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October 05, 2023

Japanese Breakfast plays 'Colbert' as late night shows mark first week back from the writers' strike

The band, which formed in Philly in 2013, performed 'Kokomo, IN' from its 2021 album 'Jubilee' on Wednesday night

Music TV
Japanese Breakfast on 'Late Show' YouTube/The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Japanese Breakfast performed 'Kokomo, IN' from its Grammy-nominated 2021 album 'Jubilee' on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'

Late night television roared back to life this week as ABC, NBC and CBS began airing new episodes of their 11:30 p.m. talk shows — the first since the Writers Guild of America concluded its 148-day strike on Sept. 27. 

One of the first musical acts on the scene was Philadelphia's own Japanese Breakfast, which played Stephen Colbert's "The Late Show" on Wednesday night.

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The indie pop band, led by Bryn Mawr grad Michelle Zauner, performed "Kokomo, IN" from the 2021 album "Jubilee." Zauner and her bandmates played on a softly-lit stage strewn with yellow, orange and pink flowers, as footage of clouds looped behind them. Longtime collaborator Kat Borderud, who also did the scenic design for the band's "Saturday Night Live" debut in 2022, created the dreamy look.

"Jubilee," the band's most recent release, was nominated for a Grammy Award for best alternative music album. Though Zauner said she was "busy writing the next album" at a show in London this summer and even played a new song called "Mega Circuit," she also warned fans it "won't be out for a while." 

The band has, however, promised original music for the upcoming adaptation of Zauner's best-selling memoir "Crying in H Mart," which began casting in May. The book details Zauner's childhood in a mostly white neighborhood in Eugene, Oregon, and the loss of her mother to pancreatic cancer when Zauner was 25. She began shopping in the Asian supermarket chain H Mart to create Korean dishes to stay connected to her mom, lending the book — and The New Yorker essay that inspired it — its title. 

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