL: The Daily Habit: All That Remains
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Norah Jones
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Weezer (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Ellen DeGeneres Show: One eskimO
Tuesday, October 26
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Donavon Frankenreiter
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Chiodos
IFC: 360 Sessions: Editors
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Underworld
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: She & Him
Wednesday, October 27
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: A Perfect Circle
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Kylie Minogue
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: School of Seven Bells
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Interpol
Thursday, October 28
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Kid Cudi
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Temper Trap
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Corinne Bailey Rae
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: GWAR
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Ra Ra Riot
SYNDICATION: The Ellen DeGeneres Show: Sugarland
SYNDICATION: Live With Regis and Kelly: Seal
Friday, October 29
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Jimmy Eat World
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Villagers
Saturday, October 30
COMEDYCENTRAL.COM: Rally to Restore Sanity: Elvis Costello
BBCAMERICA: The Graham Norton Show: Charlotte Church
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Rihanna
PBS: Austin City Limits: Robert Earl Keen, Hayes Carll

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