Music on Television: Grizzly Bear

Heads up: Tomorrow night’s guest on Jimmy Fallon is none other than Brooklyn’s Grizzly Bear, whose latest record Veckatimest is so good, even the hip hop heads are all about it. Let’s hope they don’t get bumped the way they were on Letterman.

And for the record, like the rest of us, Ed Droste feels the pain too.
Twitter mourns


Reuniting Zack Attack, or The Slow Redemption of Jimmy Fallon

But in my heart it was so real. If you google “Jimmy Fallon” and “douchebag” together, you’ll get 17,000 hits. Well, 17,000 and one, now.

I don’t get what happened. But somewhere between ’00, when he was SNL‘s resident wunderkind, and ’08, when he was tapped to take over the Conan spot, everyone in our generation collectively turned on Jimmy. Maybe you could chalk it up to a couple shitty movies, but since when have SNL grads done otherwise? Case in point.

Around that time, I actually started to feel for the dude. Did I see myself in Fallon? A kid, once crushed on by white girls (and boys) everywhere, later forgotten, and later reviled: you’re damn right, man. I feel bitter for Jimmy, and felt a sense of redemption (misplaced, perhaps) when I heard about his latest stint on the Late Show.

Well, so far, it’s been rough. But the guy certainly has a knack for bringing old obsessions out of our dusty childhood closets. First, there was the Public Enemy reunion. Then, we saw the old curmudgeonly Muppets, Statler and Waldorf, toss a few zingers at Fallon and Jason Segel. And, if he actually manages to pull off last week’s Saved by the Bell reunion announcement, and get the Hot Sundaes and Zack Attack to reunite in one late night spandex and shoulder-padded jam out, then I think, collectively, we ought to forgive Jimmy for whatever he did that pissed us off. Make it happen, America.

Talkin' 'bout friends

[Update: Head on over to “Do As I Write” for a pretty hilarious, if skeptical, look at Fallon’s plan to reunite the ‘Bell’ cast.]

– Thumbu Sammy

The Next Movement? The Roots on Jimmy Fallon

Top Right: The Return of SW1?
Top Right: The Return of SW1?
So, Jimmy Fallon is now three weeks into Late Night, and at the risk of sounding like a total NBC-shill, I’m gonna go out and say that Jimmy will land on his feet just fine. In spite of the painfully awkward monologues (can we just do away with them?), in spite of the constant sycophantry, dude will blow out the other 12:30ers. And the reason’s none other than The Legendary Roots Crew.

Look: Like everyone else, I was shocked, disheartened, gutted, etc, that ?uestlove & co., who’d put out two of their darkest, most politically melancholic albums in the last couple years, would risk all their cred to slow jam to some pasty SNL grad’s thoughts on AIG. (Remember when Winston Marsalis took the Leno job, and left, tired of being “Rochester to Jack Benny“? Remember when Kevin Eubanks was actually a guitarist? Can’t say I do). Hamilton Nolan at Gawker puts it this way: “Black Thought opening for Jimmy Fallon every night is the cultural equivalent of Miles Davis playing his horn on the subway platform to back up a semi-trained dancing spider monkey.” It hurts, man. A real bad.

But one of the benefits of The Roots on network TV is their pull in bringing Hip Hop back to late night, which aside from occasional stints on the Letterman-Leno circuit, hasn’t really been a presence since the days of the Jon Stewart Show (first place I saw Biggie perform), and In Living Color. I mean, bringing out Public Enemy to Bring the Noise? Damn.

Does that help me redeem my image of Flava Flav after VH1 did its best to minstrelize a legend? A little. Does it erase the horrible memory of seeing The Roots play back up to Deuce Bigalow? Not yet, man; not yet. They’d have to reunite Pete Rock and CL, for that.

– Thumbu Sammy