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February 21, 2018 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter's favourite android Janelle Monae announces her new album Dirty Computer.

Her new project expands to include a narrative film, or "emotion picture". And appropriately, the trailer is also being shown before Black Panther screenings.

Yes, we do need to have a Metafilter post whenever Janelle Monae does something.
posted by daveje (72 comments total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
 
PUT IT IN MY VEINS
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:00 PM on February 21 [20 favorites]


AHHHHHHH YEESSSSSSSSS JANELLE MONAEEEEE might be my favorite living artist
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:01 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Is this a good place to put this insanely cool W Magazine spread "Noir Town", shot by Jordan Peele, which imagines her as a Hitchcock heroine?
posted by lalex at 1:03 PM on February 21 [33 favorites]


With all this talk of adapting Ann Leckie's Ancillary novels for film or TV, I think we need to stipulate now that Janelle Monae be involved somehow.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:03 PM on February 21 [14 favorites]


So, discussion question from the line at the movies the other night: what percentage of the fact that Black Panther got made well (i.e. with a big budget and a black director etc) is attributable to Janelle Monae reanimating afrofuturism? Got to be 50% at least, right?
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:05 PM on February 21 [24 favorites]


Yes, we do need to have a Metafilter post whenever Janelle Monae does something.

I'm not even, like, a Janelle Monae fan (yes, yes, I know), but I can absolutely get behind this sentiment anyway.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:11 PM on February 21 [11 favorites]


Well of course we do! Was there some question about that?
posted by Naberius at 1:22 PM on February 21


AAAAAHHHHHH!!!
posted by rtha at 1:54 PM on February 21


Holy crap, Electric Lady was 5 years ago?! No wonder all my food tastes plastic
posted by potrzebie at 1:57 PM on February 21 [38 favorites]


So, discussion question from the line at the movies the other night: what percentage of the fact that Black Panther got made well (i.e. with a big budget and a black director etc) is attributable to Janelle Monae reanimating afrofuturism? Got to be 50% at least, right?

I was super bummed that she wasn't involved in the Black Panther soundtrack. I thought it would have been the perfect collaboration, and she's even worked with Kendrick Lamar before.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:05 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


One of my belated thoughts in the dystopia discussion is how does one trash-talk dystopian fiction spending three paragraphs on Cory Doctorow and little more than a name-drop of the afrofuturists. Monae's dual role as pop-star and time-traveling android fugitive allows her to break the fourth wall for people who had not already connected the dots between her androids and contemporary racism and sexism.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 3:32 PM on February 21 [10 favorites]


Is this a good place to put this insanely cool W Magazine spread "Noir Town", shot by Jordan Peele, which imagines her as a Hitchcock heroine?

I was going to post it too, so I'd say yes :-)

please make it a movie
posted by mykescipark at 3:43 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


She is just kinda unfairly cool.
posted by drewbage1847 at 3:59 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


I have a suspicion/theory/hope that Afrofuturism will be to 21st century music what the blues was to the 20th.
posted by rhizome at 4:02 PM on February 21 [6 favorites]


So, like what we need is a Lando movie with Donald Glover *and* Janelle Monae, right?
posted by oddman at 5:36 PM on February 21 [19 favorites]


So when do I ever get to see this whole Cindy Mayweather movie thing that should someday be?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:22 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


The fact that Electric Lady didn't even crack the Billboard singles chart is a stinging indictment against the entire United States. Yes, I'm holding it against all of you.
posted by PenDevil at 11:29 PM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Aw man, they did not preview this before I saw Black Panther! I could've had Janelle and Tessa Thompson on the big screen!

At least I have Tumblr...
posted by Katemonkey at 1:07 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Yes! Thank you for the pointer, I hadn't seen this yet!
posted by katrielalex at 4:21 AM on February 22


Wait awwww it's not out yet. Aaagh!
posted by katrielalex at 4:25 AM on February 22


The fact that Electric Lady didn't even crack the Billboard singles chart is a stinging indictment against the entire United States.

The fact that she's not a world-conquering megastar is an indictment against, well, everyone. The first time I saw her live I was convinced she was the future of pop music.
posted by daveje at 5:49 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


So as someone who'd never previously heard of this person, but likes the clip, where do I start?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:42 AM on February 22


Tightrope? Many Moons?
posted by Spathe Cadet at 6:52 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Each album is the next part of her Metropolis story. So I'd start at the beginning with Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). It sets the background story of all the albums. Then The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady. All of them are great music, so you might as well enjoy the story in order too.
posted by haileris23 at 7:33 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


If you wanted something to sample and see if you liked it my first recommendation would be Q.U.E.E.N., but yeah, if you already like what you're seeing then just start at the beginning.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:42 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Two new music videos literally just dropped!!!
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:34 AM on February 22 [16 favorites]


OH MY GOD "Make Me feel" I think I have to call in sick to life for like 2 solid years so I can just lay down and think about it. MY GOD. How dare she be so amazing.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:44 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


WHY AM I AT WORK
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:55 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I still can't breathe. I'm afraid I'll have an asthma attack if I watch the other one, or "Make Me Feel again, right now.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:56 AM on February 22


I am crying and laughing and I think I'm just going to only watch Make Me Feel for the next two years. Is that okay?

So glad Prince is still with us, you know?
posted by rtha at 10:59 AM on February 22 [6 favorites]


"Hit the mute button, let the vagina have a monologue"

JANELLE. /swoons
posted by rtha at 11:08 AM on February 22 [8 favorites]


I cried DURING the video thinking of prince while simultaneously hyperventilating at all that was in front of me.

I also took my life into my own hands and watched "Django Jane" and just goddamnfuck, Janelle, how dare you? can we live?? I am so ready for this album and simultaneously so unprepared. I guess I just have to watch all of her videos in order, listen to all of the albums in order, watch 7 hours of interviews, just have a think in a dark room, and little else until it's here.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 11:08 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]




From The Guardian article:
Because I’m about women’s empowerment. I’m about agency. I’m about being in control of your narrative and your body. That was personal for me to even talk about: to let people know you don’t own or control me and you will not use my image to defame or denounce other women.”

It’s an ugly phenomenon she has glimpsed on social media. “I see how people try to pit women against each other,” she says. “There are people who have used my image to slut-shame other women: ‘Janelle, we really appreciate that you don’t show your body.’ That’s something I’m not cool with. I have worn a tuxedo, but I have never covered up for respectability politics or to shame other women.

I watched "Yoga" again because I needed to see her say "You cannot police me, so get off my areola" (also more Tessa Thompson in close proximity to Monae).
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 11:23 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


New album means tour and since the one time I saw her was one of the most magical shows I've ever seen, I cannot wait.
posted by rtha at 11:34 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Man how many Prince callouts can one find in The Way You Make Me Feel? Like the backup dancers in one section are wearing raspberry berets...and not much more....
posted by emjaybee at 11:45 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I'm at work and I seem to cry easily these days so I have to wait HOURS to start my life over with JM videos.

In the meantime, some other great quotes from her:

1. a guy on twitter complaining about her look not dressing sexy enough... she responded "I am NOT for male consumption."
2. speaking at the Women's March: "We come in peace, but we mean business."
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:04 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


Oh my god Django Jane is like the way cooler big sister to (Monae collaborator) Jidenna's Long Live the Chief.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:11 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Album release date is April 27, BTW.
posted by daveje at 12:55 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


My first Janelle Monae experience was this electric performance from David Letterman. I thought, "Oh ... someone decided to meld Prince and James Brown and plant the newly hybridized soul into a gorgeous woman. This is the future of music."
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:02 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


squeeeeeeeeee!
posted by kokaku at 1:03 PM on February 22


Make Me Feel*

Django Jane

*[possibly out-Prince-ing Prince's Kiss]
posted by hippybear at 2:25 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I seriously want more context for these new songs.
posted by hippybear at 2:37 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I also want to third, fourth of fifth that I've seen Janelle Monae live and she was FANTASTIC, easily one of the best performances I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing.
posted by liquorice at 4:10 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I don't need context. These things are their own context; they're the things that make the context for the rest of the things. I'm so happy Janelle Monáe is real.
posted by cgc373 at 4:40 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


TOUR DATES PLEEEEASE

My birthday is April 28th and it officially just became Proper. Can't wait to hear the rest of the tracks!
posted by potrzebie at 6:46 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Oh man the slight San Junipero references with the arcade and the hair.

It's always hard to ignore, even when the results are theatrical or political or cosmic, how freaking cool Monae is.
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Make Me Feel and Django Jane are amazing!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:35 AM on February 23


Like I knew the videos dropped last night, but I couldn't watch them, so I watched them today and holy smokes, am I ever glad I work in a fairly liberal workplace because "Make Me Feel" is just dirty.

And seriously, seeing her live is a religious experience. It's like one part tent revivial, one part early 80s' disco, one part sci-fi rave wondaland.

(Also? If she's hanging out with Tessa Thompson all the time, let me daydream about a Taika Waititi/Ryan Coogler joint-directed Valkyries-hanging-out-at-Wakanda film because motherfuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu my brain shorted out)
posted by Katemonkey at 5:08 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


She comes in peace, but she means Business!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 7:00 AM on February 23


Make Me Feel just gets better every time I hear it.
posted by hippybear at 7:34 AM on February 23


Please send help. I'm watching Make Me Feel for about the 100th time now and it's possible that I may never be able to stop.
posted by hippybear at 7:47 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I have a suspicion/theory/hope that Afrofuturism will be to 21st century music what the blues was to the 20th.

It already is! The primary musical style of Afro-futurism is Funk, and Funk is the next great "mother" style after Blues--it's the essential roots of both Hip Hip and Electronic Dance Music, which are the more specific styles that displaced Rock (child of Blues, of course) as the core style of Pop music through the 1980s & 90s.

(n.b.: This is exactly where my musicologist's microscope has been for a couple of years now, mapping out exactly what fed into the emergence of early Funk, and how it was specifically transmuted into EDM & Hip Hop--I say 'exactly' and 'specifically' because all of this music was first created as recordings, so all of the primary source material is perfectly preserved and nearly completely available, which is an amazing change in a medium like music.)

Janelle Monáe knows these roots and history comprehensively, and incorporates it into her music/work fundamentally and beautifully. Very excited about this new project, which looks like much more than just a new album.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:49 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Please send help. I'm watching Make Me Feel for about the 100th time now and it's possible that I may never be able to stop.

Why would you need help for this? Keep going!!
posted by LooseFilter at 7:49 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Tear the roof off the sucker!
posted by hippybear at 7:49 AM on February 23


OKAY I'LL KEEP GOING LOOSEFILTER TOLD ME TO MY ATTORNEY KNOWS THIS AND WIL BE IN TOUCH IF NEEDED
posted by hippybear at 7:54 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


While I get the Valkyries in Wakanda mashup as its own Mavel-ous thing (which can have Monae guest-star as a triple-threat performer), I feel a bit protective of Neon Valley as its own funky thing.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 8:33 AM on February 23


I was only sort of aware of Janelle Monáe until this post. When I watched the "Q.U.E.E.N." video, I realized that I had watched it before, but I didn't really see it. Then, I listened to Metropolis, and The ArchAndroid, and The Electric Lady, all in order.

She really does defy labels. Pop, Funk, Rock, Broadway, Bond Theme (that's a genre, right?), Prog variants of all of these, Orchestral interludes. She just does everything. And it's not all my thing, but even the songs I don't love are constructed with such exquisite artistry that I still enjoy them.

She's really amazing. I'm glad that she exists in the same timeline as me.
posted by curiousgene at 9:48 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


YES the queen has returned to bless us all
posted by greenish at 9:59 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


In fact, the more I listen, the more I think that her body of genre-bending sci-fi music and visual is what Muse has been failing to effectively do lately. She's just so comfortable in all these different styles, it seems effortless. Muse, less so.
posted by curiousgene at 12:39 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]




Relistening has made me realize that, as much as Make Me Feel is her tribute to Prince, Make the Bus is her tribute to David Bowie.
posted by WidgetAlley at 3:14 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


YESSSSSSS SHE HAS RETURNED! I was just thinking a while back how badly I need more of her. Electric Lady was far too long ago. Gimme that good stuff Janelle <3
posted by ProtectoroftheSmall at 4:21 PM on February 23


I'M STILL LISTENING I MIGHT NEED HELP I DON'T KNOW I WILL BE IN CONTACT SOON
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on February 24


Actually that Make Me Feel video is pretty astounding. There are HOW MANY Janelle Monaes in that crowd? And at one point J is sort of feeling up J? I mean... wow.
posted by hippybear at 3:09 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I liked Shuri in Black Panther but this was a missed opportunity to have Janelle Monae play some kind of ultra-technologist or possibly a Wakandan android

But I guess not everything that's great can be in one film
posted by secretseasons at 3:58 PM on February 24


There are HOW MANY Janelle Monaes in that crowd?

Janelles Monae
posted by tobascodagama at 4:20 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


The Vulture/Bisexual lighting piece talks about the multiple janelles monae, which really resonated w/ me, about that space of not being sure if you want to be with someone or be them.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:43 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Many Moons introduced Cindi Mayweather as the prototype of a product line. So my speculative imagination runs along the lines of, "what if Suzie Scorcher emancipated herself and opened a club for the android-sexual?"
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 7:59 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


THAT'S JUST THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL OH GOD I CAN'T STOP
posted by hippybear at 2:05 AM on February 25


I just realized that the last song on The Electric Lady was What an Experience, where our beloved android is telling us that yes, she can feel... now here she is with "that's just the way you make me feel".
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:00 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Every time I hear her utter anything I just want to curl up on the floor and give up because OMG I NEVER GET TO BE THAT DAMN AWESOME. The end.
posted by Bacon Bit at 12:53 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


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