Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Roots at Avalon, October 30, 31

Please, enough of this notion that the Roots are the best live band in hip-hop. Given the outrageous chops Philly’s finest have honed over 10-plus years running the road like rap’s Grateful Dead, they can take on pretty much any act out there, genre be damned. Black Thought, Questlove and the crew are deep in the zone right now, evidenced by recent red-hot performances and the sonically adventurous new album, Game Theory, their first on the Jay-Z–helmed Def Jam label. The defiantly paranoid “Livin’ in a New World” strolls campus with an indie-rock vibe like Pavement gone boom-bap, while “Long Time” touches upon TV on the Radio territory, for starters. The Roots are turning L.A. Halloween shows into something of a tradition, and one well worth celebrating.

(Originally published in the LA Weekly, 10/06)