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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

23 Comments

  1. Reinder Dijkhuis
    April 25, 2015 @ 3:58 am

    I owned both her albums and the Metropolis EP, tried to stream her iTunes festival gig on my birthday in 2013 (but the gods of connectivity weren't with us that day), and missed her latest tour because I hadn't kept up with her touring info. So yeah, I had heard of her before.

    Reply

  2. Frezno
    April 25, 2015 @ 3:58 am

    I've been listening to Janelle Monae since… I think the fall of 2012? I had a rather unique way of discovering her; an Internet reviewer who used a puppet of a rabbit as his review "character" included Violet Stars/Happy Hunting in the credits of a review for Predator 2. I was intrigued by the sound so I looked up the song, that led to the Metropolis Suite EP, and that led to the ArchAndroid… which I still think is one of the most eclectic musical albums I've ever blessed my ears with. I still don't know if I love ArchAndroid or The Electric Lady more. The latter has the songs I love more (Q.U.E.E.N., Electric Lady, Dance Apocalyptic, Can't Live Without Your Love) but the former has a more diverse soundscape and goes to stranger places. The only track I don't like on ArchAndroid is the one with Of Montreal, just because it feels like someone just snuck an Of Montreal song into an unrelated album.

    But nah. Love Janelle Monae loads. She, along with Kate Bush and Jenny Lewis, have risen to the pantheon of songstresses who I adore.

    Reply

  3. Kit
    April 25, 2015 @ 5:39 am

    First heard her on a pre-release CD of Got Purp? vol 2, so [googles]… probably about October 2005.

    Reply

  4. Eric Rosenfield
    April 25, 2015 @ 6:02 am

    What's wrong with linking to my site every week? I don't see the problem.

    I'd heard of Janelle Monáe but never really listened to her. Now I have and she's amazing. She's like an afrofuturistic David Bowie. I keep listening to ArchAndroid over and over.

    Reply

  5. Mitch Postich
    April 25, 2015 @ 6:18 am

    I first heard her when The ArchAndroid got some buzz going in 2010. She's probably the most exciting of this whole crop of new R&B artists (Frank Ocean, Miguel, Jai Paul, Autre Ne Veut, etc., all of which are excellent anyway) Can't wait for her next studio album so I can hear all of the Metropolis Suite in one go.

    If it sounds interesting to anyone who likes (or is willing to try) avant-garde jazz, one project I've always associated the Metropolis Suite with is Matana Roberts's also-ongoing Coin Coin project, which is supposed to be twelve (!) albums, of which three are out – it's nominally the story of a young slave girl, but hazily winds its way through all kinds of times and aspects of black culture.

    Reply

  6. Bob Dillon
    April 25, 2015 @ 8:00 am

    This has reminded me that I haven't ordered Recursive occlusion, so I went to try again.

    Again the interface will not let me order without giving my state/province despite selecting a non Canada/USA country. I tried lying and typing in Alberta both times, but it still rejected me

    Has anyone in Europe had any success in using the site, and have any advice on what I am doing wrong?

    Bob Dillon

    Reply

  7. encyclops
    April 25, 2015 @ 9:52 am

    A friend of mine put "Many Moons" onto a mix for me and I was like "wtf is this manic Sesame Street thing?" I didn't warm to it at first (I like it more now) but I was intrigued enough to look her up. This can't have been long before The Archandroid came out, at which time I saw the record cover, put it together with what I'd heard, and thought "this has got to be good." And it was. I saw her live for The Electric Lady and it was the best concert I've seen to date. I don't know if even she could top it next time.

    My favorites are probably the obvious ones: "Sincerely, Jane," "Dance or Die," "Cold War," "Givin Em What They Love," "Q.U.E.E.N.," "Dance Apocalyptic," "What An Experience," and maybe most especially "Wondaland." I like "Make the Bus," too, and the other Of Montreal collaboration "Enemy Gene," which has such a delirious melody and that moment when Kevin Barnes sings "black body radiation" and you hear a little "hmph" from Monáe. I even dig The Audition, which I've just noticed that iTunes thinks was recorded in 2026. That's interesting.

    Why is she so awesome? Well, my most complete answer to date is here: http://fortyrecords.com/2013-janelle-monae-electric-lady/ but here's a concise pull quote, talking about "Dance Apocalyptic":

    It’s Monáe in microcosm: intelligent, compassionate social commentary set to irresistible melodies. It’s the end of the world, awash in carcinogens and economic disaster. Still, dance — because you have to.

    I keep forgetting videos are still a thing. I should really go and watch all of hers. This one was a lot of fun and sets off my bidar as urgently as ever.

    Reply

  8. TheWatersOfMars
    April 25, 2015 @ 11:00 am

    I'm an undergrad writing an essay on Doctor Who and international relations (which covers things like war, "the other", real-world politics and history, etc.), and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on stories and events to cover. This is mostly about the Classic Series, since I want to cover the show's interesting relationship with being popular while also being part of marginal culture.

    Reply

  9. Nyq Only
    April 25, 2015 @ 11:57 am

    The Third Doctor (Pertwee) would provide a rich seam of material I'd think. Not only because of his contact with the military and the tension between military and non-military solutions to problems (e.g. the Silurians) but also because diplomacy is a recurring theme (e.g. the Curse of Peladon and its weaker sequel the Monster of Peladon).

    Reply

  10. TheWatersOfMars
    April 25, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

    Great idea! I completely forgot about Curse of Peladon for some reason. I think I'll definitely focus on the Pertwee era. Letts' Buddhism and Hulke's disapproval of the whole UNIT thing would make for an interesting point about Doctor Who's impact on popular culture at the time. (I'm also thinking of briefly covering either The Silurians or Ambassadors of Death, but this isn't all that long of an essay, and I don't want the focus to stray towards literary criticism as opposed to IR.)

    Reply

  11. storiteller
    April 25, 2015 @ 4:22 pm

    Janelle Monáe was one of those people who was on my radar but I hadn't really listened to. I had seen photos of her and was really intrigued because of the whole techo/SF look, but didn't get around to looking her up. She's a little less rock than I usually like, but I'll definitely do so now.

    Reply

  12. John
    April 25, 2015 @ 8:51 pm

    Continuing with the Pertwee era — The Mind of Evil and Day of the Daleks both have some diplomacy going on – lots of worries about Red China. Frontier in Space, with its plot of diplomatic misunderstandings between the humans and the Draconians, is another obvious one. The Time Warrior, too.

    For the Fourth Doctor, Genesis of the Daleks definitely has some worthwhile stuff.

    Reply

  13. Chris Gonzalez
    April 25, 2015 @ 10:03 pm

    I first heard of Janelle Monáe when she did backing vocals on that song where Nate Ruess apologizes for beating his girlfriend. Never much looked into her before your Hugo's post, but I will definitely be checking her out because your use of her music there intrigued me.

    As for a site for you to feature, I'm working on it. I can't say it'll be worth the slot, but all in good time, sir.

    Reply

  14. elvwood
    April 25, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

    As a side helping, perhaps you could look at the cooperative international feel of the future presented in the Innes Lloyd era, particularly The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase, featuring strongly multinational (but Western) crews?

    Reply

  15. TheWatersOfMars
    April 26, 2015 @ 6:13 am

    Thanks for the advice, guys! Frontier in Space and Genesis are definitely ones I'll cover. The Red China stuff might get a mention; it slipped my mind.

    Elvwood – I like that idea. Might be interesting to briefly juxtapose that with the base under siege mentality. I'm trying to figure out how to weave in the Troughton era—especially Phil's excellent analysis of The War Games—without dumbing it down to "icky aliens are naturally bad". But I suppose that's why Curse of Peladon is so interesting.

    Reply

  16. elvwood
    April 26, 2015 @ 6:23 am

    I'd never heard of Janelle Monáe before, and having watched the two videos I can say that she is a talented performer of music that doesn't appeal to me. Which is fine – not everything has to!

    Reply

  17. Jenda
    April 26, 2015 @ 8:03 am

    I'm a Prince fanatic so I've been a Monae fan since before the first album – you getting really into her music is a "worlds colliding" moment for me in terms of my personal fandoms!

    Reply

  18. Scurra
    April 26, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

    My reaction exactly.
    It's a good job we all like different things or otherwise the world would be, well, the sort of place Vox Day imagines. (Sorry about that.)

    Reply

  19. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 26, 2015 @ 4:47 pm

    That's really weird. I know people outside of the US/Canada have ordered successfully, but I couldn't tell you how. Send me an e-mail at snowspinner at gmail and let me know what country you're in – I'll figure out shipping, and we can set it up via Paypal.

    Reply

  20. Sean Case
    April 26, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

    I don't remember who it was that linked me to Janelle Monáe singing Tightrope on Letterman, but that was what got me in.

    Reply

  21. Matt Marshall
    April 27, 2015 @ 3:09 am

    Happiness Patrol is very political, but more about British politics rather than international. Warriors of the Deep is about the cold war and MAD, albeit with a slightly hamfisted attempt at a moral. Rob Shearman's reading of The Two Doctors that Phil alludes to is an excellent exploration of 'The Other' (ie treating the Androgums as typical monsters in the usual way of the Troughton era but they look human).

    People have covered Pertwee a lot here already, but Claws of Axos and Day of the Daleks both have a big focus on international affairs, for different reasons.

    Reply

  22. David Anderson
    April 27, 2015 @ 5:24 am

    The Invasion has the day saved by Russian nuclear weapons, which given that it was the height of the cold war, and only six or seven years after the Cuban missile crisis, seems worth commenting on.

    Reply

  23. Daru
    May 4, 2015 @ 12:03 am

    I'd never heard of Janelle Monáe until the Beauty of Their Weapons essay. I will be going and hunting out more of her music to see what I think – always up for discovering new stuff!

    Reply

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