Late-Night TV Music (Crazy Free-For-All Shitshow Edition) | Feb. 11, 2021

Wolfgang Van Halen, Lang Lang, Blake Shelton & Robin Thicke are all over the map.


Sometimes the Late-Night TV Music lineup seems like a thoughtfully curated, expertly co-ordinated event. And sometimes it’s just a crazy-ass, free-for-all shitshow in a speeding clown car.

Thursday night belongs in the latter group. Let’s start with the the biggest event of the night: The debut of Wolfgang (son of Eddie) Van Halen’s group Mammoth WVH, paying tribute to the late, great guitar god with their song Distance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Was it sweet, tender and touching? For sure. Did it make me want to hear more? Well … no. Much in the same way I don’t eagerly await new albums from Julian Lennon, severn dozen Marley offspring and whatever the hell Sting’s kid’s name is.

On the other hand, I would be happy to sit down for hours listening to classical pianist Lang Lang, after watching him tear through a medley of a medley of Bach Goldberg Variation 26, Liszt’s Liebestraum and Mozart’s Turkish March Medley on — for some weird reason — The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (I assume blackmail was involved, though I honestly can’t imagine Fallon doing anything more shameful and embarrassing than the sycophantic crapfest he airs every night.) No word yet on whether Fallon also made Lang play strip Uno or do shots during his appearance.

One guy who was definitely doing shots: Blake Shelton, playing his polarizingly politicized (because everything has to be these days) country-rocker Minimum Wage on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Is it an earthy blue-collar ode to the emotional riches of love or another betrayal of the working class by a millionaire? You be the judge. Mostly because I don’t care. Much as I could not give even a single wet fart for Robin Thicke’s new songs Look Easy and Take You Higher, which he delivered on The Late Last Show With James Corden. After all, just because anything can happen doesn’t mean it should — or that we need to pay attention to it. Besides, we’ll get our fill of them during the inevitable court case. Now there’s a shitshow I can get behind.