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Jamaican, Horizon and Roots

By Staff · February 25th, 2009 · Minimum Gauge


Jamaican Us Crazy
Looks like Jamaica is about to get a lot less fun. Officials announced recently that there would be a ban on all references to sex and violence on the airwaves. The ban is specifically targeting music — according to the AP, the government plans to “ban any song or music video that depicts sexual acts or glorifies gun violence, murder, rape or arson.” Who writes songs about rape and arson? It’s like writing about child molestation and check fraud.

Anyway, the announcement of the ban comes a few weeks after the ban of a dance style called “daggering” (basically dry-humping to Dancehall music). Once again, the grand moral message of Footloose is completely ignored.


No Leak on the Horizon
No Line on the Horizon, the new album by U2, is causing quite a stir in advance of its release this Tuesday. But it has nothing to do with the music or one of Bono’s save-the-world ventures. A couple weeks ago the album was “leaked” early by the band’s own record company, Universal Music Group. The album — “accidentally” released on a legal download site in Australia — was only up for two hours but that was just enough time for people to begin posting the record all over the Internet.

The band and their management are no doubt furious. The album was carefully guarded, with no promo releases sent to critics; the critics who were allowed to hear it had to go to listening parties where recording devices were not permitted.

Also new-U2 related: Rumors circulated that the download site lastfm.com gave the RIAA information on users who had downloaded the CD illegally. The site denied the rumor, not wanting to become the AT&T of the music world. Though we wonder if the White House came calling, what would they give up?

Rolling Stone has given No Line on the Horizon a rare “five star” review. We’ll hold judgment until we hear it, but that rating seems highly unlikely given the band’s last couple of albums. And it’s never a good sign when your pushing-50 lead singer starts wearing eyeliner.


Roots Neutered for Late Night?
When it was first announced that amazing Hip Hop group The Roots were to become the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (the show taking Conan O’Brien’s place when he moves to 11:35 p.m.), it seemed like a slam-dunk, brilliant idea. But a recent AP interview with the band makes it seem like there is a ton of doubt going into the band’s new situation.

Drummer ?uestlove says he was told by Jazz player Branford Marsalis — former Jay Leno band leader before abruptly quitting (probably because he couldn’t fake-laugh at Leno’s bad jokes anymore) — that the band would “be neutered” by the experience. Blogs have mocked the band for the move, and MC Black Thought admits he might get some cries of “sellout” from fans and peers.

But the real kicker is that the group will be composing all of the music they play on the show fresh. NBC reportedly will not pay the publishing royalties to have the band do covers … or even their own songs!

Band members say location (they hail from Philly and the show tapes in New York) and money were the main incentive — they’ll make as much if not more doing the show than touring three-fourths of the year. And they say with the economic problems in the country even their solid live reputation isn’t enough to guarantee fans will be able to come out for shows anymore.

We’ll see what happens, but don’t be shocked if the band takes Marsalis’ “abrupt departure” route.



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