goodolmike: (Default)
A few of my bros and I have been on a huge Prince kick lately. I've been reevaluating everything he's done in the past decade. A lot of it is much better than I remembered.

Take this video for example. Chocolate Box (featuring Q-Tip)

It's fun, it sounds current-ish and it has Q-Tip. What's not to love? Plus, this track is off the Target-exculsive Lotusflow3r 3-disc album. If you can find it at Target, it's probably $.50.



Fun Fact:
Prince is reportedly in the studio now, working on a new album with Lady Gaga's sound engineer. Check the article I read. Part of me is like, "hell yeah!" but part of me is like, "Oh, honey..."

0(+>

Aug. 6th, 2011 09:05 am
goodolmike: (Default)
I'm a huge Prince fan, but I'm a little burned out on all of his major albums. However, I tend to pick up an oldie every once in a while and rediscover it.

One of my favorite Prince albums is 0(+>, aka "The Love Symbol Album", aka "Prince and the New Power Generation". The jewel box for the disc has the symbol painted on it. From over use, my original disc's case was scratched badly. When I found a new looking disc and case at Amoeba for $4, I was quick to pick it up. And the rediscovery began.



The biggest songs off this one are 7, Sexy MF and My Name is Prince. In my opinion, the album works. It's kind of a concept album about Prince's elusiveness and his new love for an under-aged belly dancer named Mayte.

Musically, this album is sort of a bridge between his more musical styles of the past (Lovesexy / Sign O the Times) and the straight up hip-hop sound he was transitioning to (Emancipation / Musicology). There are some real gems mixed throughout, like Love 2 the 9's and The Morning Papers.

Whatever happened to Tony M?!

Tony M was Prince's rapper at the time. He appears on most of the songs in 0(+> He was discovered on the set of Purple Rain, almost a decade before, as part of a dance troop called "The Gameboyz". To add a street edge to his live shows, Prince hired the Gameboyz as his dancers. Later, Tony M began rapping during Prince's live shows and later was invited to rap on a few albums.

Years after he was let go, Tony M, along with Prince's guitar player, reportedly sued Prince for songwriting credit. Ultimately they received a small settlement that didn't even cover their court costs. Lesson learned: Don't **** with Prince.
goodolmike: (Prince!)
While I was out of town a few weeks ago, I heard that tickets for Prince's 21-night residency were going on sale. I'm a hug fan, so I jumped at the chance to get tickets. I didn't realize the night I got tickets for was the night before Easter. Oops*.

Fast forward to Saturday. In the morning, JP and I met up with several friends for brunch at Blue BayouBleu Boheme in Kensington. I was itching to head up to LA, but I'm glad I stuck around for brunch. I had a lovely talk with my new friends Kevin and Michael. Kevin was particularly fun to talk to because he's a successful Broadway actor and knows a bit about theater. I wanted to know eveything about Spider-man: Turn off the Dark. I know it's awful, but I'm a little bit obsessed and I totally plan on seeing it (care to join me?).

112/365

When I got to [livejournal.com profile] xxtapemakerxx's house in Anaheim, to pick him up for the show, he suggested we go to Fingerprints in Long Beach first. Um, yes please! Fingerprints is a famous-ish record store, where several indie bands (Rilo Kiley, Hold Steady, Ani Difranco) have recorded live albums. They recently moved to a much larger and nicer location. I was in heaven; spent way too much money.

That night we saw Prince. The opening act was Chaka Kahn. "What?!" we both said. She sounded great. During the show, we ran in to fellow LJ-er [livejournal.com profile] titoagogo. Yay.

Prince tore it up. He played just about every hit in his catalog and plenty of random album cuts, including a medley of slow jams Scandalous, Insatiable and Adore. I'm not sure if he does this every night, but a bunch of folks from Prince's past came up on stage to join him. Chaka Kahn did Sweet Thing, Larry Graham (from Sly and the Family Stone) did a bunch of his terrible 70's funk**, and Sheila E played drums and sang!!!

The Symbol Stage Prince and Sheila E!

After the show, I bought a $10 bootleg shirt, and Matt bought a tour book. We dined on Taco Bell and watched Prince videos. OMG, yay.

* Fun Fact: I was extremely tired all Easter Sunday.
** Fun Fact: As much as I love Prince, I hate hate hate 70's funk like Earth Wind and Fire, Sly and the Family Stone and KC and the Sunshine Band.
goodolmike: (Default)

I'm pretty sure it's going to be another rough day at work, so I'm starting the day off right. With Prince!

I made an iTunes playlist called Ultimate Batman. Let's explore...

Back in 1989, Tim Burton presented a reimaging of the Batman franchise. As with Burton's other films, Danny Elfman created the score to the film, but the "Soundtrack" was a new album by Prince. I was so inpired by the sound of this album. It's very dark for a Prince album, only to be out-darked by Graffiti Bridge. Just about every song on the album has one or more soundbytes from the movie integrated in to the song. I just love that.

The Future
Yellow Smiley offers me X
Like he's drinking seven up
I would rather drink 6 razor blades
Razor blades from a paper cup
He can't understand, I say 2 tough
It's just that I've seen the future
And boy it's rough

Electric Chair
I love this song. When I was in high school, I wanted to start a band, just so we could play this song, ok and Smells Like Teen Spirit. I should try to record a cover.

The Arms of Orion
Duet with Sheena Easton! Yay! Whenever I hear this, I sing Prince's part and Sheena accompanies me.

Partyman
"Rules and regulations - no place in his nation"
I think there's a CD single of this one. I want it.

Vicki Waiting
Trust
Lemon Crush

The Scandalous Sex Suite (The Crime, The Passion, The Rapture)
For Ultimate Batman, I replaced the original Scandalous with the epic, 20-minute version. There's a lot of Kim Bassinger making weird noises in this version. At this time, Prince and Kim were dating, and as with all of Prince's other dates, she thought she was on the cusp of a recording career. Ha ha. Fail.

Batdance
This song is a hot mess and I love it for that. It seems like what happened here is Prince took all of his outtakes from the album, and made a fun mix of them. I guess it works.
"Hey Ducky, let me stick the 7-inch in the computer."

200 Balloons
Outtake that appears on the Batdance single. It's not the best Prince song, but it fits in seamlessly with songs like Trust and Lemon Crush. I would have left it in.

Sex
This song is funky as hell. The full title is actually SEX ("THE 80'S ARE OVER AND THE TIME HAS COME 4 MONOGAMY AND TRUST"). How bout that...

Dance with the Devil
I just rememebered this song this morning. I wikipedia'd it today. Turns out this was supposed to close the album, but Prince thought it was too dark and replaced it with Batdance. It is really dark. A very minimal beat with lots of soundbytes of Jack Nicholson saying Joker-y things.

---

In the summer of 1989, my family and I went to Europe for three weeks. We mostly stayed in an apartment in Amsterdam, but we also took day trips to Germany and England. We had a rental car and did a lot of driving. For most of our travel time, I listened to the Batman soundtrack incessantly. I have the entire album very memorized, and whenever I hear anything from it, I can't help but to sing along.

Good mornin'!

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goodolmike: (Default)

I'm a big Prince fan, but I used to be a huge Prince fan. Through high school, I collected his entire catalog. That's a lot of albums. Plus, a bunch of very cool singles. Remember CD singles, omg...

Over time, of course, the quality of his work has diminished. The new album, 20ten, is meh to the max.

Very randomly this morning, I grabbed a Prince cd from my special Prince rack and listened to it in the car.

The Black Album

Quick history. The Black Album came out at the very end of the 90's. It was meant to be the follow up to his groundbreaking, post-Wendy-and-Lisa, Sign O the Times. But as legend has it, shortly before it was released, Prince had a spritual vision and shut down the release of the album. He instead released Lovesexy, which is all about "God is Love, Love is God, Girls and Boys Love God Above" but does retain one song from The Black Album, When 2 R in Love.

So, I was listening to it this morning, and remembering how funky and fun prince is capable of getting. Nothing grand or overly emotional like Purple Rain. Instead, there a song about wanting to have sex with Cindy Crawford (Hey, it was the 90's. Plus, this was back when Uncle Princey still had a sex drive.), a song called le Grind and a weird skit song called Bob George, featuring the lines "Prince? Ain't that a bitch? That skinny motherfucker with the high voice?" and "B-O-B, spell the shit backwards, what'd it say. Same motherfuckin' shit." (Note: Today's Prince doesn't even use curse words anymore.)

The Black Album immediately became the most popular and legendary Prince bootleg, eventually rivaled by Crystal Ball. Both albums, over time, were officially released (sort of) by Warner Brothers during the big Prince/WB publishing rights ordeal.

YOU should check it out some time.

I also listened to this, recently posted by Mr [livejournal.com profile] brunorepublic. Love it!

Oh, and I'm wearing black today.

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