It’s going to be really hard to eke out tangential musical references out of last night’s Saturday Night Live episode, but we certainly shall try.
First: Blue Ivy Carter, the baby who needs no introduction, is greeted by approximately everybody, as she probably is in real life. These people include Prince, who is Prince (well, who is Fred Armisen, but nevertheless is Prince); LL Cool J, who is exposition; Nicki Minaj, who will never be able to be played by anyone as well as Nicki Minaj herself; Brad and Angelina, who are the odd people out in this skit (maybe in this retelling, Chris and Gwyneth already paid their respects); Taylor Swift, who acts like a living Munch painting; and Bon Iver-via-Justin Timberlake, who is the exact embodiment of every Bon Iver joke (“Sorry I’m late, uh, whatever….) people made when Justin Vernon and co. were actually on SNL.
Theory: Any Bon Iver song would be instantly improved with Timberlake on falsetto. If this makes you angry, Vernon still gets songwriting and arrangement duties, just with one extra instrument called Justin Timberlake’s voice.
Also, Sleigh Bells did “Comeback Kid” (which we really like) and “End of the Line” from album Reign of Terrornotorious sound quality or whether Reign of Terror is just supposed to sound like that, in a good or bad way. (With Sleigh Bells, it’s almost always just supposed to sound like that. No, really; one of the more accurate live reviews lately goes: “Sleigh Bells’ racket registered as so themselves-ish that I wondered how much, if any, of what we were hearing was being generated live, which is a compliment.”) At any rate, Alexis and Derek rank amid SNL’s top half of performances this year, no?