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Drake Lelane

Music on TV This Week: The Decemberists

Throughout their decade-long career, the Colin Meloy-led The Decemberists have had listeners reaching for a dictionary thanks to their hyperliterate lyrics. With 2009’s 17-part rock opera (The Hazards of Love), the band raised the music’s complexity to match, but in the process, they had creatively painted themselves into a corner: Where exactly does a band go when they’ve taken it to the limit, both lyrically and musically?

With The King is Dead (releases on Tuesday), The Decemberists have seemingly started over, with an acoustic-based, rootsier recording featuring guest turns from Gillian Welch and R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck — recorded in a barn, no less. Sadly, Meloy has hinted that the band will likely be going on hiatus after their current tour, as he sets to work a three-book deal he signed with publishing giant HarperCollins. All the more reason to savor their appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Thursday.

Meanwhile, one of last year’s best recordings came from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti with the album Before Today. The 2010 breakout band makes their television debut Wednesday night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing “Round and Round,” which was the number one song on Pitchfork’s Top 100 Songs of 2010. Ariel Pink has a reputation for spotty live performances when he’s by himself, but with his band Haunted Graffiti in tow, we should fully expect minds — and hair picks — to be blown.

Finally, Jack White has always had a love affair with the past. From the music he chooses to play, to the artists he chooses to collaborate with, the common theme is a love of music’s rich history. Next week, 73-year old Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, releases the Jack White-produced The Party Ain’t Over, an album that subtly brings Jackson’s signature sound into the 21st century, something he did for Honky Tonk legend Loretta Lynn with 2004’s Van Lear Rose. Look for Jackson and White to perform together on The Late Show with David Letterman Thursday night.

Picks for the week
Monday, January 17
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Young the Giant
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Best Coast (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: School of Seven Bells (REPEAT)
TBS: Lopez Tonight: Sick Puppies
TBS: Conan: My Chemical Romance
Tuesday, January 18
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: The Script
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Escape the Fate
NBC: The Today Show: The Script
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Neon Trees
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Two Door Cinema Club
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Interpol (REPEAT)
TBS: Conan: Social Distortion
Wednesday, January 19
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: New Politics
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Damned Things
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Alberta Cross (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: Live With Regis and Kelly: The Script
TBS: Conan: Keyshia Cole
Thursday, January 20
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Ra Ra Riot
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Wanda Jackson with Jack White
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Delta Spirit
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: The Decemberists
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Dismemberment Plant
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Jimmy Eat World (REPEAT)
TBS: Lopez Tonight: My Chemical Romance
TBS: Conan: Aloe Blacc
Friday, January 21
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: K.T. Tunstall
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Esperanza Spalding
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Damned Things
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Janelle Monae (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Ellen DeGeneres Show: The Script
Saturday, January 22
PBS: Austin City Limits: Sonic Youth, The Black Keys

Sunday, January 23
HDNET: Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux: Alice Cooper
OVATION: Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: Johnny Cash
OVATION: Johnny Cash: Half Mile a Day: Johnny Cash

drake lelane
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake
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Categories: TV

Tags: Jack white, Music on tv, The decemberists

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