The Elephant 6 vibe is alive and well on The Colbert Report. On Monday, Robert Schneider and his Apples became the first band to appear twice, playing an inspired version of “Can You Feel It?” to plug…a Japanese picture disc?

Although the plug looked clumsy coming out Colbert’s mouth, he no doubt fought through it because his name shows up on the product twice. The Japanese picture disc is question is an international issue of the homage track “Stephen Stephen,” which also appears on the band’s recently released comp Electronic Projects for Musicians.

Rumor has it that The Apples in Stereo performed another song with Colbert on the mike, but that is to be confirmed at a later date. It isn’t a stretch. The gonzo comedian has serious musical chops, most recently performing “Teach Your Children Well” with Crosby, Stills and Nash, unannounced and hiding in Neil Young’s clothes.

The Apples in Stereo’s performance had some interesting visual signs as well. Unless my eyes fail me, and they have before, Schneider played while wearing an Obama T-shirt. The keyboardist’s hilarious costume looked like the same one worn by the adorable keyboardist in School of Rock. Allusion, and fun, abounds, but that is Colbert’s magic hand. He’s keeping music cool on television in an era when it is fast becoming just another dumb pipe for redundant content.

(Except for that Toby Keith episode. Please. Make. It. Stop.)

Colbert is also keeping it cool on the internet as well. The episode featuring Rush ignited a discussion on Listening Post about the band’s eligibility for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that has yet to be extinguished. Rock on, Colbert. Like Neil Young famously sang, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.

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