Electric Powwow: Boston Style

In A Tribe Called Red, Best Night EVER, Electric Powwow, Native Love, Powwow Step by Adrienne K.Leave a Comment

Me and A Tribe Called Red! Also this is their new Twitter profile pic, which makes me totally geek out.

I’m not exaggerating when I say Friday night was definitely one of the best nights, if not the best night, I’ve had in Boston in my three years here. If you missed my 10,000 excited tweets or facebook posts that evening, I’ll give you a quick recap. A Tribe Called Red, my fave DJ group from Canada, who I’ve expressed my undying love for on the blog, played a gig in Boston. It was such a magical, awesome night.

My friends and I were waiting to head over until it was closer to showtime, but my friend T. excitedly texted me and was like, “I’m on my way, but more importantly ATCR tweeted to know where you are. You’re pretty much winning at life right now.” I squealed a little bit, and then we packed up and headed straight for the club. It was such a surreal feeling and kinda hilarious when we got there, because I am such a huge fan that I got geeky and awkward, and they were all excited to meet *me*! So once we got through a round of hugs and “It’s so awesome to meet you!”, we got to hang out and talk chat for almost two hours before their set. The three of them (Bear Witness, DJ NDN, and DJ Shub) are so totally cool and fun, and we had lots to talk about, from Edward Curtis to Aboriginal youth organizations–even Battlestar Gallactica. Basically, it was a total dream come true.

Once their set started, my friends and I danced (hard!) for two hours straight. At one point my friend M. leaned over and yelled in my ear “It’s so cool to see all these non-Natives gettin’ down to powwow music!!!”–and I think that was the most powerful part for me. Besides having so much fun and reveling in the chance to dance to ATCR in my hometown, it was so incredible to feel that, at least for one night, Natives weren’t invisible in Boston anymore. I go through almost everyday feeling pretty marginalized out here, simply because the large majority of the East Coast population has no idea that there are Native people walking around their communities. But ATCR made it impossible for all those people in the club to ignore our existence, and they were all having fun in the process. The awesome powwow beats coupled with Bear’s videos, which remix a lot of stereotypical imagery, made for a great time, as well as a great “we’re still here, and not only that, we’re freaking awesome” take-away message. I loved it.

Another cool side-effect of the Native love-fest in Boston was the outpouring of Indian-celebrity (Indianebrity?) love on Twitter, which was fun. I made a story on storify if you want to read the course of the night via twitter. I really do hope that we can figure out a mega-collaboration sometime in the near future, cause that would be seriously the best thing in the world.

The next morning I woke up, put on my new Electric Powwow shirt, and had breakfast with M. I looked up from my coffee, smiled, and said, “I still can’t believe last night happened!”

In all honesty, things have been kinda crazy for me in the last few weeks (hence the fact the blog has been completely silent for almost a month), besides just the usual things with the end of the semester and school just being hard, I’ve been getting a lot of people attacking my identity lately, which is just so. tiring. I definitely am feeling at a point that I can write about it soon, especially in the context of all this Johnny Depp and Elizabeth Warren madness. But my amazing trip to Alaska (which also deserves a post), coupled with ATCR in Boston three days later, has completely renewed me and given me my power and pride back. I’m ready to get back on the blogging, and PhD-ing, train.

So my deepest love and gratitude to the boys of A Tribe Called Red, and to my dear friends M. and T. (recent Harvard graduates!), and new friend L., for giving me such an awesome Native-love filled night. I can’t even describe how fantastic it was to hear Red Skin Girl on my home turf (and that remix of “Cherokee People” was pretty hilarious too). Wado for everything!

A Tribe Called Red: Powwow Step and Social Commentary for the Masses 

(This post is for Taylor! I finally posted, see?)