Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
New Electric Lady Video!
I'm so pleased Janelle Monae's marvelous album Electric Lady has gotten the support of another video release. This one is a slick rather laid back dance party video in the manner of 90s Janet: Girls in the Electra Phi Beta mid-century Eichler modern sorority house enjoying sisterhood being powerful and also fabulous, even if some stiff stick-thin flyboys are allowed in to strut their stuff as well here and there -- hell, even Solanas allowed some men to join the SCUM Auxiliary, after all. This time out, Monae's vocabulary is quite a bit shorter on the afro-futurism and longer on synchronized dance moves. For once, an anthemic line like "Come on, get in! My spaceship leaves at ten!" yields not the least expectation that a real spaceship is parked in the drive. An early juxtaposition of a Dick Tracy cameraphone and a clunky 8-track pluuged into an oil-slick black gas guzzling muscle car performed a nice collapse of gizmo-fetishism into retro-futurism, but I'll admit that Monae's captain majorette outfit (with cape, trust) was the real standout style moment for me. It was quite nice to see Estelle, Esperanza, and T-Boz bopping heads on a video wall at the sorority house since I love them and like the thought that they love her. Monae still radiates that almost eerie Lena Horne perfection that comports so well with her archandroidality schtick, and in a dance party scenario she seems at once playful but also, you have to admit, a little glacial, a bit like a hologram projected from elsewhere into the crowd. All that said, Janelle Monae remains the most consistently exciting and even inspiring figure in entertainment today for me -- she and Adore Delano are the only new artist entertainers who are sustaining my attention these days.