Where The Music Is
Whatever else you may think of Jimmy Fallon and his entree into late night host-dom (and actually, I think he is okay. Not brilliant, but okay, which is fine for now), the dude wears great suits, has some seriously awesome music going on. First of all, The Roots are his house band, which is cool for several reasons:
- The Roots are from Philly, which, living as it does in New York's shadow, needs all the cultural visibility it can get;
- The Roots flat-out rule. They are tighter than skinny jeans and way, way more flattering to everyone's figure. Yes, even your size 2 teenage daughter looks better when listening to The Roots.
- Questlove, the Roots' drummer, wears a pick comb in his 'fro at all times. This will never not be cool, although due to the complex calculus of cool, it is only cool for Questlove to sport this look.
Like Conan before him, Fallon is using his position as a late-night host to promote not just whoever has a new album coming out, but artists he is personally passionate about, which is great for those of us purchasing or handselling music in a library setting. As he provides lesser-known acts (and classic acts wanting to reach a new audience, such as Public Enemy) with a national venue for their work, he makes it easy for us to do listener's advisory. Because his show is archived at the show's website and at Hulu (not to mention YouTube), it's easy to say to a patron, "oh, you missed Glen Hansard's performance? Let me pull that up for you -- it was lovely! If you like it, you may be interested in the Once soundtrack, some of his work with The Frames, or Green, which is the R.E.M. album this song originally appeared on."
When I hear colleagues fretting about the Internet putting us out of a job, I think about the kinds of cross-media connections we can make for our patrons, and teach them to make for themselves, and I think there may be a future for us, after all.