I love surprises and couldn’t be more thrilled when my homey Greg told me he got us on the list to see Janelle Monae perform at a sci-fi event about time travel at The Greene Space in Soho. I was giddier than a pubescent girl on opening night for Twilight. I’m a sci-fi head that gets totally turned out by all manner of time travel whether it be the wormhole adventures of Farscape or the mysteries of “Lost” …AND I’m a huge fan of Janelle Monae! I heard she killed AfroPunk ’09 and Central Park’s Summerstage, but I missed both shows and was dying to see her perform live.
Her performance at the Greene Space was a blast off into the outer realms of some far off galaxy ruled by Grace Jones, Fishbone and Andre 3000. She jumped, wailed, danced and even threw her mic stand off the stage grazing the ankles and toes of the folks in the first row. She was channeling James Brown all the way baby. Shapeshifting into an android named Cindi Mayweather– robotic moves and glassy eyed stares back into a soul sangin girl known as J around Kansas way. I was so amped. And then I found out Janelle time travels too? I was in heaven.
Shorty rock (she’s like 5′1″) has been to Metropolis circa 2719 where she befriended Cindi also known as Alpha Platinum 9000. Under the evil dominion of The Wolfmasters, androids are prohibited to know and feel love. Breaking the rule of Metropolis, Cindi falls in love with a human. An edict is issued for her capture and disassembly. Running frantically through the streets of Metropolis, Cindi follows a trail of “violet stars” to escape the “‘droid control” as they hunt her down with chainsaws & electro-daggers. Check “The March of The Wolfmasters” and the rest of Janelle’s Metropolis Suite if you don’t believe me… or her!
This is what she had to say about Kansas and Metropolis that night:
In “Many Moons” Janelle waxes revolutionary about freedom and oppression. She has been around the moon and back and yet she still seeks liberation knowing that the heaviest chains that bind are the ones we put on ourselves. She sings:
Civil rights, civil war/ Hood rat, crack whore/ Carefree, nightclub/ Closet drunk, bathtub/ Out-outcast, weirdo/ Stepchild, freak show/ Black girl, bad hair/Broad nose, cold stare/ Overweight, self esteem/ Mis-misfit, broken dream/ Fish tank, small bowl/ Closed minded, dark hold/ Cy-cy-cybergirl, droid-droid control/ Get away now they trying to steal your soul.
Check out her video of Many Moons:
By the way, Janelle is a major fan of “Lost” too. John Locke is her favorite character. Janelle, Greg, Chuck Lightening (her producer @Wondaland) and I debated about who he really is and what Lost symbolizes. Do you watch Lost? What do you think? Meanwhile some pics from Greene Space.