We had to put this feature on a holiday break for the past month, since most talk shows aired very intermittently. Just about everyone returns to the air tonight, however, so we’re back to bringing you our roundup of the best live music on television this week. There’s normally too many great performances to keep track of, but it appears television, like music, is taking a slow start to get warmed back up. We’ve still got an essential recommendation and a bonus pick or two for you every single night though, so get those DVRs set (or remember to check Hulu the next day) for:
DON’T MISS: Miguel on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno [NBC; 11:35PM/10:35c]: To say the last 12 months have been good to Miguel would be an understatement. The r&b singer’s second album, Kaleidoscope Dreams, exploded with critical and commercial praise, and landed him atop many year-end lists for 2012. His grounded, sleeper success is quite a contrast to 2012’s overnight r&b explosion that was Frank Ocean, yet both men helped push the genre’s creative boundaries to new heights. I have no doubt his Leno performance this evening will be smooth, understated, and fantastic.
Here’s Miguel performing a Tiny Desk Concert on a recent stop at NPR:
Bonus: Sky Ferreira on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: You also can’t go wrong this evening by tuning into Sky Ferreira’s performance on Fallon. The indie dance-pop singer’s latest EP Ghost found the her moving in a promising new creative direction and earned her newfound critical acclaim. Keep a look out for the young singer’s debut full-length I’m Not Alright later this year.
DON’T MISS: Morrissey on Late Show with David Letterman [CBS; 11:35PM/10:35c]: This one’s a no-brainer. If Moz is an option, Moz is always the correct option.
If you read the site regularly, we’re sure you already know that Morrissey is performing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on 1/29/13. You can find more info here. Here’s the singer’s December 2011 ‘Conan’ performance:
Bonus: The Whigs on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno [NBC; 11:35PM/10:35c]: We covered The Whigs’ great recent show at 3rd and Lindsley, and gave a shout to their latest record, Enjoy the Company, on our Best Nashville Records of 2012 list. Even though they’re recent transplants, we like to claim them now, and it’s awesome to see our boys on network television.
Bonus: Bat for Lashes on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: If you’re looking for something a bit more quirky and artsy, the ever fantastic Bats for Lashes will be making at stop at Fallon to support her fantastic new record The Haunted Man. Recordings alone just don’t do the full scope of her artistry justice!
DON’T MISS: Imagine Dragons on Conan [TBS; 11PM/10c]: If you, like me, missed Imagine Dragons’ stop at The Cannery back in October, catching them on Conan might just be the next best thing until the group ventures back to Music City. It’s become kind of impossible to escape their breakout single “It’s Time” (from their impressive debut Night Visions), but still, the infectious indie rockers are hard to grow tired of. They performed to an empty room on Fallon recently, due to Hurricane Sandy, so it’s nice to see them get another go with a proper audience.
Here’s the group performing a live, stripped down version of “It’s Time”:
DON’T MISS: John Cale on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: Although John Cale’s post-Velvet Underground career hasn’t been as publicly lauded as former bandmate Lou Reed‘s, his influence remains equally as significant. As a producer, Cale has worked with everyone from Nick Drake to Brian Eno to LCD Soundsystem. As an artist, Cale has continued to innovate and push experimental bounds in classical, electronic, indie, and alt rock, exemplified on his latest release Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood. His Fallon set will be nothing if not interesting!
Here’s Cale live performing The Velvet Underground classic “Venus in Furs”:
Bonus: Ben Gibbard on The Colbert Report [Comedy Central; 11:30PM/10:30c]: The Death Cab for Cutie frontman’s recent (and first proper) solo release Former Lives was perhaps one of the most overlooked albums of 2012. Though the tracks were a bit unbalanced and impersonal, the record proved to be one of Gibbard’s strongest, most understated songwriting efforts in years. He’ll presumably be giving an interview then performing.