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
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
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://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe
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:
John and Sharon Stenglein
Thanks, too, to everyone who has signed up in the last couple weeks.