It’s a tradition as old as the Johnny Carson show: Most nights, since 1966, bands big and small play on the national stage of late night television. Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen, but the performances are always worth watching. They’re captivating mostly because they offer the raw sound of a live band and the professional video and audio recording of a late night television show.

This week, June 10-15 , the big story is Paul McCartney’s hour-long special on Colbert, which will see the Beatle talking with Stephen Colbert as well as playing a handful of hits. Elsewhere She & Him will bring honey-drop heartbreak to Conan while Robin Thicke andPharrell will perform “Blurred Lines” for Kimmel.

Late Show With David Letterman
(mostly repeats this week)
Wednesday, June 12 – Darlene Love

Jimmy Kimmel Live
Tuesday, June 11 – Jimmy Eat World
Thursday, June 13 – Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell

Pharrell is all over the place this summer with Daft Punk, but another one of the season’s best tracks is “Blurred Lines,” a Robin Thicke song that features Pharrell’s production and vocals. Safe bet for anyone looking to get jittery before bedtime.

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Monday, June 10 – Bad Company
Wednesday, June 12 –Trace Adkins & Colbie Caillat
Thursday, June 13 –Timeflies
Friday, June 14 – The Boxer Rebellion

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Monday, June 10 – Kelly Rowland ft. Wiz Khalifa
Tuesday, June 11 – The Lumineers
Friday, June 14 – Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller

Monday, June 10 – New Politics
Tuesday, June 11 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. were once-hyped in the indie world for their dreamy pop interpretations (and great cover of “God Only Knows.” This will be their first major television performance.

Thursday, June 13 – She & Him

With She & Him, Zooey Deschanel proved that her voice is a thing of beauty, especially when paired with could-be classic love songs and the fine strumming of M. Ward. Their third proper album, known simply as Volume 3, was released May 7 on Merge Records.

The Colbert Report
Wednesday, June 12 – Paul McCartney

In a slow week for late night performances, this Paul McCartney special is especially tantalizing. McCartney is appearing in support of his Out There Tour and the reissue of “Wings Over America,” and will be giving an interview as well as performing a handful of songs. Now 70 years old, McCartney, aside from being one of the best pop songwriters of all time, is also a remarkably spry and entertaining performer. This is an hour-long special that is being heavily promoted by Colbert and is definitely one to watch.


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