Late-Night TV Music (Ups & Downs Edition) | March 5, 2020

Puss N Boots, Keith Urban, Phantogram, Black Bear & others closer out a so-so week.


It’s been an up-and-down week for late-night music on the TV. So maybe it’s only right that things have ended up somewhere in the middle. Thursday’s lineup brought out a full house of talent, with performers on all five major chat shows. And depending on where you sit, the glass was either half-full or half-empty. Let’s start with Norah Jones and her Puss N Boots pals, who took to the stage of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to sing a cover of Tom Petty’s Angel Dream and the title track of their recent album Sister. Jones, as always, was fabulous. Can’t always say the same about some other members of the band who seem to have had issues with timekeeping and singing in key. Oh well; they were still better than the usually dependable Keith Urban, who visited The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to serenade your conservative auntie with God Whispered Your Name, a ballad every bit as insipid as its title. Meanwhile, over on Jimmy Kimmel Live, synthy pop-rockers Phantogram hyped their brand-spanking new album Ceremony with a performance of the stylish but kinda soulless single Pedestal. Was that better than oddball hip-hopper Blackbear, who continued to milk his 2019 Megan Thee Stallion-inspired single Hot Girl Bummer on The Late Late Show With James Corden? I dunno. And finally, much as I’d like to end on a high note, the only clip left is James Taylor having his wimpy way with the Dinah Washington classic Teach Me Tonight on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Hey, what goes up …