Monday, November 24, 2008

Ear on TV: Week of November 24

The word 'bravado' is a word often tossed about to describe rapper Kanye West, and at the root of it is the word is 'brave,' which is the best way to describe West's latest release 808s and Heartbreak. Here West sings, wears his heart on his sleeve, and wades through some moody (but smooth) electro beats, ensuring the alienation of many rap fans (something West has no problem doing).

It was the recent death of his mother and a painful breakup with his fiance that prompted this detour from his usual larger-than-life hip-hop productions, and in the great tradition of rock-by-way-of-pain classics like Big Star's Third, Neil Young's Tonight's the Night and The Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin, West has channeled his anguish into something more than just an album of feel good hits. When West performs on
the first single "Love Lockdown" on Letterman on Monday, and Conan on Tuesday, he's sure to be employing the Auto-Tune voice pitch negotiator that's all over the album, a device that also has alienated his fans to some degree.

Meanwhile, The Killers are also performing both Monday (Jimmy Kimmel) and Tuesday (Leno) nights, in support of their new album Day & Age. The album finds the Las Vegas quartet retreating a bit from the arena rock (via Springteen) aspirations of their last album, and instead releasing what sounds more like the logical follow up to their surprising debut. It's more entrenched in the 80's fixated sound of their debut, thanks in part to Euro-dance producer Stuart Price (Madonna,) which, while making it smaller in scope, fits the band better than the larger-than-life ambitions of the overmatched Sam's Town.

Finally, Tom Jones' first album in over 15 years (24 Hourse -- out tomorrow,) finds the Wales icon still in the mood to swivel the hips, delivering his knee-buckling croon over retro-soul beats currently in vogue with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lilly Allen and Kate Nash. Jones teams up here with Brit duo Future Cut, who worked with Allen and Nash, and even gets contribution from Bono and The Edge, who contribute the infectious "Sugar Daddy." At 68, Jones knows he can no longer work the sex angle, so much of 24 Hours is more reflective and intimate, which is probably why his performances this week are limited to daytime television, hitting both Regis (Tuesday) and The Today Show (Wednesday,) along with a previously taped performance on BBC America's Graham Norton Show.

Ok, one last note. A recent performance of Ben Folds and Regina Spektor singing "You Don't Know Me" will be repeating on Kimmel Friday, and while it doesn't feature a mustachio'd Jason Sudeikis (SNL) on trombone (as performed on Conan last month) it was worth staying up for. (Sudeikis-laden performance below:)

Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, November 24
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Killers
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Kanye West
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Low vs Diamond
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: The Nightwatchman
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Young Jeezy (REPEAT)
Tuesday, November 25
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Dimmu Borgir
IFC: The Henry Rollins Show: Bob Mould (REPEAT)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: The Killers
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Kanye West
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Knux (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Beyonce
SYNDICATION: Live With Regis and Kelly: Tom Jones
Wednesday, November 26
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Ludacris
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Adele
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Little Ones
NBC: The Today Show: Beyonce, Tom Jones
Thursday, November 27
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Apocalyptica (REPEAT)
SUNDANCE: Live From Abbey Road:
Shawn Colvin, Ray LaMontagne, The Zutons, Nerina Pallot (REPEAT)
Friday, November 28
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Ben Folds, Regina Spektor
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Kaiser Chiefs
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: T.I. (REPEAT)
Saturday, November 29
BBCAMERICA: The Graham Norton Show: Tom Jones
NBC: Saturday Night Live: The Killers (REPEAT)
PBS: Austin City Limits: Coldplay, Michael Stipe (REPEAT)

1 comment:

Shawn Anderson said...

Picks for the week of 11.24.08
1. Human - The Killers
2. Love Lockdown - Kanye West
3. Heart Attack - Low vs Diamond
4. Whatever It Takes - The Nightwatchman
5. My President Featuring Nas - Young Jeezy
6. The Serpentine Offering - Dimmu Borgir
7. The Silence Between Us - Bob Mould
8. Bang! Bang! - The Knux
9. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) - Beyonce
10. If He Should Ever Leave You - Tom Jones
11. MVP - Ludacris
12. Chasing Pavements - Adele
13. Rise & Shine - The Little Ones
14. I Don't Care - Apocalyptica
15. Sunny Came Home - Shawn Colvin
16. Trouble - Ray LaMontagne
17. Valerie - The Zutons
18. If I Know You - Nerina Pallot
19. You Don't Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor) - Ben Folds
20. Never Miss A Beat - Kaiser Chiefs
21. Whatever You Like - T.I.
22. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face - Coldplay