Saturday, February 23, 2008

With my birthday being approximately 10 days away, I kicked off the celebrations for my National Holiday with The Roots at the Apollo last night.

Since we were going to the 11 PM show, the night started with dinner and drinks (or should I say drinks and dinner...hahahahaha) with Guy Guru and 2 new gal pals, Jo and Mo. They are actually Guru's friends but I'm claiming them now. Why do people instantly believe that women are catty? Why have we bought into the stereotype that women inherently cannot get along or will at least fake the funk like we like each other and talk about each other later?? I bring this up because I was stepping into a situation where I was meeting 2 females for the first time and was about to spend approximately at least 4 hours with them. I would be lying like somebody in that baseball steroid scandal if I said I didn't have a fleeting thought of "I wonder what these chicks will be like". However, in true Janelle fashion, I didn't get bogged down in those thoughts. Any of my friends will tell you, I will befriend anyone. I have so many circles of friends that sometimes I can't even keep up. If I can be friends with the woman an ex left me for, I can be friends with ANYBODY!!!! hahahahaha
We had a ball at dinner. Glasses raised, laughter wafting, and conversation flowing. There we were: a dude looking ever so pimptastic with 3 hot chicks looking like a girl group. Cattiness and bitchiness were no where to be found. I believe I've added another circle to my collection.

We continued our good time as we eased on down the road to the Apollo Theater. I've always taken the Apollo for granted as just a place in my neighborhood. I tell people I went to tapings of Showtime at the Apollo as a teenager with the same nonchalance as telling someone about going to the movies. It's impact never hits me until I hear an out of towner talk about going there with a gleam in their eye. I'll admit I take the magnitude of the Apollo and all of its gloried history for granted just because its never been new to me. Its forever stitched in the fabric of my history as a background image. I don't say that with any disrespect. I surmise that it would be the same as growing up in the White House. It's just a house to the President's kids while its a hallowed symbol to the rest of the world.

As we walked into the Apollo, I was stunned by the amount of white people who were in attendance. In our section we were really the minorities as we were literally surrounded by white folks. I wondered whether this was a testament to the mass appeal of The Roots or the gentrification of my neighborhood that white people from all walks of life (the grungy granolas, the wall street types, the trust fund babies, the suburban former cheerleader, former star of the football team types) were at the Apollo in the middle of Harlem after 11 PM. My astonishment was unwavering. Who knew white people were such fans of the Roots?? I think I will use The Roots as the code ice breaker when I encounter white people. Like "Hey, that new Roots CD is amazing, right?!" and gauge their response.

The concert was simply amazing. There were no pyrotechnics, no elaborate stage sets, no distracting accessories. Just instruments and their respective musicians. The musical energy was sexy, intoxicating. However, there is nothing sexy about a tuba. AT ALL. But I digress. Even the songs I didn't know had me out of my seat, shaking my hips, clapping my hands/snapping my fingers to the beat. The pungent but illegal cannabis in the air added to the intoxicating energy that The Roots gave their audience. There are very few concerts that I've attended where I leave craving more. I walked in admiring the Roots and walked out a true fan. I am now on a quest to love and absorb anything by The Roots.

I don't know who's idea it was to have The Roots play as the kick-off performance for my National Holiday but my birthday (or should I say birthseason..hahahahaha) is off to a great start.


rashad said...

Hugh Hefner don't have shit on me!!!!

makeba said...

I have heard of weekend birthday celebrations and even a full week of birthday celebrations, but never have I heard of damn near two weeks of birthday celebration. As I think of it I am feeling the concept though. The older you get you realize your first breath is really more than just the day you were born. Its about living life to its fullest. As Kool and The Gang sanged, Celebration Time, Cmon!

Anonymous said...

I was at the 11pm show as well and it was WONDERFUL! Going to an HBCU, I've always known that the tuba was not sexy but homeboy did his THING! They way he just jumped into the crowd with it was real cool.
-I think the large amount of white people in attendance was largely in part of the types of festivals they participate in. They do a lot of those "Lolapalooza-esqe type of festivals that "we" do not attend. I think that's where it comes from b/c I was on the train with A LOT of the people who came out and Iw as coming from Brooklyn.
-I also was just having a convo with a young lady about her buying into this idea that women are always "catty" and "never get along." Like you, I get along with damn near everyone and truth be told, if you don't like me its b/c of a problem with you. LOL! I think it is GREAT when there's the opportunity to add, at the very least, a new associate to your circle(s) of friends.

Eve said...

You are JUST now getting on The Roots? Seriously? Wooow...I have been a fan since waay back. I have most of their CD's. Black Thought's voice and my baby daddy Questlove....Love them!
I have Qlove tees that I made.
They definitely attract a "diverse" crowd.
Glad the week has started off with a bang!
Have you considered celebrating your half birthday? I actually know people who do that. 33.5, 6 months after the actual daye. Talk about keeping the party going!
Keep me posted on the activities...E.