music / Columns

The Savage Animal 1.30.13 Ten Cool Ass Talk Show Performances

January 30, 2013 | Posted by Mikey MiGo

I’m not going to put up some kind of front. When I woke up on Sunday I was excited about the Royal Rumble coming on later in the night. I wanted to see the Royal Rumble match, Rock and Punk, and even Alberto Del Rio and Big Show. The rest of the card isn’t that plentiful, but based on the announced matches it seemed like very little filler. When you’re watching a Pay Per View, you’re “paying” for the “view”. Throwing filler in there is bullshit. I’d rather a pushed and featured match getting five extra minutes than to stall and bring out Brodus Clay or Ryback to beat some jobber. None of this gripes matters though. The Royal Rumble is and always will be one of the most important and exciting shows of the year. Right?

The show starts with Alberto Del Rio defeating Big Show. This was the only prediction I made that was right. Alberto has really come into his own. The way they had Big Show go out there and then that weird backstage segment with Bret Hart was kind of odd, but it worked. I’ve been saying that Del Rio reminded me of Bret Hart for a while and this just confirmed it. I did like their Smackdown match from a few weeks ago a bit more, but this wasn’t bad. After some filler talk, then next match saw Team Hell No go over on The Rhodes Scholars. This surprised me. I would have sworn that Team Hell No was going to take it. It was a good match, but nothing we haven’t seen a dozen times in the past. Team Hell No won’t last for long, but now I’m not sure who’d take the belts when they do break up.

I enjoyed the Royal Rumble. I thought Undertaker was going to come back, but he didn’t. I was worried that John Cena was going to win. I think we all knew it was going to happen, but didn’t want to admit it. I wanted Dolph Ziggler to win, but he had a great showing in there. I was surprised and happy with Jericho’s return and it was awesome to see Goldust and Godfather show up. But yeah, Cena won. I won’t ramble about it until we cover the fact that CM Punk lost his title to The Rock. The Rock is champion after 10 years. The match wasn’t all that entertaining or exciting, but it was well done. I think the main issue was the pacing, but I could be wrong. It just didn’t click.

People are all sorts of pissed off that John Cena won the Rumble and that The Rock beat Cena. I’m not thrilled with it, but what else are they going to do going into Wrestlemania? If you’re complaining about it, you’re stupid. What is best for the WWE? The guy who has had the belt for 400+ days or mediocre ratings holding onto it longer leading into a less bought Wrestlemania OR does the WWE put the title on a guy who’ll appear on major talk shows leading into a much more bought Wrestlemania? The biggest match the WWE can put on right now is The Rock vs. John Cena. So what if it happened last year? If you’ve watched wrestling for more than a minute you’d know that rematches happen. Get over it. CM Punk could be thrown in there too, but it’s not the end of the world.

Then there are those who bitch that The Rock didn’t “earn it”. It’s professional wrestling. You don’t “earn” shit. You pay your dues until your talent is pays the bills. The Rock did his time “paying dues”. He’s a legend, folks. Does The Undertaker have to “earn it”? Does Jericho? Is anyone bitching that The Godfather or Goldust didn’t “earn” their Royal Rumble spot? If The Rock is going to be back on an almost-full time schedule then why be a little girl about it? Every match he has, every moment he’s part of, and everyone in the locker room getting a rub from him is HUGE. The Rock doesn’t have to be in the WWE at all. He doesn’t owe anyone anything. He makes tons of cash as a successful movie star. The fact that he’s back, putting his body on the line, should be enough. You can complain about his storyline or things like that, but it’s ignorant to say he didn’t “earn” it. I’m not exactly giddy about Cena/Rock II, but the WWE has a few months to reel me in. I’m open-minded though.


Talk… Talk… Talk… Rock Out! I watch a lot of crap. I watch more crap than I actually listen to. What happens when the crap I listen to crosses over to the crap I’m watching? Mind blowing results, that’s what! It’s always cool to hear songs you’re a fan of used in a show’s advertising, score, or even as the theme song. When you’re a big music nerd there’s not a lot of cooler things than that “ah-ha” moment of saying “That’s that one song from that one thing! Now it’s in THIS this!”

It’s even cooler when the artist appears themselves and makes a cool cameo. If you’ve watched “Extras”, there is a specific episode involving David Bowie that I dare anyone not to absolutely love. I could think of tons of those kinds of moments, because like I said, I watch a lot of crap.

One thing I’ve realized lately is that I’m starting to avoid talk shows based on their musical guest. In almost all cases the musical guest will go on last, but if I see someone like a Nicki Minaj on the guide I’m just better off with an “It’s Always Sunny” rerun.

A lot of music performances suck. The sound quality and set up isn’t there. The energy of a real crowd is almost always missing. The band’s performance is just awkward and can make the best song sound like a droning bore.

Not always though. Today I’m going to look at ten cool ass talk show performances. I won’t dare try to make any effort into “ranking” this stuff. There are like 10 talk shows on a day and even if half of those have a musical performance that’s still way too many moments to consider. I don’t like Leno all that much and Letterman is hit or miss purely depending if I like the guest. Then Conan, Fallon, and Kimmel are all consistently good and have an awesome guest more often than their earlier counterparts. That’s not including The Daily Show, Cobert, Ellen in the afternoon, and the oodles of syndicated nonsense. I watch a lot of crap, but I can’t watch it all.

So without further ramble, here are some cool ass talk show performances:

Peeping Tom
“Mojo” – (The Henry Rollins Show 6/1/2007)

The Henry Rollins Show was awesome. Mr. Rollins would interview someone interesting and cool and then have a music performance by someone interesting and cool. The show only got two seasons in before the evil corporate plug was pulled, but it still gave us some good interviews and performances. There were a lot spots that I’m sure folks would claim as their favorite, but my favorite was easily the eighth episode of the second season. On this episode we got an interview with William Shatner but the musical performance was killer. We got to see the awesome and powerful Mike Patton in the form of “Peeping Tom”. It was my first exposure to this group and the song “Mojo” blew my mind. Then again, this IS Mike Patton we’re talking about.

The Cardigans
“Lovefool” – (Late Night with Conan O’Brien 1997)

Why not? To say The Cardigans’ stock has definitely dropped since this song would be an understatement. That doesn’t take anything away from their moment in the spotlight and any appreciation a song like this can have. It’s from the “Romeo + Juliet” soundtrack and anyone that was at the age to be exposed to it knows the song. It’s a “love song” on the surface, but it’s really obnoxious and horrible. Yet, I think that’s the point. It’s an ironic and bitchy love song that’s catchy as hell and has way more of a “groove” than it should. This super casual performance captures all of what I just rambled about, but it’s cool for a few reasons. It’s 97 and Conan was really coming into his own at this point in his early years. I’m positive there were other performances on Conan that I might have dug better, but this is still a cool one.

Mindless Self Indulgence
“Shut Me Up” – (Last Call With Carson Daly 8/1/2007)

I spent the majority of my late teens and early twenties loving the hell out of Mindless Self Indulgence. They put on a great live show and I can only think of a hand full of live concert experiences that matched the energy of an MSI show. For the longest time I’d even go as far as to place them as “my second favorite band of ALL time”! To be into a band when they’re “underground” (or whatever is the P.C. way of saying “not that famous” is) and watch them evolve towards their first national television appearance was cool as hell. I recall they taped it a few days before, but it would actually air on August 1st, 2007, my twenty sixth birthday. I was still on my MSI kick, so it was a pretty spiffy moment. On top of that, it’s just a really awesome performance. It doesn’t quite capture the full madness of what their live show was like, but it rocked.

A Perfect Circle
“The Hollow” – (The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn 2001)

Craig Kilborn was a good talk show host. For whatever reason he didn’t get to stick around too long, but what he did put out there was good. On this specific episode in 2001 Craig welcomed Jonathan Silverman, Amanda Peet, and this newly formed rock band called “A Perfect Circle”. They were just getting on the road and pushing the bad ass debut album. I remember a lot of people that weren’t “hip to the fact” that Maynard from Tool was the vocalist. This was a great track from a great album. This performance is pretty awesome. Maynard sways and lurks like he’s an overly-flamboyant Nosferatu. The red jacket and weird hat are awesome, despite him looking a little uncomfortably similar to Criss Angel in this appearance. It would seem like a normal appearance, but they put it all out there for a pretty damn powerful performance.

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon
“History of Rap” – (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon [Recurring])

This has been a cool recurring segment on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. He has The Roots as a house band and has had some really cool musical guests and memorable performances, but I’m going to go with this purely on how cool and well done it is. It’s Jimmy Fallon being joined by his buddy Justin Timberlake to perform a three minute medley of some of the best and most beloved hip hop songs ever. It’s then going in a mainly chronological order of bad ass songs. It goes from stuff like “Rapper’s Delight”, to RUN DMC, Beastie Boys, 2 Pac, Eminem, Kanye, to Jay-Z and everyone in between. They’ve done this three times now and each time they’ve brought the goods.

David Bowie
“Changes” – (The Ellen DeGeneres Show 2004)

How can you not love David Bowie? Seriously. If you have any sense of class, taste, and goodness you’ll love this dude. He has made way too many great albums, videos, and moments for anyone to ever have any logical argument against him. In 2004 he was a guest on Ellen. He was his normal charming and brilliant self, but on this day he also took the stage. He just goes up there with his awesome band and does a chilling rendition of “Changes”. I’ve heard better versions, but the moment is cool. The fact that he’s not out there performing makes this even bigger in retrospect, but what I like is the casualness of it. He’s just up there in a hoodie, no crazy costume or special lights, singing one of the best rock and roll songs of all time. Pretty fucking magical if you ask me.

“Angel’s Son” – (The Late Show with David Letterman 2001)

Around 2001 I really got into Sevendust. I casually dug them before then, but I was at the ripe age of going to concerts a lot so it worked nicely. Their discography is pretty awesome and underrated as hell. They have to be one of the best hard rock bands of the past twenty or so years, but never really blew up nearly as much as anyone who has heard them thought they would. Anything is possible in the future, but they these bad asses have nothing to be ashamed of. If anything for moments like what’s captured in their 2001 appearance on Letterman. This is such a great great song and the cool bonus and kind of surreal twist of Paul Shaffer being on keyboards makes it that much cooler. If you’re not a fan of Sevendust or don’ have much exposure to them, please check this out and absorb the soul.

The White Stripes
“We Are Going To Be Friends” – (Late Night with Conan O’Brien 2/20/2009)

Conan O’Brien was moving on to bigger and better things. His run as the host of Late Night was amazing and absolutely the best talk show host run on many levels in my adult life. I know Carson was the king, but my only big memory of him as a child was his last show. Since then I’ve seen a million clips and have grown to appreciate the rich history. But Conan is, and always will be “my guy” in terms of talk show hosts. I know I’m not alone. The White Stripes were obvious fans. They had Conan in their “Denial Twist” video and he had them on for unprecedented full week of performances. They’d cross paths many more times, work together, and even share the stage over their cool relationship. For Conan’s last “Late Night” show he got them on and they did a splendid live take on “We Are Going To Be Friends”. Meg plays guitar and there is this really weird energy going on. I’m not 100% sure but it might have been the last time Jack and Meg performed on TV together. If not, long after. There is just a lot going on with this performance for it not to mean something.

The Beastie Boys
“Ch-Ch-Check It Out” – (The Late Show with David Letterman 6/14/2004)

This is probably the coolest performance I’ve seen on a late night talk show. In 2004 The Beastie Boys were riding their new ‘5 Boroughs’ album. Not ones for the mundane, The Beasties didn’t just pop up on stage and do an uninspired performance like most folks in hip hop do. Instead the three rappers come bouncing up from the subway stairs and walk through the streets of midtown and eventually right into the iconic Ed Sullivan Theater. It’s shot with a cool fish-eye effect and gets the Beastie vibe down perfectly. It’s pretty much a live music video that was pulled off flawlessly by one of the very best hip hop groups of all time.

Beck, Will Ferrell, Billy Gibbons, Ben Harper, Conan, Viveca Paulin, and The Tonight Show Band
“Freebird” – (The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien 1/22/2010)

This is one of the biggest controversies and stories in talk show history, even bigger than the lame Leno/Letterman stuff. Conan was given the job, waited for the agreed timeframe to occur, and went in there and did his thing. Meanwhile Leno wasn’t ready to leave and they wanted keep him happy. Conan was pushed out and Leno was given his job back. Conan didn’t get to stay too long, but when he left he left in a huge way. After a very genuine “goodbye” speech he joined Will Ferrell, Viveca Paulin, Beck, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame, Ben Harper, and The Tonight Show Band for an all-out star-studded jam session. The song? Lynryd Skynyrd’s “Freebird”! Talk about going out in a blaze of glory and going out swinging. Jay Leno’s ninety seven year career as the host of the show will never see a moment half as great as this one.

What is YOUR favorite talk show music appearance? Share the links!

“THIS IS 40”

It’s the “sorta sequel” to “Knocked Up”! That movie focused on a new unexpected couple having an unexpected baby. Classic movie. This movie focuses on the married couple of that movie played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. They’re both turning 40 and their lives are in a weird place. They’re faced with tons of responsibility and an ever-fading passion. Things just kind of suck despite their 1%’er type problems. They are California rich people who are having “money problems”. You can almost relate to them, but then you see their houses, businesses, and lifestyle and can’t. What was “financially different” about this movie and any other Apatow movie other than a few fights about money. That whole situation did bother me, but there is a lot more to this movie than the money issues. They dealing with growing children, self-image issues, the world changing, the lack of “Alice In Chains” appreciation, bullies, and just life in general. You get wrapped up in these people’s lives and you want Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann to work things out and prosper almost instantly. You can clearly see that despite their moments of insanity that they are doing everything from the most loving of intentions and hopes. The kids are still the kids from “Knocked Up”, Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow’s spawn Iris and Maude. These two grew up a lot over the past few years and did a really good job. It’ll be interesting to see if they do any acting outside of their family projects. We’re also treated to a slew of awesome supporting actors. Jason Segel and Charlyne Yi reprise their roles from “Knocked Up”, Melissa McCarthy plays a crazy mother, and Megan Fox didn’t bother me too much. On top of that Robert Smigel, Chris O’Dowd, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Lena Dunham, and even Billie Joe Armstrong show up. Albert Brooks got some great stuff in as Rudd’s struggling father and I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed. Brooks is an icon and every time I see him in something these days he steals the show. He just about steals this movie too. The rest of the supporting cast doesn’t get much to work with. I was bummed that we didn’t get more out of Smigel, O’Dowd, Segel, and McCarthy but I suppose there is always the possibility of a third “sorta of sequel”. Everyone loves trilogies! I’ve actually read and heard people complain about the running time. I get that most people don’t expect to sit down for over two hours and watch a “comedy”, but that’s the problem here. I’m not sure if it’s fair to go as bold to label this a “comedy”. It’s too grounded in human nature to be filed away so easily. Outside of “Heavyweights”, that’s something Apatow strives in. “Knocked Up” is probably one of my favorite modern comedies. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. Over the past few years we’ve seen the rise of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, and the whole “Apatow crew”. They all bring something different to the table and do great work on their own, but when they come together for things it’s just fun times. It’s been proven with “Knocked Up”, “Super bad”, and “Funny People”. Paul Rudd is there too but he has a prior kick ass filmography that’s hard to pin-point him to one certain “crew”, but I’m sure he’s welcomed in any. The point is that these people, the people Apatow assembles and casts, all have chemistry, charm, and tons of talent. If I love a movie or leave it a little underwhelmed, I’m still going to appreciate it. That said, I appreciated “This is 40”. These movies have tons of soul and substance, but it wasn’t as funny as I’d have hoped. I went into this movie wanting to laugh a lot more than I got to. I was entertained and soaked up the charm of Mann and Rudd, but this movie isn’t funny enough to be a comedy, not dramatic enough to be a drama, and not balanced enough not to notice it. The subject matter is harder to make one-liner stoner jokes like in “Knocked Up”. I get that. I’m not saying a movie like this has to be a laugh a minute or a cry a minute. Guys like Woody Allen have found that balance and Apatow is definitely in that grouping of “guys”. I think that’s why I have a higher standard for anything I see with Apatow attached. “This is 40”, despite the detached first impression of this 29 year old viewer, does hit that standard for sure. Albert Brooks’ stuff hurdles that on his own. Is it better than “Knocked Up”? Nope. Is it better than “Funny People” and most comedies out there? For sure. Does it have tons of heart and will I watch it again? Totally. If you saw “Knocked Up” or not, you should still check out this movie because it’s a charming, funny, and heart felt comedy that comes from a genuine place. B+

“Worst Case Scenario” is a new take on the concept of “fantasy booking”. For years professional wrestling fans would spend endless hours of thinking up the coolest things that could happen. Why waste the energy? This only leads to high expectations. “Worst Case Scenario” flips that. Instead of looking through rose colored glasses, let’s take a bi-weekly look at the worst possible scenarios in professional wrestling. I’m not going to be malicious or anything too mean, but I will not refrain from letting my brain come up with the worst possible shit I can. Sadly, it seems the writers and producers of mainstream TV wrestling and the mainstream iPPV level indies are doing the same thing but charging us for it. And now…

“Ring of Honor Goes National!”

In the mid-90’s, ECW was the little engine that could. They were the third promotion in the American “Big Three”. They went from being a small East Coast indie to bigger and bigger and bigger. They’d tour, they’d have syndicated television, they got Pay Per Views, and they became part of the “Attitude Era” phenomenon. In many ways, the era itself is a result of ECW’s rise.

Let’s replace a few things in that last paragraph. We’ll change the “mid-90’s” to “mid-00’s” and the “Big Three” has warped with WWE taking over, TNA being the distant second, and to most folks Ring of Honor is that third. The main difference is that WWE is so far ahead of everyone and Ring of Honor has like a half dozen top level indies right there snipping at their asses. Today we’re going to look at the worst case scenario to get ROH on TV.

Simply put, TNA buys Ring of Honor. Why not? For the money TNA has paid the likes of Hogan, Sting, Foley, and all of the old dudes they could have EASILY bought Ring of Honor. With TNA owning Ring of Honor they’d take their pick of the talent. We’d see all of the best of ROH go up to TNA to be used wrong. TNA would then take people they don’t have any use for and send then “down” to ROH.

Everything we, the fans, hated about WWE’s version of ECW would be gold compared to what TNA’s version of ROH would be. You know TNA doesn’t think anything involving wrestling can get over without Hulk Hogan being involved so imagine the very first episode of Ring of Honor on Spike! Hulk Hogan shows up, beats up Kevin Steen, and sets up the main event of Steen defending the ROH Championship against Garret Bischoff. Bishchoff would win, of course.

THAT is wrestling?


On the surface you want to run and hide from this movie. I generally dig Sandra Bullock a lot. She’s likeable, attractive, and has been in some good things. At the same time she has been in a lot of stuff a 20-something dude wouldn’t want to see in the least bit. When she pops up in things I’ve gotten to the point that I automatically think it’s going to suck. I’m happy to say that I’m optimistic about this one. Bullock stars with the always hilarious Melissa McCarthy in this buddy cop movie. It does seem a bit formulaic and has that whole “we’re so different!” thing that partners always have in cop movies like this. That doesn’t mean it’s going to suck or anything, but it puts up a warning sign. Then that goes away when you find out that Paul Feig is directing it, the dude who did “Bridesmaids”. The supporting cast is rounded out by Marlon Wayans and Michael Rapaport so that’s a plus too. I dunno. I want to see this movie, but I’m going to try to keep my expectations reserved. That might end up to my benefit. Regardless, I’m optimistic this will be in the least good mild fun. If it’s more than that, I win!

That’s all for now. I’m sure I missed TONS of a cool ass music performances, but these were the ones that stood out to me. If you had any cool ideas, post em! Next week I’m going to check out the music videos of Yelawolf, then the album covers of The Smashing Pumpkins, and then the next “first impression” is Grizzly Bear. From there who knows?! Until next time… Have a Great Week!


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Mikey MiGo

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