I got excited when I saw that Janelle Monae’s website had been massively overhauled, and featured an “In Stores August 12, 2008!” teaser. I’ve been waiting hard on the second installment of the Metropolis Suite for what feels like a very long time now.
But apparently what hit the stores in August was Metropolis Suite 1: The Chase. Which is the same album I was playing last year this time. Literally, in fact, I believe I played the entire album through start to finish while subbing a late-night show last year. Not that I was being edgy or prescient by doing so, “Violet Stars Happy Hunting” was already an established thing on the college circuit when I got hooked on it. And as for blowing up “Many Moons” (video premier tonight!), dude, I totally rocked that solo on my show like last week.
Janelle, I love you, but you need to step up your release schedule to where it’s not a year behind my sorry grasp on the zeitgeist. I’m guessing this is a major-label release of what had previously been indie-distribution-only. Don’t get bogged down defining yourself by when your music is in Wal*Mart. Great if they carry your music in their commodity-distribution way, but don’t pretend that your official release happens when it hits their beige and dusty shelves. What matters as far as ritual and event is the indie or even the network release. When you’ve released to the internet, your music is released. You may afford less zircon-encrusted hummers thinking that way, but you will be cooler. And ask yourself: when you are on your death-bed, which will seem more important?