A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘Janelle Monáe

[NEWS] Five science fiction links: Catherynne Valente, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Janelle Monáe, numbers

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money recently took a look at the way the great author Catherynne M. Valente made use of culture as a force in her briliant Space Opera.
  • I quite enjoyed this oral history of Babylon 5, over at Syfy.
  • MEL Magazine hosts this great article arguing the strength of The Last Jedi is that it does not give in to the wishes of fans.
  • Vox’s exploration of the Afrofuturism of Janelle Monáe’s work really laid out these influences on her for me.
  • James Nicoll recently asked an interesting question at Tor: Where is all the science fiction dealing with depopulation, with population decline?

[NEWS] Three links about sci-fi and pop culture: Westworld and AI, machine learning, Janelle Monáe

  • This fascinating look at Westworld takes a look at how changing representations of artificial intelligence influence storylines in pop culture, as we shift from fear of AI to potential sympathy. The AV Club has it.
  • Machine learning these days is demonstrating an astounding ability to understand complex systems. Quanta Magazine has it.
  • io9 notes an upcoming queer Afrofuturist film from Janelle Monáe (also starring Tessa Thompson as a love interest) that sounds amazing.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Anthro{dendum} links to a roundup of anthropology-relevant posts and news items.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shows how the impending collision of galaxies NGC 4490 and NGC 4485 has created spectacular scenes of starbirth.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the upcoming stream of new observatories and satellites that will enable better charting of exoplanets.
  • Kieran Healy shares a cool infographic depicting the scope of the British baby boom.
  • Hornet Stories shares the amazing video for the fantastic new song by Janelle Monáe, “Pynk.”
  • JSTOR Daily notes what happens when you send Frog and Toad to a philosophy class.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the obvious point that abandoning civil rights of minorities is a foolish strategy for American liberals.
  • The LRB Blog shares a reflection on Winnie Mandela, and the forces she led and represents.
  • The Map Room Blog links to detailed maps of the Rohingya refugee camps.
  • Marginal Revolution takes issue with a proposal by Zeynep Tufekci for a thorough regulation of Facebook.
  • The NYR Daily notes how Israel is making full use of the law to enable its colonization of the West Bank.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla reports from inside a NASA clean room where the new InSight Mars rover is being prepared.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer talks about what is really wrong with a Trump Organization letter to the president of Panama regarding a real estate development there.
  • Strange Company looks at the life of 19th century fraudster and murdering John Birchall.

[MUSIC] Four music links: Prince and Janelle Monáe, Shirley Manson, Fischerspooner, Madonna

  • VICE reports that the late great Prince had some input on the new album of Janelle Monáe.
  • This interview with Shirley Manson by VICE is brilliant. I love her, and Garbage.
  • I’ve been following Fischerspooner, and solo Casey Spooner, for a decade and a half. It’s always great to hear more from them, and not only new music. (_Sir_ is quite good). Hornet Stories reports.
  • At Albumism, Quentin Harrison recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Madonna’s Ray of Light album, one I think is easily one of her best.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm

[NEWS] Six LGBTQ links: violence, The 519, William Whitehead, art, pink triangle, Janelle Monáe

  • I have been sitting on, thinking of, this R.M. Vaughan essay in The Globe and Mail reflecting on the high levels of violence queer men have to deal with for some time. All I can say, really, is that in the years I’ve lived in Toronto, I’ve felt what I’ve come to realize is a sense of safety that I never had living on PEI. The essay is here.
  • The Globe and Mail reports on how the 519 Community Centre, in Church and Wellesley, is facing criticism that it has lost touch with its roots in the LGBTQ communities, especially marginalized ones.
  • William Whitehead, a writer of documentaries for CBC perhaps most famous as the partner of the late Canlit giant Timothy Findley, died this past week. The Globe and Mail eulogizes.
  • CBC reports on a new exhibition of queer art in Thunder Bay.
  • The Forward reports on how, in the middle of the AIDS epidemic, artist Avram Finkelstein repurposed the pink triangle of the Nazis into an iconic badge for our era.
  • As Janelle Monáe continues moving on out (she seems to have a nice girlfriend), Vulture looks at the interesting trope of bisexual lighting.

[MUSIC] Janelle Monáe, “”Heroes””

Via Towleroad I learned that archandroid Janelle Monáe has covered “”Heroes””, and it is good.

(The anti-bullying video is also good.)

As noted in Rolling Stone by Jason Newman, Monáe was happy to cover this iconic song.

Despite a basic adherence to the song’s chord changes and gradual, grand buildup, Monae and her production team — the same group behind 2010’s The ArchAndroid and 2013’s The Electric Lady — radically update Bowie’s 1977 classic. Eschewing the original’s slow-burn guitar in favor of warbled dubstep-friendly synths, Monae transforms the track into an EDM/New Wave hybrid supporting her future soul vocals.

“Bowie is part of my musical DNA in so many ways,” Monae says. “And ‘Heroes’ is one of my favorite Bowie songs. When you love your favorite song, you want to keep some of the beautiful qualities of the original, but we brought Atlanta in the drums and wanted them to be thick and hit hard. It’s like us reimagining it. I thought, ‘If this song was in my dream, how would it get from our dream to my reality?’”

Monae says she was drawn to the song by its lyrical message as much as the music. “It’s very hopeful,” says the singer. “The way the world is today, you can never write enough inspiring or motivating songs or songs that embolden the people and make us feel fearless. Those lyrics spoke to me as someone who is for the people. I try to inspire and lead by example and be the change that I want to see. So this song is a poster child for just that.”

Written by Randy McDonald

May 16, 2014 at 1:27 am