For someone as musical as Jimmy Fallon, it’s surprising he doesn’t seem moved one way or another by his (fairly awesome) musical bookings. The most you get out of the guy when he walks over to congratulate his guests is usually a “Hey nice job, buddy!” even if they just laid out something great. If this performance of Humbug standout “Crying Lightning” was for the benefit of Dave or Conan we likely would’ve seen a more effusive host-band interaction, but no matter: for a guy who’s traded in rock as spiky as his barbed lyrical witticisms, it’s highly impressive to see Alex Turner and his Arctic Monkeys evolve, at least on the brooding and dank Sabbath-y psychedelia of this track, into a more patient and emotionally gripping space. Great performance. And OK, great hair, too.

Humbug is out 8/25 via Domino. Bonus material: the Monkeys hosted a live webcast last week, where they covered Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand.” It looked and sounded like this:

Comments (26)
  1. matt  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    queens of the monkeys

  2. The reason I think Fallon doesnt show much appreciation to the bands is cause he is so focused on just reading the cue-cards properly. He is still painfully new to this and looks like if he ad-libs just the slightest his brain might stop. It shows just how comfortable and bad-ass Dave and Co-Co are. Even Furgueson for that matter.

  3. wingedgopher  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    Weird. Alex looks exactly like my best friend from middle school.

    Really, really digging Humbug. On paper, it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it’s very good.

  4. priya  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    that was pretty badass. and the hair helps. a lot.

  5. gh  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    letterman hates the bands on his show and probably music in general. at least fallon didn’t make fun of their name and patronize them.

  6. Okay, I love both QotSA and Arctic, but even though this song is tinged with the broody sound it does not make them an amalgamation. I can easily tell the difference between the two, and I think that this new sound is a nice maturation.

  7. zoetrope  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    this just proves my dislike for this band even more. I hate how they jump on bandwagons. To me, this is just another trendy band. Where did all the good music go?

  8. Chris  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    The Arctic Monkeys really are very very good and 3 albums in are putting a serious body of work together without being, y’know, ‘serious’. The fact that they could leave so many great songs off Monday’s setlist was telling.

    They also do not have beards which is an instant plus in my book.

  9. merrrna  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    My favorite single of the year, yet I can’t help the feeling that Alex has modeled his new look after the Animatronic-Boywonder-Johnmayeresque Teddy Geiger:

    Very sneaky.

  10. Hieronymus  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    Well, I never liked the Strokes either. Or QOTSA. Is the “derivative” card too overplayed, or can I use it? The performance was tight, but still, pleasant and forgettable. It’s like the kids in school who took their lessons and could rip with the best of ‘em, but still you know they won’t ever make the kind of music people trade in religion for.

    Last Shadow Puppets are sweeet though.

  11. Person L  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    Actually at the beginning of the show after the monologue, Fallon shows his enthusiasm for the bands on his show. He did it with Arctic Monkeys that night. He does it for a bunch of bands.

    Great song though. I think it sounded better much better live as usual for the Artics. Alex’s voice comes through a lot better on that song.

  12. che  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    i am loving album especially the evolved sound. It makes it easier to listen to them without getting fed up with the guitars of the first albums which i fucking loved.

    what i like the most is alex’s swagger its infectious cuz i cant help but get into the mood when he sings crying lightning.

  13. dane  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    i dont know what it is about this band, but their music just doesn’t do it for me. i watched this whole performance. the whole song kinda feels soul-less, with the tinny guitar lines, the forced “darkness”, and the incessantly corny bass line.

    i want to like this band. i really do.

  14. Andy  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    I went to a taping of the show when they had The Virgins on. He was really enthusiastic about them between commercial breaks and talked about how great of a band they are. Once the camera’s were on that excitement was toned down a lot.

    I think Buns is right, its because he can’t step off course for the slightest second.

  15. Is this a new hair-metal comeback? ?

  16. F. Leghorn  |   Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 0

    Very excited about this new album, as I’ve really loved everything that Turner has done so far. I give ‘em credit for going a bit off the beaten path. In particular, I love the fact that they aren’t so focused on the usual Amer-indie earnestness tripe that is so beloved on this site and Pitchfork; my christ, that anybody can call these guys ‘derivative’ or mention a ‘bandwagon’ (?) while using the execrable ‘i loves me some’ prefix to discussing callow, CSNY bullshit like Fleet Foxes, or the warmed-over Chapterhouse b-sides of Deerhunter is beyond me. But, I don’t live in Brooklyn, so maybe that has kept me safe from harm.
    Oh, but gosh, Grizzly Bear is sure great! Fuck me. What a disgrace.

    • bob seger  |   Posted on Aug 7th, 2009 0

      You are the man!! That Chapterhouse comparison for Deerhunter is on the money, but most of these psych rock/folk bands are fooling these sad children into thinking they are on the cutting edge of good music. Grizzly Bear sucks a fat one, and so does Animal Collective.

  17. This was pretty awesome though I wish the bass guitar was fuzzed or distorted. The moving line Tuner’s palying is very QotSA. And is that James Rushent playing with them?

  18. No Intention  |   Posted on Aug 6th, 2009 0

    So who’s got their head up there ass? Domino or NBC…

  19. Maybe Jimmy Fallon looks unemotional because he’s ashamed of the constant use of that silly stand-in audience for the live bands.

    As I’ve said before, I really like this song and how they’ve matured. Feels like ages ago when they were on SNL and Alex Turner said “that guy just yawned” like a total brat. Haahha.

  20. I remember a friend of mine showing me “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” in the library at my old high school and thinking, “These guys are great! They aren’t going anywhere!”

    honestly, at the time i figured they had one more album before they lost interest or faded into obscurity. i’m really glad to be wrong and to see them still bringing it.
    This band is so damn hip man, these American girls don’t stand a chance..

  21. Awww, i have always liked these guys, but now i like then even more, they look just like me.

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