One of the interesting shifts in both the music industry and television is that mainstream TV has actually become a reliable source of great musical moments. Admittedly, some of the best moments on TV in the last year didn’t happen in the United States, so we technically found out about them online. Nonetheless, there were some great music related moments on TV this year, and here are ten of our favorites.
10. James Murphy makes a cameo on ‘The Soup’
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Donald Glover from ‘Community’ pay homage to ‘Today Show’ inanity. Hilarity ensues.
9. Robyn performs on ‘Gossip Girl’
Robyn performs an elegant, slowed-down version of her single “Hang With Me” at Blair Waldorf’s birthday party… or something. There’s drama!
8. Cee-Lo sings “Fox News” on ‘Colbert Report’
Cee-Lo Green stopped by ‘The Colbert Report’ to sing his hit song “Fuck You.” Of course, he had to change the lyrics for TV decency, so he changed the title to… Fox News!
7. Of Montreal visit ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’
Of Montreal had contributed a song to ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ last year, a catchy little tune about brushing one’s teeth. But this year, the band appeared on the show with a new song titled “Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast!’ And they actually kind of look like the lovable, colorful characters on the show. Jezebel was right, Nick Jr. is now way cooler than MTV.
6. Big Boi visits ‘The Martha Stewart’ show
Martha Stewart and Big Boi don’t always run in the same circles, but the Outkast emcee’s appearance on her daytime show was nonetheless highly entertaining. He even gave her a new name: Lady Martha Macaroni.
5. Mike Huckabee endorses Torche on ‘RedEye’
Fox News’ ‘RedEye’ is a weird show. Its host, Greg Gutfield, loves metal and hardcore, and invites guests like Fucked Up or Torche, the latter of whom received a hilarious endorsement from former Gov. Mike Huckabee. He suggests that if you don’t know Torche, “you’re a racist homophobe.” Strong words.
4. Kanye West drapes ‘SNL’ in white
Kanye West made a lot of, um, interesting TV appearances this year, but his performances on ‘SNL’ were the most badass, by far. Surrounded by dancers before a set draped in white, it seemed less like a Saturday Night Live performance and more of, well, a Kanye West show.
3. Liquid Liquid appears on ‘Jimmy Fallon’
New York post-punk-funk heroes made their first late night TV appearance this year, performing “Cavern” on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.’ Get down.
2. Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon do the history of rap in 4 minutes
Justin Timberlake teamed up with Jimmy Fallon to recreate the history of hip-hop in the span of a single pop song. Amazing.
1. Fever Ray’s award speech
Fever Ray’s Karin Andersson gave a speech early in 2010 at an awards show that really can’t be described well enough to do it justice. Watch and be amazed.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.