zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Song 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 couple of days, I do need to change and grow, I know it…

So, here’s a track from another mutant funk android:

Prince, “When You Were Mine” – from Dirty Mind

Prince, particularly in his first few albums, bears a lot of similarities to Janelle Monaé—both have a mind-blowing, genre-bending sound that seemed to come out of nowhere, driven always by a deep funkiness, and a commitment to performing identities with real verve and theatricality, and some amazing dance moves.

A key part of the Prince mythos has always been the fact that he wrote pretty much all his material, played all the instruments, handled the production himself, etc.—a one-man show. Monaé, in contrast, is enmeshed in a high-powered production machine, but it also looks like she has the brains and talent to do it all herself if her career can go in that direction.

The fact that her stuff is so original, so sui generis, so different from what we usually get from Big Boi and P Diddy suggests both that she may have somehow managed to maintain a high degree of autonomy and control, and also that she really could do it herself, if she broke from whatever contractual obligations she has.  Of course, she may not be interested in that, may prefer to leave a large range of tasks to the machine she is part of (and how appropriate is that for a cyber-girl), the better to concentrate on what moves her: dancing up on them haters, for instance.

More… (more, more, more / how do you like it, how do you like it)

Filed under: Song of the Day, ,

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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.

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