Skip page navigation

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

Follow


Categories: TV

Tags: Jack white, Music on tv, The decemberists