zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Janelle Turns Me to Jello

Janelle Monaé in her network debut, performing “Tightrope” on Letterman –

– shows that she’s not just another slick studio production. Live and in person she has the moves and the pipes and the stems and she’s still rockin’ the Bette Davis meets Angela Davis ‘do.

Even as young and fresh as she is, the homage to the Godfather of Soul – when she gets the cloak brought out and draped over her – a standard feature of James Brown’s live shows – and sings “you gotta get on up… you gotta stay on the scene” – is something that she totally earns. Gonads out of bounds! Pop rock explosion of phunky pleasure!

(And check out P Dipstick channeling Tracy Morgan from 30 Rock at the end of the clip…)

Not convinced that she’s earned that cloak? Here she is in a live performance in Philadelphia from two years ago:

Or watch her Dance Up On Them Haters onThe Ellen Degeneres Show, courtesy of SOULBOUNCE.COM

Who is she? What planet is she from? How did they cram this much talent and inventiveness into one cyber-girl?

And… R&B? dance? rock? pop? indie? It’s hard to say, but one thing is clear – who cares? The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed – it’s being hogged by Janelle Monaé – this magnificent mutant android, programmed with the melded memory chips of James Brown, Judy Garland, Prince, Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Grace Jones, and running on pure funk power cells.

Filed under: Music, , ,

One Response

  1. […] of the Day: Prince, “When You Were Mine” Well, I wanted to have another Janelle Monaé song of the day, but even though I’ve been listening to her stuff pretty non-stop the last […]

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Creative Commons License
zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



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