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Dedication to the robot

April 22, 2010

With all the attention I pay to female robots I thought a stop at my favorite songs about robots might be worth a post. Which is what this was going to be until I hit Janelle Monae who kind of deserves her own post, but first a quick stop at two of my other favorite robot songs.

Grandaddy – Jed the Humanoid my favorite robot song ever.

Flight of the Conchords – Robots
An instant classic.

And now Janelle Monae. I knew she was going to be a stop on my robot song post, but when I went looking for which song would be best I discovered so much more about her dedication to the robot.
This song is from a concept album about Cindi Mayweather, Janelle’s alter-ego, who is a cyborg wanted for falling in love with a human.

She goes for the big references, Metropolis, Blade Runner’s random white horse, probably some others I don’t recognize. But just look at her. This is actually the first time I’d gotten around to actually watching her do her thing on stage, I’d heard some people rave about her performances and now I see why. I mean, look at her. I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like about what she’s selling. The era she’s referencing, the flamboyant and loud way she dances, her bouffant, the shoes, the robots.

There’s just something about a woman who claims the android as an identity. For all the reasons Harraway pointed out. It’s history, even if she says it doesn’t really have one, its militaristic origins. If you look at the earliest cyborgs, they’re things associated with masculinity, metal, cold, hard, and so on. Even when they’ve taken a female shape and perhaps been sexualized, there’s still the cold metal underneath. I like that juxtaposition. The way it makes it easier to talk about shades of a gender. And what does the cyborg wish for? At least in Cindi’s case? Freedom. Freedom from her evil overlords to love who she wants. So yes, maybe robots are an anvil of a metaphor, but still.

Follow the continuing adventures in “Violet Stars Happy Hunting!!!”

What’s fantastic is that this robot kick is not just a one time thing for her first EP. The story of Cindi Mayweather will continue in her next album, The ArchAndroid. As you can see from this teaser for the album, we’re not losing the robots.
Apparently Cindi’s a Messiah figure in this one. Out to free all androids. I like that.

And Tightrope, the first single from the upcoming album.

I must say, I’m looking forward to the continued exploits of Cindi Mayweather.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. greenstring permalink
    April 23, 2010 7:38 am

    Cindi Mayweather, can you teach me to dance like that!

    Another thing I really love is that she is fully dressed in the videos. Obviously she is an attractive women, but she doesn’t try to sell her sexuality by wearing nearly nothing. If that’s the way of the cyborg, then I’m even more on board.

    • greenstring permalink
      April 23, 2010 7:39 am

      I meant attractive woman, but maybe women is more appropriate?

      • Mary permalink
        April 23, 2010 5:11 pm

        Seriously? Isn’t she fantastic. And you’re totally right about her dress. I was curious to see if that carried out in publicity photos and appearances and in looking through some of her results on Google Images, yeah it does. This is about as unclothed as she gets, and it even looks like she’s wearing short shorts. And her stance, it’s still so powerful, it’s not a come-on.

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