Monday, December 07, 2009

Ear on TV: Week of 12.07.09: U2 on Spectacle

The critic's darling talk (and rock) show Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... is back for its second season this Wednesday, starting out the gates strong with U2's Bono and the Edge. Costello, who likens his role on the series to that of "a carnival barker," works his charms to both shrink Bono's ego and turn the Edge into a comedian (sort of).
"I remember the first time I ever heard you in person... and I heard this sound -- I mean, I have to be honest, I didn't know what the hell you were doing."
- Elvis Costello to U2's Bono & the Edge

"We didn't either."
- The Edge, to loud laughter from the audience
Besides the self-effacing comments, the pair win us over with stories of meeting Frank Sinatra in a Mexican restaurant ("You just don't expect Sinatra to take you to a Mexican restaurant,") and of learning under producer Steve "Do Your Job" Lilywhite in the early days. Of course they're there to play as well, and it's a treat to hear the two backed by Costello and his old mates The Imposters on tracks like "Stuck in a Moment You Cant' Get Out of," and the unlikely mash-up of "Get On Your Boots" and Costello's "Pump it Up."

Speaking of unlikely, you'd have to classify the appearance of 90's post-hardcore act Jawbox on television in any capacity as an unexpected gift -- call it an early Christmas present. The band is reuniting strictly for an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Tuesday night, in support of the reissue 1994's For Your Own Special Sweetheart. But if everything goes well, and if J. Robbins (vocals/guitar), Bill Bardot (guitar), Kim Coletta (bass) and Zach Barocas (drums) all get along, there could very well be a full tour and even (fingers crossed) some new material from the D.C. band on the horizon. Here's hoping their big toe dip of "Savory" on Tuesday night goes off swimingly.

IFC's Dinner with the Band has improved with each episode, culminating with this third episode into the kind of entertainment we'd hoped it would be. The series is terribly reliant upon the interaction with the rotation of artists, and they couldn't get a better source of entertainment than singer Tim Harrington, who's band Les Savy Fav guests this week. While the band remains mostly on the cult fringe, Harrington's performance art approach to his craft is something to behold, regardless of whether their brand of noise rock is up your alley. And what kind of meal do you prepare for BEARDO? Jerk Pheasant and Mofongo with Je T'aime Punch (Mai Tais) to wash it down, of course.

Meanwhile, Rap mogul Damon Dash (co-creator,along with Jay-Z, of Roc-a-Fella Records), Damon Dash, is the mastermind behind the rap-rock hybrid Blakroc. Putting an indie rock band in the same room with a slew of rap artists hardly seems like a new idea (anybody remember the soundtrack to Judgment Night?), but the mix of Ohio's blues rock purveyors the Black Keys and rappers like Ludicris make us thankfully forget about the lame '90's attempts that forced Limp Bizkit on the buying public. Given that Blakroc are appearing on both Letterman (Tuesday), and Fallon (Thursday) in New York, there's plenty of choices for rappers to guest, but for my money, the best choice is the Mos Def contribution, "On the Vista." Like butter on rye toast.

Finally, They Might Be Giants will be joined by comedian (and fake know-it-all) John Hodgman for their appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Friday (tweeted photo from green room prior to taping), likely reprising his role as The Deranged Millionaire, a character he took on for TMBG's 2005 tour. The Deranged Millionaire challenged the band to write a song for each venue on the tour, which, given the band's dial-a-song history, wasn't much of a challenge at all. So TMBG also made artful videos to go along with each song, to rub it in. Seems They really are Might Be Giants after all.

Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, December 7
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Wolfmother (REPEAT)
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Gwar
MTV: It's On With Alexa Chung: Gossip
NBC: The Jay Leno Show: Andrea Bocelli with the Muppets
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: 50 Cent
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Rihanna
Tuesday, December 8
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Passion Pit
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Blakroc
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
IFC: Dinner With the Band: Les Savy Fav
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Jawbox
Wednesday, December 9
FOX: Lopez Tonight: Morrissey
MTV: It's On With Alexa Chung: Arctic Monkeys
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Bon Jovi
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Paolo Nutini
SUNDANCE: Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...: Elvis Costello, Bono & The Edge
Thursday, December 10
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Tori Amos
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: 30 Seconds To Mars
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Blakroc
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Xx
Friday, December 11
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: They Might Be Giants performing with John Hodgman
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Dirty Heads
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Tony Bennett
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Snoop Dogg
Saturday, December 12
BBCAMERICA: The Graham Norton Show: 50 Cent
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Bon Jovi


Bumpershine said...

"Get on Your Boots" always reminded of "It's Alright For You" by The Police. Not such an unlikely pairing.

Anonymous said...

These guys were just nominated for an oscar too. I can't believe how huge they still are. Their song "Winter" was so powerful in the film "Brothers".

Louise said...

I first saw U2 perform live in July 2005, and I haven't stopped talking about that experience yet!! : lol: Over the years, I've had the good fortune to see them many times, U2 band and their show improve with each new tour! Next weekend I'm gonna see them again since I can compare and get cheap tickets from ; so I can save some dollars to the next concert ...I’m so excited!!