Once again, we’re bringing you our roundup of the best live music on television for the week. The amount of great performances can be hard to keep track of, so every Monday I’ll recap the best and most interesting of what’s coming up. I’ll be sure to give you one essential pick for each night, as well as a runner up or two when a lot of great bands are playing. Also, lots of artists performing on TV have upcoming shows in Nashville, so I’ve added ticket links and dates below.
Here are the best performances I think you should set your DVR (or check Hulu the next day) for:
DON’T MISS: Vacationer on Last Call with Carson Daly [NBC; 1:35AM/12:35c]: Vacationer is fronted by Kenny Vasoli of pop punk group The Starting Line, but, unless you recognize his voice, you’d never guess. The band’s layered, laid back, textured indie pop is a gorgeous, dreamy, summery escape. Don’t sleep on their debut album Gone.
Check out the band performing “Be With You” for Audiotree Live:
Bonus: Janelle Monae on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: Before appearing on fun.’s (who, at the time, were much less known than her) breakout hit “We Are Young,” Janelle Monae released an incredible record called The ArchAndroid. Here’s hoping for a followup soon!
Bonus: Demi Lovato on Jimmy Kimmel Live! [ABC; 11:35PM/10:35c]: Demi Lovato might be most associated with Disney, The X Factor, and her Top 40 pop persona, but the fact of the matter is homegirl can siiiing. Her new electro-pop single gives me a lot of hop for significant artisitc growth on the forthcoming DEMI.
DON’T MISS: Deerhunter on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: Indie/ambient rockers Deerhunter are finally set to drop their highly-anticipated new album Monomania later this spring. They haven’t unveiled any new tunes just yet, but here’s hoping we’ll get a debut on Fallon.
Here’s the official video for the band’s single “Helicopter:”
Bonus: Cold War Kids on Jimmy Kimmel Live! [ABC; 11:35PM/10:35c]: Cold War Kids’ Kimmel performance coincides with the release of their brand new album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. The indie rockers’ last effort was a bit of a letdown, but if their new single is any indication, Lonelyhearts will be a return to form!
Cold War Kids will be performing at The Cannery Ballroom in Nasvhille on 4/16/13. You can find more info here.
Bonus: von Grey on Conan [TBS; 11PM/10c]: Hailing from Atlanta, von Grey consists of four sisters with a keen knack for sweeping melodies, perfect harmonies, and lyrics with depth beyond their years. Their debut EP is stunning. Expect big things from these ladies!
DON’T MISS: The Flaming Lips on Late Show with David Letterman [CBS; 11:35PM/10:35c]: Psychedelic art rockers The Flaming Lips are and will forever be one of my favorite bands. A huge part of that is the strength and passion of their live shows. Even though a TV performance doesn’t fully do them justice, it’s the next best thing!
The Flaming Lips will be performing with The Black Keys at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on 5/3/13. You can find more info here. Check out an older performance of the band performing “Do You Realize??” on ‘Letterman:’
Bonus: Gordon Lightfoot on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: Though he’s far from unknown, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is perhaps of the biggest influences on the folk-rock movement of the ’60s and ’70s who doesn’t get adequate credit. The Canadian singer is still cranking out new material, and keeping his classics alive after all these years.
DON’T MISS: Tyler, the Creator on Late Show with David Letterman [CBS; 11:35PM/10:35c]: Not only am I really digging the Odd Future frontman’s latest solo release, Wolf, but I also really enjoyed his recent solo TV debut on Fallon. Last time he played piano and brought along some special guests. Who knows what’s in store for his debut on Letterman.
Check out the rapper’s brand new video for “IFHY”/”Jamba:”
Bonus: Damien Jurado on Last Call with Carson Daly [NBC; 1:35AM/12:35c]: Seattle native Damien Jurado is the quintessential indie artist. He’s collaborated with some of the best figures in indie rock, subtly built up one of the best back catalogues in the scene, and, since jumping from Sub Pop to Secretly Canadian, has been extra prolific in recent years.
Bonus: Ryan Bingham on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: I was always a bit lukewarm to rootsy, American-influenced singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham until the release of his latest record, Tomorrowland. It’s a real home run, and a fantastic reason to give Bingham a revisit!
Ryan Bingham will be performing at Center Stage in Atlanta on 5/18/13. You can find more info here.
Bonus: Seth Sentry on Jimmy Kimmel Live! [ABC; 11:35PM/10:35c]: I’m honestly not that familiar with Seth Sentry, but the Australian rapper’s spazzy, hyper-active style and smart, nerdy themes have definitely grabbed my attention. This will be his American television debut.
DON’T MISS: Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Late Show with David Letterman [CBS; 11:35PM/10:35c]: All I can say is welcome back Karen O and co., we’ve missed you! By the time indie rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs finally release their new album, Mosquito, it’ll have been over four years since their last, It’s Blitz! If first single “Sacrilege” is any indication, it’ll be worth the wait!
Check out the band’s last ‘Lettermen’ stop, from 2009:
Bonus: Cat Power on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon [NBC; 12:35AM/11:35c]: We all love us some Cat Power in these parts. The indie singer’s latest, Sun, was not only one of the best of 2012, but the best of her career. She’s always great live, so don’t miss her on Fallon!
Bonus: Gin Wigmore on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno [NBC; 11:35PM/10:35c]: New Zealand singer Gin Wigmore is a bit hard to pin down. She’s a little bit pop, a little bit folk, a little alt-rock, and a whole lot of soul and attitude. She’s just as likely to collaborate with the Cardinals as to perform on the Warped Tour.
Gin Wigmore will be performing with Phillip Phillips at Belmont’s Curb Event Center in Nashville on 4/21/13. You can find more info here.
DON’T MISS: Phoenix on Saturday Night Live [NBC; 11:30PM/10:30c]: How do you follow up a breakthrough smash like Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix? We’ll find out in a few weeks, with the French electro-rockers’ followup Bankrupt!, which lands nearly four years after their last release. The first few tracks sound promising, and the band is gearing up for a full-comeback on the summer festival circuit!
Phoenix will be performing at the Beale St. Music Festival in Memphis in May. You can find more info here. Check out the band performing “1901” on ‘Letterman:’