Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Roots Become Late Night House Band??

If you were still holding out on misguided hopes for America's economy, here's something that should dash all of your foolish naivety. The Roots, one of the most well respected and critically acclaimed hip hop acts of the times, have announced that they will become the house band for Jimmy Fallon's late night TV show when Fallon takes over Conan O'Brien's slot later this year. What the f***? Don't look now, it gets even worse.

NBC isn't going to pay for publishing rights, even for songs The Roots wrote. This means that the band has to come up with 200 or more original snippets to play on Fallon's show. Holy moses. ?uestlove, the drummer of The Roots, told Jam Music that the group is currently writing about 25 songs a day, an unimaginable task. The band has cited low ticket sales, homesickness, and the stress of touring as reasons why they accepted the TV offer. All I can say is that this seems like a degrading and humiliating situation for them. I consider them one of the most genuinely talented acts of hip hop, and here they are now struggling to meet the demands of their gig as a house band...for Jimmy Fallon.

Amazingly, the group appears to be relatively optimistic. They hope to reach a larger audience, and have said that recording the show in NYC will allow them to spend more time at home in Philly, while also making it easier to record and or play shows in NYC. I guess more power to them. Expect a report on this bizarre situation once Fallon's show airs later this year.


Jam Music Article
Spin Article


Goldaline said...

Kinda sad for them, but I think they're going to be awesome on the show. They're really a steal for Fallon. Hard to believe they're going to have enough songs when they start though.

Slappy White said...

I don't think its degrading. First, I don't think anyone should dismiss Fallon before we've seen him in his new role. I mean, I'm a huge Conan fan but will still give Fallon a shot. Who knows, he could be a great late night host. And second, just because they're a house band on TV doesn't mean they're being humiliated. Max Weinberg has played with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for decades, and while I don't really listen to Bruce at all, you can't argue his influence and vast appeal. I'm just saying, I don't think it's as bad as you're making it.