Jimmy Fallon Did A Bit About A Song By Obscure Slint Offshoot King Kong
After playing bass on Slint’s 1989 debut album Tweez, Ethan Buckler left the band to form the dance-funk project King Kong, whose early recordings heavily featured former Slint members. That includes King Kong’s 1991 debut album Old Man On The Bridge, which popped up in a surprising context Monday night: Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.
Fallon was doing a recurring bit called “Do Not Play,” in which he features “some music you might want to avoid.” After spotlighting a song about Yoko Ono and rap from Ukraine and Nebraska, he wrapped up the segment with the title track from Old Man On The Bridge. It’s a flurry of playful scat and funky new wave rhythm, and the intention was clearly to laugh it off as the bad kind of absurd. But the groove proved irresistible for Fallon, who danced in his chair and flashed a broad grin. “Dude, I have to say man, this one’s growing on me,” he told Questlove. “This one’s kind of a jam right here.” Questlove concurred, “I like it.” See the King Kong part of the segment for yourself below.
David Pajo, who played in Slint and on multiple King Kong records, addressed Fallon’s bit on Instagram today. “Old Man On The Bridge came out (pretty much) thirty years ago,” Pajo wrote. “I played congas on this song and drew the cover art. Todd Brashear and Brian McMahan recorded it. Ethan Buckler, original bassist for @slintmusic, is the genius behind it all. I like these little glimmers from our growing-up being noticed, decades later!” As someone who has barely explored the wealth of great indie music that emerged out of Louisville in that era, I’m glad this happened too.