Janelle Monae and her tight band were playing for about 150 lucky people in an intimate setting at legendary producer Bob Clearmountain’s Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica. It was a KCRW’s invite-only performance, and a part of Morning Becomes Eclectic.
The mood was already set with free beer and wine when the band entered the stage. Surrounded by Roland keys and Marshall Amps, Janelle and two backup dancers entered stage Illuminati style with hooded cloaks. The beautiful intro of “Suite II Overture” from her major-label debut The ArchAndroid led into the irresistible “Dance Or Die” which is possibly my favorite song of 2010. The energetic “Faster” follows seamlessly and merges with “Locked Inside”. Then they bring it all down, Janelle and guitarist Kellindo Parker share the stage and performs the …
I took the 30-minute T ride (subway for you non-Bostonians) from downtown Boston out to the outskirt neighborhood of Allston/Brighton, got off at Harvard Avenue, made my way off the main roads, and wove through a few back alleys and a parking lot into a warehouse primed for the set of any Hollywood horror flick. It’s the kind of venue that is every bit as uninviting from the outside as it might sound. However, on this night (like many other nights), it is inevitably packed beyond capacity. 300-plus music lovers are losing their minds for the wildest group in Boston. Who exactly? Bad Rabbits.