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When: Sat., April 14 2012
Face it: Questlove will always be cooler than you. Drumming for the Roots is just the starting point of the 41-year-old hip-hop maestro's awesomeness. He's a shrewd and sympathetic producer who's slathered warm heapings of old-school soul onto records by Common, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and Al Green. He's an obsessive musicologist who fills his spots as Jimmy Fallon's Late Night bandleader with a slyness lost on guys like Paul Shaffer (would David Letterman's sidekick intro a Michele Bachmann appearance with Fishbone's “Lyin' Ass Bitch”?). He's also one of the best music writers around, chronicling R&B's multilayered past -- especially the parts that link the '70s to rap -- in essays and lists for various publications, as well as penning extensive liner notes to Roots albums that read like artist manifestos. And then there are his DJ sets, like the one he's bringing to the B-Side this weekend, where he spins everything from the Supremes, Beyoncé, and Kanye West to Bill Haley & His Comets, Joni Mitchell, and Toto in a quest to thematically tie together the history of popular music. He also has the best hair in the business. So you might as well give up right now. With DJ Eso. 9 p.m. Tickets: $20. – Michael Gallucci


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