Music on TV This Week: Q-Tip

It's been nearly a decade since his last released album (Amplified) but it's not as if Q-Tip hasn't been working since. The former A Tribe Called Quest MC at one time was bouncing between five labels in six years, even finalizing an album (Kamaal the Abstract, 2002) that his label ended up shelving at the last minute, deeming it too uncommercial. All told, he's recorded three albums during this time that never saw the light of day, but that all finally changes with the release of The Renaissance on Election Day, intentionally tying the album to the hope of a new beginning for both America and QT.

Q-Tip is scheduled to perform the lead single, "Gettin' Up," on Letterman Thursday. The song features production from longtime friend and colleague, the late J Dilla, who passed on nearly three years ago. QT references Dilla several times on the album, but it's the glory days of A Tribe Called Quest that are the big takeaway here. Not just in terms of QT's impeccable timing in rhyme, but also the jazz collages that made an album like Midnight Marauders a hip-hop classic.

Rewinding a bit to Monday, Jenny Lewis appears on Letterman, bringing on her more famous sidekick Elvis Costello, who sings on Lewis' "Carpetbaggers." It's nice to see Costello palling around with alt country ladies (he also duets on Lucinda Williams' "Jailhouse Tears") but on this song he almost seems an afterthought. Still, that tandem could be singing "We Built This City" and I'd watch.

Meanwhile, TV on the Radio continues showcasing 2008's album of the year, this time playing Leno on Friday. Their performance of "Dancing Choose" last month on Letterman took place on a fire escape (video), which was probably necessary because they were en fuego. Jay Leno might want to take some fire safety precautions in the coming days.

Playlist: Picks for the week

Monday, November 3

ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Eagles Of Death Metal

CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Jenny Lewis, Elvis Costello

NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Sugarland

NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: The Decemberists

NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Young Jeezy, Nas

Tuesday, November 4

NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: My Morning Jacket

Wednesday, November 5

FUEL: The Daily Habit: Chiodos

Thursday, November 6

CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Q-Tip

CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Cold War Kids

NBC: The Today Show: Elvis Costello

NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: T.I.

SUNDANCE: Live From Abbey Road: The Kills, Sara Bareilles, The Fratellis (REPEAT)

Friday, November 7

ABC: Good Morning America: Paul Simon

FUEL: The Daily Habit: Hank Williams III

NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: TV on the Radio

NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Chromeo

NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip (REPEAT)

Saturday, November 8

NBC: Saturday Night Live: Kings Of Leon (REPEAT)

PBS: Austin City Limits: Carolyn Wonderland & The..., Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

drake lelane
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake