Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is a man of many responsibilities.
In the past six days, he's DJed five events, performed twice with his band, the Roots, taped four episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, opened a restaurant that serves fried chicken he can't eat on his current diet, graded his studen ... More >>
Better Than: Sobbing silently while watching the club performance scene in Purple Rain on your couch for the 25th time this week... not that there's anything wrong with that.
The stage was bigger, the venue more prestigious, and the atmosphere gave off a more purple hue. But then this was a Prince ... More >>
Better Than: Waiting two hours for Justin Bieber.
Fans were told 9. Press was told 9:30. By 9:45 the room was packed to the rafters, and as 10 o'clock, and then 10:30 passed, the tension in the room was palpable, and the whispers began spreading through the crowd... Where is D'Angelo?
A fair quest ... More >>
If you want to see what alternative R&B will look like in 2013—if the term itself, which already looks sort of old fart-y, still exists—you should check out Los Angeles-based musicians Inc. and Kelela at (le) poisson rouge tonight for "A No World Takeover." The songs on Inc.'s full-lengt ... More >>
You're right to believe Frank Ocean was robbed by Mumford & Sons for Album of the Year at the Grammys Sunday. But nevertheless, last year was a good one for r&b, one that saw different facets of the genre take center stage. By extension, Frank Ocean is now a household name. And though Kelly Clarkson ... More >>
So, Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child dropped two singles over the weekend, and people who mostly grew up in the last decade rejoiced. Everybody else was like, "What the hell is this all about?"
Both these major pop entities haven't dropped new music in a long while. Timberlake, who hasn't rele ... More >>
?uestlove's stock is at an all-time high. His stint as house band-leader on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon was recently complimented by a profile in The New Yorker; you might even peep his face on subway billboards around the city as he clocks up his Sonos endorsement money. Tonight he'll be spinning ... More >>
A lot has happened since SOTC met Ava Luna two and a half years ago. Drummer Alex Smith has been replaced by the returning Julian Fader, who played with an earlier iteration of the band (in the interim, he was a member of bands like Quilty and a couple others). The backup vocal trio is down to a due ... More >>
Howard Gilman Opera House
Friday, April 20
Better than: Celebrating "4/20."
Questlove's "Shuffle Culture" eventat which ten or so musical acts performed a handful of songs each, but never more than one at a time, as if the set list itself were on shufflewas at once st ... More >>
In a recent tweet responding to a follower's assertion that he was a celebrity, the drummer and head Root Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson demurred, claiming he was merely "a personality." The follower had a point, though; according to a website devoted to Quest's blogs about meeting famous people, for in ... More >>
Harlem Stage Gatehouse
Saturday, February 11
Better than: Ever.
What better way to see in the pre-Valentine's Day weekend, a warm-up for the designated 24 hours our culture sets aside for Love, than to enjoy the supple outpourings of Jose James? For two nights last weekend, the Yankee-h ... More >>
This morning, Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius was found dead from an apparent suicide at age 75, and the outpouring of grief and nostalgia was probably best summed up by the Roots' ?uestlove, whose Brooklyn Bowl party Bowl Train is an homage to the show. He wrote passionately about how the ... More >>
It is hard to not root for D'Angelo, the long-dormant R&B genius who, in the 12-year (!) period between his classic album Voodoo and now, has had run-ins with the law and mean-spirited internet giggles directed his way. But in December, Roots drummer and longtime collaborator ?uestlove told Pitchfor ... More >>
Wednesday, November 30
Better than: Ja Rule's acting in The Fast and the Furious.
It seems cruel that as the recession continues to hit the "snooze" button, Swizz Beatz has picked up yet another job, another paycheck. He is the luxe James Franco, collecting 1099s like pass ... More >>
Today is Thanksgiving here in the States, and in addition to getting irritated by Nickelback's existence, lots of Americans will probably celebrate by eating pie. The word "pie" is a bit more prevalent in the lyrics of non-"Weird Al" Yankovic-crafted popular music than one might a dessert to be, but ... More >>
VH1 spent last week counting down what the channel, and its panel of celebrities and "experts," consider The 100 Greatest Songs of The '00s. They certainly haven't been the first to assemble such a listRolling Stone and Pitchfork and every blog under the sun had their say about two years ago, ... More >>
Saturday, September 17
Better than: The majority of the Disney lineup.
Demi Lovato might have packed the Hammerstein Ballroom with cameraphone-waving teen and tween girls on Saturday night, but her stage seemed ready for Madison Square Garden. During her hour-long ... More >>