I’ve done it again. It’s 11:38 PM on Thursday, October 29 as I type this. My hometown Green Bay Packers have just won a Thursday Night Football thriller. Two hours ago I didn’t know who Rasul Douglas was. Now he’s my favorite player. My friends are texting me saying they’re buying his jersey. My sister-in-law and her husband are here from Germany and it’s the first time we’ve seen them in a few years. It’s been a fun night. I have work tomorrow, but here I am burning the midnight oil to bring you Friday’s song “Greatdayndamornin’/Booty” from the 2000 album Voodoo.
Let’s get this out of the way first: “Greatdayndamornin'”is a fully formed 5:37 song. “Booty” is a 1:56 jam session added on at the end. They’re treated as one track on the album so I’ll do the same here. I could spend time on both of them because they deserve it, but we’ll keep them together on the D’aily for the sake of continuity.
“Greatdayndamornin'” was written by D’Angelo, Angie Stone, Charlie Hunter, and Questlove. Produced by D’Angelo. All vocals arranged and performed by D’Angelo. Music arranged by D’Angelo and Hunter. Bass and guitar by Hunter. Drums by Questlove. All other instruments by D’Angelo. It’s a dope track. D’Angelo singing about perseverance and pushing through. I love playing this song in the morning while getting ready for work. It’s not particularly uptempo or energetic, yet it gets me off on the right foot. I’m not trying to dismiss it by any stretch but I don’t have anything terribly insightful to contribute. I’m more interested in the funky ass two minute outro to this song titled “Booty.”
I have no idea how “Booty” got its name, but I love it nevertheless. It was written by D’Angelo and Questlove with nearly essentially the exact same roster of performers as its predecessors. “Booty” interrupts “Greatdayndamornin'” and Questlove and Hunter find the pocked immediately. The persistent groove slaps you across the face immediately. It’s not even two minutes long but I wish it was 15. I could listen to that groove all day. I’ve mentioned in this space as recently as earlier this week that I had the pleasure of seeing D’Angelo and Questlove performing together during their brief run of “Brothers in Arms” shows back in 2013. My wife, Chelsee, and I saw them at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sunday, June 23 of that year.
Here’s something about Chelsee and I: Chelsee is late for everything. I do not like to be late. When we’re going to something important – like a D’Angelo and Questlove concert – I sometimes have to lie to her and trick her to get her ready on time. I remember eating dinner outdoors at a downtown Minneapolis restaurant with a view of the First Avenue front door. As soon as I could see a line forming I got antsy. She could see it and did the whole eyeroll “are you fucking serious right now” routine. Was I really going to break up this lovely date we were having so we could stand in line? Hell yes I was. There are no seats at First Ave. It’s all standing room. I wanted to make sure we got a good spot to see D’Angelo. It does not bother me one bit to suffer through a long wait if there’s payoff at the end. I once stood outside in weather below freezing for over three hours to watch then-Senator Barack Obama speak. After the wait I got to stand right in front for his speech, then shake the soon-to-be President’s hand and say hello to him. Actually, I said, “Thank you, Senator,” and he replied, “No, thank you!” I’d say it was worth it.
As it turns out, Chelsee did not put up much of a fight over leaving dinner early because she knew what seeing D’Angelo and Questlove meant to me. Having the patience to wait in line paid off again that night just like it did with Obama. We were one of the first in the door and got an amazing spot right in front. It was a “pinch me” moment. I figured someone would come up and say, “Hey, idiot. This is the VIP section. You’re way in the back.” Nope. We got to see D’Angelo and Questlove from a spot within inches of touching the stage. We could’ve stayed at dinner a little longer, then watched the concert from much further back. Instead this was a dream come true. On top of it, we’re talking about Minneapolis in 2013. First Avenue of all places. If ever there was a night that Prince could appear out of nowhere, it was that one. If he did, I’d not only see three of my musical heroes, but I’d literally be feet from them. We were clearly not the only people there anticipating a Prince appearance. The whole place was buzzing.
Spoiler alert: Prince never showed up. It didn’t matter. It was only D’Angelo and Questlove for most of the show, but you would’ve thought it was an entire band. I kept thinking, “How does D’Angelo sound like an entire band by himself?” I still don’t know. My favorite moment of the night: When they played a cover of Slum Village’s “Fantastic 3” and transitioned into “Booty.” You could feel the energy of the crowd change when they realized what it was and it turned into a call-and-response. Here’s the fun part: I found a video of it on YouTube taken from someone’s cell phone. I took a few of my own, but they were brief and ultimately useless. I wanted to live in the moment and be the only person there not holding up a cell phone. I watched this video from YouTube and thought, “This person must’ve been standing right next to me.” There are parts of the video where you can see a bald head in the corner of the screen and I wonder if it’s actually me. I know you can’t hear me because I promised I’m not as tone deaf as the motherfuckers you can hear in this video. Even if the bald guy in the corner isn’t me, you get a brief idea what it was like being there. Whenever I hear “Booty” it takes me back to that amazing night eight years ago in one of my favorite cities, Minneapolis, with my favorite person, Chelsee, watching two of my favorite musicians up close, D’Angelo and Questlove. I almost forgot the link. Check it out!
As much as I’d love to continue bragging about my amazing night in 2013, it’s officially Friday morning now and I have meetings later this morning. Time to crawl into bed and fall asleep to Packer highlights. Can you believe we’re done with six weeks of D’Angelo songs? 30 down, only 19 to go?!? More shocking than that, I’m on pace to end exactly on Thanksgiving Day?!!?! It’s only 19 business days until Thanksgiving. Where has autumn gone? The good news is, even though there are only 19 songs left, that means with D’Angelo they’re 19 good ones. Several of my favorite D songs are still left in the song randomizer. In fact, we’ve got a sleeper favorite of mine coming up on Monday. It might not show up on many people’s lists of the best D’Angelo songs, but damn it’s a good one. For me it announced a new era for D. When he went from a 21-year-old kid playing to “neo-soul” to a grown man creating his own genre and claiming the throne previously occupied by the likes of Prince and Stevie. More on that Monday. Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween if you’re into that kind of thing.