Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Moogfest Pt. 2 (Asheville, NC—4/24/14)

Janelle Monae speaks (Photo courtesy Moogfest)

Janelle Monae speaks (Photo courtesy Moogfest)

Generally speaking, I’m a night owl, and when I travel I revel in my rare opportunities to own the night–even if owlishly.

That said, my capacity for enjoying the day programming offered by Moogfest was admittedly limited. Out of intense curiosity, however, I was able to rise early enough on Thursday, April 24, to catch some of a presentation by Janelle Monae and her collaborators Chuck Lightning and Nate Rocket Wonder.

The session, titled after Monae’s work “The Electric Lady,” took me to the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville’s Pack Place for the first time. The 500-capacity theatre is a great place to catch a chat or a performance of any sort, and I found myself comfortably listening to Monae recount her experiences on tour, creating a series of paintings on stage during performance depicting the self-titled “Electric Lady” in question.

Monae related some of her experiences around the art (music and painting), her feelings about it and her longing for some sort of perfection. She and her cohorts were humbled to report performing at the White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama a total of five times so far. It gave Monae perspective and inspiration to hear that the First Lady often listened to her music during workouts; she and the others agreed that it gave them an added depth of responsibility to consider the messages behind their music when they knew such influential people were listening to it.

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