You may recognize Denver-based stand-up comic, writer and actress Janae Burris from her work as the lovable co-host of The Cannabist Show, where she’s interviewed notable cannabis industry guests, like Eco Firma Farms CEO Jesse Peters and Marijuasana founder Stacey Mulvey. She's been a featured performer at Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington, Denver’s High Plains Comedy Festival, and was the winner of the 2016 Comedy Works New Faces contest. With regular gigs at Comedy Works where she’s opened for Leslie Jones, Michael Che and Josh Blue, Janae runs two monthly comedy showcases with her comedy girl gang Pussy Bros. MAGNETIC loves laughing at Janae’s jokes, so we thought it would be fun to find out her five favorite tunes for blazing bud to...just in time for Weed Wednesday!
See past Weedsdays here.
“Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan
I used to hate this song. I worked at the now bankrupt Linens and Things retail store back when I was, you guessed it, nineteen. It was my first job outside of babysitting. We sold fancy bedding. Not even extremely high end but, more expensive than Target so, our clientele was very delusional and demanding. The store smelled like scented candles and it was very dusty all time. My supervisor was a jerk and he constantly had boogers in his nose. I never told him about his boogers — my own little passive aggressive revenge. The store played soft rock on a loop all day, everyday. Straight up torture! But years later, when I met my current love, that song changed for me. Andy invited me over for dinner. He made chicken parmesan from scratch. We drank red wine and smoked a joint. He played Steely Dan on the record player. My nostrils were filled with tantalizing aromas. The wine made my head swim and the weed made my body buzz. I could hear that sweet scratchy sound of the needle on the vinyl and I fell hard for this guy. We’re still together.
“Zombie” by Fela Kuti
Fela Kuti is great for a long session. He’s got songs that range anywhere from ten minutes to twenty four minutes. I don’t understand much more than the words “zombie,” “rise up” and “apartheid” but, when the opening guitar is joined by horns and rhythm I can’t help but dance. The song is a powerful revolutionary number and was steeped in controversy when it was released in 1976 due to its criticism of the Nigerian government. A riot started at a concert in the capital of Ghana during the song. Zombie is hypnotic and sends me into deep thoughts. I often start it up right before a shower. I light a joint, get undressed, and spend at least eight minutes dancing naked in the mirror. It’s my “me time.”
“Alright” by Kendrick Lamar
This is my mantra and my anthem. This song, paired with a bowl of Sour Diesel, is how I survived the 2015 NFL season. I was working at a popular sports bar in Denver, best known for it’s Two for One Happy Hour and it’s barely drinking age crowd. It was an exhausting season and it never ended. The damn Broncos won it all. The city even hosted a big terrible parade which somehow made it’s way two miles south to my restaurant. It was probably the straw that made this camel quit. But I’d get up for my opening shift, smoke a bowl, shower, have coffee, smoke again, hop on my bike and pop in my ear buds.
I’d start track seven on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly to shout along as he said “Alls my life I has to fight nigga!” I’d ride through gentrified neighborhoods in Denver, bobbing to the music, looking for other black people and in my head saying the lyrics right to them. I felt powerful. Always hopeful that morning joggers, singing birds and the early sun would hear me. “I’m fucked up, homey / You fucked up but / If God got us then we gone be alright!” Fired up, I’d walk into work like “Let’s do dis!”
“Crackhead TV” by Mike Epps
I’ve been performing stand up comedy almost ten years. People constantly ask “Who is your favorite?” It’s really just a segue for them to tell me who they like. I don’t mind. I usually list a couple people they’ve definitely heard of, Richard Pryor, Ellen, Jeff Foxworthy (to everyone’s surprise). They are icons of comedy and I learn a lot about performance technique when I listen to them. But, the guy that makes me laugh hard, from my gut lately, is Mike Epps. I’ll smoke a bowl and listen to him while I do my makeup for a show. It gets me in a fun mood. Warms up my face to smiling, and makes me giggle, which I do a lot when I’m having a good time on stage. I relate to so much of what he’s saying. In his Crackhead TV bit, he talks about Court TV and The First 48. His impressions are dead on and he’s constantly checking in with the audience as if there are just a bunch of us in a circle signifying. He’s silly and says things I could never fix my mouth to say, which I love.
“I’d Rather Be with You” by Bootsy Collins
I lived in Fresno, California, for two years. It’s a dump. But after several generations in South Central Los Angeles, that’s where my family moved. The best thing about living in Fresno was being just two doors down from my parents, another two doors down from my sister Jas and her family and around the corner from my sister KiKi and her boys. Also, having family dinner prepared by my mom, four to five nights a week, was not so bad. My boyfriend and I spent many afternoons and evenings in my parent’s garage throwing darts, playing cards and smoking blunts that my step-daddy rolled with expert care.
My stepdad Greg is a Vietnam Vet, an ex-con, and a diabetic who smokes blunts exclusively. We listened to a lot of soul and funk music. When I hear that funky thumping of Mr.Collins’ bass guitar in “I’d Rather Be With You,” I stop whatever I’m doing and start grooving. This music feels good in my back and in my hips. Bootsy makes grown folk’s music and there is no better way to enjoy a blunt than with a bunch of grown folks.