Janelle Monae has done it again. She has a new song out called Yoga. Love it!!!
I received my Jet Magazine in the mail last week (yes I still subscribe so don’t you dare laugh 🙂 ) Janelle Monae is on the cover of the August 2, 2010 issue. I have to admit I was surprised but I was thrilled.
To read the article just click on the pictures and click the picture to enlarge the article.
Critics are loath to admit it, but every once in a while we come across an album of such thuddingly obvious quality that writing a straight-up review seems boring. When a release is heralded by so many outlets—in print, on television, through the blogosphere—sometimes all that’s left to say is, yes, the subject under consideration really is fantastic: ho-hum, end of story. This is what has happened with Janelle Monáe, a singer so exciting that writers are flipping deep into their adulation thesauruses looking for new ways to express the opinion. (Not that this will stop me from attempting the same.)
In sum, the Kansas-born, Atlanta-based R&B musician is a singing, dancing, and art-making machine, full stop. That noun—machine—is apt, because her new record presents Monáe as an android from the future, traveling back in time to prepare us for the vast technological changes ahead. If this all seems loopy or overwrought for the dance floor, you needn’t worry. Unlike most concept albums running more than an hour in length, The ArchAndroid never forgets how to have a good time: rocking in parts like Dirty Mind–era Prince, unfolding in a suite form that recalls Abbey Road’s side two, and bumping throughout with the best innovations of contemporary hip-hop. Monáe’s voice—as fine a device as any in sci-fi when it comes to arguing for otherworldly intelligence—can make the hyperspace leap from its crooning, chanteuse register to the gritty exhalations required by funk. There’s a reason that Bad Boy label president Sean “Diddy” Combs—not known for public acts of humility—emerged from offstage to bow at Monáe’s feet after her recent debut on Letterman. Since she has—for the moment—no haters, it’s as good a time as any for Monáe to be ambitious.
Read it all here at Newsweek.com.
I’ve been wearing out my cd, especially at work. I love listening to The ArchAndroid while I’m working out in the gym on my mp3 player. I was on the elliptical machine today when Faster and Dance or Die came on my mp3 player and I was rolling 🙂
Check out Dance or Die.
I’ve been a long time listener of the TJMS (Tom Joyner Morning Show). And like I’ve stated before if they get on my nerves I turn off the radio (since there’s nothing else on radio to listen to) and pop in a cd, listen to Pandora or listen to my music on my mp3 player. Anyway a couple of weeks ago Majic 102.3 fired all of their on air staff including Olivia Fox who I finally got use to. From late June until last Friday morning they just played music with commercials. No dj, nobody talking, nothing. Last Friday after the TJMS, Majic decided to have 102.3 hours of music without commercial interruption. During the times I’ve been listening to the station, it’s been pretty nice to have just music with no commercials. But I do miss listening to the local news announcements.
When I listened to the radio this morning at work (yesterday was my day off from work) I noticed that the TJMS was MIA. Talk about a strange situation. I’ve gotten so use to hearing Tom, Sybil and Jay. I was wondering if not having the TJMS on Majic is a permanent thing (did they lose their D.C. market) or just a temporary situation while Majic makes changes at the station. I did read the following:
The recent firing of the airstaff and the temporary suspension this week of the Tom Joyner Morning Show are part of the new imaging for Majic 102.3 WMMJ-FM DC. The shift is to a younger Urban AC and the theme is “The 80s, 90s and today.” Majic 102.3 (“My Majic DC”) is now running 102 straight hours of music through Wednesday, ad-free.
Radio One had fired all of its on-air staffers at Urban AC WMMJ-FM (Majic 102.3) DC the morning of 6/28 (with the exception of Tom Joyner). Those fired include Olivia Fox for middays, afternoon driver Alvin John Waples, and nighttimer Mike Chase. They have all likely been replaced by now, as Radio One previously posted job openings on their corporate website for three air talent jobs and a MD for WMMJ.
[ Editor’s note: Since this was published, industry vet John Monds has reportedly scored afternoon drive at Majic. Monds’ first day was 7/13. No other staff has been named yet that we know of. ]
So the TJMS is just suspended for this week. Oh well, we’ll see what happens.
Anyway since I didn’t have Tom Joyner and company to listen to today I listened to my cd’s including Janelle Monae of course 🙂
Check out Janelle’s Dance or Die
and Locked Inside
Now you know how picky I am about the music I listen to. I’m always griping about how there’s only a few current music artists out there today that’s worth my hard earned funds. Well back in May I bought the new cd by Janelle Monae titled The Archandroid.
Her cd is smokin’. I love it and I’m hooked. I listen to it almost everyday at work and of course I have it on my mp3 player. It gets me through the day. I still can’t believe Puff Puff, P. Diddy or whatever name he goes by nowadays is one of the producers for Janelle’s cd.
Even though I love the entire cd, certain songs really stand out for me including Mushrooms & Roses, Tightrope, Cold War, Faster, Wondaland, Locked Inside and Say You’ll Go. Even the intro Suite II Overture is awesome.
Check out Tightrope. This song makes you wanna get up and dance. And don’t forget to check out Janelle’s website.
Check out this Rolling Stone article about Janelle.
I read an interesting article over at The Root.com about black folks and rock music. Ron Fields talks about the state of r&b and hip-hop and how stale both genres have gotten.
Rock is Black Music, Too
By: Rob Fields
Rock is Black Music, Too
Hip-hop has run out of ideas. And if you need proof, consider that Lil Wayne’s doing a rock album.
Know what the problem is with black folks? No imagination.
Sounds crazy, I know, but consider black music.Every significant moment in America’s history has been accompanied by its own soundtrack. And black musicians have often written the music and the lyrics. But what’s our soundtrack now?
The music industry has imposed the same low expectations on black artists and black life that politicians and pundits have imposed on black folks with respect to education, business and simply managing our daily lives. And we’ve let it happen.
The blues and jazz gave meaning to our lives in the 20th century, and it still enjoys a fringe following. But it doesn’t fit this new age. R&B is formulaic and predictable. And hip-hop? In its commercial form—the stuff that hammers us from radio and video outlets—has painted itself and its fans into a corner, boxed in on all sides by what Brown professor Tricia Rose calls the pimp-gangsta-ho triumvirate.
Essentially, we’ve let a small group of hip-hop “artists” of limited experiences, education and vision set our cultural agenda. In this age of expanded possibilities, it is time to broaden our musical influences. Hip-hop is out of ideas. If you need convincing, consider this: The best-selling rapper of 2008—Lil Wayne—is doing a rock album. Yes, a rock album.
I don’t follow hip-hop but I do follow r&b and he’s right. There are about a handful of current r&b artist out there that I’m interested in. Back in the day (yeah I’m ageing myself) there were a slew of music artists I enjoyed listening to, spent money on their music and I still listen to them. And alot of the groups were bands. You know, those who played instruments, lol.
Not only did I grow up listening to r&b, I listened to rock music as well. Of course back then and in some situations today if you mention that you like rock music some black folks will look at you cross eyed. Do I care? Hell no. I like what I like. Sometimes we forget that black folks gave birth to rock and roll. I love listening to my Jimi Hendrix, Res and Living Colour cds as well as Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk Railroad, Queen and Phil Collins. Ron Fields mentions several current black rock acts including TV on the Radio, Ben Harper and Janelle Monae. I had a chance to listen to several of the artists and I really enjoyed watching Grammy winner Janelle Monae’s YouTube video. It’s certainly different. I love listening to black artists who have a different sound. I get so sick of the same old sound that most black female artists especially churn out. There seems to be this unwritten rule that all black female music artists have to sound like Aretha, Anita or Whitney in order to gain approval among black folks. And if you don’t sound like them then you’re stepping outside the black folks box.
Check out Janelle’s video.
Black rock artists have gotten past the fear that prevents many of us from fully following our interests, even when those interests aren’t seen as “traditionally” black. “I grew up listening to Joy Division, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Cure….” says TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone. “I simply identified with something in the [white rock] music.” He took that music as inspiration and, along with his bandmates, created Dear Science, the sharp, angry and euphoric genre-mashing album that Rolling Stone and SPIN unanimously named their 2008 album of the year. It was also one of the blackest albums I’ve heard.
Black rock can change lives. It changed mine. In the 1980s, I was a regular, middle-class kid from the Midwest, who started listening to Top 40 radio in eighth grade as a reaction to the repetitive playlists and limited subject matter on black radio. Top 40 radio introduced me to artists like Journey (“Who’s Cryin’ Now”) and Styx (“The Best of Times”), who moved me with their melancholy and soaring guitar solos. AC/DC’s “Back in Black” gripped me with its signature opening riff. And I found it impossible to ignore the incredible songwriting and storytelling that went into The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” For me, rock was simply more creative and raw than the slick, synthy sounds on black radio. It still is.
Check out the entire article here.