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Spoon, Joey Bada$$ and 7 Bands/Artists Not Named Harry Styles Who Deserve Late-Night Residencies of Their Own

As "The Late Late Show" preps for an extended musical guest stay, here's why a few other artists should get their own weeklong gigs.

Sinkane, performing “U’Huh” on “Conan”


Earlier this week, CBS announced that former One Direction member — and latest addition to the Christopher Nolan Players — Harry Styles is slated for a week-long residency on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” For four consecutive nights, starting on May 15, Styles will serve as the resident musical artist.

With that “Dunkirk” appearance on the horizon and a solo music career still in its early stages, you could do worse than Styles when picking someone to hand the keys to an entire week’s worth of late night. And having been through the process of a breakneck sketch show schedule, he’ll probably be a capable comedy sidekick for Corden.

But what if this residency is a smashing success? Which other bands and artists would be ripe for tenures of their own on the other major daily late-night shows?

Jon Batiste and Stay Human hold down the fort for “The Late Show.” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” announcer Dicky Barrett recently gathered his fellow Mighty Mighty Bosstones for a reunion gig of sorts. And the nation’s finest house band, The Roots, continue to be the main reason to watch “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

If any of them need a break, here are some of our favorite late night performances from the past few weeks, from artists who’ve proven they’re more than ready for a week of their own.

(Note: We also collected some of our favorite performances from the young year, back in January. If we’re being honest, Travis Scott should just do “Goosebumps” every night on Kimmel for the rest of the year.)



Song: “In Cold Blood”
Show: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
Date: April 18

There’s still a few more months left before the English trio release their third album “Relaxer” on June 9. (Judging by Joe Newman kicking off this song by intoning binary code, they’re picking up right where they left off.) While their pared-down style has brought them acclaim, this pairing with The Roots is an oddly satisfying mix of styles. Who knew that all that alt-J was missing is a swinging horn section? At the very least, if they wanted to dig into the back catalogue, it would be great to live in a world where Questlove could work magic with the last part of “Breezeblocks.”

Craig Finn

Song: “God in Chicago”
Show: “Late Night with Seth Meyers
Date: April 3

Of all the network late-night shows, “Late Night” is the one that’s demonstrated the most willingness to embrace the unconventional. It’s fitting, then, that their best musical guest in recent weeks is Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, who played two songs from his recent solo album earlier this month (this performance of “Preludes” isn’t too shabby, either). Giving Finn a week’s worth of shows would give him a chance to play around with tunes like “God in Chicago,” a humble tune told partly as a live storytelling session. It’s a Moth session, spoken in irregular rhymes, capturing the melancholy of memories past. Kind of perfect for the wistful mindset of the past-midnight crowd.

Earl St. Clair


Song: “Ain’t Got It Like That”
Show: “The Late Late Show with James Corden”
Date: March 2

Who doesn’t love a performance that starts in an audience seat? St. Clair’s vital shot of jubilant soul is the perfect companion piece to the general affability of “The Late Late Show.” Toss in actual choir behind St. Clair for some of those background vocals and you’d really have something worth staying up every night for. His spoken message to the audience, “I know we may not have everything we want right now, but we got what we need to get it, right?” is a perfect summary of the feeling that every late-night show has been striving for over the past 18 months. It’s just the right amount of uplift for 2017.



Song: “Bambi”
Show: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Date: March 6

Classic crooners have long since been gone from regular primetime rotation. But watching Jidenna with an ice-filled tumbler in hand, it’s hard to not see him as the new, improved answer to those singers of decades past. And that band! Even before the gorgeous harmony breakdown at the end here, it’s always a joy to see a group of musicians so clearly loving what they’re playing. It’s impossible to see that swaying and not absorb a little bit of that same happiness. Kudos to the direction on this one too — that final pan over to the moon makes you feel like you’re being serenaded under the stars.

Joey Bada$$


Song: “Land of the Free”
Show: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Date: April 3

Joey Bada$$ is certainly no stranger to television, now with a season as a cast member on USA’s “Mr. Robot” under his belt. As Colbert himself turns back towards the incisive political commentary that brought him to a national stage, this is the kind of performance that could be an ideal nightly complement. Draped in the paisley’d American flag from his most recent album’s cover, Joey Bada$$ is bringing an unapologetic call to self-examination. Like the host he follows, he’s not afraid to call out elected representatives by name, but does so with an eye towards a legacy that too rarely gets this kind of national attention.

The Regrettes


Song: “Hey Now”
Show: “Conan
Date: April 11

If only for the few seconds of guitar-drum back-and-forth that kicks off this particular performance, The Regrettes should be able to name any venue. Conan’s always an enthusiastic greeter at the end of these live gigs, but you can sense a special kind of excitement here. It’s hook-y and spontaneous, complete with a sing-along chorus with accompanying shoulder choreo — everything you’d want for a late-night living-room dance party. And, as noted above, late-night performances always have an added bonus when you can tell the band is having the time of their life. Here’s hoping for a return engagement sooner rather than later.



Song: “U’Huh”
Show: “Conan”
Date: March 6

Forget a single performance slot: Can Sinkane and his band just get their own show? This global music blend, paired with a set of hopeful, resilient lyrics, is a clear example of the power of inclusivity. There’s an undeniable rhythmic pop pulse (heard all over Sinkane’s latest album “Life & Livin’ It”) that’s always a welcome fit for any late-night entertainment. Plus, there’s always room for more keyboard and horn section solos, especially when delivered from this kind of an ensemble. (As an added bonus companion piece, check out the fantastic “U’Huh” music video too.)



Song: “Hot Thoughts”
Show: “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Date: March 9

In the wake of their recent album “Hot Thoughts,” Spoon has been lauded as one of the most consistent rock bands of the past twenty years. Appropriately, there are few lighting/set frills here, just a band bringing their usual best to the title track. With that dependable career comes just enough showmanship from Britt Daniel to engage the studio audience and anyone watching at home. There has to be one late-night host who’s a big enough fan of “Kill the Moonlight” to finagle enough nights on the schedule for a 15th anniversary show or two. (Side note: listen for that single Beatles-style move during the last verse and right after they finish. There’s definitely at least one person who wouldn’t mind a few more chances to see these guys get a few extra shots at live TV gigs.)



Song: “Second Time Around”
Show: “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Date: March 1

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One’s funk group might not be enough to bring disco back, but it’s fun to see them make a solid case. They’ve followed up their delightful 2015 debut effort (“Do It” was scientifically engineered to put you in a happy mood) with a return to form, complete with an on-stage “Ohhhhhhhhh” button that’s their answer to Conan’s Walker Texas Ranger Lever. Some groups are meant to be listened to and some are meant to be seen: watching Tuxedo bring a steady groove to what, at first glance, seems like cruise ship theme night entertainment really is the best of both worlds.

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