Get into the groove

With the Roots

click to enlarge The Roots - F. Scott Schafer
F. Scott Schafer
The Roots

We're not going to insult your musical intelligence by writing this up like you've never heard of The Roots. You've been down with this smart, eclectic, socially conscious Philly funk-hop crew/ensemble/live band ever since you saw drummer ?uestlove on that VH-1 show about the '70s or the '80s or the 100 Most Whatevers, right? Just kidding, you know they've been turning the live-hip-hop-sucks standard on its head with groovy full-band shows since the mid-'90s and that their visceral, reflective new disc Game Theory is garnering critical raves. And chances are, this gig is gonna be the group's best Bay area appearance to date. In addition to top-notch female underground rapper/longtime Roots compatriot Jean Grae, they've also got violin virtuoso Miri Ben-Ari, who played in the Israeli Army String Quartet before coming to America and finding success first in jazz, then in urban music; she's done session work with Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean, and wrote and arranged all the strings for Kanye West's smash debut The College Dropout.

The Roots w/Miri Ben-Ari/Jean Grae, , 8 p.m. Mon., Sept. 25, Club Underground, 802 E. Whiting St., Tampa; $15 adv./$18 d.o.s.

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