While witnessing The Roots & John Legend blow the roof off in West Hollywood this weekend, it occurred to me that the last time I was so enthralled by a show at the legendary Troubadour was when Atmosphere came through in 2006 with a full live band. “Slug is on some Springsteen shit” is how former URB editor Scott Sterling described that night as the backpacker from Minneapolis took us through over two hours and serious emo-rap, brought to life by a five-piece live band.
Atmosphere just announced some new tour dates for 2010—named the “To All My Friends Tour,” which to my chagrin doesn’t include LA (yet). But here’s what’s on deck so far for the tour which also features Blueprint, Grieves & Budo and DJ Rare Groove. …MORE
Last night, John Legend and The Roots brought their recent collaboration the intimate state of West Hollywood’s Troubadour, the 54-years-young legendary music venue that has hosted more historical moments than many notorious venues—CBGBs, The Filmore and neighboring Whiskey A Go-Go—combined. And while this inspired pairing might not rank with Elton John’s first U.S. appearance or Mookie Blaylock’s first ever gig under their new name, Pearl Jam, last night’s performance threatened to rip the old wooden ceiling off. Showcasing their new overtly conscious album of soul covers, Wake Up!, the five-piece crew (no Black Thought, no Tuba Gooding Jr.) ripped through a majority of the record, including the title track which found Common making an unscheduled appearance onstage. But other than this hip-hop interlude, it was near impossible to place a date …
When The Roots signed on as Jimmy Fallon’s house band last year, we knew they’d be trading a whole lot of air time for a whole lot less time on the road. But one thing no one really anticipated was how much Fallon fallow time would allow ?uestlove and Co. to hti the studio. Not only does the band have their own album, How I Got Over, still in the charts, but they’ve teamed up with John Legend for the upcoming full-length, Wake Up!
With the near constant influx of collaborations from The Roots via their daily work on Jimmy Fallon, we sometimes forget that the crew from Philly have their own album coming out in just 11 days. “The Fire” is the third cut we’re hearing from How I Got Over, this one featuring John Legend, which certainly gives the song a little more pop potential. But the fact is, with nine albums, thier own fest in Philly and an innovative television residency, ?uestlove and Co. “got over” a long time ago.
With Earth Day (4/22) here, the question as to how the music industry can and has gone green is important. We’ve experienced concerts with environmental initiatives, album artwork printed with vegan dyes, soft packs instead of jeweled CD cases, artist contributions made to organizations, press releases with philanthropic undertones, but has the music industry as a whole gone green? I can’t confidently say yes. …MORE