Lynne d Johnson

 

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08.07.04 07:05 PM

I Love The Night Life

The title of this post is actually misleading, as I'm really not a lover of the night life. Yet recent events in my world would have you to believe otherwise. Perhaps it's that I've spent most of the year working long hours, staying home, going to the gym, riding my bike, reading books and magazines, and with my right hand placed on a mouse reading through all of my bloglines subscriptions. That may very well be the reason, or it could be that the birthday is coming up and in a little over a week and I know good and well I'll be getting a little bit too old for this type of behavior. Or maybe I'm simply a little liar, and the ego part of myself doesn't want to admit that I like to indulge myself every now and again.

So it began on Wednesday night with an invitation to see a performance by Lyfe at the new "it" spot, Crash Mansion at BLVD. Originally I was thinking about turning it down, but when one of my mentees agreed to attend the function with me it was all a go. We got there late, of course hoping that by the time we'd turn up the performance would be ready to begin. No such luck, because Lyfe was outside with his boys. If you don't know who Lyfe is, think back to Showtime In Harlem, the Showtime At The Apollo alternative, when this Toledo, Ohio native took his acoustic act to the stage and set the house on fire for many weeks. He's being labeled a neosoulster, yet I'm feeling more of an Anthony Hamilton connection here just an R&B singer with an old soul. His voice conjures up the likes of Sam Cooke, and yet he's such a young man. His lyrics though, sound a lot more like a poetry slamster or a rapper. He's got that thuggish swagger, if you know what I mean. I couldn't help thinking about the Robert Townsend film The Five Heartbeats, when I heard he and his background singers harmonize though.

While there, of course I ran into some folks I was familiar with Sony label folks, a marketing exec from a rock magazine, and an up-and-coming music executive who puts on showcases and dabbles in music writing.

Once the show was over, the night was all too young, even for the likes of my grown ass. Just down the street was a club called Mission and one of the guys at the door had seen us down the street at Crash so he gave us flyers for free admission. It was a reaggae affair, and from the way the DJ was putting it down I thought I was in the middle of a Kingston sound clash. The young ladies were scandalous winding, and winding, and winding. It was pretty empty, esepcially seeing that Lady Saw was sitting up in VIP in affiliation with some new Reggae magazine coming out of Brooklyn that was in the house. For my mentee, it was a total win as he met one of the editors and the VP of the publication. We drank, we danced, we chatted it up with a few folks, and then we went home.

On Thursday, I found myself back at the Crash Mansion for The Target Red Room, featuring Sleepy Brown. I'm not even going to tell you who he is, because you ought to know. You've heard of the Dungeon Family. You've heard of Organized Noize. So then you know who he is. It was a VIBE promoted event, so there were lots of VIBE heads there and other industry folks. In fact a head honcho from Flavor Unit was there, who I said my what's up to, as well as Naughty By Nature's Treach. For what it's worth, the beverage sponsor of the night was Latiq Spirits, which I'm told is a Queen Latifah brand. She wasn't there of course.

The entire room was red, inspired by the Target bulls eye logo. Lamps, pillows, and even martini glasses were emblazoned with the logo. The combination of Target and Latiq's red color inspired the Targetini, which was a free drink for a good portion of the night.

There was some opening act, by a female singer whose name I've forgotten. I simply remember that I have heard one of her songs on the radio. Lyfe was back at Crash for the event, and I mentioned to him that I enjoyed his show the night before.

I won't even begin to talk about a super popular writer who got into a scuffle with some cat over what many onlookers say was about a girl. I don't know all the details so I'm not about to gossip, or mention any names although I was there looking in his face as the action jumped off and was a little astonished since I know him personally.

Thursday night at Crash was much louder than Wednesday night. For one, it was a lot more crowded and therefore the crowd's vocal volume was much more on blast. Perhaps the period of free drinks being poured at the bar was the explanation. One can never be certain with such things. It may have just been a more vocal crowd. I know it got me to get all big Wilma style and open up a company credit card tab for some folks sitting near me at the bar. How am I going to explain this one to the finance department? Regardless of the liquor, it didn't move me to dance. For some strange reason I wasn't feeling the vibe, although it's something I've become infamous for. I was asked several times, "Why aren't you on the floor?" One person even said, "Oh you don't want to see L get started," when she thought I was about to take a plunge. Nah, not tonight. At least not yet.

When it was all over, and seeing I had a summer Friday the next day, I decided to hang around the folks who knew "Where The Party At." Debates about Strata .vs. Canal Room soon gave way to a decision to cab it over to Canal Room since it was nearby and many other folks were headed that way.

As soon as I entered, I bumped into my neighbor, Mr. Morgan, manager of Kardinal Offishall, whom I was introduced to and I'm sure told about since I had bigged up his Kill Bill mixtape right here in this very space. At one point, I went outside for some air and to puff a social cigarette only to end up face-to-face with Sleepy Brown, lighting his for him.

Now earlier I mentioned something about the title of this post being far from the truth. For me it is, at times, or at least for one side of my personality it is. At the end of these two nights what could I say about my activities 1) I drank. 2) I danced. 3) I talked a lot more than I usually do. 4) I was shaking hands with and talking to "celebrities". But the other side of my personality, the side that doesn't really think the night life is all of that, believes that these two nights were a showcase of major debauchery. Truth be told, I'm willing to do it all over again, and to keep getting my grown and sexy on until I'm no longer able to.

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