We've known for a long time now that New York City is obsessed with our little town (seriously, guys, all those local media think pieces are getting a little creepy), but who knew the bookers at one of the Big Apple's greatest television programs were so in love with us as well? We all found out this week, as The Late Show with David Letterman hosted two of the Rose City's most promising musical exports on back-to-back nights.
First, on Wednesday, Letterman welcomed Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, who performed "I Swear," the opening track from the group's new record Dirty Radio, with Paul Shaffer jamming along and Sallie and Dave openly admiring each other's eyewear afterward.
Then, last night, indie-pop ensemble Typhoon stormed the Ed Sullivan Theater to make its national TV debut. A packed crowd gathered at the Clinton Street Theater to watch the performance -- which was taped a few days ago -- and cheered so loudly as Letterman introduced the band that it missed Dave's quip about Portland giving free bicycles to its citizens. Whatever understandable nerves the group demonstrated while interacting with the country's favorite cranky uncle disappeared once the performance started, as it turned in a spectacular rendition of "The Honest Truth." Then CBS cut to a test of the Emergency Broadcast System, which the audience at the Clinton booed until the show returned to show Dave towering over singer Kyle Morton as he pointed out that Typhoon has one too many drummers. All together, it was a surreal moment for people who've followed the band from its inception: As my friend and colleague Whitney Hawke wrote on Facebook, she first saw Typhoon play at the Clinton Street Theater. "I would say it's come full circle," she wrote, "but I think it's just the damn start of it all."
It should be noted that the Sound Outside and Typhoon finished first and second, respectively, in Willamette Week's 2010 Best New Band poll. What does that mean, exactly? Well, clearly, this publication is a starmaker. And And And, ready your witty post-performance banter now. Your move, Leno.
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside