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Tag: The Roots (1-10 of 20)

The Roots, Foo Fighters to perform Super Bowl weekend

Foo Fighters, The Roots, and Imagine Dragons will perform on a cruise ship ahead of the Super Bowl.

The bands will hit the stage on the Bud Light Hotel New York, which will be docked at Pier 88 in Manhattan on the Hudson River. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 2 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Roots will perform with Run-DMC and Busta Rhymes on Jan. 30, while Grammy-nominated Imagine Dragons will perform a day later.

Foo Fighters will headline the main event on Feb. 1, where Zac Brown Band will also perform.

Fall Out Boy and country singer Jake Owen will play a concert before the Super Bowl.

The cruise ship will offer lodging for 4,000 guests in 1,900 staterooms.

Elvis Costello and the Roots collaborating on an album due in September

Throughout his career, Elvis Costello has been backed by a handful of different bands. There was the first version of the Attractions, which ended up becoming the bulk of the News (as in Huey Lewis). Then there was the more famous version of the Attractions, who played on classics like My Aim Is True. 

There were the Impostors, and also the Sugarcanes. He’s released album-length collaborations with Burt Bacharach, the Brodsky Quartet, and Allen Toussaint, as well as multiple one-offs with Paul McCartney, Aimee Mann, and Billie Joe Armstrong. So why not the Roots?

In September, Costello will release Wise Up Ghost, an album recorded with the Philadelphia hip-hop stalwarts turned Jimmy Fallon late-night musical crew. Details are scarce, and the official press release about the album’s existence contained a lot of purposefully obtuse information (when asked about the album, Costello described it as “the shortest distance between here and there,” whatever that means). READ FULL STORY

D'Angelo, Elvis Costello, Chris Rock, the Roots pay tribute to Prince at Carnegie Hall

Is it the singer, or is it the song?

That was the question on the minds of both the eclectic cadre of performers and the sold out crowd at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Thursday night for a benefit show titled “The Music of Prince.” A bevy of the Purple One’s contemporaries and followers joined together to genuflect at his funky altar, with the proceeds from the show going to a number of music-related charities for kids.

This was the ninth year for the series, and in the past, several of the tribute centerpieces—including Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young—made surprise appearances at their own shows. Prince himself did not materialize last night, but there were so many fascinating interpretations of his work and explorations of his unique charisma that it was almost better without his all-seeing eyes watching over the proceedings.

The evening began relatively tamely, with the Waterboys busting out a faithful rendition of “Purple Rain.” Though he bears no physical or aesthetic resemblance to Prince, singer Mike Scott managed to nail the same kind of passion and pathos the song’s creator first sent coursing through its veins nearly 30 years ago. It was almost too perfect, and it set an uncomfortable tone early in the evening: Would this simply be two and a half hours of extremely well-executed Prince karaoke, overseen by house band the Roots?

Luckily, subsequent performers took many more liberties with Prince’s songs, and while that led to some awkward moments, their ingenuity was generally rewarded. READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Fallon talks about his show's biggest moments by this year's Grammy nominees

A look at the nominations for this Sunday’s Grammy Awards points to an interesting trend: Apparently, the road to Grammy-nominated glory runs through the Rockefeller Center studio that houses Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Many of this weekend’s potential winners have had their biggest moments on the show, from Frank Ocean’s TV debut to the “music room” remix of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

What’s more, there could be Grammy gold coming to the show itself: Fallon’s Blow Your Pants Off (which consists largely of musical bits from the show) is nominated for Best Comedy Album, and house band the Roots’ Undun is up for Best Rap Album. EW caught up with Fallon a few weeks back to go over some of his show’s biggest highlights from this year’s crop of Grammy nominees.

Frank Ocean
“We booked the Odd Future guys a while back, before they got signed. So we stayed in touch with them, and Frank Ocean is from that crew, and we heard he had a record coming out, so we booked him to perform—he was making his TV debut on our show. Two days before is when he tweeted out that letter about his sexuality. That’s so crazy to do in the world of R&B and hip-hop, it’s just a thing that’s not really done. No one does that. So it made all these headlines, and the tag to all the headlines was, ‘And he’s performing on Jimmy Fallon.’ READ FULL STORY

The Roots, Talib Kweli, more to tribute Prince at Carnegie Hall

Uptown Manhattan is about to get purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

Carnegie Hall has announced the lineup for their annual spring fundraiser for music education, which this year will come in the form of a Prince tribute concert. The venerable New York venue has recruited the likes of the Roots, Talib Kweli, and Booker T. to pay their respects to the Minnesota musician at the March 7 event, which will benefit a variety of charities aiding youth-oriented music programs.

“Prince is one of the most prolific songwriters in my collection,” said organizer Michael Dorf in a statement. “He makes my Top 10 when I think about the artists who have truly shaped modern music.”

Among the other artists who’ll help honor the Purple Rain maven are Living Colour, Blind Boys of Alabama, DeVotchKa, and Madeleine Peyroux.


Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey, The Roots, a bunch of awesome little kids sing 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' -- VIDEO

Give those Pandora and Spotify holiday playlists a break and turn to Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey, and The Roots for your morning cup of (non-alcoholic! or not) cheer.

With classroom musical instruments and holiday sweaters in tow, a glamorously gown-clad Carey (you didn’t think she’d seriously wear a sweater, did you?) joined the gang for a playful rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” yesterday on Late Night.

Sure, the performance doesn’t hold a candle to this summer’s “Call Me Maybe” singalong, but the adorable children singing background and Carey’s breathy high notes make the video irresistible. I don’t know about you, but I’m taking a chug of eggnog anytime Carey sings that song on national television. Mariah early Christmas, everyone!

Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY

Muddy good times at Austin City Limits: On the scene with Neil Young, Jack White, Florence and the Machine, the Roots and more

Glow sticks, activate!

Austin City Limits kicked off under clear Texas skies on Friday, as an estimated 75,000 fans converged on the lawns of Zilker Park for the 11th annual music festival. Early sets by Asleep at the Wheel and the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit opened the balmy day, which would go on to present a series of Sophie’s Choices for music lovers. The Afghan Whigs reunion show or the Alabama Shakes? Florence + the Machine or Weezer?

Speaking of Florence, a flame-haired pied piper who pranced and floated across the stage and into the crowd, I’d follow that woman anywhere. At one point during her exuberant set, she called a young fan up on stage and lovingly rubbed some glitter off his face onto her hers. “It’s not a festival until you’re stroked glitter off a stranger’s face and put it on your own!” she declared. It’s also not a fest until you’ve seen a merry pack of toddlers with glow-stick hair bands and tails dance with abandon to “Dog Days are Over.” READ FULL STORY

The Roots sing special doo-wop song for Alec Baldwin on 'Fallon': Watch it here

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon audience member Alex Baldwin!

Oh, oops — as he told Fallon, it’s “Alec, with a C.” And apparently this totally random member of Late Night‘s live studio audience also has a habit of appearing on some NBC show called 30 Rock?

To help Alec With a C promote the Tina Fey sitcom’s final season, Fallon’s house band the Roots played a custom-tailored doo-wop ditty while Baldwin and his host swayed along. As NBC warns, “This ain’t your grandaddy’s Beach Boys.”

Check it out in the video below:


On the scene at the 'I'll Be Your Mirror' ATP festival day 2: The Roots, The Afghan Whigs, and more

Image Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Day two of I’ll Be Your Mirror offered up a bevy of surprises – not the least of which was running into Bob Boilen of NPR’s All Songs Considered.

Singer songwriter Joseph Arthur brought his stream-of-consciousness rock poetry to the indoor stage with songs like “Slide Away” and the breezy, nostalgic “I Miss the Zoo.” On the latter he donned a white lab coat and, in a deft work of performance art, painted an eerie human face while singing (his self-made album art has been nominated for a Grammy).

Following him up outside was Charles Bradley, a.k.a. The Screaming Eagle of Soul. Let me tell you, this man has a life story: Homeless for a time, the Gainesville, Florida native eventually found his way to New York and started performing as a James Brown cover artist known as Black Velvet. Then about a decade ago, in his mid-50s, he was discovered by Daptone Records and last year released his debut album, No Time for Dreaming.

Yesterday’s performance was a joyous funk/soul revival act, Bradley hootin’ and hollerin’ and gyratin’ his hips like the Godfather himself. After playing a generous blend of originals – “Heartaches and Pain,” “The World (Is Goin’ Up in Flames)” – and covers, like Clarence Carter’s “Slip Away” and James Brown’s “Funky Good Time,” Bradley closed the show by climbing into the audience and doling out hugs. The man was so genuine and so talented (his nickname is well-earned) that none of it felt hokey or forced. In the words of a nearby fan, “That mother­­­f—er is the truth.”

Then it was off to see Australian psych-folk trio Dirty Three. Violinist and de-facto bandleader Warren Ellis, a gangly, bearded Charles Manson lookalike, commanded the stage with a manic, deranged intensity. He thrashed and kicked and leered as he and the group banged out their explosive instrumental epics, including “The Pier” and “Some Summers they Drop Like Flys.” But as enthralling as the music was, the most memorable bits were Ellis’ maniacal introductions: “This is a song about coming home for Christmas and finding out Santa didn’t come and everybody died.  This a song, ladies and gentlemen, about stuff like that.”

Detroit’s The Dirtbombs were up next, and what a rollicking treat they were. Known for blending punk rock and Motown soul, their muscular lineup consisted of two bass players and two drummers in addition to Mick Collins’ vocals and guitar. That enormous rhythm section – come on, it’s 80% of the band – gives their music a brute physicality.

Segueing effortlessly from garage-tinged R&B (“Underdog”) to disco dance-rock (“Good Life”) to swaggering funk (“Candy A—“), Collins and co. arguably delivered the day’s most enthusiastic performance. Pouring sweat, drinking beer, waving their instruments around, it felt like watching a group of 17-year-olds playing a punk show in their friend’s basemen (that’s a good thing). For the close, Collins simply walked off stage, leaving the drummers and bassists to hammer out five-minutes of tuneless percussive bliss.

Inside once more, buzzy relative newcomers The Antlers shifted the mood 180 degrees with their transcendent soundscapes. Drawing from their two most recent records, Hospice and Burst Apart, the Brooklyn-based indie darlings played with an orchestral grandeur that was at once lush and haunting. Think The Cure’s Disintegration but without the gothic dread; epic and drenched in reverb, with vocalist Peter Silberman boasting power and range to rival Steve Perry on highlights “Sylvia” and “Putting the Dog to Sleep.”

Later in the evening, artist favorite Mark Lanegan Band (at least three earlier groups hyped up his show) performed his signature menacing proto-blues. On stage he did little more than grip the mic stand and glower, letting his deep, gruff, inimitable voice – equal parts Tom Waits and Billy Gibbons – anchor the four musicians behind him. “Riot in My House,” “Harborview Hospital,” and others dished up ferocious, testosterone-fueled grooves; when he closed with “Methamphetamine Blues,” a savage work of industrial blues-rock played in the key of hate, I thought the building might collapse.

Outside, Swedish-Argentinian nü-folkster José González brought his own brand of stripped-down intensity. His mastery of the acoustic guitar is evident, and he has a penchant for songwriting that is both literate and urgent. Occasionally the constant negativity wore thin – a major chord wouldn’t kill the guy – but his technical dexterity was a wonder in itself, and songs like “Lovestain” and “Remain” are very, very good at what they do, which is earnestly conveying regret. He ended with a cover of Massive Attack’s trip-hop anthem “Teardrop,” revealing unheard nuances with his propulsive acoustic take.

Then, finally, the true headliners took the stage: the newly-reunited Afghan Whigs. I must say first that I was twelve years old when these alt-rock icons broke up in 2001, so for me their live show was one of discovery. What I discovered, first and foremost, is that Greg Dulli, lead singer of the Whigs and guest curator of the festival, has a hell of a voice. I mean, this thing was made for a stadium, like a modern-day Roger Daltrey.

He built the band with a volume to match, employing not one, not two, but three guitars, and a cello (Necessary? Probably not. Awesome? Definitely). Dulli and the crew rocked a set that spanned the whole of their lauded career, from “Son of the South” off 1990’s Up In It to “66” from 1998’s 1965. They also made sure to treat their devoted fans to some gems, bringing out former backup singer Steve Meyer to help with “Gentlemen,” and even calling up Marcy Mays of Scrawl to perform their 1993 collaboration “My Curse.”

And of course it wouldn’t be a Whigs set without some diggin’-in-the-crates covers. Dulli, who’s been called “a black singer in a white body,” dipped into an extensive R&B catalog, taking on Marie “Queenie” Lyons’ “See and Don’t See,” The Supremes’ “Baby Don’t Leave Me,” and Frank Ocean’s “Love Crimes” and “Thinking About You,” and strutting the stage with a rapper’s braggadocio. The band’s final song, the cavernous “Faded,” bled into the searing guitar line from Prince’s “Purple Rain,” cementing Dulli’s dichotomous ambitions. After 11 years out of the race, the Afghan Whigs have relaunched at a full sprint.

Easily 2/3 of the crowd dispersed after the Whigs played, but those who remained bore witness to one of the hallowed truths in contemporary music: the Roots are the best live act around. I don’t even know where to begin. First, kudos to those guys – playing before a dwindling audience of perhaps 150 people, they could easily have phoned in the show. What’s one more live gig to Jimmy Fallon’s backing band?

But if the crowd size was a factor it was impossible to tell: their performance was one of the most enthused and technically proficient that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Rapper Black Thought dedicated the show to the memories of the late Chuck Brown, the godfather of Go-Go, and MCA of the Beastie Boys, before launching into a Go-Go rendition of the Beastie’s “Paul Revere” that was nothing short of miraculous.

The rest of the concert can best be described as “a whirlwind musical odyssey with your hosts, the Roots.” Of course they played their own hits (“Mellow My Man,” Proceed,” “Break You Off”) frequently dropping to immaculate jazz breaks or tossing in exterior tidbits, like plucking the horn line from OutKast’s “SpottieOttieDopalicious” during “You Got Me.” But then they threw their own catalog to the wind and tore through an eclectic medley: “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Bad to the Bone,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Who Do You Love,” even transforming Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” into a murky dub cut

. Add to all that the fact that they didn’t break once between songs, and performed the last half hour with the breakneck energy and false endings of an encore. It was a true marvel of showmanship. When they hurtled to a close at precisely 12:59, it was like waking up from a fever dream.

Read More

Lollapalooza: Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli has one festival goal: See Frank Ocean
Afghan Whigs live in New York City — still dark and dangerous at their first show in 13 years
Greg Dulli on curating All Tomorrow’s Parties, getting the Afghan Whigs back together, and why Louis C.K. is like a pretty girl

Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers to headline Austin City Limits

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and Florence + the Machine are three of the biggest names slated to play the 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival. The entire 130-act strong lineup was announced for the October event. Click below for the rest of the talent: READ FULL STORY

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