Late-Night TV Music (Expectations ≠ Reality Edition) | May 12, 2021

J. Period and his VIP crew fall flat, while Mod Sun & Avril skate away to victory.

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You surely don’t need me to tell you this, but as a general rule, expectations seldom match up to reality. For better or worse. To see both sides of this coin, look no further than Wednesday’s Late-Night TV Music offerings.

Let’s start with the evening’s big event: DJ J. Period‘s star-studded performance of All In Your Head — featuring cameos by Dave Chappelle, Tiffany Gouché, Black Thought and The Roots — on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Sounds promising, right? But as with so many superstar collaborations, it turned out to be less than the sum of its parts. Chappelle’s intro seemed to suggest we were in for some sort of elaborate multi-media offering, but the whole thing turned out to be pretty standard affair — a little rapping, some singing, a bunch of scratching, end of story. Sure, it was good to see live musicians collaborating in the TV studio again. But the results were pretty meh, to be honest — especially in the case of the usually dependable Roots, whose rhythm section seemed remarkably out of synch.

On the flip side: Mod Sun enlisting Avril Lavigne and a crew of sk8er bois to help fan his anthemic Flames on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Having a general distaste for all things Avril, I thought this would be a total eye-roller. And yes, the whole, ‘let’s rock out on a b-ball court while dudes skate around’ concept was a bit contrived. But at least the song was fairly tolerable — and certainly better than one of those gloppy power ballads Lavigne seems to churn out lately. Anyway, that’s my take. Watch them both and see what you think.