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Video: Broken Bells Go Big on 'Conan,' Joanna Newsom Confounds Letterman

Letterman says stuffed birds on Newsom's stage make it 'look like Sarah Palin's den'

December 15, 2010 11:55 AM ET

Tuesday night on Conan, Broken Bells expanded its usual two-man lineup of Danger Mouse and singer/guitarist James Mercer to seven, with the addition of performers on guitars, bass, keyboards, trumpet and percussion. Meanwhile, Joanna Newsom brought some cruel humor out of David Letterman on the Late Show — and was accompanied onstage only by a pair of stuffed peacocks.

Broken Bells (watch above) performed the Grammy-nominated album's "Ghost Inside" flawlessly. But Newsom didn't fare as well; Letterman cracked that the stage "looks like Sarah Palin's den" and asked if Newsom did her own taxidermy. Nonetheless, the singer managed to pull off a lovely version of "On a Good Day" from her latest, Have One on Me (see the clip from the show below).

Watch: Broken Bells take "The Ghost Inside" to Conan [Consequence of Sound]

Joanna Newsom — "On a Good Day" 12/14 Letterman [The Audio Perv via Prefix]

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Song Stories

“Don't Dream It's Over”

Crowded House | 1986

Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

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