I remember when good bands didn’t play on TV. Much less indie super-groups performing covers of a Nigerian activists song about the troubles of being poor and an ex-convict.
Back in the old days this didn’t happen. But somewhere along the line things changed. New late nite shows started up and they vied for an ever fickle audience. And they attracted many by having good, talenated and fresh indie artists that, you know, all the kids are in to…
This has all been pretty cool to see. Especially since they invented dvr’s. It seems that right about the time I had no interest in staying up until 1am on a Tuesday to see The Hold Steady perform on the Late Late Show was right about the time it became unnecessary to stay up until 1am on a Tuesday to see The Hold Steady perform on the Late Late Show.
And thank god for that!
Also besides tivo I also got hulu and of course good ol’ pitchfork to catch me up on all the cool kid late night shows.
And here we are back to the Nigerian musician and activist, Fela Kuti. Fela Kuti was a fantastic musician and a straight up bad ass. A staunch anti-imperialist and a fighter for all the colonized people of the world.
The Herald Sun (a newspaper somewhere) once said, “Imagine Che Guevara and Bob Marley rolled into one person and you get a sense of Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti.”
Well alright! I’ll go with that.
So anyway all this is to say that sometime earlier this week (I don’t know when since thanks to tivo I don’t HAVE to know when!) on late Night With Jimmy Fallon, My Morning Jacket accompanied by The Roots and the Antibalas horns, featuring Merril Garbus from tUnE-yArDs and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes, performed a version of “Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am.”
This is the same song most of this crew performs on the new(ish) compilation RED HOT + FELA. I somehow missed this compilation but I plan to rectify that real soon. Either way, get a taste of it now by checking out the video of the song below. And then do yourself a favor and go buy some Fela records!!
Pretty good, right? Unfortunately though I can’t embed clips from NBC so you’ll have to click here to check out the Fallon performance. But my oh my ain’t they all so fancy looking in their nice clothes?
Dan Sharber wrote this even though he hasn’t written any posts on here for a long time…