Janelle Monae takes her out-of-this-world sounds on a tour of Earth

Janelle Monae and her Androids are taking over the Electric Factory. (Photo Credit: Marc Baptist)
Janelle Monae is on tour.
Credit: Marc Baptist

Though rising R&B star Janelle Monae sometimes seems absorbed in a futuristic world of androids and clones, she pays homage in song to two real-life female groundbreakers on her brand new album, “The Electric Lady”: astronaut Sally Ride and actress Dorothy Dandridge.

“’The Electric Lady’ are the ladies who are out there in this world and should be respected,” Monae says.

Dandridge in 1954 was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress, for her role in “Carmen Jones.” Monae extols the virtues of the actress in the jazzy “Dorothy Dandridge Eyes.”

Ride’s service on the crew of the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 made her the first American woman in space. Monae’s rock ‘n’ roll ballad “Sally Ride” on “The Electric Lady” is a funky space oddity.

“She was definitely working as an astronaut during a time when women were not being accepted, she was the minority,” Monae says of the late Ride. “I thought it was important to pay homage to her and tell her story and also she was in a same-sex relationship for a while … and women who were in same-sex relationships would definitely be fired or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.”

It’s all part of the “Electric Lady” concept.

“It’s important to show female appreciation,” Monae says. “You don’t have to necessarily be sexually attracted to a woman to appreciate her or to value her.”

Monae is a Kansas City-born, Atlanta-raised chanteuse who gained the support of OutKast’s Big Boi and Sean Combs to emerge as a solo artist with 2007’s “Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase).” “The ArchAndroid,” her 2010 album, saw her profile rise, as did her contribution to the Fun smash “We Are Young” and her being named as a CoverGirl spokeswoman. “The Electric Lady” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s album chart last month.

The new record, which features guests Prince, Erykah Badu, Miguel, Solange and Esperanza Spalding, is a happy swirl of R&B, disco, torchy ballads, rock ‘n’ roll and soul microwaved in a time machine. She’s now taking the show on the road.

“It’s going to be an interactive experience,” Monrae says. “There are going to be lots of androids from Metropolis who are going to time travel and you’ll get a chance to meet them.”

Philadelphia
Sunday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m.
The Electric Factory
421 N. Seventh St.
$25, 215-627-1332
www.ticketmaster.com

Boston
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St., Boston
$25 to $45, 888-693-2583
www.livenation.com

New York City
Friday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
Apollo Theater
253 W. 125th St.
$35-$75, 212-531-5305
www.ticketmaster.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.