Monday, November 17, 2008

The Roots make it impossible to ignore Jimmy Fallon...even though we want to

The Roots are retiring from touring to become the house band for Jimmy Fallon's new show. The Roots are retiring from touring to become the house band for Jimmy Fallon's new show.

I need a moment for that to sink it. The Roots. Retiring from touring. To be the house band. For Jimmy Fallon's show.

  • On one hand, the Roots may finally get the mainstream attention for their musicianship they're worked for so long to attain. On the other hand, it's Jimmy fucking Fallon.

  • On one hand, maybe countless years of grinding it out on the road has worn out the Roots, and tested their creative mettle in a way that makes this transition to Max Weinberg/Paul Schaffer/Kevin Eubanks-land appear almost like a natural progression. On the other hand, it's muthafucking Jimmy fucking Fallon.
  • On one hand, it's arguably the greatest live hip hop act of the past 10+ years bringing that energy to late night network television. On the other hand, it's an underlying hope that after the 25th rendition of "Idiot Boyfriend" (in which of course Fallon joins the Roots in an impromptu awkward white boy freestyle rapping it up old school with some real "hip hoppers" for some hip hop hilarity) that Kamal or Hub or Knuckles or Thought (cause ?uestlove's too nice for that) goes all Branford Marsalis on Fallon's ass.

Yes, this makes sense for both sides on many levels: it gives Fallon some semblance of cool cred interest that will spark some viewership from the hardcore Roots faithful as well as possibly endear him to the Conan college demographic that may feel slighted by their redhead leaving their contact high hour, and it gives the Roots a platform to reach audiences that may have seen them sparingly on Letterman, as the backing band for Jay-Z, Vh1 Honors benefits, on Comedy Central or failed to make the connection outside of "ooo that guy with the Afro from that band that was on that Chappelle Show with John Mayer."

It's not even the Jimmy Fallon part that hurts as much as the idea that the Roots won't be touring. Obviously it's not the be all end of all of their touring career, but the idea that the Roots aren't touring, is like hearing the sun won't shine anymore or that I will no longer be able to purchase Duracell batteries 4 for a dollar on the F train at 3am anymore- it just doesn't seem right.


Just as any fan likes to claim ownership of their "entry band" (the band which opens one up to the wide spectrum that is all music), I love my Roots. Just not enough for me sit through a Fallon giggle fit of a monologue.

Or maybe not. Can't hate on a stable paycheck. Especially in these times.

Here's ?uestlove sharing his joy:

At first I was worried that the Fallon gig got his tear ducts a going, but it's actually his post-election synopsis. (A video of ?uest confirming the Roots on Fallon has since been pulled.)

1 painful displays of affection:

Rob November 17, 2008 at 2:02 PM  

Oh.. God.. We're all doomed.

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