The Roots: America's Band?
In a blog entry at Grantland, writer Patrice Evans heaps heavy praise on neo-soul group the Roots, who just released their 10th studio album, Undun. The CD has received such critical acclaim that it's high time to big-up the group as "America's Band," he writes.
I know what you’re thinking. Actually, I have no idea. But among the infinitude of thoughts might be the stray notion that technically, yes, there’s no such thing as “America’s Band.” You’ve Googled, and there’s no reality show. No Twitter account. No Tumblr. The Facebook page doesn’t exist. Nada, zero, zilch. Only a 404 error message and you have no idea what to click on.
It’s also possible, being that your brain is such a dominant beast of thinkerly thinking, that in close proximity to the previous brain flash you’re now wondering how, in a variety of ways, this Q&A lacks logical consistency. In search of America’s band we have old bands, new bands, non-American bands? Also missing are all the rest of the bands? What are the rules? I don’t know the rules! I only know the answers. But in search of the best question, here’s four primary lines of argument to focus on:
The Generational Argument: This allows us to scratch off The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, etc. and move on with our lives!
The Genre Argument: Rock music is no longer the centerpiece of the music conversation. This is in some ways an old, outdated argument, but then again there’s the recent GQ’s “Gods of Rock” co-opting Wayne, Em, Badu, and of course there’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of our most distinguished musical honors. That’s racist! (Just kidding.) This argument doesn’t scratch any band off the list, but it does mute the immediate reflex to say “Nirvana!” or “Radiohead!” (Brits in our head, man.)
Read Patrice Evans' entire column at Grantland.