I consider myself a pretty huge fan of the Roots, but I don’t actually listen to their records that much. Honestly 90 percent of the time that I put a Roots song on, it’s “You Got Me,” and it’s during one of my several yearly periods of infatuation with that track. What I love about the Roots is the joy that they obviously derive from playing music and their refusal to let anyone else’s aesthetic rules interfere with their good time. Which is how it should be. If you’re a rap band and in the middle of your concert you want to cover Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” with a tuba player out front just going nuts, then you should do exactly that.
That’s why the Roots’ gig as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is so perfect, because it pushes them to stretch even further, and you can tell by the looks on their faces that they relish the challenge. Part of the reason people have responded to the group’s prominent role on the show is that the Roots are technically adept enough to play “Pumped Up Kicks” in the style of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie or whatever, but more crucially I think it’s because the fun the band is having is so infectious.
Anyhow last night the Roots and Jimmy Fallon and Carly Rae Jepsen did a rendition of Jepsen’s unstoppable pop juggernaut “Call Me Maybe” with a bunch of kindergarten-music-time instruments, because obviously that’s a fun thing to do so why wouldn’t you? Clip after the jump.