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Jun 26, 2019

Whether you're high or low, you got to tip on the tightrope... and Kirk's got to tip right into a Strong Songs analysis of "Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe.

It's time for some thump, some pop, and some sizzle, along with some clever rap phrasing, phrygian harmonies, surprise ukulele, and the funkiest horn section in Metropolis.

Band/Artist: Janelle Monáe

Album: The ArchAndroid, 2010

Composed by: Janelle Monáe, Nathaniel Irvin III, Charles Joseph II, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

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ALSO FEATURED:

Several other songs from The ArchAndroid; "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder from Natural Wonder Live; re-created beats from Strong Songs episodes on Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

For more on the lore behind Monáe's Metropolis suite, read this great summary by Charles Pulliam-Moore at io9: https://io9.gizmodo.com/from-metropolis-to-dirty-computer-a-guide-to-janelle-m-1825580195

OUTRO SOLOIST: BJ CORD

This episode's outro soloist is BJ Cord, a fantastic trumpet player based in Portland by way of Chicago. BJ works at Monette trumpets making some of the most beautiful horns in the world, and is a regular presence on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monettetrumpets

THE STRONG SONGS THEME!

You can listen to a (basically) final mix of the Strong Songs Theme Song on Kirk's Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/kirkhamilton/strong-songs-theme-song

NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST

Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://tinyletter.com/KirkHamilton

SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!

Join the club over at the Strong Songs Patreon and help make this show as good as it can be. We're well on our way to 250 backers, at which point Kirk will do a bonus interview episode with an interesting musician or educator.

Find out more here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

A huge thank you to all of the show's backers for June, in particular those who've signed up for the Half- and Whole-Note tiers.

JUNE WHOLE-NOTE BACKERS:

Caleb Rotach
Chad Barnard
Dan Apczynski
Dave Florey
Sara Walsh

HALF-NOTE BACKERS:

Andre Bremer
Andrew Lee
Arjun Sharma
Chas Lednicky
Earl Lozada
Emily Williams
Fishbones
Forrest Chang
Jaehoon Jeong
James Johnson
Jasmine Fellows
Jeff Dixon
John and Sharon Stenglein
Jon O’Keefe
joujou
Justin Liew
Justin McElroy
Kevin Morrell
Kevin Pennyfeather
Kyle Simons
Max Schechter
Michael Blackwell
Shane DeLeon
Tom Lauer

Thanks, too, to everyone who has signed up in the last couple weeks.