BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHT - 2005
The Root of All Evil
It's Saturday night after closing time, and you want music that you don't have to cue up yourself. Commercial radio feels alive, but commercials kill your mood. KMOJ (89.9 FM) has switched to slow jams, as if the party were already over. The Current (89.3 FM) plays some funky Talking Heads, but ruins it by following up with something slow. You're about to settle for listening to your own screams when you come across the racket on KFAI--a human growl over Mozart guitars and a bass drum that sounds like a jetliner landing with a flat tire. Heavy metal, the phrase lifted by Lester Bangs from William S. Burroughs, need not always describe something heavy. "Yes, that's right," enthuses Earl Root over and over again, his friends cracking up in the background once the music ends. The 18-year host of KFAI's The Root of All Evil also runs an online store and label of the same name, plays guitar in the symphonic metal band Aesma Daeva, and hosts Mötley Tüesdays at the Spring Street Bar in Minneapolis. But this radio show is his pleasure dome and clubhouse, and why he's an object of so many concert tributes. Sticking to the full spectrum of underground metal (don't bother requesting Van Halen, though he loves that, too), Root plays anything fast, nasty, or to his taste, from Mastodon to Sonata Arctica. He's proof that one fan can make a difference, and reassurance that you're not alone in wanting to rock and roll all night.