Six months after releasing their latest disc Backspacer, Pearl Jam returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend as musical guest, performing two tracks from the record: the hushed ballad “Just Breathe,” which featured a string quartet, and the up-tempo rocker “Unthought Known” (watch them both after the jump). The band seemed to be in a good mood throughout — Eddie Vedder was all smiles after wrapping up their second performance — and the group took time to cameo in a send-up skit of The Twilight Zone’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” which drew big laughs.
But the show’s biggest highlight was the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas’ guest appearance in the Lonely Island clip for “Boombox.” In the digital short, Andy Samberg and Casablancas show up at a buttoned-up country club, the streets of New York and a retirement home, where they switch on their ghetto blaster and demonstrate music’s awesome power to get stuffy people dancing and old people horny. Casablancas delivered the hook, singing in a high, pinched voice about how a “boombox can change the world.” Before the show aired, he gave fans a heads up about his cameo on his Twitter and posted photos from the set.
Though he’s not yet Justin Timberlake — whose “Dick in a Box” and “Motherlover” both became viral sensations — Casablancas has been showing off his appreciation for SNL in the past few months. In November, the singer released a cover of “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” which was originally performed by cast members Horatio Sans, Chris Kattan, Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan.
The Strokes are currently at work on the follow-up to 2006’s First Impressions of Earth. Casablanacas has also revealed the band will be one of the headliners at this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.